Get the Blade
Battling The Inner Voices That Encourage Self Harm
BY MA ELIZA CALIOLIO
“How long has it been?” my therapist asks while I stare at the photo canvas that almost covers the entire wall. It shows an old bridge made of wood with ropes tying it together. It reaches the other side of the river where my sight meets a gigantic tree, generous in leaves, while a veil of fog covers the entire canvas. It calms me down.
“Ten years since the last one,” I reply, continuously staring at the wall. She turns around and looks at the wall acknowledging the photo and smiles. She turns around to look at me.
What made you do it this time?” she asks with an almost mothering, disappointed look on her face. “I don’t know. I’m not so sure. I mean, I know, but I don’t know why I did it.”
It always seems to be my answer. “I’m not sure” or “I don’t know”–because 90 percent of the time people who have mental disorders like me do not know why it happens. Hell, no one knows how to approach someone who has cutting tendencies, let alone figure out if the person has depression. There’s a stigma to mental disorders comparable to the Black Plague. No one wants to go near it and they don’t take the time to understand it.
Many I know are afraid to ask, “Are you okay?” because sometimes my answers can take them by surprise and the follow up conversations can be awkward. It’s just like how I react when meeting someone like me, someone who has depression with cutting tendencies. I’ve walked in both sets of shoes.
I’ve joined online groups with names like “Cutters Anonymous,” “Self Harmers and Cutters,” “Self Mutilators” and many more that flood Facebook. I try to be careful since I’m going through the same dark episode they are. When I try to interact with someone who posts (more…)
A Suburban Teen’s Abuse
Victim of Sex Trafficking Reveals His 40-Year Secret
Editor’s Note: April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and The Reporters Inc. is proud to present (below) an excerpt from the new book, Faraway: A Suburban Boy’s Story as a Victim of Sex Trafficking, by R. Kevin Kline and Daniel D. Maurer. It’s the shocking true story of what happened to Kline when he was just 14-years-old—a story he kept hidden for years.
The abuse took place over the course of one summer, between May and August of 1975 in suburban St. Louis. But the memories continue to haunt him.
In the book, Kline describes his friendship with a young man named Tim who, like Kline, was gay. Then he shares how Tim introduced him to an older gay man named Ray. He writes, “As Ray talked I thought to myself, ‘Wow, he really is a nice guy, and he looks real cool!”
It wasn’t long, however, before Kline’s opinion of his new friend changed: “It turned out he was essentially delivering me to Ray to be trained”–trained as a male hustler who would trade sex with men for money. (more…)