New term for "cutters" (new for me anyways)

Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by Puck, Mar 18, 2012.

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  1. Puck

    Puck Active Member

    I looked in the mirror the other day with my shirt off and couldn't help but think "I look like a zebra", which in turn made me think of what to call the phenomenon.. "Zebrafication". I think i'm going to add the term to urbandictionary and see if it catches on. because I sure do look like a damn zebra!

    What are your thoughts on this? good? bad? do you have a better term? Let's make a new word.
     
  2. Puck

    Puck Active Member

    Zebrafication: The act of cutting ones body to the degree and severity that the cuts and scars resemble a "zebra pattern".
     
  3. gentlelady

    gentlelady Staff Alumni

    It does seem to describe what cutting can leave you looking like in a sense. Wish we didn't need to think of terms for things like this :(
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2012
  4. jessneedstobethin

    jessneedstobethin Well-Known Member

    whilst it's great you've made up a word that might help those who have lots of scars by making them think of zebra stripes instead of their pain, i worry it may catch on too much - there are always people out there who do things for the wrong reasons - and may also start off a new trend of name calling, just like 'emo'. just my (part-pooper) thoughts. sorry.
    i do like the word though :)
     
  5. Growing Pains

    Growing Pains Well-Known Member

    The word's definitely interesting.

    I tend to thing tiger myself. Probably because tigers have claws. *shrug* But Tigerfication doesn't have as much a ring to it.
     
  6. Chocolate Heartache

    Chocolate Heartache Active Member

    I tend to think I look like I was clawed by a tiger or run over by a lawnmower, but the zebra thing I like - it's a much less violent image!
     
  7. Puck

    Puck Active Member

    Gentlelady: I agree.. things would be better if nobody had to cut in the first place. Sadly.. thats is not the case.

    Jessneedstobethin: I agree and disagree.. yes.. i'm sure it could (and would) be used as an insult or some other way to hurt one of our fellow "zebra's". But so would any other word/term (including "cutter" itself). Personally.. i would rather be called a zebra instead of a cutter. and i would hope others would find it a title they could unify under. So many people don't understand whats its like for us (cutter's/zebra's) or why we do what we do. all they know is we "cut" and i feel (from personal experience) that the name "cutter" already puts the wrong thoughts into the minds of those who have never felt the kind of pain we live with (physical AND mental) day to day.

    Sharkdogs and Chocolate Heartache: I get the tiger thing but here lies the problem (for me).. tigers are a symbol of stength, power and confidence. Usually.. we don't fall into that category. I chose zebra/zebrafication for a few reasons..

    #1. It sounds so much nicer than "cutter" and has a nice ring to it.
    #2. We tend to look like zebra's with either our cuts and/or our scars.
    and #3. Zebra's are good at running (and running fast). We may not "run" in a litteral sense
    but "cutting" is a way for us to "run" (if not control) the extreme pain we hold inside.

    I'm not proud to be a "cutter" and always resented the label. I'm happy to be tagged a "zebra". Our scars may fade with time.. but they will always be there.

    I can't help but imagine my fellow "zebra's" getting small zebra tattoo's in a place for all to see. Being able to recognize those like myself would be a comfort. To be able to SEE others like myself. To say "I'M A ZEBRA" (Yeah.. i know. that part sounded kinda funny) without showing my scars. To KNOW/SEE that i'm not alone. Because i KNOW.. i sure do feel alone.. alot.. :(

    Part of our pain is the shame. and (in my opinion) the shame starts with the label "cutter" (its a violent and negative word). We all need to heal (inside and out) and being called a "cutter" or "SI" helps keep our wounds fresh. So i say.. lets stop being a group of "cutters" and become a herd of zebra's. Together we can protect one another from those who don't understand AND from ourselves.
     
  8. lycoris

    lycoris Well-Known Member

    I'm pleased to see that after years of taunts and name calling at school that now people actually WANT to be called names alongside self harming.

    Personally im not a "cutter" or an "emo" or a fucking "zebra" im a person and first and foremost that is what i am. I don't need to try to relate to a safari animal to justify what I've done to myself.
     
  9. 1112222

    1112222 Well-Known Member

    No as this load of dribble has to be easily the most idiotic thing I've ever read on this forum.

    There are good reasons why self harm/cutting and all other forms of self destructive behavior have negative connotations so calling it something ridiculous like Zebrafication isn't change that one fucking bit.
     
  10. xoCherie

    xoCherie Well-Known Member

    Now I want to change my tattoo appointment to get a zebra :)

    And to the two above me, that's YOUR opinion. I personally HATE being labelled a "cutter" and would much rather be a "zebra" any day. I agree, it's not great that we cut, but we do. And in saying that, we should be able to choose for ourselves what we want to be labelled.
     
  11. jessneedstobethin

    jessneedstobethin Well-Known Member

    obviously it is down to each individual's personal choice, but making light of the subject doesn't seem like a great idea to me - it just makes people accept what they're doing to their body, when they should be trying to stop. it's not a way to live. calling yourself a zebra seems as though you're proud of your problem, which isn't healthy, and if people catch on that you're ok with it, then they'll feel ok about insulting you for it, breeding a whole new lot of hatred against all of us. sorry, that's just my opinion.
     
  12. Puck

    Puck Active Member

    First off.. Cherie.. thank you :) and i'm glad that you would consider it.

    Moving on..

    Lycoris: By all means.. that is your opinion. And i'm not looking to have people taunt me or others like me (but thats going to happen anyways). My opinion is.. if people are already going to give me a label (which they have) then i would like the ability to choose which "label" they give me. I am also a person.. an individual.. There is no true label that fits me. but the thought of being called a "zebra" (which i resemble anyways) instead of a "cutter" makes me smile. and i would only ask others with the same mentality as me to (of there own choosing) take up the title "zebra".

    And now for 1112222:..

    ..
    ..
    Are you serious? You currently have 1,301 posts. You have obviously been on sf for a while. And though i DID ask for the opinion of others.. i didn't expect to be insulted and smashed to the ground in a site devoted to harm prevention and by a seasoned member no less! Shame on you. Seriously.. Think about the type of people who would frequent this corner of sf. Now think about the fact that you just called a fellow member an IDIOT for trying to find a way to lessen the pain for himself and others. you may not have said it in those words (though you DID call it idiotic), but you might as well. Next time.. if you have no intention of saying anything constructive, how about you just keep it to yourself instead of making somebody feel shitty enough about themselves to resort to the reason they came to this site in the first place.
     
  13. Puck

    Puck Active Member

    Good point. Very good point. It has its ups and downs. i'm not proud of what i do to myself, and i don't want anybody else to be "proud of it really. i just want to lessen the sting of being called a "cutter".i haven't always been able to hide my scars and the pain i would feel as a teenager at school hearing the kids whisper "cutter" and feeling like i was alone (because i had no way of recognizing others like me) made it worse. I don't say "promote being a zebra". its more.. if your not so ashamed of it.. your more open to talk about it, and THAT helps with the healing process. Bottling it up only makes it worse.
     
  14. lycoris

    lycoris Well-Known Member

    Yes well done that is MY opinion and what you wrote is YOUR opinion. Isn't it funny how that works?

    I'd be interested to know what you would have put if you'd put half as much effort into reading my reply as you did bitching about it.

    I used to cut, im in recovery, and I find the idea that I resemble a Zebra really really offensive. So my opinion is up there. Since Puck asked for opinions. OR did I misunderstand and think that it was opinions but only the ones who agree are welcome? Cause from that reply that's how it looks.

    My biggest trigger is the defense of self harm. So whilst it might trigger other people to be called a cutter, at least its not someone taking what you look like whether you like it or not and going "oh, looks like zebra" I'm not proud of my issues and I don't feel any need to be. Its a very bad coping mechanism whether it works or not and it's not healthy to make it all seem rosey.

    To be perfectly honest I've been called some things in my time but never ever have any of them insulted me like being referred to as an animal. I'd rather be diseased, tragedy, emo, cutter. Just a FEW of the things I've been called.

    How do you expect to ever raise awareness of this issue enough to stop being called names if you're creating your own names?

    It's not Zebrafication, it's self harm.


    Puck - sorry if this upsets you but you did ask for opinions and this is mine. I've nothing against you, but I hate the thought of being a "zebra" so there it is, laid out and explained.
     
  15. Puck

    Puck Active Member

    it didn't upset me and no offence taken. I don't think all of us should be called zebra's.. only those empowered by the label (not empowered to self harm or promote it), those who feel more open to talk about it when not given a label that's feel negative or shameful (to them). I would never call somebody a zebra who didn't wish to be called them. I have no desire to create a slur meant to hurt us further. I feel that those who have never been in the places that we have may be more open to learning more about it. to understand us. why we do it. that its not always a suicidal thing. in my experiences non cutters/zebra/si's (or what have you) developed preconceptions as to what we are and why we do what we do. I aim to correct that. My ultimate goal is to heal (more than just my physical marks).
     
  16. shedhaddock

    shedhaddock Banned Member

    I think "zebrafication" is a great word to use. I recently refered to myself as one and its catchy :)
     
  17. 1112222

    1112222 Well-Known Member

    To the OP no I'm not calling your an idiot or trying to make you feel bad but I honestly can't help but laugh when you asked me if I was serious because what you are suggesting is beyond absurd and if you said this on any forum you would be mercilessly ridiculed for bringing up such a ridiculous idea.

    And yes can deny it all you want but by trying to remove all the negative connotations from self harm you are trying to justify it and by your logic we should also give drug abuse some sort of cutesy name because it has negative connotations too.


    If you don't like being called a cutter I can offer you a much simpler solution... get help or don't cut in the first place.
     
  18. justMe7

    justMe7 Well-Known Member

    To each their own... that's pretty heavy though if you're going that far with it. :(
     
  19. Puck

    Puck Active Member

    1112222.. That's you opinion (which your entitled to). Its been noted (twice).. I'm glad your able to laugh at it (laughter is a good thing) and yes.. I would expect to catch flack in MOST forums.. But not here. Disagree all you want.. But as you can see (provided you chose to read all the responses).. There are some out there who view things the same as me. YOU are not a zebra.. and call me (or my views) whatever you wish.. Just don't call me often. Maybe its just your choice of words but you come off as an uncaring bully who has the need to drag those down that wish to find the silver lining to the darkness they find themselves in. So.. like I said.. Your opinion has been noted.. and until you find something constructive to add without being insulting (that may not have been your intention but it still came off as very abrasive to say the least) aside from your desire (or compulsion) to laugh at those trying to better themselves (even if its in a weird way) please just avoid this thread. I can take criticism and objections. I have no need to take rudeness and insults. Last I checked, i'm no longer in highschool. Save the immaturity for the class room and let us contemplate ways to correct the problems in our lives without childish behavior and in our own way. Thank you.. and happy easter (the day of rebirth, renewal and starting over).
     
  20. flowers

    flowers Senior Member

    Thank you for the idea of Zebra. The roots of cutting is pain. I am glad that you have found a way to see your body that can help you to judge less. And yes, maybe some others can use this word and description to judge themselves less also.

    Regarding the post from 1112222, words of compassion can help to heal. I suspect that if we each had enough compassion and acceptance for ourselves and others, things would change. I do hope though that our words will not be swords that attack and cut others.
     
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