Ask Dr. Christina: I Cut Myself Because My Mom Died (Teen)


I am 17 years old and I don’t know how to say this. No one listens to me. I find it hard to express myself so I cut myself in areas that no one sees. I have been doing this more recently because my mom died and my dad travels a lot. I know you are going to tell me I’m crazy but I am afraid. Can you help me?


First, I want to tell you how proud I am of you for having the courage to write me and to tell me about how you are feeling.

There are many times when it is hard to express ourselves for we feel no one will listen even if you tried to tell them.  I get it. You may even feel invisible in your own world with family and friends. Oftentimes, this happens during stressful times when you may feel suicidal or have a desire to want to hurt yourself to either make a statement or seek and get attention.

Sometimes though, it can be dangerous because it can accidentally lead to death if you go too far. For others, it is a coping skill you have learned to express your hurt and pain and it is a release for your despair. You are not crazy. Believe me, many people have done this and are afraid to speak out.  It’s sort of like a taboo topic because no one wants you to know that they hurt as much as you do.

I will share with you that I totally understand your situation, for I too felt that no one understood me. Even my mom told me I was a “cold-blooded reptile” when I was young and the only way I thought I was human was not to just cut but to blood-let so I could feel that my blood was warm and not cold like she had said it was.

The sense of not feeling or numbness is so strong sometimes that we do things in order to shock our system.

I had to learn to refocus my thoughts to a more positive way of expression.  Sometimes instead of self-injury, I would place my hand in ice water to feel the pain or I would put a rubber band around my wrist and slap it so I could feel the discomfort without having to use a needle in my case. For you, it is the razor or knife.

You do not have to mutilate yourself anymore. It’s about learning to express yourself in more productive ways so you don’t injure yourself any longer. You must find the outlet to express anger, frustration, hatred and those other feelings by crying, screaming and other ways to let it out.

Sometimes having a mom die and a dad who travels can make it hard on you, depending on how close you have been with them and whether you can talk openly to your dad about your feelings and feel heard.

There are many self-help groups, grief groups to discuss the feelings you have about the loss of your mom, and psychologists and counselors that specialize in this. Please be careful. Choose someone you feel you can talk to and not someone who does not improve how you feel.

Believe me, I know how scared you are. I was too until I found out that there are good people out there that can help you.

Secrets can hurt you more than you know. I have provided some Resources [LINK to RESOURCES Page] here on my site to enable you to begin the path to recovery and to enable you to learn why you do what you do. I want to somehow help to teach you how to redirect your coping skills toward one that helps you find real relief.

You are never alone, for as long as I am here you can always write to me. My thoughts will always be with you.

You are one beautiful person and my belief in you hopefully will encourage you to learn two things: (1) Love yourself and (2) forgive yourself.

Starting from this day forward, all you can do is try. There are many people out there that will never understand why you did this to yourself but your sensitivity and compassion not to hurt others is so commendable.

I am here to tell you that there is a way out. I did it! I ended my own self-mutilation. I know you can too. I am not going to tell you that it is an easy road, but when you start to believe in yourself, you’ll begin to recognize that you have so much power and that you have already made it this far in your life somehow.

When you stop doing it, you’ll find that what you’ve done will help to empower you to help yourself first. Then you can help me to help others who have suffered with the same type of painPlease keep in contact and I hope this answers your question.

With much Respect and Belief in you,

Dr. Christina

  • Posted By: Dr. Christina
  • Tags: blood blood let blood letting Christina Christina Charbonneau Christina Goldstein-Charbonneau coach cutter cutting death doctor Dr. Christina Dr. Christina Goldstein-Charbonneau dying grief life coach life coaching loss of a parent lost my mom mutilation neglect neglected self-help self-mutilation suicidal suicide teen cutter teen grief teenager
  • Comments: 2

2 comments on “Ask Dr. Christina: I Cut Myself Because My Mom Died (Teen)

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  2. Jeanetta on said:

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