How Do I Stop Self-Harming and Cutting for My Boyfriend?

Amberlee’s boyfriend wants her to stop cutting herself. Dawson thinks it’s great her boyfriend cares about her and wants her to stop self-harming, but says she needs to stop for her own self.

Self-Harming and Cutting

AMBERLEE (Greenville, SC) QUESTION:

Amberlee: I have an addiction to cutting and it’s really hard! There are only 2 people who know about it. There’s a guy from TheHopeLine and my boyfriend. My boyfriend really wants me to stop, and I know in I need to stop. I want to stop for me and my boyfriend. I’m kind of being selfish and I don’t want to stop because I’m afraid I’m going to get hurt. My heart has been broken many times by previous boyfriends and everybody that’s been in my life has let me down. My boyfriend is the only guy that hasn’t. It’s really hard for me to trust people and I trust him.

DAWSON MCALLISTER'S ANSWER:

Dawson: I’m missing the reasoning here. You have a boyfriend that you really like, that’s treating you the best any guys ever treated you. He’s begging you to quit but you don’t want to quit because he might hurt you. I don’t get the tie-in.

Amberlee: I cut with a X-ACTO knife set and yesterday, when he got off of work, he came, and he got the set from me. He ground all the blades down and everything and got it from me. I asked him to come and get it. So, I’m stepping into the process. The day before yesterday, I cut, then I actually passed out and it scared me really bad. But I don’t think it scared me enough to stop; so that’s the reason I gave it to him. I didn’t trust myself to get rid of it on my own. I’m wondering if it's possible to trust somebody if you don’t even trust yourself?

Dawson: You are definitely putting a lot of pressure on your boyfriend. You’re asking him to be your: boyfriend, your best friend, your counselor, and you don’t really want to stop. I sympathize, it’s an addiction and addiction come with its cravings. But if you don’t stop cutting, you will lose everything near and dear to you.

Amberlee: I want to stop for me, and for him but I know it’s going to be hard. I feel I’m going to have to do it by myself.

Dawson: Well, do it for yourself then. If you are doing it for anybody else but yourself, you won’t stop. It doesn’t go away on its own. This is a war. Your boyfriend is doing the best he can. He’s obviously over his head. It’s nice to get people around you that are positive and it’s important you talk about your issues. But you need a flat out bonified professional who deals with people who cut every day.

If you're struggling with self-harm, reach out to our partners at, Door of Hope! Their crisis care advocates are ready to provide free services for self-harm via text, email or phone conversations.

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