Freudian Slips: The Razor's Edge

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

April 02, 2006

The Razor's Edge

I will never forget the first time that I heard the pairing of the following three words.
“She’s a cutter.” confided the school girl.
I drew an impression of truancy and my thoughts bordered pontification. You can’t learn if you cut class. Attendance is the prerequisite to participation. Education is the vehicle to self-advancement. Well, I must not be in touch with the teenage generation because I assumed better of what turned out to be a chilling explanation.
“My friend doesn’t miss school.” explained the girl. “She cuts herself with knives! That’s what I meant by cutter.”
“She mutilates herself with knives?" I restated in a question.
“Yes.”
I had to ask for the sake of argument. “On purpose?”
The teenager was quick to respond. “Is there any other kind? That’s what a cutter does, silly.”
“I hope you’re talking about an isolated incident and not behavior that is habit forming.”
“She’s a cutter. Cutters do that repeatedly.” she mentored. “No biggie. Everybody is friends with a cutter.”
From the sounds of it, there seemed to be too much social acceptance for an institutional behavior like self-mutilation. I thought back to my own childhood, looking for similarities but begging for differences. As a teenager, I was too scared to prick my finger to be anyone’s blood brother. I didn’t even want to shave when it was time. I shuddered to think that today’s youth are voluntarily slicing and dicing their flesh into shredded meat. I am too squeamish to even think in those bloody terms. Such an extreme self-destructive cry for attention should be about as popular as kamikazes signing binding contracts on the dotted line during wartime. I was wrong. After doing a preliminary research, I learned that cutting is a nationwide problematic behavior among teenagers. Over 1.9 million Americans are cutters. More troubling, the majority of cutters have been the victims of sexual abuse. Cutting is like adding injury to insult. The cuts run deeper than meets the eye. It is a symbolic manifestation of the hurt held inside.
...Somebody ought to take that cutter out of school to get her professional help.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous chi said...

...this is a problem in Italy too.
I even know a social worker, age 25, who is a "cutter". That could be a paradox, but, as a matter of fact, she is a wonderful pedagogical operator with autistic clients!Maybe she can actually "see" the world in their way?! I wonder...

5:07 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

"Cutting" is a very serious problem. More and more teens, especially girls, are doing it to release tension and anger. It's so sad.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Chi, Erin,
In my day, I stayed away from the girls with the dark mood rings. yikes.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Weary Hag said...

I can fully understand why you would think a 'cutter' was one who played hookey from school.

Years ago it was quite embarrassing and almost unheard of to admit to this activity. Nowadays, for some twisted reason, kids are wearing the term like a badge.

I think this is one of the most misunderstood of all mental disorders.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Cutting is misunderstood. I might try to learn more about it.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous KtSpaghetti27 said...

I was just snooping through blogs and I saw this and felt the need to comment.. "Cutter" is a harsh word.. It's a very big deal and yea it can be a way to release tension and anger but there are so many other reasons behind it.. Now it seems to be the new tend for 12 year old "emo" kids that think it's cute and want attention..but that's not always the case.. it can be a very secretive thing.. Please research before assuming and don't get the two confused...

5:57 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Spaghetti,
good point.

10:43 AM  

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