Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

“What will I do if my mom finds out that I'm cutting?”

Hey Terra,

I'm 13 and I cut myself. Most of my friends cut too and when my mom found out that they do it, she got mad and asked me why I didn't tell someone. Then she asked if I did it, and I said no. But lately she seems be noticing that I am always wearing long-sleeves or a wristband. What should I do if she finds out?

Lying Lines

Dear Lying Lines,

What you are doing is very dangerous. You've asked me what you should do if your mom finds out that you are cutting, but a more important question that needs to be answered is: How can you get the help you need to STOP harming yourself?

You say that "most of your friends" are cutting. Does that mean this wasn't your idea to begin with? Would you have thought of this all by yourself as something you wanted to do or did you feel pressured to start doing it because your friends were doing it?

Another question that's very important to ask yourself and find the answer to is this: Why are you doing this?

Here are some reasons teens have given for their self-harm:

  • It relieves tension when they feel upset
  • The pain makes them feel "more alive" when they feel numb or dead inside.
  • Self-harm (like anorexia) is something they think they can control when other parts of their life may seem out of control.

Maybe some of these answers fit with the reasons you are harming yourself. Maybe you have other reasons. It would be so much better to find a healthier way to express how you feel when you're upset. It would be very good to have someone you trust to talk to. You need someone who is there for you -- someone who wants to hear what you have to say and who wants to help you through the tough times. That person may be any trusted adult. Your mom (who loves you more than anything) could be that person. Or a counselor, a teacher, etc.

You need help and I want to help you get it.

Please think about what I've written and write back. We'll talk some more.

In friendship,


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.

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