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Still Scratching

still scratching heartAwhile ago I talked about my new obsession with scratching the flesh of my left hand with my right.


About a month ago I went and got all my hair chopped off (you know, the whole “break-up metamorphosis” thing). It was “Ladies’ Day,” which meant a hand and arm massage while my hair was washed and conditioned.

(Slight gasp on the masseuses part) “What happened?”
Me: I scratched it.
I felt neither compelled nor required to explain it further.
I noticed her hesitate when she turned over my wrist and saw the scars going down the center of it; scars of pain; scars of danger. But she was professional and gentle and kind and it made me feel “normal” and good.

Fast forward to the past couple of weeks:
I am not sure what compels me to scratch the flesh away. Honestly, sometimes I don’t realize I have done it until it is raw and red and it HURTS!

Right now I am wearing a bandage to cover 2 spots that I scratched away this past week. I am sure it has to do with stress and my inability to express myself. I don’t know how to say, “I am hurting.” Sometimes I will cry on someone’s shoulder – soon to be followed by an apology. I don’t do it for attention. It is embarrassing. My left hand is a mess of scars and scabs. Not cute.

I wish I could speak as well as I can write. Here I can say anything and sometimes you hate it (I read the comments) and sometimes you love it. But I am tiring of hurting myself, even if it is just a deep scratch. I want to learn new tools to express my feelings. I am seeing my therapist tomorrow and plan on speaking to her about this. I will share any suggestions with you.

In the meantime, you (and I) must remember that we are delicate and deserve to be handled as such. Don’t hurt yourself, even if it is a simple scratch. You and your body deserve better.


Elaina J


Image courtesy of nirots at

Still Scratching

Elaina J. Martin

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APA Reference
Martin, E. (2015). Still Scratching. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 6, 2019, from


Last updated: 7 Jul 2015
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