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Letter to Patricia McCormick, author of Cut

Paige Supeck
Petros Joyner School
7th - 8th Grade

Dear Patricia McCormick,

I am a cutter. I used to be filled with self-hate, I judged myself, and I was always judged by others. I have been judged and I have been hated by others. I haven't always hung out with the best people in the world, and I have always been different than most girls my age. I am only 12, however, I have been through much more than anyone should have to go through. 

I read your book, Cut, and then my life was turned around. When I first began to read it, I noticed that the main character, Callie, wasn't talking. I was very confused by this but then realized why. She was a cutter, like me. Callie had been through very many similar situations as me, such as self-harm, self-judgment, believing everything was her fault, and self-hate.

After reading the first chapter, it made me realize that there was someone who wanted to help us, the cutters, get our stories out in the world and make people know that cutting wasn't "gross", that it was a cry for help. Callie's roommate, Sydney, is similar to one of my best friends, who is also a drug addict. Sydney is there for Callie during the whole struggle, trying to give her hope that she can get better. I feel like I was Callie because I was blaming everything on myself. Before this book, my life was going in a downhill spiral. I was suicidal, I was cutting very often, I was even willing to admit to my parents that I was cutting, and that I wanted and NEEDED help because I was scared that I was going to end my own life. 

The major research you did on the book showed me that you really wanted to connect with the self-harmers, the cutter specifically, and let them know that someone is out there, trying to help them get their story out in the world, and make people realize that it wasn't "just a phase." Before, I used to think that no one cared, that I wasn't meant to be here. After I read Cut, I knew that you wanted to help us, and that there may be more people who wanted to help, too. When I read it, it felt like you had actually gotten inside my mind, actually described what it was like to cut and explained why people cut. The way that you set the book up, with the therapist being called "you", it made me feel like I, the reader, got to help Callie in her struggle to quit cutting, and that maybe I could help myself, too. 

I now want to be a therapist similar to the one in Cut, because I want to help others with problems like the ones I have dealt with. This book made me realize, also, that just by having some friends, like in Group, I could really be helped. My friends have been through a lot of the same things, like anorexia, self-harm, and obesity, that Group has. My friends and I have been through a lot together, like Callie and the Group. I saw how Callie started to connect with the Group closer to the end of the book, after two members left, and everyone realized that they needed each other. I knew that Callie wanted to speak out, but was scared to. It's hard to keep silent, and Callie knew that. By doing something that is hard to do, Callie felt like she had power. People like Callie, including me, want to feel like they have some type of power, so they know that something is in their control. I realized that I needed to admit I had a problem before I could get help, and that doing this was a way to get control of my life. 

I'm still a recovering cutter. I still judge myself sometimes, but definitely not as harshly as I used to! Cut made me realize I needed to admit to my problem, which allowed me to take control of my life and get the help I need. It also made me realize that someone out there cares. 

Paige Supeck