The Butterfly Project – works for some, not ALL

Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover.

In the What Kind of World do YOU Want? series
Part I of an article on Self-Injury & CUTTING
March first every year is

Intenational Self-harm Awareness Dsy

OrangeRibbonSelfHarmWarning: If you self-injure, make SURE you are emotionally protected so that reading this article will not precipitate an episode. Have a list of substitute strategies available to self-soothe in healthier ways – you are stronger than you think, nobody’s perfect, and I’m on your side!


Self-harm and healing

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

An Eye-Opener for ALL
(essential for parents & grandparents)

To my knowledge, cutting and other types of
self-injury and self-mutilation are not true
“ADD Comorbids,” but the issue is one that
EVERY parent needs to be aware of.

Outside of suicide,
I’ll bet you a month’s free coaching
that most of you are not.

Your kids are only too aware, however.

They are becoming more so every single day, through the viral magic made possible by the ease of tweeting, texting, reposting and reblogging.

  • It’s all OVER FaceBook and tumblr, if you know where to look and your kids don’t hide it from you.
  • It’s being touted as “on the rise” – which simply means that it has FINALLY come to public awareness, and it is suddenly “fashionable” to give it some press.
  • But it is by no means new, and it is not a SMALL problem anymore — meaning that the huge problem it has always been is now seen in a much larger population, for a variety of reasons.

They are hurting NOW

PLEASE don’t wait for the studies to be published to become aware of what’s going on, how to recognize whether or not YOUR child is a cutter, or at risk of becoming one.

Regular readers already know how much I hate “scare tactics.”

However, it is absolutely true that by the time that studies of this phenomenon could be funded so that cutting can be studied “scientifically” (publishing a few metrics that say that it is “ok” to take this issue seriously), most of YOUR kids will be thirty or beyond, and a few will no longer be with us.

Follow this several-part article — and click the links I include so that you will know enough about what helps and what hurts to be able to initiate a constructive dialogue with your children that will keep them from a particular form of harm that will scar their bodies as well as their lives.

PLEASE pass this on!

Even if you’ve never shared a thing I’ve ever written and have no intention of ever doing so, PLEASE share the ones on this topic, and encourage everyone you know to do so as well.

This is not about ME, or about you, or about political agenda, SEO or marketing a product. The kids are our future, and a healthy future for them and for us is at risk.

Read it in their own words

ButterflyProjectCutsClick over to The Butterfly Project

  • Read “the rules”
  • Then skip down to read the first-person comments and
  • Really LOOK at the photos they post along with them.

NOTHING I could ever write would bring it home more clearly.

Not YOUR kid?

Maybe not – but I’ll bet you a free ride in my most expensive training that, regardless of your economic bracket or how wonderfully you have parented them, there is at least one cutter among their group of friends (or their friends’ friends – in this case, TWO or THREE degrees of separation, not the oft-heard six).

alicia-and-graceDon’t believe me? Click over to The scary world of 12 years old on the Parenting and Stuff blog.  

Be SURE to take time to read the comments as you follow that 3-part article – their sheer number alone is indicative of the size of a growing problem that grown-ups are only now beginning to realize.

There is some important information shared there in the comments as well, including my comment illuminating ANOTHER reason kids cut.

In the rest of this article I will explain more about what’s going on, some of the reasons, what you can do and say to make a positive difference, and what you might be tempted to do and say that will escalate the problem.   I will also unpack what’s helpful and what’s not with The Butterfly Project.

I want to keep this section relatively short so that you WILL take time to read the links.

HELP WANTED: If you are one of the relatively few parents (educators or therapists) who is already dealing with this issue in a proactive fashion and want to add links to your posts about it, please DO.
(separate comment for each link or you will be auto-spammed before I can approve)

Insights from cutters, recovering cutters & ex-cutters welcome too. 

I will approve links to related content posted in the comments section as soon as I can verify that they are not link-spam (or shaming). I will also collect and share in a separate “Self-Harm Related Content” post (similar to the one for sleep struggles and disorders), if and when they reach a sufficient number to do so.

I’ll leave you with this:

Whenever an issue gets to some kind of “critical mass” of awareness, it is usually touted as a “new” phenomenon. Cutting has been around for a LONG, long time. Cutters have only recently been willing to be “out” about it.

They were (and are) . . .

  • . . . ashamed and confused about it themselves
  • . . . not able to believe that you would believe them, and
  • . . . afraid you would never even attempt to understand their pain
    through the focus on your own reaction once you found out the truth

Let’s step up and prove to them that we are, indeed, THERE for them, and that they are NOT alone.

It takes a village to transform a world! ~ mgh

Scroll down for “Regular” Related Content links, Buterfly Project links immediately below (I will add more as this article develops)

[Link to Part II, Understanding the link between anxiety & self-harm HERE]


As always, if you want notification of new articles – in this Series, or any new posts on this blog – give your name and email to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right.  (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too) STRICT No Spam Policy

If you’d like some one-on-one (or group) coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this article (either for your own life, that of a loved one, or as coaching skills development), click the E-me link  <—here (or on the menubar at the top of every page) and I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

What Kind of World Articles & Related Inspiration:

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

10 Responses to The Butterfly Project – works for some, not ALL

  1. Pingback: The Butterfly Project, Self Harm and Self Soothing - E-Learning Specialists

  2. Shannon says:

    Gday! I am about to begin my own blog and
    was wondering if you know where the best place to buy a website url is?

    I’m not even sure if that’s what its known as?
    (I’m new to this) I’m referring to “”.
    How do I go about obtaining one of these for the website I’m creating?
    Thanks! (Payday Loans)


  3. I agree. It’s not for everybody…but if it could save someone from infliction of pain, or even suicide, then I’m all for it.


    • @ Michael — ME TOO!

      I wrote with this title for those who are feeling guilty about “killing” their butterflies and about to give in and give up vs. starting over and trying again. I wanted them to understand that if it WORKS it’s amazing, but if it doesn’t, that doesn’t mean that nothing will.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I so appreciate it.



  4. Spiggimbumn says:

    Your place is valueble for me. Thanks!


    • Sorry for the delay in approval and response. I have been at the ACO Conference [<==link] and *just* returned, playing catch-up as quickly as I am able.

      For me, managing at a conference (especially when I am one of the presenters) takes ALL available cognitive bandwidth, so I have *finally* learned to set my systems up in accordance to what I know, avoiding that “failure feeling” most of us know so well by avoiding overpromising and the resultant underdelivering (at least where keeping up with the blog during a conference is concerned ::BIG grin::)

      Thanks for reading & taking the time to comment


  5. This is a topic that deserves much attention! I’m certain there are many cutters who have not been diagnosed or treated and that’s sad! I’ve worked in psych-mental health and have seen a number of cutters but there remains the stigma of “mental-health” in society and that’s a shame.

    “Mental-Health” is just as important … if not more important than any other treatment. If you have a cardiac problem you seek treatment. Why wouldn’t people seek treatment for a mental-health problem except the expense, stigma, and permanent mark in medical records that basically say “one is crazy”! Now, that is what’s crazy!

    It’s like saying you have high blood pressure and diabetes, but why would one take medication for each of these problems? It helps resolve the problem, but might not change it totally! Why can’t “cutters” and everyone else seek treatment without such an expense?

    Let’s all support “cutters” and ALL “mental-health” diagnosis and individuals who suffer from anything that needs help. Getting help is the first step in understanding oneself.

    Thanks again for your exceptional posts. Take care and stay safe, Edie


    • “Now, that is what’s crazy!” 100% AGREE!!

      Also agree that this is a VERY important manifestation that *many* parents know nothing about (and many believe it is something rare – until one of their kids demonstrates in some way that it isn’t ).

      I plan to revisit this topic this summer – more to share about it – but my blog stats dropped off when I was concentrating on this in February, so I decided to move on to another topic for a while. I reasoned that since March 1 was Self-Harm Awareness Day there would be other bloggers taking up the cause.

      I also agree 100% with this comment:
      “Getting help is the first step in understanding oneself.”

      It’s also the first step on the road to healing.


And what do YOU think? I'm interested.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: