Barely visible now, the scars of Taralee Morgan’s pain are healing but they are still very real. Taralee says, “I didn’t realize it at first, I did it in places that I thought I could cover it up.” She no longer hides from her past that has become a frighteningly common secret compulsion among too many teenagers. Self mutilation is what experts call an unhealthy coping mechanism. From scissors to razor blades, broken glass and paper clips, they use any sharp object to cut themselves. The rational is to relieve internal emotions by causing external pain. “It was all through the schools. A lot of the kids were doing it and it wasn’t something you talked about. It was never an attempt at suicide. It was never to kill myself. It was just to get through that moment, get through the next hour or next few seconds. It was either to, when I was feeling really numb to bring me back to reality or when I had so much emotion and couldn’t handle it. When I was so scared or so upset then that’s when I would do it,” Taralee admits. “And you didn’t even feel the pain. It was because you were already hurting so bad on the inside that you didn’t even feel it on the outside. And then you’d look down and say, ‘What did I do? I did it again’”. It’s something she desperately hid from her family. “My family is so compassionate and they love me so much that I knew that they would feel the pain that I was feeling and I didn’t want to bring anyone into that with me.” She was born and raised in a home where Christian values were instilled, prayer was as important as a family meal and Taralee knew there was no hiding from God. "I knew who Jesus was and everything because I had always gone to church but I didn’t really understand His grace for me. I was really worried all the time and really anxious that I wasn’t going to be good enough. I worried I wasn’t going to be good enough for Him, not good enough to go to Heaven someday and then that gave me a bad self image of myself and it just started to spread through my whole life worrying constantly, ‘is this person going to like me?’ I set my standards so high that it was impossible to reach them. I just asked God, ‘Forgive me. Help me figure this out. What am I supposed to do? What am I doing wrong?’ I didn’t know where the path was. I was continually searching for something and feeling so empty inside. I’d say, ‘God be near me, be near me and wrap me in your arms’. It was just so hard because I felt like He wasn’t with me. I couldn’t feel His presence because of the bad stuff in my life." And then came a breaking point. Taralee’s secret was about to be exposed.