butterfly cream

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I am a counselor to teens.  Over the past year I have seen an alarming amount of the young women I work with use self harm as their coping mechanism when life’s challenges get to be too much.  Finding ways to talk about loving ourselves, having more positive outlets for expressing strong feelings, and being able to self regulate without taking these emotions and inflicting harm on self, are conversations I have every day.  It is easy to get overwhelmed as a clinician in trying to help out and to give new skills to use.  What I want to do is jump up and down with urgency shouting “Your beautiful body!  Stop hurting it! You are worth so much!”.  Instead I try to keep my professional poker face, express concern, and hope that with new skills learned, better choices are made.

One very helpful intervention for this challenge of cutting and self harm that I have found is The Butterfly Project.  It is a simple and lovely way for kids to take care of themselves, through the care of a hand drawn butterfly.  The rules are clear.  1. When you feel that you want to cut yourself, draw a butterfly on that area of your body using a pen or permanent marker.  2. Name the butterfly after someone who cares about you.  3. No scrubbing the butterfly off before it naturally fades.  4. If you cut yourself before the pen fades, the butterfly dies.  5. If you have more than one butterfly, cutting kills them all.  6.  Other people can draw butterflies on you, which makes them extra special.  7.  People who do not cut, can draw butterflies on themselves to show support.

I have seen a number of butterflies over the past few months.  I have also had a number of them drawn on me to show support.

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Yesterday I met with a young fourteen year old girl who has been superficially cutting her arms and legs every week for over a year.  When I checked in with her about this she said, “Oh that? I don’t do that anymore”.  I nearly fell off of my chair in excitement. She also expressed her disappointment that the scars on her arms and legs were not fading.  She was scared for wearing short sleeves in warmer weather and in having her family see what she had done to herself.  I asked her if she would be open to trying a homemade remedy to help the scars heal.  She said yes, and a butterfly cream was born.

Butterfly Cream

4 tbsp. Comfrey Oil

2 tbsp. Calcium Bentonite Clay

1 tbsp. Vitamin E Oil

20 drops Clove Oil

Mix all of the ingredients together and apply to healing scars as needed.

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If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.  ~Author Unknown

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17 thoughts on “butterfly cream

  1. Mols, you are amazing. Hands down one of the most kind hearted women I have ever met. I know your work is not easy, but oh those girls, they are so lucky to have you. Love you!!!

    • Thank you Bons. These kids do so much for me. I met with this kid again yesterday and she wanted more cream! :) I was a bit worried that after trying it, she would maybe think it was a tad strange but she is using it every day! Thank you for your sweet comment.

  2. You are a wonderful, wonderful person. Thank you for doing such important work and for sharing it with us. This is the first post I’ve read of yours and it struck a nerve (in a good way!) Keep up the good work!

    • Hi Sarah,
      Thank you for your kind comment. This cream can be easily crafted and jarred at home with a few items. Don’t be scared about mixing up something to pass on. Your compassion and caring will be the biggest messages you can send. I hope you are enjoying the start of the summer season :).

  3. I’m in tears- I’ve known a few cutters in my life (that is what we called it back then I hope that it does not offend) including myself and my stepfather- mine was very short lived-I didn’t like it…I am in tears right now- I LOVE this…I love butterfies

    • Thank you for your kind and honest comment. It seems that more young people today are using cutting as a means for emotional relief. It makes my heart hurt to hear stories like yours but also gives me great hope for recovery and healing. Many butterfly blessings to you and your family.

  4. Rosehip seed oil is supposed to be wonderful for healing scars – maybe something to try for the next batch. It sounds like you’re doing great work with these young people.

  5. I can’t really tell you what this post means to me. I actually looked for an email to tell you a bit more…. but I’m rolling up my sleeves and being brave enough to leave it here. It is so incredibly heart wrenching to see a young person go through this. It is just….. beyond hard. Thank you for the butterfly story…. and the cream recipe. I will be putting them both to good use with a hopeful heart.
    xo~

    • Hi Stephinie,
      Thank you for your open and honest comment. Caring for others is a hard job when we see pain and are not sure how best to help. I wish you luck with the journey. If you want to ever be in touch more feel free to email me. molly_thompson79@hotmail.com
      Many blessings to you and yours.

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