19 Aug Painful Secrets

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Dawn Cottrell (Peterson) seems like a typical sixteen year-old girl, but she has a very dangerous secret. Unable to express her true feelings, whenever Dawn is upset, she grabs a knife and cuts herself. Her mother’s greatest fear (Young) is that she may one day kill herself. A talented artist, Dawn is without friends and relies heavily on her dysfunctional family for support. But her parents have troubles of their own. Dawn discovers a potential friend when another art student Lorraine (Taylor Stanley) takes interest in Dawn. Lorraine too is lonely and from a troubled home. She visits a therapist on a regular basis, Dr. Parella (Perlman), but Dawn is resistant to the idea of professional help. After yet another cut, Dawn is rushed to the hospital where the staff insists she see a psychiatrist. Dawn requests it be Dr. Parella, who identifies the disorder and begins therapy. Things get progressively worse in Dawn’s home, climaxing at a time when Lorraine too is hospitalized due to abuse in her own home. When Dawn’s mom denies her a visit, she leaves in the middle of the night with dire consequences. It is estimated that one in two hundred girls in the US cut themselves, a disorder diagnosed as an attempt to control emotional pain by inflicting physical pain, a condition with no clear solution but mounting unanswered questions.