I met Michael online when I was 17. Nothing was going on, we just chatted and then stopped talking for a few years. During my relationship with R we had started talking again. He was my respite from my controlling relationship. Michael had things to talk about. He talked about the social issues I was learning about university, he told me about the webshow he and his friends were creating and we told each other about our pasts with no judgments. I told Michael about my relationship and he kindly listened while I described the emotional abuse I was experiencing. Little did I know it was making him upset. I remember the day I told Michael I liked him. I was nervous. What if he didn’t like me back? I remember stressing about it to my friend and she told me that it was a chance worth taking. On MSN I typed, “Michael, I like you.” and he responded with, “I like you too.”
Here began the constant attempts to get together and met in person and my constant cancelling of plans. I was afraid to let R down despite feeling worthless in my relationship. R knew that I liked Michael and he might as well have been holding onto the collar around my neck. I suddenly wasn’t able to hang out with my girl friends anymore.
From the moment I told Michael I liked him I began planning when and how to leave R. I planned for 9 months with my social worker. What are the pros and cons of leaving R? What are the pros and cons of being with Michael? What are the pros and cons of being single? Lists upon lists but finally I asked my social worker, “What would you do?” She hesitated, since she wasn’t really supposed to give me her opinion like that but I was running around in circles. She told me, “I dated an R once but I left him and now I’m marrying my Michael.” That was it.
I was getting ready to head out when Out of Control by Hoobastank came on my Ipod. This song reminds me of some very emotionally abusive relationships I found myself when I was younger.
I thought these guys loved me but I know they just loved the fact that I was so weak, unable to stand up for myself or make decisions and oh so eager to please. I couldn’t trust my mind so they told me what was right and wrong. I fought them on it most times but I just wanted them to be happy with me. I was willing to change and did change if it meant they would be happy with me and stay. I was always left bleeding, drunk, angry and crying.
I tried so hard to give them everything they wanted and didn’t care if I was given nothing back. It just broke me down and even these past four and bit years with my current partner has only been unable to undue a bit of the damage that had been done.
I just wanted to be loved for who I was not for who they thought I should be.
Previously: Looking After You and Your Injury
The first part of this question asked me to think of a time when someone was unhelpful with my self harm. At this point in time I cannot answer this question. I don’t want to write it. It’s painful. I will answer the second part though…
Is there a time when someone responded helpfully to your self-harm?
What did they do or not do that was helpful?
They told me that my cuts and scars are beautiful.
How did it help?
It helped by showing me acceptance. My self harm wasn’t something people had to run away from.
How did you feel as a result?
Less shame, less ugly, more loved.
What was the most important thing about this experience? (Can you try to remember this when you are next feeling bad?)
I honestly don’t know if I’d be able to remember this in the moment but regardless the most important thing about this experience was that I saw someone could love me despite the cuts and scars. They wouldn’t let the marks dictate how they viewed me.
Sorry, that was also short. I don’t even want to think about any good. Seriously, this is really hard. I’ve been avoiding this workbook despite how much I love it because just thinking about self harm is one of the most painful aspects of my life. I feel less emotion talking about my attempt to end my life then I do with this, something that was keeping me going. People were mean to me, so mean to me. I was the freak that cut herself and no one gave a shit or they didn’t know how to so they just got angry and didn’t want to hang out with me. I hated gym class because I wouldn’t have to wear shorts and change in the changerooms. Girls would watch me and look at my cuts/scars and I would try and hide them but they’d always whisper.
I’ll get around to the first part eventually.
I let down my walls yesterday to J.
I didn’t look at her much because I was pretending I was by myself. It’s easier for me to admit my pain to myself then it is to others.
I was fidgeting, feeling dizzy and very, very anxious. Drinking caffeine wasn’t helping (I threw it out after and got water).
I began to explain that letting down my walls means that I’ll cry, yell and cut. If I do any of that then I’m a failure. I need to maintain this “recovered” appearance so people don’t think I’m hopeless, or so I don’t think I am hopeless.
It was very difficult to calm down and going to that self harm lecture didn’t help (I’ll write about that later this weekend).
I can’t be a failure but all I can think about today is how I am one. If I can’t stop what’s happening and never return to it then I’m a failure and I would prefer to just sit in the bathroom and bleed. This is clearly unrealistic because bad things are going to happen and I can’t let them slow me down or shake me to much. But “failure” just keeps running through my head.
Blacking in and out in a strange flat in east London. Somebody I don’t
Really know just gave me something to help set me down and stop me always
Thinking about you. And you know your life is heading in a questionable
Direction when you’re off in days with strangers and you can’t remember
Anything except way you sound when you told me you didn’t know what I
It’s a long road out to recovery from here, a long way back to the light.
A long road out to recovery from here, a long way back to what’s right.
And so I wake up in the morning just like every other day and like every
Boring blues song I get swallowed by the pain, so I fumble for your figure
In the darkness just to make it go away. But you’re not lying there any
Longer and I know that it’s my fault so I been crawling on the floor and
Pounding on the walls and I’ve been divvying my darkness and serotonin
Boosters, cider and some kind of smelling salts.
A long road out to recovery from here, a long way back to the light. A
Long road out to recovery from here, a long road to making it right.
So on the first night we met you said well darling let’s make a deal, if
Anybody ever asks us well let’s say that we met in jail. And that’s the
Story that I’m sticking to like a southern face that comforts but today I
Need to hear some truth if I’m ever getting through this. Yea you once sent
Me a letter that said if I was lost at sea, close my eyes and catch a time
Idea and only think of me. Well darling now I’m sinking I’m as lost as
Lost can be and I’m hoping you can drag me fucking down and out to my
If you could just give me a sign and just a subtle little glimmer, a
Suggestion that you’d have me if I could only make me better then I’d walk
A little taller and stand a little stronger all the time. Cause I know you
Are a sinning but I think I can convince you cause people can get better
Baby if they really want to or at least that’s what I have to tell myself
If I’m hoping to survive.
It’s a long road out to recovery from here, a long road back to the light.
A long road out to recovery from here, a long way to making it right.
So darling, sweet lover, won’t you help me to recover,
Darling, sweet lover, won’t you help me to recover,
Darling, sweet lover, won’t you help me to recover,
Darling, sweet lover, one day this will all be over.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” -Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Thanks to SSG for sharing this with me
Sometimes I can catch it and sometimes I can’t. I couldn’t tell you the factors that go into whether I rage or not but I know it happens because I feel attacked or frustrated. Sometimes this means a rage and sometimes it does not.
What is consistent is people’s response to my raging.
I am always met with hostility back which fuels me to keep going, keep raging because they are confirming the paranoid thoughts I’ve already begun to think. Thoughts about how they don’t care about me, that I’m stupid, that I’m incapable and that I should be dead. When I’m in a rage any anger directed back to me sends me crumbling.
I try and express what I’m feeling and explain that I can’t handle what I’m experiencing on top of their own anger and that’s when the belittling begins. I’m told that I can’t expect people to be nice to me if I’m attacking them, that I’m being ridiculous, if I can’t control myself then why should they and that it shouldn’t be all on them to stop a rage.
I can agree with all of those points but I need them to understand and they simply do not. I don’t mean to be this angry! I don’t want to be this angry! It all feels so involuntary… I am left with the weight of the world on my shoulders. I am walking on eggs shells too. I cannot go into a rage because there will be no support, there will be no understanding at the time when I need it most.
I’m not at the point of where I can effectively stop a rage. I can prevent going into one but once I’m in it I’m in it for the long haul. I am confused, I am charged with adrenaline, my brain is on overdrive, my body feels like an explosive and I wish I could explode. I want everything I’m feeling to come outside of my body because I can’t take it being on the inside. This is when I scream, yell, throw things, hit people and hurt myself. I know this is wrong but words are not enough to tell them that I can’t understand what is happening, that I do not think it is fair and that I want it to stop. It feels like it will never stop. They do not understand and accuse me of wanting to make their lives hell.
What can I do when those around me can’t help? Or worse, they don’t want to because they believe I should be able to stop raging despite years of showing them how I struggle. That struggle is not seen as so, it is seen as me being childish and spoiled. That hurts me.
If I cut it is not show “prove” to you that I am in pain. I am trying to make my mind stop screaming, my body stop vibrating and the world slow down. I need to catch my breath.
I think I give up on trying to come up with solutions to help me communicate with these people. I can only do so much. They need to do their part; but their part makes them feel like my slave, that they have to take my abuse. This isn’t true and unless they change their minds we will never improve. They need to take responsibility just like they’re telling me I need too.
All I’m asking is that they ask me, at the beginning of a rage, “What are you feeling that is making you so angry right now?” and then please understand my response and know that I want to make sense of what is happening, I am aware that what I think and feel is distorted at times. Please kindly show me this.
I need to get out of my mind and body. I need understanding. I feel like I’ll never get what I need.
I am the Bitch, I am the Manipulator, I am the Attention-Seeker but I am never the one in Pain. I am the Blamed.
I told Michael last night that in an attempt to face my pain I am going to stop saying, “Whatever”, “I don’t care” and stop making jokes about what I’ve experience and what I’m feeling.
I adore humour and have no problem trying to see the bright side of my experiences but I feel they are becoming blockers in my recovery. I don’t want to take anything seriously and I don’t want pity so I make jokes or shrug it off. This also means I never have to explain myself and everyone thinks I’m ok….including myself.
Tonight is the second of four presentations I’m making with the youth mental health organization I’m a part of. I’m going to tell them that I’m going to try and not make jokes to hide my pain and we’ll see how it goes.
I personally think I will fail but no harm in trying.
Found this on a piece of paper in a box of notes in my closet. Some point in high school, possibly early grade 11.
I don’t know why I do what I. I hate it when people ask me why. I don’t know the answer. I do it when I get angry. And then just because, like it becomes natural. I do it whether I want to or not. It’s something I don’t understand. When I think I have things figured out something, whether it’s me or someone else, always screws it up. It might be something in my brain, like a personality disorder, that’s fucking me up like this? I hope so. It makes me scared.
Why did I let him get to me like this? Why did I love him in the first place? He was the only one that accepted me? I don’t believe that anymore. I just had to carve your name in my arm! I just had to show you something I knew you wouldn’t see! I can’t blame you, I made this myself. A scarred monster. Can’t even hold a sharp object without wanting to stab myself. I’m scared to be alone. I never know what I’m going to do.
I care too much about my friends and way too little about myself. I’d die for them. They wouldn’t do anything close to that for me. Most of the time I think they’re afraid of me. My friends hate me. I can’t please. If they read this they’d probably say it was bullshit and secretly say I want attention. But I’m not like that. What I feel is real. I hear some of them say they wanna cut. They have no idea what it does to me. They make it sound so easy, so stupid. Like an excuse in a way. It’s not! I thought I could stop but I can’t. They can’t either! It makes me sick to hear them tell me they want to cut. After all the hell I’ve gone through, after all the shit they’ve said to me, how could they go and do it??!!
Maybe I’m not that fucked up? No, I am. People piss me off! They think they know everything. Especially the ones that “care” about me. As usual I’m right. Am I supposed to feel guilty about what I did? Yes! But I don’t. “S” is probably gonna talk about me. “H” was crying. All because I cut. I should be sorry but I’m too hurt. To betrayed because they’re to mad to see what I’m going through! I wont suffer to make them happy! I can see why my friends would be mad but at the same time I don’t. I cut because I was hurting, I was in pain. I don’t need more hurt from my friends. Some of them have done it too. I showed them sympathy. ALL I GET IS FUCKING ANGER!! I should ditch my friends, get a new life. End this useless one. Maybe then they’ll see what they’ve put me through and how much it hurt me.
Don’t fucking say I’m not depressed, that I just think I am! I am lower than low. Zero self esteem. It makes me upset to hear you say that what I feel is fake You can’t feel what I feel just like I can’t feel what you feel. I’m planning it out now, a 7 day countdown. I’ll overdose on pills unless things get straightened out. I always say I’m gonna murder someone, well this will be my only murder. First and last. ”H” says that I have to do it by myself. I’m alone, no more help from my friends. How can something hurt you more then it hurts me? Maybe things have cleared up but I feel left out more then ever. Every so often I do wanna kill myself because I don’t see a reason for me to live; I’m going to be alone.
I will try to stop. I promise. I’ll try and if I do cut again you wont know. I know it’s my fault but so is everything else. I don’t wanna stop for myself. I’m not worth that. I’ll stop for my friends because they’re worth it. i don’t see why though. Sometimes they could be the reason I cut. I know sometimes when I say I wanna kill myself it’s talk. But this time I know I could do it! I’ve lost the will to live, to do anything. I’m already dead.
What I’m feeling is really how I feel! I’m not a fucking poser like “C” says I am. It’s not for attention you asshole! I’m not pretending! I wouldn’t put myself through this hell or put my friends through it if it wasn’t real. Even though “M” says he’s here for me I want my friends, my girls. I need them more then they know! I don’t need someone telling me to stop but at the same time saying it’s ok if I can’t. I want people to agree with me but at the same time I don’t. Who knows, this could be my suicide note…
I wish people would stop lying to me and tell me they can’t notice my scars.
I’ve had two people (friends) within the last 5 months point scars out to me. They drag their finger across it/them and ask, “When is that from?” or “Did you do that?” There are very few scars on my body that I can say are not from me so I think it should just be assumed that I put them all on my skin.
I try and ignore my scars because they do influence a lot, from how I feel about myself to what I wear. I regret the scars, I
can’t take it back, I’m stuck with them.
I don’t think we’ve gotten to the point of where people can understand why and how my scars got on my body. It’s strange how there are certain parts of mental health I feel I can’t talk about yet. I can say I self harm but I can’t bear it all it (not that I have too). I’m afraid of what people will say.
I have had people say, “Ew!” when they saw my scars but then I’ve also had people say that my scars make me beautiful.
It still comes down to what I think and if all I see when I look down at my body is how I’ve failed to cope “appropriately”, I remember the pain that put them there and the consequences, how am I supposed to be ok with it?
I wanted to do do a nude photoshoot for awhile now. I wanted it to represent how I’m ok with my body now. I haven’t done it because I was trying to make my more visible scars go away. Some of them wont so I guess no photoshoot, I guess I’m not ok with my body.
I’ve always figured that I would accept my scars once I stopped self harming. It’s not happening. Acceptance needs to happen because I deserve it.
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” -Khalil Gibran