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.
Today I am 4 months Self Harm Free!!!!
I have beaten my best and it feels, well, as stupid as all of my other accomplishments have because I’m still thinking. “why couldn’t this have happened 9 years ago?”
But moving on.
I bought myself a book!
What Happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits? And what happens when said bio-terrorism forces humanity to the cusp of post-human evolution? In The Windup Girl, award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi returns to the world of “The Calorie Man”( Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award-winner, Hugo Award nominee, 2006) and “Yellow Card Man” (Hugo Award nominee, 2007) in order to address these questions.
I do feel like I can say the self harm is gone. I know that it’s only been 4 months but the fact that the urge has essentially not returned or I’ve avoid the urge the odd time it’s returned makes me fairly confident that I may never self harm again.
Today I have been 1 month self harm free!
I have no money for a reward but I’m in Whitby with my family for my youngest sister’s graduation from gr. 8 so that is a good enough reward for me
It will be strange to be at M’s graduation because this school is where all my crap started. I was in gr. 8 when my life started going downhill. So many bad memories at that school. I’m probably going to see the teacher who my Mom had watch me like a hawk. ‘
Oh well, that’s in the past.
Next you’ll hear about this will be at the 2 month mark!
I can do this!!!
Today is 3 weeks cutting free!!!! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOO
I’m excited now!
My reward is jewelry from Hot Topic!
This does mean I need to go to the Eaton Centre which I haven’t ventured to since the shooting. I’ll try not to make it more weird for myself by thinking about it.
Today it has been 2 weeks since I last cut!
I rewarded myself with something that arrived in the mail a few days ago,
IT CHANGES COLOUR!!!!!!!!! There are 5 different colours!!!!! I like having it set to changing to the beat of the music! It’s so wicked! I bought it with Visa points! I’m bringing it to work today so we can play musical chairs.
At 12:05am I pointed out to Michael that it was officially two weeks cutting free. We high fived and he gave me a hug. I still feel victorious though. I said to him that it’s to not cut when nothing bad happens. He said that he’ll always try to make it easy but I sort of want to challenge myself. I guess I don’t feel like I’m actually accomplishing something because nothing is happening that would ordinarily make me want to self harm.
I can’t have this thinking though because that’s not the point of this reward system!
Two more weeks and I’m at a month!
Trigger Warning: Talk of SI
I went swimming yesterday at my co-workers house. The pool was 85C so getting in the water was easy! I had a lot of fun hanging with my co-workers! We’ve been super stressed lately so we needed time to just hangout. Work is over for the summer in about 3 weeks!
I’ve had an issue with swimming since I began cutting. Cutting has really limited who, what, where, and when.
Who can I go swimming with? I don’t like swimming in front of my family or strangers. I feel bad when my family sees my scars and I don’t want strangers asking me where they came from.
What can I wear? Bikini’s are huge NO because they show the most parts of your body. Majority of one pieces or tankini’s are ugly and I still want to look good in my bathing suit.
Where can I go swimming? Similar to who, I’d prefer to swim in my pool or a friends pool. It’s about who is going to be around that pool/lake.
When can I go swimming? If my recent cuts are not healed enough then I can’t go swimming. If my scars are still in the turning purple when wet stage I can’t go swimming.
I do have ways around this.
1. Stay in the water as much as possible.
2. Immediately put a towel around me when I get out.
3. Found awesome one piece that is 50′s inspired.
4. Bio oil to help speed up or start scar fading process.
Swimming is not as simple as some may think!
It has been 1 week today that I have not cut!
My reward will have to wait because of something I will not talk about. Well no, my reward can be hanging out with my co-workers after work.
I don’t feel as good as I thought I would. A week is nothing. I’ve done a week before.
The fact that I’m upset about something else is probably down playing how I would have normally felt about this.
How did I do it? Nothing fancy, it was just a good week. What is making me upset right now will be fixed and isn’t something that would cause me to flip out on myself or others anyways.
I’ll report back when I hit 1 month!
I had my third session with J yesterday. It was better than the last session.
The overall outcome of the session was coming up with distractions to avoid making angry situations worse (for others or myself).
It’s a good thing that I’ve been learning distractions from my DBT workbook. The next step in the workbook was to make a distraction plan so I’ll hopefully do that soon.
J asked me how I felt about not cutting. I started saying that it’s a last resort so I could easily do something else but then as she started talking about I started getting anxious. I told her this, that thinking about not cutting is really stressing me out. It intimidates me. She then suggested we stick with a harm reduction approach with my cutting which is what I have been doing already.
Although cutting doesn’t do for me what it used to (relieve stress, calm me and overall make me feel better) my brain is completely programmed to desire cutting when I feel extremely stressed. I can’t imagine what could replace it despite plenty of options. I know how much it used to work before and I really don’t think anything could measure up and be as helpful as cutting used to be.
I’m going to have to not think about it right now because it’s starting to bother me.
J suggested mediation so I’m bringing in my USB and she’s going to put some music on it for me. As long as I can lay down and chill out to it I’ll be happy.
Throughout my years, before and after diagnosis, friends and family have done their best to help me. These attempts were done for love, done in anger, done with a lack of understanding and maybe for some they would have worked but not for me.
Attempt to help #1: Threats
- Some people would threaten to leave me or tell on me if I didn’t stop cutting and/or start being happy.
Why didn’t this help?
- It put pressure on me to do things that I wasn’t ready to do or didn’t know how to do. I would cause me to feel guilty that I couldn’t be better for those around me. Telling on me just stressed me out which would make me cut more and encouraged me to hide it.
Attempt to help #2: Supervision
- At one point I couldn’t have the door to my room closed or I had to stay in the common areas of the house.
- It took away my privacy, encouraged further hiding of self harm and made me feel ashamed of myself. I was angry that I was being treated like a child.
Attempt to help #3: Reading my journals/going through my belongings
- My parents read my journals or went through my room and would confront me on what they had found.
Why didn’t this help?
- It took away my privacy and encouraged me to lie, even in my own journals. I also began to keep personal things such as blades on me at all times which would actually increase the chances of cutting since I had constant access to my tools.
Attempt to help #4: Leaving
- Friends/partners would stop hanging out with me or break up with me.
Why didn’t this help?
- It furthered my believe that I was alone and worthless. I had no one to turn to and made me feel very guilty that I could drive people away like that.
Attempt to help #5: Shame
- People would call me names or say hurtful things to try to get me to see that I was being “stupid”.
Why didn’t this help?
- Every name I was called and hurtful thing that was said confirmed, in my eyes, that others hated me and that I should hate myself.
Attempt to help #6: Self harming
- Some friends/partners would cut themselves in an attempt to show me how it felt to see someone I cared about cause themselves pain.
Why didn’t this work?
- I didn’t like having cutting held against me and I thought it was silly to hurt yourself just to prove a point.
Attempt to help #7: Removing “privileges”
- My parents wouldn’t let me use knives, threatened to remove my bedroom door, and would ground me/not let me go to friends houses.
Why didn’t this work?
- I was ashamed that I couldn’t go places or do things on my own. I was angry that I was being treated like a child and wasn’t trusted. This just encouraged me to dislike myself more.
- Friends would tell my parents or school staff about my cutting.
Why didn’t this work?
- It wasn’t what I wanted and encouraged me to lie and keep to myself.
In the end what helped was knowing that I had people to turn to and coming into counselling and healing on my own. Knowing that people loved me, that they were there to support me helped more than belittling me or making me feel more helpless.
So……I didn’t make it to a week of not cutting.
Things have been pretty hectic.
I’m still going to reward myself tomorrow because I deserve the self care.
If I make it to Thursday then that will be my first week.
I can go one week. I’ve gone weeks before. This is just not my week.
Good luck to me!