Self Harm Morning **Triggering**

SelfHarmIf you’re familiar with self-harm, you’ll probably tell what’s missing from the picture sooner than I can even type it. It’s a sharpener I found around the house. Minus the blade. Because a little earlier today, after breakfast, I gave the missing piece to my mom. And my day unraveled.

I don’t know what even happened, but I wanted to cut myself real bad. Or didn’t exactly want to, but felt like I absolutely needed to. Like I was going to implode or something if I didn’t. Pressure-control.

Mom hugged me and said she was proud of me for giving her the blade. She put it away. Said the sharpener blade is rusty and ragged already. Said if I absolutely needed to cut, she’d give me a clean razor blade, but can I think of alternatives? Can I talk about what’s up?

I couldn’t tell her because I didn’t even know what was up. I just knew that I wanted to cut. So I just cried and told her all I could suddenly think about was cutting myself. Just like that. For no good reason at all. Cause I’m just fucked up like that.

Mom asked me to take her through my thoughts with me, to tell her what I visualized when I thought of cutting, so she could understand better. So I told her that all I wanted to do was slice my skin open. Big, bad, deep wounds. Wreak havoc on myself. Real bad.

And then?, Mom asked. I hadn’t really thought about the ‘and then’ part, because my focus was more on the inflicting wounds part. But she insisted. What should happen then?

I thought about it and realized that what I really wanted to happen thereafter was for her to find me, all bloody and sliced open, and then to be concerned and take care of the wounds and of me. But I was too embarrassed to tell her and felt miserable because I thought about what a nasty, manipulative person that made me and how she should just leave me to bleed to death instead to teach me a lesson or something. Which made me want to cut even more. More crying. An attempt to shove her away by hurling insults her way. And did I mention more crying? A little screaming, too. Ugly and embarrassing.

Long story short, mom wormed my little fantasy out of me eventually. And said it’s alright. That’s exactly what she’d do if I cut myself. But also if I didn’t cut myself and how about we pretended I did, because it’s probably hurting bad enough without cutting anyway.

True, that.

So that’s what we did. Mom got dressing and bandages. Then she let me explain to her what I’d done to myself with the blade and cleaned, taped up and dressed the wounds according to what I described. No mockery. No derision. No making fun of it. She’s still behaving like I actually cut myself for real, keeping me close, making sure I’m alright, making sure I keep the dressing and stuff on.

I feel better. The pressure went down. I don’t feel like I need to cut anymore. In fact I feel like I did, except that I never have. Weird how the mind works. Strangest self-harm experience ever.

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29 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. prideinmadness
    Jan 29, 2013 @ 15:59:39

    Ah! That picture sums up my teen years! I would stash many pencil sharpener blades around my room, in my purse, in my pockets so no one ever actually got rid of them.

    Your mom’s approach is very interesting. I might have to some how try that myself. I can 100% relate to what you’re saying about how you want someone to find you after and care about you. If I can get graphic for a moment: for years I’ve wanted to slices my arms wide open, walking out into the street and just scream and cry and hope that someone finds me and sees that I’m in so much pain and helps me. it’s really like I need surrogate emotions at that point. I need someone to fill the gap and tell me I’m worthy because I can’t do it.

    I know how it feels to just want to cut because that’s just what you do. It’s where your mind automatically goes when it’s stressed out and you can feel your skin ache. It’s horrible. I sat on the floor crying not to long ago with my partner hugging me because I felt like I was going through a withdrawal. It was nice that he was there, just like your mom 🙂

    I’m sure you’re familiar with all the distractions (ie: red pen, ice cube etc) but I would say if you feel like self harming go be with the people who care about you. i’m very glad that you didn’t cut this time! It’s amazing! 🙂 xoxo

    • Lola
      Jan 29, 2013 @ 17:05:45

      Sharpener blades are quite small, good for keeping secret stashes of. I used to steal packages of those double edged razor blades from shops and hid the individual blades throughout my room until way after coming to live with my family. But then there was this one time where I cut myself real deep without even noticing and ended up thinking I’d cut an artery or something because it was bleeding so much, and after that I got scared for my own safety and surrendered all the hidden blades to mom. Ever since that I do not keep any more harming tools.

      Gosh, and I’m really relieved that I’m not the only one who has the fantasy of being found by people to help me after harming. I can totally relate to the slice arms open and walk out in the streat scenario. That would have been me before I met my family. Nowadays my mom has taken the place of the street, but the idea is still the same. And YES, the aching skin is terrible! That’s exactly how I felt today. I couldn’t even say why exactly, it was just there. I’m glad your partner was there and hugged you the last time you experienced that. Having someone there for support can make such a big difference.

      And yeah, I’m familiar with the distractions. The ice cubes thing works sometimes when all I want is the pain. Those little suckers can be pretty painful. Totally useless in a case where I feel like I need to actually cut, though. But the being with people who care about me thing is really good advice. And I’m real glad I didn’t cut today either. Even when I still feel like I did and have the bandages to prove it. LOL. It’s way strange.

  2. nobodysreadingme
    Jan 29, 2013 @ 16:03:26

    I like your mum more and more as I read more about her. What a great person to have on your side.
    We all have a self destructive side; I know I do. But yours is more open, and maybe (maybe) a bit more extreme that what other people might regards as ‘normal.’
    It’s normal for you, however much you hate it, it’s part of who you are just right now.
    The thing is, that IS how you feel right now, and you still found the strength to resist the temptation, no the NEED to harm yourself, and ask for help from the person you trust the most in all the world

    • Lola
      Jan 29, 2013 @ 17:19:39

      My mom is a good person to be around. And yeah, asking her for help when I feel the need to be self-destructive is the best coping strategy that I have at the moment, so that’s what I’m doing. And I’m glad that even when my arms are wrapped up in bandages, I didn’t harm. 🙂

      • nobodysreadingme
        Jan 29, 2013 @ 17:29:05

        The bandages thing sounds odd until I think about it. You get the result you wanted (love and support) without actually endangering yourself. Maybe the bandages give you a material reminder of the support you’re getting, a ‘Yep, it’s OK, someone cares’ aspect. I dunno. I’m just guessing.
        I have to go in a few minutes, but I’ll reply to any comments tomorrow as soon as I can.
        Keep going.

        • Lola
          Jan 29, 2013 @ 17:32:51

          Yes, I think the visual reminder thing is part of why actually having the bandages there is good. I might ask mom to change them later, because, you know, of all the invisible blood seeping through. (That sounds insanely silly, but I guess the care and being attended to aspect doesn’t care for silly much.) Anyway, have a good rest of the day.

  3. Grainne
    Jan 29, 2013 @ 17:11:19

    You have an amazing mom. ❤ Great job coping through that Lola…:)

    • Lola
      Jan 29, 2013 @ 17:24:18

      Thank you very much. ❤ I'm still rather baffled at how that worked out, but happy I didn't cut and feel okay now.

      • Grainne
        Jan 29, 2013 @ 18:00:43

        It’s amazing. You managed to get the love and attention you were needing without having to hurt yourself more than you already hurt. You tapped into something really cool here….

        • Lola
          Jan 29, 2013 @ 18:24:10

          I’m still amazed how I very much feel the same relief that I usually feel after cutting, but not the guilt and self-hate part that I also get over it, because I did not cut for real. It’s weird. Hard to explain. But yeah, really cool indeed. 🙂

  4. simplybluey
    Jan 29, 2013 @ 18:12:27

    Very proud of you and your mom, great job you two! xx

  5. kat
    Jan 29, 2013 @ 18:15:05

    What a big step forward–to be able to talk it out instead of acting it out. You are moving on in a big way! Glad you have your mom to be there for you.

    • Lola
      Jan 29, 2013 @ 18:25:32

      Thank you. ❤ The weird part is that I feel like I DID actually act it out, and in a way I did, except not by cutting for real. It's really weird. But good.

  6. Bekka - InsideOut
    Jan 29, 2013 @ 21:11:10

    I wish my mum was like that. When I gave my mum my blades, she just gave me a look and threw them in the garbage and said, well that saves me from going through your room. And that was that. You’re so lucky! You have no idea. Please try not to shut your mum out. ❤

    • Lola
      Jan 30, 2013 @ 07:16:33

      Hugs to you over the insensitive way your mom handled it when you gave her the blades. ❤ I actually do have an idea. For the longest time of my life my mom hasn't even been in my life (I'm adopted). When I showed my birth mother that I had harmed when I had done it for the first time age 14, she just glared at me and said I was gonna wish I had cut deeper if she finds one drop of blood anywhere and she was dead serious about it. So I appreciate the gazillion ways in which my mom (now) is different and try very much not to shut her out.

  7. Daylily
    Jan 29, 2013 @ 23:35:29

    Hi Lola,

    I can not explain how absolutely blown away I am by your mom’s undying support and care for you. What I wouldn’t give for someone like that on my side. It is incredible how gifted she is at helping you through your toughest times.

    I know this is your blog (and not your mom’s) but I had to say that.

    I understand the “inner critic” thinking it’s stupid to self-harm for attention and then feeling worse that you think that way and the cycle continues. When I was in my 20’s I felt defective and unlovable but I found my husband who would stay by me through my rants and crying jags when I felt pitiful and I didn’t believe I was worth his time. The worse thing was pushing him away when I knew he was so good to me and for me. Over the years I’ve learned to rely on him and cry in his arms. So, I guess I do have someone like your mom. It takes time to build trust if you’ve been hurt; you are so strong and brave that I’m inspired by your story. And you write so well — many people with mental health issues can relate to the feelings you describe. You are open and honest and it’s a really great blog!

    –Daylily

    • Lola
      Jan 30, 2013 @ 07:45:28

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Daylily. ❤

      I'm glad you have found a good husband. Staying by your side through rants and crying and your feeling awful and trying to push him away (how I can relate to that) sounds exactly like the kind of thing my mom does, too. And it really does take time to build trust again, but I guess every time we're "fighting" through a mess like this, I'll come a little closer to it.

      Take good care of yourself. xxx

  8. lostservice22
    Jan 30, 2013 @ 00:34:54

    Once again I have to say your mom is an amazing person.

  9. licensedmentalhealthcounselor
    Jan 30, 2013 @ 16:02:54

    Your mom sounds really cool and understanding. I couldn’t even recommend this type of intervention for my other clients because their moms are so out of touch with their children. I just got through having a session with a client who self injures and her mother is so out of touch with the reality of the situation it is ridiculousness. Kudos to you and your mom for tackling this together. You both are awesome people.

    • Lola
      Jan 30, 2013 @ 16:11:56

      Thank you for the kind words. My mom is very understanding. She’s not my birth mother and played no role in messing me up in the first place, that helps. She’s also calm and a safe person to be with. I don’t know what I’d do without her.

      But I’m totally familiar with how out of touch mothers or parents in general can be. I had parents like that, back before they lost/surrendered their parents rights. Always makes me real sad when people who are in a bad place to begin with end up in an even worse place because of the people whose job should be to help them be better. 😦

  10. purple pineapple
    Feb 02, 2013 @ 21:08:53

    Your mom sounds really awesome, and very understanding. Also, kudos to you for giving her the blade. That takes so much courage to tell someone how much pain you’re feeling inside. I’ve been self harming for 20+ years and can’t seem to have the courage to ask for help before it gets to that point. You inspire me! 🙂

    • Lola
      Feb 05, 2013 @ 09:09:53

      Thank you! xx Yes, my mom is very understanding and knows what to do to be helpful. That helps with mustering the courage to tell her that I feel like harming, because I know nothing bad will happen if I tell her. All the best to you and take care!!

  11. Holly
    May 24, 2013 @ 00:51:15

    Omg this relates to me so bad but it’s so tiring changers moods thru out the day I was abused from may 27th 1995 till February 5th 2013 and just have the hardest time with life itself, I suck at living honestly 😦

    • Lola
      Jun 20, 2013 @ 17:29:01

      I’m sorry you’re struggling with self harm triggers, too, Holly. Hugs to you! But though it may seem like you suck at living (how I know that thought!) I think it’s really hard to live well when you’ve been messed with so badly. For me I have come to realize that I need to actively learn to deal with stuff and that it gets easier slowly but surely. Do you have good people in your life who can help you with that?

      • Holly
        Jun 21, 2013 @ 05:35:35

        Thanks! I’m actually getting help soon and haven’t cut since last November, I’m currently living with my boyfriend and his family and they have helped out alot I finally got on medication too 🙂 everything is working out finally, you make me feel so relived I’m not alone in this situation because I was adopted too and wen thru alot but I’m almost fully recovered 🙂 it makes me feel ten thousand times better I can hear that I’m not alone ❤

        • Lola
          Jul 11, 2013 @ 12:27:17

          I’m glad you’re in a better place at the moment, Holly. You definitely are not alone. I’m glad you liked the post. 🙂

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