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Old 05-25-2010, 12:33 PM   #1
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Older self injurers?

I'm 57, female, living alone. My children are adults and out of state. I'm currently on disability, waiting for possible LTD. Something happened today, its the second time and not sure how to handle this today and in future.

There was a build up over the last 3 weeks; Mother's Day 3 kids call from one house, and caller/son opens with, "We're here to say Happy Mother's Day, talk fast"
No card, no flowers, nothing. I send 3 of them money and gifts fairly regularly and was not custodial parent for many years. I am fully aware that I'm trying to make up for lost time, but they need helo and accept it, I dont ask for anything except some contact.
Okay, same 'talk fast' son visits for 3 days, great visit.
I carry a phone line for his sister, who 3 months ago demanded a fancy 3G phone with internet etc because she didnt have a computer. I explained couldnt afford more than the 2 lines already. Since then recieved 2 texts, no calls.
I go on Facebook and see this one has taken a road trip w; friends, another is going down south for a wedding, busy busy, money money. Not a word for Mom.

Doctor appears to be on vacaiton. I have severe RA and the med she applied for was denied 2x because there was no backup documents. Not unusual for her office-always need to follow up, scripts dont get faxed, letter not mailed.
I dont have the med I need and the one I am using is making me so numb/dumb unable to do more than sleep, its frightening. There could be a fire here, I would be unable to get out of bed until the dern med wore off and that takes abou 4 days from injection.

Lawyer handling LTD case, also on vacation, app is in, no more to discuss, Talk=money.

The clincher came yesterday when my email account suddenly crashed. I was asked for my password, when input, was told incorrect and this went on for 2 days until I managed to find the right puzzle pieces to beg for help from server. I wa told a 24 hr wait was required, so I tried again this morning and for 2 hours no matter what passwords I tried, blocked over and over.

I began beating my head and saying in a strange voice, 'okay stupid, you see how stupid you are fr*kan idiot, maybe next time you'll write it down moron' and then another 20 minutes, more head bangs, then began clawing my arms. Clawing and not even feeling the pain, wanting to feel the pain, saw red lines, some blood and then stopped.
It was then like complete internal silence, as if I had taken some kind of pill and turned off a faucet of self rage/hate/disgust of feeling rejected and abandoned. I felt exhausted but relieved. It was like an explosion. I didnt feel noteably depressed, although I may have been blocking it or in denial since I have to function and force myself to do things.

So I realized a couple of things..firstly I cannot give control of my life and seeking happiness as I age to my children, I will likely not get much if any. That in itself is frightening as I'm on disability now and my income may not allow me to remain in NY. I had hoped to move closer to my kids, my income would be more than enough where they are, which is not far, but far enough outside NYC. Sorry to write in code...

Im writing all this, it feels like alot to disclose in public and at the same time I feels like I touched on something I know nothing about (about myself)-certainly never came up in therapy(s). But abandonment is the trigger, it was both times and at my age I dont know how this could possibly be fixed. I dont want to freak my kids out, dont belong in a hosptial-my apt is clean, the cats are fed and loved, meals are cooked and I bake alot...I appear normal.
I'm in indescribable pain...anyone get this?
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:46 PM   #2
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Re: Older self injurers?

I just wanted to tell you that I hear you. I hear that you're in pain and I hear that you have deep concerns and I hear that you have disappointments. You sound like a really wise, perceptive woman. I'm so sorry for your pain.
I think that you're correct to be concerned about yourself. I wish I could help.
I'm glad that you realize that self harming is not the way to be dealing with your issues. Please confide in someone who can help you, or call a hotline. I will look for a number for you.

 
Old 05-25-2010, 01:50 PM   #3
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Re: Older self injurers?

SAFE
(Self Abuse Finally Ends)

1-800-DONTCUT

(I realize you did not cut yourself but I think that they can help you.)

God bless you !!

 
Old 05-25-2010, 03:27 PM   #4
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Re: Older self injurers?

braveheart
thank you for taking time to provide this information. I keyed in words looking for older posts and I see some showed up after you answered so I'll also read what other members wrote.
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:54 PM   #5
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Re: Older self injurers?

Hi there IKnowNotWhy.........I'm Jenny...age 58 and I have a way past history of self injury that reappeared last year(very much to my surprise). A lot of mine has to do with my past, my adult children and my health. Like you, I have severe RA and I'm on Orencia and methotrexate. I am married(35 years) but have a very strange marriage as we both come from pretty bad families. One kid along with wife makes $180,000 a year and yet asks for money. The other(single) makes $30,000 and is as helpful as can be but is always fighting with me as if she's the mom.

I UNDERSTAND.

I'm also on SSDI after breaking my neck 3 years ago. I get just enough money to cover the supplemental insurance. And the health problems just go on and on and on. Possibly facing 2 major surgeries this summer.

I UNDERSTAND.

And I'm back in therapy and I think I understand why I do it and I haven't hurt myself since last year so if I can share what I've learned, I will. I've got a really good therapist for once.

Let me know......I understand...........gentle hugs.............Jenny

 
Old 05-25-2010, 06:18 PM   #6
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Re: Older self injurers?

Jenny
we are twins separated at birth,cojoined at the hip, dont know if to laugh or cry...well one saving thought is this dilemma of our, as similiar as it seems must be repeated in many families.
I inject methotrex, its having the exact opposite effect by makiny symptoms WORSE-i get every 'rare' side effect...my poor dr. must be exhausted. And you know so much of auto immune has been tagged with 'stress', whether early on as mine/maybe yours, that i finally said to dr. recently, at this point it doesnt matter if its emtional or physical in origin, its done its damage.
Been in therapy-havent met a therapist yet that I've opened up to and haven't either watched her wind her alarm clock timer, eat an apple, spend the last 10 session minutes discussing my co pay-I'm looking for literature now to read whats up with alot of this. I write (tho its hard to tell here lol) and print, I trust books more than humans, sorry to say.
Thank you for writing, this is very moving to read about your life. What's interesting for me is that for years I was so terrified to confront my parental/employer abusers, that once I slowly began in my late 40s trying to verbalize and stop getting kicked around, that this release of pent of inner rage opened a pandora's box (look it up if you dont know the story, its a myth about a box she was warned not to open) and part of the consequence of letting some rage out, was how to work with it.

I found today there is a term for extreme emotion that cannot be verbalized, its somethingdysthymia-I literally would sputter broken sentences sometimes from outrage at things, writing difused some of this, maybe this is why anyone goes into art forms, to diffuse pain...nothing new in that. But clearly I was tapping into something and still tapping into something way deeper than I know what to do with, but its interesting.
I have daughters, each of whom suffer from depression in different forms, one is able to work with therapist, one is definately PPMD and cant see she cycles monthly from it poor baby and one acts out. Alot of rage in my kids...its difficult trying to grow up adults that are still emotionally trapped while still trying to heal myself. I need someone to lean on, trust no one really except my children but cannot, must not, know i must not crush them with my demons...but kids are so sensitive and even as adults they feel I think my being sometimes overwhelmed with pain even if i cant articulate what it is...I thank goodness they still feel generally confident in coming to ask me for advice re: work etc.
sorry for rambling...this is what comes from talking to cats all day.

please keep in touch, if I can be supportive without being a drain on you, I'm here for you anytime.
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:33 PM   #7
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Re: Older self injurers?

Hi my new friend...I also inject MTX...every Friday.......7mls or 17 1/2 mgs/week. And then I get an IV of Orencia every 4 weeks. Thank heavens for Medicare because being an IV drug, it's picked up by Part B and not part of the drug benefit. At $2500/month, I'd never be able to afford it.

And I take those because I've become allergic to most NSAIDs and the entire family of Humira, Remicade, Cimzia and Simponi. I have over 40 drug allergies. Already had both knees replaced, surgery on both shoulders and wrists, cataract surgery on both eyes from too much cortisone and 2 major surgeries on my neck that started with arthritis and ended with a broken neck. I may need more neck surgery(I see the neurosurgeon on June 9th) and I may have gotten infections on both knees as well....been in and out of the hospital. See ortho on June 2nd. I understand the health problems all too well.

I'm an abuse survivor since infancy. I've been in and out of therapy(and hospitals) for over 40 years for what is now called PTSD although that didn't exist through most of my treatment. I've kind of had to go it alone. No one even believed that I was abused and I didn't even remember it until I was in my mid 30's but the behavior gave it all away. You know, the inability to trust is the #1 symptom of PTSD. Sound familiar?

And here's another connection between the 2 of us......although I'm in Connecticut now, my family is from NYC. In fact, my maiden name is well known to every New Yorker. Riker....as in the island. Family came over from Holland in 1620. Lived in the area for generations until my father was thrown out of the country and we moved hastily to Canada. Generations of abuse and addictive behavior.

I feel like I've found my twin in many respects even though we just met. And if you feel uncomfortable disclosing things here, let me know. They frown on us going off the board but sometimes you need to for some things.

I'm feeling kinda of sick tonight as my temp is back up and my knees are hurting again. Going into the rheumy tomorrow...this is driving me nuts. He's been doing the testing for the ortho to make sure I don't have still another form of arthritis(all negative so far). This has to be infection and that means major, major surgery on both knees and months of antibiotics.

So I'm going to say goodnight for tonight and I'll be back tomorrow morning.

Nice to know there is someone out there who understands ME too.

gentle hugs.............Jenny

 
Old 05-25-2010, 10:41 PM   #8
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[I]Hi jenny, I'm replying after 1am cuz cant sleep, this is too weird, too many similarities. I'm including your quote because there stuff here and there-Friday is my day as well...then the weekend is a dead zone. USPS came Sat at 8am, hear the bell loud and blasting, probably woke the neighbors, couldnt move. Cats dashed around needing food (since 5am) couldnt move. 7ml a wk. ACtually only Prednisone works. She keeps saying you cant stay on it, not safe and its only med that allows me to function. I'm still on employer insurance. We tried Remicade 2nd go round 3 months ago-I was paralyzed from waist down. I dont ask anyone, ever, to come help me. I was terrified trhying to hoist my legs up onto the bed or slide off without landing on the floor-I had no lower body power. covered with massive hives, fever...no more remicade.

[/I]
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennybyc View Post
Hi my new friend...I also inject MTX...every Friday.......7mls or 17 1/2 mgs/week. And then I get an IV of Orencia every 4 weeks. Thank heavens for Medicare because being an IV drug, it's picked up by Part B and not part of the drug benefit. At $2500/month, I'd never be able to afford it.

And I take those because I've become allergic to most NSAIDs and the entire family of Humira, Remicade, Cimzia and Simponi. I have over 40 drug allergies. Already had both knees replaced, surgery on both shoulders and wrists, cataract surgery on both eyes from too much cortisone and 2 major surgeries on my neck that started with arthritis and ended with a broken neck. I may need more neck surgery(I see the neurosurgeon on June 9th) and I may have gotten infections on both knees as well....been in and out of the hospital. See ortho on June 2nd. I understand the health problems all too well.

I'm an abuse survivor since infancy. I've been in and out of therapy(and hospitals) for over 40 years for what is now called PTSD although that didn't exist through most of my treatment. I've kind of had to go it alone. No one even believed that I was abused and I didn't even remember it until I was in my mid 30's but the behavior gave it all away. You know, the inability to trust is the #1 symptom of PTSD. Sound familiar?
well here's some thoughts about the above...my childhood is a total blank except for selective incidents. Father very violent drinker and I'll leave it at that. I was caring for him since age 5, taking him to bed, being the message carrier cause they fought all the time, the mediator...'go to ur mother...' go tell ur father...year in, year out. My strange drawings in 3rd grade sent me to guidance counselor who called mother on phone (I drew her naked in one of her sheer nighties LOL) and all h*ck broke out-family business remains in the family you knonw.
I wonder sometimes what is the point of muckraking at my age, I know it was hell, I've lived, worked, had a family, whats the point? To finger point at the dead?I came back to edit here becuz thinking about the blank spots made me recall that there are sounds that literally give me panic attacks-babies screaming, people fighting, even neighbors having loud arguements-I cant breathe wiaiting to hear who is going to die...life/every situation is very black/white for me, its all life or death.

And here's another connection between the 2 of us......although I'm in Connecticut now, my family is from NYC. In fact, my maiden name is well known to every New Yorker. Riker....as in the island. Family came over from Holland in 1620. Lived in the area for generations until my father was thrown out of the country and we moved hastily to Canada. Generations of abuse and addictive behavior. Not many people can say they have your geneaology! Be a proud Riker if you be a Riker!!

I feel like I've found my twin in many respects even though we just met. And if you feel uncomfortable disclosing things here, let me know. They frown on us going off the board but sometimes you need to for some things.

I'm feeling kinda of sick tonight as my temp is back up and my knees are hurting again. Going into the rheumy tomorrow...this is driving me nuts. He's been doing the testing for the ortho to make sure I don't have still another form of arthritis(all negative so far). This has to be infection and that means major, major surgery on both knees and months of antibiotics.
okay, here's something I wanted to note for you, I tested 'negative' for arthritis; first diagnosis by same dr. was sero-negative, then RA, and then she found spots of psoraisis and settled 3 yrs into treatment that is PsA. I was diagnosed via neuro testing (if that has any weight) for severe FM. My point being, just because you're negative, doesnt mean you dont have arthritis and also before, if I may be so bold and offer unsolicited comments here, might want to consider another opinion about your knees. I am currently bone on bone-I've had so many abdominal surgeries, have so much scar tissue and weakened from just everything, I rather limit my physical life than endure knee replacements. I saw what colleagues went thru, months in rehab and came back chewing pain meds, still limping. And there's no support system-employer doesnt have visitn nurse option, kids aint coming to stay for 2 months and I'm on 2nd fl w/two bratty cats who would never think to get me juice or milk but howl if their dishes are empty.
I know we cant diagnose/suggest meds etc. but keep in mind we are suseptable to fungal infections, which can take many forms including inside the joints. Having yeast problems, nail fungus, constantly itchy skin, are symptomatic of internal fungus. Knee replacements are a financial boom for orthopedists...think carefully.
So I'm going to say goodnight for tonight and I'll be back tomorrow morning.
Okay good morning to you and I'll go find a book or do some work.

Nice to know there is someone out there who understands ME too.
indeed:-)

gentle hugs.............Jenny
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Last edited by IKnowNotWhy; 05-25-2010 at 10:45 PM.

 
Old 05-26-2010, 09:47 AM   #9
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Re: Older self injurers?

Good morning too! I was also awake until about 2am...too much pain...sound familiar? Seeing the rheumy at 2pm.

I actually had both knees replaced 11 years ago....my 13th and 14 knee surgeries. Hurt them at age 14 and my parents refused to let me have them fixed so I had to wait until I was old enough to sign for the surgery myself(thank goodness we lived in Canada at the time so I had my own medical coverage). My knees have been great up until about 16 months ago when they started to hurt...first the left and then the right a couple months later. No one could tell me why but I became suspicious of infection when I found out that I had an abscess in my jaw(totally painless) for 5 years and while on MTX and Orencia. Then I ended up in the hospital in March with blown up painful knees. They tapped my knees 6 times and couldn't find the bacteria responsible but cultures only show the bacteria 60% of the time as they tend to cling to the metal parts. I was scheduled for surgery and then it was canceled as the doc wanted more testing. I've been tested for gout and the other crystal disorders, clotting disorders as they got a lot of blood out of my knees, all sorts of infections and anything they can think of including allergies. Even tested me for tularemia(rabbit fever) as I handled a dead squirrel my cat caught and was eating(UGH!). They know it's not RA as my RA has been good with my current med set-up. And all my inflammatory blood work is good too. If they do the surgery, they can treat the removed pieces and get the bacteria off and then treat it.

I know all about RA being sero-negative....I am too. But I've got really bad OA, a lot of it from abuse or neglect. That is what has caused me to have so many surgeries. RA developed 5 years ago and hit my brain immediately, specifically my eyesight. But Orencia has slowed it down.

Some days I feel like I should be declared a national disaster area. But I'm lucky....MTX makes me sleepy the first day but after that I'm okay. I had been on 25mgs/week and then I felt pretty nasty but at 17 1/2, I'm doing okay. You should consider trying Orencia as it's a different family from Remicade. And very different action. Instead of targeting a certain cytokines, it targets the T-cells and as a result, that stops release of all cytokines so it helps a lot of differing kinds of RA. Not sure about PsA.

But we need to get back to your recent release of anger on yourself. When I feel my whole body is getting out of control, I tend to hate my body and I have attacked it. It becomes separate from me and I feel like I need to tell it to knock it off and give me my life back. When I was a teen, I started to self-injure.....cutting and hitting things and some other stuff. I would get so mad and anxious and the act of hurting myself relieved the anxiety and made me feel so much better. So of course I continued to do it...why not....it worked much better than any anxiety drug. The new therapist I'm working with has a very different way to thinking about stuff like self-injury. He sees it as an attempt to calm myself and in that respect it's okay. He doesn't think it's a bad thing, just a way to cope that I don't like and no one else does either. But no one can dismiss the fact that it works. So he told me to forgive myself.

I've done a lot of work on my past and in the past 3 years, have gotten back memories all the way back to 6 months of age. I think having my first grandchild...a girl.....was part of the impetus for the memories to return now. It actually started after breaking my neck. I woke up from surgery remembering an attack by my father on me that injured my neck when I was 9. I didn't want to remember any more but I had no choice. It just came back so I've had to deal with it.

But I'm glad I did. I now understand just how hated I was when I was born. Wasn't my fault, just the circumstances. But throughout my childhood and adolescence, the hatred grew and I eventually took it all in and internalized the hate and learned to hate me and became my own abuser. My hurting me was abusing me just like they all abused me. I was taught well.

It's really hard though to give up something that works so well even when you finally realize that you are abusing you. What finally worked for me(or I think it has) was telling myself that I am abusing me and I'm not an abuser. I am not one of those people who abuses kids and in a way, I'm still abusing the little child that was so hated. And so I've stopped....so far. I don't care if self-injury works, I can't be an abuser.

So much of our upbringing is designed to turn up into our parents. In my case, that meant training me to be abusive. I was dragged up to the cliff of abuse and they tried to make me jump in the abuse ravine but I wouldn't go, Instead, I turned and jumped into the self-abuse ravine.....same ravine, just another area of it. So now I understand that it is all the same and I have to stop abusing me....I don't deserve it.

So now when my body feels so out of control and as if it's betraying me, I have to tell myself to not separate it out from all of me and don't abuse it. If given a choice, my body certainly wouldn't have chosen this life for me or anyone. Nor would my mind. So I have to stop doing what everyone else did and hurting me, physically or emotionally.

You don't have to go back and unveil all of the horrors. My brothers haven't and yet they have had to deal with the same stuff and go on. All they had to do was acknowledge that bad stuff, abusive stuff happened and then go from there. My sister won't even admit the abuse happened and as a result, has had a miserable life and emotionally abused her kids pretty badly. So just knowing it happened is enough most of the time. Because of my past, I had to remember not just for me but for them. Because I know, they can move forward and heal.

You have every reason to be angry with your life and your body but hurting it....although it can be a great release, is just one more person in your life abusing you. Don't let you abuse you.

Does any of this make sense?

I have to get ready for the doctor's appointment.....not looking forward to the 1 hour drive each way in 90+* weather today. But I go where I have to in order to get good care. Spine doc is in Boston although I did check out the Hosp. for Special Surgery in NYC.

I'll be back later this afternoon but am anticipating cortisone shots on my hands so I don't know how much typing I'll be able to do....but I'll be here.

Hang in there, my friend.

gentle hugs................Jenny

 
Old 05-26-2010, 12:39 PM   #10
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Re: Older self injurers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jennybyc View Post
Good morning too! I was also awake until about 2am...too much pain...sound familiar? Seeing the rheumy at 2pm.

I actually had both knees replaced 11 years ago....my 13th and 14 knee surgeries. Hurt them at age 14 and my parents refused to let me have them fixed so I had to wait until I was old enough to sign for the surgery myself(thank goodness we lived in Canada at the time so I had my own medical coverage). My knees have been great up until about 16 months ago when they started to hurt...first the left and then the right a couple months later.

[I]I had a motorctycle accident at 19, nuns at hosptial wrapped me from thigh to ankle, gave me crutches and said go home, no insurance (never knew you needed it, my parents were cash and carry) I slid off table and went right on the floor, my leg couldnt support me, the miniscus was ripped up, I fell right on the knee. spent years having it drained, being told you need the miniscus removed, had that done 20 yrs later, post divorce, finally employed and finding out people w insurance get to take care of themselves differently. Ortho who did it told me in the '80s that arthritis was already evident and to be careful.


No one could tell me why but I became suspicious of infection when I found out that I had an abscess in my jaw(totally painless) for 5 years and while on MTX and Orencia. Then I ended up in the hospital in March with blown up painful knees. They tapped my knees 6 times and couldn't find the bacteria responsible but cultures only show the bacteria 60% of the time as they tend to cling to the metal parts. I was scheduled for surgery and then it was canceled as the doc wanted more testing. I've been tested for gout and the other crystal disorders, clotting disorders as they got a lot of blood out of my knees, all sorts of infections and anything they can think of including allergies. Even tested me for tularemia(rabbit fever) as I handled a dead squirrel my cat caught and was eating(UGH!). They know it's not RA as my RA has been good with my current med set-up. And all my inflammatory blood work is good too. If they do the surgery, they can treat the removed pieces and get the bacteria off and then treat it.


I've lived with chronic fevers/chills etc and have been tested for everything, this after having kids. One PC physician after another patted my head and said, little lady with so many children its no wonder you're feeling yukky, wink wink-I wont write here what other dr.s I was referred to because I persisted on asking what was wrong with me, other woman were functioning and had more kids than me etc. I was diagnosed and put on 2 pages of psych meds, none of which did anything except make my handwriting like look chicken scratching and my hands shaky. Tocover her bases my rhuemi had me evaluated and dr. dismissed and laughed at previous diagnosis and couldnt believe the list of meds. when he called the psychopharmacologist (do they still exist???) the doctor said he wasnt practicing currently LOLOLOL duh...What do you mean remove pieces, get off the bacteria and etc etc. I cant get the mold off my shower stall walls-and air circulates in my bathroom-how can they take out, clean off, put back-clean you up and put in brand spankin new parts sounds reasonable

I know all about RA being sero-negative....I am too. But I've got really bad OA, a lot of it from abuse or neglect. That is what has caused me to have so many surgeries. RA developed 5 years ago and hit my brain immediately, specifically my eyesight. But Orencia has slowed it down.
I'm beginning to wonder if I should be as trusting as I am w my dr. its out of character for me...she seems stuck on either enbrel or remicade, enbrel only works in short spurts. never mentioned Orencia and applied for Simponi and dropped the ball...I'm tired of chasing her down for everything cause she's so busy. I have a 1pm appt, I wont get in before 3pm.

Some days I feel like I should be declared a national disaster area. Me tooBut I'm lucky....MTX makes me sleepy the first day but after that I'm okay. I had been on 25mgs/week WHAT? I'm out for 4 days on .7mgs- are you sure thats right?and then I felt pretty nasty but at 17 1/2, I'm doing okay. You should consider trying Orencia as it's a different family from Remicade. And very different action. Instead of targeting a certain cytokines, it targets the T-cells and as a result, that stops release of all cytokines so it helps a lot of differing kinds of RA. Not sure about PsA.

But we need to get back to your recent release of anger on yourself. When I feel my whole body is getting out of control, I tend to hate my body and I have attacked it. It becomes separate from me and I feel like I need to tell it to knock it off and give me my life back. When I was a teen, I started to self-injure.....cutting and hitting things and some other stuff. I would get so mad and anxious and the act of hurting myself relieved the anxiety and made me feel so much better. So of course I continued to do it...why not....it worked much better than any anxiety drug. The new therapist I'm working with has a very different way to thinking about stuff like self-injury. He sees it as an attempt to calm myself((THAT WHAT IT IS, I AGREE, BUT THAT DOESNT MEAN ITS A HEALTHY WAY TO CALM DOWN and in that respect it's okay (NOPE). He doesn't think it's a bad thing, just a way to cope that I don't like and no one else does either. But no one can dismiss the fact that it works. So he told me to forgive myself.


This is why I buy books...'forgive yourself' we KNOW this sh*t do we need to pay someone for 45 minutes of time to tell us the obvious? Here's something I've never brought up...my mother could never me dressed and out to school fast enough, her clothes were already laid out, her bath was running, she had gentleman callers awaitin.

One day I got up and collapsed when I tried to walk. Couldnt stand, burning up. She came in to see my progress and began screaming to get up, get dressed, get out...my luck the good lord was watching that moment and my father had not left yet for his work. she sent him in to tell me to get to school-btw I loved school, it was my safe haven from them. He comes in and I can barely talk, he picks me up like a rag doll and places me back into bed. And then tells me not to worry, everything will be okay, he's going to calll the doctor. He goes inside and I hear him yelling at her, 'I know what you're doing, call the damn doctor now!' and he waited with me until the dr. came, left and he knew exactly what was going on-I had lumbar pnuemonia and was home for 2 months, which curtailed Madam's activities a bit. I believe he saved my life, the woman hated me to the point that often I thought she couldnt be my mother, I once asked her if I was adopted and never got a straight answer...so who knows./I]

Funny how some memories are as if they just happened and then years of blankness...

I've done a lot of work on my past and in the past 3 years, have gotten back memories all the way back to 6 months of age. I think having my first grandchild...a girl.....was part of the impetus for the memories to return now. It actually started after breaking my neck. I woke up from surgery remembering an attack by my father on me that injured my neck when I was 9. I didn't want to remember any more but I had no choice. It just came back so I've had to deal with it.

But I'm glad I did. I now understand just how hated I was when I was born. Wasn't my fault, just the circumstances. I hear you...!

But throughout my childhood and adolescence, the hatred grew and I eventually took it all in and internalized the hate and learned to hate me and became my own abuser. My hurting me was abusing me just like they all abused me. I was taught well.


My one sister has been either drug/alcohol addicted since pre-teens. She was only 15 when our father died, she went to live with friends and didnt see me or her mother for almost 30 yrs. She came back only as her mother was dying.

My addictions are religion and food. I was so determined to go the opposite direction of the promiscuity, drugs and alcohol, I went into a very sheltered religious community-which actually suited every emotional problem I was dealing with and still deal with.

I cant do this to you Jenny, TMI, very sorry. You gotta slap me sometimes, you're at the doctors, so on your behalf I've told me to shut up

It's really hard though to give up something that works so well even when you finally realize that you are abusing you. What finally worked for me(or I think it has) was telling myself that I am abusing me and I'm not an abuser. I am not one of those people who abuses kids and in a way, I'm still abusing the little child that was so hated. And so I've stopped....so far. I don't care if self-injury works, I can't be an abuser.

Food is a really weird thing for me-it goes so far back I cant begin to figure out what happened, but I was stealing food from our house and then while babysitting-I felt driven, compelled to cook and eat in someone elses house. I would get kicked under the dining room table at dinner, told to stop eating. I wasnt overweight, I have baby, toddler, high school pics-once my father died, I think all bets were off...I watched her family suddenly show up after not speaking to him and pick thru his things, she sold everything in an estate sale, I'm lucky I have some photos of him, she destroyed everything. And then told me she was moving to her mother's home...I was not welcome to join her. Like I was not really surprised but at 19 with no skills, money, family or I felt little lost out there


So much of our upbringing is designed to turn up into our parents. In my case, that meant training me to be abusive. I was dragged up to the cliff of abuse and they tried to make me jump in the abuse ravine but I wouldn't go, Instead, I turned and jumped into the self-abuse ravine.....same ravine, just another area of it. So now I understand that it is all the same and I have to stop abusing me....I don't deserve it.

here's the thing...you and I have spent 2 days and alot of typing talking about abuse. When you think about not just this moment but all your life, doesnt it seem like an enormous amount of time thinkig about yourself?? I often feel exhausted from trying to fend off demons I cant see. I'm tired of the self absorption, I;m not that interesting, its been a freaky life and so have millions lived thru worse-look at the Rwandan orphans and those kids have been brought here, healed, work, married, have had their own families after horrendous childhoods they had to actualy pariticpate in the genocide of families-and I doubt they sit and contemplate their navels as we do-I feel, quite honestly that what I say and spend time wriiting about all this is a form of selfishness. But that in itself could be a form of denial and saying I dont deserve to heal or take care of myself-I dunno anymore.
My mother used to say, think positive. She actually didnt think and that's what got her thru much of life. I couldnt tell you a thought she had about politics, religion, books-but men fell at her feet, she didnt have to know much of anything else, that's the truth. G-d blesses us all differently LMAO, I'm fat but think too much


So now when my body feels so out of control and as if it's betraying me, I have to tell myself to not separate it out from all of me and don't abuse it. If given a choice, my body certainly wouldn't have chosen this life for me or anyone. Nor would my mind. So I have to stop doing what everyone else did and hurting me, physically or emotionally.

You don't have to go back and unveil all of the horrors. My brothers haven't and yet they have had to deal with the same stuff and go on. All they had to do was acknowledge that bad stuff, abusive stuff happened and then go from there. My sister won't even admit the abuse happened and as a result, has had a miserable life and emotionally abused her kids pretty badly. So just knowing it happened is enough most of the time. Because of my past, I had to remember not just for me but for them. Because I know, they can move forward and heal.

You have every reason to be angry with your life and your body but hurting it....although it can be a great release, is just one more person in your life abusing you. Don't let you abuse you.

Does any of this make sense?
YES...my sister and I haven' spoken in over 35 yrs. Its as if we weren;'t from the same family. She left when mother broke up the house and never looked back. My mother kept her cigarette butts for 2.5 decades, like one keeps an urn of ashes, on top her fridge, in mourning for her beautiful daughter who couldnt deal with the same horrors I had to deal with. She showed up for a few days as our mother was dying and mother was shocked and realized if she was there, it wasnt for a good reason and couldnt find anything to say...like were where you for 30 years???? Do you know the kind of grieving I did missing you? Clueless all around.

I met a young girl once whose doctor sugested as a solution, I'm recalling this as I write to you, that she put a thin red rubber band around her wrist and when she felt herself beginning to simmer, to snap the elastic to break the brain spiraling into next level.



I have to get ready for the doctor's appointment.....not looking forward to the 1 hour drive each way in 90+* weather today. But I go where I have to in order to get good care. Spine doc is in Boston although I did check out the Hosp. for Special Surgery in NYC.

I'll be back later this afternoon but am anticipating cortisone shots on my hands so I don't know how much typing I'll be able to do....but I'll be here.

After reading all this, you may just want to take a long nap, so dont worry about typing. We had police or military copters circling for 34 minutes pre dawn looking for someone this morning..so going to sleep at 3am and waking at 5 has me slightly manic

Hang in there, my friend. If we dont speak, I hope things go well today and some clear resolution in presented so you can move forward in a positive way toward healing and feeling better

gentle hugs................Jenny
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Last edited by IKnowNotWhy; 05-26-2010 at 12:56 PM.

 
Old 05-26-2010, 06:31 PM   #11
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Re: Older self injurers?

Dear IKnowNotWhy...I find your comment "This is why I buy books......"forgive yourself" we know this sh*t do we need to pay someone for 45 minutes of time to tell us the obvious?" to be a put down of both me and my therapist. No, he tells me what is not obvious or I wouldn't be going. I'm not that stupid. I will assume you don't believe in therapy and even jump to the conclusion that you don't like anyone who practices it. Well, it has saved my life on several occasions. I do understand it and I do believe it. Just as I believe in God, I also believe that someone other than me can teach me about my own behavior.

And what I have been taught is not what you said...."that doesn't mean it's a healthy way to calm down"......in fact, it is. No one starts a behavior with the intention that it become reviled and painful and life threatening as self injury can become. We develop a certain behavior because it serves a purpose and it helps us. Our intent is to help ourselves, not harm. The action of self injury serves to get emotions out that are so horrendous that they can't be expressed in words. The result of the injury is a much needed calmness that can often stop further and much worse self-destructive behavior. It is with that intent we start but the outside world thinks it is so horrendous that we harm ourselves that they demand we stop. That is when the game playing that often accompanies self-injury occurs. But the origin of the behavior is far more pure. It is forgiving oneself when you recognize the intent and not what follows.

It is part of the human brain to do whatever is needed to self-calm. It is how we survived our pre-historic past(stay quiet when the tiger passes by). Even a baby will self injure. A baby who is teething will often gnaw on their own fingers and fist until it is raw and bleeding in order to be able to ignore the teething pain and to self soothe. Our brains can only handle just so much pain. And you can create an acute pain in order to bypass the brain pathways of chronic pain. It is instinct. So I forgive myself for acting like a human being and realize that this is instinctual and my intent was to help, not hurt. But as many things do, they change from their original intent and go on as unchallenged behaviors.

In many parts of the world today self injury, if done to acknowledge a religious event is not only acceptable but praised. How many reports do we hear each Easter of people putting nails through their hands and feet? Muslims regularly flog themselves during Ramadan as part of their religious rituals. That is acceptable but if I cut my arm it isn't? Why? Intent. Their intent is to praise their God and my intent was to calm myself.

And that is only the tip of the iceberg I have paid my therapist to help me understand and to actually forgive...truly forgive, myself. It was healthy but I no longer want to use that behavior for the intense emotions I feel. I want to talk and cry and deal with it in a way of my choosing. I will no longer abuse myself.

I'm sorry you have a big problem with therapy because that is where I thought you wanted to go with your questions. I have learned to stop and thought that is what you too wanted to learn to do...why and how to not do it.

But I guess not. We may be twins in many respects but not in this one. I go and I learn and I change. It is not selfish. It is allowing me to become a person who tries very hard to not dump her emotional baggage on her children or spouse or friends. I owe them that much.....to get my head on straight so as not to mess with theirs. My sister didn't and now one adult child has died of an overdose and the other is so mentally unstable, will never work despite having a PhD from UCLA. I've seen what happens when you don't fix the mess in your own life.

I'm glad to have met you but I doubt this friendship can go any further. You've made your opinion of therapy very, very clear. And since it has been the cornerstone of my recovery, I don't see how this can continue.

I'm sorry.

Jenny

 
Old 05-26-2010, 09:53 PM   #12
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Re: Older self injurers?

If nothing else I would like to apologize for giving you the imoression I am anti therapy, I'm not but have not been successful in 4 attempts. A 25 yrs old social worker in a clinic is not a good fit for me. I am open to finding solutions to antying I deal with, I sought out this board for answers and presented myself honestly.

If its safer for you to remove yourself from further contact, its my loss and If I offended you or hurt you with anything I said, I do apologize.
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:45 PM   #13
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Re: Older self injurers?

Jenny,

I don't know if you have left the boards, but I found your reply helpful as to why I should stick with it and continue my personal therapy. Not that I am struggling with wanting to quit right now, but I go through phases where I feel like I can't handle the emotional stress every week. Or I finally feel good and don't want to druge up the bad stuff that I need to work on that makes me feel crappy and want to self injure. But you stated things so eloquently and perfectly. Something that comes with maturity and the grace of growth I guess. Something I don't have yet but want so bad. Not that I want to skip my young adult years, but most of my friends just want to drink and party, and I've never been like that. I want to be settled and find a partner and have a family.

Anyway, back to what you said about therapy. I whole heartedly agree that it is a process of learning, and it is a useful tool to those who use it. I wish I were to the stage in my self injury that you are; the way you can forgive yourself for it. I still have so much guilt and shame. But I think I sometimes I still need to feel that to keep myself from injuring. I don't know...maybe if I forgave myself I wouldn't have as many urges. My therapy feels like it is going so slow. I know it is a slow process. I understand the part about not putting your burdens on those that don't deserve it. Sometimes I think I over-burden my mom with some things, but I also think she is my mom and she can still help take care of me sometimes. But I want kids someday, someday soon, and I would never wish any of this horribleness that goes on in my head on any sweet baby of mine. Or anyone elses.

I just wanted to say that I read what you wrote and it touched me in a big way, and even though it has been 6 years of therapy and I'm not well yet, I will continue until I can forgive myself the way you can and stand up for myself the way you can. You are an inspiration to someone you don't even know.

Thankyou,
Amanda

 
Old 06-01-2010, 07:33 PM   #14
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Re: Older self injurers?

I'm sorry I haven't been here but it has nothing to do with anyone here. IKnowNotWhy, I accept your apology. Amanda, I'm glad I wrote something you found helpful.

I spend a lot of time on these boards mainly helping those with various orthopedic issues and I go to them first when I can. But right now, I haven't got much time to spend with anyone as I can only hold my head up for just so much time. I have a major problem with my cervical spine and go to Boston to see my neurosurgeon next Wednesday to see if more surgery is needed to stabilize my spine. And tomorrow I go to the orthopedic surgeon to see if I need more surgery on my knees....I've already had 14 knee surgeries. I am in bad physical pain right now and that is why I haven't been on the boards except for very limited times. My pain went up another notch this past weekend.

So as much as I would like to continue talking about why we hurt ourselves(go do a search on Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome if you really want to read something eye opening on self-injury) I have to deal with my own hurting and the very scary possibility of more major surgery in the very near future. My last surgery almost killed me.

So I will return but give me a week or so to get the info I need to make my life a little more settled. It's waiting and not knowing that drives me nuts.

Jenny

 
Old 03-12-2011, 03:32 PM   #15
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Re: Older self injurers?

I am 55 and I still self injure. In fact I it's worse than it was when I was younger. It has always been a periodic thing but now I am cutting my arm fairly regularly. I didn't used to cut. I started when I was a young teen putting clothes pins on various body parts (usually private parts) and wearing them all day or most of the day. Then later I would pull my hair or punch myself in the face. Now that isn't working so I've started cutting.

Simply reading here and knowing I'm not alone has helped a lot. I also have RA and maybe fibro, plus skin cancer, asthma and other health problems. I don't have insurance, though. I haven't been able to work for over 10 years but my husband always had a good job with insurance. That changed over two years ago. Now the COBRA and unemployment have run out, I've stopped taking the more expensive meds and there is not much help for you in TX if you don't have children. That could be the reason for the escalation I guess, all the added stress and down right fear.

Reading your posts has helped very much. I have many similarities in my background to some of you and if you've gotten better I can, too. Thank you for sharing and please know it's helped others you may never know about.

 
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