ive tried so hard not to give in, but was unsuccessful. I gave in.. a lot. Im getting yelled at every single day and treated like a child. (im 26) I have been constantly threatened and cussed out. I am very kept to myself, I don't raise my voice, I don't talk crud, I seriously am just in my own world and dealing with my own problems.
So, with all this negative stuff being thrown at me, It loads on top of everything and I cant take it. It gives me flashbacks of when i was younger and all I can think is to hurt myself. So, i went to the store and reluctantly bought my "tools" and came home, set it all up real nice and cut. I almost couldn't stop myself. It was so relieving.. But as soon as I was able to stop myself, it all came rushing back and as usual, i began to fill up with so much guilt and disappointment..
I feel like such a failure. but, i know its not the end.. I know that as soon as I get to do it again, its going to be just as bad.. and that concerns me. I didn't call my therapist because I knew I'd see her this week anyway, and I honestly always feel like im a problem when i leave messages for her. I feel like its bad enough she has to see me once a week, but to have to call me in between sessions, is a little much..
I just honestly feel like im getting to the point where I want to completely give up. Ive been fighting for so long and im just exhausted now.. I don't know what im going to do..
The following 2 users give hugs of support to: bloodytears bleakfuture (10-14-2011), sua (10-14-2011)
Tears...I post here now and then but felt so badly when I read your post I wanted to share a few things with you.
I get the feeling you are a survivor of abuse somewhere in your past...right or wrong?
If your therapist or family is putting pressure on you and making you feel guilty for cutting, you need to know that the "profession" is starting to see this completely differently. Self-injury is now seen as exchanging one pain for another but the intention is to stop us from hurting so badly...and it does work if it weren't for the guilt. Like it or not, self-injury works for us, it releases anxiety better than any drug out there and it stops us from deeply dissociating and going into an emotional state that can be very hard to get out of. It actually is a protective thing we do to help ourselves, not harm ourselves.
I am a self-injurer from way back and am just now stopping it at age 60. Why did it take this long? No one believed that I was abused until just a few years ago so now that I am getting the right treatment, the need is going away. But my therapist has no problems with my hurting myself as long as I tell him afterwards. He sees it as my attempt to keep me form getting worse and that is an admirable goal. Once I learn how to lessen the pain in other ways, I won't need it and that is now happening.
So please don't put yourself down. And if I'm right about abuse, we'll talk some more if you want. It may look twisted to others but inflicting pain to block other pain is as old as mankind itself. Even a baby, with teething pain, will gnaw on it's fist so that the fist hurts but the teething pain goes away. You see, the brain only allows one pain pathway at a time to work so you can blot out one pain with another. It is an instinctual response.
You are not crazy and you are not bad. You are simply in pain and trying to deal with it...plain and simple. And you are doing what your brain knows is instinct.
Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. It really does mean a lot. I am an abuse survivor. Experienced so much abuse from the time I was 4 all the way til I was 22. Which I know has a lot to do with the way i think and deal with situations..
My therapist is wonderful, i usually tell her when i hurt myself and she always tells me shes not approving it but finds it at least a little more understandable considering she knows if I didn't hurt myself I would probably not be alive. So, shes definitely not pressuring me. No one really knows I self harm anymore except my therapists.. and psychiatrist. I know if my family found out, it would be horrible so I keep it all inside.
If you don't mind me asking, how are you trying to stop it now? (What tools or techniques are you using?)
The thing that is hard is The only people I've told about my abuse is my doctors. My family is still very unaware of it all.. I feel like telling them would be a huge burden and I dont want that. I don't want anymore problems and I don't believe they would believe me anyway. I feel very much alone in the sense that I have so much within me I have to keep quiet.
Sorry it took me a couple days to respond.. I was isolating and couldn't get the energy to come out of "hiding."
I too was abused from birth to age 21 when my mother died. She had Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy so I was her "prop" she used to get attention. At 60 I am still having surgery to fix what she broke...literally.
We replace one pain with another and the only way I have found to stop the self-injury behavior is to deal with the pain as best you can. It becomes easier with time as you have more of a life to look back on. I have more good to balance the bad now so it is easier. But when I am faced with another surgery or something is pushing me to face those feelings(like therapy) I can find myself on the edge of doing something I really don't want to do. My therapist will then help me "back down" the intolerable feelings to a level that I can tolerate....defuse it. I'm there now......I want so badly to go hit something hard...really hard(hitting became my method after too many years of cutting...easier to hide)but I practice just "sitting" with the pain and increasing my tolerance of the bad feelings, the deep pain. But I can sit for just so long. Then I seem to need to distract myself and I hit something.....and I'm trying everything I have in my bag of coping skills to not do it but.......
It's all about learning how to deal with the pain and finding ways to cope with it. Talking with others who have the same problem can be a big help but let me tell you, there aren't too many self-destructive grandmothers out there to talk to. So I'm kind of on my own. But even sharing this with you helps....thank you.
Recovery takes time. They hurt us and left us to pick up the pieces and fix what they broke. Not fair but unfortunately, life is not fair...it is simply, life.
Learn as much as you can about distraction and coping skills. Even isolation is good when things get bad. Been there myself for the past week. We do what we have to do when the going gets tough. We are the ultimate survivors.
So if you want to talk and it helps, I'm here for you.
Im so sorry you went through so much abuse as well. Your therapist sounds really supportive and im glad you have that in your life. I am hoping to be able to one day look back and say i survived.. But it is getting SO hard as the days come. It feels like each day that comes brings new and even more painful problems.
It does help a lot to be able to talk to someone who can understand even if its just through this board. I used to be in groups with other people that self harmed and struggled with mental illness which helped me incredibly at times and hurt me incredibly too.. Im still looking for a group nearby though, I think it would help. I figure being in group is better than being in the hospital.Right now my therapist is really close to having me go inpatient..I dont really want that, but then again, I sometimes really feel like i need it. I'm glad talking to me helps you..
Lately i have had the worst flashbacks and have been flooded with constant memories of the abuse i went through.. It has definitely been hard to ignore them. I talked with my therapist about everything today and she, as usual, was an awesome support and encouragement which sometimes makes it hard because i feel cared about by her, and i feel strong when im with her, but once i walk out the door and face reality it gets realy ugly and i dont feel cared about and i definitely dont feel strong.
Right now my mind is racing and my thoughts are all a mess so I apologize if Im not being clear in my posts. I have so much i want to say but it all kind of gets jumbled in my brain and comes out pretty randomly at times. But im trying to work through that, so please bear with me through it.
Last edited by mentalhealth mod; 11-09-2011 at 06:55 AM.
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I'm much better today...you helped me through a bad night and then I saw my therapist today and as usual, he worked his magic with me. He knows me well.
I have been in-patient too...28 times. You do what you have to do in order to survive. I know the road with PTSD from abuse is very rocky and incredibly painful but it can be done. No one thought I'd make it and I have....so can you.
You learn how to handle the pain and slowly but surely work through it. Some people try to go around it by using all the coping techniques to avoid the pain but the only way to get rid of it is to walk through it. It will make you a stronger and more compassionate person after you do.
I don't know anything about you...age , if you are married or have kids, work....but I can tell you that we make good parents and good spouses...we listen better than most. Work has always been hard as I am a little too compassionate and bosses take advantage of that. But I still liked working when I could.
I look at being an abuse survivor this way....this world desperately needs us. Only we can stop the abuse epidemic. We have to survive and make it known just how horrible abuse is. Did you know that up until about 20 years ago, there was no diagnosis for an adult who was abused as a child? The mental health community thought abuse didn't cause emotional problems for the adult survivor. How wrong they were.
And the world needs us because we are awesome people.
You take care of you and do whatever you need to, to survive. You are worth caring about. I could hear that in your first post. And if I hear it, the world should hear it too. Yes, you are worth my caring about you and YOU caring about you too.
Im glad you are doing better. And that your therapist is so amazing with you
well, you definitely beat me on inpatient stays. I've only been inpatient 20 times.. and i thought that was a lot. But ive also had to go to the residential home quite a few times which thankfully prevented a few hospital stays. I honestly don't really mind having to go to those homes. I always seem to feel a little more safer there yet also still a little independent because its not locked down like the hospital.
Part of me is ok with going through all that i have just because it definitely makes me stronger and more capable of seeing past hard shells certain people try to put up. It definitely has made me more compassionate and understanding.
Im 26, not married.. some days im engaged other days im not.. (depends on my mood being that i have borderline personality disorder as well, it makes it quite difficult to maintain relationships.. but i still try) I dont have kids yet. And Im not able to work. I'm on disability.
I like your outlook on being an abuse survivor.. It reminds me of the positive that can come from this pain.
Thank you for all your encouraging words. Its not easy for me to receive the idea that im worth caring about or loving. So, i have to work on accepting that. But, i can definitely care about others and i care about you as well! I'm so glad that you responded to my post. I mean, im glad whenever anyone responds but you didn't stop and give up and that means a lot I hope your day has gone well so far..
Its raining here and has been all day. I love the rain when I don't have to go out in it, but it also tends to encourage my isolation and desire to sleep the day away.. so thats probably a little counter productive. haha. Anyway, I hope to hear from you soon.
Raining in California, huh....I'll have to call my sister and see if she's doing the rain dance....she lives in LA.
I've had a pretty decent day today, how about you? I know that YOU know that all the abuse you endured had NOTHING to do with you and who you are but had everything to do with the person who abused you. Even the borderline diagnosis...that comes from abuse in early life. It affects the unformed and unset personality. And don't let anyone tell you it can't be fixed too.....I was a borderline and now my therapist says I show no signs of every having it.
But whether it's borderline or PTSD, it's all about having our personal safety and control ripped away from us and we can't seem to get it back. Think of PTSD this way....if you were a stone age mother delivering her baby in a field somewhere, the first thing the mom would do is scoop up the baby and run. Why? The smell of birth would bring predators just like a shark in the water. And the baby is cold and needs to be shielded from the elements so holding it and getting away are the 2 primary needs. Not doing either of these would probably result in the baby's death and possibly the mother.
So our most primary instincts are for safety and control.....safety from predators and the elements and control of the situation.....mom doing it for us as we can't. Abuse destroys both of those instincts. We have no control over it happening and we aren't safe. Our brain goes nuts as we NEED those 2 things so much for our sense of who we are and what we are doing in the world. We can't function without them. As a borderline, we manipulate to get them and with PTSD, we flashback and panic because we don't have them.
If you can use those 2 things as a guide to how to run your life...am I safe and am I in control....then you can make some good strides forward. When we self-injure, we are telling the world as loudly as we can that we have neither...right? We show that we aren't in control of our impulses and that we are not safe from ourselves. I had to work very hard to keep my control the other night and to stay safe but I did it and each time I do that, I am better off. I'm learning how to be safe and in control...what I need so badly.
I ask myself with every situation I am in....am I safe and in control...and if I'm not, I change things until I am. And I am changing me so that I am too.
There is nothing harder than trying to get back the 2 most important instincts we have. It takes time and work but it can be done and is so worth it. We have to teach ourselves. Tiny steps. Just feel safe about something small and see how it makes you feel. Feel in control and see if it makes you feel stronger. Backsliding is allowed and encouraged...we learn a lot more from our mistakes than our successes.
I did not ask you if you cut the other night. You can't go backwards and change things that already happened so I hope the next time you need to cut, you'll stop and wonder about safety and control and maybe do it less or not at all....go punch a pillow instead.....or cry. You deserve to cry......you had the most crucial and basic instincts denied to you and that hurts. But it's not because you did anything wrong.
Let's stay in touch, okay? I think we can help each other.
How are you guys doing today? I hope that your both having peaceful days.
I realize dealing with the many mental "tags" that our docs give us can make it hard to cope and deal with the problems in a less harmful way, but it's so important that you try.
Self harm is one of those almost sneaky conditions, because generally it's such an easy way to deal with what we're going through, why learn a more difficult way to cope? The differences and blessings you'll receive from leaving one behind and learning a new coping skill are amazing....
You know Jenny, sometimes I honestly feel like the abuse was my fault.. because I never did anything or said anything. Each time it happened my body felt like it was paralyzed and I couldn't move no matter how bad I wanted to. Im told i have major recurrent depression, PTSD, borderline personality disorder, schizoaffective disorder and OCD.. I used to hate constantly being referred to as a disorder or diagnosis and i would deny them all.. but now, i stopped caring and it is what it is..
I just want to say the way you describe concepts is really helpful. You make things so much clearer and understandable.. its like getting a "duh" moment because it makes so much sense the way you lay it out as compared to the way doctors word it. You would be an awesome teacher
I think with the whole I am safe and I am in control idea, thats where its all a little shadowed with me. I feel constantly on edge like something or someone is going to hurt me and the only time i feel in control is when i cut.. or burn.. or otherwise harm myself.
I didn't end up cutting the other night.. I just ended up punching the wall.. And since I already have bad wrists, that wasn't the best idea.. im in a lot of pain to say the least which is why it took me a little longer to respond this time.
And of course we will stay in touch.. as long as you're willing to, im willing to
Thanks for caring to check up on us. I am doing better today.. its been a rough few days but im doing all i can to hang on.. and trying my hardest not to give in to the self harm urges.. hope you're doing well.
We feel in control when we cut or hit because we are doing it....we are letting the world know we are hurting inside. But otherwise, we don't. We don't feel safe and we don't feel in control and that is what is the basis for the problem. We've been robbed of 2 of our most important instincts.
If you took away a lion's instinct to hunt, it would die. If a bird lost lost it's instinct to fly, it would be forever damaged if not killed. We lose our instinct to to feel safe and in control, and we can't function either. Abuse does that.
And as happens, abusers blame us for making them do it. that is how they justify what they do. I guarantee you were told that....it's how they operate. And even if they didn't, the child will always blame themselves because they know no different. Parents divorce and the child thinks it's because of something they did. A parent gets sick and the child thinks they made them sick. Children are narcissistic little things by nature and everything revolves around them....that is how they survive...and so everything that goes wrong is their fault too.
But it wasn't. You have been brainwashed, plain and simple. But you won't believe it until you can really feel it. You have to feel just how screwed up the abusers were and then you're inner child will realize they did nothing wrong. My primary abuser was my mom and trying to understand and feel that your mom was screwed up and it had NOTHING to do with who you were....that's hard...and even I have trouble with that. I'm her daughter and I fear I have some of her DNA in me but I know I'm not her. I love my kids so much and she didn't feel that way with any of her kids. She was sick and made me sick. She never recovered but I am. Because I didn't do anything wrong.
But I still grew up feeling like no one loved me and as a result, felt unsafe....we feel safe when we feel loved. And since I wasn't given the tools I needed to be a good grown-up, I felt out of control all the time...like I hadn't a clue as to what to do most of the time. Knowing how adults deal with feelings helps us stay in control of our feelings and when you are abused, you miss that class. It becomes all about the abuse. You stop growing emotionally when you are abused but you don't stop growing. You become a grownup but still feel like that emotionally lost little kid.
So you have to teach yourself with the help of therapy. You learn to love yourself and then you can learn how to love others. You learn how to deal with feelings like an adult does and then you feel in control of yourself and the world. That takes a lot of work but you can do it if you go slow and take it one step at a time. You get a situation and talk with your therapist about how to handle it and then try the new way and...bingo...you've learned a new way to handle yourself.
Know what I'm dealing with right now. Surgery. I find out in 2 weeks if I have to have major spine surgery and I'm scared. My sessions are all about how to talk to my doc without flipping out, how to make the decision on what to do and how to calm the little kid inside of me who is scared of the pain. I go over the options and how to keep control of my fears. I work at being safe....the kid inside is afraid and she wants to feel safe so I have to tell her it is safe....I am caring for the adult me and sometimes that means pain.
I've been doing this my entire life and I'm still learning. It's not that it's that hard....I just took a long time off from treatment and am just now catching up with stuff I should have learned a long time ago. But then again, PTSD only came about in the past 15-20 years so there wasn't any way to get the help I'm now getting.
You take it step by step and slowly learn how to grow up by yourself. And once you have, you'll truly know that is was NEVER your fault.
Sorry it has taken me a few days to respond.. I've been going through a lot.. I managed to get out of going back to the hospital but my therapist was like real close to sending me.. Then, she told me she was going to inform my psychiatrist about whats been going on and it really scared me for some reason.. Anyway, i was supposed to go to see my psychiatrist today but when i got to the office and sat down in the waiting room, i started to have really bad anxiety and just walked out.. I dont know what im going to do..
Things are going down hill pretty fast for me right now. My mind isn't working the way id like it to.. i can't concentrate or focus and im just really struggling.. anyway, i will respond more thoroughly when i can. just wanted to update you.
You feel you are alone, try being a guy that was abused by his best friend when I was 11 and he was 13. I read your post and it reminded me of myself, alone and cutting all because of what he did to me, it sarted the pattern of me being bullied and abused. I blocked it out and now i wish I never remembered it. I cut too but hav ent for 3 years now, my psychologist is great too and I felt like you at one time. That calling her between visits was too much. Wheni told her that you know what she told me? She told me that she would rahter i call and leave amessage on her machine or talk to her for a few minutes even if it is to say i gave in again because she went into the profession to know that she is helping people, and that by calling her it show her she is doing her job well because it shows I am trusting her, when I cannot trust anyone else.
Tell her how you feel about calling her between visits, tell her what you said here. See what she says, i bet it won't be a bother to her either.
What I was wandering though, cause there is no one I can ask that has been thru it near me, i cannot trust anone to ask anyway. I want to know, do the memories ever go away?
I'm sorry you had to experience abuse.. It is definitely life altering no matter what age.. And thats really great that you have managed not to cut for so long. I look forward to going even a week without.. but i guess i gotta take it one day at a time though.. Eventually I'll make it there.
Thanks for your suggestion of talking to her about how I feel about contacting her between sessions. I actually feel really comfortable with her, so im not sure why i didn't just think to talk to her about it.. i guess sometimes my thoughts just overwhelm me and the simple things to do, become so complicated.
Now, for your question, I don't know how old you are but, I can say from talking to other people that are a little older than myself that have experienced abuse, the memories at times fade and sometimes are forgotten forever, but for the most part, they just get easier to deal with. And won't always be constantly popping up. I know for me so far, i still get flooded with memories of the abuse i went through and it hurts and messes me up still.. but, i am still young enough and its all still really fresh to me so i guess thats to be expected. There are some memories from when i was very young though that come and i can say those ones don't hurt me so much anymore.. So, i don't know if i answered your question.. but i tried.