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Archive for "Adults Connection"

Self Injury Awareness Day 2014

Posted by Pam L. | February 20th, 2014

Please join us in St. Louis, MO as we honor Self Injury Awareness day on February 28, 2014.

Please click on this link for more information:  http://www.selfinjury.com/pdf/Feb28%20SI%20Awareness.pdf

We hope you are able to join us, or let us know how you plan to honor Self Injury Awareness Day. ¬†It can be by learning more about the subject, making it a goal NOT to injure yourself in anyway on that day, educating others about the subject, or even reaching out for help. ¬†We’d love to hear your way of honoring this day.

Thanks!

S.A.F.E. Alternatives Staff

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Posted by healing | February 16th, 2014

I feel like I am in trouble. The truth is that if I am willing to turn to skills, I can muster through. But there is other truth too. I guess that truth is that I am past my limit of what I can endure gracefully. I feel slip off from other people at the same time that I feel like other people are the threat. I feel like I am not putting pieces of myself together very well– the person I am at work, sort of together, a leader, balancing competing demands– to be that person I turn off some other parts. Those parts need my attention. And a friend wants my attention. My taxes want my attention. My medical renewal forms want my attention. My laundry wants my attention. My child demands my attention. I want to give my attention to myself instead but all myself really wants is to harm and hide. So I shouldn’t feed that. I have found myself quite a bit this last week taking up a behavior that had been absent from my behavioral vocabulary for years– pretending to sleep– lying in bed and staring at the wall– I noticed my mind during these times– it’s the opposite of meditation because there is no presence– it’s a swirling of thought and worry and attempts to sooth myself by recalling things my therapist said and ways he responded, but largely it’s just the sort of daydreaming where I am all but blacked out– have no idea what I am thinking about. I know, though, that I am hiding. I know that it is easier to be alive on the rare occasion that my son leaves the house and I get to be alone– I am less likely to be so “exhausted” that I have to go vegetate in bed. That exhaustion is real, but it isn’t the type that sleep fixes, and I’m not sure that pretending to sleep fixes it either. It’s the exhaustion of feeling crowded. Now that I am working full-time– that’s a big part of it. My life used to have time to get bored I’d say, though I was never bored– my life used to have time to have a rich inner life. Now I am so surrounded by old trauma, on-going difficulty. I have no time for my fantasy, creative life– I know in my gut that I just hit something there– that is very true. Right now there are suddenly crushing demands on me. What i need to do for myself is keep writing. But demands to make breakfast from someone who could totally take care of himself. I’ve just dispatched him, with my money, to buy breakfast out. I don’t like that. I don’t like that stress on me. I want to me free and alone. If I could just spend that day by myself I could recoup some of myself, get myself more balanced again. That is not my reality. Distress tolerance stuff would have me getting out of the house to take care of myself, and I will do some of that. But I really need is time here. Space around me that I cannot achieve. Injuring would give me that space. It makes a whole ocean between me and the world– lets me be alone. It’s hard to really care about staying on track. I’ve made so much progress. My life was so bad, and now it… well- no one is hurting me anymore. I have enough money to live. I can move around in the world freely– make my own choices. So I sort of feel like what I do I have to be unhappy about and how could I possibly want to move backward– use old coping devices. But I now have a fairly, if one doesn’t look too closely, normal, placid life– but that life takes up a lot of space. And I also still have the problems of someone who’s life has been all but placid– and those problems take up a lot of space. And then, when things were bad, I did at least have a lot time to live in creative, non-destructive, artistically productive fantasy. That time is gone. And that was effective coping and that did lend a sense of positive identity, a place where I have gained achievement and recognition– and now the ball is already rolling and I need to do stuff for that part of my life and I don’t know how to get to it. I was telling my story at a 12 step meeting last week and it was only after that — first there was a lot of positive feedback– my growth reflected back at me– powerful and amazing– but afterward I realized more how extreme, how much trauma I have been through and I felt estranged. Then I watched a documentary about people living with mental illness and those lives were lives I totally understood. I’d never thought about it before- that my story is a story about life with mental illness– that doesn’t even sound right. It doesn’t compute. I don’t like or want that identity. And I’m sure that’s healthy…. maybe. But that is sort of a fact. ……anyway. Hard. And so cosmetically fixed in a way that I am holding a job and am safe– protect myself now from others who try to hurt me and more or less from myself. A co-worker noticed scars a few weeks ago and asked what happened. I used a standard lie. And he said something back about how if anyone ever tried to hurt me, he’ll beat them up and no one better mess with me. He has no idea about my past. He says that sort of thing a lot. I sort of like it. But it’s mixed with ideas of gender roles that are not cool with me…. and, anyway, what he was seeing wasn’t something that anyone did to me– I did it to myself. I want to stay with the program but I’m not sure how. I’m supposed to put safety first– that is the prime direction– but there are all these other tasks that I need to do and would be able to do if I could just put safety aside for a moment. Other things I could do instead are take medication and listen to music. It is also not even a good idea for me to be in the kitchen, so I could just make this a day of take-out– I don’t like spending the money, but I have the money. Money is another big thing….. I guess the need to write so much now is from the fact of to making enough time/space to process. At work I have interns and I am their direct supervisor. They seem so functional compared to me. I know not to compare other people’s outside to my inside, but it’s just obvious– they live in relative comfort. I have skills that would suggest I have not spent my life abject poverty, but that’s where the not being well comes in– I have not been well and I life in a tiny, crowded space with loads of rough edges and I have several big, active problems. I came home last night feeling very less-than. Blah blah blah. What to do now. I need a plan. I can take medication, put in my headphones and try to accomplish stuff. I could go visit the friend I don’t want to see. I don’t foresee it being safe for me to be home unless I used medication, but that could cost me extra tiredness. If I go see the friend I may feel better once I’m there– that is likely. I could even bring some paperwork there and do it at her house– that is a very good idea. If I just do the medical insurance paperwork I will feel like I did something. I could bring my computer too and pay bills. I feel good when I think of these solutions so I do that. I seem to have written myself into some sort of solution.

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remorseful

Posted by blueray | February 5th, 2014

It has been several years since I have been out of middle or high school. I did not have a good time in either. I did not have very many friends, I wasn’t popular and got picked on – a lot. I don’t really have any lasting friends from that time in my life. But I still think about it, and sometimes I really do not like the person I was – not because I was unpopular, nerdy, quiet or any of that. That is all okay, and I realize it now. But what I feel bad about is how I acted to fit in better. I was never going to be a popular girl, but I think I was desperate then to be one. I picked on the other kids that the popular girls would pick on just so I could feel like I belonged to the ‘in crowd’. I probably hurt other people’s feelings and did things that would be considered bullying. I knew it wasn’t right, but I wanted to fit in. I knew if I didn’t at least try my life would have been worse in school. I am positive that the popular girls made fun of me too behind my back, they tried to ban me from their lunch table and other things. But I wanted to fit in, even though I clearly didn’t.

I bring this up now because some days I feel really bad for how I may have treated others. I see news stories about kids getting bullied. My “picking on” on someone else seems relatively small in the spectrum of bullying, but then again being picked on hurts whether it is one small comment or many large comments. But sometimes I wasn’t very nice – especially in middle school. I know it was a long time ago, but I still feel bad and have this almost desperate need to apologize to people just so I can be forgiven and that sounds kind of selfish. Is it weird to apologize after almost 20 years to someone you don’t communicate with anymore only to say sorry for being mean to them in school. Is it worth bringing up? If not how can I forgive myself? I know this may seem silly. Picking on kids seems like a part of the normal school life, but I feel bad about it. I don’t want to think that I have hurt someone else. I want to think that this one person in particular doesn’t care anymore and does not give my actions any thought. I don’t think about what other girls did to me in a negative way. It hurt then, but that was then, we were kids and now I have moved on. Maybe that is how this one girl thinks of me, but I wonder sometimes. I feel guilty and want to make amends, but I am not sure if that is appropriate anymore.

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work situation

Posted by blueray | January 5th, 2014

Work has been challenging lately. Some of it is due to the anxiety I feel with a new semester about to start. I am ready to be done with school. I like the grad program I am in, but never really felt like I belonged with the rest of my classmates. I never really fit in, and maybe some of that is my own fault, but either way I am ready for it to be done – but I am not looking forward to this last semester. I dread the homework, the papers, the group projects and the studying. I dread knowing I will not get a day off to just relax. There is a light though at the end of this tunnel – only a few more months until I am done with my degree (barring any unexpected things that come up).

But about work…there is a fairly new supervisor working. His personality, mannerism, and passive aggressive tendencies remind me a lot of a person who used to abuse me as a child. It has been challenging trying to navigate through this. Usually I will keep my distance, but there are sometimes it is not possible given the close proximity in which we all work together. On particularly tough days where he is in a negative mood, I am instantly triggered. I feel like I am 13 again not knowing what to do or how to control my situation. I feel like the little kid who has done something wrong and needs to be punished. Why else would this person be in a bad mood if it wasn’t for me messing something up? This is a situation I had yet to really encounter in my life (on a continuous basis) after being away from the abuse for years. I don’t get it. I am an independent adult in control of my actions and choices. Why is it that this one person, whom I have no connections to, can affect me so much?

I almost came home one day so upset that I almost SIed. What stopped me is some rational thinking. I was able to identify where the feeling was coming from and separate the supervisor from the person who abused me growing up. However…I still feel like I am in this weird, inferior and triggered state whenever I see this supervisor. This is new for me and I am not sure how to handle it. I won’t give him the power to make me so upset and ashamed in which I need to SI – he is not worth that. But I still don’t like having the thoughts and feelings. Short of quitting my job, I am not sure what to do. This anxiety coupled with the school anxiety has not been helpful for me lately.

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Holidays

Posted by Pam L. | December 30th, 2013

Holidays and the end of the year can be very busy and stressful times. ¬†Especially if you struggle with self injury. ¬†Seeing family can be good, but also very difficult. ¬†I hope some of you will share your holiday experiences – good or not so good. ¬†You may self injure and feel extremely alone. ¬†That’s what I love about this blog – it’s a place to come and know you’re not alone. ¬†People of all ages self injure. ¬†I hope everyone can find some support they need here. ¬† Because you, yes Y O U, are not alone. ¬†The best way out of your problems – is through your problems, and doing that with others beside you is something each and everyone person needs.

I hope some of you will share your experiences.

Pam

(one of the blog moderators)

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Posted by healing | December 27th, 2013

I feel very childish, but I guess that’s how I need to feel. I only want to think about being with my therapist and feeling safe– being able to talk from a part I won’t share with anyone else– because no one else is safe to share it with. It’s too vulnerable. I really didn’t think I was going to make it much longer, but, amazingly, seeing him turned things around. Now when I’m feeling turmoil instead of going to urges I’m going to just thinking of him. Of not having to listen to any of my confusion– just listen to him. That is very soothing.

I have a level of anxiety around that. I think I am too fixated. I have a hard time imagining that I could possibly not be bad because somehow feed on my attachment. It keeps things in order– my mind in order. And there’s havoc when there are changes. Changes are probably what got me into trouble in the first place. I feel badly about that. I’m also pretty sure I heard him talking about me to someone on the phone before I went in and that feels weird. I’d like to know about that.

A group I’ve been in for over 4 years is ending in a couple weeks– or at least both he and I are leaving it. I’ve written here several times about what was going on in therapy and have gotten the comment that we seem to be on the right track. I’m very scared now because he is moving to a new clinic and I am going to follow him. There are checks and balances– it’s one public clinic into a new one. I have a psychiatrist too where I am now and will have one at the new place. My life has changed radically during the course of treatment, but I’ve transferred my dependance onto him. I confided that when I first felt it happening and he said that that was good, we were going to handle it very differently than I have experienced it before. I was shocked by that response. I thought I had done something terrible. Right now I feel like I have done something terrible by being the one patient coming with him. I don’t know what that means about me. It seems to imply that I am very bad– though that makes no rational sense to me. I’m fairly certain that I am the one who would loose it if the relationship was severed, with the added bonus that the new place is a better fit for me. But I’m feeling stress about the change, stress at leaving the group– that will be very sad and I am scared that I won’t be ok without it. And I am scared it is somehow unsafe to be different than everyone else. No one else gets to come. And I’m terrified about talking about any of if until we are safely on the other side.

There was supposed to be a break in the treatment for the holidays, but I got all the way to the end of what I can handle. From the stress of that separation? (shame). From the stress of the big change? From stress at home?

My work life has been pretty smooth and I am pretending like I don’t exist. I just work and disappear. I feel like I need to stay disappeared until after the change.

And somehow have some faith that he doesn’t think I am bad. I think that’s all I really needed to know– he doesn’t think I am bad. Then I can relax a bit.

Next week there isn’t a session scheduled. I need to call him because I wasn’t really communicating by the time he tried to book one. But I wasn’t supposed to have one… plan a was that I would be just fine on my own for a few weeks. But I screwed that up. How could I not be bad?

I think I am too dependent. From the outside I look very independent, but I’m actually very clingy– just only to one person. And luckily I have that now in a structured relationship so it is safe. But it is very painful.

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Waffle House Christmas dinner

Posted by barista.steph | December 25th, 2013

This is my first Christmas not being with my family :( of course I’m with my partner and our little family but not my brother and sisters and parents. First one ever :( even when they lived half way across the country in Texas we drove out there. It just didn’t work out this year with work. They live 8 hours away now, not too long. Also no one let me know until a couple weeks ago because they assumed I couldn’t go because I work retail. That really hurt my feelings. It’s true, I couldn’t have gone but whatever, it’s the thought. We face timed a little so that’s cool, and I got annoyed because I read into everything too much and every word and every facial expression. Why can’t I just be grateful ??? I’ve been having dreams of self harm and drinking and I feel like drinking so bad but these are the times the “rubber hits the road” and I need to put to use what I’ve learned in therapy. WHY do I want to drink and hurt myself, what am I REALLY feeling? I slept a lot today, my stomach hurts really bad and now I’m anxious and shaky and cold and hot because I worry I have some crazy disease. Probably just a stomach ache. I’m glad I have someone with me who can remind me that I do this all the time and all the time it feels real to me. I wish I could focus on all the good and not the pain. But the pain is always here, sometimes it’s a dull ache, sometimes it’s a throbbing pain and sometimes it hurts so bad I can’t do anything but curl up in bed and wait until it passes-usually it breaks with tears, like a fever would. I’m going to go relax with my partner and my fuzzy babies and watch my movies and try to stay in gratitude. I’m tired of the constant pain that I always think goes away and then it comes back with a vengeance and I wonder if it will ever be gone all the way or if pain tolerance is my only option for life. Merry Christmas everyone <3

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Diary

Posted by MsPetricher | December 7th, 2013

I’ve always wanted to have my own diary, but doing it the old fashioned way hurt from all the thoughts I wanted to write down. I tried to type it on my computer but realized I didn’t have an organized system on here. I became a member of another website five years ago, and it was helpful, but there are people on the sight who can be hurtful and do not understand what a person who self harm’s, goes through. I’m not saying we are all alike. I wish I better understood life, then maybe I wouldn’t be feeling the need to write what I’m thinking down. When I was 11 I asked for a voice recorder for Christmas so I could record my thoughts, but I thought I sounded stupid playing it back to myself.

A little about me.

Im 23, born July 4, 1990. I’m a young woman who has lived in a house of my own since I was 19. I have a cat, and a dog. I have trust issues beyond what I can explain. When I was 16 my brother and my mother where talking outside of the car. I was sitting in the back of the car when my brother saw the scars on me and he automatically interrupted my mother to tell her what was on me. She had been in the middle of saying something to him when he did this so she looked confused and he repeated himself. She looked from him to me, and decided to ignore it and continued with what she was talking about. No one ever brought it up again. This year my mother saw the scars for herself (by accident) and was shocked. Claiming she had no idea. My family sees it as something in pass-tense but it is very much apart of me today. I struggle with it every day. ¬†I like to think I’m strong enough not to tell people how I’m feeling because I was told it wasn’t normal to share your feelings, but honestly, I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed in where my life is. All the years I was told “it gets better” even when I tried to do something about it, it never got better. I’m disappointed because I’ve reached out, asked for help and I still got nothing, I’m just a nobody. I told my family a number of times I need help with my depression but they just told me it was apart of my personality and dismissed me. When I was of age I saw a doctor on my own who did a great job at ignoring me when I told her the meds she put me on where making me pass out in my car. She told me the meds didn’t do that and made me spend $300 to have my thyroid tested which came out normal. Two nights ago I called the suicide hotline six times. Each person did not make me feel comfortable talking to them. I spoke to one woman, Olivia with a different program and I did open up with her, but I was still disappointed to find out all they are there for is to put me on a list. A list to be passed off to someone else. ¬†How can I continue to ask for help, when I always end up with people who want to pass me off or ignore me? Sometimes I want to quit.

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thanksgiving

Posted by barista.steph | November 28th, 2013

How my life has changed in the past few years. A few years ago my mom was so sick she was calling me and telling me she didn’t want to live and passing out from her pills. My family didn’t accept me or my relationship. I was drinking and using and self harming.

Now my family mostly accepts me and my partner. I’m not actively drinking and I haven’t used drugs in over two years. I’m still self harming sometimes, not as often. That’s why I’m blogging now. I feel like hurting myself in a way I haven’t in a long time. Usually I self harm impulsively, when I get mad or sad really quick. Now I feel this deep sadness, SI seems like it will comfort me, I feel ugly compared to my brother and sisters. They’re all so thin and fashionable and attractive and I’ve gained weight and I’m not much into clothes or anything like that. My body type has never been like them from the start, I’ve never been thin like my sisters or my brother. Yea I’ve gained weight and gone up and down with that over the years with my ED but I’ve never been naturally shaped like them. I’m jealous and I can’t tell you how bad I feel about myself when I’m around them. So bad. And I feel ashamed. I just needed to write that. I can’t even say it out loud. I’m being so up and down the past two weeks. Feeling that abandonment feeling so intensely when plans change or tonight when my Dad didn’t remember something or when my therapist had to cancel yesterday because she has the fly or when my two friends backed out of going to a meeting with me. Some of those things are understandable things to be upset about or feel bad about but I feel rage towards that person, hatred, I want to hurt myself so they know how much they hurt me.

All in all, I have much to be thankful for. Mostly my health and my family and their health and the love of my partner and our relationship and being sober.

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Breath Of Heaven (Mary’s Song)

Posted by barista.steph | November 12th, 2013

I had one of the most cathartic, productive, healing therapy sessions I’ve ever had. Sometimes I leave therapy feeling warm and fuzzy, sometimes I leave feeling challenged, sometimes I leave feeling conflicted. This evening was warm, cathartic, intense, and comforting. I’ve been working with the same therapist for a little over two years now, I feel safe with her, and tonight I was able to let myself swim around in the safety I’ve built up with her without having to fear what her response may be. I told her I’ve been injuring myself and about that. We went through the usual ” what is it doing for me” reflections, some other things. I have this fear I’ll end up like this girl I was in treatment with, we’ll call her Angela. She was my roommate for a while there, she has been in treatment centers all over the country since age 12, she’s in her mid twenties now. Her whole life is rehab and I feel so sad for her. She’ll go through brief periods of what looks like recovery only to be on the verge of being released and then make a suicide attempt, or self harm, or act out in some way that will keep her there. I feel so sad for her, I sometimes feel like she is hopeless, a “lifer” from Girl, Interrupted-and also, I am jealous at times. It’s sometimes easier to be sick, people take care of you, people pay attention to you. It’s what she knows, it’s what I know, it’s part of an identity. An identity I’m leaving pieces of behind and getting new pieces. I’m scared to be like her, to be doomed to a lifelong cycle of rehabs and stays in psych wards. I told my therapist this this evening, because Angela is someone we both know. She reassured me that I am not like Angela. She read me this poem someone wrote and it hit me in my heart. It was everything I feel but I haven’t been able to find the words for. Scared of getting better, scared of staying sick, and all the joy and mess in between. I told her how I’m ashamed to have the BPD diagnosis, how I would much rather be labeled an alcoholic, how I hate how I act sometimes on impulse, with people I love. She asked me to describe to her what it feels like for me and I did, somehow I was more honest than I’ve ever been before and it helped me. There was a moment of healing, can’t explain it. I’ve been so sad and feeling empty lately, I don’t know the words to describe it. It’s an achy, gnawing pain in my insides and I can’t shake it. Oh, and another thing she asked me was if I wanted to stop injuring right now. My answer to that is I’m not sure, not really, but I know I SHOULD. I’ve been listening to an older Christmas song by Amy Grant that comforts me, it reminds me of mom singing it in church. I’ve had it on repeat for days, it’s like a hug in a song.

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