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Archive for "Adults Connection"

Any Encouragement?

Posted by Tranquil Waterfall | June 30th, 2014

Okay, so this has really been bugging me lately and I want to know what anyone out there has to say on this, particularly those of you who are married. Who is going to want someone with all of these self-inflicted scars on her? What kind of person is going to want to marry a person who has, well, all of that?


Posted by healing | June 7th, 2014

To just get to the chase– I’m really not at risk of harming now or any time soon. I’ve gotten good at using tools– I can calm myself down some, distract myself some, soothe myself some. I mentioned something about wanting to hurt myself to punish myself for something to the my therapist a few months ago- he said that I never say anything about punishment as motive– I told him I was just being braver, telling him more. He told told me in the course of that that (is it unbecoming to share so much here, anonymously? what does “unbecoming mean? In 12 step anonymity is akin to spirituality– it’s the place of us all in the big flow…. It’s safe to share.) — he told me that me that I had done plenty of “less than stellar” things in the past and I’d never said anything about punishing myself. I was instantly jarred– what had I done? He took a moment then laughed- Mostly just punish yourself. That’s coming up now because harming as an impulse has been on the radar a lot. Why that’s happening is it’s own subject. But I’m so struck by what a deterrent his judgement has been. I thought judgement was ineffective and bad what I should be trying to avoid– his his judgement has helped me a lot to stay safe. It had never occurred to me that hurting myself was something bad. I had no idea. I want to articulate more, the shift that’s there with the idea of it as a bad thing, not something to rectify badness. It’s weird, that’s the best I have.

The next subject is about where I belong. I’m pretty sure that that answer would be that it is appropriate for me to be writing here if I’m not in immediate danger. Or maybe even danger. I’m not in danger. That’s very weird. But I don’t know where to go with myself. I’ve been on a many years long journey of therapy, etc. I’ve overcome a lot. But its like, if at first the sands are really shifting under my feet in a big way all the time and all I can do to stay standing is focus on the shifting sands and work on keeping my balance, largely by asking for help….. but then, gradually, the sands start to shift less. Now it’s a life that’s well enough within the range of what’s normal– it’s stable in ways. I move around freely. DO what I want to do. And I have generous appreciation for simple freedoms, simple securities. I get better and better at being kind to myself– today that meant stopping for lunch– it meant taking time to socialize– not rushing– prioritizing myself– being a bit late for something totally inconsequential, but I said I’d be there at 10 and didn’t get there until 11– and they couldn’t have cared less– probably didn’t even recall when I said I’d arrive– but, still– I said when so I could have used it push myself, be uncomfortable. Often, daily life is easier. And bad days now are probably about what good days then where. So where does that leave me? It doesn’t leave me kicked out of therapy. Hard as that is for me to believe. I feel a deep concern of it leaving me kicked off here too. But that doesn’t make sense. I think I would like to read me if I was where I was when I first posted here, which must be about 5 years ago now.

Where this is all coming from is inadequate time to process. And the lingering feelign that I just don’t get “it”– “it” being How to Be. I’m not looking for a figure it all out place– I don’t believe in that. The details are that my mental health plan, totally unsanctioned by my therapist, was to avoid men. But I’ve been talking to a man and I don’t think he would ever hurt me. I don’t know if I’m attracted exactly to him, or just the idea that he would be safe to experiment with closeness. So I’m afraid I’m using him. And I do really like him as a friend. Then I ran into someone else I barely know today he he stopped and chatted with me. He was on his way to go do volunteer work. And it was just shocking– like I opened some energy and now there are men on the planet who aren’t dangerous. I’m terrified. I really need sittign and writing and looking at it all time. But now I have normal people problems– like I am working full-time plus and I don’t know how to get to everything. I am suspicious of my business, or the way it obliterates most of the time I would have spent on reflection. I’m scared to what will happen to my creative life without the reflection time, and I also don’t particularly care what happens to it– and that’s even scarier. Right now the big problem is looking like how can live deeply and enjoy the growth-fulness of the activities I am involved with, and also get more social, and also make extra money to address the fact that I didn’t save a dime in the many years I wasn’t well, and keep the dog walked (he hasn’t been father than the yard for a month), and and and. write all that out sort of surfing along the top it, not crushed by it. What is it, though, that my energy comes and goes. That there are days where I could be workign on a project, but I just sit still. I’m much happier working. Today I would have liked to make myself do paperwork-y kinds of things but I see my energy getting smaller and smaller– I decided that maybe I can just do small bits of that at a time– this is week 3 pr more of trying to take care the paper stuff in my free time– so I did physical/real world/grounded/around other people sorts of things. I think that was a good way to manage myself. …….SI is on the radar. It would quiet everything. And it would give me a secret to hold and protect. I have to keep on working on being easier on myself.

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Posted by healing | April 13th, 2014

My 12 step sponsor just broke up with me. It freaks me out but I’m also relieved. Though feel nervous about talking to her. She left me a voicemail then I left one for her. What I am doing with the anxiety coming here and writing it down. I am really doing better and better all the time, with some troubles and recoveries and that happen on a faster time line than they used to. 12 step was so helpful to me at a time, but now I experience it mostly as stress- pressure. If I invert it on myself I will tell myself that it’s my fault that experience it as pressure. But that is adding pressure to pressure. I see more and more that the way out of knots is to relax, not to tighten more and ram through. I suppose 12 step was even good at helping me understand that, though I have not “arrived”…. I am experiencing pressure- and my experience counts. I don’t know that I really have much experience with relationships ending- at least not ending without dramatic happenings. So this will be different. And I am scared. I tried to tell my sponsor that, in DBT terms, working program was coming up as a should, not a want. And I have a million shoulds and need to tone them down. I suppose that’s its own little language and way of looking at things– but, to me, the DBT stuff is the instructions on how to *be* and my relationship with my therapist is very much primary in getting healthy, recovering. She wrote back to me that there are no shoulds in Al-Anon and that it was about whether I wanted what program had to offer, and if I wanted it I’d do the work to get it. It felt invalidating of my experience and she was hung up on her way of looking at things. Here- with two programs colliding I feel like I have no self but dbt/therapy is what I cling myself to. I don’t like the feeling of disappearing, but I do like that I feel safe with a program of self-care instead of clinging to a person who is bad for me and having no self there.

There are parts of my life that are still just so sensitive. And I have new experiences of managing all the time. Last week I made a mistake at work- I’m really not fire-able- but I was expecting my boss to be very angry. Shockingly, he wasn’t – at all. But when I went in early to try and fix things I made a trip to get supplies and was so full of feeling like I should be punished. Then walking down isles where I could buy tools. I didn’t do the behavior- but I thought about, instead, what I could buy myself that would be really nice to me instead. It was interesting. Calmed me down. And confused me. I’m confused about punishment. I guess that is the way of trying to resolve tension with more tension. But that’s the basic of how children are taught, how the whole society works. I don’t really understand though why it doesn’t seem to work too well on myself. I don’t know that it works well anywhere. And it makes zero sense that I would do something bad then reward myself. I don’t get it. ….And then too I could see a bit more of what happened that led to the mistake. I got way out of it in therapy the day before and was too un-relaxed and rebellious at the same time and doing something I knew I shouldn’t and feeling race-y and exhilarated by it and I screwed something up. Not quite a mystery. Where that rebellion needs to go is to insisting I have a self and I matter to my mother. I need to stick up for myself. It’s really, really hard. All week I’ve been sort of avoiding it and planned on working on an email today. (How not to experience the need as pressure…) I’ve been really nice to myself today. I got my first ever massage, which was scary and brave and feels like a new thing is open to me now. I bought myself some spring clothes, which I could totally afford. I bought more dental floss and mouthwash- dumb stuff like that- I’ve been out for a couple weeks and somehow freeze up on tiny self care things like- buy more. All of this to be nice to me and help me relax and work on the email- which will probably be all of four sentences long. Then the thing with my (ex)sponsor. I still haven’t writing anything to my mom. Maybe I’ll do it at the laundry mat. I was supposed to work on it with my therapist but it will be easier on my own- at least a draft on my own. And I need to tell my therapist something – I need to tell him- no exploring feelings around this incident- just focus on behavior. I can get through it like that and once it gets any broader I’m just lost and non-verbal. But I don’t even know how to tell him that. I’m confused all about protecting myself. My mom wrote my son a letter about someone who molested me, basically encouraging a relationship between them. When I write it out that seems pretty bad. I feel totally defensive of her. Totally denigrating of myself. I do really believe (I think) that I don’t have the right to interfere in other people’s relationships. Once I actually got the letter (I knew it was coming in advance) I actually felt better. I told my therapist- see! I’m not making it up. He said, who said you were making anything up. I guess I don’t know. He said that his message has been the opposite- that I am minimizing. I missed that message. I can’t wrap my head around anything. I feel like I led my mom on that I was going to let this person into my life. I did that by not standing up for myself more any of the past times she’s tried to get me to “make up” with him. He pov seems so totally reasonable to me. But my therapist says that that’s emotion mind when I see things her way and it’s emotion mind because there isn’t any logic there. ….Anyway – I don’t want to talk to my sponsor about any of this and 12 step is just wrong when people repeat the stuff over and over that you don’t get better if you don’t work the program. Wrong about not making meetings causing backslides. Backslides are generally caused by some not-fair instance in my life. I get closer to having just normal people problems. I loved, kind of, being stressed about a mistake at work because it’s just so banal and wonderfully simple of a thing to worry about. The only real problem is the urges toward self harm that happen in response to it- and those too I learn from, get better with. …. I think I can tell my mother that I am surprised by her letter. I feel like I should be angry, but I’m not. All of that is just directed toward me. But surprise is something I can work with…….

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New to site.

Posted by smudge1 | April 9th, 2014

Ive been SIing since high school and I am in my forties now. Any suggestions for scars?

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Feeling weird

Posted by Geordieland | March 29th, 2014

I got a new friend through facebook about a year ago, I then started to have feelings for her, I’m 33 she is 68 the age gap really makes me feel weird that I have these sexual feelings for her.(Were both females) anyway she knows how I feel, blurted out when I’d been drinking one night. My friend has been very patient and understanding for the most part but I am bordering on obsessed with her, I don’t want to go out much incase I miss her being online, I get jealous when she says she has friends going round, I’ve never even met her in real life and she doesn’t want to. The other day I went on and on about how she mustn’t really like me enough as a friend if she didn’t want to meet me properly, she then basically said I was needy and if I continued I’d push her out the door. I sulked and then SH. My friend knows when something is up and I did mention what I had done without really explaining it was because I couldn’t deal with my feelings for her, she feels responsible and now it just makes me feel worse because I can’t switch off how I feel but I don’t want to lose her as a friend either. If anyone has any suggestions it would be much appreciated, it was my friend who actually found this site for me thinking it might help to speak to others who have SH issues as she doesn’t really understand.

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this morning

Posted by blueray | March 20th, 2014

I woke up angry this morning. My frustration and anxiety is really high right now and I woke up with all these negative feelings. Mostly I am anxious about my future and finding a suitable and fulfilling job. I get really worked up about it and then I get down on myself. There is a lot of competition among the jobs that I am looking for and a lot of that competition has some great qualities and reasons why they should get the jobs too. I just get very anxious and nervous. I am scared about the possibility of not doing what I want to do and letting all my education go to waste. My anxiety level has been so high lately it is impacting my mental state (beyond just the anxiety, anger and frustration). I am finding myself doing more OCD type things. I always have this need to check things multiple times – the oven, make sure I unplugged the appliances, make sure the cat is inside and the doors are locked. I often have to check these things multiple times before I leave home. Although it is annoying, it does not interfere much with my daily life – until recently. My anxiety feels so high that my need to check things is becoming more than just annoying. The other day I drove 30 miles to work (not a paid job) only to get in my office and have this fear that I did not turn the stove off that morning. I lied to my boss and told her I had an appointment, drove the 30 miles back home only to find I did indeed turn off the oven (and probably had checked it at least 5 times that morning). Then I drove the 30 miles back to work. I wonder if medication would help for the anxiety right now, but I also know it won’t help me find a job or ease my fears of the future.

I don’t know what it is about today that has me in this ball of negative emotions. I feel like crying and screaming and being violent toward myself. Although I have a lot of things going for me in terms of getting a good job, I am not as good as other people. Competition is really fierce and I am already getting down on myself for comparing myself to others and always coming out on the short end of things. I tried to to use my tools to help me with all this. I went for a run this morning, only to feel bad that I can’t run as far as I would like too because I am not in shape, and then the neighborhood dogs would bark and growl at me only to feed into the fear that there is something wrong with me.

I found myself praying a lot. I don’t know who to turn to or talk to. I can’t talk to my peers because with some of them I am competing for the same jobs, my husband is great but doesn’t know what to say beyond “things will work out”. Nothing is helping because I am so wrapped up in my own self. If I could just relax, see the bigger picture and have faith and patience maybe it would start to feel better. That is what I prayed for – but also I would like a job and some sense of security with knowing I will have a job.

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Posted by barista.steph | March 12th, 2014

I think early march brings up a lot of stuff for me. I try not to dwell on the past, but I also think sometimes it’s worth reflecting upon. The 9th step promises in the AA big book say “we will not regret the past, not wish to shut the door on it.” I hope that will be true for me one day too.

Three years ago today my Grandma died. I loved her so much. Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease. I wasn’t physically with her the last few years she was alive. I visited once, and I called all the time. My parents moved her into an assisted living facility in Texas. I was cleaning up after her a lot and helping her remember, I was really good at making her laugh and distracting her while I cleaned her up. I miss her so much. I was such a mess before she died. I had to be drunk to call and I got drunk specifically for that reason, so I could call. I was so numb all the time I remember playing the song Angel to make myself cry because I knew I needed to cry but I had myself stuffed so full of alcohol and drugs all the time I couldn’t break through the fog very well.

Then the day after that is the day I cheated on my partner. I don’t know if ever forgive myself for that. I’ve had a lot of memories of him and that day come up the past week. Kind of weird because he came into my job on Sunday. It was so random and good to see him. It brought back so many memories of my using and drinking and messing around with him.

I feel like a different person now. I am a different person. It’s hard to believe that was even me.

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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:

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.


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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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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