I’m not new to the site, I just decided to make a new user name.
I read most everyone’s blog on here when I can and it seems such a common theme for us to be scared to tell our parents/family. I started injuring when I was 14 and desperately wanted to tell my mom, or anyone for that matter. It was too taboo, too much of a stigma, to my knowledge I didn’t know anyone else who did it, and of course…I was the oldest straight A “perfect daughter” and I couldn’t disappoint my parents like that.
Looking back, I very much wish I had. I never in a million years thought I’d be self injuring at 24. I would encourage anyone reading this to reach out to someone. I know a parent can be difficult. The first person I told was a friend at church camp when I was 19. We were both up late one night and couldn’t sleep so she crawled in bed with me and asked me if she could tell me a secret, I said yes and asked if I could tell her a secret as well. She went first and told me that she thought she was bisexual. It took me a little while to get my words out because I was scared of her reaction, and I can’t say my exact words on here but it was along the lines of “I hurt myself on purpose and have been doing so for the last 5 years, I don’t know what to do.” She didn’t freak out or anything, just hugged me. That was it. We just layed there and shared our big secret and went to sleep.
It took my 5 years to tell anyone. The next person I told was my girlfriend, It had been a long while since I last SIed and when we were just getting to know each other. I let her in on my dirty little secret, just so she would know about my past. I said I did it in the past but not anymore. She had a previous girlfriend who also self injured so it wasn’t new to her. Our 4 yr anniversary is this year and about a year and a half in I started it up again, I haven’t stopped since and I do it more that before. Sometimes I think she wishes she had known this side of me before falling in love and beginning our life together.
She didn’t know the family background of severe mental illness, she didn’t know how deep I would get into SI, and substance abuse. Sometimes I think she wouldn’t have wanted to be with me had she known what she was getting herself into. Lucky for me, she loves me. She doesn’t understand and she’ll be the first to admit it, I try to explain why I self injure and how it makes me feel and the contradictions that go with it:
Me: I can’t explain it 🙁
Her: well just try, I don’t understand, it hurts me that you hurt yourself
Me: do it for punishment, for clarity, for unknown motives, for calm, for focus…etc
Her: Doesn’t it hurt?
Me: Yes, for me that’s the point.
Her: I just don’t understand and I wish you would just stop.
Me: if I could ” just stop” I would have 10 years ago. You think I’m crazy don’t you? You don’t wanna me with me do you?…then I proceed to go on a rampage of anger when really it’s just me taking how I feel out on her and being frustrated that I can’t explain it.
Her: I love you
I feel guilty in some ways for hiding this irrational, self abusive, angry, obsessive, addict, self hating side of me. The truth always comes out and again, I’m lucky I’m have her because I’m sure I would have driven anyone else away by now. I have, everyone but her and one friend and my new-ish therapist.
EVERYTHING I see in the media, anywhere where SI is mentioned, (other than the Bodily Harm book) it always only talks about young teenage girls. “A growing phenomenon amoung teens today”. I totally agree it has grown and that the behaviour generally starts around that time. But what about those of us who aren’t 13 yr old girls anymore and we are still struggling with it? I feel like anyone over the age of 15 isn’t included in the need for help and support. It took me over a year to find a therapist who had experience with the LGBT community and self injury. There were only a hand full in the area that had self harm listed. Oh…and money of course was an issue. The lady I found thankfully makes exceptions for people like me who are already extremely tight in the finance department. I’ve seen her 9 sessiosn now and it really does help. I am comfortable now with her, and although so far it’s been a good experience, I don’t see how it will help me stop self injurying. These things take time though, I know.
I’m just always discouraged when all the media talks about is teenagers who self harm.
I ramble, I apologise. I just want everyone out there on this blog to know whether you’re 7 or 75, we aren’t alone. I love that I found this blog where people “get it”. Say you take the chance and tell the wrong person, so maybe they tell your parents, its not the ideal situation and at the time it would be uncomfortable but it could be the start of a road that would lead to recovery. Like I said, whatever the consequences would have been, I wish I had told someone sooner. If for no other reason than to let some of that weight off my chest. Secrets get heavy and more intimidating the more you hold them in yourself.
I had a very strong urge to SI this morning. So I did. I am slightly disappointed in myself but it gave me so much relief from…i don’t even know. I’m trying to not beat myself up over it because yesterday I drew a picture and went to the park to find some peace instead of SI so I am trying to make the right choice situation by situation. It’s hard 🙁