Self Harm

Posted: March 1, 2013 in BPD, self harm
Tags: , ,

So as today is self harm awareness day I thought I’d write something about my own self harm. I started self harming when I was about 13 years old. Up until the age of 13 as far as I can recall I was a pretty average child. Then it was almost like a switch going off in my head, I suddenly became a child with many issues; behavioural, emotional & psychological. That’s how I remember it anyhow, but it probably wasn’t like that at all if I think about it logically. I was probably troubled much before I & others became aware of it. I think the tipping point between being an average child & being an emotionally disturbed child was when I first picked up that sharp object & cut myself. Weirdly I do not recall the first time I ever cut myself. I can’t remember the specific reasons why I decided to hurt myself. I really wish I did but for some reason I don’t remember. It was like one day I was an innocent child & the next I was in a very desperate world where I felt the need to inflict harm upon myself. Things would never be the same again after that moment I first cut myself whenever that was. Of cause it started with a few scratch like cuts, I can’t remember what I first used to cut myself. I remember in my younger teenage years using anything really. A compass, a blade from a razor, glass, anything sharp I could get my hands on. I used to self harm mainly at home hiding in my bedroom but I did self harm at school too. I can’t really remember the frequency of my self harm either. It’s not just on the topic of self harm that I have a poor memory, I have very poor memories of anything that occurred in my childhood before I was about 15 years old. I remember the occasion when my mother found out I self harmed. Maybe I was about 15 years old but I’m not all too sure. I think I had self harmed the night before & I had used toilet tissue to clean the blood from my arm, I had then hid the bloodied tissue in the drawer next to my bed along with some razor blades. The next day my mother went in that drawer & found them. She then obviously put 2 & 2 together & realised I’d been cutting myself. She obviously wasn’t happy & probably not knowing how to respond got mad at me. That just made things worse. I was a very angry teenager & not only did I take that out on myself by cutting myself, I directed a lot of anger towards my parents too. School became aware at some point that I self harmed, I can’t recall how or when. I used to see the school nurse for counselling type sessions & remember discussing it with her. She was very nice & understanding but nothing helped enough for me being able to stop self harming. Once I started self harming at 13 I’ve never been able to stop. I continued self harming all throughout high school. They were never deep cuts & I never got significant scarring from them. Just a few faint lines upon my lower arms. When I moved onto college I still continued to self harm, it wasn’t all too frequent but I still did do it. By this time the cuts had got slightly deeper but still not overly bad. It wasn’t until I moved to university & where i struggled far much more emotionally & psychologically when my self harm got worse. I lasted less than 3 months at university before they asked me to leave due to me being to unwell to study due to repeated self harm amongst other things. I went back home & continued to self harm but it did calm down a bit in the months I was home. It was when I moved back to university the following September when my self harm became significantly worse. Up until this time I’d only had a few A&E admissions due to self harm but suddenly I was cutting deep & having frequent A&E visits for sutures. The first time I did it really bad was when I attempted to cut my wrist, not because I wanted to die but because I dared myself to see if I could do it. It was a very deep cut, one that exposed tendons etc in my wrist. I was exceptionally lucky not to have inflicted permanent damage to the movement within my hand. I went to A&E & was admitted to the plastic surgery unit. I had to have the wound investigated & sutured in theatre. However it still was only done under a local anaesthetic & I was awake throughout. I remember laying on the bed in theatre with silent tears rolling down my cheek. I felt so alone at that moment in time & was really upset that I could do this to myself. I still continued to self harm. Then approached a pivotal time in my life when I did the worst self harm I’ve ever done. There was lots of things going on at the time. The main thing being the attachment I had developed to my cpn & this overwhelming fear of abandonment that seemed to take over me. One night after talking to the crisis team on the phone & being exceptionally triggered by them I took it out very severely on my self. I went to A&E again for what now was a very frequent occurrence. Again I was admitted to the plastic surgery unit. From there I was admitted to psychiatric hospital for the first time, where to cut a long story short I remained for the next 2 years. While in hospital I started to burn myself with cigarettes due to the lack of sharp objects available. Burning is something I’ve never particularly liked doing, it’s always been cutting for me but at the time it was the only option & I still felt this need to hurt myself. Of cause whenever I got my hands on a sharp object I still cut myself, the need has never gone away & just because I was in hospital didn’t stop that need. However while in hospital when I did manage to cut myself it was always superficial & I’d get frustrated that I couldn’t do it properly, after all I’d got so used to inflicting quite serious damage to myself. When I got out of hospital after 2 years I went straight back to what I call “good self harm”. In the 15 months since my discharge from hospital I’ve had many admissions to A&E for self harm. It’s become something I can’t seem to control. After many years of doing it its become the norm of how I deal with things. It’s become so engrained in who I am & how I cope I don’t understand how I’ll ever stop. After years of doing it I have pretty severe scarring to both of my arms. It’s like a constant reminder of all the distress in my life. I often look down at my arms & I feel sad. Why did I do this to myself? How could I do this to myself? The scarring is something I’ll have to live with the rest of my life. As I said earlier I do not recall what lead me to first self harm. I do know why I still do it though, maybe it’s the same reason why I started, I do not know. I just feel the need to punish myself, I feel I am a bad person & I deserve to be damaged. I get angry & I take it out on myself. The deeper the better, the more damage the better. I seem to have this morbid fascination with my own blood too. I love to watch the blood flow from my arm. There’s something exceptionally satisfying with it. A lot of it is driven by this deep self hatred I feel. I feel I cannot escape that & therefore I’ll never escape this self harm. Part of me wants to stop, part of me doesn’t. I admit that quite often I enjoy self harming, I take pleasure from it. Now my arms are so significantly scarred I often think there’s no point in stopping. What’s the point when my arms are already so messed up? There’s no hiding or disguising the scars anymore. The damage is already done. I know this has all been focused on cutting, the form of self harm I prefer but I have also engaged in other forms of self harm. Overdosing, hitting myself & burning. But cutting is what I mostly do, the form I get most release from. I’ll always find one way or another to harm myself. It’s a very sad state of affairs but I just see no escape from it, I’ve been doing it throughout my whole teenage & adult life. I’m not defined by the fact I am a self harmer but it’s very much a part of who I have become

  1. This is the most insightful thing I’ve ever read about self harm. It’s so honest and open that I almost feel guilty for looking into your mind. I feel like in a weird way I should thank you, this has increased my understanding of SH immeasurably.

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