Author Topic: Supporting me to support my girlfriend  (Read 182 times)

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Offline Midnight Rose

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Supporting me to support my girlfriend
« on: February 12, 2018, 09:31:43 PM »
Hello,

Iím reaching out because I am hoping someone will be able to help me.

My girlfriend self injures and I find it hard sometimes. I try to follow all the advice Iíve found (Iíve been searching for some time) but there are times when I fail us both. And I try to be compassionate with myself, and with her, but sometimes itís very difficult.

My problem is, probably, that I definitely have a knight in shining armour complex and I donít understand why she does it. I try and I do my best but I donít feel understanding, itís an academic exercise.

Itís an addictive thing for her, she wants to see a very specific thing, and this follows her until she fulfills the need. She says nothing specific triggers it and thatís why no therapy sheís tried has ever helped her. She is sure that her life will always be like this. The longest she can fight the urge is a few weeks.  She has tried every distraction technique but none work long term, sheíll always do it eventually. I know that I struggle to understand that. I want it to be caused by something that we can work with. I donít understand how it isnít triggered by an event, or an emotion, or some other obvious trigger.  Iím pretty sure I think thereís some trauma in there deeply buried that sheís trying to deal with, but canít because itís so deeply hidden she doesnít even know itís there.

This is exacerbated because I have had my own mental health journey. But Iím older by ten years and I kept trying different things and never gave up hoping that I could be helped, not cured, but that I could find a way to live a full life without the things that harmed me. For background it was drugs, alcohol, addictive spending, risky behaviour, sex, and even now I sometimes feel like my skin is too tight and want to scratch it off, but in the past I dealt with it by drugging myself rather than injuring. Eventually, I found something that helped, a totally batsh** crazy therapy called EMDR that I went into with the attitude of Ďwell, whatís the worst than can happen, it doesnít work just like everything elseí. This was after more than twenty years of the medical system.  The medical professionals saying Iíd grow out of it and that I had nothing to be depressed/anxious/irritable/exhausted about and being diagnosed and rediagnosed with this, that and the other when really I had something else again and I tried acupuncture, and herbalists (you never know, and I was willing to try anything) and GPs and meditation and yoga and running and so many therapists from so many disciplines. But picking myself up after each failure worked eventually for me. And academically I know that it is just my experience but I want so much for it to be her experience too.

Iím looking at it from the other side, as someone who was lucky and, while Iím not free, Iím ok. I want to shake her and shout ĎYOU NEED TO KEEP TRYING TO FIND THE ANSWER!í at her sometimes. Obviously I donít. I listen. I check her wounds and put steri-strips on (Iíve a medical background). I read and read the three (four) Cs. I just need help with my own frustrations and emotions about it, I hate to see her suffer and I know I canít keep her safe and painfree and I need help to cope with that feeling. I need someone to support me and maybe advise me and help me to do the best I can.

Despite what Iíve made it sound like, itís a very small part of our lives together and we have a wonderful relationship. I just know this is an area I fall down in and I want to address it now before it is a big part of our lives and maybe threatens our relationship.

I think I need help to marry up what I know to be true and what I feel to be true. And maybe someone to send ĎAAAARRRRRRGGGGGH!í to confidentially and without strings.

Maybe I donít even know what I need.

All suggestions very welcome. No matter how relevant they may be.

Thank you for your time reading this. I really do appreciate it.

Offline Midnight Rose

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Re: Supporting me to support my girlfriend
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 09:40:28 PM »
I suppose I could sum it all up by asking for some help maintaining my lighthouse. Maybe from someone more experienced in the workings and idiosyncrasies of lighthouses. Or someone new to it too and we can muddle along together.

Online Tucan

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Re: Supporting me to support my girlfriend
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 09:42:55 PM »
Sounds like you are doing your best. It is never easy when somebody you love self harms. It doesn't always have to have a trigger. It can be habit forming and something you need to do on a regular basis just because. It doesn't always make sense. Sometimes all you can do is be there for someone which it sounds like you are. Also make sure you get support for yourself. It is a difficult journey.
now hand over the tea bags and we won't have any trouble.... :police:


'Sigh no more ladies sigh no more for men were deceivers ever'

Offline Midnight Rose

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Re: Supporting me to support my girlfriend
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 11:18:48 PM »
Thank you Tucan. I appreciate your words of encouragement :)