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Self harm and you - your stories. Part 2 *posts may trigger*

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Thanks for posting Maddy... i find sometimes it just helps to write things down too. :)  *wave*

 :trig: (Mentions cutting and suicide.)

I started self-harming nine years ago.  I knew I was going mad (I wasn't familiar with words like "psychotic" then) and was desperate for help.  When it became apparent that the mental health team wasn't going to help (having since seen my notes, they simply didn't realise how ill I was) I decided that I couldn't go on and that I was going to cut my wrists to kill myself.  At the last minute, I found something in myself to stay alive and just lashed out at my arms and legs in frustration and anger.  That happened a second time.

Over a year later, in a psychiatric hospital, another patient told me that you could cut to increase your endorphin level.  I started cutting, on and off, on my arms.  At that point, I realised that it was important not to cut deep, but I did cut deep enough to leave scars.

After a while (not sure how long) I came here.  By then, serious suicide attempts were more of a problem than the cutting, but cutting was still an issue.  I got help and support.  I started using a red gel pen to simulate cutting and to write on my arms.

One day, when very unwell, I freaked out (I don't want to tell you the background) and cut my arm deep to make some people go away.  They went away but an ambulance and police came.  At the hospital, a very kind and gentle nurse patched me up.  I had cut deeper than before and frightened myself.  It was a turning point.

That was four years ago.  I haven't cut since.

Sometimes when it gets bad, I start binge-eating, but I panic and stop after a few binges, ditto drinking.  I don't think I have a problem with either the eating or the drinking (I don't have a big enough capacity for either), but I think that I would have if I didn't nip it in the bud each time after a few days. 

I find it incredibly difficult to find constructive alternatives to cutting.  It gave me a calm high.  But I think that I feel better about myself not cutting.

Mostly what I do to deal with the urge to cut is to talk, on the phone to friends, to family, to the Samaritans, and on the internet to all sorts of people.

I'm grateful to this site for the support it has given me and I continue to recommend it to others. 

 :trig:SA SH SUI

Firstly I think you're all  :1025: for being brave enough to tell your stories. I thought "OK, tell yours, it may help unburden the stress currently seizing your mind"
I first tried to kill myself when I was 9. At that time i was being SA'ed by two diff family members, one of who was seriously violent as well. I witnessed him beating my sister to a pulp and my parents telling her she deserved it for winding him up. She would beg me to go home with them because he didn't beat her up as much when I was there, no guesses as to why! One particular day after she had gone out he took me into a derelict room and cut his wrists in front of me, he then proceeded to put the tool to my wrist and said if I ever told anyone what was happening, he would do the same to me. As young as I was I remember thinking "you've done enough to me, if anyone is gonna cut me, it'll be myself" That was the beginning. When my niece was born he used her as a weapon to do whatever he wanted to me, often with her lying in her cot awake and witnessing everything.

I learned never to cry out or make a noise as this had a worse outcome, the only way to deal with it was to think of ways to hurt myself, but secretly. As I got older 2 More family members became involved. I was used as a sort of bartering system between three of them. Often I'd be delivered home in not a very good state and my mum would medicate me with her pills to keep me quiet and compliant. Often confused I would try and tell, but was told "oh, you must have had a bad dream".

Getting older at secondary school with the SA continuing-it didn't stop til I was 17, I developed eating problems and at this stage the sh was superficial and I was able to patch myself up. I had a 10 month admission to ED unit where s/h started to take place of ED. I ended up in a hostel, I was blackmailed into going to the police and as expected my family said I was a liar, a fantasist and an attention seeker, and because I had psych treatment THEY were believed. I expected that to happen, but it still hit me hard. My self harm progressed to needing hospital attention then to needing general/plastic surgery. I rarely harmed in visible places and NEVER told anyone when I was in hospital. Once I needed to be in for 10 days as the surgeon was concerned about things and I had to lie to people as I didn't want anyone to know the truth and needed my cat to be looked after.

I has specialist IP treatment which really helped, but last year things plummeted-memories from the past- and I s/h'ed and needed CPR-which I don't remember, but when I was told was shocked. I'd always s/h'ed to live, not to die. Then October last year a friend of mine died of an "accidental" OD. I realise just how much we play russian roulette when we s/h. I'm 42 now and REALLY trying to find my feet again, I know my treatment worked, I just need to want to get back that control over my s/h again. I feel like a failure a lot of the time, if I'm not using 1 coping strategy, it seems I'm using another.

Sorry this is long, despite missing heaps out.

Good luck to you all in your journeys and recovery-whatever that means and looks like to you as individuals! *flower*   

Story time, children :]

Okay, the first time I remember self harming was when I was about 10 years old when I was in year 5, and I pulled some hair out of my head during a family argument and it relieved stress.
Thats when I started self harming.
Cutting. Over exercising. Starvation. Binge eating. Purging.
It would increase when I would get bullied at school, or during a family argument.
Then when I was 11, a girl I used to hang out with felt my crotch area and tbh I felt violated.
The self harm continued
When I reached secondry school I got bullied
The self harm got worse.
My weight was going up and down like a fart.
I took my first overdose when I was 12 years old.

 :trig: obviously.

Been on for a while and am only now starting to get my head around things. This could help, I think.

I was Little Miss Perfect up until we moved when I was seven. Then in my new school, the girls I wanted to be friends with didn't like me at first: cue first sense of not being quite right. Same thing happened again when I was eleven and switched to grammar school...wanted to leave. I was really bright, standout in all my classes, 10 A* etc etc etc and people saw me as some kind of brain, never as me. So I had my first bout of what I now recognise as depression when I was about 14. My parents were fighting a lot, my sis had an ED and I spent all my time worrying about and trying to protect my mum (still do - I love her more than anyone in this world). My dad's a recovering alcoholic and incredibly selfish, so I was stuck playing the parent myself.

I was still bobbing along, fairly miserable but making it, and then I got into Oxford. That had pretty much been what I had been aiming at for years, not due to any outside pressure, more just a goal I set for myself, to prove I was the best. And Oxford was pretty ghastly, if I'm honest. Back to being not quite good enough, only this time it was my background and my accent and my clothes that were wrong. I had a friend then who had been a serious, serious harmer: my first contact with it. I just took it in quite a blase fashion, if I'm honest: Oxford's a hotbed for ED and drugs and God knows what because everyone is under so much pressure.
So I got sadder and sadder, and madder and madder. And then I fell in love. He was German, so I spent my whole time commuting back and forth. I'd never been happier. he was my first relationship and it got serious terribly quickly: we decided to move in together, we were talking marriage and children and all that. It was all I could focus on, which was good because I'd got to the point where my mind, which had always been the thing I could rely on, was deserting me. My essays weren't good enough; I couldn't get the compositions the way they wanted them. My tutors freaked cos they'd been expecting a First: they said I'd lost my spark. And I was working so, so hard and my mind cracked. I couldn't study any more.

So I took my exams and went out to Germany. We split up within a month. I got my results the same day: a 2:1. I was devastated. My whole life was in tatters and I still remember very clearly the feeling of not knowing in the slightest what I was going to do. I got back to England utterly shattered. I refused to contact any uni friends (they hadn't been so great anyway) and spoke to only 1 old friend (my best girl, Char). I spent my days sitting in tears. And one day, one magic day, i remembered my old friend and went to the kitchen and...well.

It's been 3 years. Sometimes I feel good: I've been free (except for 1 scratch: no cutting/b**ning) for I think a month, and I have longer periods of feeling better. I've had 3 relapses of depression, though, and I have a funny feeling I'm going to be chased by this thing forever.

The funny thing? I wouldn't change it. However crazy and damaging it is, it's me. That my past has developed like this is okay, cos it's MY past. I'm going to use the SH to make me a better person.

This has really, really helped.


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