Author Topic: Self harm and you - your stories. Part 2 *posts may trigger*  (Read 129606 times)

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Offline Rob

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Self harm and you - your stories. Part 2 *posts may trigger*
« on: October 14, 2008, 06:57:46 PM »
This thread is a continuation of Self Harm and You - part 1.

Basically the idea is for members to post their stories of their personal journey through life with self harm. When they started, why they started, how it affects you and/or others around you, what has or hasn't helped in the past etc. Whatever you want to ramble on about really.

Please be aware that people reading your story may be triggered so be sure to add our little friend the trigger monster   :trig: when necessary.  Please stick to the rules and regs of the site eg no method sharing, no graphic descriptions of self harm etc.

When this thread gets long enough, we'll move it to the appropriate part of the reference section so it'll remain available for viewing, and start a new part 3 here :)

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Re: Self harm and you - your stories. Part 2
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2008, 03:35:04 PM »
I`m not entirely sure where to start in here, I will say a bit about my life and maybe then someone can tell me where I go for advice on what is going on in my head now as nobody in my real world seem to understand.  :)
I started self harming at the age of 13 I think, I barely remember, I was SA by an relitive after them that I had been raped by 2 people I thought I knew. I don`t know if the SH started before or after the SA or rape. I had an awful childhood, my father abused my mother all my life, the things he did still torture me inside my head now, not SA but physical, I was bullied right through school, I believe my fathers ways were what made me stand out as I was quiet and scared. I was frightened to go home, I lost my so many people in my life, my nephew at age 7, my school friend at age 8 (roughly) grandfather, family friends ect ect, then my best school friend took her life when I was 14 and she was 13 after it came out about my abuse, 6 months later my sister did the same when she was 28. I was already in hospital before it happened from trying to end things and SI. I was on 24hr care for 2 years then thrown back into society and I could not cope at all and still can`t, nobody has tried to help me, I have 4 sons, I love them so much but I am ruining there lives with my paranoia. My son nearly choked this morning, an ambulance had to come, I would rather die than him. I hardly SI for years but now it has come back regularly, I hate myself for it, I worry for my children. I have nobody to help me.


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Re: Self harm and you - your stories. Part 2
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2008, 09:45:06 PM »
just in case :trig:

i started SH'in last year, properly but i cant remember exactly why but a few years ago it did, i had a few people who i know telling me all their problems and that they SH'd, at first i was shocked people i new would do something so drastic, after all they seemed so happy at school, they were my 2 best friends, i just wanted to help them stop, but i couldnt, their scars got bad, the more they told me the more i couldnt  handle it. Then i thought, if they do it coz they feel down it must work,  so i did it, nothing major just scratching, when people saw the scabs on my arm i used 2 say i had an itchy bite.

later on in the year i found out one of my best friends, had an ED, had been SA. and another ad been into hospital after attempted suicide. these two friends both tried 2 kill themselves more then once and i thought i must have done something wrong, i wasnt a good enough friend, and maybe i thought i was a reason they did it, an extra pain for them, so i began to do it to just to try and make myself feel better, it didnt, it made me feel worse the next day. so i didnt do it again.
until i was in year 11, i had been talking to a guy in the year below, we hit it off from the start. we just understood eachother so much, he new i had previously SH'd and i trusted him with all my heart, we both fancied each other, but he also liked another girl.  he told me he liked me more then her but because of our 1 yr nd 2month age gap he  didnt want to ask me out and asked the other girl out. i wished him luck because i loved him so much i wanted him to be happy. that night i cried myself to sleep and i scratched myself till i couldnt cope with the pain any longer and went to sleep, i woke up and remembered the night before when i had a sharp pain on my stomach, i look and the size of a 2p coin was a scab. later that day the boy told me the girl said no and was pleased coz it made him realise that he should have askd me coz i meant more to him and stuff. i told him what i did he apologised to me and told me in about a week we could be together because he had only just asked the other girl out. we started goin out on the 6th december last year, things were looking up.

then once again things took a turn for the worst, my b/f started getting jealous of my best male friend and was saying tht he fancied me wen i new he didnt. it turned out 2 b the reason he split up with me, i was crushed i loved him so much, i cried so much, he came 2 get his belognings from me and he cried aswell, we stood by my front door hugging. that night, he said he made a big mistake and would i take him back, after advise from friends all telling me to say no i didnt listen and took him back,  we had gone through a lot together and i still loved him so much. 10 days later i ended with him coz i couldnt cope, since he split up with me i got paranoid i didnt think i was doing anything right, started isolatin myself from my friends and used 2 sit on my own down a corridor, the same as him, but he didnt seem to care that i was down and carried on with his mates being happy, it made me so angry that he could be so happy and not wory about me feeling like sh**. it made me feel worthless and started self harming once again.

i became depressed, me and him both were self harming, i blamed myself for him doing it, it was my fault coz i told him that i had done it in the past, i got the idea in his head, made me feel like i just bring pain to everyone. and i still loved him, i caused him to SH and that just destroyed me. we were still friends until i ruined it again, i started liking his friend and his friend liked me, nd my ex tried 2 kill himself coz of he thought we were guna get together. we  werent tho coz we lived 2 far apart. he forgave me for being a b**** but i carried on self harming. i used 2 do it at school coz i cudnt go tht long, i used 2 go 2 the toilet in lessons with a tool 2 cut myself. seeing the blood made things better, i was feeling the pain i had caused other people. people at school staretd to see me change, someone even thought i was depressed coz i was taking herion which i wasnt.

i stopped again for a few months, then people started to change, all my friends went off to college, and i went to work, everyone seems to forget me and is moving on and leaving me behind. and my best friend is too busy with her boyfriend to notice how im feeling, she thinks she understands but she doesnt i no its probably my fault for thinkin she possibly could. i went to her the other day and told her im seeing my ex in the half term becoz we hav met up a few times and had a great time, but she was totally against it and didnt understand, it makes me happy to feel loved again whats so wrong about that. i SH'd the other day because i thought she didnt want me to b happy and just wanted her to have a perfect life.  although i no she probably does want me to be happy. but i still cant help but SH and make me feel like i can control something and feel better for about 15mins, seems better then nothing.

sorry 4 the long pointless story. im a pointless person.


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Re: Self harm and you - your stories. Part 2
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2008, 11:50:20 PM »
Hi people,

I posted last way way ago, but I'm back to the forum after a LONG break, thought I'd post again, 'cos I want people to understand that it's not a dead end street.  I don't self-harm anymore, been about 5 years - although I still get strong urges.  I wish I'd found this place back then!

I don't regret cutting myself - it was a relief mechanism, and with out it I think my head would have just exploded (or something)

I just wanted to say that it is possible to get through SH'ing.

I started when I was about 15... and carried on until I was about 25 (29 now)

The cutting was probably the best bit!.. I also got into serious drinking, then taking too many pills... sometimes instead of cutting I'd jump in the car and go and see how fast I could drive, didn't really care if I crashed... fortunatley I never did.  I never told my family, although they knew about the drink problem.  I had a good mate who, tho didn't understand, was a rock.  I spoke to my doctor about everything (depression, alcoholism and cutting) he was good, I recommend talking to people..  sometimes  IT DOES help just to talk.

Anyway.. I just wanted to say to everyone NOT to give up... NOT to feel stupid... NOT to think you're a burden ...  YOU CAN GET THROUGH IT!!!

People have asked me how I stopped... I can't really answer that - the only thing that comes to mind..... if you have enough energy inside to SH... surely you can take that energy and do something constructive with it instead.. you (we) self-harm for a reason, remove (or change) that reason - take the energy and do something to change your perspective!! It sounds like BS I know.. but really, I believe SHing is NOT AN ANSWER, it's just a relief.  Above all, realise _____ things will get better _IF_ you are about to CUT YOURSELF ---- BUT YOU STOP, YOU PUT DOWN THE tool and you say to yourself NO, I WILL GET THROUGH THIS ANOTHER WAY... It's the first step, take it!


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Re: Self harm and you - your stories. Part 2
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2008, 11:52:29 AM »
I'm Maddy, I'm 18.  :trig:
Sorry if this is a bit long and confusing. My thoughts are just all over the place. But it actually helps to write it all down, so I do feel a bit better now.

The first time I tried self-harm, it was really just because I was curious. I'd heard about it. I knew enough about self-harm to not do anything on my arms - that would be the obvious place to look for scars. So I did it on my leg. I was 13. And after that, several years went by before I tried again.

The first time I self-harmed because I couldn't deal, was when I was 17. Once or twice in the years before I had gotten so frustrated that I didn't know what to do, and had punched a wall or something. That should probably have been a warning. When I was 17, I just got so overwhelmed, and I dealt by self-harming (although that isn't really dealing). I loved the feeling. It wasn't the pain I enjoyed. I loved being able to stop all other thoughts and focus 100% on the pain. And in the weeks after I'd self-harmed, I had to clean the wounds and hide it from my family. And that also served as a distraction from everything going on in my life.

I have a certain idea of why I started self-harming. Whenever I'm really tired, overwhelmed, exhausted, anything like that, I start thinking about SHing. But it doesn't have to lead to self-harm. That's where my mother comes in. She has this amazing ability to push me over the edge. My mother and my sister. I guess it's because we're so close. And I know I probably can't blame someone else, but the pattern is there. If I'm on the edge, and my mother starts acting like a b**** or treats me badly, I cut.

When I self-harmed last year, it was because I felt so much pressure from the world around me to do well, to live up to some extremely high standard. I had two English exams, 5 mid terms, a huge oral presentation which counted for like 75 % of my grade and several other tests. I was at the top of my class, and felt an incredible pressure to do well. (Yes, I did pressure myself too). It was just too much. And my mother wouldn't take the time to talk to me, to talk about what I was feeling. So I self-harmed.

Afterwards, I really regretted it. I had marks on my leg, and they were still visible a month later, when I was at the Christmas dance at my school. I was terrified that someone would see it, that someone would call me on it. No one did, but I was really paranoid, and vowed to not do it again. EVER!

That lasted about 5 months. Until I had my exams this spring. I was finishing school, so I had 5 exams, as well as so many tests and everything. It was too much. So I self-harmed. This summer I went on vacation with 4 friends, and the scars were pretty visible. I wore long pants as much as possible - but we spent our days on the beach, so I had to have bare legs a lot. I was so careful at hiding it - and if my friends saw it, they never called me on it.

Then, these past few months, I've had a lot of changes in my life. My father was diagnosed with cancer (he'll be okay, but he really freaked out and thought he was going to die before Christmas). It really took a toll on my family. I was going to start studying this fall, but I didn't. So I've been trying to get a job. I did get a job in a newspaper. It sounds awesome, especially since I've always wanted to be a journalist. It was only for a month (thankfully). Before, I'd been the one to put pressure on myself. At this newspaper, someone else definitely put pressure on me. I felt like I had to deliver all the time, and it felt like I had an exam every day. The paper's income, for instance on advertising, was affected by what I did, how well I performed.

So, instead of talking to someone about it, I spent the month a nervous wreak. I kept trowing up and I was incredibly tense. And I self-harmed. Every day. Work haunted by every thought, except when I was self-harming. So I did it A LOT! By the end of the month I was a real pro. Part of my morning routine was dealing with whatever I inflicted the night before. I don't know how I could have gotten through the month without it.

The thing about my mother is that I pretty much know that she's experienced a lot of bad things in her life. I think her father beat her when she was young. And I'm pretty sure she had an eating disorder when she was younger. She's made comments about it, but she's never sat us down to talk about it  (and my mother has two daughters, who probably both could have benefited from hearing about it). And I think my mother self-harmed. It's just a guess, but it just seems that way. But she has never ever ever ever talked about it.

BTW, speaking of eating disorder, my mother once tried to claim I have an eating disorder (yes, I am a bit on the heavy side, but I really didn't think it was that bad.) She introduced this idea when I was in a really good place in my life, as if she was trying to ruin the good grove I was in. I dunno. It seems like my mother always has to ruin it if there's something good in my life. (it probably just seems that way to me, but that's really the one person it matters too as well) And mom introduced it by giving me an envelope with info on eating disorders. She actually gave me pamphlets. She never sat me down and talked to me about it (and that's just wrong).

I'm guessing that my mother knows more than I think she knows, so I wouldn't be surprised if she, at least on a subconscious level, knows that I've been self-harming. But she ignores it. (thankfully) In my family, my mother, sister and I are very close (my parents are divorced and I've lived only with my mother since I was 9). We talk about our day, we have dinner together every night, we talk about a lot of things. But there are some things we never talk about. We've never talked about eating disorders (hers or mine), self-harm (hers or mine), sex (other than "use condoms"), love, boyfriends (my mother has never known about my boyfriends), our periods (we're three women, it gets pretty bad one week a month), drugs, alcohol, STDs (my mother ONCE talked about her old boyfriend. I was 17 when I learned that the guy I thought of as my father for a huge part of my life in fact was HIV positive), sexuality. We never talk about the huge topics. I don't even know how to broach the subject of self-harm with my mom. That's kinda sad.

Right now I don't really SH much. It's not nearly as frequent as it was in September. It changes with the circumstances in my life, but I don't really want to self-harm.


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Re: Self harm and you - your stories. Part 2
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2008, 11:33:53 PM »
Thanks for posting Maddy... i find sometimes it just helps to write things down too. :)  *wave*


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Re: Self harm and you - your stories. Part 2
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2008, 12:12:50 PM »
 :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. 


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Re: Self harm and you - your stories. Part 2
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2008, 10:15:08 PM »
 :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*   


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Re: Self harm and you - your stories. Part 2
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2008, 10:00:49 AM »
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.

Offline sarahlouise

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Re: Self harm and you - your stories. Part 2
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2008, 11:05:02 AM »
 :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.
"I don't feel like smiling."
"You're English, dear: fake it."
- Easy Virtue