My thoughts on self-harm

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[Trigger warning: self-harm, reasoning behind it]

First of all want to declare that I do not promote self-harm. The following is just my reasoning behind it. Believe me when I say that I wished that I didn’t feel this way, it scares me more than I words can express, but pretending that it isn’t there won’t do me any good so here we go.

I’ve never hurt myself badly. Usually I’ll scratch myself/carve something into my skin with a needle, often in places no one can see. It’s easy to hide, doesn’t leave scars and can easily be explained with lies. The reasons for me hurting myself vary, sometimes it’s to punish myself/teach myself a lesson, sometimes it’s because the angry man (see “about me”) told me to. However, the two main reasons for me harming myself are:

1. Because I want the way I look like on the outside to reflect what I feel like on the inside. I’ve talked about this before. I’m high-functioning, the people around me barely notice that the conditions I suffer from and they certainly don’t notice what difficulties I have (with a few exceptions, of course). I don’t know how many times people have told me that they want my brain or that I’m exceptionally well-spoken/independent/in control/whatever for a person with Aspergers/bipolar/dissociative disorder. I understand that it’s meant in a encouraging way, but I find it very discouraging, depressing and frankly, a little offensive. It really feels as though they are questioning me, my diagnoses and I don’t know.. It’s like they are implying that I don’t in fact have any major difficulties and I have been just cruising through life, without a care and that everything comes easy to me. As if my life hasn’t been a daily struggle for survival. As if I don’t spend most of my day worrying, preparing for every possible scenario that may or may not happen. You know why I sound so well-spoken at meetings? Because I have spent the whole week prior to this meeting choosing my words carefully planning every last detail and practicing it over and over and over. I’ve been in therapy for years, learning how to analyze and understand myself, and more importantly, how to express the things I found out. You know why I come off as independent? Because literally my whole life has consisted of me perfecting my surviving strategies, and desperately holding on to them, afraid that if I deviate from them even slightly, I will not make it through the day. My conditions take up so much of my time, so much of my energy. The people around me don’t get to see how much I energy I put into getting by. To them, especially those who don’t know me that well, it probably seems like I achieve the things they yearn to achieve, effortlessly. I don’t. Believe me, I don’t. However, like I said, no one really gets to see how much work I put into it and therefore people take my accomplishments for granted. Rarely have I ever truly been congratulated for my performances. I just want some recognition, I want someone to understand that even the simplest things can be huge problems for me. I want them to say, “I know that this has been so hard for you, but you did it, you really did it, despite all your difficulties.” It happens, but not often enough. So instead, I want to hurt myself to show the world that no, I’m not fine and I’m not doing good. I’m struggling, all the time, everyday. While you’re having lunch, hanging out with your friends, doing your homework, taking the train home, managing your everyday life, I have fucking world war three raging inside my head. I’m having a test tomorrow? Better put up my shields. Going grocery shopping? Roll out the tanks. Someone’s throwing a fit that has absolutely nothing to do with me? Bombs away. This high-functioning, independent, ever-so-calm, cool and collected person you’ve come to know as Jessica is actually the rational part. And truth be told, that is not me . I’m not sure if anyone can imagine the bloody mess I am inside. Please, just stop acting like I’m fucking wonderwoman and get through your head that I don’t have more superpowers than your average human. Quite the opposite, I probably struggle more than your average human, the thing is that you can’t see it. So if people could please just remember that looks can be deceiving, and acknowledge that I work HARD, than I’d be so much better off. Geez.

So that last part was Phemie saying hello.

2. Because it helps me “come back” when I’m dissociating.

So this is very straight-forward. When the broken child or the angry man has taken over, pain can help me “wake up” or regain control. However, I can inflict pain without actually hurting myself, so it doesn’t really have to be much of an issue.

Something just happened so I’ve kinda lost my train of thought, I’m sorry..

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