miss_s_b: Peter Falk as Columbo saying "just one more thing" (Fangirling: Columbo)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
The last few days I have been having conversations via various media with sseveral different people about our, um, eccentricities. It turns out that, like with lots of other taboo subjects, once a topic comes up and you "admit" that you have experienced it, suddenly lots of other people can talk to you about how they have too.

Those of you who don't and haven't self harmed possibly don't realise quite how prevalent it is. So this is my public coming out, if you like. When the intersection of my anxiety, depression and paranoia become too much, I self-harm.

Those of you who know me well will already know this, of course. And it is very hard to explain why I do it to anyone who has never done it without making it sound like I actually think it's a good thing. For the record, I genuinely don't think it's a good thing. My chosen method of self harm is to scratch at my skin until it comes off. Sometimes I can restrict it to a small area such that nobody will notice. Other times I have huge areas of my skin looking like corned beef because I have scraped so much of it off. Now obviously, I'm not stupid, I know this is opening me to infection (even when freshly washed nails are not the cleanest things) and scarring and various other things. But the fact remains:

Physical pain makes the emotional pain go away.

That's the bottom line of it. That's what keeps me doing it, even though I know it's harmful.

And it's odd, when I'm actually doing it (and this is the great big trigger warning for those who have got this far) it doesn't hurt at all. I don't feel ANYTHING other than the occasional cramp in my forearm from the franticness of it. It makes me detach from everything, and that everything includes whatever it is that has been distressing me. All there is is the movement, and the movement must continue. If that sounds sexual... it really isn't. But there's something equivalent about it. And once I can stop scratching the actual physical pain starts and that stops me from going back to the emotional pain.

I am an extraordinarily lucky person in that I have a large support network. Lots of people I love and who love me in return. It's very rare the time when I can't get a hug if I need one. And yet... and this is the hardest part... sometimes hugs make things worse. Sometimes being reminded that people love me is a terrible, terrible burden because I Am Not Good Enough and They Deserve Better Than Me. How could anyone love someone like me? There are times when I genuinely don't understand, although most of the time I can accept that they do. Most of the time. The other times, the times I can't accept that I am worthy of ANYONE's affection, there's a dark room and my nails and frantic scraping...

Anyway, the music part. Two songs about self harm:

One for when I'm in the depths of it is Johnny Cash's cover of Hurt. I love the NiN original, but Cash just somehow encapsulates the pain so much better.

And one for when I'm bringing myself out of it is Papa Roach's Last Resort. I really love how the video shows the sad lonely faces of the people alone in their rooms transformed when they go into the crowd and rock out. Healing power of music etc.

Papa Roach - Last Resort from Nuxo on Vimeo.

This post was VERY difficult to write. I hope it's not as difficult to read. I don't want to prompt anyone's concern, or for anyone to do anything, I'm actually not too bad today. But if this post increases understanding a bit it will have done its job...

Date: Monday, November 25th, 2013 11:53 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
As you know, I have a tendency towards self harm as well.

As you also know, I've loved you for years and there are times when I can't imagine why you or anyone else might love me back. So I suspect I understand a fair amount of where you are. <3

Date: Monday, November 25th, 2013 12:16 pm (UTC)
hollymath: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hollymath
For the record, I didn't find it at all difficult to read. It's admirably brave of you to write it.

And I promise I'm not concerned and won't do anything. :)

Date: Monday, November 25th, 2013 02:23 pm (UTC)
missdiane: (Rain on a window)
From: [personal profile] missdiane

Sometimes it helps to say/write it out loud. I hope though it was hard that it ultimately helped you.

I know where you're coming from. You scratch, I eat.

Date: Monday, November 25th, 2013 03:32 pm (UTC)
nanila: me (Default)
From: [personal profile] nanila


I'm a cutter - still think of myself as one even though I haven't done so for years - and I never wear short sleeves without being uncomfortably aware that if people look closely enough, they can tell.

Date: Monday, November 25th, 2013 04:41 pm (UTC)
sfred: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sfred
Me too.

Date: Monday, November 25th, 2013 04:54 pm (UTC)
po8crg: A cartoon of me, wearing a panama hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] po8crg
I have a pair of scars from where I put out cigarettes on my upper arm.

That self-harm scared me into quitting smoking. Took another two years before I could admit my depression, mind.

That's why I react so strongly to people smoking, I think - I'm afraid that I'll start self-harming again.

Date: Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 04:37 am (UTC)
evilawyer: young black-tailed prairie dog at SF Zoo (Default)
From: [personal profile] evilawyer
Making this post was a very brave thing to do. You have my admiration for it.

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Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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