Temptations *a discussion of what is behind self-injury*

For some reason during therapy yesterday, my arms made it very clear that they want me to cut. I hate that feeling because I can never find a reason not to do it. Since I was in therapy at the time I told my therapist and we talked about what I could do. She straight-out told me that cutting is not an option. I kind of scoffed inside at the thought that she could tell me what I can and cannot do but at the same time it was almost like a part of me recognized her as an authority figure we respect and took her declaration seriously. That was weird. Anyway, I can’t say what I will or will not do but maybe I won’t. She told me that I should call her if I felt the need to self-injure and I told her that it didn’t make sense for me to call her if I’m not in her office with a check in my hand. She said that my being able to call her is part of my therapy and that it wouldn’t be like we would have a session over the phone, more that she would talk to me to help me not to hurt myself. Interesting, I’ve never considered calling her to be part of my therapy package.

She talked to me about what is really behind the desire to cut and we talked about self-injury (for me) being connected to anxiety first of all and also about it providing a distraction from what’s really going on. I’m sure that’s what this is. When I posted the collage about being afraid to look behind me, I actually meant that literally. Whatever has been nagging at my mind is connected to my uncle but i can’t grasp whatever it is yet. The thought of being afraid to look behind me is because I have this image of being in my grandmother’s house (this is where the memory of abuse that I’ve always had took place) we’re in the living room, him, his wife and me and I think I’m playing with something on the coffee table or something like that. He’s sitting in a chair behind me and his wife is to my right sitting down. When this image occurs to me, I get very scared and I feel like a child and all I can think is that I don’t want to turn around and look behind me, I’m too scared. I know he’s sitting there but it’s like I can’t look over my shoulder. I told my therapist about this and about the feeling that I’m missing something and the feeling that there’s something nagging at me that I just can’t grasp. She said that it’s most likely this feeling that is making me want to self-injure and that it’s understandable because it causes anxiety and cutting would be a distraction from what’s really going on. She also said that him being in my grandmother’s house would have been really scary for me because we both know that her house was the one safe place in my entire world even when I was halfway across the country. His being there would have been threatening. That sounds reasonable. So, I will think about that and hopefully I won’t do anything. The problem is that her declaration that I cannot self-injure makes me feel…scared (?) like if I mess up and do it anyway she’ll be mad at me and that’s a very bad feeling to have about a therapist because it makes me feel less secure with our relationship. I may have to tell her how that makes me feel so I don’t freak out if this comes up again.


About CimmarianInk

Abuse Survivor Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) also known as Multiple Personalities
This entry was posted in abuse, Alters, bipolar disorder, Child Abuse, Child Molestation, depersonalization, depression, derealization, DID, dissociation, dissociative fugue, dissociative identity disorder, Incest, Mental Health, Multiple Personalities, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychiatry, PTSD, Rape, self-harm, Sexual Abuse, Therapy, Trauma and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Temptations *a discussion of what is behind self-injury*

  1. Pandora says:

    By coincidence, this came up with my therapist Paul only yesterday too, after I had a date with a scalpel at the weekend. I find his attitude refreshing after being specifically told not to do it be my previous therapist a few times. Paul doesn’t forbid me doing it, and even recognises that at times it’s not just a desire, but a compulsion. However, he asked me to put the scalpel away somewhere locked, so at least I had to think about the matter, rather than just immeadiately picking it up and slashing.

    I’m definitely with you on feeling uncomfortable about letting her down if you do harm – I’d feel exactly the same, and indeed did feel the same with my former therapist when he told me not to do it. Still, it’s really good that you can call her if things get that tough – at least that’s some sort of support for you that isn’t in the form of a blade.

    I’m sorry that things are so tough at the minute 😦 The while being scared to look behind you thing sounds really horrible. Thinking of you, and hoping you can work through it with as much ease as possible.

    Hugs, if that’s OK.

    P x

  2. catherine says:

    i also talked about self harm with my therapist this week. my arms are tingling just thinking about it. lately i’ve taken to writing on my arms. i ask myself what do i need to hear to comfort me when the urge to cut is so strong. sometimes is as simple as “you are loved.” sometimes i need to know “you are safe now.” i take a marker and write this on my arm where i usually cut. that way when i look at my arms in preparation for cutting i get a good message instead. congrats on resisting so far.

  3. L says:

    Hey hey, I was sort of a self harmer as a child – wanting to jump off roofs and scraping glass over my hand, trying to break this and that on my body and as an adult I started to get those self harm idealations back again a few years back. It was the way I coped with the pain happening in my life at the time. When I get really upset now I feel the need to overdose (it became compulsive for me at one stage) and I have often also felt the need to cut my wrists as well (but never done so as yet). I recognise the connection of my self harm idelations I have now with how they were my coping mechanisims as a child and I tell myself I no longer need to do that to myself anymore, I’m not there anymore, I’m OK, I’m safe and things have changed for me.
    I know exactly what you mean about an authority figure telling you you can’t do that anymore. It was my sister actually who told me off a few years back for taking so many pills and said that I have pple who care about me and who would be upset if they were to work and simply not to do that. I was shocked – it was like I got a telling off and I always felt guilty about wanting to do that to myself ever since (but the guilt is fading now).
    Strength to you, L 🙂

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