Looking for suggestions on what to do when you want to self-injure but you can’t leave the house to escape the desire

During my session this week, I told my therapist that I had vivid images of stabbing myself with a knife. I told her that I ended up only scratching myself and I was very unsatisfied that I hadn’t harmed myself more seriously.

The question has to do with my strategies that involve leaving my house. I know that playing music was one technique but at this time, my husband was coming home and it was going to rain. I can’t play music my music with him in the house because it freaks me out and the rain meant that I couldn’t go for a walk. I was left with no out, so my therapist wants me to write down something that I can do, preferably using large muscle movement that will prevent me from self-harming. Any ideas? It has to be something that I can do with my husband in the house.


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, DID, dissociation, Mental Health, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychiatry, PTSD, self-harm and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Looking for suggestions on what to do when you want to self-injure but you can’t leave the house to escape the desire

  1. Freasha1964 says:

    Hi Tai,
    Can it be kind of messy? Like the time you got the ice cream all over your face, joyful to have your very own ice cream cone?
    Clay, what about clay? It is quiet. It can be various degrees of messy, but hand-building isn’t too bad. I like to play with clay. I do it at a recreation center because I need to use their pottery wheels. I end up with usable stuff.
    More to the point, children just love clay. The only time I stood in front of my preschool students (I volunteer) and had their rapt attention was the time we were about to work with clay. I was talking to the program director today about that. There is something about clay that is therapeutic.
    For me I have a friend with a kiln who fires the children’s work. And the center where I throw pots fires my stuff for me. If you want to fire your stuff, that is the trick. But I think there are clays that just harden. Anyway, you don’t even have to keep anything. Just get your hands in it, and then smash it later, rehydrate it, and start again. Or, you might find a way to access a kiln, or make some arrangement.
    You could sculpt some of your comic book characters, too.
    Obviously, I like it, but let me stop going on about it. You may recoil from the thought 🙂 .

    • tai0316 says:

      Freasha, you made me laugh thinking of dealing with self-injury by smearing ice cream all over my face lol! What a picture that would be!
      Clay does sound like an intersting idea. I’d need something that I could just beat up and then beat up again maybe.

      • Freasha1964 says:

        Actually, I didn’t mean to suggest that you smear ice cream over your face, but looking at what I wrote, it appears I did. It was just an example of you being messy in the past, therefore me thinking “messy” might be OK with you. But hey, maybe we serendipitously stumbled on the ice cream cure.

        You could make clay representations of your uncle and then squash them…
        Or if you get your clay soft enough, you could just beat it up and then beat it some more.

        Oh, and I remembered, my [sort of] godmother used to make bread and her husband said that when she was kneading it, she was actually angry and that’s how the bread turned out so well. That was the secret.

      • tai0316 says:

        I think I have to much unaddressed rage to make a person and squish them but, I love the idea of the bread! That’s a good one.

  2. castorgirl says:

    Hi tai,

    I can’t think of anything with large muscle movement, well except for throwing a ball against a wall in the garage. I also have a punching bag that I sometimes use. Often my distraction techniques when I’m stuck inside are things like cleaning… it’s hard work and gives a sense of accomplishment when it’s finished.

    Do you have any of the games that use physical exertion? I’m thinking of Wii and stuff like that.

    I’m glad you didn’t self injure badly, but sorry you felt the need to.

    Take care,

    • tai0316 says:

      Hey CG,

      I get the cleaning thing, believe or not, becuase we had people over tow day in a row, there was nothing left to clean, which never happens. It figures. The other part of that is the fibrmyalgia issue. I’m in pain 24/7 and I can’t always move my body in the way I’d like to, which my therapist forgets. I do have games that require physical exertion and the same issues apply there. *sigh* It wouldn’t be so bad if the weather would clear up because then maybe my body aches would calm down a bit. They never go away but sometimes the flare ups aren’t as intense.

      • castorgirl says:

        When my back is really bad, I do things like Lisa suggests – play games, read, art, writing… I know that the physical exertion is about releasing the tension in the body, but sometimes that’s not possible. I find that if I can divert my mind to something like a game, then that still eases the emotions and creates a buffer against acting immediately on the self-injury.

        Because there’s lots of free one hour trial computer games to try, there’s always something new to try as well.

      • tai0316 says:

        Sometimes (heck many times) it feels like the desire is too strong. Now , I’ve got a therapy issue and I’ll have to post about it soon.

  3. Lisa says:

    I like to attack things in the house like under beds, corners, the attic, closets, basement, garage, clean out the car, etc.. BUT I do nothing else until it’s thoroughly clean. It helps to imagine that what is being cleaned is a threat to the American way of life (or a threat to our galaxy).

    Repair things! The sewing machine makes noise, so does a cordless drill or screwdriver.

    You’re a good cook, so maybe try something new or make lots of one thing and freeze the rest?

    Write, write, write.

    That’s all I got right now.


    • tai0316 says:

      LOL Lisa,
      I like taking out threats to our galaxy hehe. I realized as I responded to CG’s comment that my physical limitations are a factor here that I hadn’t realized. I haven’t been able to get out of bed very much the last few days except to go to the doctor, so I’m kind of limited at the moment. Argh! Now I’m annoying myself.

      Part of the concern for my therapist is that she’s out of the office for Memorial Day which means I have no session for two weeks and I’m not in that great of a place. I’m too tired to even think about it and Hey! wait a sec! aren’t you supposed to be getting ready for your surgery!? Look at you all sneaky, coming around caring about people! 😉

      • Lisa says:

        Maybe you can just get lost in a game? Therapy was yesterday, and that’s what I needed to do to stop pacing, worrying, and spacing out. Granted, 3D Dot Game Heroes isn’t the most difficult game ever, but it might be the cutest next to Kirby’s Epic Yarn. It helped me relax, calm down, and focus.

      • tai0316 says:

        I’m thinking about pulling out Halo Reach just for the guns.

  4. catherine says:

    i mentioned writing affirmations on your arms before, but you said you were worried about what your husband would say. the other thing i do is buy children’s bandaids and stick them on my arms. it’s a way of saying, i know you hurt, and here’s a little something special to make you feel better. and i give myself an icecream or a lollipop, just like i’d get after a visit to the doctor’s when i was little. it’s all about comforting myself.

  5. empty says:

    How about chocolate?


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