My type of self-harm - Trigger warning

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Blueberry

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My type of self-harm - Trigger warning
« on: April 04, 2017, 08:15:06 PM »
While writing in Just a Difficult Day, some realisations on my type of self-harm briefly flashed into my mind. I'm going to see if I can find them again. I didn't want to flood Just a Difficult Day with them. Realisations are almost always useful to me in some way, this one I even felt - hey, that could be the key to me stopping, and then the realisation disappeared again. But that's normal for me.

Sooo my type of self-injury is non-bloody.
I pull my hair out, hair by hair, compulsively. Writing and thinking, especially intellectual thoughts where I'm not connected to my emotions is especially conducive to hair-pulling. Is that really self-injury???, people have asked. YES, even though not potentially lethal.  It does hurt your scalp after a while, and it's pretty self-destructive for your appearance. And the myriad situations when I do this show me the symbolism behind it - constant self-destruction, overwhelming lack of self-esteem, constant inner critic, uncertainty,  deeply ingrained in my system. Uncertainty came from being so much criticised in FOO. Whichever way I chose or decided, it was wrong. Even the most minor things. like I was to buy large size packet at grocery store, but it was out-of-stock so do I choose small or go back home without??? Stood there deliberating for minutes on end, and eventually chose 2 small ones. WRONG!!! And then an incredible amount of blaming and shaming on my poor little approx. 8 year old self from M. So much dinning into my head that I was completely stupid and incapable of thought  :blahblahblah:  :blahblahblah:  :blahblahblah: That made such an impression on me that about 4 years later (I know from the aftermath that I was 12 or 13) when I was sent to the grocery store to get a packet of something else and there was S, M, or L to choose from, I deliberated agaaaaaaiiiiin and chose L. WRONG!!! I ought to have taken into consideration that we were moving within the year and wouldn't be able to use up all the contents by then and it would take up space in the packing. By the way, it was a tin of baking powder, not a hundredweight of coal. As I'm sure everybody knows, a single tin of baking powder takes up sooo much space  ;)  I'm a little bit in touch with Inner Children right now, and of course they don't understand the  ;) They're more  :'(   :'( and maybe some  ??? and   :stars:  So of course my comment about baking powder taking up soooo much space isn't really useful. Maybe not damaging, but it doesn't help on the emotional level at all.

In my Just a Difficult Day post, I was writing about my difficulties with getting on with the freelance work I'm meant to be doing. What is partly so difficult about this type of work I do is that I constantly have to make minor, nit-picking distinctions and decisions. A mistake could potentially cause me quite a lot of money (by my earning standards)  and/or client annoyance if the work were rejected, but I think it's more the completely over-the-top criticism, verbal abuse and rejection I experienced as a child due to my decision-making. Yes, the Inner Children are nodding. So that's a realisation worth having, and something concrete I can work on with my Inner Children. There is more than one involved, I can't feel yet how many i.e. could be more than two, an Inner Helper I last had contact with about two years ago is now appearing on the scene, she represents inner strength especially in the spine. What is also clear to me is that this inner work is so much more important than getting that freelance work done. Maybe I can find another freelance colleague to take over at short notice. Yikes. But it might work. So I wouldn't earn my 70 mojos, well tough. The inner work is more important.

_____________________________
This is the rest of the post, from before I figured out the middle bit, but I'm leaving it. They are my thoughts, my truth about myself.

I also do it (hair-pulling) in order not to disocciate as well as to bring myself back from disocciation. So much of it is semi-unconscious, or even completely unconscious. At some point I become aware, but have probably pulled out any number of hairs by then. Sometimes I do catch myself before my fingers have pulled, for which I give myself a  :thumbup: It has taken a lot of work even to get to this stage.   Nobody was meant to notice I had any problems in childhood and teenage years so I guess unconsciously I 'chose' methods which are not very visible. Cutting would've been a bit more visible. I would've got into trouble with FOO over that. My hair was always a mess, which happens if you constantly run your fingers through your hair, pulling it out, and I did get a lot of ridicule over that as well as being yelled and screamed at and shamed, but I don't want to imagine what else would have happened if I'd taken up cutting....

Also I do think it's a little disgusting for other people, having my hairs floating around, like when I'm sitting in a waiting room or on the bus. I get so easily grossed out myself by other people's odd hairs (from their scalp) floating about.



« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 01:03:05 AM by Blueberry »

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mourningdove

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Re: My type of self-harm
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2017, 01:29:58 AM »
 :hug: :hug: :hug:
« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 02:55:00 AM by mourningdove »

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Blueberry

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Re: My type of self-harm
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2017, 01:52:38 PM »
Thank you, mourningdove, most appreciated. Though in a column, the way you originally had them, instead of in a line like now, was visually more effective  :thumbup:  :thumbup: even if it took up more room.

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mourningdove

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Re: My type of self-harm
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2017, 08:22:56 PM »
Good to know! :)

 :hug:
 :hug:
 :hug:

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Blueberry

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Re: My type of self-harm
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2017, 12:13:27 AM »
Thank you for the columns of hugs, mourningdove.

Now that I've finished my project and sent it off, my SH impulse is way, way down. It's there a tiny little bit again, after a short spell of zero, but it often is when I write, which I'm doing right now, obviously.  Still  :cheer:  :thumbup: for myself.

Yesterday and the day before, I knew there was no way I could finish my project without buying and eating a packet of cookies a day. I know that there are others here who sit with their feelings and don't feed their addictions, but I could not. In retrospect it's good that I tried so hard to be a "good girl" in my adolescence that I never tried out drugs, alcohol or smoking, otherwise I might be hooked on one of them, and I would find the former two definitely worse than eating. Just my personal feeling on the issue, others may disagree.

What's good now is that my stuffing-my-face impulse is gone too, has been since I finished my project. And I actually even left a bit in each packet and no impulse to eat that either.  :cheer:
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 07:26:54 PM by Blueberry »

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mourningdove

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Re: My type of self-harm - Trigger warning
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2017, 02:31:52 AM »
That's great, Blueberry!  :thumbup:

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Blueberry

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Re: My type of self-harm - Trigger warning
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2017, 09:39:42 PM »
Today I was pulling out hair more than usual, because of being so brain-fogged while trying to do some work that I haven't been able to do / been putting off doing for a few weeks now. I gave myself a deadline: it has to be done by the end of this week. So tomorrow. But I did want to try today too because doing things at the last minute tends to trigger me in other ways. So when I realised how vicious my hair-pulling was becoming, I stopped trying to do this work to post on here, then moved over to reading on OOTF then came back here. I got much clearer in my head, but I haven't done my work. It's late evening here, so should be going to bed soon.

When I re-read this whole self-injury post of mine, I realised: there I go again, SI or addiction (eating) in order to complete my paid work. What I was trying to do this early evening was a whole different kettle of fish from the other time. This time it's not the nit-picking decisions, it's setting limits to one set of clients who are constantly pushing my limits and calculating appropriate payment for a second set of clients who have no problem with paying, so the problem is??? I suppose it's maybe the issue of demanding payment at all for work. Yes, inner head nods. That's the difficulty. This old issue of: I shouldn't really exist, but if I do dare to, then work I do is a sort of pay-off for my being a burden on the world in general, I shouldn't be charging money on top of it. My FOO, with whom I realise I'm still enmeshed, doesn't even think this now. It's just what's left of decades of damage and remarks in other contexts. The falling bricks effect  :fallingbricks: of traumatisation.

I also ask myself: is working worth it if the only way I can keep going is by destroying myself? But I guess it is. Being overweight and not being able to stop over-eating is a common enough problem and my self-injury isn't fatal. Also I do get satisfaction from some aspects of my work. Also if I applied for welfare instead, I would just feel like even more of a burden and would quite possibly re-double my SI and over-eating among other unhealthy pastimes.

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Andyman73

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Re: My type of self-harm - Trigger warning
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2017, 04:08:59 PM »
Blueberry,

My form of SH is also not noticeable. Leaves no visible marks. Wont mess my hair, cuz I keep it fairly short, and is done as punishment.
Sitting with you. Safe hugs if okay.

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Blueberry

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Re: My type of self-harm - Trigger warning
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2017, 08:38:25 PM »
Thank you for responding Andyman  :hug: (safe hugs are fine). I'm sorry you have something similar, or do sth similar. It's still good to know that others understand where I'm at.

Your responding led me to reread my whole post and reminded me why it's good that I'm still not doing the type of nitpicking work that always leads to SI.  :thumbup: to myself to keep going as I am this week - feels like I'm doing nothing but T says I'm allowing time and space for 'things' to come up and am most definitely not doing nothing.

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Candid

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Re: My type of self-harm - Trigger warning
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2017, 06:46:22 AM »
it's good that I'm still not doing the type of nitpicking work that always leads to SI.  :thumbup:

 :thumbup: indeed!

Your T sounds great.  You're doing really well.  :hug:

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Blueberry

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Re: My type of self-harm - Trigger warning
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2017, 01:27:45 PM »
Thanks for the  :thumbup: Candid. I'm still turning down work in this area.

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Liminality

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Re: My type of self-harm - Trigger warning
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2017, 02:57:45 PM »
Don't know what to say, but sending warmth and comfort your way, Blueberry. Used to do that too when I was a teen. It's called trichotillomania, halfway between self-harm and an obsessive-compulsive behaviour. Can't remember how it stopped. So sorry you're still struggling with this.

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Blueberry

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Re: My type of self-harm - Trigger warning
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2017, 10:50:28 PM »
Thank you Liminality!
I know, Tricho... what-not used to be on my list of diagnoses, and I was given the obsessive-compulsive diagnosis probably because of this too. Now that I have the C-PTSD dx, Tricho and OCD have both gone from the list.

I've worked on this issue off and on in my long journey of healing, including journalling when and why I do it. Pulling out hair is my method of covering up all emotions or dealing with all emotions so it's likely it's the hardest one to control. It's also semi-automatic. I have another method of self-harm that I've managed to more or less stop, but it has only a few triggers in the CSA section. Mostly I can avoid those triggers.  Whereas the triggers for Tricho what-not are more or less everywhere.

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sanmagic7

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Re: My type of self-harm - Trigger warning
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2017, 07:56:31 PM »
blueberry, i'm really sorry that you continue to struggle with this.  it seems to me, tho, that you are making progress.  small steps at times, maybe they even feel tiny, but i still see progress.  you are learning more and more about yourself and your propensity to self-harm, and i always think information can be valuable.

my d used to have a problem with 'sitting still', 'not doing anything'.  i'd tell her that we all have to take breaks at times, and during those times we are still doing something - we are allowing the healing process to continue.  it took her quite a while to be able to understand that healing is, indeed, doing something important for our lives and the lives of those around us.

i'm really glad your t was able to point that out to you.   just a thought:  i know you do tapping.  have you ever discussed tapping about your emotions?  may be something to talk to your t about as to how that process would look.  one at a time, or even a piece of one, since your tricho what-not is to escape feeling them.

however you go about your journey, tho, i want you to know that i fully support you blueberry.  i think you're amazing.  sending a loving, accepting hug your way, accepting that whatever decision you make is exactly the right one for you at the time.  (that's one i need to remind myself about!)

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Blueberry

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Re: My type of self-harm - Trigger warning
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2017, 08:15:50 PM »
Thank you so much san for commenting! Atm there's so much going on internally that I can't even consider starting any new processes about anything. That might change - hope so anyway - before I'm finished with T for good! I have tapped emotions through - "Even though I'm feeling angry / sad / ..., I still accept myself"

Thank your for the compliments on my healing progress!  :hug: :hug:

And keep taking care of you, all the best with that.  :bighug: