The Fabulous Self-Mutilation Megathread

Discussion in 'Brainbent' started by Vast Derp, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. Vast Derp

    Vast Derp Professional Griefer

    we don't have one of these. i would like to keep any competition (whose SI is more hardcore versus 'scratching', etc) out of this thread, as well as posts that encourage or shame this particularly violent coping mechanism. lectures don't help, believe me, i know. resources and personal stories are welcome, but please try to keep this thing about communication. i am sure there will be crisis posts, but i would prefer to move those to private conversations ASAP. this is a contagious and addictive issue, and triggers should be expected.

    if you have a behavior that you suspect might be self-harm, let's talk about it.

    i came up with a few questions, and answered them for myself. if you think of other questions, throw them in!

    Why do you do it?
    -Autism, depersonalization/derealization. i had a strong desire for scars that i could always look at later to prove to myself that my feelings were real, strong, and important enough to bleed for. i wanted physical proof because i didn't trust my emotions. i also wanted to test my resolve and prove to myself i could handle anything.

    Have you stopped if so, what made you stop?
    -Yes. I feel like i just stopped needing to do it.

    Do you regret it?
    -Nope. I wouldn't recommend other people turn to self-injury, but i am proud of what i've survived. part of me still needs the scars to remind me of how far i've come.

    What is your goal regarding self-harm? Do you know how to achieve it?
    -To help people who are still fucked up find real ways to deal with their shit. i suspect the answer is going to mainly involve therapy of some kind.

    former self-harmers: What advice helped you stop? links welcome.

    current self-injurers: Do you want to stop? Do you feel like you need help?
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
    • Like x 2
  2. Lissiel

    Lissiel Dreaming dead

    Almost ten years since the last time I cut myself, and I still think about it when I get really stressed. :(

    Why do you do it?
    It cut through the bpd-style freakouts of inwardly-directed rage and panic in a way I didnt have any other tools to do, and let me bypass my sense of not deserving self-care cause uh, ur bleedin bro get that shit patched up.

    What advice helped you stop?

    What worked for me was a combo of meds (best and blessed), other coping strategies like cbt exercises, other slightly-less-unhealthy stress responses like eating sweets, and a sexual partner who found wounds distressing (which helped not because of guilt-he was careful never to lecture or guilt trip or
    anything--but because it made the act of cutting stressy instead of relieving).

    Also repeated assertions that its ok to take care of myself even when Im not bleeding and encouragement to do so.

    Do you regret it?
    Nope. It was a thing that happened. I was ashamed for a long time about it but you know what? Little me hurt a lot and had no idea what to do with that, and did the best they could. I cant blame them for that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
  3. Vast Derp

    Vast Derp Professional Griefer

    right on. ten years-ish for me too!
     
    • Like x 2
  4. albedo

    albedo metasperg

    Why do you do it?
    Hahaha all the reasons.

    - Started because severe depression, around middle school. I was basically taught that my feelings of Rage Against The Machine were inappropriate, and I should be directing them inward. So I did.
    - Also, depression-related derealization and feelings of numbness. And fascination with blood and pain because IT EXPRESSES MY PAIN, I'M GONNA WEAR ALL BLACK AND LISTEN TO MY IMMORTAL A LOT. I was a middle-schooler, okay.
    - Also, autistic overload, because pain is pretty much the most reliable way I've found to make it stop. I'm actually not sure when this started, I think I was doing some self-harm-ish stims even as a toddler, but it wasn't a conscious attempt to hurt myself.
    - Then later, probable-PTSD/panic attacks, again, because it was the most reliable way I'd found to make it stop. Endorphins, man.

    Have you stopped if so, what made you stop?
    - Mostly. The overload still gets me sometimes, but it's gotten a lot better now that I have better tools to handle things. Tools are awesome. Meds are awesome.

    Do you regret it?
    - Yeah. It's addictive as hell, and I wish I didn't have the constant urge to do it. Didn't have better options at the time, but... I wish someone had actually gotten me help when I was a kid, instead of going 'just STOP BEING ANGRY with the magic of WILLPOWER'. Dad, why do you have to be such a goddamned hippie.

    What is your goal regarding self-harm? Do you know how to achieve it?
    - Keep not doing it, basically. Better self-care mechanisms. Yeah, I got this.

    Had my dark night of the soul already; I was absolutely fucking batshit for a few years, so... everything's been uphill for a while. I don't recommend that particular path through brainweirds, but... hey, we're good now.

    former self-harmers: What advice helped you stop? links welcome.
    -
    No particular advice. Just... that what I was feeling was actually okay and reasonable. That it was okay to be upset and angry, and to express those feelings; it wasn't some kind of personal moral failing that I had those feelings. And I got on the good meds, which actually help a lot with not getting to that panicked, buzzy headspace to begin with. Sertraline, I love you.

    And yeah, I haven't done any serious self-harming in... mm... a few years now, I guess. But I still think about it all the time. It really is maddeningly addictive.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
    • Like x 2
  5. AbsenteeLandlady123

    AbsenteeLandlady123 Chronically screaming

    Why Do You Do It?
    I'm not sure. It's like I can't help it a lot of the time. I'll be aware that I'm peeling chunks of my skin off, think "I should stop doing this", and continue on my merry way.

    Do You Regret It?
    Yes, because it distresses my mum and the giant oozing scabs on my hairline aren't exactly aesthetically pleasing.

    What Is Your Goal Regarding Self-Harm? Do You Know How To Achieve It?
    I'd like to stop, and replace the self destructive impulses with creative ones if at all possible. I'd stopped ripping up my fingernails for a while after mum bought a manicure block, but I discovered that having long nails actually made things worse when it came to my skin picking so I stopped. I suspect the answer lies in stim toys.
     
  6. Lissiel

    Lissiel Dreaming dead

    So much word to not bottling things up until they become unmanageable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
    • Like x 1
  7. albedo

    albedo metasperg

    Yeah, this. It's only lately occurred to me that my dad's "YOU CAN JUST FIX IT THROUGH THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING" is... kind of fucked up, really.

    Like, getting in fistfights with my brother: JUST DECIDE TO STOP BEING ANGRY. Clinical depression, to the point of being unable to get out of bed or do anything fun: JUST DECIDE TO BE HAPPY. PTSD-induced nightmares every night for months: JUST DECIDE NOT TO HAVE NIGHTMARES.

    Dad... Dad. That's not how it fucking works.

    (This is super fun in combination with narcissism-Mom. Because he parses literally any undesirable emotion or action as a sign that YOU'RE JUST NOT TRYING HARD ENOUGH. So if I'm not a perfect boddhisattva, it's at least half my fault when she blows up.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
    • Like x 3
  8. Lissiel

    Lissiel Dreaming dead

    Like probably many other people whove dealt with depression, the phrase "not trying hard enough" makes me totally rageface. >:(
     
    • Like x 3
  9. albedo

    albedo metasperg

    The rageface is appreciated, honestly. Because it's maddening.

    Tbqh the nightmares part was what always bugged me most. Like... how am I supposed to decide not to have them. I don't get a vote, I am asleep.
     
    • Like x 3
  10. Lissiel

    Lissiel Dreaming dead

    Have you read hyperbole and a half's depression post? Shes got a great analogy about why the willpower thing is bullshit.
     
  11. albedo

    albedo metasperg

    Yeah, it's my favorite description. <3

    Hyperbole and a Half is fabulous.
     
  12. prismaticvoid

    prismaticvoid Too Too Abstract

    Why do you do it?
    Anxiety, stress, overload...it's most commonly that I can't process things and the pain helps me focus. Sometimes it's depression-related fog I'm trying to wade through and it kinda sharpens things.

    Have you stopped if so, what made you stop?
    I've managed to stop for months between episodes but I haven't managed to stay clean for longer than that. My brain keeps coming up with different reasons that it really might help this time, we promise! Support from friends has definitely helped though, as well as wearing jewelry to cover old scars.

    Do you regret it?
    I regret letting it get to this point before getting help, but they're battle scars now. I like having a tangible reminder of what happened in a way.

    What is your goal regarding self-harm? Do you know how to achieve it?
    My current goal is to find better coping mechanisms, haha. I've found a few that work but I can still only talk myself out of it about half the time. Strategies that work at home don't always work in college and vice versa, so it's partially an adaptation thing as well.
    I'm on meds and seeing a therapist for the brainweird but I'm still cagey about discussing the self-harm as a symptom of that. The therapist knows about it, as does my doctor, but I'm kinda scared to tell them I relapsed at school, so advice is welcome there.

    Edit: yes, I want to stop. I have way enough scars.
     
  13. sicknastyspades

    sicknastyspades Most Rad.

    Why do you do it?
    Fuck man, I don't even know. It is a Thing which Happens. It helps me focus if I'm struggling to concentrate on something. It's the best way I've ever found to calm me down if I'm stressed or worried.
    and okay you know what, fuck everybody, I like how it looks. It's very satisfying to look at. I like the ribbed texture when I rub my shoulder. I fuckin' appreciate the things I am doing to my body.

    Have you stopped? If so, what made you stop?
    For a while I stopped. Thought I stopped. Because my parents found out and I didn't want them to make it into a Big Thing if they found it was ongoing.
    But then I started again because haha you know what I never actually fucking stopped. I just quit with the cutting and went right back to biting chunks out of my hands and the inside of my mouth whenever I was stressed. And that was worse, because a) big obvious holes in my flesh (which didn't scar, so I didn't even have nice things to look at afterwards), and b) I hate saliva, I hate it so much.

    Do you regret it?
    Shit no. Shit no on so many levels.
    I mean. Okay. So I like doing it and find it comforting and also, I sort of struggle to grok what's wrong with it. I know what's wrong with it, I just... don't Get It, man.
    But even if those things stopped being true - I like scars. I like scars, I like marks, I like bodies which look like things have happened to them. Life isn't a game I'm going to win by keeping myself in pristine condition. So I might stop hurting myself but I'm not going to regret that I left a mark.

    On the one hand I know I should stop, but on the other hand... see Grokking, SS' Inability To. And on the gripping hand when I do stop I go straight back to ripping chunks out of my flesh and I consider that Significantly Worse than the other option.

    edit: ahaha i got SO ANGRY while i was writing this post. i always get angry and defensive when i talk about self-harm. at least i didn't end up crying while i wrote it? this is an improvement, well done self.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
    • Like x 2
  14. Allenna

    Allenna I am not a Dragon. Or a Robot. Really.

    Why do you do it?
    It 'reboots' my brain so to speak. It feels like it litterally takes my brain off line for a few seconds enough that whatever it was I couldn't process or handle isn't as bad when I come back online.

    Have you stopped if so, what made you stop?
    Mostly. I still scratch myself sometimes.

    Do you regret it?
    I don't know. I regret its upset other people?

    What is your goal regarding self-harm? Do you know how to achieve it?
    I don't know. I just try to redirect, use ice cubes. Stimming seems to help.
     
  15. Lazarae

    Lazarae You won't be the death of me

    Why do you do it?
    -Partially as the typical 'cry for help' at the beginning because people assumed things were better now that I was medicated, and the meds weren't working and my ability to communicate was shit. Partially because I was scared and angry and needed to lash out but I'd been a victim of that need from other people so I decided to sacrifice myself instead of hurt someone else. Also a little bit of self-loathing because needing to lash out was something the people who hurt me did and I hated myself for being like them. And then there was the various de/di-zations and pain was something that brought me back. Thank ye gods for strong survival instincts. I could feel a little more real/like myself after I hurt myself and it became a coping mechanism to keep myself from floating off. And then once I was actively self-harming I was trapped in a cycle of self-loathing where I'd hurt myself, then hate myself for it, which would lead to me hurting myself because I hated myself, which would make me hate myself MORE...

    Have you stopped if so, what made you stop?
    -Yes, about three years now. I went through some shit without my usual support network which made my self-harm tendencies even worse and more violent, it culminated in a suicide attempt and I was sent back to live with the supportive side of my family once I was out of the hospital. I still hurt myself for a few weeks but my family made it very difficult- any sharp objects were confiscated along with my lighters, I could only use my craft knife in the dining room where people could see me, if I spent too much time in my room someone would check on me. I relapsed once after I found my old razorblade but it wasn't as satisfying as it usually was, and again after a near-breakup with my moirail where I took a mechanical pencil to my arm (the razor had since vanished) but the guilt from that incident outweighed the release. I still feel the need sometimes but I know that 1) I don't need it as much as I used to and 2) I'd feel too guilty for going back after I've done so well.

    Do you regret it?
    -Yes. No. Yes. Sometimes. I don't regret having found something that helped, and sometimes it kept me from taking the step further and offing myself. I do have a lot of societal guilt because SH is a 'dirty' act people get judgy about. I'm less self-conscious of my scars because fuck it I survived, but I used to be really embarrassed (wore-sweaters-in-California-desert-summer levels of shame) and hid/covered up the marks because self-harm meant you were a Whiney Emo Kid Attention Whore. Yay high school. Now that I'm more centered and not in such a bad place I've come to terms and have started to own it. Now I'm a little sad they've healed up so nicely because I've stopped hiding the damage and I want the world to see the battles I've fought. (This is one of the things that draws me dangerously close to starting again, sadly. "Oh no, my scars are almost invisible unless I'm wearing a miniskirt! Maybe I should add more!" No stupid, don't do that.)

    What is your goal regarding self-harm? Do you know how to achieve it?
    -To continue not-harming. To get rid of the last vestiges of it. (I still do small, painful things to stay in my body, like holding too-hot coffee cups or digging my nails into my palms/by my elbows. Nothing that leaves marks anymore but sometimes I feel like I haven't completely stopped because I still rely on pain.) To not fall back into the guilt spiral, keep using my scars as inspiration to live instead of evidence that I'm worthless. It's a hard line to draw because I don't want to glorify what I did.

    What advice helped you stop? links welcome.
    I managed to stop mostly because my family pretty much put me on in-house suicide watch. The Butterfly Project helped when I was having relapsey feelings after my family decided I was safe, and I'm planning on my 'grats on quitting' tattoo including a butterfly and going over my scars. Link, warning for images of scars
     
  16. BPD anon

    BPD anon Here I sit, broken hearted

    Why do you do it?
    It goes like this. I never did it until a couple years ago when I stumbled across other people doing it on Tumblr. Before age 16, I had no idea people cut. I heard that it turned emotional pain into physical pain, so after one of mom's abuse sessions, I tried it out because I wanted the emotions to go away. Didn't work, maybe because I was too squeamish to cause that much pain.

    Fast-forward to when I had a falling-out with my friends and felt like the world had ended. I cut myself with the lids of cans to prove that I was really sad and not just making it up for attention or exaggerating, because would somebody not really sad cut themselves? I figured it was a way of showing my emotions were real and that they were big, instead of ordinary, run-of-the-mill sads.

    Have you stopped if so, what made you stop?
    No. Recently I misgendered a friend and then ran away and started hitting myself with rebar as punishment. My foot still hurts.

    Do you regret it?
    I don't know.

    What is your goal regarding self-harm? Do you know how to achieve it?
    I don't know.
     
  17. Nochi

    Nochi small waterfall of pure void

    Why do you do it?

    I have really intense anger issues that were never really addressed properly. "I hurt myself so I won't hurt other people" was my mantra for years. Now I mainly pinch the inside of my wrist when I feel like I'm going to cry, because tears are my automatic response to any kind of strong emotion and I hate it.

    Have you stopped if so, what made you stop?

    If the pinching counts, then no. I used to cut, and knowing how badly it affected my mom (and D, now) was the main impetus to make me want to stop. I had D hide my pocketknife from me, which has helped me kick it, though the urge is still there sometimes.

    Do you regret it?

    I do. When I'm not in the middle of it I can tell how fucked-up my reasoning is, and I hate how my anger can take me over like that, and how it just wipes out anything resembling logic.

    What is your goal regarding self-harm? Do you know how to achieve it?

    Right now it's to get to the point I don't feel the urge at all. It's...a process.

    Do you want to stop? Do you feel like you need help?

    I do want to stop, and as much as the macho part of me wants to say I don't need help....yeah, I really do. Unfortunately I think it's going to take therapy, and that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish.
     
  18. albedo

    albedo metasperg

    Oh, man, you just reminded me that I found out about the idea of cutting, as opposed to other self-injury, from The Last Herald-Mage. As well as 'hide your emotions behind an icy wall of indifference, that's totes a healthy way to deal with your problems.' Ughhh.

    Why's it have to be so contagious? =_=
     
    • Like x 2
  19. liminal

    liminal I'm gonna make it through this year if it kills me

    Why do you do it?
    Anger and stress. Lots and lots of anger and stress and no healthy way to direct it. Because I have a tendency to get really stressed about things that not a lot of people care about and I find it difficult to communicate WHY I am so bothered when I'm in that state. So my family used to be dismissive since I had no reason to be upset. And my brother kept bitching that I was "acting like a 3 year old" for doing things like punching a pillow or tossing some clothes around the room just to get that violent energy out.

    Keep in mind that I don't cut. I just do things that hurt, like punching my leg, or running my knuckles against the wall, or grabbing a fist full of ice and squeezing really hard. The only time I drew blood on myself was when violent meltdown + intense self loathing came into play. Pretty sure the only reason why I survived that is I didn't think I could just stick a fork in an outlet or something and I called my mom and bawled on the phone for awhile.

    Have you stopped if so, what made you stop?
    Not really? I have cut down on it a lot just because I don't melt down a lot anymore. I think I need to be in a supportive environment and re-learn healthier mechanisms first before I can stop. Because it's not an emotional thing it's the overwhelming "I NEED TO HURT SOMETHING" response and not wanting to... you know... actually hurt people. So it's got nowhere to go except back at me.

    Do you regret it?
    Sometimes. Other times I don't really care enough to have an opinion.

    What is your goal regarding self-harm? Do you know how to achieve it?
    Stopping altogether. Already mentioned my thoughts on how in an above answer.

    Do you want to stop? Do you feel like you need help?
    same as above.
     
  20. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    Ok so, I have never actually self harmed but I do have the urge to. If I´m intruding please tell me and I will fuck off.

    Why do you do it?

    Two different urges. One is not categorizable bodybadfeels, which make me want to try and slice myself out of my body. Mental imagery tends to be..bad. Think ER worthy injuries bad.
    The other is deep depression, where everything hurts and I want something that will make people See how much pain I am in. One of my most frequent thought during the bad time at the end of highschool was "Why can´t anyone see I´m not ok?" This one is less hm, strongly violent? than the other but more frequent.

    Have you stopped if so, what made you stop?
    N/A

    Do you regret it?
    N/A

    What is your goal regarding self-harm? Do you know how to achieve it?
    I´d like advice on how to not start, because addiction kinda sucks.

    Do you want to stop? Do you feel like you need help?
    See above.
     
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