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  1. #1

    At a loss as to why I do this.

    Hello, I'm new here, I would've posted in introductions but this is more spur of the moment so I'll just go straight into it before I change my mind - otherwise I wouldn't have posted at all.

    I'm not suicidal, and I don't think I'm depressed, I just hurt myself and can't figure out why. I'm an oddly outgoing girl, I dress in boys clothes, and am somewhat athletic making it a usual of getting hurt just by being the stupid teenager I am, though about half my injuries are caused on purpose. I don't do it when I'm sad or upset, which I rarely am. I do it when I'm happy or bored, and I don't go out just to do it(I don't do it in my house, no knives, no razors, just outdoor environmental factors.) I'm always doing something else at the time, such as riding my bike, walking my dog(I do so for atleast a hour a day, sometimes 2 or 3), or even just chilling out on the bridge - a really relaxing place once you get over the occassional semi-truck passing by, I just happen to be a person who finds it most relaxing on the opposite side of the railing, and injuring myself is just another spur of the moment thing, I don't regret doing it and I don't feel any pain if I do it to my legs, the most common place, just a rush. I'm not a very social person, I have my friends at school but teachers and people outside of school I avoid talking to to the best of my abilities, I could have the bone sticking out of my arm and I'd still grin and say "I'm fine." to get them to leave me alone with the only exception being Police Officers(I love to talk with cops when I get the chance.) I always lie about self-caused injuries if people ask what happened, no one ever disbelieves me, they all know that I AM stupid enough to trip over a crack in the sidewalk. I don't go around slicing my self everyday, every time one turns to scar and fades I cause another unless there's an injury caused by accident. I would go as far as saying I like being hurt, but I hate when people notice or ask me about it. I did it today, it's no big deal to me; I didn't bother going home and cleaning it up, waste of daylight, I just kept riding my bike. I get home at 3pm and the sun sets by 6pm this time of year, why would I spend time doing something I could do after the sun sets instead of doing something fun that can only be done when the sun is up? I use this same logic with my eating habits, eating is more a waste of valuable time than it's worth to me, if I have something better to do such as sleeping, homework, or being on the computer I just won't eat, possibly for days at a time. No one seems to understand my logic.

    But back to the self-injury topic, I just want to figure out why I do this, there's no real value of it to me and really doesn't effect me in the slightest. Such as the time I was in a mostly playful confrontation with a student, another student interrupted and without thinking I made a swift kick towards their leg but they moved it and I hit the desk instead - I'm not sure if the lump and scar-like purple mark across it will ever go away. My anger got the best of me, I feel that if I can figure out why I injure myself I will never get out of control with it and cause permanent damage.
    Counseling is completely out of the question, which is why I brought my question here, I've been surfing through the forums for a while, a few weeks maybe.

    I apologize for the long length, I wasn't sure exactly what to post so I posted ....everything....

  2. #2

    Re: At a loss as to why I do this.

    In the one incident you described, it seems that the injury to you was unintentional and triggered by anger. Is anger a common thread for you?

  3. #3

    Re: At a loss as to why I do this.

    No, I get angry once or twice a month, I'm a very calm person unless I'm just not thinking, or thinking too much. And being stupid and getting hurt because of anger is about a once a year thing.
    I gave the example of kicking the desk as letting something get out of control and causing, possibly, permanent damage. Like something I don't want purposely injuring myself to become - out of control and causing permanent damage. Beyond scars, I mean.

  4. #4

    Re: At a loss as to why I do this.

    So what ARE the feelings or moods or thoughts that trigger these incidents where you hurt yourself? What IS the common thread?

    Have a look at http://forum.psychlinks.ca/index.php?topic=1523.0 and http://forum.psychlinks.ca/index.php?topic=1524.0

  5. #5

    Re: At a loss as to why I do this.

    Just wanted to say "hi" Cheyenne, and welcome.
    &quot;How grateful I was then to be part of the mystery, to love and to be loved. Lets just hope that is enough.&quot;<br />-Conor Oberst

  6. #6

    Re: At a loss as to why I do this.

    Thanks.

    When I first started doing it a few years ago the reason was because I wasn't considered "socially acceptable" for the way I dressed and was bullied for the most part, I lost all hope and didn't bother trying with things, I stuck to myself, was very negative, and I picked up the habit because of that. No confidence and it always seemed like nothing would get better, so much negative that now, looking back on it, wasn't even that bad. Two good, trustworthy friends, but none beyond that because I had little trust in people.

    But now, everything's fine I still have the same two good friends from before with a lot of other people I see and talk to in school, no one messes with me and I'm happy - but I never dropped the habit and can't figure out why now, now that everything is fine, why I still do this. Now I do it when I'm in the area where I've always injured myself when I have an injury from last time faded and I'm happy or bored. And that's where my question of why I do it lays.

  7. #7

    Re: At a loss as to why I do this.

    So is this a way of punishing yourself? or toughening yourself up so other people can't hurt you? or just feeling safe with the old and familiar?

  8. #8

    Re: At a loss as to why I do this.

    Just a way to make myself tougher I guess. I feel very little physical pain, especially in my legs, something severe has to happen to effect me at all. Same goes for emotional pain, unless something horribly bad happens everything's okay. And even if something does happen I don't hurt myself because of it, infact, when I'm "down and out" is really the only time I don't do it now.

    By the way, could you maybe provide a link on how to just "get over" something big that happened?
    At the beginning of the month there was a big incident, not to me per se but I was there, I put it aside before because we were having suicide prevention classes and I didn't want something they said to trigger me to start crying or something in the middle of class, but now it's come back to bite me and has really put me down for the past week or so and people are starting to notice.

  9. #9

    Re: At a loss as to why I do this.

    there's a few things that stuck out while reading your posts... I could be wrong, but it sounds to me like you're trying to say that everything is "okay" and that you're happy w/ being "odd" as you call it, yet you're confused about why you enjoy hurting yourself- which I think anyone would be; self-injury is very confusing in that sense. It is one thing to be eccentric or different from the norm, unique so to say, but I wouldn't necessarily call someone odd for enjoying adventures, excitement, sports... you're not a "stupid teenager"- teenage years can be tough w/ all the changes going on and new responsibilities. Also, if you were bullied before and had lost all hope and confidence it would be challenging to walk away from that with a lot of trust in people. I have seen how bullying can affect people and I think it can leave scars for a long time, but it is not inevitable that this is how life will always be like- those two friends that stuck with you are proof of that. You said you are outgoing but not social beyond the scope of school- are you invovolved in any extracurricular activities? clubs? hobbies that you do w/ other people? Also, how are things at home- you didn't mention anything about that and it made me wonder.

    It does seem though that you get SOMETHING out of being in dangerous situations or situations where you could potentially get (physically) hurt. You said you don't THINK you're depressed- so is there a part of you that's not so sure about that? I understand that you don't hurt yourself for attention, yet that it gives you some kind of rush- it fulfills a purpose so to say. What is that feeling that you get out of hurting yourself? If it really has "no value" for you and if it doesn't affect you- then why do you do it? What I'm saying is, that it must have some relevance, even if you don't know exactly what that is- and it DOES affect you, otherwise you wouldn't be thinking about all of this, right? One thing you have to realize is that self-injury in itself can be an attempt to be in control, and figuring out WHY you do it is definitely important in learning new ways to cope, but just by figuring out the "why" you can't say that it won't get out of control- the goal shouldn't be to control the effects of si but to control si so that you can stop using it for whatever purpose it serves you. Does hurting yourself ever decrease any anxiety about school, friends, home etc? or to deal w/ frustration, negative thoughts, responsibilities & expectations? You said you're generally calm unless you find yourself thinking too little or too much- how common is this for you? Would this be a situation where'd you be more likely to hurt yourself either to escape the numbness or to decrease your rapid flow of thoughts? Some people do have a naturally higher pain tolerance but SI decreases the amount of pain you feel as endorphins ("happy emotions") are released in your brain- which conditions you to SI again to get the same result the next time. I know you said you do it when you're happy or bored- but there's something else... some people do SI when they're happy, it sort of becomes a habit to deal with ANY emotions, but I would argue that if EVERYTHING truly were FINE and HAPPY then you wouldn't need si in the first place. As David suggested, maybe this is a way from protecting yourself from getting hurt again or failing at something... and in the end it's something familiar, a habit that is difficult to break just like other habits but not at all impossible... but I do think that talking to someone would help you w/ that. Why is counselling completely out of the question?

    Just like you can't just "get over" self-injury, you also can't just "get over" something bad that happened... if you try to just stuff it away or ignore the fact that it ever happened/ that it affected you, it will inevitably come back and catch up with you- as it has now. Even if what happened didn't happen to you, it affected you somehow and by not wanting to "crack" or cry, sort of a toughening up attitude, you ARE stuffing away those feelings and NOT COPING with the situation. The reason why this is "still" affecting you is b/c it was never dealt with in the 1st place and it will keep on doing so until you confront it. I do have one question that I want you to think about: you said all of this toughening up- even though you were clearly upset- happened during a suicide prevention class. Why do you think this upset you so much particularly in relation to the topic of suicide? Do you think you would have felt the same way if it would have been a presentation about friendships, bullying, substance abuse per say?

    Please try to talk to a counsellor- that's what they're there for. They will listen to you, they won't judge you, and they will be able to help you work through all of this. If you don't like the idea of a counsellor, maybe there is a teacher you trust or you could consider a friend's parents if you don't want to talk to your own- or a helpline that you could call. I really do think that you need someone to listen to you hun. Also, check out this link- it might help you identify & cope w/ some of your feelings and avoid SI as a means of coping: http://forum.psychlinks.ca/index.php?topic=536.0

  10. #10

    Re: At a loss as to why I do this.

    I live several miles from the school, stores, and most houses, besides the two neighborhoods by the one I live in. I have no way of getting to/from peopleís houses, games involved in sports or anything else. Outside of school I have little to no contact with any people. Two friends live by me, one of which Iím not particularly good friends with and the other, due to some things that happened, is forbidden from seeing/talking to anyone that lives in the same neighborhood as her - including me, unfortunately the one banned from seeing me was one of my best friends. Home life is fine, but I have no contact with my parents on weekdays, and very little contact, if any, with them on weekends. Both work, on weekdays I wake up at 5:30am, take a shower, get ready, leave for the bus at 6:30, get home from school at 3:00pm, leave to walk the dog at 3:05pm, get home at 5 or 5:30pm, then I go to sleep and do it all over again. If my parents were home I wouldnít even notice, and definitely not see or talk to them.

    As far as not being sure about not being depressed, Iím almost positive Iím not, but people from school that know me would openly argue that and that doesnít really help convince me any. I guess I get a rush out of doing it, and that would effect me. The goal is to control it because I donít mind it, Iíve never had any problems with it, Iím stuck in the state of mind that there is no REASON to stop. Don't get me wrong, I WANT to stop, but I'm a person that constantly needs a reason to do something that involves a complete change of behavior, and I just can't find one for stopping. No, the SI does not do anything to reduce anxiety about school, friends, home or to deal with frustration, negative thoughts, responsibilities and expectations. I rarely think too much, only when it seems like the world is collapsing, which is very rare, and Iím over it within three days tops. Thinking too little, well, thatís not entirely uncommon, acting on impulse is something IĎm known for. I did feel the need for SI before, but now things are good and itís more habit than anything, but it only comes up when Iím happy or bored.

    Counseling is completely out of the question because my parents know nothing of it, and I like it that way, so a counselor outside of school would not work. And at school, there are four counselors, I have extreme dislike for the one Iím assigned and two of the others, and the only one that I donít completely dislike is not my counselor, and my own anti-social tendencies towards most adults make it impossible for me to say anything to her, even when she asks me if Iím okay or something I canít speak, just nod.

    As far as the Ďtoughening upí involving the suicide prevention class, it wasnít regarding the topic of suicide itself, but they were giving reasons people may want to commit suicide, and when they mentioned Child Abuse it just killed me because that was what the big situation I was involved in recently was centered around. They welcomed people to leave if they were having problems at any time during the presentation, and normally I wouldíve asked, but the counselor mentioned above was supervising, and the people conducting the presentation said that they would follow you out if you needed to leave. It was a no - win situation, and I did what I could, it just didnít work out. So any other presentation like the ones you mentioned wouldnít affect me as long as it didnít mention child abuse. But, unfortunately I managed to put dealing with the whole situation aside again.

    Talking to a teacher wouldnít work, I dislike all my teachers, and I have no friend whichís parents I even know, and I canít call a help line - my parents get the phone bill. I realize itís all excuses, but, yeahÖ
    Iíll check out the link.

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