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  1. #1
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    Self harm thought musings and self awareness

    My brain is just not handling its **** today. Thoughts circling around deserving to be hurt, and hurting myself to prove that I'm strong and that no one can hurt me. Which I realise makes no logical sense, but that's where I'm at.

    The biggest thing for me today has been recognising that some of the thoughts might be linked to a "rescue" type fantasy, in the sense of wanting someone else to come in and say "no you don't deserve that" when my thoughts say that I do. Wanting to be worth it for someone else to say that and help. I'm trying not to go down the negative shame judgement slide on that one. I know I need to tell that to myself - I get it.

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    Re: Self harm thought musings and self awareness

    Do you know what triggered this cycle, @gooblax?

    When you think of someone telling you that you are worth it, that you don't deserve to be hurt by you or anyone else, who comes to mind?

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    Re: Self harm thought musings and self awareness

    Not entirely sure what set it off. I often have self harm thoughts but they vary in how easily ignored they are.
    My best guess would be that I read something about someone being admitted to an in-patient ward with support from their psychologist who also sent them a "lovely message" saying that they were proud of them. Then countering that with my thoughts about the lack of professional support I had when I was really stuck in self injury and suicidal ideation (like doing step-by-step practice runs for what I'd need to do if I were to do it, I told my then-therapist and they called it "testing boundaries" and didn't seem to give a rat's ass). Which then leads into "of course I didn't need anyone to care, I could handle it and was just being weak by trying to get someone to care/help". I didn't need or want to be in hospital, but other than forums (here and elsewhere) I felt very alone with it.

    Who... I don't know. There's certain people that I definitely don't want to hear it from (my parents especially), and people who, if they were to say it, it would just make me feel annoyed. It seems like a pretty lame thing to hear. I'm not sure I can separate how lame it is to want that from whether hearing it would be something that would actually feel good. I suspect that it wouldn't feel good at all from anyone, even though I might think of it as an answer sometimes. Not sure. I don't think there's anyone who could say it with the result that I'd take that position myself - even if the 'right person (whoever that is)' said it I'd still keep my original thought about deserving it but I think it would help me to offset the thought for awhile.

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    Re: Self harm thought musings and self awareness

    The thing is that anyone who actually knows you, if they were honest, could tell you that of course you are worth it, that you are a worthy person who deserves better than the way some of the people in your life have treated you, that you do not deserve to be hurt by anyone including yourself.

    When "the great day of reckoning" comes, there a few people who will have a lot to answer for, especially your parents, that former therapist, and yes your current therapist.

    I can't believe how unlucky you've been with those two therapists. Between them, they don't seem to have as much empathy or sensitivity or therapeutic skill as a dead tree.

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    Re: Self harm thought musings and self awareness

    Quote Originally Posted by gooblax View Post
    Then countering that with my thoughts about the lack of professional support I had when I was really stuck in self injury and suicidal ideation (like doing step-by-step practice runs for what I'd need to do if I were to do it, I told my then-therapist and they called it "testing boundaries" and didn't seem to give a rat's ass).
    When I was a depressed teen, my therapist was easy to reach no matter what time of day. I was supposed to call him when I felt suicidal, and he had an emergency call service. But for the last 20 years, I have noticed most/many therapists don't even do out-of-office crisis management (unless they are DBT therapists, I guess, or otherwise different than the rest). Crisis management is farmed out to the local county mental health service or the ER.

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    Re: Self harm thought musings and self awareness

    And the ultimate irony to me is that in group homes, the relatively untrained staff (compared to someone with a graduate degree) does crisis management as part of their minimum-wage job, e.g. "redirecting" clients who are attempting to self harm. Meanwhile, psychologists (PhDs) who are established often focus on easier/ideal clients, e.g. the "worried well." That is why I like Marsha Linehan and her DBT approach that is more in the trenches.

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    Re: Self harm thought musings and self awareness

    Thanks David. Of course it's hard to read that without "yeah whatever you're just saying that"-ing or "if you/they really knew me"-ing but I'll try not to do that with it.

    On the plus side, my first therapist and I agreed that she wasn't being helpful for me and we ended things at her suggestion without any fuss. I may just superimpose her face onto a dead tree when I think about her from now on
    My parents are alright, they just didn't know any better with how to deal with what was going on.
    My current therapist... well... I feel like I keep making excuses for him but I get the sense now that he needs visuals and audio to 'get it'. Just words on a page - seems like limited understanding. Verbal words with a blank/masked-emotion face - limited understanding. Verbal words with the corresponding emotion - seems to take me a fair bit of pre-session preparation and angst to get there but when it happens he does seem to get on track to understanding, or at least trying to.

    I'm not sure how it normally works with anyone else. Just how it works (or doesn't work) with me. The only thing to do is to recognise both my and other people's human limitations. It's that or the "something's inherently wrong with me" train which doesn't need any extra stations on its route.

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    Re: Self harm thought musings and self awareness

    Quote Originally Posted by gooblax View Post
    My parents are alright, they just didn't know any better with how to deal with what was going on.
    Quote Originally Posted by gooblax View Post
    My current therapist... well... I feel like I keep making excuses for him but I get the sense now that he needs visuals and audio to 'get it'. Just words on a page - seems like limited understanding. Verbal words with a blank/masked-emotion face - limited understanding. Verbal words with the corresponding emotion - seems to take me a fair bit of pre-session preparation and angst to get there but when it happens he does seem to get on track to understanding, or at least trying to.
    It sounds like you are making excuses for both of these. I'm not suggesting you should hate your parents but I am suggesting that you need to work hard to negate their scripts.

    As for the therapist, that's all well and good if he were a friend or family member but it seems you are now in the position of having to provide therapy, social skills training, and empathy training to him. Plus you have to pay him while you do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by gooblax View Post
    I'm not sure how it normally works with anyone else. Just how it works (or doesn't work) with me. The only thing to do is to recognise both my and other people's human limitations. It's that or the "something's inherently wrong with me" train which doesn't need any extra stations on its route.
    What about option 2? That there's something inherently wrong with some or all of those other people?

    If you were in an abusive relationship and finally managed to leave that only to find yourself in a different abusive relationship (something that very often happens), what does that mean? That you deserve the abuse? That it's your fault? or that there was something wrong with your partners in both of those relationships?

  9. #9
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    Re: Self harm thought musings and self awareness

    Quote Originally Posted by David Baxter View Post
    It sounds like you are making excuses for both of these. I'm not suggesting you should hate your parents but I am suggesting that you need to work hard to negate their scripts.
    Ok, understood.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Baxter View Post
    As for the therapist, that's all well and good if he were a friend or family member but it seems you are now in the position of having to provide therapy, social skills training, and empathy training to him. Plus you have to pay him while you do that.
    It's not quite as bad as that. I think it's reasonable that he might need training from me on how to do effective therapy with me, just like it takes time for anyone to learn how best to work with anyone. It's been quite a difficult/painful way to be teaching him but maybe it had lessons I need to learn too.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Baxter View Post
    What about option 2? That there's something inherently wrong with some or all of those other people?
    Inherently wrong no, humanly flawed with stuff they could work to improve yes. I don't really see "inherently wrong" in anyone but myself beneath the stuff to improve.


    Quote Originally Posted by David Baxter View Post
    If you were in an abusive relationship and finally managed to leave that only to find yourself in a different abusive relationship (something that very often happens), what does that mean? That you deserve the abuse? That it's your fault? or that there was something wrong with your partners in both of those relationships?
    Sort of both. The partners need to work on themselves to not be abusive and their actions would be wrong. In that situation I wouldn't deserve the abuse simply because it was happening, but it's possible that I could deserve the result anyway.

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    Re: Self harm thought musings and self awareness

    Most victims of domestic abuse do nothing to become targets except be in the relationship and in the vicinity. They do exactly what you are doing: they make excuses and try to figure out what they may have done to provoke the abuse so they can avoid doing that on the future. But the reality is that there is nothing they can do or not do to avoid the abuse because the problem is not with them. It is with the abusers.


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