• Quote of the Day
    "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."
    Nelson Mandela, posted by Daniel
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I was thinking about why I do this and there are so many reasons, but I think I punish myself for having feelings, for being human, for making mistakes, for existing. Growing up we just were not allowed to express emotion, not when we were sick, not when we were hurt, not even laughing and feeling joy. It was just shut down immediately and it's like I have all this emotion bottled up and it feels so wrong to feel.

I started doing it when I was about 8. I remember being so scared and ashamed as a teenager because I had never heard of it and we didn't have the internet or anything like that to do research about things. I remember reading the book, "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden" and being so afraid I was going to end up like the girl in the book, in the state mental hospital. And making up stories about how I hurt myself and lying about it only added to the shame and guilt I already felt.

I did stop for several years and I was so proud of that. And then I started again. I went through a really hard experience in 2002 and then another worse one in 2003 and I started hurting myself again and it's just gotten worse and worse and I want to stop. I feel damaged already, but I think it contributes to the damage I already feel and the defectiveness and the pain. It is a horrible vicious cycle of abuse to myself. I'm abusive to myself. I'd never thought of it like that before.

But before I can stop I think I have to somehow learn to value me and not feel ashamed of who I am and not feel guilty if I like myself.

I don't know why I'm writing all of this. I want to try to stop this behavior, but I suppose I have to deal with all the reasons behind it. I think that's the hardest part, realizing the reasons and facing them, the worthlessness I feel, the despair, the pain, the sadness, the feelings, the haunting memories that just seem to come out of nowhere.

Maybe I can do it though. Maybe I'm stronger than I think and maybe I'm stronger than they think. Maybe I'm NOT totally and completely destroyed the way I think I am sometimes. I don't know for sure, but I hope I can do this.
 

foghlaim

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Maybe I can do it though. Maybe I'm stronger than I think and maybe I'm stronger than they think. Maybe I'm NOT totally and completely destroyed the way I think I am sometimes. I don't know for sure, but I hope I can do this.

You can do it. You are stronger than You think and You are stronger than they think. You are not totally and completely destroyed the way You think You are sometimes. YOU can do this.

there's a lot of positive thinking up there..
What else can i say... well done on posting the above Janet.. :)


nsa
 
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janet i agree with nsa. you are stronger than you think. when i think of the things i went through and thought i could never survive, i survived them. it is incredible the resilience in human beings. i know you can do it. i think you know it too :)
 

ThatLady

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You can do it, Janet. It isn't easy, but you can do it. You can do it because you want to do it. You can do it for yourself, and you can do it for Abigail. I know that somewhere inside you there's a little voice that tells you the truth...that you're a good, sweet, caring, valuable person. Sometimes, it speaks so quietly we can barely hear it over the bellowing of the past. However, it's always there, even if it's whispering. Listen closely. You can do this. :)
 

Rosa

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(((safe hugs for Janet)))) i completely understand how you feel when you describe feelings of worthlessness and of having no value....it is hard, but you are not worthless and you do have value. I know its hard to change habits from the past and relearn new behaviors but i know you can and will do it. You are a strong person and a very valuable human being. Just knowing you makes me a better person and I think that sayss alot.
In friendship
Rosa
 

poohbear

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What caught my attention is that you said "maybe I am stronger than they think..." I was just wondering who "they" are? And maybe u could try to not worry so much about what others think. I tend to do that alot, and it really puts a damper on my mood when I know I've done something wrong, and on top of my own guilt, I carry someone's disproval! I know I shouldn't, I just do. But, anyway, it's just something I noticed in your writing (which by the way was very fluid, clear and descriptive-- do you write often? Maybe you should?). Good Luck--Poohbear
 

ThatLady

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I was thinking about why I do this and there are so many reasons, but I think I punish myself for having feelings, for being human, for making mistakes, for existing. Growing up we just were not allowed to express emotion, not when we were sick, not when we were hurt, not even laughing and feeling joy. It was just shut down immediately and it's like I have all this emotion bottled up and it feels so wrong to feel.

Janet, that's really one of the most insightful things I've seen you write. I was raised in a similar environment; although, probably not as severe. Yet, my father was pretty much an emotionless man. My mother was more emotional, but turned most of that toward my brother, not toward me. He was more needy by nature. Like you, showing emotion wasn't really an acceptable thing to do. One must put on a strong front, bite one's lip, and endure. One does not become sick. If I was sick, I'd better have a fever of 104F, or be bleeding out. Laughter was rarely heard in our house. Fighting between my parents was far more common. I saw the two of them actually kiss only once in the almost seventeen years I lived in that house. It was not a nurturing environment.

I was always "too" everything. "Too" dramatic, "too" emotional, "too" sensitive. You name it, according to my parents, I overdid it. It took over 30 years for me to learn that there wasn't a darned thing wrong with me. I'm a person, and I'm an individual, and that's just plain fine! I don't have to meet other peoples' expectations. My mother has learned, over the years, that we can get along beautifully as long as she remembers that I run my own life. She does not run my life. She runs her own life and I do not interfere. She lives with me, but that doesn't give me any right to try to control her, nor her to control me. We've managed to work things out but it took a long time and a lot of hard work on both our parts.
 

SoSo

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Janet, thank you for posting that, like looking at my own life in so many ways, you said some things that really made me think, which is good. I had 5+ years free of SI then had too much stress, started again. Like you I was raised in a family where emotions were not allowed, ever! But, I have them and am trying to work through the negative ones, get them out of my life and focus more on the positive. I am going to "somehow learn to value me" as you wrote, that is it, in a nutshell, have to learn to value me. Thank you for writing that, today, I am going to make a list of things that I should value about me, then, seeing them in actual print, perhaps it will give me the courage or strength to make it to another day without SI, which is a wonderful goal. I really think we should all value ourselves, we are all unique, special, in our own way. Thanks Janet for making me see that, all the best on your journey, you can make it, we all can.
Feisty
 

braveheart

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It's ok to feel, it really is.

I know how hard it can be. I was conditioned not to feel, to be punished for anger and sadness and longing and joy and excitement. For existing.
This goes deep....
 
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Thanks Janet for opening up Pandora's box. Thanks to all who shared a glimpse into their "tough" upbringing.

My parents are in their mid-seventies and their parental styles were and still are pretty much as described by the posters on this thread. I've had to come to terms with the fact that this was toxic for my siblings and me and it remains as such.

I try to keep a certain "safe" distance with my parents on the emotional front (also with my siblings) but with all due respect to my parents old age, i can't cut off the ties completely as nature will do that soon enough. Realistically, they don't have enough years left to effect a change where they feel none is needed. The only changes possible are the ones i create for myself starting with my perception of the past, the present and the future.

My folks were themselves raised by cold parents and i attribute this to the socio-economic reality of their epoch. There was WWII and the Depression years, pandemics where children and siblings were dying, the cultural pressures to marry before age 20, the non-existence of women's and children's protection under the law, the fear of eternal torment in hellfire if contraceptive methods were used by couples etc...etc...

Every generation is stunted as far as i can see. I forgive my parents just as i forgive myself and hope my children will forgive me too...

Blessings,

Josée
 

ladylore

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This is beautiful Forgetremember.

I hope I can get to that place one day. I am in a place where my family doesn't owe me anything and I don't owe them anything, yet I am still working through the pain.
 
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I was going to start a new thread, but this one seems to fit what I'm feeling. Trying to find words for what I'm feeling instead of acting out those feelings on myself. It's tough. Very tough. I'm really struggling. I wish I'd never started down this path, but here I am. This is something I have to deal with. I can only start over from this moment.

I am hurting inside, feeling that need to punish myself for everything that ever has gone wrong. And the thoughts are scary. Scarier than ordinary self-injury thoughts. My mind goes to very dark places. I don't want it to, but it does.

But maybe I do have more control than I believe. Maybe I can choose my thoughts. Maybe changing my thoughts can change my feelings and I won't feel so bad. All I can do is try.

I know this song has been posted here before, but it just fits tonight:


Everybody Hurts
REM
When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,
When you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on
Don't let yourself go, 'cause everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it's time to sing along
When your day is night alone, (hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go, (hold on)
When you think you've had too much of this life, well hang on

'Cause everybody hurts. Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts. Don't throw your hand. Oh, no. Don't throw your hand
If you feel like you're alone, no, no, no, you are not alone

If you're on your own in this life, the days and nights are long,
When you think you've had too much of this life to hang on

Well, everybody hurts sometimes,
Everybody cries. And everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes. So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on
Everybody hurts. You are not alone
 
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I am really struggling with this whole thing. Not being able to put the pain into words and wanting to take it out on myself. It just hurts so much. I'm really in pain inside. I feel all lost and alone. And sad. And afraid. So many feelings. And I need to find some way to just sit with them instead of hurting myself. And it's so hard.
 
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Hi,
I just would like you to know that you not on your own on here . I am sorry you are in so much pain right now. :hug:
 

braveheart

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Have you tried experimenting with painting, finger painting and suchlike? Art therapy style can be very therapeutic. My therapist is still taking care of some paintings I made when I felt at my most raw.
 
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i am sorry for your pain :hug::hug: what techniques have you used in the past to not hurt yourself? is there anything you can try that has helped before?
 
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I just wanted to thank everybody for responding. I am really struggling and feel that self injury is my only way of speaking right now. :( It's just really hard right now.
 
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do you think you could write, or paint, or take some play dough or clay and beat up on it to express your pain?

many hugs :hug::hug:
 

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