More threads by Sylvia


in my heart I know I need help...however my body seems bent on self-destruction. I cut to relieve emotional suffering... my words have no meaning to me now...I cannot communicate so I cut. I feel so twisted and hopeless! I want to tell my therapist about my problem but I do not have the strength. I'm afraid it would change everything about my relationship with her...actually I feel close to my psychologist now in some ways she is my friend. my self injury is a secret I have kept from those around me. I hurt myself but I do not want to hurt them. I am at a loss for what to do! I am only 17 and if my parents actually admit it and are confronted by self injury they may never trust me again. in all probability my privacy with no longer exist. why must I be so ashamed of this?! I really hate this cycle that I have created and yet I feel dependent on it. Nothing makes sense to me anymore... There is no logic nor clear-cut answers. Everything is simply gray.

part of the reason I am so afraid to admit the truth is that I fear abandonment by my psychologist and loss of love from my family. And I know they may sound silly but these fears are real to me.I read in a book on self injury that says such a case can be difficult for therapist to take on a client who struggles with self injury. I am afraid of destroying the relationship that I have with my psychologist...I only recently became comfortable with confiding in her after many months of treatment. I had thought that once I became comfortable with her I could admit my problem. however now I only find it more difficult. I am afraid that she will be so disgusted I my actions or that she will feel too inexperienced to help me. Right now she is my anchor to life and I have afraid of losing her trust more than anyone else. please help me!! I want to be strong enough but I feel that there is too much at stake...somehow either way I lose in the end...



not strong enough

Hi Sylvia,

I don’t SI in a classic sense... I do it emotionally and via destroying my cherished personal belongings and relationships... but maybe it kind of the same... I don’t know. But I can empathise with how you might feel.

I know for me... it was like I was screaming out for help... desperately needing somebody to notice the pain I was in. Needing somebody to care. But I could never face them and say I need help or that I needed them to notice... it had to be 'natural' like they notice on their own so that I did not feel so invisible. At the same time I did not want attention on me... it left me feeling so confused and disconnected from my feelings at times... and yes... like it was all some stupid game or something. Trudging through the day to day actions of being alive.

To address the issue of telling somebody... we have to remember that its instinctive for people to 'back away' at hearing that we do such things to ourselves. Their first reaction can be 'what if I say or do something to make them hurt themselves...", this thought alone can become a terrible burden on them and they back away from us. (Don’t forget that others suffer their own problems as well !!) Very few people are confident enough with THEMSELVES to face that kind of news from somebody they care about.

Your Psych should have been trained on appropriate responses to hearing your news... but that does not mean that she may not still be surprised and that might show. How would her being 'surprised' initially effect you ? Depending on your psychs skills and experiences you COULD possibly affect the 'relationship' they may not have the training on dealing with people who SI... BUT you need to remember you have this person to be your psych NOT your friend. That’s tough to hear maybe but its the truth. This person has a professional obligation to treat your 'condition' regardless of your 'interpersonal relationship' and thus should be able to continue treating you after they are told you SI. (You MIGHT be surprised by the fact that they may already know... but they might not have said anything because they want you to make the first step). (My wife works with a girl who SIs and I spotted it without seeing any scars or anything...).

Your family is concerned for you... they may not have the skills necessary to help them understand that they should not treat you differently (possibly) or 'not trust you'... it may entirely be a matter that they don’t know how to respond to the threat of you SIing and the fear that you may 'go to far' some day... and the fear that THEY might make you do that. They may feel they are on walking on egg-shells with you. It may be hard for us to accept but people have a right to own their feelings and fears do they not ?

How do we get PAST the misunderstandings and feeling hopeless ? By talking. And with practice and time it gets easier... they understand you more... they are able to deal with it better and you might not feel to "twisted and hopeless", as you say. Have you ever told them you SI because you have not learned how to respond in 'more appropriate' ways ? That the SIing is the only way you can express the emotional pain inside that does not get released in such an easy way that many people take for granted ?

Its tough to take those first few steps for everybody concerned. All you can do is take it one step at a time.

Take care.
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