I don't understand

Ok I get that self injury is just a way of avoiding problems and that is is not a good thing to do. I also know it can get dangerous if you cut to deep. However with that said, Why if it helps at the time does my family not understand that I just need some release. I have spent the last month or so just torn inside because I can't self injure. I can't self injure because my husband would get ticked off at me. He doesn't understand what I am going through and I can't tell him because I just get the it's in the past let it go. Well it's hard to let it go when I see it tattooed on the back of my mind. And I know self injuring is just a temporary fix, but that is all I need, i just need until I can get through these issues. I just don't understand why I can't do it, I am not trying to kill myself, I am not doing anything that would cause me long term damage so what's the deal. I am so frustrated right now. I can't talk to anyone about what is going on because I just can't. you know when you want to say something but can't because you don't want to look bad. well that is where I am. Now I just have to sit bottled up inside while I boil over and get angry at everyone around me. See if I just self injured I wouldn't be getting mad at everyone around me because I would be able to release what is inside me or at least let some of it out. Anyways sorry to vent just very aggravated because I feel like it's my body and I should be able to do what I want without people getting angry with me.

Dear Violeteyes2:

I can hear the anxiety and the frustration and even anger at others attempting to control what you do or don't do to your body. You're right. It IS your body, not theirs. I can also understand your need to "release" what you cannot deal with mentally or emotionally in a way that you see as the only way to ease the pain of the pent up emotions that you've got bottled up inside. Once we find something that seems to work for us, we tend to feel lost without being able to use it. It leaves us feeling miserable, lost and even more uncomfortable. In a way, it's like a cocaine addict not being able to get a hit. "Just let me take a hit and I'll feel better!"

You, yourself have said that you "know" that it's a "temporary fix". You know that it's not solving nor, removing the original source that causes you the need to self-injure. Your family sees this as well. All of you know that it's not a real cure for the problem. As a matter of fact, it's more like an addiction because essentially, what it's doing is very similar to someone who uses alcohol to numb the pain of an emotional trauma. The alcohol does nothing to solve the problem. It's only a temporary "numb" and eventually, the problem that is causing the alcohol (or other drugs for that matter) has to be stopped and a real solution to the originating problem found. As long as the person is using some "numbing method" there won't be a real need or way to get to the real source/pain/problem.

Self-cutting or self-flaggelation or self-injury of any kind is a "numbing" mechanism just like the alcohol and will do nothing to help you get to and solve the actual cause of your need to self-injure. You know as well as anyone else that self-injury does nothing to change or exorcise that inner problem or, "the memories tattooed into the back of your mind", right? I'm equally sure that you know that self-injury, being a temporary "fix" is not a rational or healthy or normal method that will solve anything. It's what you say it is....simply a "temporary release" that will have to be done again and again and again and again!

Imagine watching someone that you love, using a substance to deal with a problem. What would your reaction be to that? Would you tell them to keep on using it? Or, would you beg them to get help to deal with the problem so that they can finally feel good and go on to live their lives happily and normally? Would you see the substance usage as "the solution" to their problem or, would you see it as simply a bandaid solution that is only good for that moment? Would you want them to continue on like that indefinitely in pain and needing more and more of that substance to "cover up the feelings"?

If you answered that you'd want your loved one to find an answer that solved the problem and finally feel free t it and healthy and happy, then you have to understand that it is how your husband and family and friends are seeing your situation with the self-injury.

I wish you all of the best and I hope that you can see that it's not about you cutting yourself. It's about people loving you enough that they want to see you get a permanent fix for what causes your pain rather than continual, neverending temporary and unhealthy "releases/fixes".

Best of wishes! I hope you will seek out help if you're not already doing so because help exists. You don't need the pain you are trying to dull/numb yourself from with the self-injury. Proper, professional help will do far more if you let it. If you are getting professional help and it's not working...move onto someone else. There are answers! There is an end to this but, self-injury is NOT the answer or the cure!

JL, I understand what you are saying and my Therapist has asked me a similar question of what i would do if one of my children wanted to cut. and yes I would say they shouldn't do it and I would get them into help, but I am getting help I just have to get through a few more days and I can hopefully talk this out with my therapist, but until then i don't understand how it would hurt me. As long as I don't make a habit of it. Wow this is the same argument I have had with my therapist. And for now I am not cutting, but it makes me angry to know I can't cut. I know it makes no sense, I just need a release not forever just for a bit. but again you are right I wouldn't let my children do the same thing because of the fact that it is unhealthy. UGH i hate having this battle with myself.

Violet, your last sentences say so much..."Keep your head up. Success doesn't come from giving up and quitting. It comes from dreaming and believing that you can get through anything if you set your mind to it."

I'm so sorry that you're having this inner battle going on as it's not an easy one. The principle is very much like someone who has to quit smoking cold turkey and the withdrawal from it is creating a powerful, overwhelming drive/need to "have just one...just one" to take away the discomfort of the cravings and urges. In the meanwhile, with this internal battle going on, there is all of this pent up anger and hostility and it's gnawing away at them. Why go through that when "just one cigarette here and there" would ease that discomfort?

The thing is, "cutting" is similar to an addiction of any sort. It's much like the cigarette smoking or a hit from cocaine. That "just one" is never enough. There's got to be an end point at which there simply is no more and whatever has to be gone through, has to be gone through. That "just one more time" is starting back on that vicious cycle again.

I think I know what you're going to say here as a "but". You're likely going to say, "but why can't I cut here and there until my therapist has helped me more....then, maybe I won't need to do it and I can stop without this torture?" The thing is, there has to be an ending point somewhere and this is it. This is where the beginning of the end of this "addiction" starts! You're already one giant step into it if you stop the cutting. It's akin to throwing away that pack of cigarettes or that package of cocaine. It's part of beating this. If you cut...even once, it's setting you back on your journey to health. If a smoker takes even one more cigarette, an alcoholic takes even one more drink or a cocaine addict takes even one more hit...it's a step backwards and the process has to start all over again.

Just hang on! Start with just getting through TODAY. Try going out and doing something different. Try a walk....go beat up a pillow when the anger or feelings get too strong. SCREAM into a pillow...do WHATEVER ELSE it takes to get through one day at a time! You're essentially kicking a form of an addiction....one day at a time...one hour at a time if necessary.

You're doing good! Just keep thinking of your kids! Think of how powerful a message you're sending to them. Think of how powerful YOU are over this by getting through this! You're winning...NOT "IT"!!! Every moment, every hour, every day that you get through is one that's behind you and a victory over "it".

Hang in there! You CAN beat this and be healthy and happy again!!!

Maybe while your sitting in the pain instead of cutting you may learn some things about why you do it in the first place. There are reasons why we self destruct. I am not saying I know them for you but there may be value in just resting in the emotional pain and let it tell you what is really going on. p.s. I'll try to take my own advice... Hang in there.. Akita

Akita, I think the hardest thing we ever do is take our own advise. And I am working on dealing with the pain. I am only asking for a little break. I know I don't want to go down the road of self injury again. i don't want to have to hide my whole body from everyone or be embarrassed about a cut that my kids ask me about. I just want to take one moment and just let some of it out so I don't feel like I am going stir crazy. As far as dealing with the problem face on I am planning on it but I can't yet. It is so hard to explain but things are coming on to fast for me and I need to slow it down. It's like I think I am dealing with one problem and a new problem comes up and I am just tired and need a break from it all.

Violet, sometimes, we need to have something "full force" in order to get to a point where we feel the need to and can do something about it full force.

You explain that for reasons that you can't explain, you can't yet face the originating problem because you begin to deal with one problem and then, a new one crops up. I can understand that feeling. Unfortunately, that's Life coming at us. There will NEVER be a time when there won't be any other problems coming up. There will always be another problem to deal with. We all hope it won't be that way but, unfortunately, for all of us, it is that way. :( There's no humanbeing, walking this planet who doesn't have problems and problems being loaded on top of problems...even if it doesn't appear so outwardly to the rest of us.

Having said that, do you think that there would EVER be a time when it would be "right" to deal with the originating problem?

When we are facing having to deal with a long standing problem, the ONLY time that is "right" to deal with it is NOW. You just may find that when you deal with the major problem the rest will seem so insignificant by comparison to what it feels right now. The idea is to deal with problems in a HEALTHY and CONSTRUCTIVE way. Self-injury does NOTHING to solve the actual problem, does it? It's a vent, a numbing mechanism that temporarily numbs somewhat but, it does NOTHING to solve the problem, does it?

In all reality...in all of the time that you've been self-injuring, what has it done to SOLVE or RID the orginating problem/situation? Really be honest with yourself here in answering that question. Other than numbing your pain over it, has any of the cutting actually SOLVED or gotten rid of the actual problem that's causing you to feel the need to self-injure?

If you (as I suspect you will), come up with the answer, "it hasn't solved it"....then, continuing to take this road is akin to having a broken down car and taking a hammer to it. Does it FIX the car? No! It only destroys more of it.

So, maybe, it really is time to stop the hammering and actually get "the car" fixed??? :) There will never be a better time than NOW to fix it. :)


We all need to hear this... Often times we are conditioned to base our reality on how we feel so we make choices according to those feelings and not according to sound thinking. Feelings are ok but when they tell us to do destructive things then we have to look to the real issues and pass on the feeling, because as you say it is a temporary fix to a possible life long struggle... Thanks for that, Akita

Does cutting make things better. Of course it does otherwise why would we do it. But, as you said its temporary. What's also temporary is the urge to cut. Distraction is the best thing I know to deal with the urge to cut. Really to stop any unwanted behavior.

Don't sit in a room alone thinking about cutting. Get up. Go for a walk. Play with your dog or other pet. Call someone. Go to the mall. Sing. Dance. Play a video game. Read. Write. Pray. Exercise. Do something!

I love YouTube. I watch sitcoms that I love, like the Cosby show or Dharma and Greg. Or just watch funny videos, laughing babies or America's got talent...there's lots of stuff there.

That's what works for me..it's helped me quit smoking, stop self destructive behaviors..well ok, I'll be honest, it's cut it way way down from daily to a couple times a month.

I hope this can help you. Good Luck

First of all I HATE WHEN people tell me to let it go when it is so hard to, my boyfriend knew when we got serious I was a cutter and that he couldn't change that and the only reason I told him was because he was going to see the scars. And yes he has tired to help me stop cutting by joining yoga with me and karate. He has even tried to take away my blades, but in the end I will cut if I have to. I try to use steps first by writing or drawing out my feelings and then i will use a rubber band and flick it on my wrist to help with the anxiety I am feeling after I do that if I still have that urge I will cut, and if my boyfriend is mad he can sleep on the couch. They are write we do need to let crape go but in our own time and not there's and we need to do what we have to, to survive whether that is cutting or screaming or whatever as long as you find a process that helps you reduce the amount of cutting you do, and if he gets mad at you say sorry but this is me and I am trying to fix me but its a slow process.