The silence hung as you caught my eye, Conversations locked away in my mind.

(CW: Self harm and abuse)

So let’s talk about something no one likes to talk about.  Self harm.  Sure there are places people openly talk about this topic.  And this is my place to talk about whatever so that’s what I’m going to do.

I have a history of self abuse.  It stems from a lot of issues.  A completely fucked up sense of identity, including being trans, a complete disconnect from my brain and my body, and forever feeling ugly and unlovable. The abuse inflicted on me by others, from being raped as a child (a topic I’ll have to see if I’ve posted about, and if not, one that will be gone into,) to the forcing of the wrong gender upon me.  My own mental illness, dysthymia, which has hung around my neck like a weight my whole life.  My repression of my sexuality, the religious indoctrination I’ve lived under, and thousands of other things have all attributed to a very unhealthy coping tool to deal with the pressure and stress.

I self harm.  More specifically I cut myself with razor blades.  Mostly on my arm, thought I have cut other places.  It became a tool to use when I finally stopped trying to kill myself.  I’ve done it off and on for a many years.  At my worst I was cutting about once an hour, all through the day.  Even at work it’s surprisingly easy to steal away, roll up your sleeve and slice away at yourself.  People don’t often notice either.  It’s very rare for someone to notice, unless they themselves have a history of self harm.

People I tell this to often ask “Why would you do that?”  And the funny thing is, it helps.  It fucking helps like nothing else.  If it didn’t we fucking wouldn’t do it!  For me it’s been a way to focus all the anger, sadness, hurting, rage, all the emotions I’ve been unable to process, into a single point, and channel it into a single action.  And in that moment, in that blissful, painful, and pleasureful moment, it all washes away, and I can regain focus.

It’s a massive distraction.  It only lasts for a while.  But it does help often.  If the option is that or let it build until I kill myself, I’ll take hurting myself.  But it’s a temporary solution.  And it’s one I need to replace with something else.

I cut myself tonight.  I was feeling frustrated and upset about many different things.  The speed of my transition. rejection from several different fronts in my life, my depression cycling out of control, feeling ugly, being unemployed.  These all added to my already screwed up sense of self.  And it just hit a point when I couldn’t focus past the instant I was in, so I cut.  It’s like biting your tongue to distract from some other pain.

And here’s a thing:  I’m doing so much better than I used to.  I was off for a long while, hadn’t cut in a couple years.  The desire was there, and I’d come close.  I cut myself again a couple weeks ago.  But thanks to accepting myself, on so many different things, I don’t feel so alone, so unconnected to my own body.  I’m actually getting better.

Does this mean I’ll never cut again?  Probably not.  It’s an addictive habit, and as long as that pain is less than others, it’ll be a temptation to do again.  It’s worked too well in the past.  But every day, with the help of people who care, and learning to care for myself, I get a step closer to it not being as helpful.  Once it is a bigger pain than what I feel inside, it’ll be easy to do away with.

If you are someone who has or is actively hurting themselves, I love you.  I am always available to you if you need or want.  My hand is always extended to you.  I will never judge you, tell you you’re wrong, or preach to you on those issues. Just please remember that you’re not alone, and you are not unloved.  I’ve been here many times, and I will continue to be here.

Rachel

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