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Trying to figure out why NOT SI?


mscat
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It ought to be an obvious answer , correct? The reason why it is not to me is because I have Self injured to the utmost extreme on several occasions. And then are times that I only SI to a lesser degree, however enough to cause 2nd degree burns onto a large area of skin.

It is now become all to easy to SI, and I have no reason not to anymore. Nothing stops me from doing so. Nothing feels better then a Burn to Snap me back into reality. It ought to hurt like hell> It hurts only afterwards. Strangely , I must have a high pain tolerance , I do not know. My mind wanders continuosly towards self harming. When I can severely harm takes a little planning , and where to Severely harm. To attack a specific body part, and make a large area of skin literally turn black> that takes several min. to occur, and I shall say YES , it is painful, and i won't say how it is Done.

Just that those thoughts are swirly , once again, and this is what is what I don't comprehend . The need to do so is not so easily understood, even by the doer. However, what I can say is that i have the ability to totally disconnect myself from the action. AND when it occurs it is often so much thought about it becomes on impulse. Working on a robotic mode , and on impulse , the mose severe SI can be done . Afterwards , it is mostly as if i am in shock, as if to think ,what have I done? did i really do that? WTF?

Only the little SI's are needed to controll the bigger more, dangerous, severe, harming.

This is probally all too much for anybody to actually know what this is like .I shall shut up now.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi cathy....

Your not alone, i totally get wot ur saying. I have been thinking like that for awhile now, as u know i was put onto psch ward but since i have returned home i still feel the same re SI tho some of my other thoughts have shifted, i think why not eh!!! I just wanted to let u know ur not weird or anything, and i do understand where u r coming from.

take gd care

jo xx

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  • 2 weeks later...
Cathy,

You are in my thoughts. I feel your pain.

Are you on any medication? I know I feel so much better since I started a new med.

Hugs to you ... JT

Yes , several medications. And in therapy once a week. I actually have not been on here for a while or knew that anybody saw this thread . Til now. My son is home for the summer. So i can't do any Si until he goes back to school in Aug, I am scared that when he does it is going to be a free for all. i'll lose total self control, because there will be nothing stopping me , and al that built up energy will be there, and frustration level will be up . once it is started , I know It will be difficult to come down from the SI, and I , somehow, will 'like it"

However, will know i'll have to deal with it later > the after effects. It's hard to explain while performing the SI, or in the zone , but after the burns are there, the actual pain does set in later on, weeks or days later, such as , I do ask myself, did I really do that? by then it is too late.

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Perhaps you may be addicted to the state you enter when you SI. This may be something like the brain feedback loop that drug addicts become trapped in when they consume their drug of choice and get high. When you SI, your mind enters a similar feedback loop that allows you to lose total control such that you 'like' inflicting the injuries to yourself. Certainly, you do not like the idea of hurting yourself, but this loop leads you to describe it that way.

Have you mentioned this concern with your therapist? There may be plans you can set in preparation for your son's absence in August. While there is still time, I strongly encourage you to take steps in addressing your SI fears. The last set of injuries was very tough for your family, and yourself. I am worried – as everyone is - that you will hurt yourself again much like before, and that you will have to deal with the healing process, risks of infections, and possibly worse.

If possible, I want you to head off your SI before it leads to similar injuries.

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I agree with SI being an addiction. When I was doing it I got a "high" from it and then later , when I had to look at and try to hide the marks I got depressed.... How could I mess my body up like that.

I haven't SI'd in a few months and I think the new meds and the therapy is helping. It was like I was crying out for help.... " I am in pain... emotionally... you can't see that , but can you see the scars on my legs, and my arms?? Can you see my pain now???"

I also felt unworthy.... people say I am pretty and nice, I don't see it. I see average and withdrawn and sad. I would actually love to live on a deserted Island all by myself.

But anyhow..... Cathy..... hang in there and tell your therapist how you feel and maybe by August you will feel diffrent.

Hugs, JT

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Armando R. Favazza, MD, MPH writes a most fascinating book on SI, Self-Mutilation and Body Modification in Culture and Psychiatry, in which he provides excellent explanations for SI and traces the history, both cultural and non-cultural, of this behavior. He also describes the various treatments available and their effectiveness. This is an excellent read.

Sorry about the above warning.... I decided to modify my post after realizing it was too graphic. Now I can't change the title to the post....aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrgh. Mea Culpa!

Edited by David O
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Armando R. Favazza, MD, MPH writes a most fascinating book on SI, Self-Mutilation and Body Modification in Culture and Psychiatry, in which he provides excellent explanations for SI and traces the history, both cultural and non-cultural, of this behavior. He also describes the various treatments available and their effectiveness. This is an excellent read.

Sorry about the above warning.... I decided to modify my post after realizing it was too graphic. Now I can't change the title to the post....aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrgh. Mea Culpa!

Thank you ,I'll look for it .

And to the rest of my friends on here who have followed my SI posts , and given me such great support I certainly apreciate everything you have said. : ) right now things are going a little better. We are currently going through a triple digit heat wave. 106- 107 degrees for a couples of weeks out here in california > It's HOT ! WE have been indoors all the time, and my kid has turned his sleeping patterns upside down .Staying up all night, sleeping most all day, so there has been a break for me, a little peace. Me and my Yorkie,and a puppy , Shih Tzu .

I have not Si'ed cause he's out of school , however in Aug . he goes back. and well , that is when I believe I am at my own mercy. I'll start up , and won't stop. Because that is how it works for me. Someone said I don't like the pain? or si? WEll I think I do > I do like the SI .It is a relief . A relief to SI. For me it helps me feel again. Feel alive and grounded. The pain is tolerable, I feel it, I will not deny that. I can tolerate it . I have a very high tolerance for it< most people do not. I am not proud of it, and do not encourage others of this type of extreme form of SI behavior. It gets too far too fast. And is not good, and I will admit , is dangerous .However, still is SI .A very , very bad form of SI. Iam too old for this crap. But, if I were younger, I may be doing the other crap I was doing before. The eating disorder, oh yes that was just as ugly. Got me down to 72 LBS . Now I am Hefty .So it is one extrmem to the other, which I had not realised . Anyway, Terrbilbe 2nd 3rd 4rth degree burn scars , shrugs , I really wonder when the hell this is ever going to end, I do not even know ? It is scary because i can't know myself . That is what is the mose worrissome. No excuses , or pitty. just that it's the out of control thing that goes on, and the unawareness that occurs in the moment, and ten when it is over, it is too late. After all is done, there finally occurs after the happiness of relief is over, of what have I done? Of crap! SHit! WHat the fuck ! sets in, and panic, bad dreams , and stuff . Then it is not good, or cool anymore. By then it is too late. It is all fucked up . Just left with more nurn scars to deal with, after thinking one was under control, really, one was not . That is what it is like when I have used some bad stuff to SI .

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Cathy,

Is there any chance you can use this quiet time, before your son goes back to school, to develop something different?

It's just a question; I know the issues, what you've said in the past.

I just wonder whether you're interested in trying something different?

It hurts to hear you hurt.

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So there is a part of you that wants to si and a part of you that doesn’t. Who says that the destructive part of you has to win this time? This may seem a bit corny, (ok, it is, but I don’t care!:)) but sometimes it helps to look at it as a battle. It doesn’t have to be the same old story. You can write a different ending. Let the survivor in you stand up for herself, so that the destructive part of you can’t have her way yet again. And sometimes it means waiting. Riding out emotions and looking to our list of alternatives in the process. I suppose I’m reminding you of this as much as I am myself. I have realized that I would never treat anyone else the way I treat myself. So fighting the urges means learning to be kinder to myself. Somehow digging for enough hope so that the fight seems worthwhile. I wish that for you too. Of course maybe this won’t help. Just thought I’d share.

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Thank you so much for the feedback ! I have not come back on here for a while, not until last night. ANd not until this am, to read my own thread. I was able to talk to my thearipst on Wednesday about my obessions with the next big Self injury and urges to do great bodily harm. He left on vacation this week, and I fet a little upset about that , so at the end of the session, I told him all about my thoughts of major SI.

Ths thoughts of major Si becomes so great , and powerful , and keeps coming all the time, won't stopping, it is all I think about , eventually . Then I would look forward to it, become, ready, plan on it, wait for it, and think about when , where, and all that stuff. My therapist ask me the same thing if their was anything else I could do besides SI, Self soothe, THIS is not a self sootheing act, not for me . Not the major SI I do . He is well aware of it .SOmetimes , It becomes carried awary, and it goes to far, I am not aware anymore, numb to the SI, and it is impulsive, then it becomes more severe, more dangerous. ANd I don't care.

The main words I only have to say is I did not do this to die, then after spending 8 days in CCU I get to go home. Sad, isn't it? sad because I know the drill so well . The first skin graphs are applied, I get intoragated be a psych team, then in about ten days I have to go back for anther surgery> the second one is the most painful> shit I know the drill well> They know me well. The burn center. Oh well, Shurgs shoulders. Somehow, in the long run , it seems to have it's benifits , because i keep doing it, and to a lesser degree , to those who know . JUSt never say i want to DIE> I ment to die. They will lock u up for sure!

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Okay, Cathy, that's what you don't want.

What do you want? That's the part that's hard for an outsider to understand. Is it okay for me to be curious about that?

Yes , it is ok for you to be curious about that > You referring to my statement nOT wanting to die, and being locked up> fair enough question.

Self injury , severe , SI to me has a lot of meaning, It is a manner of being numb, not feeling real , then focusing on a body part, destroying it, getting rid of it, purging it , making it go away, the "evil" bad part. it is gone. All the badness, horrid, again evil, inside is destroyed, taken out, magically disappears, can never return, no matter what, the skin graphs, can't replace it, or anything, it is replacing something new, but not the old anymore, that is gone. Their is always a specific "part" that is the primary focal point that literaly turns BLACK > If u know anything about severe burns Black skin is DEAD > that means the skin is completely burnt away, and typicaly it is a large part, as for what has happened it has become larger and larger parts of the body parts, not to be too morbid , or graphic, it is just the way it is, last time it was the whold stomach region. That was the largest area that was "attacked" So the thing is afterwards there is a sense a relief after a major SI, so this is how , it happens, their is no depression, or nothing, there is actually a sense of calmness, but the catch is I am a little overly sensitive afterwards, which is embarassing. Cause then REality sets in, such as OH SHIT, what the hell did I DO? kind of thing, but by then it is really too late, oops , the skin is dead, I have to go get this taken care of, have to see the same doctors , face these people, have to see them, play their stupid ass games, and just want to get the Hell out of there.

They put fake skin on that burnt area , then you go back in 10 dAys Later , and they operate , place real skin on from my thighs , scape that part off , staple it on, give u blood transfusions, last time too many of those, which sucked ass.

Thats as bad as it gets , However, obviously I do SI do lesser degrees , to the second degree , which , all fried up , but, still do so. NOT really all burnt, cause I still have places to SI, just keep going over the same areas, which is even more damaging.

There u have it, it's ugly , and I do not care. Cause this is what I do, It's unusal, so this is what my therapist just told me, I do not care what he ssaid. Or thinks about it. I do not believe it is an addiction either, not this form of self injury. Not this Major type.

I also believe I do have a lot of anger in me, however, I direct it all on myself, some people take it on others, they are in prison, I take it all out on myself> I know that this is the easiest way for others to understand why I do the things I do. Instead of hurting others , I hurt myself, nobody goes to prison for that . :P

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Going along with what malign wrote, (and I probably sound like an idiot) but I’m wondering what you want for yourself, how you would like your life to be. Do you believe that you can change and that things can get better? It sounds like you don’t have much hope. I know that when I am in that state of mind giving into the urge to si is easy. I figure there is no point in trying because things are just going to stay the same anyways. But I also know that si isn’t really working for me anymore and that way of life has only left me feeling more empty and ashamed. I’m forcing myself to meet new people and go out and do things that I would really rather not do and it gives me a little hope that I can get better and learn to do things differently. I’m working on giving myself things to look forward to, a reason to keep on fighting. Maybe you could use some of that too.

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I am so glad to hear from you guys, I've been wondering how you were!!!!

Lie_low, did you end up going to that rehab place, if you don't mind my asking?

Cathy, have you ever done art therapy or had an interest in art? I only ask because your writing here about SI is so deeply expressive. SI seems to meet a deep need to work out the expressions of how intense you feel. That makes sense to me. If you were open to the idea, there could be other ways to express those feelings, just as intensely as you needed, by making art. I just wondered if that was a possibility for you to try.

Please keep letting us know how you both are from time to time:)

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Catmom,

I don't know if you got the message I sent to you but I was looking for you. It had been a long time. I am happy that you are with us again.

Just some thoughts after reading what you wrote:

You stated that you do not want to die and I believe you, fully. At the same time, we human beings speak in metaphors or symbols. So, even though you do not want to die, aren't these attacks on your body a kind of metaphorical death??? The term you use is "SI," meaning "Self Injury," but, curiously, SI also refers to Suicide, also abbreviated as "SI." In other words, are these not little "suicides?"

Another question is this: Speaking only of now, the present time, could your self injuries be in reaction to your therapist going on vacation? Underneath, not consciously, is this not a way to get him to think about you while away?

I do not know: these are only thoughts and questions. What do you think?

One last question: Is it possible that these self attacks are also self punishment because you (wrongly) blame your self for your son's autism? I have worked with many parents, over the years, who wrongly blamed themselves for their children's conditions, whether it was mental retardation or any other variety of disability.

I hope you are not offended by my questions and thoughts. These are not being written as facts but only as some things to think about. If these do not fit, then please tell me and dismiss them. If they fit somewhat, maybe you can use it to help yourself. Please let me know.

Also, it is really good to have you back with us.

Allan

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Hey finding my way. Glad to see you around. To answer your question (and without hijacking Cathy’s thread) I didn’t go to rehab. The implications of telling my family (who don’t know that I am still self-injuring) and taking time off work seemed too difficult to take on. For now I’m doing individual therapy and starting group therapy next week. I wish things were not as much of a struggle but I’m glad that I listened to all of you guys and finally got some help. I have more hope than I have had for quite some time.

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Hi Catmom,

I don't know if you got the message I sent to you but I was looking for you. It had been a long time. I am happy that you are with us again.

Just some thoughts after reading what you wrote:

You stated that you do not want to die and I believe you, fully. At the same time, we human beings speak in metaphors or symbols. So, even though you do not want to die, aren't these attacks on your body a kind of metaphorical death??? The term you use is "SI," meaning "Self Injury," but, curiously, SI also refers to Suicide, also abbreviated as "SI." In other words, are these not little "suicides?"

Another question is this: Speaking only of now, the present time, could your self injuries be in reaction to your therapist going on vacation? Underneath, not consciously, is this not a way to get him to think about you while away?

I do not know: these are only thoughts and questions. What do you think?

One last question: Is it possible that these self attacks are also self punishment because you (wrongly) blame your self for your son's autism? I have worked with many parents, over the years, who wrongly blamed themselves for their children's conditions, whether it was mental retardation or any other variety of disability.

I hope you are not offended by my questions and thoughts. These are not being written as facts but only as some things to think about. If these do not fit, then please tell me and dismiss them. If they fit somewhat, maybe you can use it to help yourself. Please let me know.

Also, it is really good to have you back with us.

Allan

YES they are > little deaths, especially the most extreme SI that I have done, because of the tissue "death" involved. I can't say it is not . this makes perfect sense as to why a specific body part is always targeted.

However, I feel ashamed to admit it. My therapist going on vacation, I told him about it, the thoughts, and obsessing about the major SI again> Nothing has occurred, It won't because my son is out of school, and home, I don't SI when he is Home. There is a build up, first, a extreme build up, then it is like an exposion , and a severe SI occurs.

I did tell the therapsit about it right before he left on his vacation. So he knows. He thought I was going to kill myself, and asked me point blank, I said NO. That was odd, I've seen him for yrs, and he never asked me that before. The therapsit did say he is only going for just a week >ANd when I got home I kept thinking to mysef, that he is gone, he's gone. That sucks . Now I am back on here. Hummm.

Now with my sons ASD and cognitive delays, I have raised him for nearly 16 years as A single parent , all by myself since day one!! YES, I have gone through bouts of guilt .Off and on. He is high functioning , and doing well though. What kills me the most is his lack of social skills, and he seems so much younger then what he really is. + other kids are very mean to him! He is a great kid! However , what makes me feel worse , and really bad, is that I get mad at him, he drives me nuts , because he talks all the time about the same thing over and over again! It does not stop! He as an amazing memory! However, he won't stop , talking about bad stuff that happened yrs ago or even last yr, he talks over and over again about the same suject matter, non stop! Then I hate that! Thats the autism , I know , however, it is very difficult at times to live with! And then he still has the teenaged attitude ! He can be real snippy at times ! He is a big boy , and has fits of anger , he's bigger then I am, so what can I do? I can call my brother, that's it. He is a handful at times.

Allen if you were sending me a message under catmom, I am mscat, LOL . That's ok . I am here now. This is a great place . You guys in here have helped me so much :)

I've Si'd long before I even had a child . In my teens , it started, and I was hospitalized for nearly 2yrs. Not just for SI > I have experienced ED's too. TO tell you the truth I am No stranger to the mental health system> Most of my life I've had counseling, even at the age of 3yrs old< court ordered~!

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Guest ASchwartz

Mscat,

Duh, well yeah, I know who you are. See, I lose it too.:):)

Your responses to my questions were terrific and thank you so very much for your openness and honesty.

Just a tiny quote from you:

What kills me the most is his lack of social skills, and he seems so much younger then what he really is. + other kids are very mean to him! He is a great kid! However , what makes me feel worse , and really bad, is that I get mad at him, he drives me nuts , because he talks all the time about the same thing over and over again! It does not stop!

Of course you get mad at him. Any mom would find that enormously frustrating and get mad.

In addition to your psychotherapy, do you attend any support groups for moms or parents with children with the same or similar problems? If not I am sure you could find them and attend.

I mention this because it can be so very soothing and relieving to talk to people in a group who have the same or similar problems and who share your reactions. It helps to feel less like an ogre or terrible person and you are neither and ogre or a terrible person.

Allan :)

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I am so glad to hear from you guys, I've been wondering how you were!!!!

Lie_low, did you end up going to that rehab place, if you don't mind my asking?

Cathy, have you ever done art therapy or had an interest in art? I only ask because your writing here about SI is so deeply expressive. SI seems to meet a deep need to work out the expressions of how intense you feel. That makes sense to me. If you were open to the idea, there could be other ways to express those feelings, just as intensely as you needed, by making art. I just wondered if that was a possibility for you to try.

Please keep letting us know how you both are from time to time:)

Thank you finding my way , If I only were so talented in any other form of art, :P Not ! My strenth is writing, and I have always been able to be able to honestly express myself through writing so much better then communicating verbally. Even as a young child. I use to win awards in creative writing contests in grade school, through all the schools in the area, how cool is that?

Something I can do? Even my therapist knows , because i've printed copies out on here, and shown him my writings, he was impressed, on the writings, even when I had written him before it had only solidified the detail of my writings>

AS to answer Allens question about trying to meet up with parents of children who have ASD . It is not for me . Mainly because I am a resevered individual. I do not like to talk to others about things, and especially my son ! His teacher, YES, his therapist , YES, my brother , YES. No one else. I have this independent streak about me. I am use to handeling Matthew myself , and thats all. YES, he is a handful , and a bit of a spoiled brat, + he behaves as if he twice as young as he really is, and has the teenaged attitude :( However, I do have a break right now. He has been staying up!!! It has been hotter the hell out where we live , so Matthew's been sleeping in, there's my break! My quiet time.

WE learn to work around each other. My brother lives a ,mile away from me. My son will not cross him. Even if Matthew is an ass with me, I'll I have to do is mention it to my brother and my brother sets him straight. Sometimes my brother is not the best role model though, so I have to be careful on this. He can be a jerk too. It's difficult because I am struggling with my own personal demons , as well as trying to provide a stable life for my disabled son !!!!! IT SUCKS BUTT! :mad: It can piss me off , and angry me to no end , financially , emotionally, and physically ! thanks for letting me vent , then when it gets too much I'll take it all on myself, by really self injuring!!! just to feel better, or just to feel something, not by numbing out all those hateful frustrating , angry , maddening, evil , emotions anymore, coming killing out , I kill them all out , by what I do to myself> It's painful, however, somehow it is a release , and offers a sense of peace , for a while, until the build up starts all over again....

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A lit. class at this time , no . Mainly because I cannot handle groups of people , and not being at home > people call me a hermit, a recluse. At the age of 40 I am non social in real life. do not like to be around others, they give me the (shivers) seriously I'd rather die. Ironically , I do a lot of reading online , that suits my fancy.

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