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my therapist does not know how to help me


mscat
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I have been talking to the same therapist for at least 4 years . Today, I went in and he had me sign the plan of care . That is fine, it is mainly for insurance purposes, and I sign it every year. I lookes at the front page, to see what the goal was. It was just one sentence regarding my self injury . The threapist said he does not go in deatil on the forms , it was not a big deal.

However, when I discuss the SI with him and try to put it into feeings, what happens and stuff, he does not know how to help me. His response is always the same, whis is "it's all in your control" ok , then , It feels as if he is at a loss to even give any typr of supportive feedback whatsoever, it also makes him uncomfortable when I discuss the Self injury. Acts as if it blows his mind.

Even though he KNOWS all about what i've done to myself , and knows about all of the severity that is invloved. He still gets so uncomfortable an does not offer any ind of support, feedback at all.

SO I am stuck. If this is my main goal to be helped with the SI , then it is a contradiction.

I guess their are not a lot of therapists who know how to address Self injury. Or be helpful. I start again talking about the issues about SI , and what are the reasons, he justs tells me I have a pretty good idea as to why , and know it is complicated .

Makes me feel like he DOES not have a good idea, and DOES not help me, just becomes uncomfortable when I try and talk about it, YES , it is gross, what I've done to myself. Yes, it is moreso over the top then just a little bit of cuts on ones wrists, or arms.

BUT , the therapist I see , IS not sure , or anything about what I do , he is not sure what to say, or how to even began to help. Leaves the ball in my court, that is fine, I understand that SI is what it is.

It just the point though, IT becomes out of control fast , for me, and impulsive when I finally do something really badly to myself. I tell him I erupt, like a volcano, and do end up going too far , more then I reaslise .

He still does not know how to help, or respond. Only gets uncomfortable, himself about the SI .

then I come home feeling real hopeless .

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Hi, I hope you taking care of yourself right now, I know you haev mentioned that this is a very difficult time of year for you. I was just sitting here wondering if your therapist might be willing to refer you to a specific clinical traumatologist (specialist in PTSD associated disorders) in your area for specialized treatment of the SI? I know you have been with him for 4 years, but if he is really that uncomfortable he may think it a good idea. just a thought, I am sure you have heard it before but i thought i would mention it.

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Hi Cathy, as you know most of us are just fellow sufferers. We can stay by you though and offer our hearts and our thoughts while you wait for a specialist to help.

I notice that when you start talking about SI you go into a kind of numb state when you speak of the traumatic events that got all this going. ANYONE would dissassociate like that, those were horrors. Here's an idea. I'm wondering if you could find a picture to look at during those times of young you. If you don't have a photo, you could search Google Images to find a picture of a young girl that would work. My point is, when you start to dissassociate, you start to lose her. If you could look at that picture as your adult you, and reach out to her, keep the connection to her alive, you might gradually stop the numbing. I know there is great pain at that place:(:(. You might be strong enough now to stay by her though.

Just trying to help. Stay with us, Cathy!! Take care.:o

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Good morning Cathy,

My closest SIB experiences came about when I was a teenager and into my 20's. I had such rage, shame and emotional overloads inside that there were times I would begin to dissociate, zone out and feel nothing, at which point I would begin to punch myself in the head and face to the point of unconsciousness. I would occasionally ram my head into walls, door frames and doors w/o feeling anything... but then would come a strange "high" like an endorphin release, which reinforced the dysfunctional behavior. This was, of course, followed by the lows of self shame, loss of control and more negative self talk of my being a failure. If I knocked myself out, I would awaken 5-10 minutes later. These incidents occurred weekly to bi-weekly. If I remained conscious, I would feel a relief, but feel no pain, and then be overcome by shame. My children never knew this but my 1st wife saw it once and was completely shocked and stunned by it. Over the years (between 15-28) I probably did this 150-200 times. The rages came from my childhood traumas.

Repeated childhood traumas resulted in pretty severe PTSD and situation specific panic attacks. The PTSD played itself out in many forms with me (the nightmares, which I still have, certain fears, a hypersensitivity) and one of them was thru self abuse and even self neglect.

I'm no longer that frightened boy, but he remains in me as an injured and deeply wounded child.

All of this to tell you that I've struggled with some (certainly not all) of what you've been thru. While I would never hope to compare our experiences, I think the following suggestions may be helpful since it has worked with me and many of my clients with BPD, PTSD and Bipolar Disorder. Some things I did thru therapy for myself and in my work with others who have SIB.

This is what I did and now recommend to my clients-- I hope it helps and in fact, you could teach it to your therapist (or find a more competent one)-- I've had many clients teach me how to be a better therapist. Start journaling every incident (this will decrease the dissociative experience and quickly focus you on an incompatible task to SI) and include the following:

  • Rate the intensity of your urge to hurt yourself on a scale from 1-10.
  • Identify which emotions you are feeling just before and during the incident.
  • Rate the intensity of each emotion on a scale from 1-10.
  • Identify the situation you were in prior to your urge to hurt yourself.
  • Identify the unhelpful/impulsive thoughts present when you had the urge to hurt yourself. Listen carefully to what you're telling yourself and write it down in detail. This may increase the urge, but whatever you do, don't stop writing.
  • Use a 4 column format, in column 1, write your thoughts that are pushing you to SI, in column 2 write your emotions (sad, mad, shame, etc.), in column 3 begin to challenge your thoughts (are they rationale or not, where it coming from and is this the best way to express them, etc.) and in column 4, write down an incompatible behavior with the SI-- what can you do instead: laundry, run up and down the stairs 20 times at a rapid pace, work you garden, put the tele on and do an all-star workout with Gilad or anyone whose doing one, etc). Once you hit column 4, get up and engage in one of the incompatible behaviors. Do it with the same intensity and deliberateness as you would an SIB, and be very mindful of what and why you're doing this.

This will be nearly impossible to do at first and might even seem stupid and unhelpful... but you'll need to try it for at least a 45 days before you begin to see change. Remember to be consistent no matter what.

Now, rate the intensity of your emotions a scale from 1-10 after completing this log. You may notice that working through this activity helps you more closely identify what you are feeling and thinking, and how a situation that occurred before the desire to self injure may be connected to the urge. Some people find that the urge to self injure greatly decreases after going through this step by step process. Since SI is primarily a coping strategy by managing overwhelming thoughts and feelings by short-circuiting them, this process can serve as a longer replacement version for the same short-circuiting of SI. It will take some time and practice, and lots of patience. If you relapse even after having done this for awhile, just start over the next day and consider the relapse a learning experience.

Cathy, I'm not sure you have any of these books, but you can get them at half.com for 75-90% off the original price. Look into them and see what you think:

Tracy Alderman, Ph.D.> The Scarred Soul: Understanding and Ending Self-Inflicted Violence

This self-help book provides information and exercises to work through self-injury, and to increase coping mechanisms.

Conterio, Lader, & Kingson Bloom> Bodily Harm: The Breakthrough Treatment Program for Self-Injurers

Marilee Strong> A Bright Red Scream: Self-Mutilation and the Language of Pain

Good Luck to you and i hope you find this helpful,

David

Edited by David O
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Thank u for al who replied , David O , u have given me a tool, nobodyhas ever done this before. I was reading very carefully what suggested, and was calm, until getting the the last step> I got anxious, caught myself holding my breath, having to then take in deep breaths in order to go on, it was panic > But I got through it, by deep breaths and fighting off the panic . It was step 4 that sent me through the roof .

Really don't know why though:eek: Probably because SI has been the ultiimate solution for me for 25years.

I have felt relief as well from the SI , but that mainly has been when the burning has been more ritualisitc.

The more severe SI , the more impulsive, numbing, and disconnected I've become before engaging in it. the disconnection is as bad as the body being all in parts, nothing is together , all separated. Much like a puzzle. I'll focus on a specific part of the body to severely injure, to ruin, kill and destroy . that is the goal. It is as well to try to recconect all the pieces again. And then to cleanse out the part of the body that is dead .

The times of severe SI , i am even shocked as hell how and what I did. YES it went too far, and I had lost control over it . Chemical Burns going everwhere, moreso then what was suppose to occur.

HOW I withstand this form of torture, SI I do not even know ? The therapist used that word, torture. I do not pass out , but only feel the pain when it is at the intense moment, however the pain subsides. Only because it was sucessful, deaden that specific area, all the way down to the 3-4 levels of skin . When that happens , the skin is blackend> Meaning literally it is "dead"

SHould I have be feeling relief ? NO , only that I am here and now again, but very tired. And the realization that something bad has occured to the body. Then the dread of having to go to the hospital sets in. That is where the humilation comes from. I am not angry or upset for the SI'ing, I am embarrased at having to go to the burn center , and being treated again by the same DR's and nurses. Then I eventually find out what the hell I did to myself . REality sucks ass , at this point. Even though their is NO pain anymore.

Not until the first surgery. thenI think , ok I am in pain now, Serious, horrible pain, waking up a little from the nurses voices I recognize, I talk to one, they are surprised I wake up , and know who the nurse is, then just to go out unconscience , for how long? Don't know .

Other times waking up and having double vision, blurry and can't see right, they tell me I lost to much blood . needing blood transfusions, and hearing that my blood pressure topped up, so the surgenons pumped me up with fluides, so much that I could not open my eyes.

YEah , I did that to myself, and then paid very, very bad consequences. Why do this SI crap again again , each yr? Don't know, don't know.

It is SI , not to DIE, but the risk is there , and as long as "I tell those people, the right words" "I did do it to kill myself" the Self harming is OK to do. The ultimate would be the DR's team overreacting , and sending me to a mental hospital> as long as I get to go home.

Thank u for giving me a concrete alternative to work on. I have not ever had .

Cathy

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Good morning Cathy,

If you don't mind, I'd like to add just one last piece to yesterday's post. As I read your response, my heart went out to you... the inner torture you must feel is hard to read, it is surely 100X even more traumatic to experience repeatedly. Since step 4 was where you began to struggle and lose your breath, let's focus on that for a minute and see if we can't move beyond it too.

We're going to practice what's called thought stopping. Thought stopping is first step in getting someone to immediately stop thinking about those things which will distract or dissuade them from what they are supposed to be thinking. It's like when my kids used to put their hands over their ears and start yelling out "da da da da da da da..." so that they could ignore directives to clean their rooms or do their homework. The idea is that when certain thoughts that precede SI behavior begin to surface, you immediately go into thought stopping mode before they take hold and consume you. here's how it works:

To stop unwanted thoughts, you focus on the thought and then learn to say "Stop" to end the thought. At first, you will shout "Stop!" out loud. Then you will learn to say it in your mind so that you can use this technique anywhere. Here's how to get started:

  1. List your most stressful thoughts. These are the thoughts that distract you from your daily activities and make you want to SI. You wish you could stop having these thoughts, but they keep occurring. Write down your upsetting thoughts in order of the most stressful to the least stressful. Start practicing thought-stopping with the thought that is the least stressful. Here's an example of a list, starting with the most stressful:
    • I'm always feeling upset when my child goes back to school and I'm left alone.
    • I.....
    • I'm so anxious and afraid I'll....

[*]Imagine the thought. Sit or lie down in a private place (so you can say "Stop!" out loud and not feel self-conscious). Close your eyes. Imagine a situation in which you might have this stressful thought. Then allow yourself to focus on the thought.

[*]Stop the thought. Startling yourself is a good way to interrupt the thought. Try one of these two techniques:

  • Set a timer, watch, or other alarm for 15 seconds (don't go too far past this or the thoughts may consume you). Then focus on your unwanted thought. When the timer or alarm goes off (make sure it's a loud, obnoxious alarm that could wake up the neighbors 2 blocks down), shout "Stop!" If you want, stand up when you say "Stop." Some people snap their fingers or clap their hands. These actions and saying "Stop" are cues to stop thinking. Empty your mind, and try to keep it empty for about 30 seconds. If the upsetting thought comes back during that time, shout "Stop!" again. Then loudly, firmly, with conviction, quickly say to yourself: "I know where this will take me, keep it together Cathy, just for a few minutes. You will stay strong, you will stay here for this moment! You will be healthy just this once!" If you need to, start running up and down the stairs shouting these things to yourself, or do jumping jacks, push ups, sit-ups, etc. 4 things are occurring, you're interfering with the thoughts with your own thoughts (this will be very, very hard, but just do it no matter what), you're moving around rapidly and causing that endorphin rush you may get when you SI, you're taking control and you're engaging in incompatible behavior with the SI. TAKE NO PRISONERS HERE!
  • If you have a tape-recorder, record yourself shouting these words we just used. Put your earphones in and listen to the messages every few seconds, keep moving about and making yourself breathe heavily. The moving about and new words becomes the incompatible behavior with the SI. Do this until you're literally worn out. This is much easier than a trip to the hospital and a new injury on top of an old one. And if it works, you've just had one huge success overriding an SI impulse. Also, these activities keep you from zoning out and dissociating. Do the thought-stopping exercise. Focus on the thought, and then stop thinking about the unwanted thought—or anything else—when you hear your recorded voice say "Stop." Hearing your own voice telling you to stop helps strengthen your commitment to getting rid of the unwanted thought.

[*]Practice steps 1 through 4 until the thought goes away on command (this will take 1-3 weeks). Then try the process again. This time, interrupt the thought by saying the word "Stop!" in a normal voice.

[*]After your normal voice is able to stop the thought, try whispering "Stop." Over time, you can just imagine hearing "Stop" inside your mind. At this point, you can stop the thought whenever and wherever it occurs.

[*]Pick another thought that bothers you and keep moving from thoght to thought. The goal is to stop the thought before it takes root, so be aware of your thoughts and feelings.

Of course, we know you'll look silly and like you just lost what mind you have left, but hey, you just took control and looking/feeling foolish beats SI any day. Try this for about 20-30 days and you should begin to see an effect. Be consistent, don't let up. Find a buddy who can yell at you thru the phone to stop and think. Write in if you need to. Keep in mind that at first it may not work, but like everything else, the SI has been in your life for 25 years, this should take some time. Don't become discouraged if it doesn't always work, we're looking for a slow trajectory or movement towards getting better at it, and along the way there will be slips.

Of course this does not address the underlying issues, which themselves are very difficult, but it will at least help slow down or even stop the SI, and this alone is a victory that you can reward yourself for every time it works.

Good luck Cathy. Hope this helps.

David

Edited by David O
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mscat,

I just read David's suggestions. I used these 30 years ago and it worked for me! To date, if I find myself focusing on a negative thought, I literally shout "STOP". I stop and move on to a positive thought. I also set time limits so I don't dwell.

I never SI. I used this technique when I was trying to cope with the loss of my 5 month old son and was punishing myself with negative thoughts. It helped me to move forward and out of my depression.

Give this brilliant, yet simple, technique a try.

Great advice, David!

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Cathy,

You have been given excellent self help techniques and I hope you will use them. What I would like to address is the issue of your therapist.

It appears to me that you see him in some type of clinic setting in which he has forms to fill out for insurance purposes and for the sake of fulfilling clinic or agency regulations. I do not mean to be critical of clinic or agency therapists, I did that job for several years. However, it appears to me that he does not have the experience you need to be able to help you. Therefore:

Why do you stay???

You report that you have been seeing him for four years and without getting any help with your SI. You are probably correct when you state that he does not know how to help you. His comment that this thing is in your control is absurd and makes no sense. Why do you stay? Do you challenge him when he says that its in your control? Do you argue with him? If it is hopeless, as it seems to be (his therapy with you) why do you stay??

Think of this as Allan's "Why do you stay?" poem.

Cathy, there are excellent therapists out there. Some are psychologists and some are social workers but they are there. Why not find one?

By the way, in reviewing the goals of therapy as written in your treatment plan he is supposed to discuss them with you and get your assessment as to whether or not you are achieving them. It sounds like he did not do that. The treatment plan and goals are supposed to be a joint effort.

A thought: You keep cutting as a way of attempting to get his attention!!

I really want to urge you to look elsewhere for psychotherapy as this person does not seem to me to be effective at all. He puts his failure on you by telling you that its in your control. You need to act, in my opinion.

What do you and others think about this?

Allan

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David O , Thank you for giving me practical solutions ! I am a bit stuck on this though.

Because of writing my thoughts, or telling them to stop! I'll try and explain. What I am about to try and explain is true. I don't have these thoughts going on in my head. It is empty, numb , disconnected. What happens to me is that it's a physical response/feeling more then a thought process. It is though all is blank, nothing is getting through, all is black , the thoughts are not there, it is not as if I have those thoughts , it is felt more on a physical level. Does that make sense? It is a zoned out, disconnected , experience that often occurs, even when not alone. It is as though I am a robot, moving and functioning on a primitive level, with out the any feelings , or thoughts.

If I am stressed out o r anxious though, the thoughts , and thinking seeps through the head, and what happens is a feeling of out of control. Everything speeds up 1000 times fast. Instead of reacting to the spinning , anxitey, I literally will shut down. Go back into the escape mode , and block as much out as possible.

However, what does get through , is convincing me of my failures , and less then human, depression sets in sometimes, but mostly it is more the numbness , can be so intense that i do not recgonize my own voice , so I am quiet, SOUNDS, LIght, are blown up intenses, everything is LOUD, the senses are in overdrive, so much that it is unbearable. My psychatrist told me I could wear ear plugs.

I spend my days at home, where it is safe, quiet. it is dim inside, I keep all the shades down, and the screendoor, front door is locked . This is the only and best way for me to function.

I'd like to try and do the thought exercises , yet unsure how to do it, because everything is emtpy, their are no thoughts going on, serioiusly. I am so good at disconnecting from myself, my body and everything going on around me. I tell u is as if I am in a robotic state of mind.

Guess I am not in touch with these thoughts are emotions at all. It is a primary issue, and can be at the heart as to why the self injury has become so severe, even when the SI occurs , I am in a impulsive , frantic, state, killing off the part of the body that is the focus, their is this urgency and determinton to destroy it, gets worse because of the parts of the body being in pieces, and that it must be killed .

It does not help matters that I have a war going on within , the evil parts, and the good parts. Sometimes the evil parts, the demonic parts of the self rule.

This is what I struggle with, often times my son , I need him to repeat what he says, I don;t hear him, even my boy, he is patient though. I let him stay home from school more then I ought to, just to keep me from zoneing out and keeping things real. it helps a little.

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Hi Cathy,

You have been given excellent self help techniques and I hope you will use them. What I would like to address is the issue of your therapist.

It appears to me that you see him in some type of clinic setting in which he has forms to fill out for insurance purposes and for the sake of fulfilling clinic or agency regulations. I do not mean to be critical of clinic or agency therapists, I did that job for several years. However, it appears to me that he does not have the experience you need to be able to help you. Therefore:

Why do you stay???

You report that you have been seeing him for four years and without getting any help with your SI. You are probably correct when you state that he does not know how to help you. His comment that this thing is in your control is absurd and makes no sense. Why do you stay? Do you challenge him when he says that its in your control? Do you argue with him? If it is hopeless, as it seems to be (his therapy with you) why do you stay??

Think of this as Allan's "Why do you stay?" poem.

Cathy, there are excellent therapists out there. Some are psychologists and some are social workers but they are there. Why not find one?

By the way, in reviewing the goals of therapy as written in your treatment plan he is supposed to discuss them with you and get your assessment as to whether or not you are achieving them. It sounds like he did not do that. The treatment plan and goals are supposed to be a joint effort.

A thought: You keep cutting as a way of attempting to get his attention!!

I really want to urge you to look elsewhere for psychotherapy as this person does not seem to me to be effective at all. He puts his failure on you by telling you that its in your control. You need to act, in my opinion.

What do you and others think about this?

Allan

Yes, Allen , you are correct! it is a clinic. I live in such a tiny town , that the clinic is a satalite office, the main services are in a bigger city.

The therapist who I've talked to for yrs is a LMFT . He is good, But, their are some things he just can't help me with.

NO , I do not SI by cutting , But SI by burning, that is beside the point. I do not SI by trying to get his attention. I hide it away from him, wearing a jacket, and when I finally say something about it, it is because the SI BUrns are bad, and I don;t know what to do. I don't want to go to a DR.'s clinic in town , and the burn center is in Fresno, which is an hr and a half away .AND I get embarrassed about going, cause they all know my history and me . But sometimes i have to go, because the arm is all messed up with these huge blisters , that make it look like the whole arm is one enormous blister, the way I SI sometimes is 2nd degree burns, or when it is really bad they are deep 3rd degree burns.

Anyway, why do I keep Steve? the therapist? Hes easy to talk to, I am comfortable with him, he does have good feedback at times.

I've looked for anther professional before, she specialized in trauma , and was a Psychotherapist , someone far more experienced , but I only saw her twice, and never finished through the interview/evaluation process with her.

She knew that I was seeing Steve, and told me if I was to see her, I needed to drop him. Steve knew i was about to drop his services, then it was him asking me why. Made me very uncomfortable. Last time I talked to the other Therapist, was when she returned my call, after i had severely SI'ed and in the hospital again, she just told me to go to my regular therapist, I don't remember the whole conversation, so that is why I stayed with Steve.

I still could find a new , therapist. However, I have my son talking to Steve as well. I also want to keep my Psychatrist , he is very, very good. But is a meds Psych. But i can talk to him. The DR. was supportive when I had told him about looking for a new therapist! He even wrote a letter for me!

Anther thing, is I hate change, starting over, again. Talking about the same stuff again? that I have been through and talked about? I have to go through all of that again? Or just what is happening now?

OMG, I have actually gone to 2 other therapists , NOT just 1 . I forgot about the other psycholist, I did not like hm though.

Guess it's time to start looking again. I know i;ll have to go to a bigger city , though, driving 45miles at least to make an appointment. Anther reason why I stay with Steve, he comes to our tiny town.

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Cathy,

There are no words to explain how I feel when I read what you say. It may be that my most profound words can only be my silence and how I am humbled by what you experience (and this doesn't happen very often-- that I'm quiet).

I want to stay with you on this one b/c I believe there is hope. I have to first tell you a story to sort of set the stage. About 30 years ago (Geez, I bet Allan feels young compared to me) we began doing some work at our hospital's neuropsychiatric institute. We began conducting trials on patients with seizure disorder. It was a far left experiment we the staff decided to try, thinking it was just a fluke.

We noticed and knew that just prior to a tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizure, most patients would experience an aura or get a slight burning smell just before the seizure. Our experiment was simple-- begin humming a tune or singing it loudly when the aura or burning smell begins. The patients learned specific classic rock songs and if one patient began to hum or sing, others, knowing what was happening, would immediately join in and within seconds an entire ward would be rocking to "One is the Loneliest Number" by Three Dog Night or "Oye Como Va" by Santana. We saw, within weeks, a reduction in seizure activity by 40-60%. Our theory was that humming and singing (plus dancing for most) somehow engaged the brain (Broca's area) in a way that interfered with the electrical discharge that resulted in the seizure.

This leads to my question: Can you, if you really focus/concentrate fully, sense anything that is leading towards SI? Is there anything, whether an event, feeling, thought, physical sensation (like their aura or burning smell) that precedes the chain of events that ends in an SI? Think carefully, look at each incident piece by piece...are there any trends anywhere, can you see anything?

Let me know what you come up with.

Ciao

Edited by David O
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YEs. I have not discussed it much , however , I sense a powerful , dark force around me, a evil enity is with me , darkness, and black . It is shaped as a huge flying egale, with a enormus wingspan , and huge talons.

the burning , is what I gravitate to because it calms me. Not so much a smell , but as a way to overcome the evil. their is A sense of

Doom all around me , extremely powerful, that can't be ignored. Thei is a quietness too, too quiet. As if there is nothing left, but the darkness , doom , evil that envleopes the surroundings.

This is my experience > and even though the extreme SI is acted upon to rid of the parts of evilness , to be relieved, semi aware of the act of destroying a area on the body , that is needed to be , it always tends to be more then what was anticipated. That the chemicals get all over the skiin , moreso then awareness, but, even that could still be washed off, but nO , i let it do its work, let it seep deeper into the flesh, until it is black, the color of darkeness, admist the evil.

Allowing the evil to overcome and destroy it, on me, is a very small price to pay. IN the long run, even if it means taking the risk of all the 3rd degree burns on that body part, & the consequences that lay ahead.

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Dear cathy

i have read your post above as i said to you i was going to.

Please let me stress to you, your response does not, not make you look a freak,

this is what you feel , what you experience. This is your reality. There is nothing freakish or remotely freaky about you .

I believe that you have been very brave and couragous in answering this question, many would not have the inner strength to be able to do this, myself included.

I desperatly hope that you are ok. This is obviously very personal to you.

But please do believe no one is going to think of you any differently than they did before your last post.

We all care and respect you here, and with all my heart i hope that you continue to stay in this community, in this family.

Please take care and stay safe

your friend

sue

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Cathy,

I just want to check in before I go on. How are you doing? If you feel at all like this may be leading to an SI, please stop and let me know. It's most important that we go at your pace, no matter how slow it is.

Thanks so much for trusting us (and me especially) to this point and for being open and honest with all of us. I will go as far as you want to and feel safe doing so.

You have been extremely courageous and I admire your strength here. Jj is right.

Please let me know,

David

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Hi Sue, David O ,

I am really ok . Just hard to have wrote that down, cause it was so personal, I did have second thoughts after writing it down, but, it really looked like you were trying to honestly help, and understand. Guess I felt their was nothing to lose from really writing about it? Afterwards, I was embarrassed . :o

Writing has always been a outlet for me to express true thoughts and emotions. I am not one to verbally express things well, so I did take a chance. At least nobody has to look at me. Or I have to verbalize this stuff.

However, I have done so a little before , but to a certain degree . It is just that when I write , I can so much easier let the words flow. It has sometimes gotten me into hot water, though, as u have been persoanlly a victim to my harsh words before.

NOw, I am actually writing back about some personal stuff, surprising mmyself as I do. It will be ok , right?

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Hi cathy,

just take your time hun, in my oppinion, for what its worth, you have been given a lot already to think about since this thread has been started.

Some new coping mechanisms etc,

all of which in there own right are, nothing short of genious.

Im just concerned, for you thats all, its a hard time for you right now, and i dont want you to feel overwhelmed.

As you know i have history with s/i, and i realise that everybody is different. How ever just be careful as to how deeply you are thinking this stuff through, coz i know that with myself, i all to easily switch into a different mode and into an altered state of disawareness.

Im not realy too sure if this makes sense i guess all im really trying to say is theres no rush to get the information out, take your time ok.

Take care hun

your friend

sue

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Good morning Cathy,

I know this is very tough stuff we're looking at and that last thing I want to do is push you into an emotional storm. I'm relieved you're OK and feel honored and privileged that you're trusting me and believe that I'm trying to help. But I'm not alone, behind me is the force of many people pulling for you-- for so long you've offered your wisdom and kindness to others so I guess this is like good Karma, what goes round comes around!:o

There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, we are all fellow sufferers here and while we suffer in different ways, we all know pain all too well. I want you to keep feeling safe-- The shame part tho, I too have felt it before when I write something here and then have to change my avatar to hide my face. Now I can't seem to get it to go back to my face, so I'm stuck for now. No wait... it just came back-- hah!

"...when I write , I can so much easier let the words flow. It has sometimes gotten me into hot water, though, as u have been persoanlly a victim to my harsh words before."
And look at us now-- who'd a thunk it, right? :)
"NOw, I am actually writing back about some personal stuff, surprising mmyself as I do. It will be ok , right?"
You'll be OK and this will take some time. We may have some setbacks as you already know, but we'll keep moving forward. For now, let's stop here and let me suggest some homework. Can you go back to my original 2 posts and do the exercises that are spelled out. But, let's take it one small step further. While we may need to explore this "force' you describe that seems to take over, for now can you look one step before this force begins. Is there anything that precedes it by seconds--- any event, thought, stressor, place in the house, food you eat, tele show, conversation, feeling, clothing you put on, time of day, smell, something you see or do... etc.

Cathy, we're moving at hyper speed right now--- very, very fast and I want to slow down a little. We should be a little more mindful for what you're going thru and have been thru. Do you mind? I'll check in on you tonite or later today.

Thanks for walking thru this with me,

David

Edited by David O
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Cathy,

I completely understand. This is extremely intense and too quick. Take your time, go at a comfortable pace for you. Unlike anxiety and panic, pushing someone going thru what your experiencing is not what's best via the web. This should be where your therapist could be taking you as he offers support and compassion you can see and feel. I would suggest you print out what we've done here, which is remarkable amount of work, and explore this with him.

Thanks so much for going this far. Again, I feel honored and privileged considering our previous exchange.

Warmest regards. Good luck.

David

Edited by David O
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I agree that if this person hasnt the ability to help you with this and you dont feel listened to or that you are getting anywhere, it is time to get another therapist. Sometimes it is easy to stick with what we know, even when we feel like we are getting nowhere.

I hope you can find someone who listens to you with this and maybe has a bit more experience with what you are dealing with.

I am sorry that you are having a bad time of things.

C.

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mscat, im sorry i dont have anything to contribute like everyone else, other than to say i think you're very brave for writing all you have, i definately couldnt have done that.

I've read quite a few posts of yours and of all that you go through and have to deal with, then you come here and have kind helpful words for everyone, i dont know how you do it - you're an amazingly strong woman.

I hope you find a therapist who understands a bit more about s/h and can be more help to you, it's got to be worth the longer journey? and that you get through this bad time.

i have seizures (grand mal) and like David O said sometimes concentrating (reading seems to work for me) on something can help ward them off ive also tried it at times when i have the urge to s/h, im not saying it always worked but it has on occasion; i know we're all different but it might be worth considering.

all the best, Donna.

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Thank you ALL so much for your kind words and support. I am going to print this entire thread out, and show my therapist. I've done it before. This is the only way i know how to show Steve, my therapist how much more supprt and sound advice I have been recieving, elsewhere. It helps him too. I think it does? He has to know how upsetting and frustrated I feel when he says to me, it is all under my control? Whn the very thing is , that it is not , The SI , the severe SI , He knows it gets out of hand, He knows that. He knows I space out, and can't feel anything, and then use chemicals to destroy a part of myself, he knows all of that.

One thing I think he is right about, is that he really can't stop those SI behavior from actually occuring, but had never given many concrete ways for me to try to deal with them , the numbeness, the disconnection, the frantic , impulsive , severe type of SI that occurs every fucking year at the same time, DUH , can;t he see that? He has to know, shit every yr. for at least a few yrs, I tend to lose it, badly!

I go in to see him , parts of the self are burnt to a crisp, the smell of chemicals is strong, I try to hide it, the burnt flesh, I have actually went to sessions burnt like that. YEs , he has helped , called my brother to take me to the hospital and stuff, that is a good reaction, not to call the poilice. SO at least he is helpful in that matter. not overeacting. thankfully.

This yr has been even worse , to deal with, major , triggers , and major fights , and thoughts in my head.

Their is this court date on Thurs. I have to appear as a witness, on a domestic violence case, Their is trying to deal with a speeding ticket, that was untrue, and THEN their is haveing to take my son to be evaluated in depth , for his disabilites, once again! Then the money issues, + a birthday , yeah , mine on the 3rd of Oct.

Now just writing all this shit down makes me want to well u know, throw in the towel ! disappear, poof ! gone!

Donna, thank u for the feedback. I'd like to address the reason why I come on here and offer feeback, or support to others. It is because I know I can relate to so many people on here. Because I have been through a lot of simalar experinces. My life has not been a good one, mentally , or emotionally.

It helps me feel better to try and help others. It helps me so much to try. I feel like I can emathise on a very personal level what people are going through. Because of my own struggles from the past and the present. NO I am not better, and YES, I have some real bad stuff going on with me. But, when I am here, and can give support to others , it at least helps me forget about my own shit for a while. that is wht I like. I like to forget about my own issues, and try to help others . I can idenify a lot with people on here, due to my own conditions, and struggles. I feel better helping others, that is why I am here. it helps me , to help others.

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Mscat,

The things you are dealing with are not "shit," but are real life stressors. The idea is to learn better ways to cope with those stressors than to burn yourself. You deserve better than to do such things to yourself. I know that because I know how much we all appreciate and value you here. You always have our support and my support.

Allan :)

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Hi Mscat,

The things you are dealing with are not "shit," but are real life stressors. The idea is to learn better ways to cope with those stressors than to burn yourself. You deserve better than to do such things to yourself. I know that because I know how much we all appreciate and value you here. You always have our support and my support.

Allan ;)

Thank you Allen. How u wrote that the things I am dealing with are not "shit" I could not help it, that was funny :)

I have not come to terms with deserving better, As I feel that I understand this concept , and know how this happened. For me to have this need to Burn, has so many reasons behind it .

AS a kid my foster mother was extremely emotionally abusive. As a very young child, the first 3yrs of life were riddled with extreme neglect, physical absue, and all.

The the rigid , perfectionist , foster mother, who let me know that I was no good, the name calling, and everything>

Well , I struggle , struggle , and struggle every day , not to just quit . Quit life, because of the severe numbing and not able to even feel anymore. The disconnection to evenmy own body, separated as in parts of me floats , not even able to recognize the sound of my own voice at times, the loss of self, is the best way to describe it.

Is this better then being 'alive" when one is so dead in every other way? YES it is bad , bad to be this way. the only recourse is to Self harm , because then I can feel , feel again , the physical self. It is extreme measures to have to take , but their is nothing else to do? To be in this state of constant nothinness , and numbness , to watch myself move, as if a puppet on strings.

Well , i've said enough about what this is like for me. Your correct though, I DO like it in here. To try and help others, because it is a distraction! A distraction from what is happening in my inner world. It is a focus that is easily turned to when I am unable to cope with me.

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