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Blackouts and cutting..


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Good morning SupernaturalNeonPink,

What you describe is not uncommon, but I imagine it can be very frightening or at least disturbing to say the least. The blackouts are usually dissociative experiences and are symptoms of trauma (and many people will have a sort of amnesia or forgetting of the dissociative experience after it happened). I see this mostly in children, but more and more adults seem to be manifesting in this manner years and years after an experience. A dissociation, as you're describing, seems to be a way for the mind to create distance from traumatic experiences that are too much for the psyche to handle at that time.

Super, do you feel comfortable sharing with us what, if any, painful experiences you've had? This would help us greatly in understanding you and give us ways to be supportive and therapeutic. I know this is tough stuff and very disturbing, I'm sorry this is happening, but you should know there is help for this.

I noted from another post that you've not talked to anyone and that your mother is not supportive or understanding. If you're still in school, please see your school social worker or counselor and try to get help. If you're having blackouts and seeing things, then the issue is fairly serious and if in your dissociative state you could end up doing severe damage to yourself, so getting help quickly is critical.

Keep in mind that what you're experiencing will require that whoever you work with have some pretty good expertise in this area, otherwise they could make matters worse.

Please write back and let us know,


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Good morning Super...,

This must have been a horrible experience all around. I understand so much what you're saying, I am a survivor of hundreds of molestations and incidents of severe abuse (beatings, being tied up, etc.) between the ages of 1 and 14. But it wasn't just me, it was all of us in the village of 47 people (in Mexico), which was run by the Federales-- the brutal arm of the Mexican dictatorship. These memories haunt me even today, over half a century later. I still have the nightmares, I still carry some hyper-vigilance and fears, and I still have the occasional flashback.

I learned a few things along the way in life, and it seems that you may be following in my footsteps in one area. First of all, I realized early that my "picker" was broken-- that is, that my ability to choose healing and healthy friendships and partners was damaged by these experiences. Yours seems to also be slightly damaged as you seem to be ending up with men who mistreat you. I don't intend to say this to be insensitive and because I'm lacking understanding and compassion-- I say it b/c I have extreme compassion and my heart goes out to you in hopes that you will be aware of this so that you can begin to repair the damage done to the part of you that chooses romantic partners and even friends.

I know I need help, I'm just scared. If I told some other person this and then all the other stuff, I'm scared they'll like want to put me in a mental hospital. Cause even to me I don't sound safe. And that scares me. I'm just lost cause I don't know what to do. I don't know how to get help without my mom finding out.
Yes, Super, you do need help... and you need to feel and see compassion, understanding, genuine love and all of those things that bring about healing. But there is no need to be scared of the system just yet.

Super, are you currently hurting yourself like before? If you are, then you do need to go to the hospital on your own and have them look at your injuries at least. At your age, you do have the right to refuse treatment (psychiatric hospitalization) unless you are a clear danger to yourself. If you go to the hospital, inform them that you have scheduled an appointment at the local mental health center and they will be much, much less inclined to try to hospitalize you.

Super, since you're not in school, look within your community. This is what you do:

  • Look in the phone book or just Google "Community Mental Health Center" and look for one in your city. You should easily be able to find one.If you can't, look up the the department of social welfare and they'll help you find one, or go to a church and see if the minister will help you find one. These folks usually know about most of the resources in the area.
  • Make an appointment for an intake when you contact the center.
  • When you go in, ask for a sliding fee scale so that what you pay may only be $10 per session.
  • Go to your first appointment- don't postpone or cancel or miss it. During your appointment, ask up front about your confidentiality so that you can be put at ease.

If you go to a center, they are required to maintain your confidentiality, unless you present as a danger to yourself and a danger to others (but even then, anyone is very hesitant to violate confidentiality w/o very clear proof that your in danger or someone else is). For all of us who practice, we are required by our code of ethics and our Rules of Professional Conduct to maintain strict confidentiality. I follow the guidelines of the American Psychological Association and they read almost the same as those of all other service professions (medical, nursing, social work, counselors, accountants, attorneys, minister, priest, etc.).

Super, I want to go slow here, so I'll stop and then when you write back we can talk some more. Others will generally chime in soon and give you more feedback. There are many in the forum who have been down this road many times and can give you much better recommendations than i have. For now, make the call and if you're self injuring, go to the hospital to have them look at the injuries at least.

Good luck and please write back,


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