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I am an adult who self harms


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I have never been abused as a child or anything like that in my past. I have always felt like a failure and the thought of hurting myself has always been a thought in my head. This past June 2012, my husband and I started counseling. I didn't handle it well yet didn't start to hurt myself. In sept I actually cut my leg for the first time and I have not stopped. I was put into a Mental Hospital for 5 days but I knew what I needed to do to get out so that wasn't a real help to me. I am in DBT therapy and I see a therapist plus still continue to go to Marriage counseling. I have not stopped hurting myself either. I battle in my head all the time. It makes me feel in control even when I feel like I am out of control. My family is so worried for me and my kids don't understand, they have seen my cuts :( I feel so out of place because I am older (43) and I have never done anything like this my whole life. I don't understand what it going on?? I know I need to stop so I can get back to work and life but the urge to cut, burn, or hurt me is so strong. Does anyone else know what I am going through??

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It's interesting that you start with the statement that you were never abused as a child, but you've always felt like a failure. Wouldn't one of the chief goals of raising a child be to help them feel like a success? Not all abuse is physical, or easy to see ...

Self-harm can develop at any age (I've heard of people starting as senior citizens), though it probably just represents a shift to physical self-harm from other types of self-harm, due to some external change. You "knew what to do" to get out of the hospital; do you think you know what to do, at some level, about the self-harm too?

Let me ask you, because you mentioned you didn't handle the marriage counseling very well -- Does your husband discuss any things that he does wrong, in the marriage, or is the focus entirely on you? Too, I wonder whether there may be a part of you that doesn't want to "get back to work and life", at least the way those things are defined now? That still might mean that there's some other definition of work and life that would work. Have you explored the possibility of changing some things?

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