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Cutting to punish myself for being unworthy of romance


ruben205
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Hi, ruben, and welcome to our community.

I'm sorry that you are struggling and feeling down. It's good that you reached out tonight. Have you tried to distract yourself with other activities when you feel the urge to self-injure?

You mentioned feeling unworthy of love. Are you able to connect with your own light and love?

Are you seeing a talk therapist in addition to your psychiatrist?

I hope you feel better.

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The only times I don't feel depressed is when I'm distracted. But I doubt I can go more than an hour or so without thinking about it. It's seriously affecting my academic life as my grades have been terrible so far this semester. I feel uncomftorable around classmates now, like they know my inadequacies problems.

This aspect of not feeling worthy of love is ruining my life. It's a vicious cycle because the more I obsess about this problem, the harder it seems to fix, and the worse the problem becomes. I'm absolutely disgusted, ashamed, and humiliated with myself and am constantly reinforcing how pathetic I am either verbally or physically. I see friends, classmates, people on the street etc able to form romantic relationships and then wonder what is so repulsive and putrid about me. I've hooked up with girls but never had a romantic relationship longer than maybe a week. The girls who liked me I didn't like back. I used to be a pretty outgoing guy but I've completely lost that desire.

I'm seeing a talk therapist but I don't want to tell them about the cuts because I'm afraid they'd committ me or something. The worst thing that could happen to me would be to drop out of school because then I would feel like I am completely worthless and useless. It's also a shameful problem for an adult man to be doing this to himself. Would they committ me for doing this?

It's sick because the only thing I look forward to now is cutting again and punishing myself. I thought about how I would explain the cuts to a girl if I were to actually become intimate with someone and then I laughed at myself and cut again. When I cut I think about how ridiculous it is to even think things can be better and how foolish I am for fantasizing about being happy with someone. I'm getting scared because every time I do it cutting get's easier and worse. I'm rapidly losing faith that I can ever fix this problem. I don't know what to do anymore except self-punish.

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There's also a very attractive girl in another program at my school that I've been flirting with. I'm crazy about her and she knows I like her but she's keeping me at a distance. While she's straight up told off other guys that she's not interested she hasn't done that to me but she also has sort of ignored my advances (I think because she thinks I'm a "nice guy." I don't know what to do about her and I'm very afraid that when I make a more clear move and get officially rejected the cuts will be especially bad. Even when I see her change a facebook profile picture (it got 6 likes in 12 minutes) I get upset at myself for thinking I could be with someone like her and I get the strong urge to cut. It makes me feel worthless, ugly, and ashamed of my inadequacy.

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Why do you feel you have to punish yourself? What benefit do you get from cutting? Does it help you escape painful emotions, or does punishing yourself make you more worthy of love in your own eyes?

I want to say that you are deserving of love; all people are. Love is not something you earn by being the right type of person. Romance, on the other hand, is a game played by two people. I don't think you are going to find romance if you find yourself "repulsive and putrid." Would you date a woman with such a low self opinion? You have to love yourself first. I believe that romantic relationships cannot be forced to happen. They simply happen when you meet someone with whom you click. If the chemistry isn't there it's not going to happen. So it's not about whether you are worthy, but rather about whether two people are compatible.

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I feel so ashamed of myself, like I'm less of a man. I feel like I'm insufficient and there's something inherently wrong with me (I've made out with girls but never had sex). I guess I cut to punish myself for being so inept. I usually think about how ridiculous it is for me to be happy with someone I like or to punish myself for foolishly getting my hopes up with someone.

There hasn't been a day in my life since I was maybe 17 that I didn't think about this, it's just that now I'm feeling worse and worse. I don't know what to do anymore but punish myself for failing. I know that's not really going to help me but all the rejection has made me feel like it's my fault and I'm just defective. This obsession of mine is ruining my life, but I can't not think about it or downplay it after years of making it so important to me. Every day it becomes more important to me yet seems more difficult to achieve. It's making me absolutley hate myself because it reinfoces the idea that I'm just not good enough.

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What you're doing is rating and labeling yourself. Would you do this to your best friend? These are cognitive distortions and they appear to be causing you great suffering. The upside is that you can change these habits of thought if you are willing to put in the work. Once you respect yourself, you might find you have better luck in romance. Are you getting any professional help?

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I have a therapist I've been seeing for about 6 months and I was doing better a few months ago but I'm rapidly deteriorating. I'm just about ready to give up and accept I am what I am and it's pretty much impossible for someone to like me whom I also like. I haven't told him about the physical self-abuse because that just started in the last couple weeks. When I respected myself I never really had much more luck so I don't know anymore. The only thing at all motivating me to get up each day is that I'm still in med school but I worry if I were to fail out I'd become entirely despondent. I just don't know what to do anymore and have become disgusted with myself.

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I understand that you feel concerned and uncomfortable telling your therapist that you self-injure. It's likely, though, that you give yourself the best chance at getting help by being openly honest with him/her. I understand that isn't easy for you.

This obsession of mine is ruining my life, but I can't not think about it or downplay it after years of making it so important to me.

It can be true sometimes that the thought pattern of obsessing is part of where the difficulty is. Do you also feel anxiety?

Maybe it helps to work first on your relationship with yourself. Can you sit with yourself for a moment and feel compassion for you, as a person who is in pain?

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  • 7 months later...

Hi Ruben,

I found your post here while doing a search myself on this matter. I find that I am doing this myself as a form of punishment for being the aggressor and contacting men and pursuing them. Especially when I can't bring myself to have self control and not have sex with them. Wondering if you got anymore help on this? Doing this is rare for me but only when it's gets too much to handle and I get mad that I can't control myself and try to stay away from these men but have little self control.

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Hi Dichotomy, and welcome.

It's funny, because I immediately wondered whether the pursuing men was itself a punishment for something? Maybe it would be better for me not to jump to that, and ask instead: what do men represent, for you?

If something causes a person that much difficulty in their lives, it's pretty much automatic to recommend counseling. If we can't change our own behaviors, it usually means that at some level we don't want to. The trick is to get down to that level to find out why.

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It gets easier because you build up a pain tolerance but being a med student you already knew that. As soon as you are content with being alone you will find someone, it's a confidence thing. Got to work on yourself before you can accept another person and their baggage as well.

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There's another component to the habituation to self-injury, and that's psychological desensitization. Once you've decided it's okay to treat yourself that way, it's easier to do it again. It says quite a bit about how a person feels about themselves, and about what they believe about control.

But I agree with sedsed that there is quite possibly something you're seeking in men that is actually present in you, the whole time. Once you're not compelled, once you have access to that quality in yourself, you'll be able to relate to men more normally.

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