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So... why is cutting such a bad thing?
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Is cutting really that bad?
yes
42%
 42%  [ 3 ]
no
28%
 28%  [ 2 ]
sometimes
28%
 28%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 7

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woody
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I imagine that cutting, in a sense, is also taking control of something. If you're feeling powerless elsewhere, to cut or not to cut is something about which you're kind of saying: "THIS choice is MINE!". I think I have a pretty good idea of this as well as many other benefits from abusing yourself this way. But I think that cutting also reinforces the absurd idea that you're a bad person.

Among the cutters here, if you imagine someone you really care about sneaking off and gouging away at themselves, you have to admit that you would be really concerned about them and wish they would stop, no?

I think you gotta deconstruct the phenomenon of cutting to discover all the things it provides you, and find things that work better to meet each of those needs.

I had almost posted an idea last week suggesting cutting on a doll you could make in the image of your favourite perp, but I don't know if it's a good idea. My concept was to visualize the pain in yourself as you cut the doll (you know how it feels,) but then visualize transferring the pain into the doll/abuser. My hesitation is mainly about the use of icons or dolls to represent real people. I know it can be very powerful, and could trigger healing or something. Wouldn't want that. (Sorry, just being sarcastic; not despondent)

I too, think that hugs and blankies are right up there. Amy, you said that sometimes you really need a real hug. Are you not getting in-person support from friends who know where you're at inside? 'Cuz real hugs are muy importante!
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Tgrrr10
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question Amy. While cutting can be a coping mechanism, it doesn't mean that it is a good one or an effective one. Not even saying that is a bad thing, I mean we all cope in the ways that we know how and well if we didn't cope, we wouldn't be here. I'm trying to appreciate the fact that as a kid I cut, not as a great glorious thing, but because it was what I did to survive, gotta give the girl kuddos for trying.

I was talking to a coworker (he's a psychologist) and I was talking to him about remembering how I used to cut and how as a kid I had no idea what it meant that I cut. There was no stigma attached to it. I wasn't doing it to "hurt" myself, I wanted those feelings to go away and well when you're 6 and you see that scissors can remove things from a piece of paper, you think that it applies to everything. I was wrong and I eventually realized that wasn't going to work and so I split myself from those feelings and from my abuse. Was that really any better? I don't think so it hurt me in many ways, but it's what I did to survive.

I suspect that cutting for you is what splitting was/is for me. It helps you surivie.

As a kid we don't attach certain lablels or stigmas to things. I've seen so many 4 year olds get diagnosed with cancer and they have no idea that to adults they associate death instantly with the word cancer. To them it's the annoying thing that keeps them from playing with their friends or from swimming in the pool, not the death sentence that most adults think it is. I guess what I'm getting at is growing up people learn to link things together. It's kind of a learned thing, a sterotype I suppose.

I have to stop slpittling myself from those feelings, I have to feel them. I have to get into that anger. Splitting is no longer effective, I'm not going to get where I want to be in life doing it. Before I can completely stop splitting I need to find ways to effectively cope wtih all those feelings and while I'm much better than I was before I know I still do it. Cutting is a way for you to survive, it's not ideal, it's not going to get you where you want to in life, you know that. But until you can learn ways to help you deal with all that stuff it's not going to really go away. And you know what it's ok. I think we both need to remind ourselves that none of this magically goes away and it really is all about progress. And you've made plenty!!!!!!

T
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ivonne
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Learning what cutting means to you. Learning what need in you is filled when you cut. And then finding new and hopefully less damaging ways of filling that need.

Summed up like that it seems really simpel and well, it is, though not easy at all. The problem with cutting quite often is that it is somewhat addictive. This means that studying why you cut can trigger a bout of wanting to cut.

I'm not sure what would be the best approach, obviously if cutting reaffirms life for you, the re-affirmation of life is a good thing. How can you reaffirm life in a different way? What makes you feel more alive? Is it something with adrenaline? Is it the touch of someone's arm around you? What are the most life affirming things you can think off, besides cutting. How can you create those in your life. The hugs and blanky's in the house nextdoor here, those seem to help some. How can you create more of that. Do you stock up on blanky's and hot cocoa? Do you go to one of those newfangled cuddleparties?

According to a recent study, over 30% of the people go for three days or more without actuallly touching someone else. Touch is a very real human need, and appearantly hard to come by. I wish that through the magic of internet we could all real life touch one another, but unfortanately that's not what a touch-screen means.

We all do what we can untill we learn how to do things different. Self harm is neither good nor bad, it just is. It's an answer to a need. We need to find better answers...

Ivonne
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Daisy
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amy,

im going answer on that one, if cutting is ok as an alternative to suicide. Well... if you put it that way so... yes.

Of course its better to cut a rist in your arm then actually kill youself.

But...

i the long run, you cut deeper, and maybe someday the cutting will take your life.

So cutting can be a way to survive, but like you agree with me to, its someting that also need to be broken.
And to continue to hurt yourself, is also a way to continue the abuse...


Quote:
i guess i'm just trying to understand why people react so strongly against cutting... is it simply because they don't understand?


Well... yes... i think so. Its not weird either that people dont understand, its like... "how can you hurt yourself in purpuse? "
Sometimes I dont understand that I actually did that to myself... The scars is still there, but I cant understand it.

And Amy.
Of course its worth it, to protect that little Amy inside you. She did nothing wrong, how could she possible had to? A kid is the most innocent in the planet.
She deserve to be taken care of. Lissten to her!!


Big hug, if you want
/Daisy
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Mouse
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amy,

As it concerns that little girl thing -- how do you get along with such small kids? Do you feel free to approach them?

It works better for me with my own examples. I was 12 when my s. abuse started but I had been abused verbally by my father since I remember myself.

So, when I was around 20 I understood that I find it hard to communicate with teenagers. I never paid very much attention to it and accepted that this is the way I am though at times I felt a bit uneasy but basically forgot about it until recently when I learned about this inner child thing.

***May trigger***

I visualized myself in the situations when I was humiliated and abused. And strange feelings overwhelmed me. It was a sort of fear or something like that until I understood I hated seeing myself in such a situation. Moreover -- I hated that teenager -- me -- because she had been stupid enough to let this happen. I didn't want to see her -- abused by a man and not protected by her mother. She seemed to be disgusting. No way I could be kind to her. No blankets, no hugs. I couldn't take it.

I new from theory that I won't be able to proceed in my healing if I was doing nothing about it. So, how and where to start? I know I write here quite clumsy but English is a foreign language for me, actually I'm quite good at writing in my own language. I decided that letter would be the first thing I could do, not so scary for me, as letters mean distance. It worked for me. I cried a lot and had headaches afterwards, didn't sleep well but I had managed to enter a very terrifying territory for me. I'm learning to talk to that girl now, not aloud but in my thoughts. I find a calm place, relax, remember breathing and do it. I feel we're coming closer, I'm connecting with her. I won't manage to become her good friend within a couple of days or so (she's quite suspicious as well), it can take some longer time but I feel that's the right direction. Actually we talk here a lot about that "little girl in me". It's not just some fantasies or emotions, it's very practical, and as I see it now -- very important issue. I don't know how it could work for you. Little girls like Teddy bears and toys... may be get one for her?

One more thing added, actually a question -- why is it so important for you what other people think? Do you feel guilty for cutting? If it is neither good nor bad but it simply is in your life now, then this is another thing were acceptance is needed. Can you accept yourself now that this is the way you are? Probably this goes back to that little girl thing again.

Mouse
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Aimless
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i don't have much time, so this will be short, but i wanted to answer your question about what other people think. probably because that's on the forefront of my mind right now.

i'm afraid of how other people will react. mostly, i think, because i'm around people who are trained to think that cutting is a reflection of suicide attempts or suicidal ideation and they aren't to be trusted.

as a paramedic i have transported numerous people who are going to the hospital involuntarily because they were "caught" cutting, or having been cutting. my greatest fear is admitted involuntary to the hospital: not only because of lack of freedom and resulting repercussions with my job but also because my tdoc doesn't have visiting priveleges, i don't think.

last night after my counseling appt i came home and started cutting. i don't know how long i did, but i woke up this morning with fresh cuts covering almost all of my forearm.

tonight i am supposed to work... and our uniforms are short-sleeved. do i wear a turtleneck under my uni? or do i wear my coat all shift? either way, i'm one of those people that always seems to be too warm... long sleeves are always pushed up, subconsciously.

oh well. i'm running late, maybe i can get on tonight while at work.

amy
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Mouse
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amy,

If you need to transport people who have been cutting and they are going to the hospital involuntarily it is a major trigger for you if you're cutting yourself. If it is not a trigger, then I have no idea what else it could be. If you need to see it on a daily basis -- it should be hard to deal with it. Do you talk to your therapist about it?

I have some major triggers in my work as well. They go back to my childhood. The situation is different but the feelings are the same. (One of my bosses behaves very much like my father. I got triggered almost every time when I see him. My father was not my s. abuser but he was a very violent man, I felt constant fear from him when I was a kid, and even later.) This is an area that takes a lot of time to work with. And it sucks.

Do you know for sure that your therapist has no visiting privileges? Try to find out.

I've been in a mental clinic once, it was 10 years ago. Went there voluntarily but every time I'm getting low, I have this fear of going to a hospital again. I once told this to one of my friends who is in therapy as well. Her parents were alcoholics, and she has grown up on her own, a neglected kid. She said me something like this: "Well, what would happen if you should go to a hospital? First time it helped you a lot. You couldn't sleep, you didn't have appetite, you were like a skeleton, you had depression and anxiety. You came out and felt quite well."

Any time I have this fear of being hospitalized I try to remember what she said. It's not an end of the earth, really. And any time I think like that, my fear leaves me. Well, it comes and it goes, but this is the way how I try to work with my fear and my triggers.

Your work and colleagues... Do you think they wouldn't allow you to keep the job if they found out you're cutting?

Mouse
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knelson
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
and about protecting that child... i wonder sometimes if she's worth it. nobody else seemed to think so, who am i to disagree with everyone i grew up with? my viewpoint is so skewed now, i have no idea what is true and what is not. i don't trust anything i see...


One thing that I know is that IF YOU AREN'T worth protecting, then NEITHER IS ANYONE ELSE on this website--or in this world. I think that if I jumped in here and started telling people on this forum that they were worthless and not worth protecting, that you'd be one of the first people to try to protect them. What drove you to be a paramedic...isn't it that you want to help other people? Sure we've all met people that tick us off and really push our buttons, but have you ever met a person that you thought was completely worthless...I haven't...and you're not about to change my mind and make me reconsider...

One of the things that survivors often struggle with is that they are the first person to tell others how important they are, but they can never internalize their own significance...significance is always for OTHER people. So, they are great at giving praise to others, but shrug it off when other people give it to them. Have you ever met someone that you tried to give a compliment to, that you tried to tell them how important they were, and they just couldn't accept it??? If you have, then try to turn that around and realize that you are doing the same thing.

As people (myself included) we often don't show the love that we should to each other because we are too wrapped up in our own wants and desires. Our own wants and desires are usually "distractions" that help distract us from the pain that we've experienced in our lives. Everything from watching TV, to drinking alcohol, to having sex, to doing drugs, and even cutting are ways to distract us from LIFE. These things are all momentary (if I can misuse this word slightly for lack of a better one) "pleasures" that distract us from doing the much harder work of living life. If we were to be honest with ourselves, we would be much happier if we would go and build relationships with other people who care about us...but building those kinds of relationships takes a lot of work...it can be hard...it can be scary...if we love someone we give them the power to hurt us...so we are constantly seeking relationships but holding them at bay at the same time for fear of getting hurt. My Youth Pastor in High School described it as holding one hand up beckoning a person to come closer, but having your other hand up to keep them from getting too close. Unfortunately, because of the difficulties in building friendships, and the inherent risk of loving someone, many of us (myself included) often choose to distract ourselves with television, video games, movies, reading, anything that takes our minds away from the emptiness we feel in our life.

Living life is often "more work" than living from distraction to distraction. However, the end result is relationships that are tangible and real, and so much better than a relationship with the TV or a computer, etc. Yes, we may get hurt from some of our relationships...relationships are always a risk...but in the end, the work is worthwhile. It's like a well manicured garden...it will take your time and diligence...it will mean getting dirty...it will mean weeds popping up and trying to take over and destroy the garden...but if you continue to pull up the weeds and feed the garden, you will have something worthwhile in the end.

If you were able to see in the hearts of everyone else in the world, you would find that you have much more in common with them than you ever expected. We all experience lonliness, emptiness, and we all feel a need to try to fill it...and I'd say that in this day and age, most of us have found that it is simply easier to momentarily distract ourselves with things like the television than to spend the time and commitment of relationship building. Isn't that why online forums, online chat, etc., have become so popular...it's so much easier than real relationships...online relationships are "easier" than physical relationships...but the problem is that, like you said, they just can't give you a hug.

Now, I haven't battled with the struggles that you have, and I can't imagine what you've gone through. I'm not trying to minimize what you've gone through in the slightest. However, I felt that I needed to say that you are significant, and I know that my mom struggled with some of the same issues of feeling unimportant and unworthy...so I took a look through the stuff that she's written to see if I could find anything, and this article seemed to hit the nail on the head:

The Healing of My Self Esteem

Now, everything here is just words. What I'm telling you is just words, the article I'm sending you to read is just words. Pain is something that doesn't go away with words...it doesn't even go away simply by knowing the truth...knowing that you have value doesn't mean that you will feel like you have value...feelings are tricky things. CS Lewis made this disclaimer in his book "The Problem of Pain":

CS Lewis wrote:
a little courage helps more than much knowledge, a little human sympathy more than much courage, and the least tincture of the love of God more than all


Kevin
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avalon140
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

why do people react so strongly??

because it hurts them or scares them? Beacause they do not understand.


well I know for me when I saw that my daughter had been cutting I totally freaked out...I grabbed her up and hugged her tight and sat her down next to me on the porch and I told her....I told her that i love her and that she means the world to me and that when she hurts I hurt and that seeing that she had hurt herself scared me to death....having hurt myself in the past I understood the feelings or at least some of them that she would be feeling to bring herself to do something like that......being alone...being afraid...being angry...so many feelings....so many reasons for her to do that to herself....to get some attention....a scream for help.....to make me angry....to hurt me....to let the bad out....I was terriffied and I had no way of knowing the best way to react in this situation....no parent or friendship book gives you rules for this....When something we do not know or do not understand or we are not comfortable with is in front of us we tend to either ignore it or overreact....it scares us....I sat with her and talked with her and even though she couldnt tell me why she did it I did my best to make sure she knew I loved her and I wanted her and how very important she is to me and that I was always there to talk to or to listen or for a hug....and it was only a few months later she came forward and told me what had happened.


For me with my daughter, and I pray I am doing things right since I still dont have a rule book, I do everything I can to encourage her to be a winner...I want her to know she has the Power..she is strong and she is beautiful...and I tell her everyday. By not cutting she is winning....by talking about what she is feeling and finding ways that do not hurt her then she is winning.
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ivonne
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Winning is a very american thing, I think... For me, it was doing my best that almost killed me.

Winning, being the best... I was an overachiever with low selfesteem...
I know there is no rule book Avalon, but I think the message to your daughter should be that she is perfect exactly as she is now.

that Cutting and feelings are a problem sometimes, but she is perfect as is. No need to improve anything.

anyway, other than that, I think you're doing what a good parent does: care about their children. I sure would have liked to be held like that, when I was hurting... Sad

I'm fortunate, I'm at a stage in my life where after years of searching I have found my way to those loving arms. It's good to know that your daughter has them close at hand...

Ivonne
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