My experiences of SH only started when I was in my late 30s – my life took a dive and out of nowhere SH appeared. It’s never been a welcome visitor as such, but at times a necessary one. I know any self harmers reading this will understand that I cannot fully explain its usefulness, but at the same time, my desire for it to leave my life forever.
It sounds as if it has a life of its own and is not under my control and I do feel like that about SH. I don’t feel that it’s me that decides if I need its presence or if it just happens. All sounding very naïve, but truly I feel in a numbed state when SH pays a call. It’s a demon that lives on my shoulder and frequently has a chat to me into my ear – it’s difficult to keep it quiet and perhaps that’s why it’s so strong – I can’t shove it off my shoulder. There was a time when it had taken up permanent residence on my shoulder and had a tangle with my arms on a daily basis; now it’s less frequent visits are equally unpleasant, but fill a need.
I’ve tried long and hard to work out why I self harm and the only explanation I can come up with is this. The need it fills is the emotional frustration and pain going on inside my head. SH and its pain momentarily quiets those torments and gives me a break from the pain I cannot address. However, that pain addressed leads to other tangible issues arising in my day to day life. The side effects of SH behaviour.
There are hugely difficult side effects to deal with as a mother of two adult children and a resident husband. There are always questions, difficulty in understanding and hatred of what I am seen to be doing to myself. I often feel I’ve physically hurt my nearest and dearest when all I’m trying to do is survive.
It’s bad enough trying to understand it myself but trying to explain it to someone – no matter how close they are to me – is impossible. The actual marks SH leaves behind are there for all to see. People can show offence – curiosity would be ok – but offence, sorry no. This did not happen to them it happened to me and I have to live with it, they do not. I get stressed trying to hide the marks from everyone, especially family, to save them feeling hurt but in the end they find out and yet another confrontation. I want left alone with it – it’s my hurt and my battle to carry with me. Sounds selfish but it’s the only way I can hope to get some control of my life. Am I an embarrassment?