Thursday, February 21, 2013
setting it free
I have tons of stuff that gets re-posted over and over...ALL OVER. But somehow this never made it onto my blog. I'm going to leave it here today, because I, once again, have it on my clip board, from re-posted it for the umpteenth time.
This is known as my Self Inflicted Violence talk for newbies. I have explained this info so many times, my hands have gotten tired of typing it, so I "canned" it in a document and dish it out know like spam. This was originally written to a man who's friend self injured and he couldn't grasp it. So I explained it to him.
I need to go dig out the one I wrote for parents who have just learned there child is self injuring.
* * TRIGGER * * talk of self injury * *
A bit more info on Self inflicted Violence (SIV) for those interested.
Intense emotional pain is hard to deal with. You can't see it, you can't put a bandage on it, you can't fully explain it to anyone else. The pain is personal and well, excruciating. Some people have learned not to show pain, or lack the ability to effectively communicate pain.
When the tension builds internally to a point that feels like..."I'm going to explode, I am going to go insane" people who self injure...injure themselves. This act does many things...says many things....
1. It transfers the pain to the surface, where you CAN see it, you CAN heal it. You can't bandage the soul, but you can bandage your arm.
2. The blood speaks volumes as to the internal pain. Think of the cut as a red mouth screaming the pain. (this maybe the only way a person can express the discomfort they are in).
3. The act itself will literally cut the tension one is feeling. You are left with a calmness, a dissociating "high", you feel back in control now that the energy is released. This fact makes SIV a very addicting act. You are positively reinforced each time you injure.
SIV is very alarming/disturbing to people who don't do it. What you need to know about us is this. We are not trying to kill ourselves with the injuring...think of it more as self medicating.
SIV does not = suicide attempt. Suicide is an another category all by its self. Suicide = taking action to ends ones life, while SIV = taking action to ease internal pressure, so one can keep on functioning.
It is in fact often used to stop one from reaching that point of seeking fatal means to cope. The number one most common denominator to SIV is a history of sexual abuse...we are talking about deep deep issues that need a professional touch here, the healing journey is a hard one. Deep issues must be faced, a commitment to healing and working towards learning and using healthy coping skills must be there.
One doesn't have to have any abuse in there background to learn SIV as coping skill., it works just as well no matter the reason behind it. SIV is about control too...controlling ones emotions and feelings and destiny.
Cutting can give a sense of control. I CONTROL WHEN AND WHERE I FEEL THE PAIN.
We are NOT crazy for injuring ourselves. We are just in pain, and have lost the ability to communicate any other way.
Think of it this way...the SIV is a fever. Its a symptom of a deeper infection that needs to cleared up before the fever goes away. You would never tell a sick person...just stop having a fever. We do medicate the fever away, but does the cure the infection? nope. There is deeper work we need to do.
Things that are not helpful...
1. giving ultimatums You may not cut. I won't be your friend if you injure yourself.
2. "Stop it for me." "promise me you won't cut for me" - We need to stop for ourselves.
3. "just don't cut" - if it were that simple don't you think we would do it?
4. Non injuring contracts. SIV is a coping mechanism. It may very well be there ONLY coping skill. Until there is a new skill learned-practiced-implemented, the SIV will continue. (We don't ask babies to be born and get up and walk the same day. they learn to use there muscles first, roll over, crawl, stand, then walk. it is a slow gradual process.)
Re-learning/learning healthy coping skills is hard work. It is not an overnight process, expect the SIV to continue as we work in therapy. In the cases of past trauma, it might actually increase as the past is dealt with.
peace be the journey