The other night at work I learned one of my male co-workers wife has been cheating on him. I have known this gentleman for a few years. It devastated him. He came to me later and wanted to talk to me about it.
He said things like "I felt uncontrollable rage" I wanted to cut the pain away" "It burned my heart to learn this" "her actions punched me." etc...lots of terms that sounded to me like this man was on the verge of using Self Inflicted Violence as a coping method.
BTW he and I have talked extensively on the subject of SIV as he is very interested in it. He has a psych background and had learned about it before meeting me.
He said he felt the urge to SIV, to step over that line and deal with the emotional pain with SI. He was hurting so bad he wanted to inflict physical pain to equal it. But he couldn't. It piqued his interest later when he calmed down. He wanted to know HOW I was able to do it. How I justified it to myself.
I had to really think on that one. For me I have self injured since I was very young. Others treated me badly, so it just made sense. I was not worth protecting. I was not worth it. Simple as that.
He has a strong support system and healthy normal self esteem. Nothing erodes his sense of self. Loving parents, good friends, goals, dreams, direction etc. He feels "wanted/needed" by others.
I didn't feel that/have that until I got married (and surprise) that's where the true healing set root. In that environment the SI went to zero for many years. Because I felt "wanted/needed". The SIV resurfaced only after life stressors and things surfaced that I needed to deal with.
Somewhere in the past years I gained a sense of self worth. Not a egotistical " I am super person - bow down to my greatness" but a quiet voice in side that says "I am worth something." I am worth fighting for, I am worth protecting.
We came to the conclusion the SIV came close to taking a bite out of him because wife's actions, gouged a hole in his "worth". Opening the door/weakening his defenses to a choice that cropped up because of his interest in the subject.
Does that make sense?
I was left with a spinning head of thoughts and ideas. If you are never exposed to SI would it never crop up in your coping skills? If so then WHY do we discover it? Are the children of SIers more at risk for it cause they have been introduced to it?
What breaks in your spirit that allows this coping skill to suddenly become a tool you reach for?
When does pain cease to be pain and transform into something else?
What pathways are created/activated in your mind when you seek and welcome the pain and override the urge and basic impulse to avoid injury?
aaahhh, interesting stuff to think about.
I wrote this on a message board years ago. I was reading through my file of post that I wrote and printed out. Some deep and powerful writing in there. Some....some absolutely great writing and insight in there. Stuff I can't post here because I haven't opened that door here yet. Hinted at it, yes but not addressed it.
I am having a powerful push from my gut/heart to open that door, and go there.
let me give you a direct hint at where we are about to go:
"The number one most common denominator among SIV-er's is a history of sexual abuse..."
I guess this is your chance to jump ship if you don't want to go down that road with me.