Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What is it that opens that door with in us?

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.


  1. What has always made me wonder is what brings it out in those who don't have any experiences like that? For example, in the disabled who experience self-inflicted violence, especially kids...who have not had abusive environments. So it has me thinking that it could go even deeper than environment and into the brain's hard wiring. But then again...I don't know shit really.

    1. I do think it is hardwired in our brains. On a deep primal level. Like in the brain stem. SIV is not species specific. Birds self injure, other mammals do too. Survival is a strong instinct. Animals trapped in traps will chew there limbs off to escape.

      Maybe with the bulk of his brain malfunctioning, his developing mind, by force, looked deeper and this area seemed to make sense.

      Its not injuring to injure that happens in all cases of SI. For me there are times it's comforting, it releases chemicals in my brain. It seems like I'm backed into a corner and the act/pain resets the chaos and grounds me. I learned early in life that in order for me to get comfort, compassion and attention from my caregivers I had to be bleeding/in pain. I can self comfort as an adult by self injuring.

      * * * trigger, thoughts from a known lunatic * * *

      He doesn't have a history of being abused as a child. But what if the IS was the abuse? What if his brain was reacting to the seizures as any developing brain would have responded to being abused? Children's pliable brains work overtime to absorb and learn and make sense of their worlds.

      I keep thinking back to the video of you two. Your comforting him with your voice as the seizures are scrambling his brain. Your doing what all parents would do. What if he drew the same comparison? He can clearly see your concern and comfort as he is at the mercy of his brain. pain = comfort.

      Can this be reversed?

      It took some time to untangle it for me, and I have a mostly functional brain. I still struggle with it.

      What could you try with B? Find away to make pain = pain, vs pain = comforting.

      Does he mirror you? does he do the thinks you do? (dang it I just need to come meet you two so I can get a better picture of things.)