Friday, June 30, 2017

Isn't pain pain?

(continued from previous post) * * * trigger for self injury descriptions * * *

It wasn't until I was way past that point in my life that I did deeper thinking on the how and whys of why "others inflicted injury" wouldn't work the same as self injury.

People think pain = pain.

It isn't so.

You stub your toe, and get treated to unexpected pain from a non focused source.

is different then:

Facing an angry abuser who punches you in the face. In this case you know its coming eventually.

is different then:

Going through labor pains.

is different then:

Living with chronic back pain.


It can be further broken down to the various types of self injury. Rage injuring pain isn't the same as boredom injuring, or injuring in reaction to anxiety/stress.

Pain to self injures also is different depending on the additional elements.

Example: If I punch my face vs setting my arm on fire vs slicing open my skin and bleeding.

Pain without blood is in a different category then pain with blood.

Surprised at how complex it is?

Pain is pain to a degree, but them with self injury your adding in a very real mental element. Partly because often times self injury is used to transfer mental pain to the surface.

Lets stop for a second and look at labor pain. You know the source, you know the purpose, you know the outcome. Painful, yes, but knowing why/it action helps your brain categorize it and stop it from causing you to develop PTSD/flashbacks.

You break your arm, Crap! inconvenient pain. You adjust your cahonies and get in warrior mode and power through the pain, and its memorialized as a dent in your shield, a battle field trophy.

Getting the crap beat outta you as a child by a parental figure, not the same case. There is NO rhyme or reason to that pain. There is no outcome that you can justify this kind of pain and it gets stored internally, manifesting as body memories, PTSD, depression, damaged self esteem.

When you INTENTIONALLY inflict pain on yourself its a blending of all three examples above.

I would LOVE to see brain scans of myself self injuring, and of me being hurt by another source. My theory is that there would be some commonality, but would ping different areas of my brain.

I've noticed in the case of unintentional pain, (stub my toe) I can't apply the same mental process to calm the pain as I do to a self inflicted injury.

Stub toe = OUCH &^%$$&^! THAT HURTS!!!

Self injury = relief of pain.

wait, what?!

Most often times of self injury people are trying to escape/defuse/vent/convey mental pain. The physical pain is preferred over mental pain.

Self injury is very much about CONTROL.


I just can't stress that enough.

If you hit me, I don't have the control.

If you are tattooing me, its the same as labor pain. temporary non-mentally damaging pain for a good outcome.

If you cut/burn me instead of me harming myself, its  combo of no control and scaring my psyche by triggering the abused child mentality.

I can't see any way of replicating the SELF part of self injury. When someone else is doing the injuring. Nor would I want to.

Allowing someone else to hurt you is not healthy.

Like wise, hurting your self isn't healthy.

Which is why I ultimately came to the decision to work on my issues.

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