Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The girl is bad, the girl is dangerous

My name's Charlotte and for half of my life I've self harmed.

In the media, someone who self harms is often seen as an attention seeker, a young teenager lashing out, even just the words self harmer brings up a stereotypical image which portrays people who SH in neither the best light nor in an accurate way.
I can only speak for myself and my own reasons for self harm and my story, I have no desire to talk graphically about it so I hope this will not be triggering as I find it disturbing the way some people get off on bragging about their SH and how deep they've gone, their methods etc...

I first starting self harming when I was an inpatient for my first ED admission, I was angry and frustrated at the way I was being treated and struggling severely with OCD, paranoia and was very depressed. I'd seen and was shocked and disturbed by other patients self harming in front of me in the unit but one weekend at home I was very distressed and did it myself. Whereas anorexia was a slow punishment and pain that I felt I deserved, SH was instant like someone putting a pin in a balloon and letting the air out. I felt like I could breathe. I've never cut myself very deep I just do it a lot over and over. This became a daily habit for almost 15 years. I had a period of 7 months when I didn't do anything which I'll explain below, but other than that it's been consistent. If I'm upset I cut, I'm someone else upsets me, I cut, I can't hurt them so I hurt myself . That was even a line in one of the songs on my album Monster
"You don't feel pain so I bleed for you"
This is about situation where someone was so blind to the pain they were causing me, or maybe they weren't they just didn't care, but I cried more tears than I can remember and shed more blood than I should have for them.

One of the biggest misconceptions I've faced is not that I'm a danger to myself but that because I self harm I might be a danger to other people. This could not be further from the truth.  I self harm because I am hurting on the inside and I take it out on myself. I would never and could never harm another person nor be a danger to anyone other than myself.

Like many people who SH I don't just cut myself, in times of great distress I will often hit and punch myself and I've spoken about my struggle with dermatillamania and with that I'm often stupid enough to use bleach and use sharp objects on myself, my face mainly.

I've been through periods of times where I've tried to stop or cut down mainly for other people, ex boyfriends mostly, it's not an attractive feature, but given the fact that both my previous relationships were abusive meaning I had more reason to SH, I wasn't very successful. Using someone else as a reason to give up is all very well and good but not only does that put a lot of pressure on them and can put a strain on your relationship with that person, it also puts a new dynamic on your relationship that being you have to stay in my life/ not piss me off else I might relapse which is not healthy. Ultimately you have to be your own reason and own motivation, which is easier said than done.

That being said I used my nieces as motivation to change my self harming/cut down. If I know I am seeing them I won't use anything that will leave a scar like I used to as I don't want them to see that. Even though I can wear long sleeves I don't even like the thought of something so innocent and pure being near something born out of such darkness and hatred. I'm lucky in that the way my scars have healed my skin just looks like it's discoloured, it's not obvious scarring. But the self harming in other ways is not obvious to other people it's self harm, Charlotte's got a mark on her face, must just be a funny spot. Of course noone would assume I've tried to cut out what I see as imperfections with a knife. I'm very self conscious of this and it does not make things any easier that people that I've had people throughout my life literally point them out in a nasty way, including Drs, How is this appropriate? My old dance teacher once pulled me to the front of the class and in front of everyone said "Ergh, YOU LOOK LIKE YOU'VE BEEN MAULED BY A RABID DOG" that was fun....

Why am I choosing to write about this now? Because readers by the time you are digesting this in your brains I will be having the last area of which I cut myself in times of distress, stabbed squillions of times with a needle to make a pretty picture meaning that the last 'safe' area on my body I cut, is no longer able to be cut on. Brave you may say? Fucking stupid is all I'm thinking as I'm writing this the day before my impending needle stabbing pretty picture creating. or pictures I should say as i always have been a glutton for punishment...

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