Monthly Archives: May 2018

Glimmers of Answer

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Sometimes they come to us, those little answers, those tiny ideas that help us find ways to move forward. Today I had one, a small one, an answer to a question that’s plagued me for almost 2 decades.

Why do I hurt myself? Why do I self-harm?

In high school, I talked candidly about my harm with a friend. He asked why I did it. I told him it was because it was a way to feel, but that answer never really felt completely right.

In the work and counselling I’ve done since, I’ve been asked again and again why I harm, why I used to harm, why I stopped. I’ve never had an answer. Everything that I’ve read talks about it being a mental thing, that you’re in so much pain mentally that you want to feel it physically, or that you’re so dissociated mentally that causing pain brings you back. None of those answers made sense to me.

Last night I mentioned a numbness. I said that when I get urges to harm, I’m working through a numbness.

Today, I connected, I got an answer.

I don’t know if the root is mental or physical, but I get into a state of physical numbness. It’s like there’s an extra layer between me and the rest of the world. The ground feels farther from my feet. The keyboard feels further from my fingertips. The cat feels farther from my face. The longer I sit, doing nothing, in this state, the more I feel the need to feel. Challenging hikes help, with lots of scrambling over rocks, bumping knees, scraping fingers. Meditating in the ocean, or really, just putting my body in the freezing water for as long as I can stand it helps. Getting a new tattoo is always good when I feel like this. Sex is 50/50, but acts of BDSM with a partner (with or without the sex component) definitely help. And so does self harm.

I messaged a friend today, the friend I spoke to the night I cut myself, and I told him my revelation. I told him that it’s a physical need to feel through the numbness (whatever the source of the numbness is). I said I just needed to find a healthier way to fill the need when I couldn’t do something like climb rocks for 3 hours or soak myself in near freezing water for an hour. He came over this evening with an answer. He gave me his micro needle therapy roller thing (it looks like a little roller brush, except instead of bristles, there’s needles). It works. It has that same needed sensation that I seek without the causing physical damage component.

I’ll be okay, really, I will. Things will get better and I’ll slowly piece together the answers of my brain.

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Change

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It’s odd sometimes when the world comes crashing down around you. Everything moves on, moves forward. It feels like everyone else, everything else is fine. Nothing’s changed. And yet, for you, everything’s changed.

My partner and I stayed together for a whole two months before we broke up. We decided to stay friends, and quickly added back sexual and D/s activities, though we’ve done way more of the sex than the D/s stuff. We have continued to spend an inordinate amount of time together and he’s continued to help me with my plans to get better at schoolwork.

I submitted an application to a general studies program at the local college, since I missed the deadline for applications for the undergrad program that I want to take at the university. It’s probably better this way as it’ll give me a chance to bump up my GPA in a smaller class-size setting.

I was asked to join the facilitators for a trans youth support group (kids under 12 mostly). That’s gone mostly nowhere so far, but I’ll be going to a group soon to see what it’s like and where my role might be in it.

The support group that I facilitate ended up petering out, and I cancelled it going forward. Hardly anyone was attending and I couldn’t justify holding the space.

I was asked to speak on a panel at a conference. The ask came several months ago and the conference was 2 days ago. I took the day off work and went. It was my first time being asked to speak, first time speaking. I was stressed and anxious in the lead up, but the day itself went fantastically. I felt very much in my element at the conference which was very odd to consider. We discussed a lot of really heavy topics though, which have been hard to digest.

I got told by my building manager two weeks ago that my cat was causing noise complaints. I’m not supposed to have a cat here, but he told me that it would be fine as long as there were no more noise complaints. She cries out when I’m gone too long, too much, because she desires human connection too much. I ended up getting internet at home, something I have spent the last 4 months since moving here avoiding, so that a friend could come over and catsit while he does his work online.

At the same time as all of this, I’m slowly coming to the crushing realization that I’m at a point of “now or never” with respect to having children. I turn 28 very soon and I don’t want to be an old parent. I don’t have anyone to co-parent with me right now and I have a 10-year plan for school. But, I’m feeling this desperate need to have kids and have them as soon as possible. I don’t want to wait, I don’t want to put it off. I don’t want to find out that it’s not possible anymore. The idea that it might not be possible now is painful.

There’s a certain numbness that I feel sometimes, when so much is going on. There’s too much to process, to work through, too much to try to sort out. My life right now is in a massive state of turmoil, chaos. I’ve been saying it’s good chaos, but any chaos is difficult to handle and deal with.

I want things to settle and I want there to be a certain clarity of where I’m going, but I haven’t even heard if I got into the college yet.

I just want to curl up and hide, tuck myself away and vanish. Not into bedsheets or a chair or couch, but into the forest, the world, nature. I just want to disappear for a time until all things are sorted.

Last night, I went to dinner with my friend. I was slow to get up in the morning, hadn’t eaten well during the day, was feeling generally good about things having just completed the conference, but didn’t manage to pick up groceries or make dinner. After dinner at the pub, my friend and I picked up some drinks and headed to my place. We talked a bit. My muscles have been twitchy and spasmy lately and he’s noticed. I showed him a video I took of what it looked like in 2011 and he suggested that tourettes might be the answer, so we talked about that some. We walked to his place and back to mine, had some more drinks, and watched a movie. It was, amazingly, the first movie that I’ve managed to sit through beginning to end in one sitting with nothing to occupy my hands in ages, years maybe (theatre experiences aside). We talked and drank a bit after the movie ended and he headed home. I got up and went to the bathroom and on leaving the bathroom had the urge to grab a knife and cut myself. It was so strong that I actually grabbed the knife on my way back to my living space. I sat in front of the computer for half an hour, posting here, talking to that same friend on facebook. I reached out to him, and several other people, he was the one who responded. I couldn’t get the urge out of my head so I told him I’d call the crisis line, which I did, knife still in hand. I talked to the counselor on the phone and talked out a bit of what all I’ve put in this post. He asked about motives, asked about where the urge comes from. He asked if I ever contemplated suicide (I haven’t, ever). He eventually asked if I’d be okay to go to bed, to which I said yes. What he didn’t know, couldn’t tell, was that while I was talking to him, I gave myself 3 small “scratches” on my leg with the knife. There’s a numbness I get when I have the urge to cut, a numbness that kills whatever pain I would feel from my already high pain tolerance. I hung up the phone from the crisis line and sent a message to my friend saying I was going to bed and not to worry. I messaged him as soon as I was up in the morning as well.

I honestly don’t know why I get the urges to self harm, cut or otherwise. I don’t know what makes me want to act on them. I don’t know how I’ve been able to say no to doing it for the last 7+ years. I don’t know why it’s so bad right now.

When I’m out with people, doing things, going places, talking, connecting, they all seem to think I’m well put together, that I’ve got life sorted out, that I can make things work and go well. The truth is, I can’t, I’m not okay, and I haven’t been for a very long time. I try so very hard to make everything okay. I do all the self care things, do everything I can to help myself work through the big feelings that are so hard to deal with and handle. I do everything that it seems like I should be doing, but nothing ever seems to go the way it should.

I’ve had a tagline somewhere for the last decade or so “wishing for a time when money didn’t matter and hurts were cured with a kiss from mom.” I’ve never changed it because the wish has never gone away. I’ve never stopped wishing that things got better. I’ve never stopped hoping that I would find answers and connections.

I’ve never stopped feeling so lost and alone.

Life is chaos, and no matter how good that chaos is, the chaos itself is what drives me to madness.

Hurt

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I want to hurt. I want to feel physical pain. I have ideas popping into my head one after another after another about what I could do to cause myself pain in a way that I could re-build the pain for days and weeks to come.

I haven’t felt this way in a long time.

I’m stressed, I’m anxious, I want life to settle down, I know that life will start settling down after the last couple weeks of chaos (I owe another post about how life’s shifted again). I have had a few drinks tonight, but the drinks don’t really change how I feel, they just make me less likely to have inhibitions towards doing it.

I want to take my knife, any knife. I want to cut myself in an area that is easily hidden, easily explained. Three short cuts would do it, I can blame them on the cat as I’ve one so many times before.

I haven’t cut myself in over 6 years… tonight that might change…