love-pain
Random thoughts

Trauma, self-harm and me as my worst enemy

I wrote a post about others. What they did to me and how wrong it was.
I’d like to point out another person, who did plenty of horrible things to me as well. It was me.
Hi.
* hides under the table *

I’m deeply ashamed and I wasn’t doing this on purpose. But the shame that comes daily feels just like I was.

There’s plenty of people like me out there. I’m writing this post to spread the awareness about another sensitive topic.
If you don’t know enough, you easily judge others (been there too). Please don’t do this and try to understand them instead. Better understanding leads to increased empathy, which can be beneficial for all of us.

When your whole life looks like one big trauma, you sometimes don’t know how to actually live your life in the absence of your private horror show.
If you ever escape your trauma, you might get the need to make a new one by yourself. There is some science behind this kind of behavior.

If you’re in it too – you’re not alone and you’re not crazy. It’s something you don’t really control (but you can learn). It’s like being on autopilot. You’re just doing what you know best. And this is living under lots and lots of stress.

It might feel unpleasant, but as much as it’s unpleasant, it’s also safe in a way. While I’m slowly ending my old trauma patterns, I’m realizing that I wasn’t running away from the bad things, but from the good ones too.

I don’t know how much sense, I’m making for some of you, but if you were there, you know.

The harm I’ve done to myself included cutting and otherwise physically hurting myself, drugs, overloading myself with work, eating disorders with unhealthy amounts of exercise, staying in relationships that were destructive and not liking myself in general.

I did more harm than good at the beginning of my self-care journey.

Many people think of self-harm as attention seeking behavior, but it’s not.

I was able to hide everything, from everyone, even the therapists. It was my way of dealing with the pain. Still is in a way.

Feel free to share your own experience. I’d be really glad to hear how are you coping with this.

P.S. Featured image with an eye is my work too. Photography was always the way to express my emotions.

Further reading:
15 Things to Do Instead of Self-Harming
A Brief Guide to Self-Harm and Unhealed Childhood Trauma
Forms of Self-Harm Common in People With PTSD

16 Comments

  • Yetismith

    I can relate. When I was 15 I became anorexic for about a year. It was about having control over one thing in my life. Otherwise my life was totally controlled by other people and I hated my life. Not eating was one thing I could control. Fortunately (or perhaps not, in fact) everything changed when I was 16 and it stopped the anorexia before it took over my life. Afterwards I was in a different sort of hell and my nerves went to bits. I took a lot of pills and I drank but never succeeded in hurting myself. I thought often of suicide but I worry about bad karma, or maybe I am just a coward. I think the point of suicide would have been to shock certain people but I also knew they would just shrug their shoulders and say “oh dear” and move right on, so that would be pointless. Lately I have had moments of pure rage that are frightening. I just went off oxycodone which was prescribed for chronic pain. The withdrawal is hell and that is where the rage comes from. A couple of times I saw a kitchen knife and was so close to cutting myself but I didn’t want the drama that would have ensued. I live a lot in my head, in a world of fantasy as this one is often too painful. Not fun all this stuff. So I understand. Hang in there…it can get better…

    • Maja

      Thanks Carolyn. Sorry to hear about your struggle. While thinking about suicide and not doing it, takes courage. I don’t see you as a coward at all. It is really hard to actually do suicide, but it’s also hard to stay here and cope with everything. We have so many mechanisms inside of us that protect us from dying (self-harm being one of them), but they aren’t pleasant at all.

  • The Freethinker

    “Better understanding leads to increased empathy”.
    Very true.
    We shouldn’t be so quick to judge others, because everyone has gone through something we know nothing about.
    Stay strong. Stay safe. ❤

  • Hetty Eliot

    Thank you for your honesty about such a difficult subject. By its very nature, it tends to be a secret one. It is not something that I personally have done or experienced, but thank you for sharing this so I can understand a little bit more.

  • Jeff Flesch

    Thanks for sharing, Maja. Super important. I spent 20 years in high-levels of self-abuse, and it was likewise for me, as you write, about burying the terrible pain. Phew. It’s a lot of work to go through all of that pain, yet, it is empowering along the way. Keep breathing, be well, and have a great week. 🙂

    • Maja

      Thanks for sharing this Jeff. I believe it’s not easy to open up, but sharing these experiences connect many of us through the blogging community. This is one of the greatest things about blogging. It’s nice having you around.
      I wish you a great week too.

  • amygdalaco

    “I don’t know how much sense, I’m making for some of you, but if you were there, you know”

    I’ve been there and I know, thank you for sharing this. It means a lot to hear that other people have had such similar thoughts and experiences.

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