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Self-Harm and the A

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ShockedErica11 posted 8/23/2013 10:12 AM

This was brought up in a thread going on in Wayward that I answered, but now I'm very curious about this.

I know that this IS an unhealthy coping mechanism, but I wonder how many BSs (and WSs) have turned to this method to deal with the pain of betrayal.

No, I am not advocating it. It isn't the best method to use to deal with pain, but I have used self-harm before WH's A, in my younger years, to deal with the emotional upheavals of my life.

So, I'm asking, how many have turned to self-harm? How many thought they kicked the habit but it came roaring back? What are your experiences?

crazyblindsided posted 8/23/2013 10:19 AM

I had never self-harmed myself (by cutting) until this last A my WH had. I actually attempted suicide and required inpatient and outpatient. A very scary place for me. I try not to go there when I am really upset. It's the one thing about myself that really bothers me.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 10:20 AM, August 23rd (Friday)]

confused615 posted 8/23/2013 10:36 AM

Raising my hand.

I've done it twice. Both were during a that hit me hard..and my WH wasn't being supportive. He was actually telling me I deserved to be cheated on..that no one would ever be faithful to me..because Im not worth it.

I know that there has been talk on SI that women who react violently do so because they feel in control. I can tell you..that was not the case with me. I felt very much out of control..of myself and my life. I felt very,very helpless. And I was so angry with myself for being in this position. I felt worthless,and stupid. Each time I've hurt myself,it was because I was hating who I was in that moment..and I just felt so disgusted with myself.

I have never hurt myself before..well..Im clumsy,so let me say I have never intentionally hurt myself before..until a few months ago. It's happened twice. The second time I did it,I remember WH saying to me,in this disgusted tone of voice,"OMG. You are crazy. You've lost it. What's wrong with you? You are FUCKED up!" So..yeah..that didn't make me feel any better.

It's humiliating to hurt yourself. I am so embarrassed that he saw me like that.

crazyblindsided posted 8/23/2013 12:32 PM

He was actually telling me I deserved to be cheated on

(((confused615))) I have been told the same thing during one of our fights.

"OMG. You are crazy. You've lost it. What's wrong with you? You are FUCKED up!"
God I heard the same after my suicide attempt. He even told MOW about it. She claims that's why he is staying with me because he is afraid I will commit suicide.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 12:35 PM, August 23rd (Friday)]

Holly-Isis posted 8/23/2013 12:35 PM

I have. I had strong suicidal feelings. But I knew it would hurt the kids.

I've hurt myself in a few ways, cutting actually didn't leave the worst marks.

I went a year without hurting myself once I got into a good IC and had some meds.

Recently, I did it again because the situation I was in just got beyond my coping skills.

It came from a place of wanting two things: a distraction from the emotional pain and feelings like the emotional pain was building pressure inside me and I had to let it out.

Confused- that's awful and proves his username is a lie. He doesn't get it. Doesn't get the absolute pain and how hard it is to cope and hold onto sanity.

[This message edited by Holly-Isis at 12:37 PM, August 23rd (Friday)]

JustAShadow posted 8/23/2013 12:54 PM

It's never been a habit for me but I have done it a 5 - 6 times - either cutting or literally banging my head on a wooden table until there was a goose egg.

And I want to paste in statements from everyone's posts because each has something that hit true for me.

* Feeling way out of control of life AND needing a release for all of the rage and hurt that was building up.

* Being told by my WH (who is a counselor) that I was "crazy". He added in that he knows because he works with crazy every day.

* Being told that he has told the OW that he feared I would commit suicide so he was afraid to leave.

[This message edited by JustAShadow at 12:55 PM, August 23rd (Friday)]

JanaGreen posted 8/23/2013 12:59 PM


Not cutting; even the thought of cutting makes me feel faint.

Hitting. Slapping, punching. Usually my upper thighs, sometimes my face. One time I did drag my arm across a sharp corner of our closet shelving, which left a nasty scratch and then a scar.

It wasn't a feeling of self-disgust or self-hatred that made me do it. It was a sense of overwhelming pain. I couldn't stand the emotional pain, so I caused physical pain to myself. It's a distraction, I guess. Something else to focus on.

Morhurt posted 8/23/2013 13:01 PM

I have.

As a teen/young adult it was minor. I would dig my nails deeply into my arms etc.

When I found out about the A I used a knife and cut my thigh. I hate that he saw me doing that but the feeling of pain inside was so overwhelming and I didn't know how to let it out.

I don't recommend it. I try my best not to do it. But honestly, it helped. It released some if the intenseness.


brokendancer7 posted 8/23/2013 13:12 PM

I did a lot of cutting after fWH's first affair. Despair built up inside me, and I couldn't see any way to feel better, so I cut. Somehow, seeing the blood calmed me down and let out pressure. I stopped it as I started feeling better.

After the most recent DDay, the pressure was back, and I went back to cutting. At one of our sessions, our MC saw the cuts and asked me, in a strong way, not to do it. She said if I felt like doing it to call her. I guess that made me try harder to stop. So far, I've been able to resist. It is embarrassing and messed up, so I hope I won't do it again.

ShockedErica11 posted 8/23/2013 13:21 PM

To everyone, I comepletely understand where you are coming from, and I've had the same feeling of pressure build-up, where every single pain seems like a neverending onslaught.

I usually don't like the sight of blood; freaks me out, and I've always told friends and family in a joking manner that I could totall be a surgeon if people didn't bleed, but just like some posters said: once I see the blood, it kind of calms me down.

I am not advocating it; I am not trying to condone it either. I want to see how many people have actually done it, and am wondering how they are seeking help for it. I haven't quite gotten that far with my IC yet as I won't be seeing her next until next month due to scheduling conflicts.

How has anyone been able to resist the urge, if you can? What helped?

I've been overwhelmed, and this site helps and hurts (A LOT), and that pressure is building up again; I don't want to release it that way. What do some of you guys do instead?

olwen posted 8/23/2013 13:25 PM

Oh God yes.

The day I found he had changed his passwords on me I knew he was cheating and had a lot to hide. My bottom fell out of my world. I rang him at work screaming what was he hiding and he came home gave me a load of verbal abuse then left - making sure he text her on the way so she would know he was coming back into work, even then his instinct was to text her. he left me alone with my cupboard full of bipolar meds and I took a strip of everything. I guess I nearly managed it seeing as I was unconscious and on a heart monitor for 24 hours. Hallucinating and attacking him despite being totally unaware. even then he sat with his head in his hands and told my family 'it was just texting'.

I have also punched a door hard enough to leave knuckle imprints, banged my head against things.

I would like to say I am done but I am still doing stupid things just to get through each day. Taking more meds than I should, mixing with alcohol etc

I just want oblivion. The pain is too much.

Mack9512 posted 8/23/2013 13:56 PM

My thing is hair plucking. Trichotillomania. I go in waves of doing it a lot to barely doing it at all. I don't pull out the on my head though. Just my legs and I have the scars to prove it. Stress makes it worse. I've gone at my legs for hours on end at my worst.

After my fWH's A, I did start compulsively digging my right thumb into the palm of my left hand. (I use to do this when I was hiding from my abuser when I was little.) Did it so much that I actually caused permanent damage to my hand. The brace that I have to wear on my hand put a stop to this one though.

My fWH's knows about both and is really good about distracting me enough to make me stop doing it.

lonelylost posted 8/23/2013 14:42 PM

I've done this too.
The emotional pain was definitely too great to hold in. I remember that clearly. It was a release with a mixture of self hatred. I did it right after I caught Xwh with neighbor lady. I think I wanted a scar, something physical to remind myself what he was doing (he used to rugsweep and pretend nothing happened)so that if I ever became stupid and soft over the reality of the situation, I could look down and see and touch that scar.

Now I know better...he wasn't worth it and I shouldn't determine my worth based on someone else.

crazyblindsided posted 8/23/2013 14:49 PM

How has anyone been able to resist the urge, if you can? What helped?

Try holding an ice cube to your skin, it hurts but doesn't leave any scars.

Lonelygirl10 posted 8/23/2013 16:22 PM

I pull the skin off my fingers and around my nails. My fingers often have scabs on them from doing this. Sometimes I don't even realize that I'm doing it, and I'm not trying to hurt myself. Other times I think the physical pain helps to distract me from whatever my mind is thinking about it.

I try to fight it by getting my nails professionally done. I'm embarrassed to see the person that does my nails with them looking badly, so it helps to stop it some.

Girlietoo posted 8/23/2013 17:19 PM

I have had a pretty crappy life with all kinds of trauma and I never even thought about harming myself. Until two days after D day, sitting in the Walmart parking lot. I felt compelled to cut myself. I describe it as an intrusive thought. Well I cut my stomach up pretty badly and it felt very good. I never understood how hurting oneself could feel good but now I understand.

I cut myself 3 times in the days immediately after D day. I did so again last night. At the time it felt good but today, looking at myself in the mirror, I asked why I keep doing this to myself:/

I hope to never do it again. I actually had to cancel a medical appointment because I didn't want the doctor to see the cuts. I did tell both my doctor and counsellor about it though.

One of the things that angers me is the fact that after all these years through various victimizations the one person I loved and trusted pushed me to do something that I have never even thought of doing before.

sullymeishadomi posted 8/23/2013 17:29 PM

I stabbed myself twice in the arm (should have required stitches but I didnt go. I cut a sock and used it as a tight bandage).

Ive taken pills

Ive done other things.

I hurt myself out of self hate. I took all the pain and anger and turned it inward

Not smart He isnt worth hurting myself.

[This message edited by sullymeishadomi at 5:32 PM, August 23rd (Friday)]

IRN2006 posted 8/23/2013 17:32 PM

I self-harmed growing up.

I haven't self injured in several years now. I will still have the urge from time to time. If I stop and figure out what I need emotionally and verbalize it, the urge goes away. And, to be more specific, I need to know that I have been "heard."

For me, the key was to get emotionally/mentally stable. I had no choice but to do so after my life completely fell apart.

I also take lots of pride in raising my kids in an emotionally/mentally healthy environment and stopping dysfunction. It's something my grandmother, my mother, and I never had. This is a really good reminder for me to try to keep myself as healthy as possible.

As for finding comfort: I find lots of comfort in being creative-from music to needlework to knitting. I get super zen when I can do something rhythmic and repetitive. Yoga and and mindfulness also helps me.

[This message edited by IRN2006 at 5:33 PM, August 23rd (Friday)]

nestlee posted 8/23/2013 17:42 PM

I tried to commit suicide when I was 16.. I have 2 huge scars on my left wrist. Every time I glance at them ..they remind me of how foolish I was. Doesn't matter how bad things get. I'll never harm my self again.

avicarswife posted 8/24/2013 04:36 AM

Right after d-day I would find myself rocking backwards and forwards and rubbing my hairbrush to and fro across the my arm. I didn't stop until I had grazes and weeping wounds all over my arm. Mostly I was unaware I was even doing it until I would feel the dampness - I was in such a state.

Given that it is my WH who has depression and suicidal ideation and I had never self-harmed in any way it was a strange turn.

As I was often unaware I had started doing it my IC suggested as it was generally only when I was blow drying my hair that I stood up while drying my hair instead of sitting or moved to another room. For other occasions she suggested a few alternative things to do to distract me.

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