Like many borderlines I have a relationship with my body that could be described as “not that easy”. That’s why I think it should be a part of this blog although I find it a very hard topic to write about. So I thought I’d start by answering questions or statements I’ve heard in the past.
“How can you cut into your own body?”
Well, I take a blade, bring it into position…no seriously I know what the person meant and what should I say…Most times I cut I don’t feel it, my hands may be numb, I might be watching myself from the outside or it’s possible that I’ve lost the connection with my body otherwise and that this loss of connection is the reason for my self-harming behaviour. Or else, I want to feel the pain in order to make my head go quiet and have something to do with alle the rage.
I also read that the hormones produced in such a moment are similar to those runners produce and it is said that there are people who are addicted to that kind of high.
“Don’t you think the scars are ugly on your beautiful body?”
First of all: Thanks for the compliment. Of course I can see that scars aren’t beautiful in a commercial way. Some upset me because their shape and colour doesn’t fit the spot they’re in (okay that sounds really weird) but in general they are a part of me as far as I’m concerned. Sometimes it even scares me when they fade.
Concerning the beauty of my body my self-image varies between two extremes as usual: There are days where I feel happy with what I look like (by the way I’m almost always grateful for everything my body forgives me and for the fact that it has never punished me for my chocolate orgies so far ;)). And then there are days where I don’t even recognize myself in the mirror, just want to hide and can only see a thousand ugly things about myself. I’m aware that everyone has those days.
“Try to treat yourself!”
Difficult. Very difficult indeed. What works is enjoying good food (apart from moments where I’m so down that I don’t taste anything). What can be challenging are all things that concern body care. There are a thousand triggers which is why showering, washing my hair etc. have been obligations for a very long time now. Even worse are unnecessary things like using body lotion or lip balm. I remember how I had to use hand cream when I was twenty (working outside in winter leads to bleeding hands sooner or later) and was completely amazed that such a thing can actually be nice if you don’t wonder whether you deserve it or if it could be disgusting in any way.
Work in progress, I guess.
“Try some sport for balance.”
Yes, that would be reasonable – and very much so. For some reason I have a terrible fear of failure in most sports. Everything that’s not dancing quickly becomes an obligation that produces pressure instead of well-being.
“Doesn’t your partner give you self-confidence?”
Yes, very much! Due to him I can enjoy many things I have never known so far. On the other hand that very fact increases my fear of being abandoned which is also not healthy.
I’ve heard that sentence for all of my life. The fact that I’m chewing on my fingers (not the nails though) is neither a bad habit (or I would have stopped a long time ago) nor a reaction to stress (tension doesn’t help but is not the cause) nor self-harm (this has a goal, the biting doesn’t). It is more like a compulsion, i simply cannot stop. If someone tries to prevent me from it by taking my hands I will either start chewing the inside of my cheeks or get really aggressive. Before heaps of advice rain down on me, I have tried the following things: Bitter tinctures from the pharmacy, nail varnish, daily manicure, hand cream, cuticle oil pens, gloves, distraction, relaxation techniques,…
There is a term for it which is Dermatophagia so it’s related to disorders such as trichotillomania, trichophagia, etc. Some time ago I discovered chewable jewellery out of silicone on a homepage for people on the autistic spectrum which is the very first thing that actually helps. Unfortunately it’s not that convenient in public.
I don’t know why I’m writing this or if it’s interesting but I think that the relationship with my body should be a part of a stable self-image so I had to start somehow.