Body questions

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.

“Stop biting!”
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.


9 thoughts on “Body questions

  1. This is very interesting. I can fully identify with what you say in regards to the self harm! I too find it unsettling when the scars fade (sometimes). It is so difficult to explain. I also find my body disgusting.. not so much the look of it but more the feelings, i​ hate feeling my heart, being aware of my breathing, the fact that I need to “care” for my body. It’s surreal and very difficult to explain.

    Forever xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there,
      I know many people who find it unsettling when the scars fade…for me it feels like I don’t need to do more as long as they’re clearly visible…
      I’m sorry for you about the breathing, heartbeat and so on, that must be quite distressing. However I fully understand that you don’t like to care for your body, I often feel the same…
      Take care nevertheless!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My truth is that it is hard for me to openly own a lot my stuff that is similar to what you are sharing here. If only we could all be so brave. If only our lived experiences were not stigmatized by those who do not understand. Thank you for being honest, it can be hard. Watching others speak their truth makes it easier for those of us struggling with our own.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for these kind words! Those exact things are why writing is so much easier than talking for me…I hope you also can let some of this stuff out – after all it’s important that we don’t hide for who we are and I’m sure you could find the right words (at least that’s my impression from what you’ve written here).
      In any case I wish you all the best. Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for writing this Nina. I have some very ugly self-harm marks on my hands, so I get asked a lot of questions about it. I never have the courage to say what it actually is 😦 mostly I make up a fake reason for it. Still, I don’t want them to fade away either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this comment!
      I fully understand what you mean…maybe we’re both practicing talking about the real causes here so that we can one day actually talk about it openly.
      Anyway, I wish you all the best and a weekend without difficult questions 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it is easier to write than to talk about it. Hope you are feeling better now 🙂 My weekend has been very peaceful so far

        Liked by 1 person

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