Talked about the immense pressure to cut. I think my therapist was happy because I’m using so many things she’s teaching me in my fight: Skills, calling people, exercising, mindfulness exercises, writing precautionary behavious analyses.
Then we talked about the different triggers which have been activated these past few days: A boundary issue. A person who made me question the fact that my skills are helping me by being very sceptical – “Why would I be better just cause I’m putting on some heat cream?!”. A problem at work. An unpleasant memory about a time when I felt very lonely. A lot of time since I last self-harmed.
Concerning the boundary issue we spoke about my past and for the first time I was able to talk about my relative without any problems. Just got off my chest what happened to me without nearly choking on the words as usually. It felt so good. My therapist reacted so incredibly right that I couldn’t still doubt that what happened did actually harm me.
About the scepticism concerning the skills I’ll have to consider if I have any more questions about the topic. But it rather seems like I’m doubting things which I like and which are good for me too quickly when I’m with other people who don’t approve of them. Not consciously in order to be liked but rather because my identity is so unstable that I quickly fall apart like a house of cards. And, well, skills actually can come across a little quirky so that people might smile about them when there is no time to explain why you’re walking around with a porcupine ball in your hand.
We didn’t talk about work much as it’s not a big issue at the end of the day. There were just a few stressful events that can happen in every day office life and in this case they just contributed to something that was already there.
We also didn’t talk about the memories of very lonely times so much as I didn’t really know what to say about them.
And then the long time since my last self-injury: As some of you have suggested I told my therapist that I fear her not wanting to work with me anymore as I am so “stable” now. She replied that I would one day declare this therapy finished, never her – except if I started yelling at her all the time or stopped showing up :D. As childish as I feel, it felt very good to hear that.
Then we talked about what’s making it so difficult to stay without new wounds. Because it’s not the pain in that moment – I do get that stimulus just fine using my skills. No it’s rather that it feels wrong when there are no wounds, when the scars fade, nearly as if an important part of myself was missing, as if I wasn’t as present and efficient and “there”. My therapist thinks that’s because I’ve been doing it for such a long time now – 10 years – and that I somehow started regarding a mere symptom of my illness an actual part of my personality. She asked if a tattoo might help. But I love my tattoos, I would never “defile” them for the terrible purpose of being a “substitute” for self-harm. Nevertheless I think it’s really cool that my therapist is so open-minded concerning things like that (but of course I had to promise her I wouldn’t just run off and do it just because she mentioned it :D).
All in all we came to the conclusion that between all the people whose demands I thought I had to meet, self-harm used to be the only thing that was just my very own. Between those I had to be there for, those who constantly crossed my boundaries, those who criticised me and those who didn’t understand, cutting gave me a stability I didn’t know from anywhere else. When there was no time to just “be”, my wounds allowed me to be present.
Therefore my homework is: Find out what else could give me this feeling. Find something that is good for me constantly and also find out where and with whom I have to set limits. For this I am supposed to use my Poster again and extend it. I also got an emotion protocol in order to find out what different emotions feel like for me, and why.
So much happened in this hour, my thoughts are much more sorted than before. I am so grateful for having found a person who stabilizes and understands me and helps me evolve. Without ever having hurried, I think we are doing this work really quickly.