Therapy: Session #31

As the whole week has been pretty hard concerning tension, a feeling of being overwhelmed and the urge to self-harm and it all has been quite unclear (many small possible triggers but nothing that really made sense), me and my therapist just tried to find out why my head is so fond of the idea of cutting right now. Today I could talk quite well about how it feels when I think I could hit the ceiling due to about anything, when silence is too silent and music is too loud, when I start crying due to a full laundry basket and everything’s just too much. At times like this I actually believe that I could be a better version of myself with self-harm, that I would have stronger nerves and get more things done and stay calmer. Sounds pretty dumb but that’s what it feels like for me.
My therapist thinks I started to glorify self-harm because I made the experience that it used to be the only thing I could do in order to function. It’s not anymore but getting something like that out of your head when there’s nothing else as “effective” is really hard.
Then we talked about the old and the new way: My old way is a sort of motorway where I made the experience that there is a lack of time and energy for myself and that I have to function and that self-harm keeps me going somehow. And then there’s the new way – a bumpy dirt road I don’t know at all and where I need an appeal that makes me want to go there.
And this is probably the sticking point: I still, after all this time, have not found a reason to stop self-harming. It is a terrible thing to admit and I know that every person who likes me will disagree with me but the thing is: Right now I don’t do it because I want to do “well” in therapy, because I delay it from session to session but always know that I’d start again immediately without my therapist. Of course it can’t stay like that, that’s not the point of therapy and I am completely aware of that. But I personally don’t regard self-harm as such a terrible thing that there is any appeal in stopping. I fight it although I’m not convinced I want to stop. That makes it so hard although I know how important it is for the people around me.
The next exercise was actually kind of fun – my therapist played the “new way” and I the old one. I love discussions and rhetorical challenges. You can imagine what kind of stuff came up – my therapist said lots of things of which I know that they are healthy and make sense and I was allowed to give the destructive voices in my head some space and say stupid things that make sense in my twisted perception. My therapist prescribed self-care – first she suggested 2 hours each day but I was able to negotiate so that she made it one – how the hell am I supposed to do nothing purposeful for 2 hours every day?! It is important to say that self-care starts working on the good days. Then I am able to leave dust and work be and just relax. But the more tension I feel the more it’s likely that I’ll start doing what my surroundings used to do when I was younger: I make sure that there is no time or energy left for anything pleasant. After all my life is a spa treatment compared to what it used to be – I don’t work full-time anymore and above all I work in a job where I’m treated well and get enough sleep (in contrast to previous jobs). I reduced contact with people who steal my energy, I even turn on the heating when it’s getting uncomfortable and not only when it’s really necessary. I kind of blabbed this statement and it made my therapist swallow. I think it was only then that she realized how hard it is for me to do something good only for myself. When my partner is there – no problem: turning on the heating, watching movies, lying around…but none of these things are okay if it’s just me. Until the next session I have to find things that I could allow myself even on bad days.
At the end I showed my therapist my scars – after a whole year where she has not betrayed my trust I finally was there. Furthermore I kind of wanted to “rehearse” it in case I have to do it in the assessment. Sure my partner sees me and I go to the sauna and everything but I’ve never before shown someone my scars on purpose. I was shaking like mad and didn’t really feel anything anymore. I would give a lot to know what my therapist was thinking. Does she think it’s ridiculous that I think so much about self-harm but only have so few scars? Am I ill enough although it all was okay without stitches? She said she was surprised by how visible it all is after the time that has passed but I guess it’s her job to say something like that. Maybe I’ll ask her next time…
In this shaky state it kind of sucked that somebody had locked the front door and I couldn’t get outside for some fresh air. Brief panic, then “I’ll just sit here and wait for someone to come”, then: “No, self-care! Go inside again although it will interrupt the session after yours and ask for the key!”. I did that and nobody was angry with me. And then finally weekend.

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