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Self Harm Reasons

by Persephone Descends

When I first started cutting, I was disturbed by the fact that I liked it so much. I looked up all the reasons people normally cut and I identified or have identified at some point with all of the causes and reasons given. Sometimes I cut to “externalize the internal pain.” Sometimes I cut when I’m depressed to feel something, or to calm myself down with the serotonin high if I’m anxious. Today I discovered that I was cutting for a reason that I’ve never before heard. I have this friend, my best friend actually. We talk about everything, but if I ever try to explain why a relationship with someone is hurtful, or not positive for me, she gets super defensive and calls it gossiping. It’s like she’s not listening to me being vulnerable and baring my soul for any other reason than finding some inconsistency in my story that puts me in a bad light or pointing out one of my character flaws. She only ever shows compassion if I’m visibly super upset. I try so hard never to do this to her by the way, but it doesn’t really even matter because the point is she delegitimizes my feelings, my experiences. Today, it made me want to cut. I realized I was doing it because it legitimized my feelings. I was experiencing the pain. I was telling myself, through my skin, what happened and I was leaving a scar behind as a record that I heard and felt and understood. What was unreal/disregarded/minimized/unheard became a real pain that left a real mark to confirm that what I felt was real. Since I’d never heard that as a potential reason, I was curious, have any of you ever self harmed for that reason, or something similar?

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4 comments

Jack 8/9/2020 - 7:44 pm

She should be way more compassionate if she’s your supposedly best friend.

Persephone Descends 8/9/2020 - 10:29 pm

That’s nice of you to say, but I don’t have a large pool of friends to choose the best from (like many people here, I assume).

moroder 8/10/2020 - 1:52 am

About your friend, she seems like someone with a personality type that instinctively contradicts everything. For example, if you tell her you’re having a bad day, she might fire back “it’s not that bad” or “other people have it worse” without even listening to you. If that’s the case, there’s not much you can do, that’s just the way some people are. I guess try to stick to superficial topics with her, so you can stay friends but without leaving yourself vulnerable?

About cutting and self harm, wow, your last statement really summed it up for me. I don’t cut, I self harm in a different way which I won’t say because I don’t want to give anyone here ideas. But self harm comes in a lot of common “acceptable” ways… smoking, drinking, so everyone should be able to understand. It’s like you said, when the mental pain is too much, you feel like you need to validate it somehow. Smokers light up a cigarette, drinkers take a shot, it’s the same thing. It’s using a harmful device to feel like you’re doing something real about the pain. After all, not all of us can sit lotus position and chant our pain into oblivion. We need something real so we can identify our pain, feel it or even see it (blood) so we know it’s a real enemy, not our imagination.

Abnormal.Thoughts 8/10/2020 - 8:31 am

I’m not saying anything bad about your friend, some people just aren’t good at being the mental comfort and support we need. She probably doesn’t mean to invalidate you. I’m guessing at this, giving her the benefit of the doubt since I am not good at holding serious/sensitive conversations myself.

There are a lot of reasons to self harm, and I too at one point or another can relate to all of the commonly published reasons. I think what you are describing is basically that you didn’t get the relief you needed in baring your soul to her so you found another way. That’s relatable.

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