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are you out there?
December 25, 2001
6:54 pm
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Sal
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I know this is a bulletin board, not a chat room, but I'm feeling so odd...

I want to hurt myself... no good reason that I can tell, just want to.

SO are you there? Can you tell me not to?

December 26, 2001
11:37 am
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scherza
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Don't do it....

I hope you didn't do it, anyway.... I wasn't on this thing yesterday when you wrote your message...I was working on my trauma unit...trying to save people like you that tried to hurt themselves....

Sal..... I wish there was something to say to you that made an honest difference to you. I am going to try here and now.

Maybe this will have some pertinence for your situation or maybe it won't.... I hope that it does.

Many years ago, I felt as you did...and, if I were to be totally honest with you, there still are those rare occasions when I still feel like I have been around a little too long and maybe it would be best to "bow out gracefully" and free myself and the world of my personal torment. But I stick it out...and each time it has gotten better. I somehow move through the alienation hole and come out the other side with a little more inside than I had before...even though I am the same person....if you follow me.

A couple of things I do for myself are learning to embrace myself in all of my imperfections...and really getting down and dirty with grappling with why I feel this way...which is that I need reassurrance...which comes from needing to feel loved.

In the past, some people have gotten pissed off at me, thinking that this is purely manipulation and that I have evil designs, but I just want to feel alive and loved. Growing up, I had to really twist my personality to fit the ever changing important people in my life...and adjust to their every whim...so I could feel loved. It has taken me 20 years, but I have learned to stop twisting myself to others and just to embrace myself and adjust to me only.... This has with it the risk of losing those "important others" that became used to my puppy dog begging to be liked. Those people have long since dropped out of my existance...and, initially, I spent a lot of time alone. My marriage ended. [Today my ex and I are friends...and very happily married to other people.]

Today, I have lots of people around me that I can completely be myself with...and fully expressive...but it took a lot of time to develop this. The painful need for love has never completely gone away for me, but it has gotten a LOT LOT better with these changes.

Things I do for myself today to help me during difficult times are treating myself as if I am my own BFF or best friend forever...cancelling that overtime I thought I could handle, firing up the bathtub...reading a mindless romance novel in bed...whatever it takes...just SLEEPING, even.

I take care of myself as well as if not better than I take care of others.

Also, another thing I do for myself is create community projects to help others...people love you when you help them...and lots of people love me.... I use that old pattern of adjusting myself to fit others in a more constructive way when I keep my own identity intact while speaking to others in a way that they really hear me...a dramatic example is that I have learned Spanish in order to help my MANY local non-English speakers get good medical care when they need it. I am not upset anymore when some people don't like who I am because there are lots of others out there that do...and I REALLY REALLY like and love myself now...which is the most important thing here. I have had many family members die...and some not speak to me for many years...but I can truly count on myself to be there when the chips are down...like a true BFF.... Another thing I have noticed is that, when I really love who I am, I am not upset when people are mean to me...and eventually, I end up winning most people over anyway.... I also attract people that love themselves as much as I love me...and they are REALLY REALLY great friends to have!

This is a life long process, though. Sometimes it just isn't easy at all.

Sal...I am willing to bet everything I have that YOU are a Prize Package...and that you just haven't opened the wrappers very much to look inside yet. It is Boxing Day...and your present is STILL under the tree...unopened!!! Take a look inside and you will be completely AMAZED as you unwrap each part of yourself. YOU get to decide how it goes. Whether to leave it under the tree or unwrap it or somewhere in between. You get to decide whether to gift the world with your abilities and unique charms...or whether you will give your power away to others who insist on kicking that unwrapped present of yours all over the room...and even doing a little of this kicking the present around the room, yourself.

Once I was inspired to treat myself to a beautiful journal from an art museum. I wrote atleast one wonderful thing I loved about myself each week...while also hashing out my other "stuff." I subsequently decided to try therapy again...and I didn't know what to say, so I brought that book with me and just read some passages to "get things going." I drew graphite pictures and made schematics about pattern clusters....I pasted magazine cut outs...I ended up dramatically changing my appearance in this process...! I lost 25 pounds, grew my hair out for the first time in 15 or 20 years, and my clothing is not the usual stuff you find in "regular shops." What happened here was that I embraced my inner beauty and it made its way to my appearance and to the way I relate to others. I learned to love how different I was...and how much the same I could be...to others. I developed a patience and tolerance for when things don't go right...and really enjoy the times when they do seem to go right for me.

Let me end this by saying that "I am not done yet." I am still in this same struggle today, I have just developed ways to better meet the needs I have...and this is an on-going process. I am a "work in progress" and this is a wonderful adventure...this Life is....

...so don't do it, OK...?

Happy Holidays to you Sal...:) 2002 is a great time to start a most excellent personal inner adventure....

Love and Reverence to YOU,
Scherza

December 26, 2001
12:50 pm
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Molly
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Sal, the holidays bring up all sorts of stuff, my girls for the first time, didn't come or call, it was strange but I have accepted it. We are powerless some times, I hope you made it through the day, I hope you found the stregnth you needed, I hope you have some peace.

December 28, 2001
2:13 pm
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Sal
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Well... I made it through the holidays with just a few cuts and bruises (literally). I spent most of Christmas on the couch in a semi-sleep, which really upset my husband. I think I was just numbing out enough to not freak out. It was a shorter depressive experience this time, and not as bad (I didn't overdose AT ALL!-- kinda proud of that).

Molly, you know what's weird? This is the first Christmas my mother DID call, which was confusing and upsetting also. You're right, the holidays are cocked and loaded.

Scherza, I appreciate your encouragement and sharing your journey. I'm in process, have been in process, will probably always BE in process. Sometimes I do worse than at others. I wasn't suicidal, so that's progress. I was self destructive, but not in a life threatening way. I made a great holiday for my children, even if I didn't really engage much with them. My gifts under the tree... I'm afraid they are great, which will mean I'm responsible for even more performance. Something in me DOES NOT want to grow up and be an adult. I don't know what choice it thinks it has, but it subbornly clings to childish thinking and reacting. It has proven very resilient to therapy and medication, but I think I'm getting the better of it now. I have known all along I COULD overrule it, and now I'm beginning to at least want to, to do the grown up thing every once in a while.

I do have some peace, and I send it back out to rest on you all!

sal

January 2, 2002
6:27 pm
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Molly
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You sound good Sal, one foot in front of the other, when your ready. I think this year I am going to ignore the calender and make my own holidays, like Mondays, every single one of them, and keep it to my self so no one can spoil them, twist them or confuse them.

January 8, 2002
10:22 am
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Tinkerbe11
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Maybe this isn't relevent, but if you cut, scratch your arms, can they put you into a mental hospital just like that, or do you have to be in danger?

Tinker

January 8, 2002
8:31 pm
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cloud
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SSSSSSSAAAAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!! Is it really you? I didn't know about these other boards. Sal, I've missed you. Remember me?

January 10, 2002
11:44 pm
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Sal
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Of course I remember you, Cloud! I haven't been keeping up on you, though, so I need a comprehensive update.

Tink-- No. They won't hospitalize you for hurting yourself, but you may want to think about it anyway. What often starts out as self abuse can end up life threatening, and besides, do you really want to keep doing it? The "Therapeutic Question" I am supposed to ask myself when I'm self destructive is: 'Who am I mad at?' Usually it's not even really me! There are lots of reasons we hurt ourselves, none of them good. Why do we feel better when we hurt? Are you seeing a Psychiatrist or a Counselor? Do you have a diagnosis of any kind? Don't be afraid of the hospital, and remember you can ask counselors etc. hypothetical questions like you asked here-- "If someone were hitting themselves with a hammer would you have them committed?" Or use me-- "My friend cuts herself-- do you think she needs to be hospitalized?" Then you'll get a feel for how safe it is to share what you are doing. I hope you do have someone wise in your life with whom you can open up.

Cloud, I now have a Psychiatrist, a psycologist, and a therapist. Did I mispell psychologist? It's late. Anyway, I've made great advances, and had huge setbacks. All the talk that came from Hazza (do you remember her?) about retraining the brain is working for me. I fought it long and hard, but I can't deny the difference it makes in my emotions and behavior. Hope all is well for you, that school is OK, and you're trusting yourself to take care of you.
((((hugs))))))

Sal

January 13, 2002
6:24 pm
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cloud
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Sal, I am so glad you are still here on this site. I thought you had disappeared a while ago. I never really got to thank you for just being there for me all that time when I was going through everything last spring. Things have gone up and down since then. Here's a short recap. I got through Christine leaving...didn't like new counselor (Felice)...grew to like her...became too attached...crossed her bOuNdArIeS...got banned from school counseling center forever...went through hellish 3 months...found a new counselor...was still extremely attached to Felice...started becoming attached to new counselor (Barbara)...over Felice...now I'm here...present. 🙂

I'm glad you have made advances despite the setbacks. I guess that's how it always works out huh? So are you feeling better? Let me know what's going on. I missed you!

*Cloud*

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