Tag Archives: self harm scars

01:15 – A temporary safety plan

26 Sep

Today I have tried my hardest to start being honest with people.

Best friend text me out of the blue last night asking how I was. I contemplated sending the “fine thanks” reply but decided that no, I would tell the truth, well mostly the truth. I text back and told her I was lonely, that I felt like I had no friends and that my mood was very low and I’m finding myself feeling triggered by the smallest of things. To my surprise she text back straight away and said she was going to come and see me in the morning and true to her word, at 11am this morning she phoned to say she was on her way.

The first thing she asked me was why I was bandaged up, had I been self harming? This was the only lie that I told her. I stuck to my story that I have told A&E and also told my Mum. But all the other stuff I was honest about. I told her I was feeling really low but that there was no one specific thing making me feel this way. I don’t know why I couldn’t be honest about all of the cutting I have been doing recently, usually I can be pretty straight to the point with her. I guess maybe I didn’t want to see the disappointment in her face, as she thinks I haven’t done it since April. That’s probably the reason why I have lied about it this time round, just to avoid dealing with that sad look in people’s faces. I told best friend I was finding it hard being on my own all of the time and that I missed her. I also never see the male friend that I used to spend a lot of time with but that is mainly because the last time we had a proper conversation a few weeks ago he asked me if we could be more than friends – of course I said no. I came up with some shit about just not wanting to be in a relationship with anyone – you know – the sort of thing you say to try and make them not take it personally. Blaming my mental health and saying I would be too much of a burden on someone right now. To a point that is true but I wouldn’t ever be more than friends with him anyway purely because there is absolutely no physical attraction there.

Anyways… back to today. After we’d sat and chatted for about an hour I realised best friend hadn’t just been too busy with her boyfriend and kids, she’s actually had some stuff going on as well that she’s been quite worried about. She had a heart murmur as a baby but it’s never really affected her, however she became quite unwell at the weekend and had to go to hospital where they found something quite abnormal on her ECG and the doctor suspects one of the valves in her heart isn’t letting oxygen in properly or something to that effect. So she is being referred to the cardiologist and is feeling quite worried about that. I then felt a bit stupid and selfish that I thought she was just too loved up to remember to text me but she did say she shouldn’t have left me for weeks with not even a text to say hello. We decided to go for a coffee before I had to go to my appointment at 2pm and I felt slightly better for spending a couple of hours with her and getting out of the house.

I then went to my appointment with my support worker from rape crisis. This is where I was properly honest. I told her about all of the self harming. I told her I’d even been having thoughts again about not wanting to be here any more. I told her about how lonely I feel. I told her about abuser cousin’s daughter having the baby. I told her about all the things that have been triggering me. I told her I wasn’t sure how safe I felt at the moment especially with my parents being away on holiday. I told her about not going to see CPN#2 yesterday and all my reasons why I find myself avoiding more and more appointments. Basically I got everything off my chest. I was talking slowly, every word felt like it was draining me but I got it all out in the end. She asked me what we could do to try and keep me safe. I told her I really didn’t know. I do know that I definitely do not want to even consider hospital, it is not an option. I don’t know that I feel suicidal as such however I did admit to having a cupboard absolutely full to the brim of a variety of medication. Some prescribed stuff and some stuff I’ve bought. I have no idea how many tablets are in there but it’s easily into the hundreds. So after a long chat I managed to identify that I am relatively low risk when it comes to trying to kill myself or taking an overdose even though I have the means to do so. However I could recognise that I am at a high risk of self harming to quite severe levels. This is when lovely support worker said we should think of a ‘temporary safety plan’.

I agreed that if I found myself in a situation where I was beginning to self harm and it was possible that it might spiral out of control then I would do my best to stop for a moment and phone/text or email her. I don’t know how realistic that is going to be should it happen… once I’m in that self harming ‘zone’ it’s very hard to stop and think, I’m too determined just to bleed out all of my pain. She said I should try and make contact with her when I’m at the ‘crazy-head-full-of-self-harm-urges’ stage rather than afterwards when the damage has already been done but that truly is easier said than done. But I will at least try. If she’s being good enough to make a point of being there for me then I should try and make use of that support.

After I left my appointment I decided to try and face A&E to get my stitches removed. As usual the two nurses on shift were nurses that I knew. I made a point of saying this hadn’t been a self harm wound and she gave me a bit of a strange look for a second. Whatever she had read from my notes appeared to say differently so clearly the doctor who put the stitches in didn’t believe my lie or at least expressed some sort of doubt about the story I gave him. She was nice enough though, removed the stitches, made some general chit chat, asked what I’d been doing with myself today so I decided fuck it, I’ll be honest with her. So whilst I stuck to the story of that particular wound not being a self harm one, I also told her I’m not finding my appointments with my CPN helpful at all and haven’t really been going to them. She suggested I mention this to my GP when I next see her to see if there is a way that I could maybe see a different CPN but I don’t know if that would even be possible due to the small amount of staff there are in the mental health team here. Plus it would mean CPN#2 finding out my feelings on how unhelpful I find her.

I also told the A&E nurse that I was experiencing a lot of urges to self harm at the moment. I don’t know if this was partly because I thought that if I told her then if I do end up self harming badly again it won’t come as too much of a surprise to them. Or maybe I just needed to be honest and stop lying. I think it was a mix of trying to reach out for some help and just wanting to tell the truth.

So all in all today wasn’t such a bad day. I talked about a lot of depressing stuff and from all that talking I managed to recognise that I don’t feel particularly safe at the moment and that my self harming behaviours are starting to get pretty bad again. But on the flip side I don’t feel as though I’ve just been left on my own to deal with it all. Even if I don’t make contact with my support worker before our appointment next week at least I know that she is there at the end of the phone or email should I need it. For now there is a temporary safety plan in place.

I am planning on spending some time at the cemetery tomorrow as the new bits and bobs for my little boy’s headstone arrived today. Usually I find it very peaceful to sit up there for a while and talk to him, admittedly I usually have a bit of a cry as well but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. I will post a photo next time I write a post of his stone looking all pretty again.

There was just one last thing I wanted to ask you all before I log off (well ask my female readers!) – I got the routine letter through today saying it is time for my three yearly smear test. The actual test itself isn’t the problem. The problem is that obviously you have to remove your bottom half and my legs are a horrendous mess of deep dark scars and the scars are all over them – calf area, front of legs, thighs, all completely covered. For many many years I only ever self harmed on my arms or stomach and it’s only really been in the past few years that I started on my legs. Most of it was done in times where I was really unwell but this is going to be the first time where I will need to expose the damage. There is absolutely no hiding it. I could probably be brave enough to explain to the nurse about my self harming problem or maybe I could ask lovely GP to explain it to her. But I was just wondering really if any other ladies have had this problem and how you managed to deal with it? After my first ever smear at 20/21 coming back abnormal and needing a fair bit of treatment done I never miss them now, I know how important they are. But the idea of exposing all the damage to a stranger is starting to freak me out a bit, I have to admit.

Right I think it’s bed time now. I can feel my medication cocktail kicking in and my eyes getting heavy. I haven’t self harmed today despite the urges being there, I hope I can continue in the same way tomorrow although I do know that going up to the cemetery for a while will most likely cause me some upset. Hopefully I can be strong enough to deal with the emotions in a healthier way.

Goodnight folks.

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00:02 – Truth be known, I’m struggling… a lot

10 Apr

[Warning – there is a graphic description of sexual violence in this post]

Since my last post in the early hours of Friday morning I have been quite busy but also, if I’m honest, struggling. On Friday afternoon I went to see my Mum for a little while and to see best friend. We were all going out on the Saturday night for best friend’s birthday and I was trying on my outfit I was planning to wear out up at Mum’s. Seeing their eyes quickly scanning the extent of the scarring on my body felt horrible but then they both started telling me how proud of me they were that I was now being trusted with a month of medication again and how proud they were that I’d stayed out of hospital for so long. They were nice about the scars but I felt utterly hideous and very uncomfortable with them on show so quickly got covered up again.

Saturday night we all went out. All the girls had short tight dresses on – I on the other hand had my legs fully covered and my arms fully covered. I felt a bit out of place so took just a couple of diazepam whilst we were all getting ready at best friend’s house followed by at least four pretty strong vodkas. By the time we got to the first pub around 10.30pm I was feeling a little tipsy… by the time we left the last pub and began to head home at 2am I was very drunk. But it was a strange kind of drunk, I just couldn’t seem to relax properly all night. I couldn’t get hyper-alert-suspicious-paranoid-brain to shut up. I didn’t join in on the dancefloor, I didn’t let a single person buy me a drink, every guy who got within a couple of feet of me I quickly walked away from. I tried to join in with the laughs but my head was somewhere else all night and all I seemed to do was watch the clock and count down the minutes until I could get the hell out of there and back to my safe little house.

Sunday I felt absolutely awful all day. It seems I’m at that age where hangovers don’t feel too bad when you first wake up but as the hours pass you feel worse and worse, not any better. So yeah, Sunday was pretty much spent lazing around doing nothing. I know alcohol is a depressant but this weird state of mind has been on the go since Wednesday when lovely GP decided to trust me with a month’s worth of medication. Every time I open my cupboard door I hear ‘male voice’ telling me I’ve got them there for a reason and it’s not to prove how responsible I can be with them. But then I hear Mum and best friend in my head, telling me how proud they are of me and I hate myself for even giving the tiniest bit of attention to ‘male voice’.

But ‘male voice’ has been very much present over the past week mostly being insulting telling me things like I’m a dirty whore who deserves to be raped again… a stream of laughter by him every time someone said I looked nice on Saturday night… telling me it would be a good idea to take all of those Diazepam and just fucking knock myself out… telling me me I’ve not made my body ugly enough for him yet and to get a blade back to my skin. He’s angry with me that I walked past the DIY store today and didn’t go in and replace my empty box of blades and it is all I keep hearing from him tonight that I WILL go buy more tomorrow or else I’m going to make him so mad that he will have me [insert warning here to very graphic horrible instructions] “cut my tits off” or his other favourite is “someone’s gonna rape you [between the legs] with the sharpest knife I can find” . Pretty fucked up I know but that is the way he speaks, that’s his vocabulary, that’s his way of showing me he is in control, not me. He is particularly violent in his threats and comments and I am not a violent person, but he says things in ways that flash images in front of my eyes of either me mutilating my body badly or hurting someone else. I’ve never really hurt someone else, I’ve had a few bitch fights, hair pulling and that kinda shit… I’ve punched a couple of people in anger… but I’ve never really properly hurt someone to the point where I could do them permanent damage. And I can’t imagine me ever doing something like that but the things he is saying to me scare me, I can’t deny it.

So with all this going on in my head and his voice talking far too much I haven’t been able to sleep again. I stayed up all of Sunday night, all day yesterday until I finally took a handful (not an overdose) of diazepam this morning around 11am and at finally around 1pm I fell asleep until 4pm. I had promised best friend and her kids that I would go out and see them today now they are back from their dad’s, I promised Mum I would go for a walk with the dogs with her and maybe go for some lunch or coffee or something. Neither of those things happened and other than going out a few times today with the dogs I have done absolutely nothing.

I am very very much at crunch time with regards to my part time university course. I have failed the 20% part of the module. The essay part makes up the other 80%. If I was able to spend the remainder of the week studying like crazy there’s a chance I could throw some sort of an essay together but I have an appointment with my rape crisis support worker tomorrow and then it’s best friend’s actual birthday on Thursday. And to be completely honest I have lost all motivation. I’ve lost interest. But then I’ve lost interest in everything over these past few days.

My head feels like it’s going a bit mental again and I am lacking in strength to fight back. All I seem able to do is lie on the sofa or in bed and battle back and forth with the intrusive voices and crazy thoughts. I feel like I have all this invisible pressure around me: be responsible with the medication, prove to them all I can do this, keeping mum and best friend proud of me, keeping ‘male voice’ happy, knowing I’m probably going to be kicked off the uni course and fail at yet another thing.

I am shattered right now. It’s midnight and I pray I can sleep through the night. I need a little bit of energy back, it all feels like it’s been zapped out of me. I am so scared I’m going to let everyone down… things feel slippery yet I don’t know why. I have no plans to take the medication to hurt myself but the self harm urges (cutting) seem to be getting stronger again. If only to shut him up. And not even the remembrance of the major regrets I had after doing it a few weeks ago are enough to keep me certain I won’t do it again… I think in all likeliness I will give in… because I’m weak… pathetic and weak.

Why oh why can life never just be straightforward? Why does it always have to end up mental again in the end?

21:37 – I don’t know if this is going to work out

7 Jan

I had an appointment at 10 am this morning with new CPN. My alarm was set for 8 so that I would have enough time to have a shower, take the dogs a walk and then get to the CMHT building. But I’d been awake most of the night so when the alarm went off I hit ‘snooze’ every ten minutes until I realised it was 9.40 am and I was still in my pyjamas. I decided I would cancel the appointment but then thought I had better go. So I didn’t bother with a shower, scraped my hair back and turned up ten minutes late.

The first thing she did when we sat down was apologise for being off sick. Inside I wanted to say to her that I could really have done with at least the offer of support (from another CPN just whilst she was sick) and bring up the fact that she knew all that in advance but instead I just said it was OK.

She then asked how Christmas and New Year had gone and I told her they were OK, pretty quiet, I told her I’d been to my parents for Christmas Dinner then gone again on Thursday and saw some other family members I’d not seen for a while. I told her I couldn’t really relax and enjoy myself as I was feeling pretty anxious and she seemed surprised at this and questioned me on why I become anxious at my parents house when I get on well with them. I shrugged my shoulders and said I don’t know why, that it doesn’t really matter where I am, even when I feel completely safe a wave of anxiety can just come out of nowhere and build and build until it’s affecting me badly enough for other people to notice.

I had made the decision that I was going to try and tell her about the ‘blood letting’ I was doing but as I’ve not done that in nearly a week I didn’t know whether to tell her or not. So instead I told her about the pressure cooker feeling with regards to the self harm, that everyone keeps saying that I should be so proud of myself for going this long without doing it (well not doing it badly enough to need medical attention so they don’t find out) and also people commenting on how proud I should be for staying out of hospital for so long. I was trying to explain to her that on the inside I was really struggling and she hit me with something I wasn’t expecting. She started suggesting that the fear and struggling feelings I’m having could be because I am scared of getting well and scared of accepting that I am back in control again and the self harm behaviour isn’t controlling me any longer, I am controlling it and this makes me scared??… Apparently every time I start to say something positive I always add in the words “but” and “should” therefore playing down any achievements I’ve made and how I should count the amount of times I say the word “but” the next time I did some writing. Sorry new CPN I can’t be fucked to count.

Everything she was saying just felt wrong. I wanted to ask her to shut up and be quiet at one point so I could try and express to her what it is that I’m feeling on the inside, I wanted to talk about the reasons why I feel that hurting myself will provide me with relief, but she just rambled on something about how disappointed I’d be in myself and how disappointed the people who love and care about me would be to know I’d cut again. And then she spouted some more stuff telling me to really think about what self harming had actually achieved in my life and before I could answer, she answered for me, it had done nothing to help me and just left me “covered in scars” that have left me “ashamed” of my body. I felt myself almost hunch over as the realisation went through my head that I don’t think this is going to work out. Me and new CPN I mean. I’m not saying that things she says don’t have some truth to them, they usually do, but I never feel like she gives me the opportunity to properly open up to her, so instead I give her little snippets to test the water and then decide I don’t want to say any more, so I sat for the last ten or fifteen minutes pretty much in total silence, unable to keep eye contact with her, just staring at the floor mainly and waiting on her to finish.

I know we have only met a handful of times and I know there was a 3 or 4 week gap in appointments there but I just don’t feel as though I’m warming to her. I feel like she wants to just emphasise the good things in my life, not talk so much about the bad things and in turn I’m not opening up to her so the appointments are a bit of a waste of time. I don’t dislike her as such, I just feel as though I come out of our appointments feeling worse than when I went in.

And that’s pretty much how I’ve felt for the remainder of the day – worse. Like I needed to share the intensity of the self harm urges, I wanted to open up about the giggle and the head crazies happening more often, I wanted to tell her about all the sucking syringes of blood out of myself and the badness that remains inside of me. But I couldn’t say any of it and all I could hear were her words going round and round in my head this afternoon, about me being ashamed of my body because it’s so scarred and then I felt even more self conscious of my body and the need to cut became ridiculously intense so I took myself and the dogs out for a walk in the rain and to try and calm myself down a bit. Along with some Diazepam I came home nearly an hour later in a slightly calmer frame of mind, but to be honest I’ve felt pretty confused and mixed up through to this evening.

I have to get a new prescription on Wednesday and have the choice of making an appointment and going to see lovely GP or just handing in a repeat prescription request form. I can talk easier to lovely GP and whilst I don’t know that she can really offer me much help in just a ten minute slot, I think maybe I would feel better if I at least told someone who I feel understands me that things aren’t all smelling of roses like new CPN was making out.

Anyway it’s now 9.15 pm and I’m going to take the dogs for a walk and take my medication a little earlier with the hope of getting a better night’s sleep tonight. I still haven’t contacted best friend and saw she had put some quote as her status on Facebook that was something like “no matter how much you care for someone, you can only try so many times before you have to walk away” – call me paranoid (I quite possibly am) but it felt like it was directed at me. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe I’m just feeling a little over sensitive to everything tonight.

So I see new CPN again next week on Wednesday. If it goes the same way that today did and I come out feeling even more mental than when I went in, I think it might really be time to question whether or not I’m going to be able to develop an effective working relationship with her. She is a nice enough person, friendly and smiling, but she just doesn’t seem to want to listen to (or talk about) the bad emotions I experience and puts way too much emphasis on the ‘positives’ and all it does is confuse me. I am glad that to the outside world it appears as though I’m coping better than ever as it prevents people worrying about me, but in reality all it really means is that I’m getting better at hiding my inner turmoils and bottling them up so they end up adding to the pressure of the pressure cooker.

*Argh* I want to go to the very top of a hill in the middle of nowhere and scream until I can scream no more. I really really need to try and de-stress myself, this mixed up mess of a head is just making me feel a whole lot worse.