Category: Confessions


I spent the better part of the afternoon in the psychiatric section of the trauma unit. Fun, huh? Not exactly!

It’s a long story and I don’t really feel able to share the details right now. But if you could, hold out some good thoughts for me. I have a meeting in the morning to follow up and hopefully get some medication to overcome this darkness.

I always tell myself that when I am hurting the most, that is when I need to reach out. So, with humility and hope for receiving compassion, I am going to share about the last few days.

The last few days I have been seriously struggling with my urges to self-injure. I have an interview for a job coming up mid-week, and I need my arms clear of marks. Since I could not resist the urge or compulsion to cut, I found a new spot, one less visible. The problem is that I cannot get the same relief from it. And I have to make a larger number of cuts to feel any relief at all. So for three days I have been injuring in this new place and last night I became really frustrated with myself.

In my desperation to make my world stop spinning, to feel grounded, to stop the pain in my heart that just wouldn’t quit, I took a large amount of pills and crawled into a bed. I woke up some hours later feeling dizzy and disoriented, but surprisingly not at all ill.

Saturday evening when I began feeling extremely low, I called my therapist and left her a voicemail. I knew that she would not receive it until today, but I reasoned with myself that at least I had attempted to do other things before I gave in to self-destructive behaviors.

I feel very groggy and everything seems to be moving in slow motion. The numbness is unreal. My whole body feels slightly tingly, but my emotions are almost completely absent today. I have a slight headache and am rather irritable.

I finally caved in and ate something. I was trying to avoid it in case I became nauseous, but that side affect is entirely absent from my system thus far. Remarkable really.

So here I am, with my mind barely here and my emotions nearly dead, writing this out. Some might call what I did a cry for help; others might call it a need for attention, but I don’t believe it was either. I believe I was trying to just make the world silent for a few minutes. It worked. I slept last night, almost an entire 6 hours. I’ve only been getting 2-4 hours of sleep a night this past week, so six straight undisturbed hours is a major accomplishment.

Well hello WP friends and viewers!

Been gone a while.First I didn’t have internet connection, then things in my world were a whirlwind. Now, I’m trying to get back in the groove. You can consider this an “all things shattering update.”

Therapy- It’s going about as well as can be expected. I’ve had two therapy sessions, and I’m feeling slightly more comfortable with my therapist. The bulk of our meetings thus far has been about my current situation in my marriage. It has been difficult to face the reality: I am in an abusive marriage. But, at the same time, realizing it means that I can a) bring it to my spouse’s attention so it can, hopefully, be handled and our marriage can be made stronger b) not hide inside myself and accept the abusive behaviors any longer.

Next week in therapy we are supposed to talk about medication and my psychiatric evaluation from two years ago. It will be nice to have a break from discussing my marriage, and give me a little down time in trying to deal with all of this. At least, that’s what I’m hoping. 😉

Self-Injury- I made it sixteen days without cutting. Then I fell. It was really bad. I don’t usually cut so deep. But I couldn’t seem to get the red to stop flowing. It took lots of constant pressure. It still is not healed, but is getting a little better.

I am battling this compulsion with everything I have. Last night I wanted to cut so badly, felt so triggered. I did just a small one, and then forced myself not to do it more than that. Instead I called a friend. It didn’t really help me not think about cutting, but it kept me occupied in some capacity, enough to not cut. I took some Tylenol pm and laid down on the living room floor. I fell asleep there.

Sleep & Nightmares- I’m not sleeping well at all. The last few nights, excluding last night, I have only managed 2-3 hours of sleep each night. Last night I passed out on the living room floor and slept 8 hours. That would have been great, except that even when I do fall asleep I’ve been waking screaming and crying from a bad dream.

The dreams are awful. Many of them are about the self-injury going too far. A few have been about my abuse as a child. It’s hard to know what is real and what isn’t. Most of the time the dream is scary or tragically sad. I wake up feeling on edge, my heart pounding in my chest. Often my spouse has woken up from the crying, screaming, etc.

Binging & Restricting- My eating is out of control. Last night I ate a whole jar of pickles- gag. If that wasn’t bad enough, I prefaced it with a bowl of ice cream. Just two hours earlier I had eaten chick-fil-a for dinner. Its so bad. I wanted to get so sick last night but just couldn’t do it. Too many people around. Restricting would be so much better.

Depression- I’m still really depressed and some days I cannot function. I struggle to get dressed and take care of myself. It’s so difficult. I’m trying every day to get up and shower and do at least one chore around the house. But still it’s not enough to pull me out of this funk. I try to take my children places and do things with them, and for those moments I am okay, but once we are home the cloud of darkness overshadows me again.

Well, I think I’ve written enough on all that’s going on with me. Just wanted to catch anyone up who might be reading and wondering. I wish you all well on your journey towards healing. ~ss

Another thought occurred to me this morning that I’d like to share in relation to this topic of “abuse” and “abusive” behavior. For many of us who have struggled with understanding these terms, one of the biggest “lies” we accept is that just because we do not have “many physical scars,” somehow that means we were not abused or our abuse wasn’t severe.

In conjunction with this, we also struggle because many adult survivors of child abuse do have happy memories of their families. We ask ourselves how can people who created such good memories in our childhoods also create such heartache and violence. There are no easy answers for the survivor.

We minimize the events of our childhoods, sometimes blocking them out all together in our effort to survive. We press our feelings down so far that the events become like pebbles in our mind. In reality, they are large, jagged boulders, but we have believed the lies so long that we cannot see the reality of our past. Often times, we are not ready to see it for what it was- tragic.

When we come to counseling and begin therapy, the process is painful. We are asked to bring in pictures of us as children, to confront and reassure our inner child, to dredge up the past bit by bit. The pain seems endless, robbing us of functionality for a time after each memory surfaces.

Therapists gently push us through this stage, for they understand what we cannot- to stay in this state of recovering memories would render us incapable of living. It is an ugly, heart wrenching process, and so to spare us additional pain, they prod us on week after week until we are empty of the memories, the purging complete. Only then can we begin to tackle each brick of our past and find healing. Only after we have acknowledged the horrors and owned them as our own, can we begin on the journey to wholeness.

Acknowledging the abuse happened to us, and not some detached version of our former selves hurts, because with this acknowledgement we feel, perhaps for the first time, the pain as our own. It didn’t happen to the child we were or the stranger from our past, it happened to us. Feeling this is both essential and cruel. The pain would be unbearable if it were not for the hope of recovery and healing. Admitting that we were abused and understanding the gravity of that abuse produces in the survivor both sadness and acceptance. From this place, we begin to move forward….

The office was quiet, but comfortable. A couch, two chairs, a desk in the far corner. Natural sunlight streaming through the window overlooking the trees. Peaceful. It was the sort of couch that people could lay on and drift off into uncharted territory. I could see myself there, one day. Instead I chose the chair furthest from the door, to keep myself from running. She sat in the chair on the opposite side of the couch and smiled, pen and paper in hand. And so it began….

An hour of my life, gone. And yet, redeemed. An hour of talking and listening, of sharing and being shared with. An hour on the road to recovery. Perhaps, the most peaceful hour of my day. I left feeling lighter, maybe almost hopeful that things could change.

Then something unexpected happened. Something for which I have no understanding. As the rain poured down outside our little suburbia style home, I felt a compulsion to run out into it. I took the hand of my five year old and pulled her out into the driveway, ignoring the neighbors. Actually, I’m not even sure I saw them at all, until after the fact, as we were heading back into the house. It felt cool on my face, it pelted against my bare arms and soaked into my dry skin. We raised our hands heavenward and enjoyed the fresh water as it flowed over us. I swung her into the air around and around until I felt dizzy with life.

It wasn’t the rain that made me feel so intoxicated, it was the rush of life through my body. I felt alive… and as I stepped back into my house and sopped the water from my hair, I felt thankful for that life. For the first time in a long time, I had lived in a moment, and it felt good.

Stigma, lies, misinformation, misunderstanding. We deal with these ills every day. The person who suffers from schizophrenia, the man homeless and insane, the self-injurer, the rape victim. But how often do we stop and ask if they need help? How often do we reach out a loving hand or a strong arm to those who feel so alone, isolated? The truth we don’t like to face is that many of us don’t, ever. Sure, there are those in high serving professions like nursing, counseling, and other mental health related fields, but what about the rest of us?

I’ve lost more friends to suicide than I care to share about here. That’s not what this place is for, but I think something needs to be said somewhere. I couldn’t help them any more than I can help myself, but I tried anyway.

I never write anything here for sympathy, so please don’t tell me you’re sorry. Understand, that there are people in the world who need a friend but have no one to ask to fill such a role. Reach out to the hurting, the destitute, the socially unacceptable. Write love.. maybe not on their arms, but on their hearts.

 I write love every day. I write it over my own scars, over my own pain, on  the mirror I gaze into every morning. I’m still fighting this fight. I’m still struggling in this war against my own self-destructive tendencies, but I’m still here. For today, I will be thankful for that. For today, I will reach out to another struggling along side me. For today, I will count the scars on my wrist and remember all the times I didn’t die but could have. For today, existing is enough. Perhaps tomorrow I will find the courage to live.

DAY 2- Monday May 17, 2010
(May contain RELIGION and SELF INJURY TRIGGERS)

I took time for me today. I went to a local coffee shop and read lots and spent some time thinking (and praying). I wrote out lots of stuff about overcoming self-injury.

I have not self-injured since Saturday evening. I threw out my “tools”when I got home from church yesterday.

I listened to some good music at the coffee shop, wrote lots in my journal specifically about my relationsp with my spouse. I am seeing more clear than I have in months.

I’m still really struggling with depression, the impulses, and the anxiety, but this is a step in a positive direction. I made a list of what I will/ will not allow in my life any more. All these things are giving me little doses of strength and control back. Each realization or action pushes me one step further away from the ledge. It feels good.

I am glad that I reached out, even if I didn’t intend to. It was the weirdest moment ever. My Pastor came to me and asked how I was; I said “I’ve been better.” He asked what was going on…. and I pulled up my sleeve. I thought for sure I would be judged, condemned. But instead, I found love… and acceptance, not chastisement. They spent an hour with me…. talking, praying, but MOSTLY JUST LISTENING Smile

Supposed to send Mrs H an email on Wednesday and let her know how my week is going. She said I could call if I got really edgy and needed someone to help me through it. WOW!

Okay, this is straight from the pages of my recent journal entries.. so hoping it still makes sense. I NEED to post this here because it’s the only way I can convey what is going on. Because it touches on MANY different subjects, it feels best here. Feel free to move it elsewhere if needed.

DAY 1- Sunday May 16, 2010

(MAY contain RELIGIOUS TRIGGERS)

Talking to Pastor T and Mrs H today may have saved my life. I felt so out of control this morning, out of control and unsafe. I just had to get out of the house and knew I needed to go to church. So, reluctantly I went, even though I didn’t want to. Something told me I had to, and it wasn’t guilt.

I feel a sense of relief, not hiding my secret inside. SOMEONE KNOWS! I thought I would feel ashamed, but they didn’t make me feel that way at all. Instead, I feel relieved and loved.

Mrs. H said I should take a long look at my life and decide what I want and who I want to be, and then start living that out. That’s hard to make sense of, but I am trying. I want to be a good moth, a good homemaker, a good friend, a strong person of faith. I also want a good marriage.

One of the hardest parts about all of this is not feeling strong enough to go after what I want, or like I don’t deserve those things, but I know that there is something better meant for me.

Some of the things I DON’T want in my life any longer are easier to identify. I don’t want to feel mistreated by my spouse. I don’t want to feel rejected, neglected, and resented. I don’t want to feel out of control with my children. I want to feel like a loving, patient, understanding, and firm mom. I want to be a positive role model for my girls.

I don’t want to sit by and not pursue my dreams for the sake of my spouse. He can either support me or not, but I want to become the woman I feel I should be.

Knowing how to meae these things happen is much more difficult. Perhaps in the area of my marriage I can try ONE LAST TIME to lay it on the line and hope for change. I have already hoped so much; do I have it in me to hope any more? Something to consider..

For my children, I really need to learn how to be a good parent. I didn’t have good models at their ages, and thus far, I haven’t been a very good model myself. I need to learn. I need to do better.

As far as my dreams go, I will continue my education and look for a job to help ease the financial situation we’re going through. There is a plan, I just need the vision to see it. Hoping this will help me see.

Stigma, lies, misinformation, misunderstanding. We deal with these ills every day. The person who suffers from schizophrenia, the man homeless and insane, the self-injurer, the rape victim. But how often do we stop and ask if they need help? How often do we reach out a loving hand or a strong arm to those who feel so alone, isolated? The truth we don’t like to face is that many of us don’t, ever. Sure, there are those in high serving professions like nursing, counseling, and other mental health related fields, but what about the rest of us?

I’ve lost more friends to suicide than I care to share about here. That’s not what this place is for, but I think something needs to be said somewhere. I couldn’t help them any more than I can help myself, but I tried anyway. I never write anything here for sympathy, so please don’t tell me you’re sorry. Understand, that there are people in the world who need a friend but have no one to ask to fill such a role. Reach out to the hurting, the destitute, the socially unacceptable.

Write love.. maybe not on their arms, but on their hearts. I write love every day. I write it over my own scars, over my own pain, on the mirror I gaze into every morning. I’m still fighting this fight. I’m still struggling in this war against my own self-destructive tendencies, but I’m still here.

For today, I will be thankful for that. For today, I will reach out to another struggling along side me. For today, I will count the scars on my wrist and remember all the times I didn’t die but could have. For today, existing is enough. Perhaps tomorrow, I will find the courage to live.

1) I confess, that while I hope to offer a wealth of resources for those struggling, that I am still in the throes of my own struggles for my own well-being. I am not claiming to have all the answers or have conquered this battle. My aim here is to let others know they are not alone and to offer whatever support I can as a means of giving back to those who have given to me.

2) I confess that I struggle with self-injury, eating disorder tendencies, major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder with agoraphobia, and post traumatic stress disorder.

3) I confess that I need help for myself; I cannot win this battle alone, and that I will continue to reach out and seek treatment for myself while offering encouragement and hope for others as I am able to do so.

4) I confess that I compile resources offline, and do research to ensure the quality of said resources, but that I cannot possibly use them all. I have indicated the ones I have used and found helpful.

5) I confess that I am a survivor in the process of healing; it is not an overnight event, a yearlong episode, or a decade milestone; it is a process of continuing to move forward above and beyond the shame of my past and the effects of the present.