Can I Ever Escape Self-Harm?

I got the urge again last week.

I haven’t felt that strange, burning itch to hurt myself in a long time. Last Monday night it came back, it lodged itself into my stomach and refused to let go.

Being the sensible and mature woman that I am I responded to this urge by crying my eyes out into my old teddy-bear. It was really frightening, I felt like I’d been thrown backwards five years into the skin of my insecure teenage self.

After picking over what happened with R the other night I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m struggling with control right now. I used to self harm for many different reasons; but one of the main ones was control. I was very depressed and I felt like my life was being controlled by people I hated, school was a miserable environment for me; but I couldn’t escape from it.

Recently I’ve been feeling very out of control, my life is changing and horrible things are happening that I have no control over. I think that’s why the old urge came back again, there was nothing else that I could do and my mind immediately offered up SI as a solution.

Another thing that I’ve been having problems with is intimacy. I haven’t had great sexual experiences, in fact, they’re so ‘not great’ that I can’t actually bring myself to talk about them on here. Maybe one day I will- but right now it still feels too raw.

When I get stressed and feel like I’m not in control the last thing I want is someone touching me, I’m happy to give touch and love- but I just want my own space and my own body to remain my own.

At the moment I’m trying to stay calm, rationalise what’s happening in my brain and work around it. The whole thing is a little frustrating and scary- I feel like I’m broken sometimes, that I can’t get over my knee-jerk reaction of panicking.

Self harm isn’t the problem, it’s a mechanism to cope with the problem. I don’t self harm anymore, but that doesn’t mean that I’m fine- it means that my control issues just get expressed in a different way. I think that different way is avoiding intimacy and sex.

I’m not entirely sure what I’m supposed to do to fix this problem; to be honest, realising it and talking to R about it has already helped a lot, so I think I’m just going to try and be mindful of what’s going on in my head. Also, I’m essentially trying to write a blog post about sex without giving too many details of my sex life… sorry if I’m just coming across as frustratingly vague.

Sometimes I feel disconnected from the Wren who couldn’t get out of bed and cut herself in the school toilets between lessons; then things like this happen and I realise that we’re the same person. It feels like a strange mixture of fear and nostalgia- I don’t know which one worries me more.

’til next time,

Wren x

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