My Journey With:

Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) ~ Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) ~ Focal Impaired Awareness (Complex Partial) Seizures ~ Fibromyalgia ~ Chronic Myofascial Pain (CMP) ~ Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) ~ TMJ Dysfunction ~ Bipolar Disorder Type I Rapid Cycling ~ Migraines ~ Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) ~ Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) ~ Keratosis Pilaris (KP) ~ Complex-Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) ~ Panic Disorder ~ Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) ~ Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) ~ Nonsuicidal Self-Injury (Self-Harm) ~ Piezogenic Pedal Papules ~ Hashimoto's Thyroiditis ~ Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) ~ Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) ~ Specific Phobias ~ Chronic Headaches

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Struggling through shame and tears


Why is it that in the face of all the good things that have been happening to us I still find myself struggling with the urge to self-injure (SI)?  SI causes a person to live in shame and fear that someone will discover what the scars on their body are really from.  I've told excuses ranging from car wreck to horse attack.  It doesn't take much sometimes for the urge to be strong again.  Sometimes it starts from seeing a box cutter or razer blade.  Sometimes when I'm very upset and start dissociating I'm not all the way "there" when I cut, and I do so to bring myself "back" to reality, so to speak.  This morning I was reading The Smithsonian magazine and it had an article in it about body marking.  The photographer the article was about was Ansal Adam's protege and the pictures he took.  One picture, the one that disturbed me, was a picture of a tribal man with scars obviously caused by a sharp razor of some sort to mark his face.  The scars kinda look like the big one on my left arm where I couldn't afford to go to the ER to get stitches.  It turned into a big scar.  The others did, too, but that one is the biggest, the mark of shame that adorns my body.  Why, I ask myself, do I feel the need to SI again?  I think it is more than the need to.  SI can become an addictive behavior and it's something I've struggled with since I was 14.  Those 15 years seem like a lifetime of excess, tears, restraint, blood, stitches, razors, self hatred, and most of all shame.  It scares me that I am thinking about SI this much again.  I think it has to do with other triggers as well.  I'm remembering more of Mr. D. and Church day camp the summer before second grade.  I keep seeing his face in my head.  My flashbacks from that and the trial with my parents are horrible.  To top it all off I seem to be having way more than the usual amount of flashbacks about both times I was raped.  Loud noises and being startled can send me into a flashback.  My daydreams take sudden dark turns.  I cry easy and often.  I smile when I am nervous.  I remember laughing the day my Grandma went into the nursing home six or seven years ago.  I was so afraid that people thought I was being a bitch.  I was trying so hard not to cry I keep getting this nervous laugh and my voice was high pitched while holding back tears.  The only time I could cry then is when I was hiding in the back room, away from everyone.  I seem to always be crying anymore or close to it.  I'm stressed with having six adults in the house and I'm tired of it.  I'm really, really, really tired of it.  Sometimes it is all so much.  Then with my health I don't know what is worth worrying about and what isn't.  Sometimes I am so scared.


  1. Amy, can you get back in to see your therapist? I know it can be hard when you're on Medicaid and the clinics never have enough staff so they offer you partial/day treatment or an appointment seemingly every three months.

    I don't have any ideas for you but I wan't you to know that I've read your words and feel for you.

  2. I wish you hugs, and happy thoughts to help you through this tough time.

    You're not alone.

  3. I've been where you are and can feel the anxiety in your post. I wish I could take away those feelings right now. If you are like me, it comes in waves and we just have to "ride it out".

    I'm sorry you are having a difficult time right now. I would share more, but this is a little triggering for me. Hang in there.


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