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A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Entry: June 8, 2005 ~ 6:30 pm ~ before session


I'm really having difficulty being present. I'm really anxious and buzzy and my hands keep getting numb. I took my PRN this afternoon. I've been feeling really bad, a little angry and a little tearful since last night. The wanting to cut and kill myself have been really strong.

I don't want to tell you that I bruised myself today...it wasn't like I planned it. When I was getting dressed, I took the hanger (wooden) and just kept hitting my myself on the buttocks until I created bruises. Now, I'm feeling really anxious and ashamed...wondering do I tell you. I want to in that having it just rattling around in my head makes me feel worse, but telling you could do the same. Afraid of your response.

I also accidentally burned myself a little when I was trying to get my hair to flip in the other direction. It was an accident, but kind of felt good...I'm not going to burn myself with that. I just felt like I need to tell you that it felt good.

I'm really embarrassed about bruising myself, but it isn't new. I remember in elementary school that at home I would bruise my thighs with my fists or a stick which I continued doing...still.

In sixth grade, I remember beginning to hit my buttocks or my back with a stick, wooden spoon, ruler and an extension cord. It continued until after I began seeing you and I started using other things...either until I had bruises and welt and/or bled. I guess, feeling bad and angry.

I just want to go away not sure I really want to say anything, but feeling stuck like I can't say anything to you because this is so much on my mind and letting it rattle around is making me feel worse, but telling you also seems like it would make me feel worse...or maybe sharing would help. When I saw you before, for a time, I was doing it at least twice per day, but I didn't tell you then...not sure I'll tell you now. But, feels like if I don't I'm just going to go away, disappear, go away which kind of sounds good right now.

Really afraid of what you will think and how you will respond...feeling really bad about what I did...feeling so anxious like I could throw up. Feeling buzzy and my hands are tingling.

I really didn't plan it...wasn't even thinking about it...hadn't been thinking about it. When I think about bruising myself it is usually with my fist, but I haven't done that. The cutting, burning and suicidal thoughts are more usual thoughts.

Note: Because, at this point, I am reading all of my journal entries to Geoffrey, I know that I will be reading this too him. Although during our first 12 years there was a time that self-injury was really bad, this time if feels more intense. And I seemed more intent on really causing harm even want to break a bone. I now know that it is a defense that I developed early on to numb out, to express anger, to calm myself and to feel better at least temporarily. Chemically, it does produce endorphines, the chemical that makes us feel good. Self-injury is addicting as well as a coping mechanism and defense.

Now, that I've shared what I wrote above, even though it was three years ago. I still have much shame in sharing this. I'm feeling almost the way I describe above...the shame is almost overwhelming. Feels like everyone is going to leave me alone now. The only person that really knows the extent of it is Geoffrey. Now, I want to disappear because I feel bad and that everyone is going to think I'm weird even though cognitively I know better and know that I was out of control and needed help. My thinking is still all upside down. This is a case of being clinically clueless, but I'm not clueless. Yet, I don't have enough in me to not turn everything upside down and feel like withdrawing from everyone. Yet, I am proud that I was able to put it out there. I feel sick to my stomach...maybe, I won't post this.

I can't seem to apply it to myself even though I've worked with others with this issue...I could just delete the whole blog and pretend like I never existed (BPD thinking ~ all or nothing). If you read this, please provide some feedback or my thinking will become more and more distorted. Not that it is your responsibility, but it would be helpful. Thank you.


Polar Bear said...

First of all, thanks for dropping by my blog and adding me to your blogroll. I have bookmarked your blog so I can return here regularly to catch up with you.

I just want to say that I think it is great you are sharing this on your blog, even though you are ashamed of what you have done. I think it's incredibly brave and it shows that you have progressed in therapy. Being able to give words to our shameful feelings is important. It enables us to move forward, instead of letting it remain hidden in the "darkness" of our minds.

Take care
Polar B.

Doc said...

Differentiating between symptoms which you suffer yourself, and also work as a therapist with others is a balancing act, at best. I am anxiety disordered and have had a chronic major depressive disorder for about 35 years. The ethical line I draw is that I must have resolved a particular symptom in myself or I will not work on it with a client. If the situation warrants, I may work with such a client, but I clearly tell them that I have the same symptom and have not solved it satisfactorily. That said, it has really helped me to work with many clients. There is an almost immediate rapport established when I begin finishing their sentences as they are describing their panic attack, etc. When they find that I have "been there" myself, am still alive, and seem relatively sane, they are greatly reassured and more willing to open up and to cooperate in formulating and implementing their own treatment.

Off topic: Thanks for the visit and comments on Spaces. Welcome back anytime. I do several blogs, but that is my primary one. Here, Solo Shrink blog and a soon to be re-opened (under the same old management) Solo Shrink group (closed group) are among my efforts, as is Shrink Share. What the heck. People already know I'm half a bubble off plumb, so why not make some AdSense dollars from it?

Peace, Doc

Clueless said...

Thank you for adding me and for the comment. Yes, I know you are right, but my head says so many negative things. Your comment helps. Thank you again.

j said...

Checking in after a few days ... Although this must have been hard to share, it is very powerful. Any bruising I've done to myself has been in the heat of anger, but I have done it. Never talked about it before, though. You are pretty brave to confront it here.

Clueless said...

Thank you. I never really talked about it with my therapist, in terms of details, until recently even though I had already known him for 20 years. I still feel ashamed, but being able to put it out in the open is helpful and hopefully will help others.

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