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Journal bluefairee's Journal: punishment 5

this isn't the first time i've gone thru times like this. it's the 3rd or 4th. the doctors and drugs have never helped because i never stick to them.

i've done horrible unthinkable things to the people around me, dave, and his friends. i woke up this morning with nothing, but shame. dave will forgive me. i don't forgive myself. all i can think about is all the pain and trouble i've put him thru. more like trauma, i guess. i don't want to cut. i didn't want to, but i did. my mother is not around to beat me anymore. dave won't even give me a slap on the wrist. he'll just say he loves me and he's really concerned.

so, this morning i cut. i cut for each thing i've done to hurt people. this time i cut because i deserve it. this time i was afraid. this time i cut to hurt and o' lord does it hurt. it's the only befitting punishment i could think of. i cut till my hands shook so badly i couldn't hold the knife anymore.

i know some/most/all will say this is not the way to go, but you have to understand what i've done to them. no one should get away with that without some kind of repercution.

saying i'm sorry is a joke. saying i'll promise to be good is a joke. i've tried. it's either not good enough or i'm not trying enough. for that i deserve the pain of my wounds.

that said i retreat to my room.

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  • punishment (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SolemnDragon ( 593956 ) * <solemndragon AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday October 16, 2004 @12:42PM (#10544865) Homepage Journal
    LEt me start this by saying that i care and that i DO have compassion for how bad you're hurting.

    That said: Blue, Dave won't punish you because he's not your parent. Nor should he be. He's not your doctor. He's not your therapist or your saviour. IF HE WERE PUNISHING YOU, SOMETHING WOULD BE SERIOUSLY WRONG.

    He's a concerned friend.

    You're really not owning your stuff very well. Self-Punishment isn't self-ownership, it's abdication. Self-hatred is abdication. Rather than do the hard work of learning to like yourself, you're shrugging it off, saying 'well, i'm not worth it, so why bother? I'm a bad, bbad person, so i deserve how i feel and should make it worse (which is easy) rather than improve it (which is hard.)

    And that's a crock and you know it.

    So stop it. It's not good for you. Nobody's gonna make you. Nobody can force you to love yourself or prove, over and over again, that you're worth it.
    That's YOUR job. So leave the fucking knives alone, and do your job.

    You KNOW, blue, you KNOW. You know that you're making bad choices on purpose. You're testing people. And i understand that, and i understand why, and as someone who's been there, i can honestly say that you're where you need to start trying harder. You're right, promising to behave is useless. Actually using the coping skills you've got in your arsenal, the NON-SELF-DESTRUCTIVE ONES, is hard, but it's time for you to start doing it.

    Yeah, you could hurt yourself to try to prove that no, you can't do better. But that's pretty pointless, isn't it? It doesn't solve anything. It's a copout, a stupid shrug to try to make yourself seem less culpable for the hard work of hauling your ass out of this cycle you're in. You don't want to get better, so you try to make everyone believe that you can't get better.

    I mean, try proving the harder one- that you CAN do better. Lowering people's expectations isn't going to work. I won't lower the bar just so you're off the hook. Try doing something better for you. It's hard. You don't have to tell people, just quietly do something constructive instead of hurting yourself like that.

    NOBODY expects you to magically get better. EVERYONE knows you're hurting. Everyone knows you will still be hurting. Get over your fear of sharing that fear in functional ways. Yeah, you're scared. Of course you're scared. ACCEPT THAT IT'S GONNA BE SCARY. Stop cutting yourself. It's not fixing anything and you know it.

    i've been there.

    I've done that.

    I know JUST how hard it's going to be.

    Do the constructive stuff anyway.

    Don't do the self-destructive stuff.

    It's time to get healthy, even if it makes the people around you have expectations of you again. Even if it makes your doctors happy and think you're not hurting when you know you are. If you want them to know you're hurting, you'll have to trust that they'll listen to what you actually say. Stop writing it in blood, because it's not fixing things.

    i hope some of this gets through the wall you're building between yourself and better, because damnit, i KNOW you're in there.

  • by subgeek ( 263292 ) * on Saturday October 16, 2004 @01:19PM (#10545060) Homepage Journal
    i've done the punishment thing. the problem with it is that it treats the symptoms instead of the problem. the problem is the hurting of people, including yourself.

    when i say, "i've done the punishment thing," that doesn't really cover how much i used to engage in that sort of thing. there have been a few points in my life where it became most of what occcupied my time. i was either actively punishing myself or thinking about it. i've even punished myself for punishing myself. every once in a while, i feel really bad about something and try to "sneak" a punishment in past myself. it's very rare anymore i've moved on to things that don't leave marks because i know how much it hurts others to see me hurt myself. then i usually just feel stupid because i'm immediately reminded that i just did something that did nothing to solve the problem.

    the thing is, the punishment didn't do anything to change my behavior. i went right on doing hurtful things, saying hurtful things, and doing things i knew i shouldn't have. the only thing that changed the actual cause of the problem was examining why i did those things, fighting the urge to lash out at myself as i uncovered flaws in my thinking. fixing the cause fixed the symptoms. then i could calm down enough to realize that the punishments i'd been giving myself didn't do anything to fix the problem. i was able to see that the punishment was actually part of the problem cycle. it's a way to look at the problem, and revel in how comlex and "impossible" it is to fix. it was never a way to teach myself not to do the things i didn't want to do anymore.

    here's something i wrote trying to find explanations for why people punish themselves.

    the human mind is complex. that sort of action is difficult to understand to someone who hasn't been to the lower depths of self loathing.

    here are some thoughts and partial explanations:

    distraction. when there is a lot of inner turmoil, it is difficult to function because the thoughts of turmoil drown out all reason. they make it difficult to focus on anything other than the inner struggle. more specifically, the feeling of the struggle. emotion has a dead lock over reason in those circumstances.

    endorphins. pain causes your body to make endorphins. it's similar to people eating really spicey foods. your body knows it will be rewarded for the pain with endorphins.

    misplaced sense of control. people in that state usually feel like they have no control over their lives. everything in their lives are circumstances that happen to them, but they have no control over how they occur. we might know this is not the case, but that's how they feel a lot of the time. by causing destruction to one's self, they're taking initiative and hurting themselves before everyone else gets the chance. in their minds, since the whole world is against them, hurting themselves is a way to get back at the world, robbing it the satisfaction of exacting the pain itself.

    punishment. people who do that generally don't like themselves. they may blame themselves for everything bad around them. in some cases, they are to blame, but most likely not in all cases. anyway, they may decide the amount of suffering is not yet equal to the amount of wrong they are creating with their existence. they take action to make the punishment more severe.

    i don't know if this helps you out or not, but that's some of my experience.
  • one more voice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by turg ( 19864 ) * <turg AT winston DOT org> on Saturday October 16, 2004 @07:34PM (#10547222) Journal
    Maybe obvious, but just in case...

    You don't deserve to be cut. Nobody does.

    Cutting does not solve the problems you are addressing by cutting.

    I'm sure it's very hard but people who cut can stop. Many others have.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas