I’m being a little repetitive here, as Cassie wrote a post on this very issue only the other week. But the question is still bugging me. What is it about self-injury, in whatever form, that is meant to be so bad? It’s a genuine query. I don’t get the horror that permeates it.
I know there’s a few ostensibly rational considerations. Cut yourself in the wrong place, and you could hit an artery, or simply go too deep. OK. Usually you’ll develop scars. Fair enough. But is the general horror surrounding the phenomenon really based on logical issues of such a nature?
Occasionally I lash out at myself in a fit of pique or whilst consumed with overwhelming anxiety, but the thing is, such injuries are by their nature superficial. They are a means to a panic-reducing end, nothing more and nothing less. A simple, quick and efficient means of relieving psychic pain.
People wank on and on about it being destructive. Why is it ‘destructive’? Being mental is fucking destructive, so surely having a means to deviate from that state of mind is, if anything, a positive thing. Yeah, I have scars. So what? They don’t bother me. I think there’s a twisted part of me that actually likes having them.
I stabbed myself on Saturday night. I inflicted several injuries, but the worst was about an inch deep. The assumption to all and sundry (and, indeed, in my above paragraph) is that I must have been going mental that night, but I wasn’t. This is a different type of injury, but one that I don’t think is unique to Little Old Me. I was, truly, simply curious to see how far I could stick the scalpel into my stomach. I also just love watching the blood flow. If find it seductive and mesmerising: I am fascinated by the paths it takes, the little tributaries it meanders into as it departs from the wound.
Is that normal? As I understand it, no – it isn’t. But ‘abnormal’ doesn’t necessarily equate to ‘harmful’, nor should it. Uniqueness and idiosyncrasy are good things. So is it dangerous? In this case, it’s highly controlled, my scalpel is really pretty small, I prepared (and later dealt with it) with disinfectant, tissues, steri-strips and dressings. I cleaned it the next day and have done so today. It’s not particularly painful. So what is it that disturbs people so much?
Paul thinks my new-ish stabbing obsession (this wasn’t the first time I did it) is about ‘reliving’ rapes. You know, the whole penetration with an object thing, blah blah. He said that “every single wound on [you] is inflicted by [Paedo].” I laughed in his face, and defended self-harm in the way I have done in this post. To be fair, Paul said that he doesn’t want me not to have this outlet – he just wants me not to hate myself, to see me as an object worthy of “something better”.
That would be all well and good if I thought my self-injury was about self-hatred, but I don’t think it is. It’s a tool. A resource that allows you some control back over your otherwise insane life. I was quite honest with him, and said that I actually didn’t care about having scars. He thinks that’s about showing the world that I have been somehow injured.
Again, I don’t know if I agree. I mean, I don’t go out of my way to hide the scars – I’m not ashamed particularly – but usually they’re covered up, largely because of the locations on which I harm myself. So it’s not some elaborate borderline “look at my poor hurt self!” conspiracy. Or if it is, then I am epically failing at it.
For me, it’s about coping, or surviving. I know there’s a danger of becoming addicted to it thanks to the physiological reactions that take place it its wake (endorphins rushing to the wound site and whatnot), but since I only do it every now and again, I don’t believe that I am a slave to its lure. The seductive element is very real, but it’s occasional. It’s exploratory and captivating – not some sort of attempt to seriously endanger myself.
So honestly – if it’s controlled, safe and at times even helpful, what is really so wrong with it, no matter how far removed from societal conventions it may be?
In other news, I have an appointment with a CPN next Tuesday. It’s a fucking woman. I jumped up and down in anger, screaming expletives at the letter, when I read this. I have made my distrust and fear of other females quite clear to the CMHT, and would happily have waited a while for one of the few blokes that does this job to act as my new nurse-person-thing (you’re doing a great job at being a feminist there, Pan). All the same, I’ll try not to pre-judge her – the letter was quite friendly, rather than the usual cold bile I’m used to from Psychiatry, so I concede that point to her at least. She shall be known, for the purposes of this bollocksy blog, as Christine.
After NewVCB saying that she would get me a CPN, she also said that she herself would see me again in “a couple of weeks”. By that estimation, I should have seen her last Wednesday…and guess what? I fucking haven’t! I should be getting used to this kind of pathetic ‘care’ from these wankers.
Anyway, I asked my mother to ring her tomorrow and see what’s going on, though I suspect I know the answer – the last time there was a big fuck up in my being seen, it was due to NewVCB’s secretary being off on long-term sick leave. Now the secretary is away again (to get married this time), and it seems that the Trust have (as usual) failed to hire competent temps. Hopefully, though, it can be easily sorted out – after all, NewVCB did tell me I was allowed to phone her should such difficulties arise.
A and I are going to a cottage in the country on Thursday, which is St Patrick’s Day. I do not like St Patrick’s Day. In fact, I actively hate St Patrick’s Day. People get leglessly pissed and are loud, selfish, generally pain-in-the-hole wankshafts. So we’re doing a runner to where no one will come near us, and we’re staying for three nights
It will be just the kind of break I need before I start actively panicking about meeting Christine. I am sick of having to meet new people – or meeting people full stop. I’m sick of being mental.
I’ll try and continue my catch-up of posts about Paul tomorrow. In the meantime, this is the shittest post I’ve ever written – and that’s saying something. I actually don’t know why I’ve written it, but since I have, I’m hitting ‘Publish’. Now.