**This post discusses self injury that has not occurred, and not in detail. Still though, take care in reading if it could be triggering.**
“You’re so strong and brave.”
“You’ve come so far.”
“You inspire me all the time.”
“You’ve been through so much and still deal with a lot all the time, I don’t know how you do it.”
I hear and read things like this quite often in my daily interactions with friends and family. And I’m not saying that their words aren’t true or that they don’t mean a great deal to me. I do know I’ve come a long way–and one has to be strong and brave to do that, they go hand and hand. I believe the people who say these uplifting things and I love my friends and family for saying them.
But! People don’t know what’s going on in my head. Most of my friends and none of my family know I still struggle almost daily with the urge to hurt myself. People don’t realize how much of the time I feel overwhelmed with daily life. They don’t know how much I hate myself at times. How insecure I really am. How sad I often am. That I feel completely crazy quite regularly.
It’s true that my functioning is much better than it used to be. When my father was in my life before he was arrested for hurting my niece, I was his puppet. He truly controlled me and I was a basket case. Then he was physically out of my life and I was reeling from the truth of what he’d done to me and to my niece. Over the past 6 years I’ve (we all in the system have) slowly started functioning better. Self injury by myself and others has gradually dwindled to virtually nothing. I rarely think seriously about suicide. I can get up and get on with my day most of the time. I’m not having flashbacks and other crazy shit going on all the time like I did for a while. There’s less rage-y, tantrum-y stuff going on with a few insiders.
But several of us think about cutting almost every day. We’re extremely ritualistic about cutting and need the right supplies and for everything to be just so. I’m doing my damnedest to make sure the supplies never make it into the apartment but it’s been rough. Right now this very minute I feel like I’ll publish this post and then go order what I need from Amazon so I can have the relief of cutting in a few days.
I may not think seriously about suicide very often these days but thoughts still come quite often. I don’t want to leave anyone behind, of course, but it’s my sons and my cats that keep me from entertaining the thoughts and thinking about a plan of any sort.
Nearly every day feels like a struggle. Between my physical and mental health, much of the time I don’t feel like I have it in me to make it through the day in a very successful way. I hate that getting half a dozen things done is a big accomplishment. Oh, I cook a few meals each month for a handful of people in my life? So what! That’s nothing. It feels like nothing and that makes me feel weak. And yet I don’t feel strong enough to do much more. I’m not a wreck anymore but daily life still bowls me over. I’m so tired of that.
I fully acknowledge that I’m stronger and healthier than I used to be. But I still feel so weak and inconsequential. I don’t feel strong enough or brave enough to change that. My life has changed a lot in the past 6 years but to be honest, I really don’t do so well.
Thanks for listening.