March 01, 2009


SIAD--Self-Injury Awareness Day

Today is March 1st and it's Self-Injury Awareness Day (SIAD).

Trigger Warning: Please be careful when reading this post. Self-injury topics can be very triggering and/or re-traumatizing for self-harmers, abuse survivors or not.

I notice that I haven't written about self-injury for a while. I used to be active in some self-injury forums, and I haven't visited them for a while either.

I have to be honest: I thought I had self-injury licked. I felt so good about the accomplishment when I wrote about my past personal experiences with self-injury on the "Strange Trip" page of the "My Story" section of my website, Survivors Can Thrive! I went for a couple of years, at least, without harming myself. This was during the period of time when I was getting a lot of trauma processing done with a therapist who's an expert in traumatic stress. Then the dissociative sh*t hit the fan, I got a new therapist, I discovered "splintering" from my dissociative disorder, and...I noticed self-injury creeping back into my life.

Since I have never cut, I think it took me a long time to be honest with myself that I was still a self-injurer. But, self-injury can take many forms. For me, it is usually scratching. I thought I knew why I did it and wrote about that on my dot com site and also on a March 1 post back in 2006 here.

But, since I've been more aware of my dissociative "episodes," I notice that there seem to be some times when I self injure as a way of self-punishment of some sort. In addition to the scratching, I sometimes bang myself in the head with the heal of my hand. This is usually accompanied by some verbally self-abusive statements such as, "I am so stupid!" or "I'm an idiot!" It makes me so angry now--thinking about it--that I identified with my abusive father and repeat the same insults that he used to rain down on me as a child. They are almost word-for-word, for crying out loud! Aaaacckkkk!

I feel very ashamed after I indulge in any self-injury behaviors. I still feel shame admitting these things now. It feels like a failing, when I've been so determined to break the cycle of abuse. I've been successful at doing this with my own precious child, but I don't consistently offer the same unconditional love to myself.

Well, as I find myself saying, again and again, awareness is the key to change. So, let's all do our part to raise awareness about self-injury, today and beyond. Here are a few links to other bloggers who are also raising awareness on this SIAD day:

Also, you can find some self-injury support, forums and other resources on my "Survivor Issues" page of my dot com site, which I just updated at the beginning of January. If you are dealing with self-injury, please know that you are not alone. So, please, don't try to go it alone. There is help and there is support. I'm glad that SIAD--Self-Injury Awareness Day--helped me gain awareness on a survivor issue that I need to work on some more with my therapist. And I'm grateful to be reminded again that I am not alone in this struggle.

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Marj - SUCH an important issue to rasie awareness of. I never thought of myself as a self-injury kind of gal, but the truth is: after my trauma I became extremely anorectic, which is a quieter, sometimes less dramatic and more easily hidden kind of self-injury.

My thinking was perverse: I believed that if I tortured my body and tested its ability to endure and live, then I would be prepared to survive the next life-threatening event that surprised me. I considered it training, like an athlete would do. This went on for 20 years.

Post-trauma is a warped world, isn't it? At least it's good to know that with awareness, focus and dedication we can all begin to heal.
Well said, Michele. I agree!
I added in a link to you in my SIAD post. Thank you for linking to me.

I used to cut/scratch all the time when I was a teenager/college student, but I thought I had it licked. But I started again after the abuse from my husband, so I really understand thinking you're over it but falling into it again. It's a life-long struggle, but I do have faith that we can all make it through it but not alone, of course. That's one thing I love about being a blogger and meeting others who have went through the same stuff. We can all help each other
Hey, thanks, BPD in OKC. Yep, it's all part of Breaking-the-Silence and Silencing-the-Shame. Yeah!
Thanks Marj. I think I have been SI free for 1 year, 5 months. I'm like you though - it's been more of a hidden thing.
Thanks for sharing, Enola. And thanks for your support.
Thanks for the mention.

I too find myself repeating almost word-for-word the insults and criticisms that were hurled at me. Sometimes I think I abuse myself worse than anybody else ever did, and I can't get away from me.

Still I've started to try to address this issues and just have to take it one step at a time.

Take care,
we have bene one year SI free and that in its self is a miracle, thansk for this blog
Differently: Thanks for stopping by and you're welcome. Yep, sometimes it's "One Day at a Time," and sometimes it's one hour or even one moment at a time. Keep on steppin'.

Hey, JIP. That's fantastic! Kudos to you, my friend.
It was me who wrote "Love must conquer all."
I'm amazed it's still there!
I don't know why I still had not put your blog on my blog list.
Just did it.
Love, love, love!
Ana: I thought that was you on the fridge. I'll put up a link to you, too. Thanks!
It's beyond reason to most that one can live in such pain. Live in such a daily grim place that causing physical pain to themselves is a release. What a sad social commentary on our culture.


Frank the official site of Flashpoint: Book One of the UNDERGROUND

The Polishing Manuscripts until they Shine
Thanks for visiting, Frank. And thanks for your comment. Yes that is sad about our culture. And change is slow. But we keep on...
SI is a tricky thing to control, I can attest to that and awareness about that is vital in my opinion. I thought I was alone for years until the internet opened my eyes to the vast number of people who deal with it.

We all have different reasons for why it happens and what it does for us, but we are all on the common journey to not need it anymore.

Be kind to yourself my friend. Be gentle with your mind and body, and give yourself the room you need to be human. You are a fighter and a survivor. Don't forget that. :-)
Hi, Jade. Thanks so much for your sweet, supportive comments. I wish you much peace on your journey away from SI as well, friend.
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