Cuts, Stitches & Psychotherapy

Things are still fairly touch and go. Really struggling at the moment. I’m having a lot of flashbacks, and it feels like everything in my life revolves around that. I don’t go out unless I have to, because I worry about having flashbacks in public. Not only is it embarrassing, but it could also potentially be quite dangerous as I don’t always feel completely aware of what is going on around me. I could quite easily not notice a traffic light going from red to green. And that’s just the “practical” side of flashbacks. Naturally there is also an emotional side to them, which is even more difficult to cope with..

Have been seeing the crisis team nearly daily since last Wednesday and have called them several times in between, and yet I can’t seem to find a way out of this darkness. Still can’t fight my urge to self-harm, and thoughts of suicide come easily to me at the moment. I fight it as best I can, but this is a mighty frightening place to exist within.

Went to see Dr H. today. She had asked me to check in with her in a week’s time when I saw her last week, because she wanted to be kept in the loop of how I’m faring, not just via the crisis team, but from me directly. Didn’t have much good stuff to share, I’m afraid, but I still think it was good to see her. Makes me feel a bit less anxious about when the crisis team decide to discharge me. Also she actually asked to see my cuts – which was a little embarrassing, but also made me feel more confident in her as she wasn’t shying away from the reality of self-harm. Have to admit that she looked quite shocked when she saw my handiwork, and she quickly decided that the cuts are quite a bit too deep and gaping to just be left on their own, so she ordered me to make an appointment to see the practice nurse, for her to clean them properly and either put in some stitches or Steri-Strip™ them. She said that ideally they should be stitched, but as my cuts are fairly close together that might not be possible.

I know this is going to sound really odd, but in some ways I don’t think I had really considered my cutting a real problem until Dr H. told me I might actually need stitches. I tend to just think of it as one of those things I do. A coping mechanism of sorts. I mean, I do know that cutting isn’t a good thing, but considering that I always use individually packaged sterile scalpels and antiseptic wipes to clean up, I kind of figured I had it under control. Clearly this is not the case; hadn’t at all realised how deep the cuts were – it wasn’t until I got home and had a look in the mirror that I could see that they were quite a lot more severe than I had thought. A seriously sobering discovery.

Saw A. today, and it was a good but quite difficult session. The last few sessions have been a lot about the here and now, about the impulse to cut and to play the choking game and fantasising about suicide and so on, but not very much about what’s triggered this downward spiral. So that’s what A. asked me to talk about today. An unusual step for her, as she is usually not particularly directive in her approach. Anyway, I gave it my best shot, starting with the obvious: the trip back to the scenes of the crimes. Talked about what it was I had wanted to be able to do on this trip, and how I feel I’ve let myself down by not being able to do it. And also what the reactions were to the little bits I did try to share. There’s plenty more to explore on this theme, and I think that the sooner I can start verbalising what’s happening inside of me, the sooner I’ll be able to step away from this very dark place I find myself in. I really appreciate that A. has been able to make time for extra sessions for me this week and last, even though that clearly means her working day becomes a lot longer. It makes me feel like I’m not fighting this beast on my own.
Also, she spoke to the crisis team on Monday, because they wanted to discharge me, and she felt it was too soon, that I’m still in the middle of this crisis, and need extra support from them for a bit longer. I’m really glad that she said that, because I feel I lose my voice when it comes to asking for things for myself, even when I desperately want to.

It’s really hard being back here again. It’s difficult to fight the feeling that no matter how hard I work, how hard I try, I will always mess it up, and find myself back where I started. That this is one of those life lessons that I seem incapable of learning.

But tomorrow is another day, and who knows, it might be marginally better than today.

And that’s better than nothing.


4 responses

  1. I’m really sorry that you’re struggling so much, but things WILL get better. You’re so strong and you’ll find a way through. Just hang on in there. I know the pain seems endless and it’s devastating to find yourself back in this very difficult place – but you can beat this. You’re accepting all the help on offer and having followed your blog for a while I can tell that you’re making great progress in your therapy with A. You can do this!

    PS. Your blog is my favorite blog by far. I think you’re an awesome writer and an even more amazing person.

  2. Ella,
    Thank you so much for your kind words. It really does mean so much to me. Things are difficult right now, but knowing that there are people like you out there, sending out love and kindness to someone you’ve never even met, well.. it makes the day seem at least a little more hopeful.

    Thank you again. Be good to yourself.


  3. I can feel your pain when I read your blog, it shines through from the spaces between your words. I’ve only just found your blog (through The Maytree website) and I find it incredibly moving. Have spent the last few evenings reading through your posts and I hope that you too take the time to read through your own posts and hopefully you’ll be able to see what the rest of us can see: a woman who is so much stronger than her past and who has battled her demons time and time again and come out standing proud.

  4. Once again, Carrie – thanks for reading my blog, and for taking the time to comment. It really does mean a lot to me. I’m in a dark place right now, but comments like these
    shine a little light through the darkness. Thank you. xx

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