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Self harm validation: chasing a high you'll never reach

Hi everyone. I've seen a lot of posts on another platform talking about wanting to self harm worse to feel like their pain/wounds are valid. I wanted to share something I feel is important about my story in relation to feeling valid.

I'm 23. I started self harming 8 years ago. I used to cut to the dermis and the fat level. Two years ago I had a big breakdown because of my job and I walked out. I went home and relapsed and ended up going to the hospital to get stitches. No one was home thankfully so I took an uber. I texted my boyfriend's mom in a panic because I was scared.

I was supposed to be staying clean. I thought that if I could just cut one last time, deep enough that I needed/should get stitches, I would finally feel valid and I would finally be able to stop. I thought this would be the release I needed from self harm to set myself free. I was wrong. And I always knew it. That's not how self harm works. But I'd like to explain because I want other people to get this realization sooner than I did.

I did cut to fat. I can't personally tell if it was worse than what I used to do. I'm pretty desensitized at this point. But it was bleeding a lot and I went to the ER. For a second, just a tiny fleeting second, I felt valid. When I got there, the nurse told me the cuts were superficial and didn't need stitches. And then that validation all came crashing down. I just felt stupid for going and wasting their time when I was fine. Except I wasn't fine and when the doctor came in and said he was going to stitch me up, I told him what the nurse said. He said, "is she the doctor or am I? You need stirches" and that was that.

But do you see how quickly that validation came and was taken away? And not only that, but the whole experience was terrifying. They wouldn't let me leave and I was so anxious, I thought I would be hospitalized. I know now that they legally couldn't keep me (the social worker told me this) but at the time I thought they could. The two seconds of validation (in reality, maybe 5 minutes at MOST) was NOT worth it. It was not worth the anxiety, the fear, the worries that I would be judged. It wasn't worth the pain. And it wasn't worth hurting myself over.

On top of that, a year later I relapsed again and the people around me pretty much forced me to go to the ER. So not only did cutting deeper not give me validation or help me stop self harming, but I was back in the same boat a little less than a year later (not to minimize the almost year I spent clean, because I tried hard). This is when I started to realize it would only be a never ending cycle if I kept telling myself that I needed "just one more time" or to cut "just a little deeper" to get the validation I needed.

That validation you're looking for? It doesn't exist. It never will. It will always be "just a little deeper" and one day you'll wake up and realize it's been years and nothing's changed and you don't feel even a tiny bit of that validation you were seeking. You're chasing a high you'll never get. And when you finally come to terms with that, it's terrifying. Because you've locked yourself in a cycle that eventually will be incredibly hard to get out of the older you get. You'll feel like it's impossible. You'll think you can't do it. You can. You're strong enough. But that's not how it feels.

My stomach is covered in more scars now. Even with stitches some of them healed pretty wide and big. They were extremely noticeable for a long time. I can't wear shirts that show even a little bit of my stomach out of anxiety. I'm extremely self conscious when I have sex with my bf and it affects my enjoyment because I just worry about what he sees and if he secretly thinks I look disgusting with all these scars. The majority of my scars on my entire body have turned white, but you can still see them. Maybe not from far away, but I've had people tell me they're still noticeable. And what matters more than that is the fact that I can see each and every one.

Some of them I can still connect to memories and the time period/why I did it. I can never forget this. Sure, I can stay clean and move on and learn to live with my scars. I'm trying. But they will always be a reminder of the debilitating pain I went through- the years of undiagnosed (therefore no help) depression, anxiety, all my insecurities and trauma. Every time I look at my scars I'm reminded by the pure hatred I felt for myself for years, how I felt (and still do) so disgusting that I starved myself and purged and developed an eating disorder that will affect me for the rest of my life. I don't want these reminders scarred on me forever. But they are.

And I know you might be thinking that what I'm saying isn't relevent to you because you like the scars and you want them. I get that, believe me. I'm still scared to let them go. It's still hard to watch them fade and I've been clean for a little over a year. And when I was a teenager, I didn't care enough about what it would be like in the future to have these scars. I figured I'd deal with it when I was older. And to be honest, I thought that it would never get this bad and I never thought I would cut in places that would be difficult to hide. But 8 years later I have scars on both arms, my stomach, my thighs, my hip, and though they healed and didn't leave a lasting scar, I cut on other places too like my ankles and calves. One time, years ago, I counted the amount of scars I had. It was over 100. This may not seem like a lot when you factor in that some were not deep or big. But that's 100 individual times that I sliced my own skin apart because I was hurting. And the depth of your cuts doesn't matter. What matters is all the times you felt the need to hurt yourself no matter how deep they were.

I finally am in a long term relationship with someone I love more than anything in the entire world who is an amazing person and partner. But it makes me sad to think that when I get married, I'll have scars on my arms. These scars will be in my wedding photos. When I give birth, my scars will be there when my boyfriend takes a picture of my baby and I. When I have sex or engage in intimate moments with my boyfriend, my scars are there on display. It's not a good feeling to wear your heart on your sleeve literally. One close look at me and you can tell I'm messed up. I don't want that, but it's too late now. All I can do is try to move forward. It's hard. I'm not 100% there yet. I still feel embarrassed and sad and ashamed. But the first step is to admit that chasing after an unattainable validation won't get you anywhere except six feet in the ground. Please, learn from my mistakes. It's not too late.

#Selfharm #se lfinjury #Cutting #Depression #validation

37 reactions 8 comments
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The difficulty with anxiety and grief… #Grief #Anxiety #validation #Loneliness #Isolation

Don’t know many of you dealing with grief and anxiety feel similarly - you muster up energy, ability and motivation to socialise, seem normal, functional…but at the end of it, you are relieved. It feels enervating and drudging and there’s very rarely any meaning or comfort these interactions provide. So to the extent possible you avoid meeting people, remain reclusive for there’s more certainty there and less anxiety, indeed a comfort solitude provides. Then solitude and accompanying loneliness too intensifies your grief. You make efforts to reach out and fraternize. You try to decentre yourself and merely be in the moment & flow. Two things pan out - even those who know your grief don’t validate and worse sermonise to pull up, divert, engage etc. Second you rarely meet anyone interesting or worthy enough to make meaning or reassuring where given the hope, energy and efforts you rustle up for such encounters, disappointment hits big. Ultimately being in one’s shell seems to be the safest place to be. 😔

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Healer Pains

Healer Pains

Full of Anger and rage
Feeling like I’m a animal locked in a cage
My nature is so misunderstood
Perhaps it’s time to move on from the hood
But I Love my independent city
Even though the committee ain’t take no pity

Isolated and assets frozen
Although they don’t yet know I’m part of God’s chosen
Treated like a hardcore criminal
My poem are definitely subliminal
If you know me, you’ll get it
Ain’t the usual one to quit

I walked away for self protection
So, wouldn’t be forced into flexion
Straight forward as it can be
Though I did flee, At least I’m free
Self love is a priority
Even if I ain’t in the majority

That don’t stop us from doing as we please
Perhaps, why I’m a narcissist that is to be put in a freeze
From trauma and vulnerabilities we came up,
Banged up, beat up - yet we still worked hard and built up
So, why the hate?
And all the jealousy mate?
Took you for free spins and fed you during your worst

You were injured and I was the one to bring you back to health and nursed
And now I’m cursed?
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
One day, you gotta regret it my boo
True love, acceptance and understanding- heck, gave even my soul
Now, all this hurt masking as anger and making feel like a burning coal

Quite the toll, though I thought your love was free
Then, why the hefty fee?
Anger and rage on the front
Amidst a manhunt
Hurt and grief under the front
Perhaps, nows the time to get blunt

Yes, I am fucked up
And the only one who saved me is my pup
You were right, I was stupid
The only mistake I made was chasing Cupid
Don’t know my story yet think they know all
Destroying me so I forget to walk and can barely even crawl

Malicious prosecution and defamation
Think it’s a game of persuasion
It’s nothing more than a crime
To prevent me from the social and corporate climb
You think I forgot, that’s cute
I never forget a learned friend dispute

You know I’m better than you
And that’s a strong fact that’s more than just true
Don’t let simple nature and humble attitude fool you into arrogance
You caused me to lose my soul and become spiritless
The student is now the master
Now that deserves a round of applause and laughter

Karma is a mogul’s game
And though I don’t care for the fame, it ain’t gonna stop me from bringing the claim
Justice is overdue, stayed quiet for too long
Have come closer to being proven wrong
My only regret, had I spoken earlier
I would be worthier

Money is important but my people are my assets
They are the ones to get my out of bad debts
Got my back because we init for ride or die
They ain’t no supply, they real niggas on which we can rely
Now that’s a fact you cannot deny
My team here for the full and permanent long haul

And although right now, I’m back at the stage of crawl
I got the mindset and approach to stay resilient
Cuz I found out way too late that I’m more than just brilliant
Genius and gifted talent, that’s God’s chosen
So, let me give you a glimpse of my life in slow-motion
Watch out cuz this girl’s a tornado, not to be tamed

She won’t remain for much longer chained
It’s time to break free
And I think that’s something y’all agree #heartbreak #Love #Pain #growth #soulpain #selfhelp #SelfHealing #writings #Journaling #feelings #Emotions #validation #hurt #Grief #Loss #Rejection #abandonment #social isolation #punishment #Karma #sins #good #bad

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(In) validating my grief...

What all does it take to see your grief validated? Indeed should i even bother to get it validated by the very people, from the very system who have default caused my trauma though not very exclusively or consciously? Being male, upper caste (I'm in India) upper middle class, fair... it appears, makes me me illegitimate to have grief... At least by my progressive kith & kin and friends...i have my own house, food to eat, so in such a sense i can't complain, grieve, be anxious. My grief then is pathetic attempt to sound lugubrious . Then there are didactic sermons... Be positive, you are good, you try (I'm not trying enough), it's all your mind, it's just you...etc

Nobody wants to engage with my loss and despair but avoid it all... Being very business like, take challenges suggesting types. That I'm hurt, deeply incapacitated, that circumstances have played havoc with me... nobody acknowledges so but yet want to be 'helpful' and being 'positive'. Emoting is not cool right? To perform empathy, acknowledging ones worth (that's all for social media and in aid of those who already have surfiet of it) is not cool eh? Validating ones feeling is not politically correct and not keeping with the times, however warped or instrumental 😕

If matters are not bad enough, even when I attempt to reach out and enjoin myself into the social world for what it is worth, there's no respect, or hand holding from the very folks who know me (or so i think) well and in the know of my grief, loss and anguish. So is it even worth the attempt? And the surge of the hopelessness, loss and absence of my ex that comes surging as a tsunami...😞 and the fear and loathing of everything around...😢

#Grief #validation #Loss

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Daily scrolling

Even when i am in a bad space I was come on this platform to view others' posts. Even if i am unable to give advice, i leave a heart just to let someone know that someone listens to what they have to say. Cause i know how it feels to want to be heard and acknowledged. For my feelings to be validated. So not all scrolling is not healthy. #validation #ImListening

4 reactions
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Validation

I'm so sick of the invalidation I receive almost on a daily basis. Just because my disability isn't one of the "acceptable" disabilities. Why do I always have to prove myself? Why am I always being questioned? I want to be able to tell people about what I have and get the services I need without jumping through the hoops I genuinely can't jump through. I don't want to be dismissed anymore. I want to be seen and heard. Just like I deserve
#MentalHealth #Disability #tired #CP #Depression #Anxiety #validation #seenandheard

7 comments
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How do you change your mindset?

In therapy today, I started working on healing from invalidation. She told me to work on validating myself but that's a bit difficult. I do not think it's possible to change a mindset over night. Does anyone have any tips on how to change how you see and speak to yourself? #validation #Selfcare #PTSD #BipolarDisorder #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #AbuseSurvivors #Selflove

8 comments
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How dare you validate me?!

That’s how I feel as my therapist explains how there’s still a version of five year old me inside myself that’s hurt and scared by my fathers angry verbal outbursts. “But I was never hit” “he said worse to my older brothers” “it happened a long time ago it’s not important” all these thoughts and more swirl in my head as she talks. I was the baby girl, the favorite. My older brothers and even my father consistently reminding me how much easier my childhood was compared to theirs. So what right do I have to struggle? Nothing was ever that bad.
My therapist wants me to try taking the mountian of a baby step to accept that my experiences are valid and they were hurtful. But, I can’t? I panick when I think about it and the internal script of invalidating comments just gets louder and louder.

#Depression #Anxiety #ADHD #validation #invalidation #Therapy #DBT #parentalverbalabuse

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Body Image and Restricted Eating Issues

Hi everyone - I am wondering if any of you lovelies would be willing to share any and all advice/thoughts you have on this. I struggle with body-image issues and restricted eating. I don't think I technically HAVE anorexia , but it’s like, what does it matter if I’m struggling with those type of issues, right?

I have a hard time just letting go of controlling those thoughts that my body is not right, and the idea of restricting my eating makes me feel powerful and in control. It’s addictive- I feel like I can be doing fine but when I think about it my temptation to restrict my eating comes back in full force and I feel powerless.

I feel so alone and I would like to hear some good things about recovering and just affirmation that I should WANT to recover, even. I’ll be restarting therapy soon if that helps you get an idea of where I’m coming from. #help #CheckInWithMe #validation

4 comments