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    Bad day today
    An_249589 posted:
    I thought today was going to be a good day cause I was going to see my therapist again after 2 weeks cause she went on vacation. The session was going good until about the last 20 minutes. Then, it was all about her trying to talk me into giving up my sh item that I always carry around. I didn't want to and started crying, but I finally relented, feeling like I was backed into a corner. Now I'm really upset with her and freaking out cause I don't have it with me in case I need it. I'm just confused right now.
    DOGDANCING_TCOS responded:
    She should not have done that. Doesn't sound like she has much experience treating self injurers.

    Do some soul searching and write it out for her, tell her what the SI item gives you and means to you.

    for example, mine = safety and control. It = power and comfort.

    Self injury isn't something you can just stop. You MUST have something to replace it with. (or it escalates as you panic and fumble for coping mechanisms)

    Is Your T working on a valid course of action. Are you learning healthy coping skills? Are you practicing them?

    How deep is your understanding of your SI? Has it been explained to you that it will probably increase as you work in therapy?

    peace be the journey

    I'm not really a psychopath, I just play one on the internet.
    An_249589 replied to DOGDANCING_TCOS's response:
    I feel the same way about mine meaning safety and control. I feel bette having it even if I don't use it. My T is trained in DBT, which I am also attending once a week. I just wasn't prepared for her to throw this at me yet, have only been seeing her and doing DBT for a month. No one said it would increase as I go through therapy. That scares me even more. I'm so afraid that a strong urge will hit and I won't be able to ignore it and, with my si item gone, I will find something else that might do more damage that it did. I'm slowly learning about new coping skills and I do them every chance I get, only si'd 2x while she was gone, which I thought was pretty good. I'm really upset and part of me doesn't even want to go to my next appt with her
    DOGDANCING_TCOS replied to An_249589's response:
    let me clarify this: " Has it been explained to you that it will probably increase as you work in therapy?"

    Not the type of injuring that you are doing, but the amount of injuring.

    Its difficult to give up the control SI give you. That tends to make people panicky and the number of episodes of SI spike as they work on stopping.

    Clarifying - you have only been seeing this T a month (and she was gone 2 weeks on vacation to boot) and she forced you to give your tool? WOW!

    Not okay.

    A month isn't time to build a trusting relationship.

    You are right to be concerned about the absence of tool and a worse then normal injury due to that. That is a valid real concern.

    If I were you I would start the next session with explaining to her some very basic facts about SI.

    (I will post some in a minute)

    A month into therapy your focus should be learning and practicing healthy coping skills and learning to trust your T.

    I'm not really a psychopath, I just play one on the internet.
    DOGDANCING_TCOS replied to DOGDANCING_TCOS's response:
    Re-post) * * may be triggering * * SI basic info (by DOGDANCING on Jan-14-06)
    First off....just take a breath.

    SIV (self inflicted violence) can take your breath away and make you feel over whelmed and helpless.

    Arm yourself with info for starters. I have been living with SIV for ..oh...ever. Let me give you some hard facts to help build you a knowledge base.

    SIV is nothing more than a coping mechanism. It is just a way we have
    has learned to cope with stuff. (as in some people deal with stress by crying or screaming or smoking what ever..) Some of us learn that to injure releases that inner tension and helps us feel in control.

    SIV is NOT...I repeat **NOT** attempting suicide. We are trying to keep
    in control of everything and SIV is actually helping to do that in way.

    SIV does not respond to drug therapy...(there is one medication that has the
    side effect of lowering SIV impulses, but none that directly stop it.)

    To stop SIV is a long road. One must learn healthy coping skills, practice
    them, put them into use. No easy task, best done with the help and support
    of a qualified therapist. Healing is very possible and achievable.

    Now some SIV info...

    The basic of self inflicted violence is this...

    Intense emotional pain is hard to deal with. You can't see it, you can't put
    a bandage on it, you can't fully explain it to anyone else. The pain is
    personal and well, excruciating. Some people have learned not to show pain,
    or lack the ability to effectively communicate pain.

    When the tension builds internally to a point that feels like..."I'm going
    to explode, I am going to go insane" people who self injure...injure themselves. This act does many things...says many things....

    1. It transfers the pain to the surface, where you CAN see it, you CAN heal
    it. You can't bandage the soul, but you can bandage your arm.

    2. The blood speaks volumes as to the internal pain. Think of the cut as a
    red mouth screaming the pain. (this maybe the only way a person can express
    the discomfort they are in).

    3. The act itself will literally cut the tension one is feeling. You are
    left with a calmness, a dissososiating "high", you feel back in control now
    that the energy is released. This fact makes SIV a very addicting act. You
    are positively reinforced each time you injure.

    SIV is very alarming/disturbing to people who don't do it.

    SIV does not = suicide attempt.

    It is infact often used to stop one from reaching that point of seeking
    fatal means to cope.
    (the number one most common denominator to SIV is a history of sexual
    abuse...we are talking about deep deep issues that need a professional touch
    here) The healing journey is a hard one. Deep issues must be faced, a
    commitment to healing and working towards learning and using healthy coping
    skills must be there.

    SIV is about control too...controlling ones emotions and feelings and

    It is frightening to be ill and feel like
    you are at the mercy of your illness. Cutting can give a sense of control. I

    Think of it this way...the siv is a fever. Its a symptom of a deeper
    infection that needs to cleared up before the fever goes away. You would
    never tell a sick person...just stop having a fever. We do medicate the
    fever away, but does the cure the infection? nope. There is deeper work your
    friend needs to do.
    I'm not really a psychopath, I just play one on the internet.
    DOGDANCING_TCOS replied to DOGDANCING_TCOS's response:
    (cont ) * * * trigger * * *
    Things that are not helpful...

    1. giving ultimatums "You may not cut." I won't be your friend if you injure yourself. Or worse a T saying "If you injure I won't work with you."

    2. "Stop it for me." "promise me you won't cut for me" - we needs to stop for ourselves.

    3. Non injuring contracts. SIV is a coping mechanism. It may very well be
    your ONLY coping skill. Until there is a new skill learned-practiced-implemented, the SIV will continue. (We don't ask babies to be born and get up and walk the same day. they learn to use there muscles
    first, roll over, crawl, stand, then walk. it is a slow gradual process.)

    Re-learning/learning healthy coping skills is hard work. It is not an overnight process, expect the SIV to continue as you works in therapy. And in the cases of past trauma, it might actually increase as the past is dealt with.
    I'm not really a psychopath, I just play one on the internet.
    An_249589 replied to DOGDANCING_TCOS's response:
    Thank you so much for this. I will print it out and take it with me next session. You said what I wish I had said today in session. She says that since I'm not in the abuse anymore, from father, stepfather and ex, I don't need my coping skill, especially since I'm learning new ones that help sometimes. I knew I would have to give it to her at some point, but not this early. Thank you for taking the time to type all this out. I was not aware that the urges and sh incidents would increase, but it makes sense as I start to work through all the abuse I've endured. I will come back and let you know how the talk with her goes.
    MandyCake replied to An_249589's response:

    This is incrediblely accurate. Love that you wrote this out. Insightful and very helpful.

    Thank you for posting this.

    Life is the school and Love is the Lesson.

    DOGDANCING_TCOS replied to An_249589's response:
    ...and it doesn't should like she has any clue about treating sexual abuse (SA) victims.

    You: She says that since I'm not in the abuse anymore, from father, stepfather and ex, I don't need my coping skill,

    Until you have healed enough too take back your power and change from victim to survivor you are still IN THE ABUSE.

    Only now you are continuing on the abuse in the form of SI.

    SA leaves some might deep and nasty grappling hooks in ones heart, mind and soul. That healing journey is a hard one. But worth every second spend on the time it takes.

    To the left of this board is a clicky that reads "related mental health boards" that will take you to a list where you will find a sexual abuse survivors board. If you ever have need of it, it will make a wonderful addition to your support team. (and you can find me there too)
    I'm not really a psychopath, I just play one on the internet.
    An_249589 replied to DOGDANCING_TCOS's response:
    Thank you, I appreciate that. That is what she said to me word for word. She was mostly referring to the most recent abuse with my ex and said when I was in it still si'ing helped me survive but now that I'm out, I don't need it anymore, but, I'm still in it emotionally, I have flashbacks and nightmares so, to me, it still feels real and present. I am not very good at expressing myself or standing up for myself, but, I did write her a letter with all the stuff you wrote and left it at the front desk for her to pick up so she would know how it made me feel by the next appt. I really appreciate all the advice and support and I will check that other board out, the one for abuse.

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