Note: Please practice self care if you choose to read this post as some of the imagery and content may be triggering.
-Temperature Play i.e. Ice Cubes are your friends
-Turn on Music or favorite show
With Dissociative Identity Disorder, self harm can be one of those additional co-morbidities that becomes tricky in a major way. This is another reason we wanted to discuss self injury. I myself have also struggled with this but in a different way than some of my parts and for drastically different reasons. We've had several people reach out the last month or so on what we personally have done over the years in regards to combating our self harm issues so we decided to put this list together for you.
Did something trigger this desire to inflict harm? Punishing thoughts/desires or the need to feel something, anything? Was it seemingly a 'nothing' thing, but in your mind became so profound your swirling the possibilities in your mind? What happened? Figure this out in order to assist you in the future but also so-- when you're ready-- you can get help by alerting someone to what the causes are.
Now, if for example, something like a negative comment brings about these thoughts try to make a trusted confidant aware. Attempt to alter how you hear things, in a sense, choose POSITIVE selective hearing.
Easier said than done I know, but there are varying degrees of this and self harm in general. You and possibly those closest to you, can pin point the causes. If you're convincing yourself that you can't or that it was 'nothing" and shouldn't be a "big deal," well stop right there. Did it negatively impact you? Yes? Then it is a big deal. It is that simple.
An example of this in my life, one of my parts will spiral and begin to lose her shit if someone says, "Be careful." In a rude or joking manner, it makes no difference. It may not even be something you'd be able to see as other parts will fight to take over so she does not. That being said, a few will be on high alert because they'll be awaiting the moment she is able to come in (front, if you prefer) and harm herself.
Paint, draw, write on your skin. There are so many options here that it can become overwhelming, but in those okay moments use them to your advantage to find what suit your individual needs. There are an endless supply of Youtuber's who create "How To" videos, use them! With the assistance of one of my parts and you tube videos I've learned how to crochet. Fold Paper, origami videos exist. Again, endless possibilities!
Stevy is a 15yr old female protector within my system and she has dealt with some severe degrees of self harm. I say "severe" because she hid it so well and at times required medical attention. Other parts within my system weren't even aware, which we've found has occurred in many other DID systems. That being said, Stevy preferred cutting the lines of my feet and hands. In addition to fire and wax play...How she defines it. Stevy is a masochist, which is not as uncommon as you may think. I'd also like to point out it is not a "dirty word." NO WE ARE NOT CONDONING SELF HARM. She can present as bipolar and deals with extreme highs and lows. To such an extreme degree when she was at a doctor's appointment she was diagnosed bipolar. Which some years later we now know is not accurate and through the years of therapy we know WHY she presents this way. It was her role, we're working on helping her.
|I painted this while Coconscious with two other parts.|
|Toon sketched & colored this design for my Husband.|
Seeing our arm bandaged up has been one of those things we've found helpful. We found the illustration (pictured, left) on a google search and wanted to share it with all of you.
In addition to bandages try:
4. All About those Lists Baby
I am a lover and connoisseur of words. I find them fascinating the way they can be strung together and manipulated. Spoken word or written it makes no difference to me.
I consistently made others uncomfortable. As you can imagine the parts of me who dealt with the higher extremes of these self harm tendencies and addictions (it very much can be an addiction) were triggered in massive ways because of these judgments.
Lists are your friend. Create them in your head, on paper, using chalks or paints or scraps of magazines and even calculators. Literally anything can be listed, even numbers.
Heavily so. Through therapy I've come to know many of my parts; we are working together now which is something that was not easily achieved years ago. Not to say it's simple now, but easier nonetheless. Be destructive. Yes, destructive, but this goes back to finding what works for you and altering it. Instead of focusing the destruction on yourself refocus those thoughts. Do you have paper? Can you get it? Yes, yes you can. Burn it, rip it, write on it and then annihilate it but not yourself.
We hope you found this helpful. We know these posts tend to bring up many of your curiosities so please, as always, don't hesitate to ask. Via email, comment or tweet we're always around and will get back to you when able. Be well and practice self care.
|& I'm not ashamed of them.|