Why do I keep hurting myself?

I deserve to be punished. This is the belief that drives every behaviour I engage in, but none more than self harm. I deserve to be punished, so I deserve to hurt. I deserve the scars. I deserve to be ugly.

So I cut.

FYI this is not going to be a particularly nice post. If you want nice, you’ve come to the wrong place. Whatever this is, it’s not nice. It’s real and raw and relatable but pretty fucking dark too. Just a warning of what’s ahead.

What did my body ever do to me? More importantly, what did ever do to deserve pain or sabotage or starvation? But mostly, why do I deserve to hurt? I don’t enjoy it anymore, I don’t really want to, although I guess, sometimes I do. Part of my borderline personality disorder is that I have an unstable sense of self. One of the reasons why I think I have continued to self-harm – and in some ways, such as keeping sharp objects nearby and not getting rid of scissors etc like my psych insisted, deliberately kept the cycle going myself – is because self-harm is a part of me now. It’s a piece of my identity. I have never felt like I’ve had one of those, so I’m holding on as tightly as I can, even though it’s damaging, even though it’s an ugly, blackened side of me, blacker than the rest. Even though it hurts, physically, literally, and mentally, figuratively, letting it go would hurt more. Then I’d have nothing! Then who would I be! I’ve already lost my anorexia, and you know, my entire childhood because of it. I can’t lose another ‘part of me’. Yes, I know, there are other things that have contributed to my identity – I’m intelligent, I write, I draw. But these things are shifting. They move in and out of my life as fast as I open and close doors along the way. But self harm has been my friend over the past few years. I needed it, when it was my fault my brother got cancer (it wasn’t, that’s impossible, but yeah). I needed it when I was so intensely angry hurting myself was the only possible release. And I needed it when I failed, which is always.

I need this. I need self harm.

There are times I want people to notice, if I’m really hurting. The more I cut on my arms and wrists instead of my thighs (a mess I’m normally careful to cover up), then the more I want people to see. Let me be clear, this is not because I’m “seeking attention”. It’s because I am seeking help. 

Self harm feels so, so very good, and so, so very deserved, and that is part of the addiction. We’re in a love-hate relationship. I love the rush, the pain. I hate the clean-up, and the scars… and the pain. The fear I’ve gone too deep this time. The panic that follows. And then, the calm that consumes me. I have a very blase approach to it all now. Even though, as my psych continues to remind me, it is possible I could slip. I could kill myself. Maybe that’s part of the appeal, and that’s something I don’t know how to describe.

It’s good. Until, what was supposed to be a solution, a release for overwhelming emotions, or a cure for numbness, stopped being an uncontrollable addiction and became a desire. I like it. I’m a twisted piece of shit and even as I write this, that other part of me, the not-so-twisted part of me, murmurs no. No, Rosie. You don’t.

I cling to things. I cling to my eating disorder, I cling to my sadness because at least it’s familiar, and I cling to self harm too. I cling to the pain because it’s a symptom of the internal pain I can’t even begin to express. A revolting mess of anguish from my struggles with mental illness. It reveals itself in my scars, this shattered mess of a body I drag around lifelessly, if only it was thinner, if it only it was gone altogether.

Why do I keep doing this to myself?

4 thoughts on “Why do I keep hurting myself?”

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