Why Self-abusive-behaviors and suicidal thoughts?
Hurt Myself? Why?
Self-abusive-behaviors? Sounds strange doesn't it? after you have already been abused..but self injurious and dangerous behaviors including sucidal thoughts are common among abuse survivors due underlying feelings related to their abuse.
If you are reading this you probably are either researching this topic to understand it, a parent or loved one of someone who is acting out Self-abusive-behaviors or dangerous behaviors and you want to understand it or you are the one who was abused and do this yourself and you want to know why you are doing it.
I will talk about self-abusive-behaviors in three catagories: self mutilating or "cutting", self destructive relationships and alcohol / drug abuse.
The first Self-abusive-behavior I will talk about is self mutilation or "cutting" on yourself.
Why would you do this?
Well, when you are sexually abused, the person who abused you tried to take away your power and left you feeling powerless.
I have also mentioned before that another coping mechanism to abuse is dissociation. That is a method of mentally "checking out" or "spacing out" as some people call it.
The experience is so traumatic that the person can not handle it so the brain shuts down and the person actually mentally leaves the situation in a way.
The brain is really amazing. Sometimes people can forget their abuse all together because of this coping mechanism., at least on the surface. Subconsciously the abuse is still there in your memory.
Anyway, there are many levels of shutting down emotionally. People who cut on themselves have told me that emotionally, they could not feel the pain from the abuse.
They felt "numb". By cutting on themselves, and seeing the actual action of cutting and seeing the blood from the cut, it was a physical release of pain from inside.
just the image of the cutting and the blood makes the pain "real" because you can at least "see" it.
Many people have told me that they get a sense of "relief" after they cut on themself..but only for a short time. This is an extremely dangerous Self-destructive-behavior!
If you do not do this, it probably sounds pretty strange.
If you cut on yourself, then it probably makes some sense.
People who do this also seem to feel that they have this under control, and it also is about a sense of CONTROL. As I said, your power and control were taken away from you when you were abused. But remember, it is a FALSE SENSE OF CONTROL.
I know that you think you need to feel control, but there are other, healthy ways of having control..or choices.
I feel this Self-abusive-behavior is very dangerous and that you need professional help if you are doing it or if you know someone that is engaging in it. THERE IS NO CONTROLLED CUTTING!!
Please get some professional help before you hurt yourself or engage in Self-destructive-behaviors, OK?
There are people who really do care about you and want to help you. Look in the yellow pages for your local Mental Health Center or Call the National Suicide Hotline listed on this homepage.
Next I will talk about:
DANGEROUS RELATIONSHIPS: (My speciality!)
Many women, especially, cycle through bad relationships with men (or women) who continue to emotionally, physically or sexually abuse them. This can also be friends that you hang out with!
This is the most common behavior I see. I have worked with hundreds of women and teens and I know this to be true of myself.
After you were abused, especially if you were a young girl, you were left with no self esteem and no sense of what a healthy relationship looked like for yourself. Your power had been taken away from you.
Your logical mind, your family, your friends, your church, everyone you know may tell you that you deserve a healthy relationship.. but unless you have addressed your sexual abuse, that little abused girl inside of you says to you that you are not good enough or pretty enough to deserve a healthy relationship.
That little damaged child inside of you is who you are going to listen to until she is healed. I believe that to be true, because it was true for me and for so many women.
I have to say too that being in dramatic, scary relationships is also an addiction and keeps you from focusing on your sexual abuse. We, as abuse victims, will sometimes do anything to avoid dealing with our pain...even create more pain. Sad, but true.
It is about loving yourself and giving yourself respect, love and power.
Through recovery, you can receive those things. You CAN HEAL.
Sounds scary huh? Trust me, it is worth it to find the right partner if that is what you want.
I must say that living alone with yourself is far better than living in an abusive or unhealthy relationship. Hey, you might even find out that you are a pretty good roommate!
ABUSE or ADDICTION to DRUGS or ALCOHOL (or any other THING)
People turn to chemicals or things to alter their moods in order to numb their feelings.
(I also believe in the disease model of alcoholism and the genetic factor.)
It is really the same issues again. Anything to avoid dealing with the painful feelings related to the sexual abuse. Again, this can and will create more pain in the long run.
It works pretty well, for awhile..until you run out of money, or the drugs and alcohol become a problem in and of itself!
You need to stop drinking and using drugs (drugs can be street drugs, prescription drugs, or even over the counter drugs like sleep aids etc.) in order for you to soberly deal with your underlying abuse issues / feelings.
To seek professional counseling or treatment may be necessary.
The National Drug and Alcohol Hotline is : 1-888-762-3750.
Call Now if you need the help. If you question if you have a problem, chances are, you do.
You can stop your self-abusive-behaviors, but only you can make the choice to do it.
Take a moment and think about the little girl inside of you who is damaged and hurt.
You are older now.
Do you want to take care of her?
Do you think she deserves a chance to heal!
Do you think she deserves a chance to be happy!
Make the choice to step out of the dark and into the light.
It may hurt your eyes at first..but then it will feel like a big warm embrace.
Alcoholism & Drug Addiction Alternatives. Recovery Alternatives To Alcohol And Drug Addiction.
This is a book that I found quite helpful for me and for many of my clients. It is well written and you might also find it helpful. It is only $3.99!!
A first book for men and women who were sexually abused as children. Beginning to Heal takes you through the key stages of the healing process, from crisis times to breaking the silence, grief, and anger, to resolution and moving on. It includes inspirational highlights, clear explanations, practical suggestions, and compelling accounts of survivors' pain, their strength, and their triumphs.
Look under "self-help" and "abuse" sections for more helpful books on sexual abuse.
This is another inspirational book for women dealing with sexual abuse issues. You might find it quite helpful. Check it out. It is only $3.99!!
"Reclaiming Your Life!"
The first book by an American psychotherapist to win an endorsement from the eminent therapist Alice Miller, Reclaiming Your Life lays out a powerful program for healing the effects of childhood abuse. Using examples from her private practice over fifteen years, Jenson demonstrates that twelve-step and similar programs, as well as traditional therapies, do not fully deal with the phenomenon of repressed pain. Until this plan is "processed" - retrieved from the unconscious, fully experienced, and grieved over - she believes adults will still be trapped in the patterns of childhood. Accessible, compassionate, and powerful, Jenson's step-by-step instructions will allow millions finally to process the buried plan of childhood - and live fully, consciously, and happily in the present.
Look in the "Self-Help" and "abuse" sections.
Addictions got you or a loved one Stuck, Stymied or Stressed? FREE Self-Help at: www.personal-recovery-tools.com
Drug and Alcohol Interventions, what you need to know. www.stevenlodgeinterventions.com.
For Drug and Alcohol Addiction Recovery. Your One Source, All Inclusive, Information Researched by People In Recovery.
Comprehensive addiction portal focusing on topics of alcohol and drug abuse. Visit:
Return to Sexual abuse signs page from Self-abusive-behaviors page.