Saturday, 13 December 2008

Self-Harm & Self-Hatred

I found this video on You Tube this morning which you can view below. It's very quiet in the house. The girls are at their father's, and Ian has gone out to the shops for a few hours. I despise Christmas Shopping, and do all my stuff online - he's more of a pioneer than I am and braves the crowds while I cower behind the PC monitor.

I guess I must confess that I have dropped to my nadir. 

Did I implode on Thursday night? I think, possibly, I did. 

And I hope to hell that this is now my turning point.

There may be a few readers who can empathise with me when I write that self-harming seems to come, hand in glove, with an ED. Indeed, the video also shows it. I have self-harmed, on and off, since 2001. My arms, legs and torso are scarred dreadfully, and summer can be a trial as I attempt to hide the marks with loose, long-sleeved blouses, light cardigans or what have you.

But I have never done this before.

I shaved my hair off.

I felt so disgusting; so ugly; so repulsive and despicable inside that I wanted to show it on the outside, too. I was frantic, manic, inconsolable and mad. It happened in three stages, strangely. I have (had) very, very thick hair. I tried to get Ian's clippers through it. All that happened was that my hair thinned out. I screamed, cried, and got the scissors. And hacked clumps out...and then the clippers did the final work.

I now look like a reject from Auschwitz. Skinny, saggy, shaven and sad.

There was hair all over the bedroom floor and I got the vacuum cleaner out to suck it all up today. I also recovered a stack load of empty blister packs from the tablets I had, once again, taken, and passed out with. Two crews of ambulance men were sent by my eldest daughter to the house and I blagged my way through it, laughing away, lying incessantly that I hadn't taken a single pill. This will probably also come as a revelation to Ian as I haven't even had the decency or guts to tell him. I hid the blister packs under the bed for disposal at a later date. This morning was prime time.

And as I approached the bin, I saw my thick, heavy hair, lying, dead in the purple bin. I grasped it in my hand, felt its softness, its luxuriousness and I sobbed my heart out at my stupidity, my selfishness, my desperation and my madness.

I have hardly slept. All through the night, I sweated, agonised, tossed, turned and my head felt as though it was exploding with all the fears, worries and anxieties rushing through it. I even, seriously, considered banging my head against the wall to try to numb it all. But I didn't.

Do you know what I did do?

I went downstairs and ate two slices of toast with Marmite.

I have to make an effort for a change. So I did.

It came out later - not via my mouth, but I shan't go into any further detail (!).

Why do you think Ian has gone shopping without me?

Because I am too scared to set foot out of this house. And he has gone to buy me a wig. I don't care, really, what it looks like as long as it isn't blonde, as I'd look really, really daft with blonde hair what with my dark colouring. In my wildest dreams, I hope it is bright red. Something to stick two fingers up to the world with, in effect. Whatever he gets for me, I know he will have chosen it with love and care. Because he does love me. And all I do is drive him away. 

And it's time for a change.

Bob_J, a regular commenter on this blog, remarks about "emotionally tuned responses" from my mother and asks me if I felt/feel/understand them. I think Bob is a very, very switched on chap and I wish he had a blog we could read (hint, there, Bob!!!). I guess he works in some form of mental health environment. He understands things so well.

No, Bob. I don't have any emotionally tuned responses. At all. I cannot remember the last time I was in tune with my emotions, really. They seem to be all skew-whiff with me nowadays...

I am unsure as to whether I need to take a short break from Annie's Rexia. It seems to deplete me an awful lot. Ian, bless his heart, reads these blogs and sees the sadness which emanates. He wants me to discuss them with him but I am rubbish without a 'feeder' question - I rarely, unless very impassioned, bang on about myself without a prompt. I told him this last night. And so, I think things will work out for the better from that confession.

Wish us luck, please x


Karen ^..^ said...

Oh. I am so sorry sweetheart. So sorry.

Remember in the beginning where we all agreed it would get worse before it gets better?

It can only now get better. Are you still seeing your therapist?

I know at the time of self harm, it is a release, a feeling of relief from such agony, but then it comes back in later times so jarringly that it seems to hurt twice as long. I so hope you find a way to get that release without hurting yourself.

You are loved, and you are valued so much. I hope things get better for you soon, my friend.

You deserve so much better than you beleive. I'll email you later on tonight, ok? Much love.

MelissaS said...

annie; i can now call england, but i can't figure out the country access code. do you understand it? can you email me what you know PLUS your number again? maybe i have it wrong?

Annie T said...

Karen: I haven't seen my therapist for a couple of weeks. My choice, I must admit. I am returning on January 7th.

I think it can, now, only get better. It has to. Perhaps I need to drop to this low to see it more clearly. Certainly, it's all I thought about through the night.

Thank you xx

Melissa: I shall email you my home number. We are going out tonight. I am scared witless, I must admit, but as I said to Ian, I cannot, must not, become a prisoner in my own home. We are going to an Italian restaurant. And I am going to eat for a change. Come what may...

MelissaS said...

Annie: it's like that for me -- i must hit rock bottom before i do anything to get myself up. this time, ordering klonopin from india got me headed to rehab. oh, and taking it with a tasty little beverage called -- cabernet. you will come up. good for you for going out tonight. put a ribbon around your head, so it will look trendy. i am so glad you responded on the blog today. i sat at my boyfriends shop for three hours trying to figure out how to get through to you. i am determined we will speak! he's trying to figure out how to get a very cheap calling plan from US to uk for us. i was even trying to find ian's email somewhere, but then i thought that would be intrusive to you. yet, i was so worried, i was tempted to break that boundary. but i couldn't without your approval. anyway, i'll send more in an email. i'm hogging the bloggin'. love, love, love, melissa

Abi said...

Oh Annie! Firstly, thank you for your comment on mine... and you brought me to tears yet again! ('Get a life' that's exactly what he says :o )

When I was at my lowest with post natal depression, I cut my hair off too... it lay there on the bed and gathering it up and throwing it out is the weirdest thing...

For me, the hair cutting came with absent mindedly scratching all the skin on one arm off, and staring at a wall for hugely long periods deciding how best to hang myself... I should have been in hospital to be honest, but they wouldn't take me.... I hope you're seeing a therapist, really, I wish I was. (We're poor, but I should get myself one. I'm actually partly trained as one, which is putting me off lol)...

I don't hide my self harm scars any more, I can't be bothered... no one has mentioned them...

You can get to a better place than this, I know it, I wish you strength xxxxxxxxxx

(PS you must truly be a masochist - Marmite!!!!! )

Oh and PPS I am always up for meeting internet people :) we might make a scary looking pair, eh?

Abi said...

For some reason I didn't read the comments at the side so sounded stupid re counselling.. sorry! Do make sure you go xxxx

Linda and her Twaddle said...

It must have been a moment of truth for you when you looked in the bin and saw your beautiful hair lying there. Hair to me is the frame of my appearance. I am very emotional about it, attached to it.

I feel sad for you but somewhere in this post is a bit of a turning point you spoke of. Scars you can hide under clothes, but your short hair will remind you of what you did and just how helplessly desperate that action was and perhaps work as a stop sign when you have impulsive and destructive thoughts. Sometimes good things come out of bad. Somehow you just have to connect with yourself or you will continue to be aimless and destructive.

When I was 20 I cut all my beautiful long hair off in a fit of fearful rage. At the same time i shredded my entire wardrobe of clothes to pieces. I thought I was going mad.

Well, hopefully you can have a couple of funky wigs to tide you over. Once your hair is presentable you can face the world with a groovy short thatch.

I am glad you write about this. It indicates braveness and a great effort to work through it.

Keli said...

Oh my dear, I'm sorry. I believe you loathe yourself because your damn parents failed their role so miserably. All they had to do was show you love, but how could they show you something they didn't have?
Would it be possible to daily write one small thing you like about yourself? How about starting with your wittiness? Your beautifully, expressive face and sensitivity?
Your hair will grow again to be lovely, your scars will heal, if you let them. You will prevail.
P.S. You don't need mercenaries or Mafioso types for your dreadful ex; I guarantee what he'll end up doing to himself will be far worse. Trust me. It may take time, but he will pay for his unkindness, to put it mildly. My father most certainly did with no help from anyone.
I wish you luck and keep you in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Until now, I half thought that I was alone in taking out self-loathing on my hair. Knowing the desperation that triggers such a move, I rather wish that I was the only one who'd ever resorted to it.

I wish I could bear your pain, just for a while so that you could have a break, but I know there's no way for me to do so. Instead, please know that I am thinking of an praying for you.

Mars said...

i don't really know what to say. except perhaps you can look forward to new hair? i'd say you can keep your head cooler and then i realized it's winter.

take care of yourself hun. i care for you. *hugs*

Annie T said...

Thanks to all of you for your recent comments. It's shocking to me just how many of you have resorted to the self-harming you have done in the past. I've got to be honest and say while it doesn't exactly make me feel better, I don't feel quite as mental as I did...if you know what I mean??

You're all so kind with your offers of support, love, care and empathy and I appreciate them all. I feel very humbled when I wake up to these lovely words from each and every one of you. And each of you has something different to say which hits the right spot.

So thank you all again - I am very lucky indeed to have such an amazing community here.


Anonymous said...

Thinking of you Annie, knife, scissors, laxatives, throwing up, treadmills, we are so violent to ourselves {{Hugs}}

Take care,

Lola x

MedStudentWife said...

I've been worried about you & wished I was closer to try to give some support. And the worst is that I can't help or make it better.

Just know you have my virtual shoulder & you can e-mail me if you want to.

But in my usual way of being silly & getting a smile or something.. maybe you have had catharsis (sp) and now you get to try a few new hair 'do's.

I cant see you as a blond, not at all. A fiery sexy redhead - yes :).. you see your personality shines thru... kind, brilliant , witty, smart, sexy, ... right now you may not see it, but its consistent in your blogs, through all of this... so you are there sweetie - fundamentally, but you can't see it. Others can :D

MelissaS said...

sarah, this was the first blog i found when i entered blogger world just a few months ago. it was so real and honest and SO well-written. if you have time, go back and read older blogs. her words touch me and inspire me to stay honest.

Abi said...

I hope you're doing okay x

Karen ^..^ said...

I hope you are doing well, Annie. I'm a bit concerned that you haven't posted, or written. Hope all is well, and that it is just that you are so busy with the holidays.


Love to you all.

Anonymous said...

Still thinking of you Annie

Lola x

Tova Darling said...

I'm so sorry. :( It sounds like you've had a very hard time. You will be in my prayers.