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A safe space to share stories and ask questions
I posted this memory in my journal and then decided to share it… 
16th-Oct-2005 09:54 pm
mommy and her bear 26.11.2010
I posted this memory in my journal and then decided to share it here... Somebody may relate, or ffer some words of... Advice? I don't know. In any case, this is probably very triggering, especially if you have issues with self-injury, so stay safe.

[Gregory = my father]

The truth is, one of the memories I've been harboring for a while and didn't talk about, is about her. In my mother, I had my very first example of using SI as a coping method. It was back when I was a kid and wen on until maybe age 14 [my age 14]. Lets say she was having a screamfest at somebody. She'd really be exploding, really mad [sometimes for a reason as shallow as Gregory's failing to buy tomatoes at the market - this was often a reason for a screamfest], furious. So to let some of the steam out, she'd bite into her arm. Hard. While she bit into her arm, she made loud growling noises, like a wolf when it bites into its prey. It was pretty scary to watch, and she always did it in front of me, my dad, and my maternal grandmother [who lived with us]. After she'd stop biting herself, she'd become much, much calmer, usually would stop screaming. But she'd walk around, displaying the teeth print on her arm and saying, "Look what you're making me do, it's all your fault". She never bit through the skin, but the teeth prints were very visible and the whole area would be red. At first, when she did that, I screamed, no, shrieked, and begged her to stop. It scared me so much, seeing her doing that, hearing her growl like that. After a while, I learned that (A)it is probably not as bad as it looks - she never drew blood, (B)feeding her with my attention only promotes her biting, and (C)it is better to detach myself from what she's doing, otherwise I'll go crazy - I shrieked like a mad girl when she bit herself. I stopped paying attention. I detached. Well, on the surface. Inside it still hurt, and it hurts now to remember it, and I've remembered it for a while and didn't have the guts to write about it. I wished she'd stop. I hated her for doing that. But that was the very first time that I saw that self-injury can help you calm down, de-stress.
Comments 
16th-Oct-2005 06:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much for sharing this. It is amazing how powerful a memory can be in helping us make sense of why we do what we do.
16th-Oct-2005 11:22 pm (UTC)
Wow. A parent should never do that in front of a child. You have some serious amounts of courage in you girl! That is not easy to deal with in your head-it boggles me, and I only read what you wrote!

I used SI to cope for 6 years. I almost didn't read this in fear-my one year is mark is in a about a week, and I am not risking any triggers. I'm glad I did read this though. I'm assuming you have issues with SI, and I am glad to know I'm not alone.

I'm so glad we're all here healing together! Stay strong babe, and keep sharing. :-) Thanks for posting. -Brittany
17th-Oct-2005 02:56 am (UTC)
i'm not sure if this counts, and i'm not into SI personally, but what you described your mother doing? for me that's not so unfamiliar.. my mum used to slap herself and scream at herself and threaten to take her own life. In fact, its one of my earliest memories... what's even worse is that the potential for it to happen is always there. I think that's why i will never tell my parents that i was raped. i can deal with it. they can't.

thank you for sharing your story though :D and stay strong - god knows we all need to draw our hope from each other!
17th-Oct-2005 06:29 am (UTC)
An ex-boyfriend used to do this as well, grabbing onto his throat, trying to choke himself, and telling me I made him want to die (coincidentally, this was while I was telling him I was angry at him for raping me - go figure).

Thank you for sharing this with us - getting it out and being able to make connections about where we learned particular behaviours is always a good step forward.
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