Some people find their addictions in activities that cause them more direct and immediate pain than a slow death from alcohol consumption. Self-inflicted violence can be found in some of the darker parts of the Borderline Zone. It is one of the major forms of pain addiction that “psychotraumatized” people use to manage their unmanageable feelings. This form of addiction was first introduced with the topic of Impulsive Gratification. Only an “insider” could understand how such a painful activity could be sought out as a form of gratification. However, if the truths are told, cutting (or punching, burning, etc.) is a temporarily effective form of relief from the mental agony of life in the Borderline Zone. It can become as dangerous an obsession as crack, heroin, or alcohol. Self-inflicted violence endangers its users’ lives, alienates individuals from loved ones, and ravages their lifestyles. A woman who cuts herself described her obsession as follows:
Personally, I cut with a utility knife blade. I use Anbesol (toothache medicine) for antiseptic and anesthesia. I start with a small cut, swab it with Anbesol, work the knife deeper, add more antiseptic, etc. I adopted this method because my primary purpose was to bleed, not pain… I’ve lost as much as two-plus pints in a single session. During a two-week period in 1994, I lost a total of more than five pints in a single session. During a two-week period in 1994, I lost a total of more than five pints.
The women’s statement portrays a horrifying description for anyone other than those who have felt the acute mental agony of life in the borderline zone. The writer went on to say, “why would any reasonable adult human being do these things?… I seem like a reasonable adult of well-above-average intelligence who’s survived a great deal of trauma successfully.”
A nineteen-year-old man from Australia wrote:
Personally, I think cutting is a way to release emotions for people like me who have a lot of trouble crying and expressing emotional things like that. I personally find I’ll cut if I am feeling empty inside… cutting is a simple way of feeling real and checking if you can still feel.
A young woman wrote the following passage as she struggled not to cut herself:
Please stop following me. Hurt. Sad. Keep writing, scratch body. Cold blank. Why did it have to be this way? I would hide under my bed. Crash, crash, footsteps at the door; hide under the bed. Crash, crash, footsteps at the door; picture on the ground. Rocking, holding her, rocking. Keep writing… I want him back. He used to always hit me in the head. Please I want to cut, cut, not cut, pain, hurt, blood, please. Tears bottled up inside. I can scream; yelling go away!
Pain that never goes away, emptiness and fear that even bleeding cannot drain, and an ever-present sense of abnormality haunts the “pain user.” Scarred bodies, hospital stays, involuntary hospital commitments, and brushes with death are the results that the user achieves. The true problems however remain “safely” untouched.
Do any of these personal descriptions resonate with you? Maybe you have had similar thought processes and no foreseeable solution in sight. Let us at Blue Sky Recovery help you, and together we can arrive at a solution together.