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Can self-punishment 'evolve'?

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Can self-punishment 'evolve'?

Postby kurodon » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:03 am

I'm afraid that despite me becoming older, my tendencies to punish myself are worsening. I'd like to know if anyone can relate to any of this, and how other people combat the urges.

First of all, I usually self-inflict punishment out of paranoia/anger, not sadness or depression (unless you count excessive sleeping and avoidance of others self-punishment).

Here's a break down of how I've dealt with things in my life (as far as I can remember atm)
5~12: When mad I'd bite the pointer finger on either had as hard as I could. This would leave knife-like little cuts which would sometimes bleed, and to this day the skin tissue is harder/thicker than my other fingers.

5~22: When anxious, I would twist my hair until I literally burnt it up or it fell out. I often got picked on for this so I started cutting my hair at school, then I'd get in trouble at home. Later on in life I started just keeping my hair short or buzzing it (I'm a guy, btw) and it seems to have stopped.

14~present: When angry I would often punch/cut/break things (often times I wasn't even really angry, just wanted to break something). Nothing ever too huge, but I did punch through a couple doors when I was mad at my sister or my dad.

18~present: When in relationships, I usually do/did the following starting pretty early in the relationship: Overreact seemingly on purpose (I would often threaten suicide or 'simulate' that I had died by answering my gfs calls and purposely being silent for long, long periods of time) in hopes that a girl will break up with me (maybe to punish the "good" me?), I punch/hit things with the intention of hurting myself (I remember bashing my head on the roof of the headliner of my car until I caused a dent in it once).

18~present: When paranoid, I heavily blame (bait) my gf by calmly telling her that I don't trust her or that I 'know"' she's cheating on me. I KNOW this is wrong, but doing it keeps me calm, but this usually leads to fights or her crying, both of which make me feel worthless (which when looking back after each individual event, that seemed like the only goal I had in mind).

20~present: Drugs and alcohol. Never really addicted to things, but when I'm in a certain mood I'll do anything to change it. Have nearly died once or twice from said adventures but they weren't suicide attempts.

AND recently, after having an amazing day, meeting a lot of cool people and enjoying the rain, I returned how to a message from my gf saying that she was already in bed and she'd talk to me the next day. I wasn't paranoid about what she may have been doing, but the fact that I had to wait to talk to her sent me spiraling downwards and filled me with self-hate. A million things went through my mind, so I had one more drink before bed and woke up having cut myself in many places. I currently have about a doze slashes on my biceps, and about 20 on other parts of my body. I can remember feeling sad and doing it, but I have no clue what I did THAT.

Has anyone suddenly developed urges like this later in life? Or have you had any of the problems I've had that've led to any other kind of issues?
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Re: Can self-punishment 'evolve'?

Postby aliveatnight » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:59 pm

I've always struggled with self-punishment. For me it's progressed from physically harming myself in some way, to emotionally destroying myself when I feel worthless. If you mean evolve as in change, then definitely.

I'm still young, but I've self harmed, have suicide attempts, severe emotional eating which lead to minor bulimia, anorexia, breaking/hitting things to harm myself, mental emotional abuse and pill and caffeine addiction, on top of others.

I believe it's linked with our "We don't deserve anything, we're a terrible person" mentality. Also, I don't believe that they lead to other issues, but rather the same issue manifesting itself differently.

I've learned to combat these negative behaviors by learning what is triggering them, and slowly wean myself off of them. It's challenging, but other than my emotional abuse to myself and minor caffeine problems, I'm pretty much clean now. You have to accept that you'll slip up, and be willing to forgive mistakes when they happen.

kurodon wrote:18~present: When paranoid, I heavily blame (bait) my gf by calmly telling her that I don't trust her or that I 'know"' she's cheating on me. I KNOW this is wrong, but doing it keeps me calm, but this usually leads to fights or her crying, both of which make me feel worthless (which when looking back after each individual event, that seemed like the only goal I had in mind).

I had one thing to say here. Does she know what about what you go through, and what you're true goal is here? If not, I think explaining to her what's going on may help her learn to combat what's going on. Of course, it's still a behavior that needs to be stopped, but if a mistake is made, understanding really needs to be there.
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Re: Can self-punishment 'evolve'?

Postby kurodon » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:36 pm

I had one thing to say here. Does she know what about what you go through, and what you're true goal is here? If not, I think explaining to her what's going on may help her learn to combat what's going on. Of course, it's still a behavior that needs to be stopped, but if a mistake is made, understanding really needs to be there.


Yes she knows, and I've helped her find loads of resources (She's Japanese, but speaks good English as well, but still trying to get things in both). I'm as open as I can be and I try to tell her what I'm feeling when she asks me why. Big problem is she's had a lot of business trips and most of our issues have arisen during them. HONESTLY speaking right now I have a strong feeling to verbally attack her and get things over with, or rant on about every little problem until I feel better. Both ideas make me feel sick to my stomach...

I still don't fully understand my triggers.
She should be calling me any minute now, and I'm terrified... over a simple good night phone call...
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Re: Can self-punishment 'evolve'?

Postby aliveatnight » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:45 pm

kurodon wrote:Yes she knows, and I've helped her find loads of resources (She's Japanese, but speaks good English as well, but still trying to get things in both). I'm as open as I can be and I try to tell her what I'm feeling when she asks me why. Big problem is she's had a lot of business trips and most of our issues have arisen during them. HONESTLY speaking right now I have a strong feeling to verbally attack her and get things over with, or rant on about every little problem until I feel better. Both ideas make me feel sick to my stomach...

I still don't fully understand my triggers.
She should be calling me any minute now, and I'm terrified... over a simple good night phone call...

I'm glad to hear that you're being open with her. That's very important. Those trips must trigger feelings of abandonment, and as such you lash out out of fear and anger of being left. Just do your best to keep calm. If you wish to rant, I'm here if you need someone to talk too.

I don't either. But just identifying them piece by piece is the way to go.
I get like that too. I'm scared of little things because I don't want to mess up or anything like that. Just breathe and do your best to stay calm. It's gonna be ok.
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Re: Can self-punishment 'evolve'?

Postby kurodon » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:27 am

Thanks for the reply!

But honestly this forum has been a bit tough on me... Would really like to talk to people but I'm in Japan so it seems I get all my answers first thing when I get into work :?

And I think someone going away "where I can't get to them" could very well be one of my triggers. I will have to explain that to her later. Unfortunately, the call last night didn't go very well. I pushed too hard with the "don't do this, please do that" and she kinda snapped at me. She said she's read everything she could and all the stuff I could find (found some really good Japanese articles on living with s/o with BPD/other PDs, seemingly translated from a western source), but she did/said a couple things that have left me numb today. One thing, when she was talking about pressure at work, she said me wanting to see her (At this point I had demanded she see me the same day she got back work, though she initially said she wanted to spend it relaxing at home despite being away for a week) felt like I was trying to crush and kill her with things to do. Her using the kill word sent my mind elsewhere, and I guess luckily I went into that "ah, feels good to think about the nothingness that would follow", calmed down, and we ended the call (at 4AM when we both had work in the morning) on a decent note.

I'm anticipating (from a calm POV, mind you) that she's realized she underestimated when I told her what was going on with me, and I get the feeling like today we might have to end things. Her job is demanding, and it's unfair for me to need so much attention from someone like that.
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Re: Can self-punishment 'evolve'?

Postby aliveatnight » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:40 am

No problem!

Just keep on posting, and you will find people, I promise. And if you ever need anything, feel free to PM me as well, if you need.

I think that's a big trigger for a lot of us. My relationship is long distance, and believe me, there are times where it's so painful to be away from him. It sounds like she's trying, but doesn't understand how truly difficult it can be. I'm sorry she snapped though, I know how painful that can be.

I honestly would have acted very similarly to you. That would have triggered me. I'm glad you were able to calm down, that's a good thing.

Do you really love her? If so, perhaps in time you'll be able to learn to be happy alone, and be able to balance her work with the relationship. It'll never be truly easy, but if she is worth it to you, it can be done.
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Re: Can self-punishment 'evolve'?

Postby kurodon » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:55 am

I admire you, I couldn't even imagine doing anything long distance. I had a couple when I was young and they pretty bad. And honestly, I'm 28, and my longest relationship has been 18 months (when I was 18~20), followed by about 5 or 6 months (when I was about 22 I'd say). Current girl I'm with I've been with for about a month now, longest in about a year, and I'm sure in her eyes we've been though the same amount of ups and downs as all her relationships before me.

As I said, today (Or for the past 3 hours I should say) I feel comfortably numb. Less likely to give a serious look both ways when crossing the street, but more likely to smile to a stranger.

I've spent a lot of time single, and I've found a lot of happiness there with various activities, but I know I really want to have a relationship and get married and all that. I think a big hurdle for me has been avoiding initial idolization of others, and I also need to start taking things slower maybe.
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Re: Can self-punishment 'evolve'?

Postby aliveatnight » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:33 am

It's definitely difficult, and I can't wait for the long distance part to be over. This is my first relationship, and it's been 15 months (I'm 17 btw).

Do you dissociate a lot? That's what your current state sounds like to me.

It's good that you can see what to work on. Just don't rush marriage and relationships and I'm sure one will eventually be right.
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Re: Can self-punishment 'evolve'?

Postby kurodon » Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:22 am

It's definitely difficult, and I can't wait for the long distance part to be over. This is my first relationship, and it's been 15 months (I'm 17 btw).


At your age if you feel the relationship's a good one that can take you long term, then please keep up with it. With me at least, the more relationships, casual or otherwise, I've been in the worse my feelings have gotten. I've only started to really check myself and take account of how my actions have affected others lately.

Do you dissociate a lot? That's what your current state sounds like to me.


Yes I do, but there are 2 types of dissociation with me: Depressed and passive. I'm in a passive state of dissociation now, so I'm able to concentrate more and I don't really care what happens around me. I still consider my depressed form of dissociation different from flat out depression because I'm usually pretty calm and able to function, but in my heart I know that I'm completely incapable/incompetent and undeserving of any attention/praise so not receiving any positive feedback goes along perfectly with my expectations and I'm usually able to achieve a consistent level of mellowness.

It's good that you can see what to work on. Just don't rush marriage and relationships and I'm sure one will eventually be right.


Haven't had urges to rush marriage, but I live in Tokyo so things go pretty fast. Even if I'm able to date a girl around my age, she likely has a job we can only meet a couple times a week and even after/before work conversations are cut short because most of us have no more than about 8~10 hours between work ending and starting again (Easy to understand why it's he suicide capital of the world). Even if I've been dating a girl for a couple months, we still will probably only have seen each other as many times as most would in a month in a typical Western relationship (given the same conditions and all).
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Re: Can self-punishment 'evolve'?

Postby madjoe » Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:29 am

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