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Self-harm.

Discuss mental health issues, including suicidal thoughts, here.

Re: Self-harm.

Postby Echo_of_shadows » Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:56 pm

I agree that self love is important, but it's not always number one in some people's priorities. For some people, "self-tolerance" is as good as it gets. It's not for a lack of trying or not saying "I love me" enough. Illnesses, be they physical or mental, are a one day at a time process. They don't go away just because you talk about or write down what's going on. It's a long road, not something that goes away the next day, next week or even the next year.
MoonChild wrote:I believe that I have to love myself first so that I could love anyone else. Because if someone can hurt himself, he probably can hurt anyone else.

Sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree here. When I love, it's quite deeply and whole-hearted, no matter what type of love it is. That hasn't changed despite a verbally abusive drunk father, suicide attempts, self-harm or an abusive controlling relationship. But I don't really love myself. "Self-tolerance" is an appropriate label. I love lots of things, and even a few people, but not loving myself doesn't diminish my love for others in any way.
Hurting one's self can be a way not to hurt others. I remember a particular situation that happened about 8 years ago. I was mad at myself as well as a couple other people. My response was to carve the words "I hate you!" into my leg and add the initials of those involved. That was my way of getting back at everyone. Speaking from personal experience, after the last terrible situation I was in, the thought of me hurting or putting someone I love through the hell that I went through, upsets me. If I think I'm even close to doing what was done to me, I break down and cry. There's not a mean bone in this body.
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Re: Self-harm.

Postby MoonChild » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:57 am

Oh,no! :o I didn't want you to think something like that! :(

I was talking about people who are self-harming because of small things.By the example,my best friend self-harmed when someone told her something she doesn't like,when she is nervous about exams,etc.On the end,she became arrogant to me (even she always was a darling person).But it wasn't a mental problem (her case) ,because I have talked with her every day and she stopped (and I know I'm not a psychologist,I'm just her friend)
And when some 12 years old girl see something like that on TV and start to doing that to pay attention on herself (I had someone like that in my class when I was in primary school).

But I don't want to talk about situations when someone has a real and big problem which seems unsolved.I haven't been in situation like that yet,so I can't talk about that.
I hope nobody misunderstood :)
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Re: Self-harm.

Postby Xiao Rong » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:51 am

But I don't want to talk about situations when someone has a real and big problem which seems unsolved.I haven't been in situation like that yet,so I can't talk about that.
I hope nobody misunderstood :)


Well ... yes, we did not realize from your post that you were referencing just your experience with your friend, whom you didn't mention at the time. I'm happy for both you and your friend that your friend has gotten better, but please, in the future if you're going to talk about a very specific example that you explain that example before you go on to make very large generalizations. As you can tell, there are quite a few people on this board who used to be, or currently still are, in these situations or suffering from mental illnesses, for whom your statement was offensive and which could have stopped someone who wanted to share their story or seek help from doing so by implying that they were violent or insane. The stigma against mental illness and abuse and trauma survivors is already very high, and I hope that in the future you won't make broad, blanket statements that contribute to that stigma.
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Re: Self-harm.

Postby firebirdflys » Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:35 pm

This has been a very interesting thread...
I would like to add, when someone struggling with self esteem issues is told to just get over it, in my experience it has made me feel worse and less in control of my life, and more likely to harm myself because it isn't as simple as a conversation with those who perpetrate against you, because if that was the case there would be a lot less people who commit suicide or harm themselves through cutting or substance abuse or sexual promiscuity.
As far as the Rede is concerned, unfortunately there is really no way to not cause harm to something. If you are alive on this planet you are causing harm by simply driving in a car. So the Rede is more of a guideline to walk gently in all you do, lessening the impact on yourself, you neighbor and the planet.
The other thing I wanted to point out, while it is great to be loving yourself, for those of us with esteem issues, every day is a struggle just to get through with a smile on you face,... even with counseling, 12 step programs, and DV group meetings, journaling, gratefulness diaries etc...
You are more likely to be harmed by someone who is so in love with themselves that nothing else matters, as in a narcissist.
Best thing you can do if you are feeling like harming yourself is talk to a trusted friend, counselor or teacher, journaling does help to a degree, because if you can get that which confounds you off your chest, then it is on the outside and not in your head anymore.
P3nathan said:
I'm glad I got help, but it took time. Bad mental health and depression aren't just a case of feeling down or not being positive enough, it's a deep seated illness that swallows you whole if you don't find help.

As far as gathering blood for consecration of tools and such, child bearing women have it easy :) otherwise in a ritual setting with a specific purpose, blood oaths are very powerful and bond you to your word, tool, spell etc...

Many blessings, Firebird
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Re: Self-harm.

Postby slithering_dragonfly » Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:59 am

I personally think of karma or the threefold law, etc as more an issue of intent. If you accidentally hurt someone through no fault if your own, I don't see how you'd get "punished" for that, even if you take the threefold law somewhat literally. Same for self harm. A self harmer's intent is not to cause pain but rather to manage a terrible situation and actually decrease their pain and often decrease the burden on those around them. That's generally the intent anyway, and to me, that's a good intent even if the results aren't great later on.

For me, self harm was a part of finding my way in life and learning to cope, and I feel I'm allowed to make mistakes without feeling guilty like I've put bad out into the world and will be punished. The world isn't always good, and sometimes the best you can do is mitigate it with something not as bad but not entirely good either. That was the case for me and self harm, where I was in an isolated home situation with no other outlet. Everyone has to cope with stress to survive, and self harm was the safest way I could do that. So I think taking an overly literal interpretation of the threefold law even if you're Wiccan isn't realistic. Think about other coping skills that are "healthy". Running... Not exactly great on your body long term. You could argue reading is bad for your eyes. Yes that sounds ridiculous but that's the problem with taking something to it's most literal extreme, which is what I feel has to be done to consider self harm as deserving of some sort of karmic retribution.

So yeah, I tend to think of the threefold law/karma as more of negative actions will naturally attract negative consequences over time, but even if you take a stricter interpretation, I still think there's a limit to how literal you can realistically be before everything you do in life is bad or harmful.
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Re: Self-harm.

Postby p3nathan » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:10 pm

http://www.amazon.com/Fading-Scars-Kris ... 709&sr=1-1

This is a short but interesting book about a boy who self-harmed. It's not the only thing the writer talks about, he also became ill and was badly bullied growing up. His accounts of self-harm are very honest. I recommend it.
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Re: Self-harm.

Postby Philomena » Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:46 pm

In my opinion, there is a huge problem with how self-harm or any mental health issue is viewed. Which is ridiculous because its been studied and treated for sooo long... Some healthcare workers and people in general can easily give simple advice like 'think positive' or 'love yourself'. But that's just it, nothing about what we are going through is simple. Some people don't know how to think positive or love themselves anymore, or have never even learned how to. Also, I don't believe anything verbal can show you how to do this. For many, there are just so many things going on, causing and contributing to their health, that there is not one way of treatment. Some emotional scars can't change with a thought, but need (sometimes) years of supportive treatment and a healthy environment to scab over and heal so to speak. -Just my experience.

In regards to the topic at hand...Simply put, I don't believe self-harm applies to the rede or karma in anyway. There is no malicious intent, just way for someone to cope which often follows with a great deal of guilt afterward.
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Re: Self-harm.

Postby p3nathan » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:32 am

MoonChild wrote:Oh,no! :o I didn't want you to think something like that! :(

I was talking about people who are self-harming because of small things.By the example,my best friend self-harmed when someone told her something she doesn't like,when she is nervous about exams,etc.On the end,she became arrogant to me (even she always was a darling person).But it wasn't a mental problem (her case) ,because I have talked with her every day and she stopped (and I know I'm not a psychologist,I'm just her friend)
And when some 12 years old girl see something like that on TV and start to doing that to pay attention on herself (I had someone like that in my class when I was in primary school).

But I don't want to talk about situations when someone has a real and big problem which seems unsolved.I haven't been in situation like that yet,so I can't talk about that.
I hope nobody misunderstood :)


I could be wrong since obviously I don't know her, but if someone is willing to hurt themselves for a small reason, I wonder if there are underlying issues there. I'm glad talking to you helped her stop and that it wasn't a very severe case, but in self-harm (especially with young people) you do often come across a lot of catastrophising, ie: taking a small thing and blowing it completely out of proportion in your mind until it becomes the end of the world. However, it was good of you to talk to her and I hope she remains on a healthy path :)
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