I hurt myself and I am ashamed

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Sabine
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I hurt myself and I am ashamed

Unread postby Sabine » Tue Dec 15, 2020 5:36 am

Today while cleaning, my dad got frustrated with me when I didn’t listen twice. I got frustrated in return, so I hit myself and bit myself on the hand. :cry:

Because I am autistic and because I mainly hit myself and bite myself, I am deeply ashamed. Despite me having little autistic behaviors, I do this. I do this not out of a lack of communication skills or overstimulation, I do it to punish myself, to show the other side that I’m weak, to show that I lost, to express my self hate and because I cannot run or fight.

I have internalized ableism because hitting myself or biting myself in my mind makes me look embarrassing or a “retard”. I wish I had some way to do it that was less embarrassing and so that no one can see it. To be honest, I wish that I didn’t hurt myself at all. To be honest, I wish I didn’t take out my frustration at all, I wish I would smile the time even when I am down.

And I have been doing it somewhat increasingly during the fall and winter during quarantine, in front of my family. I never tell anyone about this because it’s horrible, even with the two people I hope to have relationships with.

For the reasons I have stated, I don’t know what else is there to do for me to extinguish that behavior. I sit on my hands if I feel like it or after that and when I am near it. However, that can only be effective in the short term. I’m really worried about this for my career, relationships and independence. I want to stop! :cry:

Sam W
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Re: I hurt myself and I am ashamed

Unread postby Sam W » Tue Dec 15, 2020 7:41 am

Hi Sabine,

If you're at a point where you're harming yourself, that's a sign that it's time to up the search for mental healthcare and find someone who can help you, or call in emergency mental healthcare if it gets worse. Have you ever spoken to a therapist, past or present, about these behaviors? If so, did they offer any advice or supports? And since you mention you've done this in front of your family, how do they react? Do they see it as the serious thing it is?

In the short term, have you ever used a resource like a crisis hotline, something you can call when those feelings hit? You may also want to check out this book to see if it has any helpful strategies: Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws by Kate Bornstein.

Sabine
not a newbie
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 6:27 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: The way I can really think and analyze
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She/Her
My sexual identity and orientation: Lesbian
Location: California, USA

Re: I hurt myself and I am ashamed

Unread postby Sabine » Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:18 am

Sam W wrote:Hi Sabine,

If you're at a point where you're harming yourself, that's a sign that it's time to up the search for mental healthcare and find someone who can help you, or call in emergency mental healthcare if it gets worse. Have you ever spoken to a therapist, past or present, about these behaviors? If so, did they offer any advice or supports? And since you mention you've done this in front of your family, how do they react? Do they see it as the serious thing it is?

In the short term, have you ever used a resource like a crisis hotline, something you can call when those feelings hit? You may also want to check out this book to see if it has any helpful strategies: Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws by Kate Bornstein.


I don’t recall working with my past therapist on my self harm behaviors, however I currently don’t have one now. My parents and I are still finding strategies for me to work on at home while getting me a therapist. I still carry that belief that sometimes I don’t need mental healthcare because my progress has been somewhat slow and I still exhibit some OCD behaviors. I have internalized this from my parents sometimes.

Even though they see how this is serious, they don’t believe it to be deadly enough for me to be taken to an institution. I also want to live independently and I know I can’t do this, but this is the first time I have done it and it is not been a streak. Either, they try to understand my behavior and try to get me to use my strategies, sometimes not coming in or dashing in to give me ice (in a situation where its not a tense situation between both parties). All I want to do is just get on with my task and stop making a scene, so I really don’t wanna stop to calm down sometimes. I just want to come back and do my work or exercise or task as soon as I can.

In terms of hotlines, I tried. Some like Switchboard are only open in a certain hours a day and I can’t can’t call them because I’m in Austria. And again, I don’t want my parents walking in on me and taking away my phone worrying that I may kill myself (which I won’t) and overreacting. And are these two books free on the Internet? Because I may want to check them out without buying.

I also would like to cure part of my internalized abelism because the mechanism in which I self harm, I call “retarded” it’s because I look embarrassing and it’s less dangerous (at least in the moment). Also, I tell myself that I am one of the bad autistics because I hurt myself and I don’t stim and try not to be autistic through behavior. I don’t look like the perfect autistic, either high support needs and nonverbal, obviously autistic and verbal or verbal and completely not obviously autistic. I try not to be weird and I am so socially conscious because of that.

I really don’t wanna go to a crisis center or a psychiatric institution despite many a time contemplating. I don’t want to loose my independence as well because I have applied to three colleges. I don’t want the fact that I self harm to equal to the fact that I want to die or that I really am going to kill myself. I don’t want to get anyone involved! :cry:

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 7096
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
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Re: I hurt myself and I am ashamed

Unread postby Sam W » Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:35 am

Hi Sabine,

Can you, or can you work with your parents, figure out what steps are needed to find a therapist sooner rather than later? I know that may be difficult right now, but your mental (and physical) well-being deserves to be prioritized. Too, it may help to know that lots of people find therapy slow going in it's results, and for most of us it won't get rid of our mental illness or associated behaviors completely. But just because it doesn't' work perfectly doesn't mean it can't help, you know?

Likewise, there are a lot of options between "do nothing" and "institutionalization." Therapy and supports specifically for autistic folks are two of those things. For instance, have you looked into any resources by and for autistic people about managing internalized ableism? If not, is that something you'd be interested in?

I don't know if Hello Cruel World is available online for free, but you might be able to look into a library to see if they have a copy.

Sabine
not a newbie
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 6:27 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: The way I can really think and analyze
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She/Her
My sexual identity and orientation: Lesbian
Location: California, USA

Re: I hurt myself and I am ashamed

Unread postby Sabine » Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:55 am

My mom is mainly figuring that out. And funny thing is that a comment dad made about a therapist (about me not using my strategies or not using it enough) made me hurt myself while saying “I guess I won’t have a therapist” and playing Animal Crossing. My mom asked, I told her about it and I said I guess I have to agree with him because I heard it so many times I guess it must be true. I have to improve but I am not either way.

I have tried for that, but I would be really interested in those resources. More specifically on that thing. Another way I hate my place in the autistic community is that I really don’t see myself being in the Nuro diversity movement or at least the part where “this condition doesn’t need to be cured (even the detrimental ones)” and that “it is actually a gift”. I’m not a good autistic because while others are proud of it, I’m not, unlike being a lesbian. I’m not a good autistic because I want to integrate into normal society and act like a neurotypical person.

I don’t know if Austrian library's have that book in English, but maybe I can try.

On top of that, I tried meeting with a life coach, but she couldn’t coach me. Part of me is my fault because I spoke about my obsessive thoughts to her when it wasn’t her job, however she asked me if I was on medication and I said yes. Then she couldn’t treat me because it’s part of the law in Austria. Only psychologists and psychiatrists can do that. So we just have to find a new therapist. That was really frustrating.

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 7096
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
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Location: Desert

Re: I hurt myself and I am ashamed

Unread postby Sam W » Tue Dec 15, 2020 10:20 am

That does sound frustrating, though I'm glad the life coach was able to be clear with you about how she could and could not help. With the current search, has your mom told you about what progress she's made? Do you feel like the two of you can talk about prioritizing this?

In terms of other pieces to read, I would check out the "personal accounts" section in this article: https://www.autism.org.uk/advice-and-gu ... tic-adults.

Something else I really encourage you to try is to identify and resist black and white thinking in you daily life. Both around whether or not therapy or strategies you use are working (as in, even if change isn't immediate, that doesn't mean change won't happen). And around your own feelings about being autistic. There's no such things as a "good" autistic person and a "bad" one. You get to feel however you feel about that diagnosis, just as other autistic people get to feel whatever way they do. So, as much as you can, try not to be too down on yourself for reacting the "wrong" way.

Sabine
not a newbie
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 6:27 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: The way I can really think and analyze
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She/Her
My sexual identity and orientation: Lesbian
Location: California, USA

Re: I hurt myself and I am ashamed

Unread postby Sabine » Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:27 am

I don’t know about her progress. I really want to prioritize this. She’s coming home soon and I really would like to talk to her about it next.

I try not too so much and thank you so much for reassuring that. I fear that I may be holding wrong opinions, but I have my reasons and only apply it to me, not to other autistic people. I hope that others in the community and the world will accept my views. I hope I can be a good autistic role
model to a community.

I will check out the stories, but so far it looks great.

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
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Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
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Re: I hurt myself and I am ashamed

Unread postby Sam W » Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:59 am

I'm glad those stories look promising! Did you manage to have a conversation with your mom?

Sabine
not a newbie
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 6:27 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: The way I can really think and analyze
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She/Her
My sexual identity and orientation: Lesbian
Location: California, USA

Re: I hurt myself and I am ashamed

Unread postby Sabine » Thu Dec 17, 2020 2:18 pm

Sam W wrote:I'm glad those stories look promising! Did you manage to have a conversation with your mom?


I did kind of. More about the situation and how to solve it better. I brought it up indirectly and she’s working on it. Perhaps she also suggested desensitization training, where I don’t think people being frustrated or raising voice means being that at me. I wish I can make them feel better because it makes me so upset I happened to be there when I triggered them. :cry:

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 7096
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
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My pronouns: she/her
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Location: Desert

Re: I hurt myself and I am ashamed

Unread postby Sam W » Fri Dec 18, 2020 8:22 am

Can you make an agreement with yourself to, in the next few days, sit down with your mom and really make a plan for finding a therapist based on the information she's found so far?

(I do want to add that, while it's helpful to be able to differentiate between someone yelling at you and someone yelling near you, being startled by yelling is not inherently a bad thing).

Sabine
not a newbie
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 6:27 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: The way I can really think and analyze
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She/Her
My sexual identity and orientation: Lesbian
Location: California, USA

Re: I hurt myself and I am ashamed

Unread postby Sabine » Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:38 am

Sam W wrote:Can you make an agreement with yourself to, in the next few days, sit down with your mom and really make a plan for finding a therapist based on the information she's found so far?

(I do want to add that, while it's helpful to be able to differentiate between someone yelling at you and someone yelling near you, being startled by yelling is not inherently a bad thing).


I can, maybe after the holidays because everyone is busy then. Figuring out stuff on my own is hard and then asking my parents and taking that as advice for me is hard too in the meantime. I don’t want to stress anyone out.

For me, it’s the tone. Being angry, frustrated, sad or mad and yelling that for me is like if I had provoked them further. I want to make them feel better. :cry:

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 7096
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Desert

Re: I hurt myself and I am ashamed

Unread postby Sam W » Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:49 am

You're right that you may need to wait until after the holidays, if only because people's hours can be odd. That being said, can you and your mom sit down today or tomorrow and talk about what she's found so far? That will give you a game plan moving forward.

I get that impulse of wanting to not be a source of stress for others. But one of the many realities of life is that sometimes taking care of ourselves (or helping the people we care about) is stressful. That doesn't mean we shouldn't take those steps to look after ourselves and others, just that we need to be prepared for some moments of discomfort or frustration, you know?


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