Why do we choose to hurt ourselves when someone else triggers us?

A look into possibilities of why we self harm.

Sometimes I think it is because I feel things so deeply yet fail at expressing myself.

You may shake your head in disbelief, but it’s true: the written word may flow from my fingertips with ease at times, but on the surface, my emotions seldom show. I give off a disinterested or perturbed air, but inside I am reacting and receiving so many signals at once. I am full of activity, thoughts and feelings that will never surface.

I think it is this lack of expression that makes me feel inadequate or unworthy. 

This need for expression causes me to hurt myself physically to show the pain I internalize.

I never learned how to express myself. I’m learning. I’m getting better. I laugh more. I can cry, even. I’ve never been able to cry before. It hurts. This horrible pressure and headache as tears flood inwardly.

I was taught to suppress emotions. ‘Suck it up” “You want me to give you something to cry about?” Don’t show weakness. People will exploit your weaknesses. “Act your age.” “You are better than this.”

These lines have replayed so much that it’s a wonder I still try.

But I realized that I don’t want this affliction on my kids. I want them to know it’s good and healthy to feel and show emotions. Not suppress them. 

I have come a long way from where I began. This writing is therapy for me. This is my way of bleeding it out…my canvas is now my blank page instead of my skin.

Pen in hand, I press down on the page; my hand gets tired, from all this rage. But I let it out as fast as I can; and I am drained when I finally reach the end. I don’t need the razor or to trace the lines that I made; I turned the lines to letters and words on the page. I can share those words, and show them to you; I let you know I’m here and we’ll both get through. It’s not easy to relearn what’s been enforced so long; but I know the pain you feel–you are so strong. 

I believe we make lines on ourselves because we’re screaming within and can’t get that out.

We must find a way to release the pressure that doesn’t cause us more pain.

When we hurt ourselves, we are hurting the ones we care about as well. I did not realize the depth of the pain I was inflicting on someone every time I cut until she point blank told me. I can not intentionally hurt someone else and so I started on my journey to recovery. I have not made it this far on my own. I rely heavily on my dear friend without whom I would still be in that dark place and not recovering.

I am determined to control my mind and overcome these negative thoughts. 

Every day. I choose Me, Every. Single. Day.

2 thoughts on “Choose

  1. Most people just take everything at face value. If it looks/sounds fine, it’s fine. Others might percieve there is something brimming beneath the cold exterior, but say to themselves, “If they want to tell me, they will let me know. They know how I feel about them.” That leaves the person feeling isolated and suffering in silence. This is very thought provoking.


    1. What’s interesting in your comment is that I am both sides. I feel like if there’s something someone wants me to know, they’ll tell me and I don’t want to seem nosy by asking questions. However, I also keep things in and find myself wanting someone to ask me if I’m okay. I rarely divulge anything if not asked and once I get started, I have difficulty stopping. It’s as if a flood of emotion pours out at once.
      I think, too, that sometimes we may feel judged. I know that my facial expressions sometimes seem judgmental, however, usually I am relating and seeing another perspective. I’m feeling what the other person is telling me, often having the thought ‘I’m not the only one!’ This is like a lifeline so I’m not isolated and I know I’m not alone.
      Like your comment, it touched on my own contradictions. I’m trying to be better and realize that there is another world inside of each of us. We cannot see or know how another thinks and feels, so we should not be so quick to judge and dismiss them. I’ve also changed my approach to talking with some people. Instead of responding in the way that is normal or proper, I say what I feel. I find that helps both of us to jump right in headfirst. We all walk this life alone. I think that GOD puts people in certain situations to help each other. You might be the one person who listens. You might be the voice someone hears telling them to keep moving forward.
      All it takes is one positive voice to help drown out all the negative thoughts. One voice to say ‘by hurting you, you are hurting me.’ And that is powerful.


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