Tattoos for Healing **May Trigger*

From the beginning of my journey, I have had issues with self harm. Doing it , made me actually be able to calm down, yet it has left me with permanent scars that remind me of those terrible times. They also bring up how hurt I was and how messed up my life has been.

There are still difficult days and times that I feel like acting in my impulses to self harm. I am not sure those impulses will ever go away or if they will always be in the back of my mind.

Six years ago, I picked out my first tattoo. It was made up of the colors of mental health, cancer, and fibromyalgia awareness. Every time I look at that tattoo it makes me realize that I did not want to mess it up. Self harming in that spot was no longer comfortable.

I then had a tattoo in the other arm. In order to get new tattoos my scars need to fully heal. Now, they are a road map of my life. Moments of desperation as well as elation. Artists renderings of pain as well as some of my best memories.

Even with my time loss, I can look at them and the memories are triggered. They have helped me heal and solidify my journey. I am in the process of planning a full sleeve for the next piece. I cannot wait to see what my artists draws and then watch it come to life. Another step to healing.

Really Struggling *Trigger Warning*

I have been trying to hold it together and now I feel like I am coming apart at the seams . There were the thoughts of self harm that slowly crept their way back into my mind. Then I began to have trouble focusing and concentrating on things like tv and reading. I found that I could not remember what I had just did or said. I have been more moody than usual and have no desire to do any activity.

My treatment team has been attempting to treat me outpatient. That normally works. If I go into the hospital, I potentially lose my kids again. Now I feel like I have to choose between my kids and my health.

I am having trouble doing the simplest things. I cannot drive without trouble because I cannot focus. I want help and am not sure what to do! The driving is affecting my ability to get to outpatient treatment. I just want some help right now. I have called my treatment team, yet they have yet to call me back.

So right now I sit here waiting and attempting to stay safe until someone can help.

September Issues *Trigger Warning*

Most years, since 2004, I have gone into the hospital in September. I begin to have more nightmares and flashbacks. My coping skills seem to evaporate. Many times I self harm.

This has been one of the worst years. I am beginning to clearly remember things that were fuzzy. Instances of trauma have been verified. I feel trapped in my own skin without a way out.

Those closest to me have no idea what to do and are overwhelmed with what they are seeing. They want to help. I just cannot seem to catch the life preserver being thrown and at times handed to me.

For the first time in a long time I am scared how the rest of the month will go. I do not want to make a choice that will negatively impact those around me. For right now, everyday is a struggle.

The In Between ** May Trigger**

Over 10 years of therapy and relatively nothing has changed. Treatment resistant, medication resistant, unable to assist. All of those have been written on my paperwork.

I told my therapist the other day that I want to die, yet no way of dying is 100%. It has been suggested that I get out and join a club. I tried a book club. The book had to many triggers and the discussion was even worse. Child abuse, spousal abuse, and substance abuse were all a part of the book.

Then I am told to go out and do normal activities. I have panic attacks at the store that leave me frozen and feeling like the store is closing in around me. I always feel like I will be attacked at places that do not have many people around like gas stations. My vocal cords seem to freeze up when I want to ask for something.

I have resorted to buying things online. Even then, I do not answer the door when the doorbell rings because I am scared of who may be on the other side. I feel like people can tell I am damaged by the way that I shake and avoid eye contact.

Then there is the anger that can be activated at any time. This is not normal anger. I am afraid I will actually hurt someone else. Anything can set off the anger and once it begins I have trouble stopping.

Where is my place in society? What do I do if I cannot leave the house and am scared to hurt people? How do I perform everyday tasks while the space is closing in on me and I am shaking to the point of just wanting to sit and scream for help?

How do I begin to work through this? When are my thoughts not automatically going to go to not existing? Who am I ? All of these are questions that I need to answer, yet do not seem to know how.

When will this All End *Trigger Warning*

I just want this to be over. This being the flashbacks, nightmares, alienation, and physical illnesses. I thought that therapy would help. All it seems to be doing is going around in circles with no clear purpose.

Words like treatment resistant have been used. Apparently, that just means it will be harder to get better. I go into therapy every week and try to talk, yet I am blocked by all of the old messages of silence.

My emotions are buried. No matter how much I want them to come up, they stay down often leaving impulses to self harm. Why can’t I just communicate feelings like everyone else.

Today, I will try again to talk about ???? What do I talk about when everything seems to be imploding. Even my doctors I believe are sick of me. How much longer can I go on this way?

Trapped *May Trigger*

I feel like I am trapped. I am somewhere on the scale in more than one aspect of my life. I do not want to be alive, yet killing myself would hurt those around me. I want therapy, yet it does not seem to be going well with my therapist at this time.

Even my kids are a conundrum. I worry about their lives, yet I am not there with them during the week. There is only so much that I can do over the phone. I just received an email today from a teacher of my son who has chosen to not communicate with me. He is not doing well. I really want to be able to get makeup work for him and have him do it at my house, yet he will not even come out to the car to say hello to me.

At least I have my diamond paintings and can lose myself in that world for a few hours each night. I also have two sweet cats. One who is laying on my lap and another who gives kisses at night before she goes to sleep.

My husband allowed us to move this past year and I am no longer trapped in a neighborhood full of crime. If I look at the whole picture it is pretty divided. I am not even sure what image it conjures up. Maybe some type of storm where it is raining on one side of the painting with dark gray clouds and a rainbow on the other side. The problem is that I feel like I am right on the thin line down the middle.

I Think I Scared the Resident

I went to the new doctor yesterday. I think that she thought it would be an easy appointment. It was anything but easy. She saw all of the evidence of my self harm and of course the typical questions followed. I told her the truth and said that I have had a plan since I was around 10 years old.

Why aren’t doctors taught about patients who have experienced trauma? Instead they are put into situations where they are overwhelmed by the patient. Not only do I have a list of diagnoses, i also have a lot of medical issues. The doctor did not seem to know where to start.

Tests were ordered and I have to return in a couple of months. I am glad the doctor is being careful, yet I am scared that the doctor is in over her head. Maybe she will turn out to be one of the best doctors that I have had, if not at least she will gain some experience.

On another front, therapy is not going well. My parts do not feel heard or even like they have a place in therapy. We have had one doctor who could handle us and she is gone. At least she acknowledged that multiple parts could experience an event completely differently. Right now we feel unheard. We feel like the therapist is trying to sweep us away instead of making us part of the therapy. We are hopeless that things will change at this point and are considering options where we may have a chance to participate.

Right now, we are lost. We do not belong anywhere except for hidden on the inside. We have had to many years of that to keep doing it, it does not work and eventually leads to self harm as a way of expressing that those parts are there. We are hoping that something gets resolved soon.

Inescapable Thoughts **May Trigger**

Why can’t I just get through all of these memories. My therapist says that talking about them will lesson their strength, yet I have not experienced that. Often I find myself thinking about what went on in the past. Sometimes something reminds me of a memory.

Self-harm is not a solution, yet it seems to help decrease the severity of feeling helpless. When I think of my kids and my husband I feel lucky. When I think of where I am at in my life I feel horrible. The physical illness that prevented me from finishing nursing school is much easier to take then the social workers who did not accept me due to my PTSD.

How many times can I start over and try again?

Then there are the reminders about what has happened to me. Dates of the year, smells, or even the way that a stranger may look. It is like I cannot get a break even if I want too. Thoughts of how isolated my parents kept me along with their cruel punishments still paralyze me into staying in the house where it is safe.

The thoughts also turn to nightmares and daydreams where I cannot figure out if I am still asleep or awake. Intrusive thoughts take over and I think of how to stop them. It is not a good path to be on.

Can I Overcome My Thoughts? *May Trigger*

My opinion of myself has been influenced by years of abuse. I feel damaged and defeated. No matter what I try, it has not worked out and I am back at the start. I have tried taking one step at a time, yet right now I seem to be going backwards.

I am struggling with thoughts of self harm. That would at least make me feel better if only for a little while. Then there are the even darker thoughts of suicide. There are times when I actually think that people would be better off if I was not around anymore. There are those that would be relieved that they did not need to deal with me any longer and there would be those that truly do not care in the first place.

I feel like I am damaged. My oldest son does not talk to me, I cannot work at this point, and I am scared to leave the house even to get the mail. I am worried what people think about me and if they already realize that I am damaged just by looking at me.

The scars on my body tell a story of fighting and defeat. Of pain that is so intolerable that I can think of nothing but getting out of it.

Most of all I am lost. I am not sure which direction to go in or what path to follow. Do I start over with trying to be a social worker or do I find something else to do? Do I participate in a book club or stay in the house? Am I ready for people to know me or should I still hide?

This weekend is a family get together. I am lost going there. They do not know who I am. I wish that I knew who they were. I was kept away from them for years and being socially awkward does not help. What should I talk to them about?

So, my thoughts turn to suicide. To end all of the pain. To not have to worry what anyone thinks of me any longer. To not have to try and fail at something else.

Trying to overcome these thoughts is hard. I think that even my therapist is stuck. I do not know where to begin to get better, I need to figure it out. I need to push through all of these horrible thoughts and start to think about what I do have in my life. Maybe today I can spend some time trying to think about what I have instead of what I am missing.

Trapped *MAY TRIGGER*

Sitting here thinking about life is challenging. I feel like I need to make a pros and cons list for continuing to go on.

The kids are a big factor. All of the research shows that a child whose parent commits suicide is more likely to do so. I would not want my kids to get into this dark space.

So much has failed including school, losing touch with one of my children, and constant court cases with my ex. All of this has left me drained. I feel alone no matter how many people are in a room. What do I even talk about with people. The kids are a hard subject and school was a disaster.

People do not want to hear about hospital stays and wound care centers. I believe that eating disorder treatment centers are also not at the top of the list. Those are the topics that I know best at this point.

Maybe a better option would be to talk about the diamond paintings that I have done or the garden that my husband is working on. Yet, those topics do not feel like me at this time. One day blends into another.

What to do? Going back to school is going to be rough. I feel like I am on a never ending ride in that department. Keep seeing the kids until they too realize how damaged and flawed I am. Continue to talk about the worst memories of my life in therapy.

This is not the life that I pictured. Not even close. Being a non-custodial parent was something that I did not even know existed. Failing at school because of an illness that I did not choose and is directly related to negative childhood experiences. Living in a neighborhood where I do not feel safe. Even as I write this there are helicopters circling the block.

One day I need to make a choice. I cannot live in between any longer. There needs to be a clear side to work on and pursue.