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Self Harm If you or someone you know is struggling with self harm and needs advice or alternatives, we're here to help.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
bitesize Offline
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My boyfriend wants me to stop cutting, and I can't. - February 22nd 2009, 12:00 PM

Ok, before I begin I just want to say sorry because I know there are hundreds of other threads probably exactly like this, but when I read through them I still couldn't seem to find any of them helpful for me. Sorry guys

My boyfriend (of five months) has known that I cut for about a month now. I knew he was never happy with it, but the other day he told me that I had to stop. He made me promise to stop. He knows that I don't like him smoking, and he's told me that he'll stop smoking if I stop cutting. I've been with him since then and he's stuck to his word ~ although he's not a heavy smoker, he would usually have one when drinking, and he didn't.

I don't know what to do. I know that he made me promise him that I would give it up...but the thing is, I can't. I really, really can't. Cutting is my one release, it's what I depend on. It's always there for me when nothing else is. I love cutting. There's no way I'm ready to give up. But he doesn't understand this. I tried to tell him that you can't give up just like that, but he didn't get it. I don't know what to do. I feel really helpless. I can't cope with the idea of never cutting again. I know that knowing I can't will make me want to do it even more.

I know that my boyfriend is just doing this because he cares about me and he doesn't want me hurting myself, and I love him for offering to give up smoking for me, but I really really really don't want to give up cutting. I confided in my best friend about this but she didn't understand at all; she said she thought it was a 'fair deal'. When I reminded her that SH isn't easy to just stop, she replied 'well, neither is smoking.'


I'm really sorry for posting this guys, I just feel at such a loss.. I've tried looking up advice on the internet and it tells me that I shouldn't stop if I'm not ready to, and I know that I'm not, but I'm scared of losing my boyfriend over this. I'm planning to talk to him about it later on but I don't think he'll really get it...


Is there any, any kind of advice anyone can give me? I'm really sorry for the essay.

xxx
   
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: My boyfriend wants me to stop cutting, and I can't. - February 22nd 2009, 12:14 PM

Hiya.

If you are not ready to stop cutting, then you just need to be honest to your boyfriend.
He obviously loves you & doesnt want you to hurt yourself, which is why he is giving up smoking, however you need to tell him that you just cant stop.

There will be a time when you will want to stop, & you must tell that to your boyfriend, but if that time is not know you just need to be honest.

Thank him for trying, & like I keep saying, just be honest.

I hope Iv helped, even a little bit.

You can do this.

xxx


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  (#3 (permalink)) Old
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Re: My boyfriend wants me to stop cutting, and I can't. - February 22nd 2009, 12:18 PM

Hey,

Well I can understand how your boyfriend and friend are thinking, if they do not self harm themselves then you can understand why they would make such an assumption right? We, however, know that it is NOT that easy.

Really, if you dont want to stop/dont feel ready to stop, then it is going to be SO much harder. You shouldnt try and stop for somebody else, always stop for yourself. Otherwise you might find that if you do have a slip up you will feel even worse, and there is a good chance it wont work.

Talk to him and tell him that while you think its great he has been able to stop smoking and you appreciate it a lot, you dont feel ready to stop. Do you think you could try and explain what you have told us? I know it will probably be hard but maybe if he understands a little bit more then he wouldnt feel the same way.

Oh, and try not to worry about losing him over this. If you do lose him, he wasnt worth it in the first place. You do not want a boyfriend who tries to force you into things right?. Im sure it will be okay though and he will probably still want to support you. He sounds like he cares a lot

Hope this helps a bit
Jen
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  (#4 (permalink)) Old
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Re: My boyfriend wants me to stop cutting, and I can't. - February 22nd 2009, 02:13 PM

Hey

I know a lot of people who has this problem - because the friends or family or partners of people who self harm just cannot get their heads around it.

Maybe try this. Ask him, when he's had a stressful day, and he gets home, what does he do to unwind? Some people might have a drink to relax, others might have a soak in the bath, go to the gym - whatever it is. And then ask him to think about what it might be like if he couldn't do that one thing that helps him to unwind.

At the moment you are in a place where self-injury is your only coping mechanism for stressful things or overwhelming feelings. What he needs to understand, is that if that one coping mechanism is taken away, then how do you cope? You dont... you don't release the feelings or emotions and they begin to build up inside and make you feel ten times worse. And this then makes you more likely to do something more dangerous than what you would normally do.

One of the most important things I will always say to carers, friends, partners or other relatives of people who self-harm, is never to blackmail them or make them promise not to harm themselves. It puts more pressure on you, and makes things worse. Instead, what he should be asking you to promise, is that you will try your best to ride it out, and if you do have to harm yourself, you will promise to try and do it as safely as possible (ie avoiding veins/artieries and organs, using clean equipment, cleaning and dressing the wound afterwards and seeking medical attention for more serious injuries).

So how about having a chat with him and tryin to explain this to him if it makes sense to you and if it's something you agree with?

I have a booklet that I put together on self-injury so if you'd like a copy just get in touch and I'll email it to you no problem - it might be handy for him to look through as there is advice for loved ones in there too.

Take care of yourself hun, and if you need to talk I am always willing to listen!

Kerri xx
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  (#5 (permalink)) Old
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Re: My boyfriend wants me to stop cutting, and I can't. - February 22nd 2009, 06:15 PM

Hey-

First off, don't say sorry for your post, you have nothing to be sorry about. The length is fine, your question is very reasonable, and this is a more personal thing that varies from situation to situation, so it's okay to make a thread about it. =) So no worries.

I think Kerri did a good job of saying most of it. But I'll kind of add my own points.

It's perfectly reasonable to feel this way, don't feel bad for feeling like that. It's completely reasonable, and rather expected. You're really not the only one who has felt this way in the least. And you'll be able to get through this for sure.

So, as you even mentioned doing, you have to sit down and have a huge heart to heart with him. Tell him that you're scared of losing him, and you don't want to lose him over this. But you're mentally and emotionally not able to stop. That you will stop eventually, but right now isn't the time for you, that you're not ready to give that up. Self harm is such a taboo subject that so many people don't even begin to get why it's addicting. And he's asking a lot more of you than he's doing himself if he's not a heavy smoker. That's just my opinion though.

So, do the best to explain it to him. Also, remember, that if you stop for someone else, it won't last as long. If you guys break up, then you might just start self harming again. You might self harm when you get in a fight just to spite him. Even if that sounds unreasonable now, I can say I've done that before.

Why don't you link him to some websites that you've seen that say you shouldn't stop if you're not ready? And show him Kerri's booklet I'm sure would be helpful too. Tell him you're willing to talk about it as much as he wants, as long as it's not completely negative or triggering. And that you'll tell him the second you feel you are ready to stop.

Good luck! I'm sure you'll get it all worked out.

If you need anyone to talk to, I'm totally here. =)
Maria.



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  (#6 (permalink)) Old
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Re: My boyfriend wants me to stop cutting, and I can't. - February 22nd 2009, 06:57 PM

If you're trying to make it clear to him that you don't want to or can't stop, tell him that there are safe ways to do it and assure him that you will take the precautions to make sure that you won't harm yourself,

if you're trying to stop then try taking it like any other addiction,
start off doing it once a day for like 2 weeks, then once every two days for 2 weeks, then once every 3 days for 2 weeks, etc.


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  (#7 (permalink)) Old
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Re: My boyfriend wants me to stop cutting, and I can't. - February 22nd 2009, 07:57 PM

I read this earlier and I honestly took quite some time to think about what I wanted to say to you. I've been in this situation myself (we weren't actually dating though) and I really wanted to say something that would be able to help you. I'm afraid this is going to be more of my personal experiences than actual advice, but I hope you are able to learn from what I went through in my situation.

When I was 14, I was interested in a guy who I'll call "B". We were great friends and we had considered dating. I'd been cutting since I was ten years old and he knew about it, but he thought I had stopped. One day, after seeing a lot of the scars on my arm he found out and questioned me about it. I had two options. We could continue to see each other and I could stop self harming, or we would end it all while I continued on my destructive path. For a while, I tried to do what he wanted. He quit doing some of his bad habits and I tried to stop self harming.

To make a long story short, it didn't work. I ended up caving and we ended things because he couldn't handle my self harm. Since then, he's learned a lot from me and he dated a girl named Lindsay who he helped recover, but she cheated on him (that's another story, I'm afraid). However, in the long run I don't personally think that having deals like this are the best. I think that there is too much to lose if you were to slip up and cut. You really need the freedom to be able to chose when you are going to stop and if you are going to stop at all. It's all up to you and you need to truly be ready to stop self harming or you won't get anywhere.

I think the best way to handle this situation is to talk to your boyfriend. Let him know that you really love him and that you want to be with him, but you honestly feel that you can not stop self harming right now. If he truly loves you, then he will learn to understand and try to support you in whatever decision you make. If he can't handle this, then he can't handle you at all and doesn't deserve you even when you are at your best. Providing him with resources and information on self harm could be informative as well.


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  (#8 (permalink)) Old
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Re: My boyfriend wants me to stop cutting, and I can't. - February 25th 2009, 11:10 AM

hey hun! You have to explain to him that you are NOT ready but you are willing to try!
pm me nytime
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Re: My boyfriend wants me to stop cutting, and I can't. - February 26th 2009, 10:04 PM

I have some advice that I could prolly give you but I think that what I have to say might be a little extreme for a public post. pm me if u want my advice
   
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