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Hitting & punching myself - March 13th 2018, 09:39 PM

When I get extremely mad at myself, I just have an involuntary tendency to slap myself in the face repeatedly or punch myself really hard until there are visible bruises. I do this frequently. Probably everyday. It's how I punish myself for my failures and I'm not sure if it's really an issue.

I just feel as if I deserve to be punished for being such a loser. Such things that lead me to doing this include getting a B on an assignment or stuttering while doing a presentation in class. I just feel disgusted with myself and utterly ashamed. I know I shouldn't. Everyone tells me my failures will not matter ten years from now and I really wish I could believe that, but it's just so difficult. I just really hate myself for being me.

When people say negative things about me or bully/hurt me, I feel relieved somehow. I feel nice because I feel as if I'm being punished for what I've done and that I deserve it. I once paid a guy in my class just to punch me in the face and he did. I don't know why I did that. I just felt like I earned it.

My parents always tell me that every time I make a mistake in life, I should find a way to punish myself so I can learn from those mistakes and never make the same mistakes again. They always tell other people I'm a lazy and good-for-nothing daughter. That they don't deserve to have someone as ignorant and worthless as me. And I guess they're not wrong.

I'm not really sure if this is genuinely a problem or just another way some people cope with self-hatred.
   
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Re: Hitting & punching myself - March 15th 2018, 02:36 PM

Hey there (and welcome to TeenHelp!)

You've learnt from your parents that when you make a mistake, you must be punished, either by yourself or from others. But this isn't true. A mistake is an opportunity for learning, not a way of telling you that you aren't good enough and deserve to be punished. If someone else was in your situation, would you tell them that they should punish themselves? Probably not, so why should it be any different for you?

Hitting and slapping yourself as punishment, could be considered self-harm, especially if you feel better afterwards since you have been 'punished'. It is an issue because you are hurting yourself and nothing can justify that.

Maybe rather than punishing yourself, you look for ways that you can learn from the situation? For example, if you got a B on an assignment, what could you do better for next time. It's also good to be gentle on yourself too- stuttering during a presentation is common, especially if you feel anxious/nervous, but that's not a weakness or a fault. It's just a natural emotion that many people feel when they have to give presentations. You might also want to check out our resource http://www.teenhelp.org/alternatives/ for dealing with difficult feelings and urges and perhaps try a few things rather than hitting yourself.

Even though it's true that your 'failures' won't matter in years to come, it does sound like this is a deeper issue of perhaps self-hatred as you say. And it may be that your parents telling others that you are lazy and good for nothing is actually making you feel worse about yourself. They should be encouraging you to do your best, not putting you down and telling you to punish yourself...in a way, that's kind of abusive.

Do you have anyone that you trust that you could talk to- a teacher, friend, counsellor? You don't deserve to be told that you are worthless (and you most definitely are worthy!) and you shouldn't have to punish yourself either. Support from others might help you to realise and reinforce the idea that you are in fact, good enough, just as you are


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