The self-injury sparked by yesterday’s flashbacks has me thinking. I feel ashamed of the behaviour, in part because I feel I should have grown out of it by now. I buy in to the stereotype of the teenaged girl with a razor. But that isn’t an accurate picture of self-injury. It comes in many forms, both genders, and a wide range of ages. I’ve heard as young as 10 and as old as 62.
One significant problem here is that adults who self injure have very little support. Entire treatment programmes exist for children and teens. Adults are expected to outgrow that and magically become able to cope with stressors upon reaching adulthood. It doesn’t quite work that way, though. Even with a great therapist and a new bag of coping skills, I fall back on self-injury sometimes. Maybe I always will. I *hope* that isn’t true and that one day I’ll stop forever. From where I sit now, though, that doesn’t seem realistic.
If you are an adult who self injures, please know you aren’t alone. There are many of us who understand and who are riding along this struggle with you. I wish for you peace and for the ability to learn new coping mechanisms that will ease your pain without creating more. It’s never too late to ask for help.