(Closed) NWR: My friend is self harming.

posted 6 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
4439 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

@SouthernGirl:  I don’t think there is anything you can say to her, it’s a coping mechanism and she needs to find something else to do.  Punching bag? Exercise?

You did the right thing taking her out to get away from it, sounds like she’s low on confidence and letting these two beat her up emotionally.

Does she have a lawyer?  Does she have a shrink?

Post # 4
3638 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

@SouthernGirl:  Can you take her to the Doctor? Just a regular GP to start with. That way they can write a referral for her to head somewhere else AND an outside person can show her that this isn’t ok, or normal and the people want to help. 

I’m so sorry that this is happening, it must be awful watching her go through it. *hugs*

Post # 5
469 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

The most important thing to do is be supportive and non-judgemental. Dont act all “mom” on her (not saying you are but just saying)…she is dong this because she feels she is not being heard/she is bottling things up. Just be the good friend you are and allow her to come to you about things, listen, dont bf hate bc that might scare her from trusting you and it will come off condescending. You just need to know that she is feeling really low and needs someone who truely cares about her. 

Post # 8
4439 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

@SouthernGirl:  Well at least the lawyer is someone to talk to even if their responses and help aren’t as good as a shrink’s would be 🙂

Somewhere down the line she will realize it doesn’t work to fix things for her and give it up.  Until then I think she just needs to be kept busy so she doesn’t have as much alone time to be depressed.

Post # 9
1649 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

@SouthernGirl:  Does your friend have any family in the area? Is she close with any family members? Is there anyone else that she might talk with and trust? See if they could talk to her about what’s happening. She’s an adult and that means she can’t be forced into anything (unless there are extreme circumstances like Britney Spears’ meltdown), but I would highly recommend she see a therapist or counselor.

Unfortunately, there really isn’t a whole lot that you can do other than try to be there for her. The fact that she’s not returning your calls or texts may mean that you pushed her too much in your intial conversation or that she’s feeling ashamed for confiding in you. Give her a little time and try again. Or write her a letter explaining that your sorry if you made her uncomfortable and you’d love to get coffee sometime (or something along those lines).

If you speak with her, don’t push her too much about the topic; it could cause her to pull away more and that wouldn’t be to her benefit. Ask how she’s been doing and let her lead the conversation. Be encouraging; remind her of things she’s done in the past that you’ve admired or that you think shows how strong she can be. Tell her you are always willing to listen or help if she needs it.

Other than that, I’m not too sure what else you can do. If you feel that she is a threat to herself or others though, then you need to alert the authorities and have them deal with it. It could mean the end of your friendship, but it could also mean saving her life.

Post # 11
1649 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

@SouthernGirl:  Sounds like a solid plan. It could be that your friend has been struggling for a while and all this drama has just pushed her enough to make a bad choice. Do the best you can!

Post # 12
1839 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

i used to self harm and really, there’s nothing you can do about it. just be there for her if she wants to talk and try not to be judgemental

Post # 13
8576 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I have experiance with harming myself, except I was a cutter. It wasn’t for attention [alot of people assume that’s what it is about]. I actually went out of my way to cover it, most people didn’t know I was even doing it, until my brother found me almost dead, on my bathroom floor.

Sometimes, life throws you SO much crap, and you don’t know how to process it. Everything hurts. Everything. You’re depressed and there isn’t any real way to handle these situations. I was faced with many life changing events, I won’t go into many details but here’s a short list, and sadly this isn’t everything : father leaving, mother giving handing me over to a family I HATED, running away, getting pregnant at a young age, premature birth, child dying, house fire [lost all ALL of my belongings], car accident [hospitalized for a week, almost died], one of my best friends getting into a drunk driving accident and dying [HE wasn’t drunk. His mother was, he picked her up from the bar, and in her drunken haze, she grabbed the wheel, and they crashed. They did 6 flips down a hill, no survivors]. And my best friend was making herself throw up, constantly.

All of these happened within a 9 month period.

Yes, I was pretty messed up. No therepist or ANYONE I talked to could help. There wasn’t anything they could say. Honestly, 2 of them I talked to told me they could see how I was so messed up. That’s helpful [not]. Many people will say they “understand”, and they “know how you feel”, but you know it’s not true. It’s like when a family member dies, and suddenly, everyone you’ve never met says “Sorry for your loss.” You know, most of the time, it’s just empty words. They are saying something because they have no words to say.

The best thing you can do is be there for her, and pray she comes around. Hopefully she realizes that her guy is causing her pain, and she deserves so much better.

Post # 14
780 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@SouthernGirl:  Don’t know if I can help; I worked with at risk/high risk children and young adults who had self harmed.  My experience counseling and monitoring severely traumatized self-harmers is that there is a growing self-loathing component coupled with intense feelings of “insignificance” simultaneously being countered by feelings of needing to release “significant pain” and all this – all the self harming’s end result – is to feel alive/here/significant/emotive.  The dangerous thing about self-harming is that, once engaged, places the individual very near the precipice of suicide out of nowhere.  The key with the psychology of the self-harmer is that they need to see blood/feel pain, and yet they are aware after the ‘release’ that they need to resume regular life.  The on/off switch nature is what scares me about hearing that someone is found to be a self-harmer.  

Your friend feels guilty, walked out on her job, her ex (?) joking about getting some maybe elsewhere and they fight – these are all intensely painful things.  But she burns herself for release from all of the above and, sometimes, for attention.  Not from you; from him.  Is she still pining for him?  You mentioned “she doesn’t really have anyone”; is it safe to say she latched onto him?  @SouthernGirl, watch for other signs; like impulsivity or manic highs/lows from your friend.  Self-harmers are deep down ‘ashamed’ of the harming, and of the original trauma/memory/feeling that jettisoned the harming.  She needs to start talking to a good, down to earth counselor/therapist now.  I hope she finds her grounding and that you can be there for her.  I hope she starts to learn to love herself.  Difficult situation with complex emotions.  

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