When I was out the other day, I saw someone who had all these cuts on their forearm and I thought that this person must self-harm. Over the years, I have seen a number of people with arms that have received a lot of harm.
But, whenever I see something like this, I usually feel pain through imagining what it must be like and I feel deeply curious as to why something like this has taken place. I want to know what this person has been through; what it is that has caused them to do this to themselves.
When someone has at least one arm that has been cut in this way, there is a strong chance that they have had a least one experience that completely overwhelmed them. And, if it wasn’t one experience, then they would have had a number of experiences like this.
Perhaps this was how they felt during the beginning of their life, or it might be due to what has happened in their adult life. If it goes back to their early years, maybe they were abused and/or neglected.
This pain is likely to have been so overwhelming that they had to disconnect from it, with this being a matter of survival. If this was the case, it is likely to show that there wasn’t anyone available who could be there for them.
Yet, if their whole system was overwhelmed as a result of being abused, this is not much of a surprise. The person (or people) who abused them wouldn’t have had the awareness to see how destructive their behaviour was.
The years would have passed since this took place but the pain would have stayed in their body. And as they have disconnected from their body in order to protect themselves, they will spend a lot of time feeling numb.
Cutting their own body will enable them to feel something, and this will also allow them to experience an emotional release. Doing this will cause their body to release endorphins, too – the feel good chemicals.
This will allow them to discharge some energy and to feel better for a short while, and this is what they need. However, the problem with doing this is that they are harming themselves in the process.
In addition, what it takes for them to experience pleasure at one point in time might not be what it takes at another, causing them to do even more damage to themselves. This is why it is going to be vital for them to reach out for the right support.
Due to what they experienced – either as a child or in their adult life – they can carry a lot of shame, and this shame can be exacerbated by what they have done to their body. Nevertheless, even though they can be caught up in this shame, it doesn’t mean that there is something inherently wrong with them.
A therapist or a healer, for instance, will make this clear to them; that doesn’t mean that they will be able to accept this straight away. This is likely to take time and effort, but they are worth it.