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humanoid

Symmetry

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Has anyone else that self-injures felt like they needed to make symmetrical injuries to their body? Like for example, 8 cuts on the right thigh, and then 8 cuts in the same spot as the right on the left thigh? And when I say "needed" I mean really needed to, like can't think about anything else until I do this now now now, not as in just a want.

I realize that I'm getting very obsessive over SI right now, but I have never felt like I needed to make symmetrical marks to my body. And I've noticed my SI is becoming more planned out, more ritualistic. I've moved to a new area on my body, and I almost feel as if I'm trying to improve how I look by injuring. I know that's kind of twisted, seeing as injuries aren't really supposed to look good, and most people would think it looked bad, but I can't help but feel I am "fixing" my body by making these symmetric cuts.

I haven't been happy with my body in years. Most days I look in the mirror and feel like I see someone else. These perfect, even cuts do look like they belong to me, even if my body doesn't. I'm trying not to go and make more right now because I know if I start, I won't be able to stop until it looks "right". I don't even know what "right" would be, it would just be a feeling. I guess kind of like with my trichotillomania, how I don't stop pulling hairs until I get that feeling.

I know I'm struggling so much right now, being in limbo as far as treatment goes. I have no tdoc right now, and we're waiting to get a loan approved so I can go for residential treatment. Maybe this whole obsessing over my body and symmetry is just how I'm coping...

I guess I just want to know that I'm not the only one who has felt this way or done this. I'm feeling rather...fucked up, I guess, for lack of a better word. I just need to hear that I'm not alone, that somebody understands what's going on.

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I guess I just want to know that I'm not the only one who has felt this way or done this. I'm feeling rather...fucked up, I guess, for lack of a better word. I just need to hear that I'm not alone, that somebody understands what's going on.

I can guarantee you that you are not the only one who has felt this way or done this.

I wonder if feeling like many other things being outside your control increases the desire to have control over things that you DO get to be in charge of.

Like how OCD compulsive behaviors tend to increase when people have other, big life changes.

Just wondering aloud about that.

And wanting you to know you're not a freak.

Love,

Woo

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Hey humanoid,

I think the desire for symmetry is quite common. Probably a connection to OCDesque tendencies, a comfort it it. Like Wooster said. I used to always cut on both arms, same number of times on each side.

Do you think you could take that knowledge, that it's a compulsion for symmetry, and channel it into a less harmful coping skill?

Maybe something ritualistic having to do with balance like stenciling or etc.?

2699332508_8429c214e4.jpg

(the butterfly is really schmarmy, isn't it?)

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I need to have an even number of cuts. Always. And there need to be scars on both sides of my body. Or I feel weird.

Edited by breezy

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I feel uncomfortable if one side of me feels different to the other. I like symmetry. It's comforting.

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If the butterfly is too schmarmy, how about a mandala?

1896hg.jpg

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I feel uncomfortable if one side of me feels different to the other. I like symmetry. It's comforting.

I definitely understand this. For some reason, I'm okay as long as I have cuts on both sides, but they don't need to be similar.

:Trigger:

I have one long scar on my right thigh surrounded by random other scars and cuts, but I don't need to have one long thick scar on my left leg to feel okay. As long as there's scars on my left thigh, I'm comfortable.

If that makes sense.

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Thank you all for the comments, haven't had a chance to reply until now.

I'm relieved to hear it's not just me. I needed to hear that other people get why I feel this way and have also done it, too. That really helped, thank you.

I did try drawing symmertrical patterns and trying to concentrate on perfection in that way, but soon it became obvious that it wasn't the same thing. I guess I can kinda understand now why I'm doing this.

I mean, there are some big life changes happening...well, possibly about to happen. We may be moving to another state and again I may be going into residential treatment in another state, where my parents may not be able to visit. I've never been away from them for more than a couple of days. I know I'm stressed right now.

I've also been dealing with a lot of rejection lately. Don't think I'll go into detail about that because it hurts too much.

:Trigger:

Unfortunately I did it again last night. On the thighs again and then right above where my underwear is. Both symmetrically perfect. When I look at them in the mirror, I feel calm somehow, less upset with my image, though it still looks like someone else staring back at me. Right now I'm wondering if this just has to run it's course. With my self-injury I go through big chunks of time where I'm doing it consistently, and then chunks of time where I'm not doing it at all. Maybe once things settle down in my life, I'll be back to not doing it at all?

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There are active and pro-active coping strategies that you can try.

There's a whole big bunch of them pinned at the top of the forum.

Know that any change process is difficult and likely to have relapses not because you have failed or you are a failure, but because its a normal and expected part of the change process.

Please check out the distress tolerance skills on dbtselfhelp and figure out how you could make them work for you.

Self harm is a symptom. I hope you are taking steps to address the underlying cause(s) and getting some professional support in your life.

Kind regards,

Woo

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I go through periods of needing absolute symmetry in everything. Usually pain is one of the key issues. Same with cuts - number, not location (so roughly on my thigh, but the number has to be the same).

Everyone has already said it all in terms of suggestions above.

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