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    Anonymous
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    An eye for an eye. Used to believe in that, that self-punishment was just when others were harmed by what I did. If I hurt someone emotionally (because I’m not a physically violent person), I harmed myself one way or another. Not self-mutilation, as much as. . .ok, it was self-mutilation. I cause myself pain when I cause anyone pain.

    The other night when I overdosed and ended up in the emergency room, I hurt my girlfriend. Broken trust and all that, you know. I thought I had alienated my family, and let down all those whom I love.

    I don’t cut anymore; it causes too many surface wounds that are noticeable. I work at a hospital, but I no longer intentionally infect myself; leaves me out of work for too long, and I run risk of losing my job and home.

    So now I take a less noticeable, more drastic way to punish myself. Now I stare directly into the Sun. Sounds stupid, right? Idiotic, insanely, intentionally risking blindness and cancer? I know. But equally silly is overdosing on pills and harming myself and others, and I seemed to have no problems with that.

    Maybe now I’m trying to cause lasting damage (as if the acetaminophen didn’t fry my liver enough) that will keep me reminded of the things that I’ve done.

    So, I’m ironically trading one addiction for another. Now I hurt myself, causing lasting, hidden damage. Hidden from others, anyhow. If I stare directly at something it’s red for about fifteen minutes after I have a staredown with the star (which it generally wins).

    Anyone else have this problem? Not so much the staring at the Sun thing, but the wanting to punish yourself for perceived wrongs, even those that have been openly forgiven by loved ones?

    –J.P.

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