Hi, my name is….

*Trigger warning: This post involves self-mutiliation, the discussion of blood, and the mental effects associated. 

What is your opinion about the relationship between self-injury & masochism?

There are very few people in my life that know about my history with self-mutilation and how it led me to masochism. I have written previously about masochism and how it is incorporated into my life in my post Hurt me like you mean it.

At 19 yrs. old I made a self-discovery that would continue to feed into my life in ways I would never imagine. I was shaving in the shower like many women do. I cut my leg right above the ankle bone, you always know when you do as the pain is sharp and immediate. The cut then proceeds to bleed like a stuck pig, running down the tub to the drain to be washed away forever. This one particular memory will never fade for me.

I had just broken up with my first boyfriend and despite how I wanted to feel, I was still heartbroken. I wanted the pain that I had caused him to wash down the drain just as the blood had. Even when you are the person crushing someone else’s heart it still hurts. I didn’t want to feel anything just as I didn’t want him to feel anything.

The immediate physical pain I felt after that nick was a relief in a way. The physical pain took away the mental anguish, the guilt. I stood there in the hot shower and just watched it trail to the drain. I was desperate for all of my emotions and feelings to go the same way as the blood.

Curiosity got a hold of me at this point. Wrapped in a towel I put a band-aid on my ankle so i didn’t leave marks on the linoleum. I went into the bedroom and pulled out my box cutter from work. I always had a new back up razor blade just in case the one I had in went dull. I pulled out the new blade and discarded the cardboard sheath it was encased in. I went back into the bathroom and sat on the counter by the sink. I doused the blade in rubbing alcohol and let it dry. If I was going to experiment I didn’t want to give myself any secondary infections. Once dry I put a little pressure on the blade as it neatly sliced my skin on the inside of my forearm. It stung but quickly faded as I watched the little beads of blood surface. I was mesmerized. I made another small cut and it had the same effect.

Once I made the two cuts I stopped. I washed the blade in soap and hot water and dried it off. I laid it on the counter behind the sink basin in case I became ‘curious’ again. I covered the small cuts and waited for them to heal. It was only a matter of days when I tried this again. This time it was the opposite arm. I’m naturally right handed so cutting with my left hand was a bit more challenging. The cuts were not as precise and the pressure was a bit different. I still felt the relief though. Each time I performed this ritual I added a cut in order to achieve the release I craved.

I began wearing longer sleeves to work even in the heat of summer. I used the excuse that my arms were constantly burning in the sun so covering them was better than sunblock. I wasn’t dating anyone at this point so it was easy to brush off any comments.

This continued for about 6 months until I got “caught”. My coworker/friend discovered my secret. We had hung out after work many times and I was pretty enthralled with him. We were leaving work and I had gotten upset over something involving a customer. I rushed out of the door to my car; I needed to get home so I could get rid of the emotions. He called after me but I ignored him. I knew it wasn’t healthy but by this point I couldn’t stop. I had to make more and more cuts to make myself numb. I would tell myself over and over this is the last time, but it never was, I was addicted.

My cell phone rang several times. I knew it was him but I ignored the phone and just kept making more little cuts. I was careful to never cut too deep and never near my wrists. I didn’t want to die, I just wanted to stop feeling the guilt. I wasn’t enough for anyone. I couldn’t be loved. Someone who does this to themselves shouldn’t be loved. People who hurt others shouldn’t be trusted with their hearts. I heard these voices like a chant until enough cuts made them stop.

The pounding on my apartment door yanked me out of my trance. I waited until the pounding stopped. I got off the counter, washed my blade and put in back in it’s place behind the sink basin. The pounding started again, this time he called out for me to open the door. I got angry, my face flushed and I started shaking. I threw on my long sleeve shirt and yanked open the door. He rushed in and hugged me. I tried to pull away and as I pulled he grabbed my forearms. My wince was pretty evident as these cuts were only minutes old. He pushed up my sleeves as I screamed at him to stop.

The look on his face is something else I won’t ever forget. It wasn’t judgmental, it was the look of “why?”. Like he could feel every ounce of pain that poured out of these little cuts. He stood there, holding me, and asking why I needed to do this to myself. I didn’t answer, my mind went blank. I started shaking again so he grabbed my blanket off the couch, wrapped me up and walked me to his car. I don’t remember the ride, I had no idea where we were going.

When the car stopped it was in front of his house. I was ushered inside and down to the basement. His roommate was a nurse at one of the local hospitals. I heard them talking but I couldn’t make out what was being said. The shaking got worse and my teeth started to chatter. There it was, the only word I could hear them say, “Shock. She is in shock.” I remember him standing in front of me, asking if I understood him. I nodded but I had no idea what he actually said. He took my blanket and slowly undressed me down to my underwear, wrapped me back up in my blanket and laid me down. Pillows went under my feet and another blanket over me. They took one arm out of the blanket and started cleaning all my little cuts. One arm cleaned then wrapped and put back inside the blanket, then they moved to the other arm and gave it the same treatment. I stopped shaking. He slowly sat me up and sat down behind me, pulled me against his chest and held me.

This was the last time I cut myself. Honestly and truly the last time. I spoke to him about it and he never judged me. He did help me get into therapy too. He understood that this behavior wasn’t for attention, this was my coping mechanism for the guilt, sadness, anger, and every other emotion I just couldn’t process.

I went to therapy even though I questioned if it was going to help me. I’m not proud to say that after the first month or so I still felt unfulfilled so I began to engage in other activities. I never got into drugs or excessive drinking, I got into sex and a lot of it. I tried to replace the cutting with rough sex. I still dated my coworker but neither of us were ready for anything monogamous. He continued to help me in every way he could, including my introduction to BDSM. He began with spanking as it was his favorite. He knew how emotionally fragile I was so we started off extremely slow.

The first time he gave me a real spanking, not just a spanking during sex, I was bent over the side of the bed. He told me how many swats on each cheek he was going to give and if at any point I wanted him to stop to say ‘banana’. I laughed and he swatted my backside. It startled me and I stopped laughing. He paused and asked if I wanted him to continue. I nodded and he swatted the other side. Again, he asked if I was okay. After I said yes he continued with the spanking. When he finished my ass was burning hot, he rubbed some type of cream on it massaging it in. I heard his pants unzip and he spread my legs farther out and he plunged into me. I had no idea how turned on I was until he entered me. I could feel how sensitive my bum was every time it hit his thighs. I reveled in it. I found something that made me feel so good and help me let go of the emotional turmoil of the day.

Some may tell you that I didn’t handle my self-injury phase as I should have. I should have stuck with therapy and tried to find more “positive behaviors” to help me process my emotions. To those people, I give a huge dose of mind your own business. Therapy did teach me how to process my emotions without breaking down, but it couldn’t give me the physical pain I needed that would release the pent up frustration. He understood this about me. He wasn’t upset or angry when I stopped going to therapy. He knew that people deal with emotions in many different ways. BDSM became my therapy. Masochism is a small part of this lifestyle, but it holds the most important part for me.

Hi, My name is….., and I am a masochist.

 

 

 

 

16 thoughts on “Hi, my name is….
  1. Thank you for sharing such an honest account with us. I can relate to a lot of what you have written and know there are lots of others who also use pain to manage their emotions. No one has the right to judge what we do and say that it is wrong. If masochism helps to process and work through emotions is that so different to someone who goes running until the point they are sick? Self-harm can be difficult in that there are risks associated with it and it can also be quite isolating. BDSM is not like that, so even if it works in the same sort of way, there are also differences in terms of how it works psychologically. I am glad that you were able to find something that helped for you but hate that people can be made to feel guilty and ashamed of what they have done to try to soothe themselves. 😊

    1. Thank you Missy! I keep my circle pretty small primarily because of my mental health. There are some things they won’t ever know because I’m afraid that I’ll still be ostracized.. this for example. Only two people and of course now my blog know my history, the man that helped me and pet. Both men were involved just not knowing how much until many years later. Both men love me dearly and still help me every day so I’m pretty blessed.

  2. I didn’t get into BDSM until many years after I had stopped the self harm, there are however things on my hard list that are directly related to the things i used back then. I’ve never wanted to take the chance of tapping into that old feeling.
    The release i get from BDSM although induced through pain is much different than the one i got from cutting and needles. Do you find it to be different as well?

  3. Hi nijntje! Yes the pain I experience is quite different. For one it is not permanent i.e. scarring. I would never allow someone else to make a permanent mark on me unless it was something I asked for and even then it comes with a great deal of discussion and research. My tattoos are of that very nature. In a sense I replaced the self-injury with tattoos, I’m just as addicted to them and when I’m really in a bad mental place I divert my attention to the next piece I want. This takes months for me to decide as I’m quite picky because of the permenance.
    The impact play does the most for me in regards to BDSM. I receive therapy spankings aka maintenance. They force me to acknowledge my feelings and then let them go. My SO has been wonderful in administering them even though he isn’t in the lifestyle. He can see the difference in me and will now mention it if I’m not myself. For me it is so much better than taking a pill everyday that makes me a zombie and has a ton of side effects.

    1. I know many people who have in effect replaced self-harm with tattoos or other habits. Addictions really IMO but that’s another post!

      I agree that spankings or any BDSM done when one is in the right frame of mind is a perfectly reasonable way to help maintain a good healthy outlook. It’s no different than running or working out, again IMO. All of which are better than having to rely on drugs. They have a place no doubt, but if you can find something else than it’s a worthy pursuit!!

      Sorry for the late response, now that you have moved to self hosting i don’t get your comments unless i come to the site directly. 🙁

      1. Definitely another post! Lol I could go on and on.
        I’m still working out some bugs on the comment and like front as well. It is quite frustrating as I don’t know if it is a magic button I’m missing in between the WP interface or my host.. to be continued 🤪

  4. Goodness that is a hard hitting post – a spiral of self harm – I am so glad you have moved on – I do enjoy pain form spanking and whipping etc I have self harmed with substances but they don’t leave marks – not on the skin anyhow x

    1. Thank you May. I’m not one to sugar coat just ask pet lol. In being truthful with myself it requires me to be blunt. Sometimes it comes out harsh or offensive even though I don’t mean for it to. Self-harm comes in so many forms; I’m very happy to have found a place that accepts me and my flaws without judgment.

  5. This is beautiful, J. So honest and raw and vulnerable. The role that pain fills for you makes sense, and it’s great that you’ve found a more positive way to get it. And while you are right that there are those who would still say it is the wrong way to deal with your emotions, you are also right to tell them to mind their business. You do you. And keep writing, because it will help others heal, too.

    1. Thank you very much Brigit. My goal has always been to help others be seen as more than just their mental illness. We are all so much more! 🙂

  6. A brave post of self exposure! My daughter cut and also engaged in other forms of self harm. I think she’s past it now but it was a difficult time in all of our lives. I felt your angst as I read this. I’m glad you have found a way to deal with your issues and sincerely hope you don’t feel any guilt about prior behaviours. All the best!

    1. Thank you Michael. I did feel some guilt until pet and I reconnected. He has helped me relieve most of it. I would like to say leave the past in the past, but I won’t forget those points in my life that contributed to the person I am now. I am in a very good place now and I have no intention of ever going back.
      I’m very glad your daughter was able to overcome it as well. Having those that love us able to help and accept us as we are is such a big part in healing.

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