Last Sunday night, I fall. I fall into a mire of suicide ideation and self-loathing. I have just been to visit my mother. Things appeared normal. If family life was normal, then I am bad, bad, bad, for seeking, let alone being in, therapy. I am a terrible daughter. My mother recounts each time I see her, episodes of my childhood epitomising the fact that I was a difficult, horrid child to parent. Nothing like she imagined motherhood.
Alone that night, I self-harm. The first time in eight, nine weeks. It is release, and it helps me feel calmer. But I have broken my therapeutic community contract not to self-harm. So I have to review the reasons why with the community. And I do.
And it might have felt justified to say that it was because I was left on eggshells one day because I was organising a seminar on the most triggering topic ever, and I kept dissociating. Or, that at an event at the Royal College of Psychiatry, I was constantly intellectualising, and found it quasi-impossible, surrounded by psychologists, to hold my position as a TC member. Or even, that my parents’ decree absolute came through, and I felt numb to it. Or that my housemate is away and my cat is remonstrating in no uncertain terms, her primary attachment to him, and I am feeling rejected and unwanted. But I didn’t self-harm in response to any of those things. These things happened after last Sunday. The self-harm did not feel justified. Post-calm, it feels rubbish as rubbish.
Again, I repeat my prayer, God, keep me from self-harm. My junior church made glitter jars this morning. Jars to help them find courage to face difficult situations, to breathe when feeling difficult emotions. One child asks if I have one. I have not -I didn’t have time for the Blue Peter moment this week. Yet I struggle, probably more than these children do. I need to make a glitter jar. I need faith that it is worth picking myself up, in spite of the stuff that’s happened this week, and that it is worth continuing with the TC, worth dealing with it. As I do, God, keep me from self-harm.