Jump to content

Questions, always questions


Recommended Posts

Hey, this is my first post ever on this site. I stumbled over it while looking for some place to discuss self-injury.


What brings me here? Well, there are a few reasons, and they may each deserve a separate topic, but for now I'll put it all here. I'm basically just trying to find somebody to talk to. I think that starting a discussion with somebody may help me through my current life situation.


My main reason for being here is my girlfriend. We've been together for almost a year and a half now. I love her dearly, and I really think she's the love of my life. About 8 to 10 months ago, she began injuring herself. She told me about it last December. It of course hurt me deeply, and I let her know that I was here for her, but that I thought she needed professional advice.


A few months ago she finally started seeing a therapist that specializes in SI. They both decided that the best course of action would be to admit herself into the SAFE Alternatives inpatient program. Today is the 4th day of her treatment.


So, why do I tell you this? I just miss her very deeply. I feel both sad, upset, distressed, and anxious about her. I feel like this is all out of my hands, because really it is. I have even thought about turning to SI in the past few days just to rezlive some of the tension I'm feeling.


I guess what I'm asking is what do I do now? The girl of my dreams is almost 1,000 miles away. I can only talk to her once a day, and she has to call me first. I feel out of contact and just really alone. I know this is all temporary. I know this really is the best for her, and that she's in the right place. Yet for some reason, I'm really afraid of what will happen. I'm not sure how to get through this month while she's gone.

Link to comment

Hi and welcome to ENA


It's completely understandable that you feel upset about your gf being so far away. Her being 1000 miles away would have been difficult even if it wasn't for the reasons that are the case now. I think you're being a great support for her. She needs professional help and I think she will really benefit from a specialized program.


Sometimes, these inpatient programs involve sessions with the family or partner. Do you know if that is the case? Are you able/allowed to visit her?


Maybe it will help you (and be great for her) if you write her letters. They could be just short notes, with the kind of information you'd normally tell her daily, like what you cooked for dinner or what happened at work/school. I am sure that small things like that will make her feel a bit more in touch with the outside world.

Link to comment

Thanks for the quick reply, I appreciate all the help I can get.


I will be writing letters, and I'm hoping that helps. She told me she sent me a letter or two yesterday, but I still have to wait for them to come in. I'm sure that will help with some of the disconnectedness I've been feeling.


I'm pretty sure that visitors are allowed. I'm not sure under what circumstances or what the process would be. However, I'm not certain I have the financial means to visit her. We're both 21 year old college students, so money is pretty tight at the moment. I also never went into a therapy session with her while she was seeing somebody locally, and I'm not sure if she wants that or not.


She mentioned several times before she left that she really does need this, and I completely agree with her. She also mentioned that she was viewing it as an alone time to figure things out for herself, SI being the main one, but obviously all the underlying issues that have led to this. I've also decided to take this time as an alone time, and root out issues I've had with myself.


The hardest thing right now is that times feels like it is moving so slowly. So slowly that I feel like there is no end, like she will never come back. I know this isn't true, but I spend so much time thinking about it that I just grow more and more anxious. I'm just not sure what to do with myself. I think it's a combination of just worrying about her and missing her. I always feel alive when I'm with her, and now I feel almost the opposite.


How do I bide my time?

Link to comment

Hey There


Yes Like Arwen said she is in the best possible place. I've read a lot of information on SAFE and spoken to the founders, and i must say i have a huge respect for them. It is a great place, run by talented and caring therapists, doctors and psychologists. For her to get a place SAFE would have selected her from her application form because she showed promise, they thought she had an excellent chance of returning to a normal healthy life.


It might help to give her some space. not to smother her with calls and letters. They get a lot of essays to write about their thoughts and feelings. It is hard work and they are kept very busy!


Maybe you should take some time out to think about yourself? Re-kindle doing hobbies that you used to love? keep a journal of your thoughts. maybe write letters to her, but keep them with you for now. it will still help to get those feelings out. maybe you could show her the letters or feelings you wrote down when she gets out. you may find some of them change and you are glad you didnt send them in a few weeks.


Trust them, I do.

She's in good hands.


And you have done all you can.


Just being there is amazing. Standing by her. Not freaking out about it. Knowing. A lot of self-injurers have no-one at all who knows. You have done great.


girl friend

Link to comment

Thanks so much for this, girl friend. I do feel a lot better about things. I know it will be hard for both of us, though definitely for her more than myself.


I guess you're absolutely right about the space thing. I need to not be overly worried or anxious about the situation. I definitely should put my trust in both her and her therapists. It just isn't as easy as it sounds, but I will try.


The high point of my day is when she calls. I can tell she misses me as much as I miss her, but I also can sense her uneasiness and stress and all the other things she's undoubtedly going through right now. I have this seemingly inbuilt impulse to help her, but I know that there is nothing I can do directly that will pull her out. Only she can do that, with the help of her therapists. I think I need to realize that, like you said, just being here and talking to her is the best thing to do for her right now.


Again, thanks for the replies. I do keep a journal of my thoughts, emotions, etc., but I think just "talking" (typing?) to other people is a real relief for me. I don't feel all that alone anymore. In fact, this is probably the best I've felt in a while.


The big thing for me now is to keep this state of mind going, and not slip into the feeling of hopeless despair that I've kinda wavered in and out of through the past few days. Like I said, this is only day 4 of treatment for her, but I haven't seen her since before I left for vacation a week ago.


I get really tense when I start to think about things too much. I tend to start thinking irrationally, and the worry just builds and builds. My stomach feels all queasy, and I feel like I'm out of control. I felt that way most of the morning til I talked to you kind folks, and I'm just afraid of it happening again.

Link to comment

You ARE out of control now hon, you need 2 accept that. The only person who can ultimately 'fix' her is herself. You can only be there, in the background. And she knows you care. She needs to be alone now. She can do it, thousands have beat Self-Injury at SAFE and she can too. I know how helpless you can feel when a loved one is battling this and you feel that whatever you do, you are doing nothing, because they are still cutting themselves no matter how much love you pour at them. Its not about you. Your support means the world to her i'm sure. But this is her battle, no heroic acts by friends or lovers can fix it.


Your state of mind? Have fun!! Take care of yourself properly. Eat right, Sleep enough, chill, go out, to the local and play pool or whatever if you like that, go out with mates, go to the gym if you do that, go running, or stay in watching football, do whatever it is you love, and try to not carry her around in you. She's going to be out in about a month you know, and the last thing she needs is to come home to an emotional wreck remember! So take the time to properly care for yourself so that you will be happy and relaxed, and the time will fly by. Time alone may be beneficial, try to see everything in terms of ''this will be good for me.''


girl friend

Link to comment

Yea, you're totally right. Thanks bunches.


I talked to her today, and I really feel better about the whole thing. Yea, it isn't easy, and I'm going to miss her a ton, but this really is for the best. For all involved.


I think what really got me was just the uncertainty. I didn't feel in control of the situation, because as you said, I'm not. But after talking to her, I know that this is right, and whatever she feels the need to do for herself is what should be done. I'm hoping she can stick to it, I know she can. I will always be there to support her.


Anyways, I must sound like a broken record. Thanks again for all the help. I'll be sure to try and keep myself in mind through all of this. I've got lots of things to work on for myself, and hopefully I'll be an even better boyfriend for her when she gets back than when she left.

Link to comment

If you can, read more about self harm, when she comes home she will need all the support she can get, a month of intense therapy will help a lot but she will still need your support to help her use the coping skills she has learned in this time. In this month they will teach her a lot but it is in a controlled environment, and will only be successful if she can apply it in real life and it is here were she will really need your support and understanding.

Link to comment

Hey, just thought I would check in about things.


Everything is going really well. A lot of my fears, many irrational, have been completely extinguished. She usually calls me at least once a night, and we talk for 20-30 minutes. I still miss her a lot, but I've finally convinced myself that she's in the right environment.


Right now she's going through a lot of the normal reactions for this stage of treatment. She has started to deal with emotions rather than suppressing them. She's very anxious about watching her scars heal. She has been SI free for close to a week, which is a first for her. I can tell she's dealing with a lot of things, which is good. She also understands that I'm here to support her, and I'm proud of what she's doing, but that she needs to do this for herself, I can't do it for her. She also understands that it will take a lot of work after treatment, and I think she fully realizes the scope of what she needs to do. I am absolutely confident that she can do it.


As for myself, don't worry, I don't plan on changing my personality or who I am. There are just a few issues in my life that need resolving. It's mainly stuff with my parents, and I don't need to go into detail here. Basically I'm just dealing with things so that I can be more of myself, rather than changing who I am.


Basically, everything is going really well. Thanks for all the advice and support. I probably won't post here until she goes into outpatient in a little over a week, just to update, unless something goes horribly wrong. I hope that this thread can serve as a glimmer of hope that help is out there for self-injurers. You can get through this!


Oh, and could anyone recommend some books on the subject? I've already read the SAFE book, and I'm curious what else would be helpful. Thanks much!

Link to comment

I am happy to hear that you feel better about things now. It's a good thing that she has to contact you (is that part of the program?); this way you know that she will contact you according to her needs. That way, she can have her boundaries- which I think is generally important. Again, I think you are being a tremendous partner for her. It is times like these that can really make the bond between two people strong.


If you are looking for books, you could always check out the main page of enotalone. There are lots of articles there. Are you looking for a book aimed at partners of SIs or for SI in general?

Link to comment

Thanks for the well wishes, Arwen. I have noticed that this has really been bringing us together, even when she first came to me about SI.


It's not that she's required to call me, it's just she feels the need to talk. We both just feel so close to each other. She'll tell me about her day, what she's struggling with at the moment, etc. I'm just trying to listen and be supportive and empathetic. Yesterday was really hard for her because she had to share a traumatic experience that really had a big impact on her SI, and all I could really say was that I understand that this has to be really hard for her, but to just hang in there.


I think a big part of my problem when she first arrived was just the automatic reaction that if she is not feeling well, something is wrong and I need to fix it. I'v learned over the past few days that all these emotions she is having are normal. I cannot fix anything. I can just be supportive, understand, and listen. If she asks for my advice, I can give it, but I'm not here to save her. I think this was the hardest part for me to understand, and I'm still trying to.


As far as books, yea, sorry I wasn't more specific. Any books on the topic would be helpful, but I would really like a book geared towards the partner of an SI. I'm trying to get more of a grasp of what she is going through, and how I can best support her through all of this.


Thanks again for all the great replies.

Link to comment

A Bright Red Scream by Marlee Strong is very good first chapter available to read online here: link removed


I've read a lot on the area, but haven't come accross any books specifically designed for the partner, though 'bodily harm' by SAFE which you read have a section on it.


Scarred Soul by Alderman is very good and has sections for family members and friends.


You sound like a great boyfriend, you are being a great support to her, and doing so much to help! Believe me your support alone will be such a huge boost.

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

Hey, just thought I'd give a little update. My girlfriend is flying in tomorrow morning. She graduated SAFE this weekend and everything seems to be going great. She has already said that there is a lot of things she wants to tell me, and I think this whole experience has really helped us be able to open up to each other, which is great. I know she is technically not "fully" recovered, but she has made great progress, and I'm ready to support her the rest of the way.


So thanks again for all the help. If something else pops up I'll be sure to check back in for more advice. I'll try to stick around and offer any advice I can to everyone else here. The girlfriend really got a lot out of the SAFE experience, and met a lot of people from similar backgrounds that she plans to keep in touch with. So from her experience, I couldn't recommend this program more to anyone that struggles with SI. Hope everyone has a great week. Take care.



Link to comment

Thats great Russ! Was nice meeting you!


So from her experience, I couldn't recommend this program more to anyone that struggles with SI. Hope everyone has a great week. Take care.





Yes i agree, SAFE is the best (and only, but still great) attempt at a treatment program for Self-Injury and i recommend it to anyone in the area, its just too bad it is only in the USA, and so expensive.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...