Healing from the inside and out.
My intentions for the “series” were developed through the sudden screeching halt to my relationship with my boyfriend of 3 years and ¾ which ended in September.
I had planned to write a blog based purely on travelling and the life list of everything I want to accomplish, but since the break-up my writing has taken a very negative approach as I ventured through the raw emotions of pain with the bereavement of what we used to be.
Although my break-up was generated from my awful actions of cheating on him when I was travelling South east Asia, I felt as though there was and is, a lacking support for those who cause a break-up or disclose a relationship in our society when it’s a sincere mistake we have made.
We don’t always know why we act on certain things, especially when we are aware that the consequences will devastate others, but we shouldn’t be indorsed to feeling it’s wrong of us to still grieve through the hurt as we proceed to feel the complex stages of a break-up. If anything I feel the breakie has more difficulty through-out the overall transition than the broken as we deal with our hurt, guilt and misery, then the hurt we have caused to you, the hurt to others around the relationship, the judgement, the lack of support, and then the array of emotions that are so easily supressed due to feeling all the above. Whereas the broken have instant liberation and are motivated to move forward because “I didn’t deserve that, good riddance to them and time to live for me”.
So, I set it upon myself to justify from a person who had disjointed the life of another’s, the very raw, unscripted truth of dealing with my progression through my break-up.
You will find through my posts that I speak honestly and from the bottom of my heart and from only my perspective. Some of them maybe written on a bad day so can be a gruelling, heavy read, whereas others can offer a slight flirtation through humorous charm and charismatic wit.
At the end of the day, I ventured into writing about my break-up to allow my emotions to lay at rest.
Having processed a numerous complexity of feelings that, as challenging and unbearable as they were to invite into my life, allowed me to welcome a healthy renewal towards a more positive future, I wouldn’t have been able to do it if I didn’t allow myself the time to feel the change of velocities my heart was going through.
Welcome to my Series one of inflicted pain
This is a stage that we travel through subconsciously with blurred vision, knowing deep down any reactions we go forth with won’t profit our pre-existing state of mind, but nevertheless, we prevail to only reconcile after we have caused the damage.
In other words, this stage for me was an alerting, red cautionary sign which clearly, I ignored, because I was on a path of self-destruct and felt so much heart-ache for hurting someone, that as a result, I decided I deserved further punishment.
Everything was out of balance and I let myself listen to the bullying thoughts that worked in a malicious fashion with every negative feeling I possessed, causing more delusional decision making.
I paced the floors agitatedly around the miniscule bathroom of the hostel that I was sharing with a further 5 people.
Luckily, no one else was in and it was the middle of the day so my compilation of emotions where released into my surroundings, rapidly spreading like wildfire.
That was it, no going back now but honesty is the best policy isn’t it?
Why did I tell him? Even more so why did I do it?
My anxiety hastily started to build an unhealthy rapour with other opposing feelings, delivering a flashing pain of rage, then guilt, followed closely by fear, every emotion was so sudden and caused an epidemic of nausea to nestle unsettlingly well within the pit of my stomach.
Within minutes I went from “Fuck, I’ve just told him the truth”, to “I need to get out of my body and this life, I need to feel as far away from the situation as possible”.
How much further could I get?
I was in the centre of the hustle and bustling Hanoi city, away from everyone and away from the man’s heart I have just broken over the phone exclaiming to him I had cheated on him and our almost four-year relationship.
It felt like I was having a nightmare, my hands where shaking pulling back my hair, my eyes were wide and blood shot from the unstoppable tears, and I kept on having outbursts of just screaming cramped over which then lead to sobbing loudly as I tried to contemplate why I had done it.
The whole situation was starting to make me feel queasy and sick, I wanted to be away from myself and be able to disconnect from my mind, but all I could think of was the raging guilt, desperation and undying torment my mind and heart were feeling which constantly circled round and around.
I was in this beautiful country with amazing people able to do anything and I was so involved with what was going on in my head with what I had just destroyed.
I couldn’t appreciate anything, even days after this day, I felt completely numb and whimsically mislead as to why I was here and where I should be.
I was trapped in my own thoughts and completely confused with what reality was, pacing the floors with my stomping bare feet that slapped the tiles brusquely every-time I paced to and from the bathroom.
“Don’t do anything stupid Grace, you know the re-procussions are pointless afterwards and you are left feeling like an idiot, there are better ways of dealing with this, just call your sister and speak to her, speak to anyone and try and calm down. ”
All I could think of when I tried to talk sense into myself was diverting the sensibility of the situation back over to the thoughts of what I had just done and how much pain he must be in.
This yo yo game of a back and forth argument I was having with myself lasted about 30 minutes before I slammed my hands down onto the sinks surface, looking at my reflection I felt the knotted pit in my stomach reject the face of who I was.
After a few minutes of blubbering why to my reflection, I shook my head down in remorse towards everything that was becoming a permanent factor to live with, and then thats when I saw my get out ticket to stopping this feeling.
Don’t pick up the razor Grace, you have been there before, do not pick up the razor.
I had self-harmed before on numerous occasions, the only visible one to date was from the descending relationship with my previous ex, we decided on mutual terms to spilt up, but I soon found out he was seeing a friend of ours only a month or so afterwards.
I had fallen out with every single friend from school over a harsh eruption that was plastered on Facebook about how shit a friend I had been to them during my relationship and lastly my family, rightfully so, had a full-blown argument with me because I was being a selfish idiot and started to cut them out of my life too, so I took to the knife.
Prior to this there has been a couple of times where I just wanted to see what it felt like to put a knife onto my skin and glide it along in a lingering manner to toy with the idea, but only few times did I indent the skin with light scratches.
I hastily took my razor out of my wash-bag, pulled the toilet seat down and plonked myself ontop.
It was as though I was a small child having a serious melt-down, nothing was able to stop the tears and tantrums of what I felt, but suddenly, I was handed my favourite toy to take away all the emotion and calm the situation.
I sat there sniffling, for a moment I contemplated and allowed a little bit of sense to wiggle its way back into my mind… “you won’t be happy with the reaction of this, it won’t solve anything, it won’t have stopped what you’ve done”.
I ignored it and continued to inflict external pain from how my internal state was feeling.
I felt it cut into my skin but this time was different, I didn’t feel a relief.
I then saw the angry crimson droplets rise to the surface in a flurry but I felt nothing, so I kept scrubbing back and forth over the new wound.
The anticipation was like a game of chicken, but with everything I had just lost control over this was one thing I had full control with, it was down to me to push my boundaries of damage and temptation.
Mental health isn’t something we can see, most of us smile through the pain and carry on.
I just wanted to feel pain, the pain of a knife that was like the one I had placed within his heart and indubitably jabbed and twisted into my own when I knew just how much I had shattered our relationship.
A few minutes went by and I stopped and observed it, my slightly unimpressed remarks made me feel somewhat nervous for how I had so much more capability to go further.
I placed the razor on the side and as soon as I stopped it was as though my mind was switched on again, thoughts started flooding back in transpiring out of control, what did I need to do now? how could I have hurt him? why did I cheat, I never thought I was capable of cheating?! Scared by the reality of not having the answers, I looked back at my cut and started to scratch it, vigorously and savagely until layers of skin peeled off deeper and deeper and the blood that boiled to the top re-appeared within a more consistent fluster.
I wrapped it in tissue paper and laid down on my bed, my arm suddenly felt red hot, as though it was on fire and was so sensitive to the stinging that immediately pulsated through the damaged skin.
I stared vacantly at the white toilet roll as it gathered more intense splashes of blood, I watched the paper turning red and began to pray with tears relentlessly rolling from my eyes for the day to be over and the pain to be over, hoping a new day tomorrow would be more forgiving, maybe even for him to be more forgiving.
Permanently imprinted on my skin
I tried to hide it all of the next day covering up with a long-sleeved top and smiled my way through the day hoping people wouldn’t question if I were okay, as I didn’t know what answer I had to give to that.
When we went to the beach I avoided conversation at all costs, and if anyone pushed for more of an explanation, I said I fell-over drunkenly the night before on broken glass.
I felt so stupid and immature that I wasn’t able to vent my emotions in a “normal” way by just dealing with my feelings and processing them.
Every time I self-punished to this extreme I would always wake up feeling distraut and uncomfortable with what I was capable of putting my body through.
When I would look at the wound I would see it from an utterly different perspective, because the fast pace emotions I had felt when creating that pain had fizzled and withered away.
It’s as though the next day, a sudden merge of my body and my mind had re-connected, most probably through seeing the summary of the situation in a sensible light, but during the self-harming my only focus was on how it provoked me to ignore my abusive thoughts, enabling me to disconnect from my brain.
I felt ashamed within myself that this unhealthy habit was something I turned to when I was fully aware of the tremendous support of friends and family I had back home.
Living with a scar you’re not proud of
When I was back home two weeks later, I had a moment where I examined my arms turning them over to look at the inside of the forearm and revealing my cut.
A ripple of silver started to form that swirled around the entwined layers of mauve and fleshy pinks.
I stared at it for a second, over the past few days I had looked at it somewhat disappointed, disappointed that it didn’t show more anger or fragility to match my inner feelings I tried to project when creating it, but, with the harsh elements against my bare skin I saw it in a different light for what it truly was, permanent.
A visual reminder of the pain I inflicted on myself and others through my actions and a reoccurring nightmare of a time I couldn’t deal with.
I had not only scarred my soul by what I did, but by scaring my body, it gave an instant verdict that I needed help which is how I was currently feeling, but not how I would remain through out my life.
I rubbed my arm and held my right hand over it.
I took a moment to apologise to my body, it does so much for me and always puts up with my criticism of what it should be or could be more like if I tried to alter it, but its always here, always working and always fighting to protect me, there’s some things it has forgiven me for, some marks and traumas I’ve put it through by mistake or purpose, I just really hoped this was one of them that within time, I would have my own forgiveness for.
We all go through an experience of pain as individuals, but it’s so important to know that it doesn’t mean you’re alone.
I made the executive decision after all the physical pain, that I wasn’t going to let myself fall into the downhill pattern of unhealthy thoughts to take the lead, so I opted to seek help of someone professional.
I cannot even begin to stress how much I strongly recommend you to talk to someone professional if you are feeling on the verge of self-harming or just feeling like you’ve hit rock bottom with a situation in your life, they are a complete outsider and only have care for you as their patient, so there is no critiqued judgement or anger towards things you need to say and speak about.
Take it from me, I didn’t at the most needed of times and I wish I did, once I started to I didn’t feel so alienated within my own bubble of dark thoughts and fears that were increasing by the day.
I vocalised a lot how I was feeling with people I love and trusted also but you do have to accept that you may not always get quite the reaction you expected as they say things out of anger or upset because they find it difficult to know the best way to deal with the situation for you or themselves.
This has certainly not been my most elegant moment in life, I had let all the shit hit the fan and took everything out on myself even more because, I didn’t want to deal with the consequences of guilt.
But as soon as I had recognition for this it was such a positive feeling to know I had got myself on the right path and was about to start reinventing me to become a better person….
Samaritans- 116 123
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
NHS England- https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/suicide/getting-help/