Trigger warning: Talk about self-harm in this post.
I did it again.
I cut myself again. I took my pocket knife and slashed my left arm 7 times. The cuts aren’t deep but they sure look bad because of how red they look.
Group therapy was cancelled today because only 3 (of 7) of us showed up. I’d already been having a bad day and the week had already been quite a rough one, that the fact that group wasn’t going to meet today because there weren’t enough people really threw me off the edge there.
I was upset when I walked out of the group therapy room. I contemplated sitting down with either JS or T to talk to them but decided against it. Because of that, I went downstairs to the lobby and without anyone seeing me, I pulled out my knife and cut myself.
After doing that, I tried to talk myself out of going back to CAPS. After 5 minutes of self-deliberation, I finally went back upstairs to where the CAPS office was. I asked to see the on-call clinician and was paired with YT, a doctoral candidate who is working on getting her clinical hours in. Interestingly, she told me that S is her supervisor. I was thrilled to hear that because I knew that S is a great psychologist and under his supervision, I’m sure that YT will become just as good.
For one, she’s very observant. She was also very firm throughout our session. She is a no-nonsense type of person, and I could tell from her questions and the way she responds back to me. Despite her petite frame, I found it quite impressive how well she is able to command attention.
At one point in our session, she asked, “Later when you leave here, will you do anything that can harm yourself or will you do anything that will lead to your death?”
I shook my head and said, “Steve already took everything I have… I don’t have the means to kill myself…”
She said, without missing a beat, “You didn’t answer my question”
“Oh, I didn’t?” I had asked.
She gave me a ‘Nice try’ kind of look.
She also pointed out some interesting things about the human mind that I found intriguing – one of them being that we have two types of intelligence – IQ which is the rational, intellectual side, and EQ – which is where the emotional side resides. She told me that in my case, my EQ haven’t caught up to my IQ yet – so that’s why it’s so easy for me to be so angry at myself for not acting a certain way. It’s because despite my higher than average IQ score, that my EQ isn’t up to the IQ’s level. YT told me that we need to give it time for the EQ to catch up. It made sense.
Nearer to the end of the session, YT suggested that I write down a Safety Plan. I had never seen something like that before – it was essentially a list of questions that make the client list out potential people that could be called in the case of an emergency, a list of healthy activities that the client could do to cope with stress, depression, and anxiety, a list of external resources, and so on. She and I then both signed the Plan, essentially making us accountable to each other.
When we got to the question, “I will make the environment safe by…”, she asked me if I could give my knife to someone. I said that I would but made no attempts to get my knife out. I said that I will give it to someone. She didn’t let me just go at that. She asked me who I would give it to.
“S…” I said, finally after much hesitation. “He already has a bunch of my other stuff…”
“Okay, S… You seem to be hesitating. Why is that? Tell me what you’re thinking right now…” YT asked.
“I just don’t like the fact that I am losing my autonomy…. But… I know why we have to do this… It makes sense… I need to help to protect myself…”
“I’m not telling you what you need or don’t need to do. I am neither telling you to do something or not do something… What I do believe though is that you have enough rationality and judgment to know what’s good for you,” YT said.
Sure, she may be young, but she’s got a good confidence about her, she’s definitely not afraid of confrontations because she called me out several times throughout the session. I certainly did feel a little better after I spoke to her. I needed to vent and she allowed me to without trying to fix my problems.
This is my third visit to CAPS this week. It’s just a testament of how bad my week had been. YT told me that she’s glad that I at least have a safe space that I could come to, in order to talk, vent, cry, and process. I told her that I feel like people are getting sick of me and my constant whining. I asked, “At what point will S say to me, ‘Enough with that already’… Heck, I would be sick of me! Why wouldn’t anyone else do the same?”
YT answered by telling me that CAPS indeed is a safe space and that all of them were ready to help in any way they can. She also said that if I need to talk about it over and over in order to process what’s happened, then that is what I need. She didn’t try to brush anything off and validated my feelings as well.
Anyway, I’m falling asleep as I’m writing this so if this post is disjointed, it’s because my tired brain can’t think well enough to write a long post.