It's A Lifetime...I've been suffering from anxiety and depression for a good part of my life. I was raped when I was 14, and it seems that I gave my life over to the experience at that point. For a while, I was "normal" - I'd lost weight, got married, and had 2 sons....then, the marriage went to hell and I was in such a state at the time that I let my ex-husband take my sons, who he promptly moved to NYC. As I look back, I know that I've been doing anything and everything to avoid dealing with what happened to me - drinking, promiscuity, drug use...I've come out the other side of that now, and now that I'm getting my life back together and settled, the old issues are coming up for me again.
As far as the self-mutilation, that started after the rape. I was strands of hair out at the roots and eating the follicles, I was cutting calluses off my feet - I was really lucky that I didn't get a terrible infection from that. I've always picked at scabs, dry skin, etc. My most recent obsession is with my hands. I peel the skin off the sides of my fingers and, when thicker skin grows back, I just repeat the process. Sometimes I pull too much and I end up making a finger bleed and I've had superficial infections, but when I'm stressed nothing seems to stop me from doing it and even when I'm just bored, I do it. I tried getting a little Koosh-type caterpillar to keep my hands busy because I used to love Koosh balls for that purpose but they don't make them anymore, so I had to take what I could get. It does help a little, but there are times when I still do it, especially when I visit my mom in the nursing home. I have a wonderful supportive boyfriend of 2 years who tries to help me when he can, but it's a compulsion that I haven't been able to defeat.
Thanks for letting me tell my story.