There could be said to be two ways that one can be harmed in this world. One of these is through external means and what other people do to them. And the other is what one does to themselves. What goes on externally can be noticed and as it is observable to others, they can come to ones assistance and put an end to what is happening.
The same approach is not always possible when it comes to the harm that is being committed internally. Other people are not always aware of this form of violence and so this can end up going unnoticed.
However, there are exceptions in both cases. So while external violence is visible and able to be observed, it doesn’t mean that it is always picked up by people or that anything is done about it.
And just because the violence that is going on within is not as observable, it doesn’t mean that other people don’t pick up on it. Or that there are not clear signs that show someone is harming themselves.
This comes down to the fact that there are different types of self harm; with some of these ways being subtle and some of them being more extreme. As a result of this, self harm can go on without other people knowing. And one can even harm themselves without even knowing.
If one is physically harming themselves, other people may become aware of the self harm. However, one could cover this up through wearing certain types of clothes or by coming up with different reasons as to why they have a cut or a bruise for instance.
Whereas what goes on in this persons mind, through how they talk to themselves, is not likely to be picked up by other people. What they may do is pick it up indirectly, through how this person behaves; if they are close enough to this person and have a good awareness.
So the people that one is close to, from their friends, colleagues and family, can all be oblivious to what is occurring. One could hide what is going on for them as a way to avoid being labelled in a certain way. And to stop themselves from being rejected, abandoned or experiencing a heighted level of shame.
But at the same time, this outlook could simply exist in their mind. As certain people around them could end up being supportive and only too happy to do whatever they can to enable this person to move on from this challenge.
Other people can then be what appear to stop one from moving beyond this and yet it can be what is going on in their own mind that is sabotaging the process of reaching out for assistance and support.
While self harm can range from what is subtle and to what is extreme, there are also many ways in which one can harm themselves. To harm ones physical body in some way is a common example. And some of these ways will be seen as self harm, but then there are others that won’t be. These ways are more socially accepted versions and as a result, they can go on without being noticed.
So although one type of harm is being channelled into another type and one is still harming themselves; they can end up feeling more at ease. Other options can include: extreme sports, exercise, tattoos, eating, drinking, relationships and sex, amongst other things.
Conscious And Unconscious
What can define how one harms themselves is how conscious they are of what is going on within them and if they are more introverted or extroverted. One person may just go along with their feelings and thoughts and become consumed by them.
Another person may deny how they feel and end up being drawn to external forms of self harm. In this case, one doesn’t physically harm their own body themselves; they do it through external means. Here, one has no self awareness and pushes their body to do all kinds of things that are potentially dangerous.
A Way Of Life
To have moments where one feels worthless, guilty or ashamed is relatively normal. But these are just moments and are likely to pass before long. So through feeling this way, one may wonder why they did or didn’t do something and go onto having an emotional experience. And this momentary experience could cause someone to engage in self harm.
However, this will soon pass and one will return to their normal state of being. When it comes to someone who self harms on a regular basis, they are unable to move on and are emotionally stuck.
This could relate to what they have experienced in their adult years and go back to what happened to them as child. And as these feelings and emotions were not dealt with at the time, one will have become emotionally stuck at these moments.
The experiences they have had as an adult or when they were children would have caused them to feel certain emotions and feelings. These could be: anger, hate, rage, worthlessness, emptiness, helplessness, powerless, shame, guilt and fear.
These feelings then create the need for an emotional release and one will use self harm as a way to regulate how they feel. What these options will do is last for a short time, but what they won’t do is deal with the feelings and emotions on a long term basis.
So they are short term solutions at best and this is why one will continually feel the need to harm themselves.
When these trapped feelings and emotions are released from one’s body, one will have no reason to harm themselves. And this is because they will no longer feel the same and as a result of this, self harm won’t be necessary
This can be done with the assistance of a therapist or a healer who will allow one to face their trapped feelings and emotions and release them.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
To book your free 15-minute consultation, click here.
That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.