TW self harm Schema: Punitiveness

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I’m really struggling not to go back and update my Unrelenting Standards posts but I still haven’t despite realising things I wanted to add to it, so I will mark that as a small victory before I talk about the punitiveness schema.

I have decided to write about this schema as I am feeling particularly low and have a desperate urge to self harm. I have not been left alone all day as my boyfriend and parents are well aware of how I feel.

Young’s definition of the punitiveness schema is:

The belief that people should be harshly punished for making mistakes.  Involves the tendency to be angry, intolerant,  punitive, and impatient with those people (including oneself) who do not meet one’s expectations or standards.  Usually includes difficulty forgiving mistakes in oneself or others, because of a reluctance to consider extenuating circumstances, allow for human imperfection, or empathize with feelings.”
The above purely applies to me, not to anyone else making mistakes. I have only ever taken any anger I have out on myself. As you can probably tell this schema closely relates to the two schemas I have already discussed (defectiveness and unrelenting standards) as I feel that if I cannot meet the standards I set myself I must be punished and also punished for being defective in general. It is often confusing as I feel that I deserve this horrible feeling and the symptoms of POTS because I am not perfect and cannot be the perfect daughter, girlfriend, friend. I deserve the pain and if I’m not feeling enough pain I need to cause myself more.
I would say I have a higher level of patience for others than most do, I am incredibly forgiving and tolerant of others and always look for the positive in people, no matter what they have done. As mentioned in my unrelenting standards post I do not give anyone else the high standards I set myself and will focus purely on the positive aspects of their personality or successes.
I can never forgive myself for any mistakes I have made in my life. I am haunted by all my mistakes, I can remember each and every one in detail and it replays and replays. If I lose something or something breaks or a voucher expires without me using it it never leaves me. It adds to my feelings as a failure, a let down, stupid. I can’t forgive myself. I shouldn’t forgive myself. If I think how I’d feel if another person had done any of that I’d of course forgive them, they are completely trivial matters, but to me I feel as if I truly betrayed people. I am not allowed to make mistakes. I am so imperfect, I am so flawed, I am so defective.
This weekend I have felt a dreadful sense of guilt as I am fortunate to have a wonderful father when a lot of people don’t. I have done nothing to deserve such a good father when others are incredibly wonderful people but have missed out on the love, care, humour, intelligence and support a good father provides. I therefore sensed the need to punish myself as it brought home the realisation that I was getting something good when others weren’t and I had done nothing to be entitled to this. I was also feeling incredibly low, my POTS was bad and I had menstrual cramps so generally felt rough. I therefore couldn’t help with organising Father’s Day to the extent that I wanted to. This needed to be punished. I couldn’t afford a decent present for my dad so my mum gave me some chocolates to give him. This also needed to be punished.
There have been other factors this week where things have gone wrong when I have had good intentions and this has become something that has kept ticking over in my brain, as I cannot fix it I need to be punished for it. I feel that by keeping myself thinking of it is a form of punishment as I feel the pain of it, however, the pain I feel does not make up for the pain others feel so I am at a loss of how to punish myself further.
I know it’s not a new feeling I began self harming as a teenager, even before that I recall walking through the city in heels on my way to meet friends and the balls of my feet were burning and thinking “I deserve this pain”.
Today, I want to self harm, however, doing this, if my boyfriend or mum found out would hurt them so I am stuck.
For now I will just keep thinking the fact I feel the pain that I feel and these thoughts in my head are a form of punishment along with the symptoms and pain from POTS and EDS. It certainly explains things to me that can’t otherwise be explained.
I’m sorry that this post doesn’t flow well, I didn’t realise how strong this schema was for me until I began writing. Hopefully I’ll be able to work through all the schemas on here soon and a pattern will develop that shows how they are all intrinsically linked.

Pain. Weakness. A little more pain.

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That basically sums up today. I woke up feeling fresher than I have in quite a while, which was amazing to me having spent a week in a foggy haze. I even got a little reading done!


Then my parents came to take us shopping as yes I still can’t move my left arm properly without experiencing intense pain, well it’s in pain when it’s kept still too but hey that’s my life. I was exhausted after spending just 30 minutes doing the weekly shop despite my boyfriend and parents doing the majority, I was basically there to pay.


They then came back for a coffee and I was nearly dropping off. Got a second burst of energy this afternoon but the pain is incredibly intense despite the medication.


So I have taken the afternoon easy as I want to get back in the kitchen soon, or do something productive at least as I feel like such a waste of space at the moment.


The news isn’t helping calling everyone on benefits scroungers and unworthy members of society just furthers my depression and of course the cycle of depression and POTS continues. I’ve never wanted anyone to go through the misery that is depression, anxiety, POTS, etc but now I’m not so sure as the dreadful things some people are saying makes me feel they really need to experience them for themselves! Then maybe they’ll understand.


Sorry my posts are still short one handed typing is hardwork!

Migraines Suck!

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Sorry I’ve been away for a few days & that my posts have focussed mainly on the anxiety & depression symptoms. For the past 2 days I have had the migraine from hell. So again this will be a short post as I don’t want to get a headache from looking at the screen for too long.


Basically I think the snow, stress, barometric pressure change brought it on, plus the tiredness after Tuesday!


My senses were all heightenend, I couldn’t keep any food down, I was freezing, convulsing, it was horrific, especially at 5am lying passed out on the bathroom floor. Fortunately I had an appointment booked with my GP that evening, my parents had to take me as I couldn’t walk without support. My wonderful dad then drove round for an hour trying to find a pharmacy that was open (it was 7.15pm) and had the nasal sumatriptan in.


Thank god it worked, I’m shattered and have a headache but it is such a relief that the other symptoms have gone.


I am still typing one armed by the way! Yeah, POTS is not giving me a break lately!


Anyway, trying to keep positive!


Will be back to regular blogging from tomorrow…I hope!


Once again thanks for reading!

J x

Falling Apart

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Well blogging isn’t easy one handed!


I woke up on Monday in agony whenever I moved my elbow I felt a shooting pain from my elbow to my fingers. Just another thing to add to the list. My arm is still in a lot of pain and I can’t grip anything. Got painkillers and anti-inflammatories from my GP so I’m hoping these work soon. #one of the worst things is knowing I can’t drive – just another part of my life stripped away. I know it’s not forever but it is frustrating when I’m trying to work on the anxiety and depression symptoms when I’m struggling to do anything physically. I’m so tired I fell asleep at 8pm last night and still feel exhausted, mentally and physically.


I can’t face reading, I’m just too tired.


Really praying it’s better for the weekend so I can make my mum a cake for Mother’s Day!!! 



Self Harm Awareness Day – TW Self Harm

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As today is Self Harm Awareness Day I thought I would share my experiences.

I was aware of depression and self harm as a friend’s sister was suffering badly and actually killed herself when we were 11 (her sister was 15) and at the time I couldn’t understand how anyone could do that and thought I never would be able to.

I first started self harming when I was 16, I knew something was wrong with how I felt, I tried to talk to people but I was always known for always being happy, never complaining so no one really took me seriously. I don’t really remember what made me do it the first time but I felt a horrible emptiness inside. I was disgusted with myself. I was worthless. I deserved to be in pain. I needed to feel something.

I would not advocate it to anyone but to me, at the time it helped. I needed to feel it, the initial cut, the hot feeling on my arm, the blood coming out and cooling it slightly. It calmed me down. It reassured me that I was causing myself pain. 

It was something I kept to myself for a year until it was no longer bearable in any way and I felt like I was so close to going further. I confided in a close friend and from there I began my journey into the world of mental healthcare. Obviously all the mental health care workers discouraged it, giving me suggestions as to use ice as this could give the same effect (it didn’t). 

I could never cut myself in front of people and have been incredibly ashamed of it (although I don’t think anyone should be) and hid it from everyone. My bf at Uni helped me by telling me if I had to do it to do it in front of him so he could keep an eye on me – I gave up for quite a while as I didn’t want to let him down. There was also a particuarly horrific group therapy session I attended where the boy next to me cut himself in the session, this again made me stop for a while.

I continued to self harm on and off for the next 6 years or so, even after I felt “better” when things got stressful I remembered the release and rush I felt when I cut my arm. It had become an addiction. I kept my cuts clean, in the end it became purely a release mechanism rather than causing myself pain.

I became very good at hiding my cuts as most people do.

When my depression and anxiety reared its ugly head again last year I automatically went to cut, but I found it didn’t provide the release I needed. I tried it a second time but again nothing. I was disappointed in a way that I couldn’t get the release when I needed it and have struggled to find anything that helps me when I am incredibly anxious or down but I know I am the better for it.

There are so many more advances out there now though, if had existed back then or some of the other charities and places that have become more well known to me over the years maybe I would have chosen a different route.

I’m pleased that I can now talk about this openly and hope others soon can so that it can be a discussion held between two people as commonly as giving advice for preventing a cold.

I hope the day has raised awareness to more people and the Time to Talk campaign gets people to open up to help remove any stigma and let people know there are people out there to help.


Today…because that’s all I can say. TW – ATOS

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Having had a dreadful night’s sleep due to back pain and anxious thoughts I got up to another lovely grey day.

The post arrived with a “Limited Capability for Work Questionnaire” which caused a panic attack as I had already filled out one document for JobCentrePlus in order to claim some money as my SSP had run out, this one, however, as I’m sure anyone familiar with the UK system asks all sorts of questions about your health and fitness for work all in all to culminate in a face to face assessment – what the point of going through things twice is I’m not sure but if that’s how they’re spending their money (or should that be my money as I have been paying my taxes since 18!) then that’s up to them.

Anyway, the number of questions and thinking about how POTS affects me is overwhelming. My dad gave me the advice of just answering a question a day so I don’t overwhelm myself, get more stressed and make myself worse.

Add to this the news that my Grandma died this morning. This may sound awful but to me it was a relief. She had been ill for quite some time and spent most of the past 7 months in hospital and back in July had said she was ready to die and was sick of the pain. I know that feeling well so to think of anyone I love so much to be feeling the same way was heartbreaking. By this last weekend she couldn’t see, was being fed liquids via a tube and had no idea who anyone was. I love her to pieces and always will and know that when I’m grieving it is for myself and that it is because I will never see or hug her again but she is better off out of any pain or any further suffering. I also know I have to be strong to support my mum.


So, yes, that’s today for you.


Even when you try to do your best to get better there is always a toolbox full of spanners to be thrown at you. 



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