The pain you can’t see

How do you describe to someone, how much pain you are in? How can you communicate a measure of something that no one can see? That may be part of the reason why I’ve self-harmed. How can someone else understand, that every second of every day I am in pure agony inside? It never goes away. When I’m “happy”, there’s still this underlying hurt, it’s just a little more like background noise at that moment.

Actually, if you know music, think of a riff. That repeated tune that plays over and over throughout the entire song. When you aren’t thinking about it, you don’t necessarily notice it. It’s still there, and you pick up on it, but you’re not directly aware of it. When your attention is brought to it, however, it stands out. Like it’s the only thing you can hear anymore in the song. Once you’ve been made aware of it, it’s hard to push it back down into your subconscious where you can still hear and enjoy all of the other instruments and tunes that are playing along with it.

I say this over and over, but I’m just so tired of being in pain. I’m so so tired of hurting so much all of the time. I need relief. I need a break. I want it to go away and not ever come back. I want to enjoy things, fully. I want to be able to go on a date with my boyfriend and not have to battle myself the entire time, or be so anxious and nervous that I may be triggered by something. I want to leave my house and not look at all of the other people I come across and think how much better than me they are. I want to be good enough.

I just want to stop hurting. I want to stop going from 0 to 1000 in a split second. From 0 to suicidal in a split second. The all or nothing. The black and white. I know. I get it. I guess in my world 0 and 1000 or 0 and suicidal are the only options.


5 thoughts on “The pain you can’t see

  1. I want to help you, but I know that I can’t. But I can relate to what you wrote: When things are bad, I find it hard to get away from the past and the future, and unwanted emotions, and just experience the present. I don’t know if I even understand the pain I feel inside.
    When things are bad, it feels like relief will never come, but it will. Things will get better. Importantly, other people aren’t better than you. You are absolutely more than good enough. I really hope you can get things sorted with a good therapist soon. I hope things get much better for you.

  2. I am familiar with the pain. It becomes your friend… a toxic friend that buzzes in my head I’m not trying to take anything from you just your not alone in the struggle. Take one moment at a time until it’s a day and a week then a moment again.

  3. I know that right now, it seems like 0 and 1000 or 0 and suicidal are the only options, but DBT helps us with that. I hope you get the help you need soon.

  4. Took Liz to see her Neurosurgeon a while ago, tried to get a referral to a Rheumatologist, who said she needed to go to the Pain Management Clinic. With her back and hips torturing her, two Percocets twice / sometimes three times a day can’t stop the pain.
    “On a scale of one to ten with ten being the most extreme, how much pain are you in?”
    And there’s a chart on the wall, a vertical axis with the numbers one and ten with little emoticons to go with each.
    They used to ask me about that with my back, and I would tell them “On a scale of ‘Ingrown Hair on my Ass’ to ‘Sharp, Hard-hit, screaming grounder right down the Third Base Line takes a bad bounce, catches me right in the nuts’… I’d say eight.”
    X-rays and MRIs and scans can show the most knowledgeable on such things how great the injury is, so they can see that.
    How much it hurts?
    Emoticons? Are you for fucking real, people?
    There’s no way to accurately assess the pain any individual is feeling. But with broken clavicles and brain tumors and impacted bowels, there is something you can somewhat objectively refer to for some idea of the severity of the injury.
    But still not the pain.
    Fortunately, we cannot re-create those kinds of pain in ourselves based on memories alone. My wife gave birth to a nine pound baby girl, had an episiotomy all the way to the nape of her neck, and while it would not have been the best time to ask if she wanted to do it again, a year-and-a-half later she was on her way to a possible repeat performance.
    Only way to feel that pain again.

    Emotional pain:
    from the time I was about eleven, I watched the most influential adult role model in my life waste away and die when I was fourteen;
    a friend of mine for almost eighteen years now lost her eighteen-year-old daughter to a drunk driver.
    Neither one of us can understand each other’s pain.
    Take it a step further: you find me another woman who lost her daughter at the hands of a genuine turd …
    they still won’t know the pain my friend Barbie had in losing Destanee.
    Emotional pain is that personal, that specific, that individual and unique that there is no way to fully feel what somewhat else feel under the exact same circumstances.
    No x-rays, MRIs or scans to detect it.
    Can be very hard to see:
    “He was so funny! He always made me laugh!! I can’t believe it.”
    And that pain is always at risk of coming back in its full force without the slightest provocation.
    Day could be going well, getting lots accomplished, laughing with your co-workers for a solid hour at lunch. Your Supervisor calls you into their office and drags you into the muck and mire of office politics. Asks for you to do her a favor that could actually benefit both of you AND help out the office.
    She just doesn’t want anyone to know what you’re both doing.
    And then it hits you:
    “Let’s just make it our little secret.”
    And then it hurts. Just like it did the first time.
    Only this time it’s in an office getting caught in the crossfire of some pissing match.
    But the same pain comes back.
    And that motherfucker is ruthless. Can find you wherever you go. Can even crawl between me and Liz under the covers at night. Can bring me the biggest smiles looking at some new pictures of our grandson or can have me crying in an instant looking at some new pictures of our grandson.
    Can have me laughing hysterically at some 5′ 8″ hairy American dude dressed up like a middle-aged Scottish woman with cake all over her face and have me sobbing uncontrollably in an instant over some 5’ 8″ hairy American dude dressed up like a middle-aged Scottish woman with cake all over her face.

    there are times I need Bruce and the guys to overwhelm me, to totally surround me and knock me on my down-in-the-dumps keester, or I need Levon and Rick and Richard to make me feel like I don’t have a care in the world.
    There are times I need to hole up in the den with just Neil to soothe my soul.
    Sometimes the path out of the shadows has to be pointed out to you, sometimes you have to find it on your own.

    People will tell you they know.
    They don’t.
    There isn’t a single person out here – no matter how gifted or intuitive they might be – who can tell you they know how you feel. They don’t.
    They can tell you how they felt while walking on the same path you are now, and their insight is invaluable.
    The answers have to come within you, which brings us to the Pink Elephant in the room:
    self-help workbooks and fifty minutes every month-and-a-half or so leaves an awful lot of the burden to be shared by you alone. Your In-Box can feel you from feeling quite so stranded, and a daily lunch break with your boyfriend can remind you that you’re not necessarily going to have to keep facing it on your own.

    You’ve got a little one who just started kindergarten?
    They can be a bundle of laughs and a boatload of diversion when anyone else gets in the way. Including you.

    Classes and sessions.
    And you’ve shared some of your challenges there.
    You need someone working with you from the outside, and there are too few people out there who are as available and accessible as they need themselves to be.
    As we need them to be.
    Sometimes the hardest part of the fight is finding that help, and it’s an obscene shame what we need to go through to get it.
    And I’ve got it relatively easy.

    So… don’t know what to tell you.
    But I know for sure you’ve already gone through the worst. of it in at least one respect:
    most, if not all of it, is coming from memories of things that either can’t or don’t have to happen any time again.

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