Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cutting or Self Injury Yetti's story, a Guest Post

Hello lovelies!
Strap yourselves in because today's topic is not a light one. In fact it is very real, very raw and hopefully very informative.
This is a subject matter I came across by wonderful accident. As I have shared before I follow many Blogs that cover numerous topics. Fashion, Self Help, Education, Politics and of course Parenting just to name a few.
I came across this post and felt an instant need to reach out to the writer and spread her words.

The subject matter is Cutting or Self Injury/Self Harm as it is also referred to.
The writer I am speaking of is Yetti who blogs over at yettisays.com. She is a twenty something year old living in NYC and I felt her story needed to be shared in order to understand, possibly help and to definitely start a conversation.


Though I have heard some talk on this issue and my daughter has also shared some stories and info with me in the past, I really can't say I know or knew anything specific about it.
After I read Yetti's post and she expressed the lack of deeper information on this matter I reached out to her and asked her if she would be willing to do a Q&A with me.
She graciously said yes and this is what we would like to share...

Yetti welcome to Mommywood, please share a little about yourself. So far we know you live in NYC and are twenty something. What are a few other things you would like to share about yourself? I am passionate about all things related to self-love, understanding one’s thought process and post-it notes. I don’t drink alcohol, whatsoever, and I am a little bit of a homebody.

What bought you to the Blogsphere? I was brought to the blogging world when I was 15, when I basically turned to the Internet for friends. My parents are Nigerian, so they didn’t necessarily believe in the whole teenage socializing scene, so what started as writing fan-fiction turned into blogging / journaling online. While in college I blogged under a pen name but returned with AndSoSheWrites.com, where I used my actual name while asking the blogsphere to hold me accountable during my weight-loss journey. 

What attracted me to your Blog was the rawness of your language and the topics you touch. The words seem to be an extension of yourself and your beliefs. Did you find it difficult to stay true to yourself while still hoping to connect with a wider audience? I did. I most definitely did! It’s why I rebranded my blog to “YettiSays” last year February. In high-school, I blogged about the things that I thought were cool. You know, boys I liked, boys I was secretly dating behind my parent’s back, and all the celebrities I was able to meet from working with a local TV show. I think at some point, I even denounced the fact that I was African. In college, my blog was there for my sanity. I mainly wrote about my struggles with self-mutilation, depressing thoughts and falling so very hard in love for the first time and being scared out of my damn mind.

When ASSW.com came around, it was different. My audience grew fairly quickly, and it happened to reach folks my parents worked with. For the first time, I had to be extremely cautious of what I decided to share with the world. And the more it grew, the more I felt obligated to write about certain things, and stifle the growth I was experiencing until one day I looked through my posts and realized that they were not how I wanted myself to be represented. I didn’t see myself completely in all of my posts.
 So I rebranded. And “YettiSays” is all me. And it’s accepted… most of the time.

So as I shared with my readers I reached out to you because of a very personal post you wrote referencing Self Injury or Cutting. Can you share with us how this came to be a part of your life for a time? At what age did you start? My self-mutilation addiction started around the age of 14. From what therapists have deduced and just from what I know about myself, it was caused by constantly wanting perfection and used as punishment to myself when I didn’t achieve it. And not only perfection according to myself, but to others too. If I disappointed myself, if I disappointed others, those were both grounds to harm myself.

How did the people around you react once they found out? Did they help or hinder your mental state at the time? I think it was a combination of shock, care, and a great deal of confusion. I was generally a happy person [from the outside], so it shocked people to know I suffered from a level of depression. But most of everyone that found out, wanted to fix the problem. Sometimes out of care, and sometimes from embarrassment. 

What were some of your specific triggers? Did it progress with time? As stated before, anything that teetered along the lines of disappointment, gearing me to further dislike myself.

What event allowed you the clarity to stop Cutting and begin healing? What steps did you take to show yourself love and kindness? Accepting other people’s love for me kind of made me have an “aha” moment. It’s different when it’s family, they’re supposed to care and love you. But my best-friend, aimed to understand why I did it, and without judging me, she did her very best to talk to me without added pressure. I don’t even think she realizes how much of a postive impact that was. I also was in a relationship, long distance at the time. We were both studying abroad. And there was a Skype conversation had where at the end of the convo. he said something along the lines of being afraid most evenings that I was going to do something terrible to myself. That’s extremely hard to hear from the person, at that point, you thought you would potentially marry.

The first step was to understand the root and to surround myself with people who would support me. The rest didn’t really take place until 2 to 3 years later when I developed a better understanding of my thought processes and why they headed in the direction of self-harm.


 The research I found spoke on Cutting being a psychological issue, having routes in abuse and not necessarily related to wanting to commit suicide? What do you think about those statements? What do you wish was known more of in regards to Cutting? I think those statements could very well be valid, but I can’t necessarily pin them to my own personal experience. What I will say is, a child’s belief system is built at a very young age. Extremely young age. It really is up to parents to help their child form a healthy one. I think often times parents think that if they coddle their child, and give them everything at arms reach, it’ll lead there child in the right direction, but that has the ability to backfire terribly.

My parents taught me to be independent at a young age. My father told me if I could put my mind to it, I could accomplish everything and anything. But they also lacked in positive reinforcement, which cultivated the root to most of my insecurities, the thought, “I am not enough.”

But if it wasn’t for the independence, and the thought that I can do anything if I worked hard, I don’t think I would have eventually mustered up the strength and will to fight back against that self-deprecating thought.
 Cutting is an addiction. Sure, it’s cry for help, but it also becomes one of those automatic notions to one’s life. To how one deals. Simply stopping the action will not solve anything, you need to reverse the thoughts that trigger the action. 

Is there anything anyone could have done to help you coup with matters differently? Not really, it was pretty much up to me; I had everything else I needed.

Your post made mention of 2012 being your last slip up, can you share with us the tools you used to recover at the time? What are the tools you use daily to stay focused on a healthier path? Therapy. When you can uncover the true reason behind why you’re cutting it makes it easier to logically talk yourself out of it. It doesn’t happen overnight though, like at all. My favorite tools are:
  • -          Meditation to slow your thoughts down, followed by thought-stopping. Most of the time we let the inner bully that lives within our heads dictate how we view ourselves. When our minds are not going a mile a minute, we can eventually combat the negative self-talk with truthful statements.
  • -          Positive Affirmations to reprogram those ugly thoughts (hence my love for post its)
 Yetti, I want to thank you once again for allowing me the time and for sharing your story. Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers before we wrap up? There is always the option to get it right, there will always be a road to recovery. You just have to want it, and decide upon it. For yourself.
 Yetti, of yettisays.com, provides the average twenty-something-year old with their daily dose of vitamin-y: the uncensored truth sometimes served with a side of wit, sarcasm, and a few curse words. You can follow her on twitter @yettisays.

So here you have it, hope it has been eye opening and informative. Hope that Yetti's honesty can help someone if possible or that you can pass this on to someone who can benefit from the information.

Please don't forget to visit her page for more uplifting shares.
I am including some links with great information. Don't forget the best tool of all as parents is our mouths. Start a conversation, communicate with love and kindness, be supportive, listen and learn.

Always stress free xo.

webmd.com
kidshealth.org

4 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing Yetti's very important story. Very brave and most enlightening.

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    1. Nikki I thought so too that's why I felt compelled to reach out to her when I read it. Glad you came away with something, always love having you visit chat soon :)

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  2. Thank you once again for featuring me :)

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    Replies
    1. Your welcome doll, maybe your story can help start a conversation needed someplace else xo!

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