Dear Dr. Archer,
When I was 14 I fell in love with a boy. It was unrequited, which didn't do much for my self esteem. I scratched his initials into my wrist as a sign of affection, and I continued to do so. I was in love with him most of my high school life, which made me miserable. Thank goodness it didn't cause scars, because the boy wasn't worth it.
I stopped harming for a while. I was bullied at work, so much so that I stopped eating and started making myself sick. My weight plummeted. I went through a nasty disciplinary procedure, and my depression continued. At 25 I got married, moved jobs and moved into another home, and started self harming again. I'm a nurse for a veterinarian, and I pretended they were cat scratches.
Over the years, my SI has gotten worse. I frequently need stitches. My GP is sick of the sight of me, I'm sure since I've overdosed on various occasions. Did I mean to die? I don't know; probably not. I've had many spells in psychiatric units, and I was diagnosed with BPD. Oh, joy!
My psychiatrist says most people stop self injury by the time they're 30; I'll be 32 in June, so I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. He says I have poor communication skills, as in not talking when I'm upset and to provoke a reaction. It makes me feel like a manipulative little girl, but I don't mean to.
I've had therapy, and the medication I took worked well, making me feel "normal," but I had to stop using them because I want to start a family. The new ones aren't effective and nothing kills passion like BPD! So, in a nutshell, that's me.
Thank you for caring, and I'm at my wits end and don't know what to do.
You've written, so I hope you listen to me, Curious. If you've been on a medication that was working, I suggest you talk to your doctor about resuming it. Get stable, healthy and happy before starting your family.
Under the best circumstances, pregnancy is joyous, one of the happiest times in a woman's life. You're expecting a beautiful new member to your family and all is wonderful with the world. However, pregnancy also can be filled with stress, anxiety and depression as your body goes through many changes, both emotional and physical.
My suggestion is to resume what was working and get to where you feel "normal" again for at least a year, and then start thinking about expanding your family. You seem to be doing better, but it's too soon for children.
Please do not put both yourself and your child in harms way by starting to soon. When the time is truly right, you won't need to write to me as to what to do. You’ll know it’s time. Good luck.