Monday, September 26, 2022

Overheard at Table 3: Head Banging

Used to smash my fist into the side of my head whenever I was under a lot of pressure, you know.  I realized years later that this kind of self-harm is a coping technique.  Yeah, an unhealthy one, I know.

Started in high school - or maybe earlier, who knows, but high school is where I remember it - being embarrassed or pissed off about something, I'd bash the back of my head against a brick wall until I saw stars.  Once, I slumped down to the floor.

Worst time was when my girlfriend was suing me for paternity.  On the payphone, with her telling me how she's gonna "get me for everything" I just started bashing the phone against my head until blood flowing down around my ear.  Went to the bathroom of my work and passed on on the floor.

But usually, throughout the years, I would just take my right and pound it against my right temple whenever I was angry, or hurt, or scared, or under a lot of pressure.  Usually it would be some argument where I just felt like shit and there was no way out and no resolution.  I always had this thing about automatically feeling guilty whenever anybody accused me of anything, even if I knew it wasn't true.  Weird, it's like just for someone to accuse me of something somehow makes it the truth.   Like, if my wife says she thinks I'm cheating, I suddenly feel like I AM cheating.  Stuff like that, arguments from stuff like that, would eventually get me to go into the bathroom and just bash my head with my fist.

It usually did cause some sort of relief.  Release.  There's probably a physiological explanation, I don't know, but it always helped release the stress.  Even though I somehow knew it wouldn't be good for me in the long term.

I haven't hit myself in years.  Over a decade.  Seems like getting older is softening the urge for bashing my own fist against my head.  But sometimes ... most of the time, the spot above and in front of my right ear, just behind and above my right eye, right where the hairline is, that spot hurts.  I will touch it with my fingertips and it will feel tender, just as though as if I had just hit it, at that moment.  But I haven't hit it in years.  But it's still tender.  No other part of my body feels like that.  

It's as thought THAT pain, even though broken, is somehow permanent, now.

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