A Safe Place for Cutters Blog


Low Self-Esteem Narrows Your World
April 29, 2009, 07:00
Filed under: negative thinking, self-harm

low-self-esteemI have been corresponding with a lovely young woman from my Facebook group, A Safe Place for Cutters. She has been feeling down because she has enormous stresses in her life such as having to care for an ill parent, hold down a job and go to school. This has caused her to start cutting again and she feels she is not able to see a therapist because if she did her family might find out and know she is cutting again.

Although she is a member of my Facebook group, she believes that no one in the group would be interested in listening to her problems despite many people in the group expressing openness to being available to “listen” anytime. I referred her to my blogsite because there were some blogs that elaborated on some of the ideas I was sharing with her and found that she had never read my any of my blogs, which I write with people like her in mind.

This got me to thinking how low self-esteem narrows one’s world. You think you are so worthless that you cannot reach out to all the help and caring people that genuinely want to help. The belief that you are insignificant puts blinders on you and causes you to feel like you are in a rut because you have so narrowed your world you can’t see past the wall you have built around you. You find it difficult to make new friends because you are afraid others will judge you and this causes the relationships that you do have to be shallow. You believe that everything is your fault and everyone is out to get you. You tend to catastrophize and use the worst labels you can think of.  Low self-esteem is a destructive force that clouds your vision making it difficult for you to see the wonderful person God made you as.

Lift yourself up by surrounding yourself with as many positive people and experiences as you can. If you don’t know where to start, start with the Bible which has been a great source of hope for the downtrodden for centuries.

Check out this website http://www.testcafe.com/sest/ for a quiz that will help you determine your level of self-esteem. Let me know what you learn about yourself.

To a life worth living,

Foresteen Forbes, Psy. D.

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

1 Peter 5:7 (KJV)

*If you would like to be a member of my Facebook group “The Safe Place for Cutters,” please find me on Facebook and invite me to be your friend.  Click here!

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Some Days are Like That
April 26, 2009, 23:09
Filed under: Borderline Personality Disorder | Tags: ,

torture-chamber1I run a two hour group for borderline personality disorders at my hospital. One minute they love me and the next minute I am chopped liver or even worse. It feels like a roller coaster ride.

The other day during the break one of my individuals S. W. stayed behind with me and another patient who I was chatting with. Without provocation S.W.  suddenly began banging on the door (it was locked) and screaming, “Help, Dr. Forbes is torturing me. I don’t feel safe in here with her.” The program director happened to walk by. How embarrassing! She called me later and asked, “What was that about?” I didn’t even know myself.

Some days are like that. Sigh….

To a life worth living,

Foresteen Forbes, Psy. D.

*If you would like to be a member of my Facebook group “The Safe Place for Cutters,” please find me on Facebook and invite me to be your friend.  Click here!



Dealing with Pain, or Situations…. to Help Stop Cutting
April 24, 2009, 05:00
Filed under: Tools

Sometimes the individuals in my private Facebook group “A Safe Place for Cutters”* do a better job than I can at explaining something. N. V. wrote (4/4/09), “One thing I’ve found to help me is the Sedona Method….

He went on to explain, “Whatever the strongest emotion is that you are feeling at that moment in time, just ask yourself these 4 questions:

1) Just for the Moment COULD I let it go ??
2) Just for the Moment WOULD I Let it go ??
3) Just for the Moment WILL I let it go ??
4) When ??

Ask yourself these questions out loud in the beginning, the answers must be the same every time:

1) YES
2) YES
3) YES
4) NOW !!!!

Please remember to ask yourself JUST FOR THE MOMENT, and not forever or something like that, gradually over time, pain, suffering or the past can fade away into the distance.

Another thing, please don’t try to rush yourself, go it at a good pace for yourself, you’re not on the clock or anything like that, so don’t add extra pressure on yourself.”

For those of you not familiar with the Sedona Method, it was developed by a man named Lester Levenson. In 1952 when he was 42 years old he was a very successful and wealthy man. However, he was miserably unhappy with many medical problems and his doctors told him that he did not have long to live. He was bound and determined to take on the challenge to live and in the process he learned to let go of his inner limitations and found a profound peace. He died in 1994. The method was named after Sedona, Arizona where he had settled and taught workshops on his method.

sedona

Another tool to add to your toolbox.

To a life worth living,

Foresteen Forbes, Psy. D.

*If you would like to be a member of my Facebook group “The Safe Place for Cutters,” please find me on Facebook and invite me to be your friend.  Click here!



Letting Old Friends Go
April 22, 2009, 07:00
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sometimes we wake up one day and find that people whose company we once enjoyed are in actuality toxic for us. P. K. wrote in response to my blog “Voices from the Past” (4/15/09), “…I’ve also had to distance myself from friends… that way I realized my life is so much better without my ex best friend :O She loved me and I loved her, but she wasn’t helping me at all.”

This brings back memories of a friend I had back in high school. We had been friends since the eighth grade. I found her to be witty, bright and creative. Over time, as my self-confidence grew, I began to find her caustic and biting humor (always at my expense) to no longer be humorous. One day she threw a dead worm at me. She knew that I HATED worms. It was the last straw. I had a sudden awareness that she was not really my friend because a true friend would never treat me like that.

Ironically, I still run into her at reunions now and then and she has tried to reconnect many times (even on Facebook) but that cutting wit is still there and I no longer allow toxic people in my life.

toxic-people

To a life worth living,

Foresteen Forbes, Psy. D.


*If you would like to be a member of my Facebook group “The Safe Place for Cutters,” please find me on Facebook and invite me to be your friend.  Click here!



Creating Community
April 20, 2009, 20:48
Filed under: Uncategorized

In my blog “Isolation the Third Mortal Enemy of Cutters” (3/28/09) I talked about how cutters have difficulty trusting others because they often were not able to trust their original caretakers making it difficult to trust others later in life. This is why I started a “Safe Place for Cutters” on Facebook a group that is private so that cutters can feel safe in an accepting and non-judgmental environment.

Having close bonds with other people is one of the most important keys to happiness. Belonging to an online group where one can feel accepted for who you are can strengthen one’s ability to trust and help to strengthen bonds with others in one’s personal life. Community is what we do for each other and having a sense of community is one of those essential ingredients that gives our lives meaning.

online-community

If you think that “A Safe Place for Cutters” might be of benefit to you please find me on Facebook.

To a life worth living,

Foresteen Forbes, Psy. D.

*If you would like to be a member of my Facebook group “The Safe Place for Cutters,” please find me on Facebook and invite me to be your friend.  Click here!



Gratitude
April 17, 2009, 08:00
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

The dictionary defines “victim” as a person who is deceived or cheated, as by his or her own emotions or ignorance. This implies that what we believe about ourselves contributes a great deal to the part we play in taking on the victim role that results in low self esteem and keeps us from moving forward. One attitude change that we can take to improve how we feel about our self and gain respect from others is to have gratitude for what we have. I recently read a quote by Melodie Beattie that expressed this thought well. She stated, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Make a list of things you are thankful for and you will be amazed at how it lifts your spirits.

To a life worth living,

Foresteen Forbes, Psy. D.

*If you would like to be a member of my Facebook group “The Safe Place for Cutters,” please find me on Facebook and invite me to be your friend.  Click here!



Voices from the Past
April 15, 2009, 08:00
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

In response to my blog post “Feeling Like a Victim the Second Mortal Mistake.” (3/24/09) Tara G. commented, “Thanks for writing this. I know I’m too hard on myself but I am so trying to be positive it’s what Jesus wants me to do. I try to view myself as HE views me but it’s so hard when the tapes of so many people’s words to you and much more from your past are playing in your head.” Tara is right. It is very difficult to get bad thoughts and images out of our head. It will take some practice.

You have to focus on replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. There are a number of ways to do this. One is to eliminate negative people in your life. If people are tearing you down instead of building you up distance yourself. Some people feel an obligation to old friends and hang on to them no matter what. But as you grow you will out grow certain friends and it is ok to let some go. Another way is to pay attention to the movies, music and books you read as they will impact your mood.

In an anger management class that I was teaching at my hospital, one of my patients said that my class made him to decide to reduce his use of swear words because he found that swearing creates a negative environment. He had come to this conclusion himself as I had never discussed swearing.

Generating positive thoughts will take some time as it takes awhile to even recognize the negative forces in our lives as we have become so accustomed to them. Eventually, it will become easier to replace negative thoughts with positive ones but as with building any new habits it feels impossible at first.

To a life worth living,

Foresteen Forbes, Psy. D.

*If you would like to be a member of my Facebook group “The Safe Place for Cutters,” please find me on Facebook and invite me to be your friend. Click here!