co-worker, Tuesday afternoon regarding something trivial
THINGS WRONG WITH A PERSON EVER IN THEIR LIFE SAYING THIS TO ME:
Would just like to say that I am also a clinician, and this is something I might let slip from my lips. Why? Not because I’m joking, or insensitive, but because it might be the only way I can express my own desire to cut. Whether it be conscious or subconscious, I may say this because I wouldn’t have any other way of expressing how I feel. Just a thought. Not to excuse this person’s behavior, but it’s an important thing to think about.
No offense, but as a clinician there should be a DOZEN or more other ways to more accurately and appropriately express how you feel about something that doesn’t trigger another self injurer and you should know them all. You’re right, it’s not an excuse. It’s also not appropriate or safe to express your own desire to cut to another self injurer in this way, so being someone who has self harmed doesn’t even remotely make it more understandable. If anything I think that’s even less acceptable because you should know the stakes, and it is insensitive.
I was saying that as a person, my profession aside, no one can know how I feel, what I’ve been through, and the difficulties I may or may not have expressing myself. Me saying it could simply be a plea for help. And I only say me because I’m really trying to put myself in this person’s shoes and understand their motivations. Clinicians aren’t machines who always know what to say or psychics who can foresee every consequence. Sometimes, we make mistakes, because we are human, too. And sometimes, those mistakes aren’t as nefarious or dubious as they seem. Sometimes, people make mistakes because they don’t know, in that moment, what else to do and they feel it’s the right choice to make, even if it isn’t. Any clinician should be able to understand that.
This fellow clinician, in this case, is very aware of my history because we have also in the past been close friends, and he is not himself a self injurer, nor was he making a cry for help. He was making a JOKE, complete with a smirk afterward and an attempt to qualify his remark when he saw that I didn’t find it funny. This was not a case of poorly expressed need for help, nor would it have been an appropriate way to express that need in a professional setting to another clinician regardless. Yes, we all make mistakes and sometimes ask for help in the wrong ways, but this way (if that had been the case) would have been REALLY wrong (especially given that he knows my history and would have knowingly been triggering me). In this case that wasn’t a factor at all. It was someone making a joke at my expense and expecting me to think it was funny. It was a sick attempt to bond over something that is not trivial and should never be taken lightly.