A Promise to Keep

Upset by my repeated failed attempts to revitalize this website and blog I turned to be beloved friend, mentor, and person I call “family” for her wisdom. I did not expect to hear what I did. Peg (who I nicknamed Yoda 30 years ago because of her calm compassionate wisdom) said “write the book.” She asked me to promise that I would write a book about this journey of mine and what I have learned and taught and hope for.

I couldn’t say no to her. Maybe the only person I could make this promise to. So the blog posts that follow will be the gathering of the bits and pieces of… a forthcoming book. Your wisdom, thoughts and encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

Today I will start with a short excerpt from The Cutting Edge, from Winter of 2001. The editorial was titled “Words from the Wise: An interview with Margaret Wood.” Peg. Therapist, mentor, teacher.

My first question to her was: How do you go about asking clients about Self-Inflicted Violence (SIV)?

Her answer: At intake I ask a new client about cutting and other forms of SIV in the same tone as I ask about anything else, such as alcohol use. If they say they live with SIV I ask how much and how often and if the know what it’s about. I say that the reason that I ask is because I am familiar and comfortable with it. Sometimes that acceptance will bring an admission of living with SIV. Then it can be addressed just as anything else. I may be asked when cutting will stop. I reply: “You’ll stop when you’re ready.”

The way to healing is having a safe place to be real, be understood, even if you do not understand yourself all that well. How often does that occur for people who live with self-injury? Peg created such a place. It is my intention that this be another.


2 Replies to “A Promise to Keep”

  1. This makes me shutter:
    “You’ll stop when you’re ready.”
    Why can’t someone just do this for me? : )
    Maybe a pill? A straight jacket?
    I’m SO WEAK!


    1. Written by one of the strongest people I know! And that is true for so many of us who have been labeled, by diagnoses and demeaning comments – our strength is ignored and we are subjected to horrors, like chemical restraint (meds) and seclusion rooms and and and… The numbers of people forced into psychiatric facilities against their will because of this are increasing. Hence the need for safe spaces…


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