IDoICD Part 3 (Conclusion): The Self-Harm Debate (Reposting)
by, 11-Jul-2013 at 18:01 (517 Views)
I deleted the draft for the original post and thought editing the deleted entry would work and that people would see it. Just case people can't see it, I'm reposting the full completed post.
Finally the conclusion to my blog series is here!
Before I start with the topic at hand, let's recap what was said in parts 1 and 2. Part 1 served as a basic introduction to BIID and hopefully created some awareness about the disorder. Part 2 went into more detail about the specifics of BIID and how it relates to my situation.
So now we have the final issue to address. Many who are against the idea of wanting incontinence see working to achieve it as a form of self-harm. Drastic methods like abusing catheters, laxatives, and sticking stuff up your butt is seen as self harm, and that's an agreeable notion. However, matters such as natural diaper training and hypnosis are not so black and white. Some would argue that natural diaper training is somehow a form of self-harm and even the idea of working towards incontinence be it through universally agreed upon forms of self-harm and more gray areas like natural diaper training and hypnosis is a form of self-harm in an of itself. I don't see why one would think that if the person desiring incontinence is informed and well educated about their choice especially where BIID is concerned. Wanting to be an amputee is the common disability desire among BIID sufferers. BIID can lead to legitimate physical forms of self-harm but compared to the norm, incontinence desire seems to be a milder and more tame form of BIID because it has a method of achieving the goal without engaging in any physical form of self-harm.
How anyone could see what amounts to mental retraining as self-harm is beyond me. Especially when it's more tame compared to cutting your own legs off or purposely damaging your spine to become paralyzed. Yes, BIID can lead to self-harm and it's good to get help for it from an expert so that you can maybe find a way to achieve your goal that doesn't involve physical self-harm. The point here is that incontinence is a total gray area when it comes to this. Perhaps the definition of self-harm is more gray and subjective than people like to believe it is and they morph the definition to conform to their own personal beliefs and values. However this leads me to my second point.
A smoker still chooses to smoke even though he knows it has a high risk of causing lung cancer and other lung diseases. A person whether an alcoholic or a responsible drinker continues to drink alcohol even thought they know it could mess up their liver in excess. The point here is that even if mental retraining is self-harm somehow and while I'm in no way condoning physical self-harm, what I am condoning is the fact that people have a right to do what they choose with their own bodies. A smoker has a right to poison their lungs and an alcoholic has a right to poison their liver. We might not agree with it but it's not our job to police other's bodies. People need to be free to learn from their own mistakes. We can offer support, but at the end of the day, we are not their parents, nor their teachers, nor their therapists or doctors. We are just random people on the internet who they've probably never met in real life and more than likely never will.
Again, I'm not condoning physical self-harm but at the same time it's ultimately their own body and they should be able to do what they please with it. We don't have to agree with it, just respect their wishes for their own bodies. We can help them work through their troubles the best we can and help get to the root of the problem, but ultimately it's up to them whether or not to go through with it or seek professional help. It's true that some trans folks may have buyer's remorse but the majority seem happy with the change, I believe people with BIID for incontinence can be able to enjoy the same low rate of buyer's remorse that gender transition enjoys.
At the end of the day, if mental retraining or IC desire is self-harm, and if self-harm is wrong, I don't wanna be right.