Two weeks ago, Sonia from Life Love and Hiccups started the story of her scars. In the comment section of her blog, I also shared a little of the story of my scars, of the feelings that I had towards them and the stigma that followed. I have been thinking a lot about this recently, and a reaction from a man in the supermarket last week has renewed this desire to share.
*The following post contains material that may be triggering. Please make sure you are feeling safe before continuing to read. If you or someone you know is struggling then please seek professional help through your GP or give the people at Life Line a call on 13 11 14*
On a previous post, when I talked about how to help someone with self harm urges, I realised that there may be a few misconceptions surrounding the behaviour. Self harm is such a complex issue and at times can be confusing for the person engaging in it, as well as the people who are supporting them. It is often clouded in mystery as many people choose to not speak about their thoughts and feelings around self harm. This covering up only helps to fuel the myths surrounding self harming behaviour and those who engage in the behaviours.
It’s hard to miss the scars on my arms. I’m not ashamed of them, but I am not proud of them either. I am somewhere in between, a place of acceptance, that they are a part of me, of my past and they make up the story of who I am. I have to admit that sometimes I forget that they are there, they are so ingrained with me. I am often caught off guard when someone asks what happened.
One of the questions that I regularly get asked both here on the blog and in real life is ‘I know someone who struggles with self harm urges. What can I say to help?’ There are specific things that can help your friend/family member which are personal to them, with those I can’t help. However if you are looking for more general advice then these tips are a great place to start.