When I was 14, my boyfriend at the time had a tatoo that he did himself. I liked the idea and remember I started cutting my skin my compasses, scratching my initials in my arm. Then I found something out.
I liked it.
When things got really bad, I kept going back to it and it seemed to help. The physical pain seemed to help me deal with the mental pain. It was almost like I had something to cry about, an actual reason rather than just in my head.
I started to steal my dad’s razors and tried different places and found my favourite. To this day I have the scars and I can’t hide them.
The last time I self harmed was in 2001 and decided that would be my last. For me self harming was me internalizing all the anger and blame. If I got the urge, I tried to rationally work through it or distract myself. I went through a stage when all my anger and blame went out to the world which was no healthier. Now I’m trying to forgive and accept. Again, much easier said than done!
There is no greater motivation than my kids asking what my scars were from and not knowing what to say in reply.
Self harm is a strange one. People can see your scars but no one asks. Are they scared of the reply? Do they just not want to get involved? Do they just not know what to do? I don’t know.
I look at my scars now and I remember how bad things were and it gives me courage that if I got through that, I can get through anything.
And that I need to help others out there who are going through it.
(Gosh this post was hard to write!)