Once I found a picture of someone who had photographed the scars on her arm. But it was over a year later when something affected me even more. I asked her if she knew of anyone who had cut themselves. She told me she had done this to herself when she was about 14 years old. Except for once, I didn't voluntarily show it to my parents.
Without saying a word she held out her left arm and turned her hand upwards. She said she was having a lot of problems with her parents and it helped her stop thinking about the problems. Because I understand this, I have much more compassion for them. We can learn what Teens cut to stop their emotional pain. We have worked with self-harming teens for over ten years. Also, I remember going through strong destructive urges, during these episodes.
Other Items March 2008 Convo Dec 2007 pc2a.htm- broken Jan 12 - Link to WISH organization in England and letter from Dannie Robinson | Oct 6- Link to famous self-harmers Oct 5 - 2006 Quote about causes of cutting; Book Suggestion; Book list April 21, 2006 - Two articles about cutting, self-injury Nov 28 - Invalidation, Pain, Suicide | Nov 28 - A teen explaining why she cuts The first time I heard of anyone cutting themselves was when I heard that my own niece had done this in approximately 1994.
At that time I didn't know enough about cutting to ask any intelligent questions or take any helpful action. Yes, I guess speaking about it seems so easy now- because it is in retrospect- over 7 years now since the last episode.
She said the other children in the class would laugh at her. Sometimes she would get punished for not knowing the answers to the teacher's questions.
She said once she had to write "I will not stare out the window" 500 times.
Believe me the thought of having to discuss your feelings with a complete stranger is hard enough when you have made your own personal choice to let alone when you don't have a choice about whether you want to or not. She can talk about why she cuts herself and why she doesn't eat.
Nor can they simply go shopping whenever they want, especially not at night. Yesterday my school counselor told my mother I cut again. When my mother found out she started yelling and threatened to send me back to the hospital if I cut again. Make it clear that you are always willing to listen and help without judging but please don't intrude because you may well alienate them further!
It may be tempting to rush the person who harms themselves straight off to the doctor/psychiatrist/counsellor/local psychiatric ward but that is rarely the answer.
Because I didn't understand the significance of my niece cutting herself I didn't really give it much thought and I never even asked her to show me the scar or scars. It happened because of the tiffs I had with either or both of my parents.
Then in September of 2000 I found an online diary site where many teens were talking about their experiences with "cutting." Though I was reading about their stories, the concept seemed very foreign to me. We started talking about depression and cutting among adolescents. I also used to burn my hand with the head of burnt matches.
As adults we have many legal and healthy coping mechanisms. It is often very hard to even try and contemplate why a person would ever want to deliberately injure themselves and if it is someone you care about it can be very distressing and frustrating for all involved and it is ok to seek help from others yourself in helping the self-harmer.