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Coming Out: Self Harm Style

TotallyWhatTotallyWhat Registered User regular
edited May 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
This is an alt account, of course. Feel free to skip to the end.

So the issue is this: I had a very seriously fucked up childhood. I was sexually abused when I was 9, my parents were utterly indifferent and I had no other adults in my life to help or to talk to. With absolutely no clue how to deal with what happened to me I became quiet, withdrawn and eventually, for whatever reason, started to hurt myself. Initially it was just minor stuff, scratches and bruises which everyone probably just wrote off as the standard injuries that any 9 year old has from dicking about about being a kid and consequently didn't leave any permanent marks.

As I got older I got more troubled and naturally started making more serious wounds, the kind that do leave permanent marks and are more obviously self inflicted. Presumably, an awkward teenager who was uncomfortable showing bare skin was pretty standard stuff as I managed to keep the fact I was self harming hidden from literally everyone for over a decade.

I had accepted that because of what had happened to me there was no chance that I'd be living any sort of normal life. I focussed all my energy on just surviving, getting a job, getting independence and living day to day as best I could. I wasn't anticipating any sort of relationships with other people, so it didn't matter if I had to cover up my body 24/7.

I packed up, left everything and everyone I knew, moved somewhere new and tried to put things behind me. I got a job and a flat and started to actually move on. The more I did, the more I realised I could do. My confidence and self esteem started to grow, I made friends, developed a social life for the first time ever and started living my life. I started to take better care of my self, started working out, eating properly, taking care of my appearance and now feel better than I've ever felt.


I stopped hurting myself and have been "clean" for almost two years now.


The problem I have now is that I have no fucking idea how I'm supposed to "come out" to the people in my life about the self harm. I can't get away with "I feel uncomfortable about my body" any more as a solid year of exercise means it actually looks rather good, and to be honest I'd quite like to wear t-shirts or go sunbathing. Recently one of my friends started discussing a holiday to Brazil. There's no way I can go to Brazil and spend the whole time covered up. How do I broach the issue? Do I just whip off my top and act blasé about the warzone that is my skin? Do I sit them down and forewarn them?
This holiday is going to be with some work colleagues and some people I don't know too well - how do I bring it up with the latter? This crowd is a very "blokey matey" bunch as well, they're not exactly sensitive, touchy feely types (the type of guys who make casual jokes about child abuse, rather awkwardly). What if this completely ruins the relationships I've built and fucks my career?
On top of that, women are actually starting to show an interest in me now (which brings problems of its own) - how am I supposed to bring things up with a potential partner? Do I explain why I did it, or just that I did? Is every woman I get close to going to run a mile the second she sees them?

I have absolutely no frame of reference here and am terrified that if I take the wrong approach I could send my life crashing back 10 years. I'm hoping that someone has some wise words to offer, or even some personal experience of how people actually react to this kind of thing. Right now I'm wondering if I should just cool down the friendship, knock it a step down and not take the risk at all.

I am genuinely quite clueless. Any advice or comments at all, gratefully received.

TotallyWhat on

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    LailLail Surrey, B.C.Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I say this as someone who has zero experience with any of this.

    If I was hanging out with a friend (at a beach for example) and they took their shirt off and I saw scars I'd probably just curiously ask, "oh hey how'd you get that?" If they said, "I used to hurt myself - but I was different then/don't do it anymore", or WHATEVER the reply, I'd probably give some random reply and just carry on and continue doing whatever I was doing.

    If you're my friend and I've just found out you've had a troubled past, I'm not going to run away. And I think that most people (I'd like to hope so anyway) would act like I would. I may or may not ask about it. I may wait for you to bring it up.

    The people in your life like you for you. And that's that.

    Lail on
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    UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Hi TW, I'm sorry that you had to go through that as a child, have you taken the opportunity to talk with a counselor about it and/or the self harm? I mean, it does sound like you're doing well in your life now (and that's excellent!) but a therapist will probably have some really concrete suggestions about how to deal not only with the prospect of telling your friends what they need to know, but also about how to develop healthy relationships with your partner of choice.

    I don't often advocate for professional assistance right off the bat, but I really think that someone with the appropriate training will be really much more helpful than the internet.

    That said, I don't think your mates will be down on you about this if they're your true friends. I'm willing to bet that if you choose to explain why you're uncomfortable wearing short sleeves or going shirtless, they'll surprise you with a little more sensitivity than their usual blokey/matey selves.

    Usagi on
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    MadnessBAMadnessBA Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Yep, I spend almost all my time with "Blokey / Matey" types but I think you will be surprised at their response to a serious situation. They will most likely be supportive and it won't really change anybody's opinions of you.

    MadnessBA on
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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited May 2010
    Unless for some reason I actually wanted to talk about it (which I really never ever did) I would always just wave it off and say "eh, those are old" And then continue with what I was doing like I'd been asked about a scraped knee or something. It's a response that is nonchalant enough that they think YOU don't think it's a big deal, and that's half the battle right there; plus, it doesn't get more personal than you need to, or make some sort of awkward scene. It often makes people uncomfortable to ask more because they start to feel like they're prying, and only the really curious/concerned will ask after it further. For these people, if you can stress how LONG it's been since it happened, usually it won't be a problem and will never come up again.

    It's the white knights you have to watch out for, and I can assure you those come in all genders.

    And of course to start out with, never mention it at all unless it comes up.

    If you actually DO want to talk about it, there are ways to approach the subject, but I don't have too much in the way of experience with that.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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    ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I think the only negative reaction you'll get is from people who care too much.

    Zombiemambo on
    JKKaAGp.png
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    look-nohandslook-nohands Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    you should just go on holiday and wear a t-shirt or whatever and if anyone asks just tell them. though you may want to ask the advice of a close friend if you have one also as if they know already then they can shut down any gossip that may arise. i have no experience with this stuff btw though i have been depressed.

    look-nohands on
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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Well, either casual honesty or fantastic lies. If they are people you care about then just tell the truth like lail said. People will probably ask questions, but it won't be too bad. Just tell them the truth and it should be fine.

    If they are people you don't really care about then fantastic lies. Tell them you used to knife fight for money in Bangkok.

    Or combine both. tell a joke story and then tell them the truth afterward, if they press. It just depends on how much you feel like talking about it at the moment.

    JebusUD on
    and I wonder about my neighbors even though I don't have them
    but they're listening to every word I say
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    IogaIoga Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    It won't be a big deal unless you make it a big deal.

    If people ask just be straightforward and tell them the truth - you had a rough adolescence and used to cut yourself - but it's in the past.

    If you don't act like you're dwelling in or are haunted by your past, they probably won't either.

    Some women like scars and some don't - they can signify the pain you've overcome and be endearing to some and just gross out others. There's not alot you can do about it.

    Ioga on
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    GrombarGrombar Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I've got a lot of scarring myself. Not from self harm, in my case, but from major teen acne — and, of course, I can't hide it, because it's all over my face.

    But I don't worry about it much anymore. Haven't for years. I did, when I was younger, back around high school/college, when the scarring was fresher and more severe.

    To cut to the point: In retrospect, I focused on the scars much more than anyone else ever did, and my outlook on life improved greatly once I just stopped caring about the scarring so much. When it comes to self-image, there are actually a lot of problems you can, if not solve, greatly help just by not worrying about them.

    If you're nervous about quirks in your appearance, people will pick up on your nervousness, and that —*the nervousness itself, not so much what you're nervous about — will put them off. But if you're not worried about them, you'll show more confidence; confidence leads to charm and eloquence, and that'll usually be the deciding factor in making impressions on people.

    Now, of course, self-inflicted scars are sometimes perceived differently than other kinds of scars. My advice, if/when people take notice, is to play it down. "Yeah, I had some trouble as a kid." "Heh. Old war wounds." One or two throwaway lines, leave it at that, and move on. They might be curious, but most people won't pry further, unless they're very close friends or jackass strangers — and if they're friends, they'll understand if you only go into as much detail as you're comfortable with.

    Bottom line: No matter how you feel about your looks —*and I once considered myself the ugliest person I knew —*people are going to know you for you. So what defines you? It can be your past, can be your scars. Or it can be your skills, your friendships, your hobbies, your best jokes, your favorite movies, favorite drinks, favorite hangouts, favorite characters, biggest accomplishments. All those things, good and bad, they're all you, all parts of you, and there's a place for all of them. Keep them all in balance; that's how to stay healthy.

    My two cents, anyway.

    Grombar on
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    dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    All you have to say is, "I did some stupid shit when I was younger." That's if it even comes up at all, which it probably wont.

    I have ridiculous burns and cuts all over my arms and stuff. All it really takes is a year working as a roofer or someone who deals with hot oil/tar to build up a nice collection.

    No one has as pristine a skin as you think they might. You'll be fine, it's your business. You don't have to make it a dramatic "coming out". If a simple explanation isn't good enough, that's their problem not yours.

    dispatch.o on
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    NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    If you act like it's not a big deal, then they won't treat it like a big deal. This isn't something you need to be embarrassed about. Your friends won't be dicks about it. Don't shy away from your past mistakes, they're learning experiences.

    NotYou on
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    Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I'd recommend finding some kind of support group and sharing your experiences with them first. You'll be able to share your feelings with a nonjudgmental crowd, and all the pressure about permanently damaging relationships will be gone. With that experience under your belt, explaining things later will be less daunting.

    That said, I think the biggest issue is that you aren't comfortable with your past. I've known cutters before, and the reason they were comfortable talking about it was because they'd made their peace with it. They accepted themselves as normal, healthy people, and because of this they trusted others to do the same.

    Anyway, in the past, my reaction has just been to feel a little uncomfortable and not dwell on the subject. It's not that the issue bothered me so much as I didn't know what to say. There was no effect on my perception of the person, though.

    Robos A Go Go on
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    A BearA Bear Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    First off, congrats on going two years off--I've had some friends with similar issues, so I can understand how hard it can be.

    While its tricky to speculate about the extent of your scars (particularly how much other people might notice them as compared to you who sees them more) , I'd echo the thought on here that everyone does have some skin imperfections/scars/oddities, some more than others. Generally if you don't make a huge deal out of it, people might have some mild curiosity, but a good light story or explanation might be enough. If you really do have a lot of serious visible markings, it might get some attention, but I would doubt that everyone's first thought it going to jump to the idea they were self-inflicted, unless there is some reason the scarring could only be done by a person.

    Either way, Its up to you how much you want to tell people about it--ranging from nothing at all (some sort of past accident, be it car crash, falling through a window, got in a fire) to something more revealing (I did some things in my past) but the real trick is to not make it a huge deal. If you don't let your markings define you, then most other people wont either. If you do have some serious areas you have marked up, and they are going to be conspicuous as self-harm to anyone who could see them, maybe consider a tattoo? Or even more drastically, some sort of medical treatment? Doesn't sunlight slowly fade scars? Maybe try a tanning booth?

    As far as the ladies go, the truth is that some might be weirded out, but people get weirded out over all sorts of things. Finding a partner who understands/accepts you is important no matter who you are.

    A Bear on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    Casual EddyCasual Eddy The Astral PlaneRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Context is also important. If a little kid or a cashier asks you about your scars? You fell over, or something. You don't need to worry about it if you're talking to someone you don't care about.

    Otherwise I'd just have to echo the rest of the advice in the thread. You don't need to go around telling people you used to cut, but if they ask just answer honestly.

    Casual Eddy on
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    TrillianTrillian Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Well, you came out the other end of a really rough time and re-built your life from the ground up, and you have the scars to show it. You ought to be really proud of who you are, and what you have done. The scars from your previous life are proof of this enormous triumph. I say you can whip your shirt off with pride and say "yeah, these are what happens when you had a shitty childhood, but who I am now is the real me."

    Trillian on

    They cast a shadow like a sundial in the morning light. It was half past 10.
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    DuffelDuffel jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Trillian wrote: »
    Well, you came out the other end of a really rough time and re-built your life from the ground up, and you have the scars to show it. You ought to be really proud of who you are, and what you have done. The scars from your previous life are proof of this enormous triumph. I say you can whip your shirt off with pride and say "yeah, these are what happens when you had a shitty childhood, but who I am now is the real me."
    This, dude. Don't be afraid to do the things in front of you right now because of your old life. You've already had things taken from you, but you came through it, so don't let your past hold you back from seizing the best of everything right now.

    If you're not comfortable telling your friends/girlfriends everything just yet, don't worry about it; you can always just shrug and change the subject like Ceres said. But a real friend is never going to judge you for something like that. I know someone with scars just like yours, and it doesn't affect the way I view them at all.

    Duffel on
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    TrillianTrillian Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Maybe take the shirtlessness by degrees. Wear your sleeves rolled up to just below the elbows to test the waters and see how you feel. Next day, roll them a little higher, and continue until you are feeling ok in short sleeves. I'd hate to be in Brazil wearing long sleeves after getting cold feet.

    Where are the scars and how deep do they run? I bet they're not as bad as you think, and there are steps that you can take to make you more comfortable in your own skin.

    If you have the cash, I too would suggest some therapy, so you can get the pent-up issues and emotions out in the open and some help thinking of ways to get past your few remaining hangups. You are pretty much a miracle; so many others in these circumstances would just have become hooked on drugs to cope, instead you turned yourself into a successful individual. You are resourceful enough to not let some minor scarring dictate your enjoyment of life.

    Trillian on

    They cast a shadow like a sundial in the morning light. It was half past 10.
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    ZEROIDZEROID Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Hey, I just came by to say, congratulation with your successful life! YOU made an amazing progress to make it happen.

    A friend I know from HS did tell me that he was into self harm. I knew he went through some rough shit but I didn't know it was that bad. But did I change what I thought of him? Nope. If anything, I felt bad that he had to go through what he went through that he felt the need to harm himself but really, after like 7 years, I still keep in touch with him because he's a cool fun guy with life. If your friends and your girl ran away from you, obviously they are not the kind of people you want to hang with. But really, most people are cool with it (assuming they are mature adults and act like one).


    Having that said, lots of people are immature unfortunately and revealing your painful past to coworkers can be a little risque. As long as they are cool and not gossipy, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Be casual and say "Oh I had a fucked up childhood but that was long time ago" and make sure you have fun in Brazil :)

    ZEROID on
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    Roland_tHTGRoland_tHTG Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Easiest thing to do is tell folks who ask that you won a lot of money in your teen years doing stupid shit like playing chicken with friends to see who was tougher and then laugh.
    I say this as someone who didn't have nearly as rough a childhood as you but still has multiple visible 17 year old scars on my forearms from cigarette burns, as well as one distinct zippo pattern.

    Roland_tHTG on
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    Dread Pirate ArbuthnotDread Pirate Arbuthnot OMG WRIGGLY T O X O P L A S M O S I SRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    If anyone asks you questions, say "I got these last time I was in Brazil." and joke it off like you were a knifefighter, or just give a vague semi-answer.

    This is the sort of thing where people will not think less of you, but they will be uncomfortable in general. They will probably feel more awkward than you about the entire thing! They will probably be more than satisfied to accept a non-answer. If you do end up disclosing details of your past, they will probably feel dumb for prying. Don't be too worried.

    Dread Pirate Arbuthnot on
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    The Black HunterThe Black Hunter The key is a minimum of compromise, and a simple, unimpeachable reason to existRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    nothing to fear

    you faced a horrible early life and you have risen above it all, be proud

    if anyone judges you for it, they aren't worth watery shit and should be treated as such

    The Black Hunter on
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    blakfeldblakfeld Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I really wouldn't worry about it, the past is the past. I understand the feeling, I have a scar from a suicide attempt that I get asked about, and I'm upfront about it when asked, usually the other person has some questions about it, but I'm honest, say that I've put a lot of effort into being a better person, and we usually move on to whatever else we had to do

    blakfeld on
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    CognisseurCognisseur Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Also, please see a therapist? I've seen too many cases of people who have really fucked up childhoods who then bring themselves up their bootstraps and think they're finally good and set. Problem is, psychologically, you were supposed to learn a whole lot of things as a child that shape how you perceive yourself and others.
    So I've seen lots of folks have their lives get pretty messed up even after their lives got better, because they lacked a decent foundation.

    Examples:
    -Person had messed up childhood, but was intelligent, so around high-school he got reasonably better-functioning, went to college, did well. After college, he had a rough patch finding a job, and everything came plummeting down around him. Once things became less-than-peachy, all the old shit engulfed him.

    -Person had messed up childhood, but generally appeared to be able to handle it okay, or at least acted okay around his friends. Relationships, on the other hand, he fucked up miserably. He just couldn't do them. At times he'd fuck it up by becoming the most dependent clingy crying child imaginable, at other times he'd fuck it up by being a short-tempered guy who would shout down and insult his girlfriends. He just never learned correctly how relationships work, and it was showing.

    -This last one is more statistical than anecdotal. The rate of child abuse by people who were abused themselves as children is astronomical. Like, just ridiculously high. It's incredibly depressing to work with adolescents who have incredibly messed up childhoods (incredibly messed up even relative to average messed up backgrounds) and to just know that statistically, the odds that I'm talking to a future sexual/physical abuser are quite high.

    So please, even if you're feeling better now, just got a see a therapist for a bit. It sounds like you live in a place where it won't even cost you an arm and a leg!

    Cognisseur on
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    CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Cognisseur wrote: »
    -This last one is more statistical than anecdotal. The rate of child abuse by people who were abused themselves as children is astronomical. Like, just ridiculously high. It's incredibly depressing to work with adolescents who have incredibly messed up childhoods (incredibly messed up even relative to average messed up backgrounds) and to just know that statistically, the odds that I'm talking to a future sexual/physical abuser are quite high.
    What the heck? How can you say such a thing to someone you don't know. You should be ashamed of yourself. How can you possibly think it is OK to try and make someone feel guilty for being abused.

    CelestialBadger on
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    Hey AshtrayHey Ashtray Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Cognisseur wrote: »
    -This last one is more statistical than anecdotal. The rate of child abuse by people who were abused themselves as children is astronomical. Like, just ridiculously high. It's incredibly depressing to work with adolescents who have incredibly messed up childhoods (incredibly messed up even relative to average messed up backgrounds) and to just know that statistically, the odds that I'm talking to a future sexual/physical abuser are quite high.
    What the heck? How can you say such a thing to someone you don't know. You should be ashamed of yourself. How can you possibly think it is OK to try and make someone feel guilty for being abused.

    What? Are you retarded? It's a statistic, and it is sad only because through no fault of that child, statistics show that the child will most likely continue the cycle. It's not a blame thing, it's a stat that is useful as child psychologists can come with ways to fill in the missing pieces that cause this cycle.

    Hey Ashtray on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    TotallyWhatTotallyWhat Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Thanks guys, for all the kind words and the advice, sincerely.

    To those who asked, I quite seriously doubt any one is going to mistake them for anything other than self inflicted. I've spent an age trying to think of believable lies, but realistically the extent, pattern and variation prevent showing them off as anything but what they are. Tattoos I also considered, but for one thing I can't think of anything I'd actually want to get tattooed on me and it would need to be one seriously big tattoo.

    I did some research into surgery, but the consensus seems to be that nothing is going to get rid of them to any reasonable degree to justify it (why bother getting serious, expensive surgical procedures carried out if it's just going to make me look a bit less "self harmy"?). I am considering getting a bit work done on a few scars which are more horrific than others, just to lessen the visual impact, but ultimately all that can be done is to turn things from "lots of self harm" to "just some self harm".

    Cognisseur wrote: »
    -This last one is more statistical than anecdotal. The rate of child abuse by people who were abused themselves as children is astronomical. Like, just ridiculously high. It's incredibly depressing to work with adolescents who have incredibly messed up childhoods (incredibly messed up even relative to average messed up backgrounds) and to just know that statistically, the odds that I'm talking to a future sexual/physical abuser are quite high.
    What the heck? How can you say such a thing to someone you don't know. You should be ashamed of yourself. How can you possibly think it is OK to try and make someone feel guilty for being abused.

    Not at all, Cog's just stating the facts, he's not portioning out guilt. I've seen the numbers too and quite honestly it fucking terrifies me. Therapy, I've always felt very defensively against it. Part of it is probably pure arrogance: "I've gotten through everything so far on my own, what makes you think I need your help now?" kinda thing. Really though, I probably should speak to someone. I don't even know what I'd talk about. Part of me is just scared that talking about it in that kind of depth is going to send me right back down to where I was.


    Just found out I'm going to a party in London this weekend. Might be a good excuse for rolled up sleeves. Might be easier to pussy out. We'll see what happens.

    TotallyWhat on
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    SolandraSolandra Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Therapy, I've always felt very defensively against it. Part of it is probably pure arrogance: "I've gotten through everything so far on my own, what makes you think I need your help now?" kinda thing. Really though, I probably should speak to someone. I don't even know what I'd talk about. Part of me is just scared that talking about it in that kind of depth is going to send me right back down to where I was.

    You may be correct, you may have weathered the storm and improved your situation and everything's hunkey dorey. Since the issues were so very complex, and since you can say "I probably should speak to someone," make the appointment to go in simply for a reality check. Start by saying you've come a long way and just want to make sure things are progressing the way they should.

    Talking about it may very well bring up old pain, but it's more likely that with help you'll come through it with less difficulty, and then not only will you know that you're OK, but there will be someone else who is fully informed who can ratify that for you.

    Good luck, and more importantly, congratulations!

    Solandra on
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    Chop LogicChop Logic Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    My best friend in high school used to cut himself, he has some scars on his arms.

    Honestly, just forget about them. Like someone else said in this thread, if someone else asks about them, THEY will feel dumb for asking, they won't think less of you. I would just joke it off, say their from a long time ago, or just be honest, "Yeah, I used to cut myself, but that was a long time ago". Really, anything is fine. Maybe it's just the people I hang around with, but formerly cutting yourself isn't something to be embarrassed about. I think with the way our culture has changed, it doesn't freak people out as much as you think it will.

    Chop Logic on
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    TrillianTrillian Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Thanks guys, for all the kind words and the advice, sincerely.

    To those who asked, I quite seriously doubt any one is going to mistake them for anything other than self inflicted. I've spent an age trying to think of believable lies, but realistically the extent, pattern and variation prevent showing them off as anything but what they are. Tattoos I also considered, but for one thing I can't think of anything I'd actually want to get tattooed on me and it would need to be one seriously big tattoo.

    I did some research into surgery, but the consensus seems to be that nothing is going to get rid of them to any reasonable degree to justify it (why bother getting serious, expensive surgical procedures carried out if it's just going to make me look a bit less "self harmy"?). I am considering getting a bit work done on a few scars which are more horrific than others, just to lessen the visual impact, but ultimately all that can be done is to turn things from "lots of self harm" to "just some self harm".

    Cognisseur wrote: »
    -This last one is more statistical than anecdotal. The rate of child abuse by people who were abused themselves as children is astronomical. Like, just ridiculously high. It's incredibly depressing to work with adolescents who have incredibly messed up childhoods (incredibly messed up even relative to average messed up backgrounds) and to just know that statistically, the odds that I'm talking to a future sexual/physical abuser are quite high.
    What the heck? How can you say such a thing to someone you don't know. You should be ashamed of yourself. How can you possibly think it is OK to try and make someone feel guilty for being abused.

    Not at all, Cog's just stating the facts, he's not portioning out guilt. I've seen the numbers too and quite honestly it fucking terrifies me. Therapy, I've always felt very defensively against it. Part of it is probably pure arrogance: "I've gotten through everything so far on my own, what makes you think I need your help now?" kinda thing. Really though, I probably should speak to someone. I don't even know what I'd talk about. Part of me is just scared that talking about it in that kind of depth is going to send me right back down to where I was.


    Just found out I'm going to a party in London this weekend. Might be a good excuse for rolled up sleeves. Might be easier to pussy out. We'll see what happens.

    Hey man, baby steps with the rolled up sleeves business; you didn't come this far in a day, after all.
    Also, if you talk about what happened in a controlled rational matter, and get it out in the open that way, it'll mitigate the effects of this business coming back to haunt you when you least expect it. The thing about mental demons is that they can pop up again when you aren't prepared, and that can really send you into a tailspin. I say get all this shit sorted out in your head before it comes roaring back and compromises your life. Talking to a therapist may make you feel rotten while you're doing it, but you'll get some help dealing with it, and it will help in the long run.

    Trillian on

    They cast a shadow like a sundial in the morning light. It was half past 10.
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    3drage3drage Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    If I were your friend and you told me, I might have some initial shock having been through a bad relationship with a girl who cut herself and said that some other person did it. Then I'd nod and move on. You aren't your scars, but the scars are a part of you. Friendship isn't a cherry picker, you take the good with the bad. And in your case it sounds like the bad is in the past. Plus I'd rather hang out with a person who had a past of hurting yourself as opposed to others.

    As for girlfriends, I've been told that chicks dig scars.

    3drage on
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    GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Tell them you got in a fight. And, they should have seen the other guy...

    Actually, the only thing you can go with is the truth, if you're asked. I suggest you work with your friends first. However... in Brazil, you can always get away with a loose linen shirt.

    GungHo on
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    DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    If its strangers, you can joke around about it, like if some kid comes running up to you and goes "mummy look at all her body!" you can say you barely survived an encounter with fifty samurais.

    but your friends ought to be comfortable with the truth.

    Dhalphir on
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    HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    ceres wrote: »
    Unless for some reason I actually wanted to talk about it I would always just wave it off and say "eh, those are old" And then continue with what I was doing like I'd been asked about a scraped knee or something.

    And of course to start out with, never mention it at all unless it comes up.

    This is pretty much what I do, most people won't want to ask and if they do you can pick a response based on whether or not you want to talk about it. For friends I'll usually just say, "I've been through a lot of shit."

    If it's someone I don't know well then I go with the shrugging--if they're really pushy or if I don't particularly like them then I usually fall back on something bizarre like "cats" or "accident with a glass truck", if I'm feeling particularly obnoxious I say, "Ninjas."

    An additional note, you'll find that as you age the scars fade quite a bit, so unless someone is really looking then a lot of people won't notice. I find it really bizarre that people will notice a tattoo from a mile away, yet not notice a ton of old scars, craziness!

    Hypatia on
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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited May 2010
    Hypatia wrote: »
    ceres wrote: »
    Unless for some reason I actually wanted to talk about it I would always just wave it off and say "eh, those are old" And then continue with what I was doing like I'd been asked about a scraped knee or something.

    And of course to start out with, never mention it at all unless it comes up.

    This is pretty much what I do, most people won't want to ask and if they do you can pick a response based on whether or not you want to talk about it. For friends I'll usually just say, "I've been through a lot of shit."

    If it's someone I don't know well then I go with the shrugging--if they're really pushy or if I don't particularly like them then I usually fall back on something bizarre like "cats" or "accident with a glass truck", if I'm feeling particularly obnoxious I say, "Ninjas."

    An additional note, you'll find that as you age the scars fade quite a bit, so unless someone is really looking then a lot of people won't notice. I find it really bizarre that people will notice a tattoo from a mile away, yet not notice a ton of old scars, craziness!
    "Cats" is a pretty common one. And yes about the aging.

    And yes about the therapy. Good god does that shit never quite go away even with it, I still find myself in and out.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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