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I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By Cassielovesyou
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 09:13 AM

I self harm. That's kind of obvious at this point. Not to my family, though, and that's the way it needs to stay. I AM trying to stop, and I ahven't selfharmed for two weeks. Not much, I know, but I'm trying my best. Anyone, I'm going on a vacation and will be swimming and such. It's a cruise. And I don't know how the hell I can hide scars so obvious. I can't buy anything like bio oil or anything, my mom will want to know why. And she's a nurse, so I assume she could make some pretty logical guesses to narrow it down. My scars are on my left wrist, my lower abdomen, and the top of my left thigh. Mainly just on my wrist and abdomen though. I would absolutely never wear a wetsuit or a one piece, and trust me, my parents know that. They'd know something was up. So what do I do? Like, bracelets, or what? Thanks.
Cassie

38 Replies to I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?

re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By MarlaSingermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 09:20 AM
I think you need to bite the bullet and tell your parents. Unless they're extremely unobservant, at some point during the cruise they're going to catch on to the fact that you're trying to hide something. Tell them now, give them some time to process what you're telling them before your vacation rather than having it come out while you're in the middle of the cruise. I don't know what your reasons are for not wanting to tell your parents, but if you're in so much pain that you've been cutting, don't you think they would want to know? And if you're trying to stop, they could be a resource to turn to for support.
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By Cassielovesyou
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 09:28 AM
I have quite a few reasons for not telling my parents, actually. I have considered it. One reason is that mom's really wrapped up in some family problems right now. Her dad doesn't have a job, but is giving all of his money to his granddaughter who is pregnant, married, sixteen, and in jail. Her other sister just lost her job, and her otehr one is having problems with her ex husband and her son who is on drugs. She's worried and wrapped up and I don't need to add to that stress. Another reason is because I can overcome this myself. Just because I'm a cutter doesn't mean I can't stop, and I know that if I am determined, I can. And I will. For the time being though, I want my scars covered up. Which is why I posted here, to see if anyone else has any ideas.
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By Cienmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 09:33 AM
Edited by CienPorCientoPAZ (147923) on 2010-04-15 09:36:50
Cassielovesyou wrote:

Another reason is because I can overcome this myself

No, you can't. Sorry, but that's like saying someone with anorexia can overcome it themselves. I'm sure you're a strong person--I'm not trying to say that you're not--but even strong people need help, and this is not something you can do all on your own. If you really COULD overcome it by yourself, don't you think you would be doing it now? Wouldn't that sensible, rational part of your brain already have taken over? Obviously something is going on in your mind that's making you think cutting is a constructive way of dealing with things, and you can't just turn that off by yourself. You need support, and you need help. If not from your parents, then from a counselor, a school authority figure, someone besides yourself.

I think, unfortunately, there's a very good chance they're going to see your scars at some point on this trip. You could wear a one-piece, but you said you'd never do that, and you can't wear a chunk of bracelets all the time, you know? Parents are extremely observant, especially when they get the sense that their kid is in trouble, and odds are they'll find out.

EDIT: I just wanted to add that DDN is not a site to help people self-harm. If you're looking for ways to prolong this, we can't and won't help you do that. We will, however, give you lots of responses on how you can get help.
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By mazie
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 09:40 AM
Well done for quitting! Two weeks is a really good achievement, so don't put yourself down, be proud!!

From personal experience I've found out that other people mostly don't notice scars a lot of the time, even parents! The mark might seem blindingly obvious to you, but unless you actually point it out to some one they probably would never have picked up on it.
This all depends on how healed the scars are, how deep they were etc. But I have some really nasty looking scars on my right forearm and I can't remember anyone ever asking me what happened.

So with that in mind, the more subtle you are about covering them up the better, because if you don't draw particular attention to them people won't be looking for them. A bracelet or a bangle is a good idea, but keep it small and simple. Do you wear a watch? If not, then buy a cheap one, people won't question you wearing a watch, but they might if you suddenly start wearing 100 bracelets.
Fake tan is another really good way of evening out skin tone. Since it's summer now you have the perfect excuse to start using a gradual fake tan moisturiser without seeming conspicuous.

The other option is, of course, to tell your parents....
I'm not going to be a hypocrite and tell you should. I self-harmed for years and my mother still doesn't know, so I'm not going to be the one to insist you go tell mommy and daddy.

BUT, if realistically you KNOW they are going to notice the scars no matter how you try to cover them then you need to tell them before you go on holiday. A cruise is not the time or place for them to discover you've been self-harming. Ask a friend that already knows, to give you an honest opinion on how noticeable your scars are and go from there.

Hope that helps
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By Cassielovesyou
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 09:44 AM
No, You can't. If you really COULD overcome it by yourself, don't you think you would be doing it now?

Wow. Thanks for the encouragement. I AM doing it now. I'm not cutting. I'm stopping. But just cause i stop doesn't mean the scars go away instantly. They're still there. And by the way, I'm not looking for someone to "help me self harm". I AM STOPPING. No more cutting. Okay? I don't want to cut anymore. I'm looking for someone to help me cover up the scars.


Mazie-Thank you. The fake tan thing? I think I'll try it. Because I've talked about it to people before, so it'll make sense. And Maybe I can try a watch too. No one's ever noticed? Wow, I hope it's the same for me. Just out of curiousity, you self harmed for years. How long has it been since you last cut?
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 09:52 AM
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2010-04-15 09:55:49
Just because you're not cutting now doesn't mean you've magically developed the coping skills to keep you from cutting in the future. It's great that you've managed not to self-harm for now. But taking the attitude that you can do it "by yourself" is not helpful to you or any other people struggling to stop self-injuring. You need a toolbox of alternative methods to deal with stress or other powerful emotions, and the best way to do that is to talk to your folks or another adult who can help point you in the right direction. A school counselor may be your best bet if you don't feel like you can talk to your parents, but seeing as your mom is a nurse, she may know a lot more about community resources and how to help than you think.

You probably can't hide this from your folks forever--through clothing, bracelets, self-tan or whatever. I think it would show a lot of maturity if you came to them FIRST and explained what was going on rather than just showing up on vacation with a ton of scars on your arms or legs.

Dani
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By Cienmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 09:54 AM
^You're right Cassie, I didn't read closely enough and missed the two-week part. I'm sorry for that, that was absolutely my fault.

I do still think it would be a good idea to tell your parents, though. You might encounter slip-ups later on, you know? You never know if you could be tempted to cut again, and if that were to happen, you'd want all the support you could have. I know if I were a parent and I found out years after the fact that my daughter had been cutting, I'd be wondering what I could have done to make it better at the time, or to be more accessible. I wouldn't blame her; I'd blame me. You're probably not really inclined to accept my opinion, but there it is.
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By Cassielovesyou
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 09:56 AM
School counseler isn't going to work. I'm homeschooled. You're right, and I guess I'm being a little cocky and rude to the person who said this earlier. I'm not saying that it will be easy, and that I won't make mistakes. I'm not saying that I can definitely do it. But I'm saying that if I'm determined, that i think I can do it.. I understand that it will be hard, it already has been. But I've been finding other methods instead of cutting, and I'm going to try my best.
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:00 AM
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2010-04-15 10:01:32
I'm glad that you've been able to start using different methods to cope with stress, but if all it took was determination to get over a destructive habit, we'd have a lot more mentally healthy people in the world. It isn't enough, and there may be things your parents could do to help that you can't do on your own--like completely changing your environment, if there's something in particular that's triggering you. You may not even *have* to deal with whatever is making you cut, which is why I think you should absolutely tell your folks.

I was homeschooled, too. Is there another adult that you trust that can bring this up to your folks instead of you? Like a friend's mom, or a teacher if you're in a co-op, or someone like that? An aunt, an uncle, whoever?

Keep your chin up, kiddo. I think you can get through this, but asking for help doesn't mean you're a failure. It just means you realize you can't do it on your own.

Dani
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By Cassielovesyou
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:02 AM
Like I said in the post above, my best friend knows. Doesn't sound like much maybe, but she's not just my best friend, she's like my role model. She's three years older then me, actually, which is a little unusual. But she's extremely encouraging and helpful.
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:09 AM
Best friend is still not an adult. Unless she can talk to her mom or dad and insist that they tell your parents, best friend can't do anything to change your situation.

Tell an adult, honey. Living with the fear that you're going to slip up and panicking about how you're going to hide the evidence is a lot worse than having your parents know.

Dani
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By Cassielovesyou
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:12 AM
I don't know of another adult to tell. I don't really do that much. I mean, dance, obviously, and theatre. I don't know. And I'm afraid they'd tell my parents. It just wouldn't be good if my parents found out.
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By Cassielovesyou
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:27 AM
But even if I did find someone, what would I even say? "Hey, I'm a cutter. I just thought you should know that." And then they'd probably just be worried about me all the time. It'd just be easier to keep it to myself.
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:33 AM
It would be easier to keep it to yourself, but not everything in life is easy.

Its good that you have gone 2 weeks without cutting, and found some coping mechanisms, BUT I'm so afraid that you will go into a nasty relapse and really need someone, and not have anyone that knows what is going on.

I really do think you need to go speak with a professional.
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By MarlaSingermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:42 AM
^^Okay, sure, you might make someone worry about you. But you know what? That's what families and friends are for. I worry about my family when they tell me they're going through something difficult. I worry about my friends. I worry about my boyfriend and his family. Sometimes I even worry about DDNers. But never do I think, "Geez, I wish they just hadn't even told me." I'm GLAD to be able to have the opportunity to help someone I care about. Your parents love you. They will want to help you with this. Any trusted adult that you confide in will want to help you. You say, "Hey, I've had some problems with self-injuring, and I'm really trying to get better. Would you help me get through this?" and then you sit down and have a conversation about things that you think the other person could do to help you, even if it's just promising to pick up the phone when you call so that you know you've got someone there for you if you get the urge to cut again. Ideally, you'll find someone to talk to who can help you find a counselor to work through the issues behind the cutting.
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By Ninemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:47 AM
Okay, I'm going to try to be careful here to articulate the opinion I have without seeming extreme.

I don't think you necessarily have to tell your parents immediately (it depends on whether it is possible to hide your scars for this vacation.) In an ideal world parents would be supportive and helpful, but that is definitely not always the case. When my parents first found out they were neither supportive nor helpful. They were upset about what I had been doing, and they reacted poorly, which made me feel a lot worse. And I am REALLY glad that I hadn't decided to tell them right before a family vacation when we would have been together a lot, because it would have been a really stressful situation for me.

I also do think it's possible albeit difficult, and maybe unlikely, to stop on your own. In the last seven months I've pretty much avoided it, except for a difficult two week stretch a few months ago, and I did it with absolutely no support Although I definitely can't pretend that it was easy considering the public diary I have on this website. I do know, or know of other people who have similar stories. However most of the problems that led me to cut in the first place are still present, and cutting was only a superficial expression of an underlying issue. I don't know why you cut, maybe you're stressed, anxious, depressed, I am not sure. But think that even if you manage to completely stop self injury (which, by the way, is incredibly difficult) what ever made you feel so bad in the first place will probably still be there, and for your own sake wouldn't it be better to have support with that?

If you do decide that you want to tell your parents, or if you absolutely can not figure out a way to hide your scars without attracting suspicion then tell your parents now, and you will have one less thing to worry about during your trip. If you don't tell them wait until after you get back from your vacation (and won't say, be cramped with your family in a small room for a week) then tell them that you've been feeling badly and you would like support. You don't have to mention self injury initially if you don't want to. (There is a high chance that you will tell them eventually, but you can wait until you are ready to do that, your parents are less stressed, and maybe have a therapist mediate the conversation.) I know it's really hard to do, but I think ultimately you could improve your life if you had some professional support for whatever has been causing your self injury.

Ps. Like CienPorCientoPAZ said ddn isn't really a site to help people with self harm. But this site is. Under the forums tab there is a whole board just for people looking for support regarding self injury, and there are tons more people who can relate to or answer questions like this.
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:59 AM
If you are homeschooled, then I am going to make an assumption and that is that your mom cares very much about doing the best for you and she would want to know and help. You say you don't want to add to her stress. I can understand that, but the truth is, it's a parent's responsibility to handle these types of situations - it's part of the job description - and you have every right to be helped as anyone else in your family. Your mom is an adult and she can take it. And on top of it, she's a nurse, so she may be able to actually help you hide the scars. Maybe think of her as an ally in this?

Good luck to you! :)
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By Cassielovesyou
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:01 AM
Wow. Seven Months. Yeah, I don't think I can tell my parents, but I have been thinking about people I could tell, and I did think of someone. So I'll see how that goes, I guess. I am wondering. Considerin other options. If I did decide to maybe try some sort of professional help, how would i go about that. I homeschooled, so no school counseler until next year, when I'll be going to an actual highschool. And I'm not telling my parents. I can't drive. How could I do that since it can't be at school, and I can't drive myself anywhere? And I bet you need parental consent, too.
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By Cassielovesyou
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:06 AM
Dj4- I am homeschooled. Sort of. My mom actually has nothing to do with it, although I do agree that she does the best she can for me. I go to a public school, that you do at home. If that makes sense. I still have teachers and taks and such. So my mom isn't THAT horribly involved with me, although that's not to say she doesn't do things for me, because she most certainly does. I just want to be clear that by saying she has almost nothing to do with it, I'm not saying that she doesn't do things for me. I definitely recognize that she does.
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:10 AM
Is it possible to ask your parents to take you to a therapist without mentioning that you cut? That's what I did when I was a minor... my parents were okay with the idea that I might have a mental illness, to this day they still don't know that I have ever cut myself.

I also second that cuts are not really that noticeable. If you can just wear a cover-up or a sarong or something. There's plenty of trendy stuff you can wear without it looking obvious that you're hiding something. A sarong would cover your stomach and thigh and a bracelet takes care of the wrist.
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By Cassielovesyou
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:12 AM
I think that although for some that might work, my parents would really want to know what was going on. Don't laugh, but what's a sarong?
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:19 AM
Sarong is this:
Image hotlink - 'http://www.womansday.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/images/media/galleries-slideshows/10-essential-clothes-for-traveling/sarong-or-wrap/631535-1-eng-US/Sarong-or-Wrap_slideshow_image.jpg'

Self-harm doesn't come out of nowhere... there's plenty you can tell them without getting into that.
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By Cassielovesyou
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:38 AM
You're right. It's definitely something to consider, whether I use it or not. I do have some reasons I could ask them to take me there for. Thank you. And the sarong, I'll have to see where I can get one, but that would take care of one area for sure. And i've been given some ideas for the rest. So thank you, I really appreciate all of your help.
re: I could put this under secrets, but it really isn't a secret. I just need help. Yeah, uh,cutter?
By mazie
On Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:53 PM
To answer you question, it's probably been 1.5-2yrs since I last self harmed. That was after about 5yrs+ of burning/cutting fairly regularly, with good and bad spells.

And also just to go against the grain (unintentionally), I never went to any sort of therapy and never told an adult, and I managed on my own. And in retrospect I personally feel that was the best way for me. AND I am more grateful than I can possibly describe that there is no record anywhere (except my skin) that I ever self harmed....

But if you feel that you would like therapy then you should look into it. It's a very brave and tough decision to admit you would like help so don't feel like you are letting anyone, especially yourself, down by asking for outside help.
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