Please be aware that this is a personal piece and may contain some triggering content. Please take care.
Self harm is a very big part of my life. I’d be lying if I said any different. I’d also be lying if I didn’t say how much I feel I need it; rightly or wrongly. I can’t change that fact right now but I can say that I do not advocate or promote self harm. In all honesty I despise it.
Please don’t take my last comment the wrong way. If you self harm, I don’t despise you. In fact I have the greatest sympathies for, and understanding of, you. It is the actual act I hate. The monster that is self harm. I’m going to give it a name so you can distinguish it; let’s call it ‘Voldy’ (some of you will understand the Harry Potter link).
Now why do I hate Voldy? Why do I hate it when it has become the thing that I use to get me through some of the hardest times of my life? This is precisely why I hate it. It is like a vice that takes hold of you. It’s like being an alcoholic or drug addict or even a smoker; you become dependant on it. Whenever you hit a low point it’s what you turn to and allows you to escape from the vileness of what you feel. Or it lets you feel something you understand and have control of what you feel. For a few minutes its just you and it.
I don’t want to be dependant on Voldy. I don’t want to be called an attention seeker by society. It’s all messed up. Society is messed up too. You see it’s socially acceptable to smoke or drink. These people aren’t called attention seekers- nor should they be- but because I have a different vice I am. This is another reason I hate Voldy. Now just to be clear here, if you self harm I don’t think you are messed up or an attention seeker. I think that you are a person who is doing the best they can with the resources they have to cope with life; I believe you deserve help not judgment.
Lets get back to Voldy and my personal reasons for hating it. I hate it most of all for the manipulativeness and lying it causes. The lies may seem small but they become bigger as it becomes a bigger problem. From the starting lies of “the cat did it”, it can develop into bigger lies, such as why you don’t want to get undressed or why your mother has found a blade in an odd place. It means your body becomes covered in scars. This you don’t realise will effect your relationships in the future.
I’ll explain now how it effects relationships in the future. Imagine, and please try hard, that at some point in the future you happen to get with some amazing person. You’ve beaten the self harm by now and want to put it behind you. You’re getting on so well that things turn physical. As you get undressed, your partner stops you and touches your scars. “How did you do these?” they ask. You now have to explain it. You have to face it all over again. You won’t ever be rid of it. This is why I hate Voldy. This encompasses all that Voldy does.
Ok let’s go back to proper terms. Back to Self Harm. Self harm does all this and more to me. It does it all yet I cling to it in desperation and the thought of letting it go terrifies me. I am in its clutches. I thought it would give me control yet I have lost more to it than I have gained. It’s been ten and a half years. Soon it will be half my life time. It had cost me so much. If you are reading this because you self harm please know how much hope I have for you to beat it. How much hope that you beat the monster. However scary it may seem know you are not alone. If your reading this to understand why someone you know or love is doing this please just remember the most important thing you can do is to be supportive and not try to wrench it from them. Wrenching it will only make it more appealing and like it understands them better. Just being there is sometimes all you can do. And if you are reading this considering harming for the first time then I have just one word, don’t! Please you can find another way.
I hope this hasn’t been to hard to read but remember there are organisations who can help. You deserve help however hard it is to believe.