So I’ve decided to write a series of blog posts all relating to the stigma I have experienced in regards to my mental health. As you’ve probably guessed from the blog title in this post I will be discussing the stigma surrounding self-harm.
Self-Harm– This is a big stigma that I face on a daily basis. I no longer self-harm, it took me many years and a lot of hard work to stop but the evidence of the past are forever written all over my body. I used to self-harm a lot and as a consequence I now have many scars, on my stomach, my legs, my arms, my chest, my neck, and my hands. My scars are obvious; they are there for everyone to see, even if I want to keep them a secret.
There is often the stigma that self-harm is done for attention, when in reality, for me it was a very private act and it was something that I hid for many years. It is incredibly painful to hear people make judgments about those who self-harm.
Those who self-harm are also often considered to be crazy;
One particular time where I experienced this stigma was in University. Like most University students I had a one night stand, the guy was on my course and we knew each other through friends and it was all very pleasant. However, the following night I went out drinking with friends and I bumped into the guy. He was with his friends. One of them turned to him and laughed saying “I can’t believe you slept with a crazy person, I can’t believe you slept with that!”.
That night broke my heart, I felt unworthy, and I felt broken.
Another stigma I have faced is the belief that because I hurt myself, then I must be dangerous to others. This is partly one of the reasons why my friends left me in school. They were scared that I would hurt them. In reality, I took everything out on myself. I was just trying to find a way to deal with the pain I had inside, so I hurt myself on the outside.
These days, I tend not to notice much when people look at my scars. I am not ashamed of them, and yet I am not proud of the person who made them.
I have often thought, if I could get rid of all my scars, would I? I think the answer would be no. There’s no point running away from my past, and I am quite attached to them now, if you were to pardon the pun. They are a part of me, and I like that. It reminds me of a time where I was strong and was able to stop hurting myself.
I just wish that people could look beyond the scars more.
Thanks for reading guys.
Even if this post was just me rambling on.