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Self Harm If you or someone you know is struggling with self harm and needs advice or alternatives, we're here to help.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
CatietheInsane Offline
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How would you react to you're bf/gf cutting? - July 22nd 2012, 10:54 AM

So I've been cutting on and off since I was 12 or 13 never really told anyone...I quit a year ago for an entire year. And a month ago I started again. I've been with my boyfriend for 6 months and two weeks ago he noticed the many cuts on my arms. I never told him that I was a cutter so this took him by surprise and he got mad that I didn't tell him that I'm depressed. I didn't tell him because I was afraid that he would freak out and leave me. So he told me to quit and when I have the urge to do it to tell him. But I don't know but I just can't talk to him about this sort of stuff because he doesn't understand. So my question is how would you handle it if you're girlfriend/boyfriend was hurting themselves on purpose?
   
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Re: How would you react to you're bf/gf cutting? - July 22nd 2012, 01:14 PM

Hey there,

I'm sorry about the way he reacted when he found out. I understand that must not have made it easier on you when he was mad. I just wanted to tell you, though, that he probably reacted that way because he doesn't understand it. Often if a person doesn't understand something like SH, they have to deal with the misconceptions of it. It doesn't mean that you can't speak to him about it, and I think he would probably rather it if you did. Try explaining why you started it in the first place. It wont make SH a better thing, remember that, but it may make him realise that being mad isn't a good way to deal with it. He has a right to be upset - naturally he would be! SH is a horrible thing, especially when someone you love is dealing with it - but perhaps if he understood, he would be able to help you more effectively, and you would feel more comfortable talking to him when you get the urges to self harm.

In terms of your question, because I know about SH, and have dealt with it on a personal level, that being by going through it myself and knowing a few people irl who have been through it, I'd know what not to say. At least, I'd like to think that! I'd probably give my girlfriend/boyfriend my support and let them know that I'm there if they ever need to talk, and perhaps direct them to the list of alternatives here on TH. I'd probably use what I know they life as a form of distraction too, so for example, if they were artistic, I'd suggest they drew something to keep their mind off of the urges, or that they used a red pen to draw on their arm where they'd LIKE to hurt themselves when they get urges, rather than to actually hurt themselves there.

Generally, I'd try to be as supportive as I can, and of course, tell them that help is out there. There are people they can talk to and people who can help them break the habit and find better forms of coping with how they feel. I'd suggest perhaps speaking to a professional or a family member, or friend they trust to get some extra support, because doing it alone is something that is really not a nice thing to do.

I hope this has answered your questions, and if you have any more, feel free to shoot me a PM. Also, if you want to talk about anything, you're welcome to message me and I'm always happy to help.

Take care,
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Re: How would you react to you're bf/gf cutting? - July 22nd 2012, 01:30 PM

Thanks. Everytime I try to explain it to him I either get scared of just scaring him off or I can't think of what to say. Like I really don't know why I do it. My life is okay not the best but not the worst. I have loving parents a good sister. But not really any close friends. For some reason I distance myself from others. I'm socially awkward because I think too much and I feel like everybody is judging me. And I just never know what to say to people. So everytime I try to explain my problems to him my thoughts get all screwed up in my head
   
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Re: How would you react to you're bf/gf cutting? - July 22nd 2012, 01:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatietheInsane View Post
But I don't know but I just can't talk to him about this sort of stuff because he doesn't understand.
I'm currently in the position of being that boyfriend. Take this for what it's worth, as my own personal views and opinions. Maybe it'll give you a bit of insight into how your own boyfriend is thinking.

It's seriously concerning, seeing the cuts and scratches. I had a basic understanding of SH before I found out, so I never got mad about it, but I did the same thing your boyfriend did. I told her that if she ever thinks about doing it, I want her to text me and I will drop what I'm doing to come be with her. It is frustrating for us. Yes, maybe some guys will get scared and run for their lives. We don't all do that. Some of us are old-school, and we're wired to be protective. That's me. I always get the "But I'm scared you'll leave me" response. Bollocks. I'm not the type to cut and run when things get rough. If your guy is halfway decent, he'll be the same. I expect men to be there when things are getting rough. I expect men to not only be there when things are getting scary, but to be the emotional anchor for your relationship. If he's not doing this, you need to reconsider your relationship. I'm always coming home with injuries from work, some of which can be pretty serious. There is NOTHING which terrifies me like the thought of my girl being hurt. I've been in some hairy situations involving bushfires and even explosives, but nothing has made my stomach drop like a late-night text confessing she's just hurt herself again. It's a horrible feeling of helplessness.

We're teammates. Not somebody you have to impress. Please don't keep it to yourself. If you think you can, you are being selfish. You need to be open and honest with us, because we need to have your back during rough times. It's rough for us, knowing it happens and not being able to do anything about it. Please don't play the "I can't talk to him, he doesn't understand". Tell him. If he doesn't understand, MAKE him understand. Any man worth his salt will accept what you are telling him and do his best to understand what is going on. If he cannot handle the fact that you are depressed and cutting, I'm not sure if he's worth having in your life in the long run. He needs to get his head around that, and quick. He's your teammate. Your partner. He's probably a big part of your life. He's not there to judge, or to make things difficult. It's his PLACE to be helping you, to share that burden, to make life easier. You work together, not separately.

Communicate. Please. I don't know you at all, but your post sounded so similar to my own girlfriend it struck something of a chord.

Take care, Catie. I hope things get better for you soon
   
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Re: How would you react to you're bf/gf cutting? - July 22nd 2012, 02:18 PM

Thanks your comment helped me understand what he might be going through. I always wondered if he thought if it was his fault. He's not around right now he's out of state working at the moment but so far I'm doing well. But thanks I'll try to communicate better with him
   
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Re: How would you react to you're bf/gf cutting? - July 22nd 2012, 03:01 PM

I just had to do the same thing. I burn myself and he saw the scars on my arms. It was hard to tell him the truth, but I knew that he should know.
If my boyfriend did self harm (which he does) I would try to support him and give him anything that he needed to overcOme it. It's not an easy thing to do. But if you two love eachother, it makes it easier.
   
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