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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
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Question I need help my parents found out about my self harm?! - July 25th 2013, 02:29 AM

So today I was sitting on the couch and my shorts slipped up and my dad asked what happened. I told him it was the cats. He told me to move my hand because there were a ton of marks and scars on my leg and he was like what the hell and I told him it was nothing and I was having a slight anxiety attack and I started to cry. He took me to show my mom and she was like freaking out saying oh my god, and she forced me to show her my wrists which also had a few cuts and my dad was just saying like that I needed to see a shrink or a doctor and this was not okay and he was like yelling questions at me about why I was doing it and it really freaked me out. They took away my ipad. I come from a middle upper class family and I'm 14. So I mean they were so confused. My mom was pretty understanding afterwords she took me shopping and stuff it was really nice. We talked in the car though and she was telling me how people would judge me and it would be hard to get a job, and how easily it creates scars, and how I was gonna have to always cover it up. She probed me by asking me what I used and all that crap. But she demanded that I stop. I told her that it was addicting but that I would stop. She doesn't get how hard it'll be though. And she kept asking me why I was doing it. And that I could be sent to a mental facility. She just kept saying to herself that I would be fine.
And later on, she told me that my dad was crying and blaming himself for it. And my ipad because I'm not "getting enough exercise" or sunlight, or whatever. And now they're sending me away with my grandparents for a week or so. I'm worried. And that's the long, probably boring story about how my parents found out about my self harm. Any suggestions? I'm scared. Share your experiences about your parents finding out about your self harm.
   
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Re: I need help my parents found out about my self harm?! - July 25th 2013, 02:38 AM

Hey there,

When my parents found out, they grounded me at first, too. They took away my phone and computer for a while because they thought that they had to practice tough love on me in order to get me to stop. Eventually they realized that I did need help though.

I think that maybe seeing a therapist or doctor about this would be a good idea. I know it can be very scary, but you're right that it's tough to stop. Someone like a therapist or doctor can get to the bottom of why you self harm and give you better ways to cope with what you're going through in a better way. It can really be beneficial and I know therapy has helped me a whole lot as well.

As for the self harm, this is a link to a list of alternatives to self harm. You can use these when you get the urge to self harm instead of actually cutting, because these are healthier, safer ways to cope. If one doesn't work, don't get discouraged. There are more out there!

Now, on to your parents. Even though they didn't handle the situation as well as they could have, I know that they did handle it the way they did because it came as a shock but they love you a lot and care about you, I bet they're worried. Maybe you can try and sit down with them again on a day when they are calm and try and talk everything out with them. If anyone else knows, you can take them with you for added comfort but you don't need to. It also may help if you plan things out before you go in there if possible, or maybe you can print out pamphlets on self harm too or borrow some books from the library on it so they can understand.

But, be honest with your parents about some of the reasons why you self harm and what you get out of it so they can understand you and what you're going through better. You can even tell them a bit of what you need from them, because they can be a support system once they understand better. If possible, try and understand things from their side as well.

Keep your head held high and stay strong, you can get through this!

-Dez


   
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Re: I need help my parents found out about my self harm?! - July 25th 2013, 02:48 AM

Thanks Dez, I appreciate your input. I will definitely check out the link for alternatives.
   
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Re: I need help my parents found out about my self harm?! - July 25th 2013, 03:44 AM

I'm sorry, that really didn't go over very well. At least your mom seems a bit more understanding. Just give it time. Your dad will calm down. They may not have reacted ideally but they are ultimately concerned for you and your health. People tend to freak out when they find out a loved one self harms because self harm is so misunderstood. Maybe you could show them a website about self harm or write them a letter so they can understand what you're going through better. I'd recommend you show them this (click here), it's quite informative.


♥ PM me anytime, I'm here for you ♥

Out of the ashes I'm burning like a fire. You can save your apologies, you're nothing but a liar. I've got shame, I've got scars that I will never show. I'm a survivor in more ways than you know. 'Cause all the pain and the truth, I wear like a battle wound. So ashamed, so confused, I was broken and bruised. Now I'm a warrior.

Last edited by RiseFromTheAshes; July 25th 2013 at 03:46 AM. Reason: adding a link
   
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Re: I need help my parents found out about my self harm?! - July 25th 2013, 04:10 AM

Hey. Sorry to hear about how your parents reacted but at least you can get help now.

I started self-harming at the age of 11 and my parents found out when I was 13. I had one friend I told everything to and even though she knew i cut, it wasn't until after she actually saw the cuts that she told my mom. I got home that day from school, not knowing she knew, and I went to my bedroom like always and my mom came and knocked on my door. I open it and she had tears in her eyes and said 'show me your arms' and I started freaking out. I tried to act like she was crazy and just said things like 'what are you talking? why?' and stuff like that but she just grabbed my arm and saw a few cuts and burn marks. I only had a few on my arm because I mostly did it on my hips and legs. I thought she'd stop there and I'd say it was no big deal since there were only a few but then she made me lift up my shirt and also show her my legs. Obviously she flipped. She started bawling her eyes out and hugged me and started blaming herself which made me feel like shit. She made me sit in the living room while her and my dad searched my bedroom where they found a few poems that I had written (they were pretty dark) and then she started thinking I was suicidal (but I had never had a suicide attempt). She asked me if I needed to go somewhere to get help and I begged her not to take me anywhere and she agreed not to but she went through my phone (which is how she also found out i'm an atheist. fun day.) and started checking for cuts almost every day. After about 6 months she stopped and I'm 15 now and we haven't talked about it since. I started self-harming again a couple months after she stopped checking and she hasn't found out yet. I feel awful because I know what it did to her when she found out, but I guess that's not enough for me to quit.

Anyway. Good luck with everything<3 You'll get past this.
   
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Re: I need help my parents found out about my self harm?! - July 25th 2013, 05:19 PM

Thank you guys that helps. I will try not to self harm, but you know I can't say that I won't ever again. I definitely am going to try to not mention it and act happy for at least a couple of months until it blows over. I want to stop, but I just need them to forget I don't want them to worry again.
   
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Re: I need help my parents found out about my self harm?! - July 25th 2013, 09:49 PM

My mom found out when she found a journal I kept of the time when I SH'd. My mom had a history of depression (and SH too, but I can't say for sure) and she just told my dad and I got called in to the bedroom that night. They searched me, but I don't scar easily, so they only found a dozen or so, but it was enough to give them a scare. They started asking me why, but, since they are both doctors, they were reasonable about it. I wasn't grounded, but they checked on me now and then and had my blood tested and all that. (Which may be good if you think it's possible you got infected). I think though once I got open with them I got so much less scared. It's horrible when they first find out, but they move on and WILL trust you again.
I'm so glad that your mom was understanding. Getting caught is horrifying, particularly when it's being caught by loved ones. Just know they are only angry or upset becuase they care about you so much and can stand the idea that they may have caused you to do something like that. It's how parents are. They will forgive you and move on and if you can break away from the SH, all the better. Use their support. Best of luck. Feel free to PM me if you ever need it!
   
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Re: I need help my parents found out about my self harm?! - July 26th 2013, 10:45 PM

When my parents found out they yelld at me too and I cried and they cried. They eventually got it out of me that my at the time bf was hurting me and I felt worthless cuz he had just dumped me. I was 17 and had been doing it all thru my year long relationship with him. They were eventually pretty understanding. I talked to a psychologist for about a year. I found that if you let them in on some of your reasons then they will feel better and more a part of your life. They only want what's best for you after all. They are scared for you. Parents hate seeing their children in pain and even though they don't always show it in the most constructive way they really want what's best. I printed out my parents some info about self harm and how it's an addiction and a slow recovery. It helped them understand it. It was awkward for a while tho. I'm not going to deny that. I had to explain to them that constantly interrogating me about it was only hurting me and not helping. I also told them some of the stuff that my ex did to me (only the minimal stuff like verbal abuse not the physical and sexual abuse. I don't think that them knowing that would help. Only cause more worry) it helps if you go to them to talk sometimes. It makes them feel like you are trying and wanting to change. If you have any more questions feel free to PM me. I know it's hard but them finding out is the first step to recovery.

Best wishes!
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Re: I need help my parents found out about my self harm?! - July 29th 2013, 07:43 PM

My parents found out about a year ago and the first time they yelled a lot and made me promise not to do it ever again. I promised because it was easier but i was lying. I'd been SH for 3 years and was not ready to stop. They found out two more times and after the third time they put me in the hospital. I was hospitalized twice. Now when my parents find out that I've SH they don't do anything they just ask why and i tell them and they say okay. It seems that they have accepted the fact that it is my coping mechanism. Now yes i am trying to get better but i do still relapse but thats okay. It'll get easier Even though it seems really hard right now. Hang in there
   
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Re: I need help my parents found out about my self harm?! - July 30th 2013, 04:42 AM

Hey there,

When my parents found out my dad made me go to counseling and I wasn't open to that at all because I didn't want the help. However, looking back I wish I had been more accepting of that offer because I could have gotten the help I deserved and I might have been able to stop before my self harm got as bad as it did.

When parents find out that their child is self harming I think it is really hard to deal with. They see their child suffering yet they are helpless to do anything about it. I think your parents handled it quite well in most respects and I am glad you were able to talk to your mom about it some more.

I think you should definitely try and work on getting in to counseling because it will be an amazing tool in helping you work on getting to a better place. A therapist will also be able to help your parents better understand your struggle with self harm which could be beneficial to you. I know my dad was in therapy when he found out about my self harm so his therapist was able to talk him through some of my struggles. But, with your parents, your counselor might be able to explain it a little bit better, you know?

It also might help if your parents gained some more knowledge on self harm. I know when my parents started realizing what an issue my self harm was my mom read a few books about self harm. I don't know if that would be something you would be comfortable suggesting to your parents but if so maybe you could just tell them "I don't know how to explain it to you but maybe if you read up on it it would help." Also, you could try printing them out educational information about self harm. I don't know how comfortable you would be with that but the more informed they are the better.

Do you know what your triggers are? I think you should try to work on identifying what causes you to want to self harm so that you can work on dealing with those issues. It can be really hard to identify your triggers at times but if you journal when you feel an urge to harm yourself it can help.

I would also like to suggest that you look at the Alternatives to Self Harm and you start turning to those when you feel an urge to self harm. I know that might be hard to do at first but if you use them enough your body can adjust to them.

Lastly, I think it would be good if you continued trying to communicate with your parents about this. I know that might be hard to do but try and be open with them about this. Let them in on your struggles so that they can be there to support you. Your parents love you and they do not want to see you hurting like this. You can overcome your self harm and they can help you with that if you let them. You don't have to do it alone.

I hope this helped and if you need anything please feel free to message me.


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Smile Re: I need help my parents found out about my self harm?! - July 30th 2013, 06:28 AM

Almost the exact thing happened to me when my mom found out. I was writing something and one of my wrist bands slid up. My mom freaked out! She took away my laptop and took me to the mall to 'get my mind off it'
A few hours later when we got home I was still freaked out so I went into the bathroom and cut my wrists again.
Since she was already suspicious she checked my wrists again. When she realized I was addicted to cutting she rushed me to the hospital. I fought and screamed the whole way I even tried to jump out of the car on the freeway.
I was admitted to the psychiatric ward of the hospital after about 6 hours in the ER. By then it was like 3AM.
I had a panic attack in my room there and a nurse almost had to put me in a straight jacket (yes they're real not just used in movies)
That was over a year ago. I was given medication and taken to LOTS of therapy.
Although I fought it like hell at first all of it really helped me. They had a program in the hospital where they taught me how to play piano. I've had lessons ever since! You can't deal with this on your own. If you want to get better you have to give it your effort. Feel free to ask me Anything about this. I'm here for you. - Sarah
   
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Re: I need help my parents found out about my self harm?! - August 2nd 2013, 07:12 AM

Hello (:
This is my first advice thread since I've been out of the hospital so I'm sorry if it is a little rusty. (:
When my parents found out about my cutting addiction, I was screamed at, they cried, they blamed themselves. I was almost grounded. It sucks. I guess it's a traumatic experience for them to? But your parents cannot just expect you to get over this. That's the thing. They don't understand how addictive or how hard it is to stop. I don't understand why anyone would be punished for that. I'm so sorry. My advice to you is to try explaining to them, it's not as easy as they think. Seeing a therapist could actually help. They could discuss alternates for you. Like rubber band snapping, writing, reading, drawing, medication.
You should fight this addiction. You're stronger than that. You will get through this. You're perfection, no matter how many scars you have ❤
If you'd like to talk, feel free to message me (:
   
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