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Emmylou Offline
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Help - what do I do now that my mum has found out about my self harm? - January 18th 2018, 11:30 PM

My mum confronted me about my self harm a couple of weeks ago - she noticed scars and wouldn't accept my explanation that they were just from the cat. She reacted relatively well but I really hate that she knows - I didn't want to be a burden or make her worry.

Now that someone knows it has made the fact that I have a problem with self harm real - before she found out it didn't seem real.

I'm already seeing a counsellor about some other things including anxiety and now I'm considering opening up to her about it seeing as my mum now knows. (One of the reasons i havent mentioned it already was that I didn't want the school counsellor to tell my parents) So since they know I feel like I should talk to someone about it. For the last few counselling sessions its been on my mind more and more and I've wanted to say but haven't been able to find the words.

How do i start the conversation about it? And how will the counsellor react?
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Re: Help - what do I do now that my mum has found out about my self harm? - January 19th 2018, 02:39 AM


I know that it sucks that your mom found out, but think of it is as an opportunity to get the help that you deserve. I am glad that she reacted well and can also understand the fact that you don't want to worry her. It seems as if both of you really care about each other. Do you think it would ease your mind some if you sat down with her one day when both of you are in a decent mood and you talked to her a little bit about what self harm means to you and what you might need from her? That might ease both your minds.

As for your guidance counselor, they might or might not call your mom just to verify that she knows, but of course she does know so she'd be able to confirm and would probably be very glad that you are getting help. Your guidance counselor shouldn't be angry or judge you in any way for this. You definitely can't be the first one that they have come across that has self harmed, and they also probably have gotten training on how to help someone who self harms. Any particular protocol that they have to follow varies by school, but the two times I brought up self harming (once in middle and once in high school) they did ask me to go to the school nurse just to look at them and make sure they're not infected. Again, your school's protocol might be different.

One thing you can do is write your school counselor a letter. That's what I did both times I talked about it with them. You can either put it in an envelope and ask the secretary to leave it in their mailbox or hand it to them directly. The good thing about letters is that they get out your initial thoughts without nerves or interruptions getting in the way. Some main points I would cover is that recently your mom found out that you self harm and now that she knows, you decided that you would like more support with it. If you would like, you can mention some of the triggers or what self harm does for you in particular, but if not you can wait for it to be discussed. The main points are getting out that you self harm and want support.

You can also verbally say this. Maybe you can mention that since your last meeting, there have been some developments, and explain that your mom found out. I don't think you need to do some elaborate explanation, as long as you are able to get out that you need support with this. Another option is waiting for a topic to come up that relates, such as something that is triggering you, and bring it up then, but I do recommend getting help with this sooner rather than later.

I know you can do this and that talking about your self harm and getting support will be a good decision in the long run. I wish you the best of luck.


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