Saturday, 7 September 2013


“Scars are but evidence of life. Evidence of choices to be learned from...evidence of wounds...wounds inflicted of mistakes...wounds we choose to allow the healing of. We likewise choose to see them, that we may not make the same mistakes again.”

this is another one of those posts which has a fair bit to do with self harm. if you are not comfortable with this topic please dont go any further than this picture of a small puppy.

i've mentioned self harm in a previous post and i tried to go into a fair bit of detail about my experiences with it. i briefly went over the sub-topic of scars, but i feel that this is something that requires its own post.

in the aftermath of my self harming a lot of scars were left. going to town on yourself with a Stanley knife blade or a lighter tends to do that. what a lot of people dont realise is that the scars themselves can leave a psychological effect on the person who has inflicted them. 

scars dont go away. they may fade, but they will never fully disappear. at first i kept them ALL hidden. long sleeved shirts, jumpers/hoodies were all used to good effect. as i've progressed after my experiences with self harm i have been able to wear short sleeved shirts, which reveals the 20 or so scars i have on my lower right arm. im not trying to be a big man and show them off. im not trying to make a statement saying "yeah, ive been through some shit times, check me out and chill." im trying to be normal. 

obviously, people have noticed those lines on my forearm. usually there is one of two responses. either they notice them, but dont say anything, which is what older people tend to do. the other response is to ask what happened to my arm. this usually comes from younger people- children or young teens. 

depending on how im feeling and who the person who asked is my reply can vary. with younger people i tend to say it was an accident with a grass strimmer. or i fell off my skateboard into broken glass." its easier to give one of those answers than to have to try and explain self harm to someone who is a bit too young to understand. with older people it tends to be more of a blunt response. "isnt it obvious?" or "what do you think?" 

that sounds harsh and arsey, doesnt it. its very difficult to explain about self harm to anyone of any age, even more so if it is someone you dont know very well. with close friends its easier to talk about....

however with family its very difficult. ive never been good with opening up about stuff to my family. dont get me wrong, i love them all to bits (even if sometimes i want to punch them) but i think there is something very difficult about opening up about something to someone when you see them ALL the time. i almost feel like i end up constantly bracing myself for a question to pop up out of nowhere about it. that constant state of "oh fuck, what are they going to ask me now?" is not nice. 

psychologically, telling my parents about self harm is quite possibly the hardest thing ive ever had to do (and ive done mile high club on COD 4 on the hardest difficulty!) i made a deal with my best (and closest) friend to tell my parents, and i have never been more terrified in my life! 

one of my 'problems' is that im constantly worried about what my parents think. what they'd think if i bring a girl back home to meet them (HA! like that happens!) what they'd think about my views on religion (they are christians) and so on, so obviously i was shitting myself about what they'd think when they found out i'd been using my arm as a chopping board. fortunately, once it was over and done they were ok. (as far as i know) i managed to tell them and get it off my chest. 

i think that my constant worrying about what my parents think is one of the reasons why ive yet to be brave enough to wear short sleeved t-shirts or vests. my upper arm is covered in scars. big scars. little scars. wide. thin. long. short. its not very nice. 

i want to have both my arms out on display. i want people to see my awesome walking dead tattoo on my left arm. i want to be comfortable enough to wear what i want. however there is something; some kind of mental block that is keeping me from having both my arms out. 

im not ashamed of the scars i have. im more concerned with people noticing how much weight i've put on during the course of my depression than the scars on my arm. (yeah, for some reason during my depression i've become really self conscious about how i look) its one of those things that no matter how much i want to do it i just cant, and i have no idea why.

different people see different things when they notice the scars on my forearm. some people see mental health issues. some people see some wannabe emo kid trying to get attention. some people see sadness. some people dont know what they see. what i see are memories. those scars will be with me forever. however i dont want to cover them up with a tattoo or anything. i want to be able to see them whenever i look at my arm. i want them to be a reminder of a worse time than now. a time where all i could do to control myself was to slash my arm. i know now that there are better ways to release any pent up negative emotion; be it anger, sadness or frustration. 

i am not ashamed of my experience with self harm. im not proud of it either, but i will NOT try and forget it. i know exactly how a blade feels when it goes through your skin. i know how it feels to see blood oozing from your body and running down your arm. i know how it feels to have your hands covered in your own blood. i wont forget that. i cannot and will not forget that. 

my experiences with self harm, and the psychological and physical effects it has left on me with stay with me forever. all i can do is try and learn from it, and try and make sure others dont make the same choices i did. 

i posted the quote at the top of the page, but i'll post it here as well

“Scars are but evidence of life. Evidence of choices to be learned from...evidence of wounds...wounds inflicted of mistakes...wounds we choose to allow the healing of. We likewise choose to see them, that we may not make the same mistakes again.”

i have no idea where that quote is from or who said it, but it is definitely something that sticks in my head and is something i can relate to VERY well.

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