I am a professional self harmer. I call myself this because it has only been in the last two years that anybody has known this about me. It was one of my big fat secrets. I was in a ten year marriage, and my husband nor any of my new family at the time, had any idea what I was doing to myself.
Telling somebody that you self harm is a huge risk.
- Will they be able to cope with what you are telling them?
- Will they look at you with the same eyes as they did before?
- Will they constantly be looking for signs of it…when they think you’re not looking.
Plus, will they ask the inevitable question…are you suicidal? Or will they just assume.
Now few people have known this before ‘My Big Fat Lie’ started, which is around the start of 2016. My partner, my doctor, my psychiatrist, my psychologist and only recently my closest friends even knew.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think, that after me going public with my story, would any of them ever come to me and ask for my advice on self harm. Why did they? Because Self Harm had reared its ugly head within their own family.
This was the straw that broke this girl’s proverbial camels back!
So…one of my closest friends rang me just after Christmas last year (2015) and told me their thirteen year old niece, was in an online group of girls who self harmed and they were involved in a social media group and were sharing and posting their self harm injuries.
Now I am well aware there are ‘cool’ kids being into Werewolves, and Vampires and don’t forget the Zombies…but this phone call had me in a tail spin. Is this what social media networks are used for by some groups? Am I – a professional self harmer – the next box office hit? Hopefully not!
My initial reaction was I asked, ‘Is this girl being abused in anyway?’ The answer was a definite no. So that was of some relief to me.
My next questions were about this girls weight and physical appearance and her self esteem. What did she look like? Was she a confident girl? Bingo there was my answer.
This beautiful young girl was a little on the heavier side and was of average looks, however quite recently she had started plastering on heavy eye makeup and wearing clothes that weren’t appropriate. In her eyes she obviously was feeling she couldn’t not keep up with the super hotties, who plaster their photos whenever they get a chance on social media pages. You know the photos I am talking about…and you probably know a few who do.
They are the girls who take 20 to 30 selfies a day just so they get the right shot, with the right angle, with their push-up-bra breasts, winking at the world, their makeup oh-so perfect, their false eyelashes, their trout pout lips and their hair straightened to within an inch of its life. These girls rule the web, begging for recognition and hoping their photos are ‘Liked’.
So this young lady was cutting herself literally, scarring her body and making a permanent scar in her Social Media profile…and both these scars will haunt her forever.
She is doing this to fit in. To be liked. To be dark and mysterious…and don’t we just love people who are dark and mysterious. So we just feed into this young lady’s insecurities, and worse yet, she is getting the attention and the likes she craves.
However, self harm is a hard habit to break.
I self harm to make something ache.
To have an unbelievable throbbing, excruciating pain, that lasts for days. While this pain is banging away at all my nerve censors in my brain I can’t think of anything but the pain.
The PTSD, the triggers, the mad thoughts, the pain of my childhood trauma, don’t get a look in because I have a constant throb that won’t ease off and it consumes my every thought.
Take my word for it, self harm isn’t something you muck around with. It is inflicting damage and pain on yourself to disguise and mask the real pain within.
It breaks my heart to think that this is what our beautiful young ladies and men are doing to themselves just to fit in…to be one of the cool kids. They were already the cool kids! They are individuals with great minds and talents yet to be discovered. These beautiful people will be our strong, kind individuals, who will hold their hands out in friendship and not have their looks dictate their lives.
Now the good news is this young lady I have been talking about is now getting the help she needs medically and her family is right behind her. She knows more than ever how much she is loved and loved for who she is.
For me, well I haven’t self harmed much this year! In fact I am trying out a new ploy. As soon as I hurt myself even the tinniest bit, I get up and cover it straight away with a bandaid.
I look at that bandaid now as a trophy, or a blue ribbon, and when I see that bandaid I get a little grin, because I know better than anyone that it could have been so much worse.
But I have made the decision to stop…one day at a time…one bandaid at a time.
Be kind to yourself,
Love Big Fat Dee