Author Topic: Family and self harm *may trig sh*  (Read 9353 times)

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Offline Anon13

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Family and self harm *may trig sh*
« on: March 26, 2017, 11:56:32 PM »
So firstly, i'm new here; i'm not really sure if this is the right place for me to post this, so sorry if it's not.

So i just have a couple of questions about family and self harm, and i need some advice.
I've been self harming since around June/July last year, but it's gotten a lot worse since December, and over the past couple of months it's spread from my elbow and ankles to kind of all over.
In January i was referred to CAMHS by my GP and counsellor at school, and they made me tell my parents about everything; it was the first they knew about my anxiety and depression and self harm.
It didn't really go down very well; it involved a long conversation with my parents sitting me down and asking me why i would ever self harm and making me promise that i would just go and talk to them if i ever felt down rather than hurting myself. They were trying to be understanding, i know, but i don't think they understood the concept of self harm, and no matter how much i tried to explain (although i didn't manage very well, because it was surprisingly hard to get across to them how i felt without upsetting them) they didn't really understand that it helps. My mum ended up asking to see my arm, because the CAMHS nurse had only mentioned my arm, and she asked me to promise that i wouldn't do it again.
I didn't want to upset my parents and so i said that it wasn't that bad; that i only did it sometimes, and that i would stop, and just tell them if i was upset instead.
And, obviously, i haven't actually managed to stop.
The problem is that now i have to work even harder to hide everything, because i think my mum is really worried that i might start again. She constantly barges in when im changing etc. and i don't really have much privacy, or time to myself. I'm scared that soon she's gunna see one of my scars, and it just feels like everyday i'm walking on such thin ice - like i'm so close to someone finding out and everything coming crashing down.
We've finally managed to regain some normality after they found everything out and i know that her finding out would completely throw everything out of wack.
I've seen a few people on here talk about how after they got their parents to understand self harm, everything kind of settled down, or that they can kind of co-exist with their parents knowing about the self harm and just accepting it without feeling the need to stop it, (because it doesn't work how they want it to, unfortunately; they can't just turn it off for me) and i was wondering if this works for people, and how they managed to get to that point with their parents?
Do you think i should tell them or not?
My counsellor knows the situation, and that i am still self harming and that it is getting worse, so i am not without support; it's just that the situation at home is kind of heightening my anxiety, as well as the emotions that make me self harm. I guess something needs to change but i just don't know what.
Anyways, sorry for how massively long this post is; any support or advice would be welcomed!
There is neither good nor ill, but thinking makes it so.

Offline Tired Soul

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Re: Family and self harm *may trig sh*
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2017, 12:40:08 AM »
Hi Anon13,

I haven't ever talked to my parents/family about my self-harm, so I can't talk from personal experience, but I can share some thoughts of things I have seen work for others who have had parents/family members know about their self-harm.

It sounds like you are doing all the right things, accessing support and trying to be open and honest in your home, whilst keeping the boundaries up that you feel you need to be able to manage at the moment. I wonder if you could talk to your counsellor about ways to talk to your parents to help get them to understand that their constant checks and intense feelings of anxiety are making you feel even more anxious at home, and perhaps suggest what you think might be a better approach for them to take? maybe instead of them barging into your room, they could try asking once or agreeing a way for you to indicate that you need their support, rather than them feeling like if they're not supervising you at all times that you are going to be self-harming. Some counsellors will let you bring your parents in to help have that kind of conversation if you don't feel able to, or you might find that just practicing the conversation with your counsellor may help you feel you have found some different ways to express what you have already tried to say to them.

I think that the most important thing is that you focus on keeping you as safe as possible, because ultimately that is what everyone worrying around you wants anyway, so if you have to tell them that they need to adapt how they are being around you in order for them to support you in a way that will help keep you safe, then that sounds really important to do. If they can see you are doing what you can to make sure you survive and are as safe as you can be, that you are accessing and opening up to your counsellor, then that is in their best interest too, even if it is uncomfortable and tough for them to feel.

Not sure if this was a useful response but wanted you to know you were heard and that you matter.

Be patient and tough; some day this pain will be useful to you.

Offline pixie girl

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Re: Family and self harm *may trig sh*
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2021, 10:55:07 PM »
I am familiar with the kind of over bearing worry your parents are putting on you as my mum would do the same thing to me. I went out and i found printed literature on self harm explaining it in great detail - a booklet i got from the mental health team at the time. It didn't sink in right away but I believe it eased some of my mum's worries. She is smothering you because she is worried and because she loves you. Inside your parents head they are still on worse case scenario mode and a little bit of education and time for their worries to ease might help here.

It isn't easy to be patient with other people but they have feelings too. You obviously can't feel you can talk to your parents which i can relate too. I am glad you have someone you can talk to and they seem to be the best person to help you.