Why do people post images of their fresh self-harm wounds? It’s irresponsible and I wish you would stop.

Hey, so lately I’ve become aware that quite a lot of people post images of the cuts they’ve just inflicted upon themselves online, and in their blogs. And this has caused me to have some serious ranting monologues in my head. I really felt the urge to ask the people doing this as to WHY!?! because it really baffles me, but I figured I might come off offensive and hurt someone, and ended up writing this here in stead. I’m very curious as to why people do that, and if you do and have an answer please tell me, I want to understand. But no matter what the reason I really don’t think that’s OK one bit, and the following will be a rant about that behavior and what I think about it. If you do this and know you’ll be offended go away (or stay and change!), because I’ll be critiquing it, and I’m not gonna apologize for it.

First of all I wanna say that I don’t think anyone should judge others for their self-harm, it’s your own body and your self-harm mostly affects you. I really wish you didn’t do it, but I’m not about to criticize someone for choosing that way of surviving the terrible mental pain you must be in. This is about flaunting images of fresh cuts and wounds openly on the web, with no form of warning or giving people any opportunity to chose not to take part.

  1. IT’S A TRIGGER:
    You do know that writing about self-harm can be triggering, but pictures is even more triggering. And most of all pictures of fresh wounds, and the action of cutting oneself are triggering. When you post a picture of your wounds you trigger other people that has not asked for it, people that might be struggling with the same, or people that are in a desperate situation and need relief.
  2. YOU SUBJECT OTHERS TO HARMFUL BEHAVIOR:
    You subject them to a trigger to behavior that is unhealthy and dangerous. You don’t only choose to subject yourself to this, you subject strangers online to it, without their consent. Kids can see it. And grow-ups that know they’re in the danger group for leaning towards this kind of coping mechanisms. You don’t give them the opportunity to keep themselves safe. If I go online and search up pictures of fresh cuts, that’s my bad, that’s my responsibility and no one can be faulted for that but myself. But when I am searching the web for blogs to read about different subjects, I should be able to do that without having cuts pushed into my face. I should be able to sit safely in my living room keeping myself and hypothetical kids safe from seeing self-harm wounds.

I do believe we have a responsibility for our peers and our fellow world travelers. I do believe that every human being should strive to not hurt others and impair other people’s lives. And posting images of self-harm wounds, and cuts, does that exact thing. I believe you can do better. And if you don’t do better, if you knowingly subject another human being to this pain you are irresponsible and a bad person. (Yes, I said it, a bad person.) The pain being inflicted through an image like this doesn’t make it OK, or less bad than inflicting pain in other ways. You should know that it’s triggering, and that it’s harmful, and if you know and still do it it’s just as bad as other forms of actively hurting others. We all live our lives, thinking about ourselves, but doing what is right for us, good for us, should not be done at other people’s wellbeing’s expense. We have a right to a place in this world, to resources and happiness, but not if it’s from hurting others.

I realize that one of the reasons for doing this might be wanting attention, hurting, and needing desperately for someone to see. I don’t devalue this. Everyone needs attention, and sometimes we are so alone that we chose the means at hand (for instance posting an image of a new cut). But even if this is the reason, it’s not alright. There are other ways! You getting what you need and want should not come at the cost of other people hurting. I think we all should be responsible and chose not to be a person that does this to others.

Writing and speaking about self-harm can be meaningful, can teach people, give them more perspective, and help them understand their loved ones, or themselves. It can help them change a bad coping strategy or make them feel less alone. But even writing about this subject in a detailed manner should come with a warning, so that the people that know they are at risk of being triggered can choose for themselves if they wanna take part, if they wanna subject themselves to it. No one should choose that for another person, and we should have enough compassion for people to give them the choice. But pictures of fresh wounds and cuts, I see no reason whatsoever how this can be positive to share with the world. Pictures of fresh wounds can’t like words about them be meaningful, they can’t teach people, give them more perspective or help them understand their loved ones or themselves. Pictures of cuts cannot help them change a bad coping strategy or make someone feel less alone. It can only hurt.

So why? Why do you do this? Why do you choose to take away someones freedom to protect themselves from harm by without warning shoving a picture of a fresh self-harm wound/cut in their face? Why do you feel the need to show your pain in a way that hurts others?

Please don’t! Use the web to rant, and complain, and yell and scream out your misery and pain. Use the web to express how desperately you need someone to see you. How incredibly much it hurts! Use the web however you like, as long as you don’t actively and knowingly hurt others in the process. And to me, posting images of fresh self-harm wounds can never be anything but just that. It’s cruel, vicious and unacceptable. So please, don’t do it. And if you have to, don’t do it where I can see, or kids can see, without any warnings.

– Marie

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The zebra girl

Trigger warning: Talks about self-harm and romanticizes and glorifies scars from cutting. It describes scars and cuts in detail. Read the trigger warning page here. Take care of yourself first and foremost. And remember that self-harm is NOT a competition. It’s dead serious. 

I remember the summer one and a half years ago. I was visiting with my cousins, and it was so hot. One of my cousins and their kids suggested we go swimming in the lake, and it was a splendid idea. We had all used to go there when we were kids. My siblings and I, and all of my cousins, and we’d have so much fun! … I assume. Because I can’t really remember it well. I just know that the memory comes with the feeling of being content, and safe.

I used to cover up my scars back then. On my arms, but even more so on my legs, and thighs. So a bathing suite was pretty much (read: definitely) out of the question. I used a pair of sports tights and a tank top, hid my arms mostly in the water. And I was so self-conscious about the scars. I hated them. I was afraid of what my cousins would think. Not of what they would say, because they would never say anything. But I worried they’d think, judge, maybe even talk about me behind my back after. Or worst case, not really get why I did it and ASK! They didn’t, and hopefully they didn’t judge or talk about me behind my back. It worked out fine, I guess. I swam in the lake and had a good time, even if all the time I was self-conscious about the tights and about my arms. I kept grieving over my whole skin that I had lost forever. The pale, even skin with nothing but freckles, that now was cut up in too many scars to ever count. But I didn’t wanna let the scars stop me from going swimming on one of the hottest days of the summer! So I didn’t. And with time I’ve learnt to give less of a shit about my scars, and maybe some of that comes from seeing the “zebra girl” there by the lake that day.

On a blanket on the grass by the water two girls sat laughing, eating strawberries. Each one in a bikini. And what caught my attention after the laughing, and the blanket, and the strawberries, and the blissful aura from them, was her scars. Scars, scars, scars. It’s the first time I’ve really seen anyone other than myself in real life with self-harm scars. (I think, at least never anything like this.) And this wasn’t a tiny bit, or a few. They were big, red, thick, long, white, many. Over her entire body. Some scars made it look like it was a miracle she even had her legs fastened to her body. I was intrigued. I could barely catch myself, and look away. I kept sneaking glances, checking her face every so often to see if she could see me staring, checking on my cousins to see that they couldn’t see that I was staring, and if I was in the clear, I stared! My heart was filling with a strange positive feeling from those scars, and I wanted to cut myself. I wanted to have my body just as filled with scars as hers was. I wanted the beauty from her scars. I wanted cuts that probably had taken 25 stitches each. I wanted those red, burning scars that no one could miss to see. I wanted to be as good as her at hurting myself. I felt like mine wasn’t good enough. I wanted her perfectly fucked up skin. They were gruesome, showed several years of tragedy, but here she was on a summers day laughing, and I kinda felt like I fell in love with her scars. I wanted them, and I wanted to hurt myself. I wanted to see blood ooze from my skin, in rectangles and lines, and parallels. I wanted the deep red to pierce the pale pink. And then the ugly scar to turn to bright pink, glowing of the hurt. Glowing with my pain. I both deserved it as punishment, and I deserved it as a token of my pain. Criss, cross, zebra girl.

Truth is, there is nothing beautiful about scars from hurting oneself. It’s misery written in your skin. It’s pain oozing out from within. It’s surviving from wanting to die. And it’s a memory from what I want to forget the most, the most painful days, weeks, months and years of my life. A reminder of the worst part of those days. A reminder of times when nothing else worked. A reminder of a time when all I could do was survive. But still, last summer I wore a bikini to the beach. I know, I know, not with my cousins, and there were only strangers, but still. Because they’re not beautiful, and they’re not something to be proud of, but they’re a sad part of me that I have to live with. And I want to live with them the way she did, laughing, eating strawberries with a friend, on a blanket by the water, for everyone to see. I wanna carry them like the rest of my skin, just there. Not remembering it all the time. Forgetting it because I’m so caught up laughing, because I’m so caught up living, or so caught up loving.

Her scars definitely triggered me, I was intrigued and captivated and somewhat spellbound. My mind put a filter on what I saw and put bright colors on the images and glorified it. I couldn’t help it, it was subconscious. The scars I hated on my body was something I wanted when I saw them on hers. The scars that was ugly, pathetic and signs of weakness was beautiful and daring on hers. And I wanted that. But thinking back on it now, I can’t help but wonder if maybe it wasn’t her scars I wanted, but the laughter, the aliveness, the seemingly blissful moments of joy, despite her scars. And no matter if she triggered me, and made me want to cut, she also made me believe that I could wear my scars like just another piece of regular skin, and not a glowing mark of how useless and worthless I felt. She made me believe I could have them (like I have to for the rest of my life) and still maybe learn how to laugh out loud, and be busy living my life, and not covering and hiding. My scars didn’t have to be all of me, all people saw when they looked at me, or signs that people could judge me by. They could be there, and I could be beautiful. A zebra girl.

Take care, Marie

4 things to do instead of hurting yourself

These are 4 things to do instead of hurting yourself. Some things that I (whom is not a professional or anything near that) think is healthier than hurting, and more constructive. Try to choose the things in life that will help you finding a better, safer life, instead of the things that keep you stuck, and bring you down.

  1. Call someone.
    I know you probably don’t want to talk about it with your friends. You don’t wanna let them see how fucked up you really are. You don’t wanna burden them, or make them worry. You definitely don’t want to tell your parents, or family, that’s even worse than friends. They’ll make a fuzz. So I get this, but call someone still. Call a hotline, call a help-line, call a friend and talk about the weather. Tell them you’re having a hard time, and just needed someone to forget all about it with.
  2. Do something different.
    When I write “different”, I don’t mean something different from hurting yourself, I mean something different infinite. Something you usually don’t do. Go outside, even if it’s 3 am and windy. Obviously this isn’t possible if there are laws against it, or it is dangerous. But where I live, going outside in the middle of the night is 99.9999% safe, and the only thing that weighs against it is the “but I can’t do that!”-norm. But you can. Pretend it’s winter and just 5pm. There are no laws prohibiting going for a walk in the middle of the night. Or taking photos of the moon, or somewhere nearby in the middle of the night. Eat out even if it’s the middle of the month and nothing to celebrate. Bake a cake even if it’s no one’s birthday. Write someone a letter. Eat ice-cream in bed, for breakfast. Drink lots of coffee in the evening. Just do something different. And yeah, it might not be healthy, it might not be good for you, at least not on a regular basis, but it will be better than hurting yourself. (And hey, there are so many different things, that can still be healthy, and good for you!)
  3. Be someone else.
    A professional would maybe say that this plays into the de-realization or de-personalization, but I don’t know that it does, so I can’t say that. What I will say is, have fun! Pretend, and act like you are someone else. Like you are someone valuable, loved! (You already are, but maybe you don’t think so, so act like you do.) Act whomever you want, choose someone fun. If you think that person would wear sunglasses, and dress up on a regular Tuesday, you do that. Buy a double macchiato to go, and zip it like you’re a superstar. This might be a hard thing to do, but make an effort, and at least it’ll fill up your time, and make it pass, and suddenly it’s another day, another week, another month, and maybe things are better.
  4. Feel it. Feel the pain.
    This isn’t pleasant. This is the most terrible. And probably why we hurt ourselves in the first place, because we don’t know how to survive the pain if we feel it. But try to do. Accept that you will be crazy emotional, feel drained, and feel like everything is hell, and know that it will pass. In an hour, or two, you’ll have gotten through it. Write it down while you experience it, just ramble. Cry. Let yourself cry.
    But while doing this one, be safe. Don’t go into things that are harder, start easy. And don’t resolve to hurting when it is to hard, you are stronger than that, and I belive in you.

Beauties, you might not see it, but someone else does: you are valued, worth it, enough. Treat yourselves as you would treat a good friend. And if you fall, just get back up again. I’ve fallen I bet over a thousand times, but I’m still around. Let’s get started, baby.

Love, Marie

I objectively want to die

I’ve thought about it long and hard. For many years, actually. I see that my decision has been influenced by my subjectivity to the matter, of course it has! But now, I think I have come to the point where I can make an objective choice. Or, I don’t just think, I know. I am making an objective choice, to die. It’s based on facts not feelings. 

  • My life is not worth living, because I have no real feelings, they are all some sort of bullshit: when I’m feeling happy, I don’t feel happy, I think and know happy. When I love someone, I don’t feel love towards them, I think it. 
  • I am a narcissistic psychopath (this doesn’t mean that every narcissistic psychopath should die, or that they can’t have a good life, it just means that I can’t have a good life as a narcissistic psychopath): the meaning in life for me lies in making a difference, and caring about others, as I cannot feel for others, that only leaves me with making a difference, but I cannot make a difference when the only thing I’m occupied with is me, myself and I. 
  • I am ugly (OK, I’m gonna be real honest, I don’t know where that came from, but it stays, it sounds objective to me that that should be a fact for me to die).
  • I have no value.
  • The people I’m surrounded by in my everyday life will be better off without me: my therapist will have room for a new patient, that will benefit both my therapist and the new patient; my family will have one less gift to get for Christmas; my colleagues don’t have to look at me during their work-day and they’ll have more work to do, this will make them feel more at peace and like they have more of a purpose; etc. etc. 

So, as you can see, this choice is not driven by subjective feelings, and whims. It’s thought-through and logical, reasonable, and objective. 

What am I gonna wear?! How to fake a smile!?

It’s been 919 days since my last day of school. Two and a half years. That’s a long time, at least for someone my age. I dropped out in the middle of the year. At first it wasn’t even dropping out it was just a break, sick leave. But then the school year ended, and I hadn’t had the opportunity to come back yet. I guess that makes it dropping out.

 This was some kind of boarding school, and it was at night it happened. Some friends of mine was worried, and it ended up with the house matron (wtf, this doesn’t translate very well) calling an ambulance. So I rode into the dark winter night with a colorful summer dress on, I didn’t even bring socks or a toothbrush or even my phone. I suppose this was the start of the hospitalization-hell that became my life the following years.

Since this happened school’s been so far away from my life. I haven’t been heading anywhere. Or that’s what it’s felt like at least. It’s been 919 days since my last day of school, but tomorrow I’m starting again. And hell I don’t feel like I’m heading anywhere now either. This course I’m taking is far away from studying full-time, or even half-time. I’m not gonna be something at the end of this. But if I take a moment to think about what I’ve just written … If I give myself some slack and acknowledge the struggle therapy and getting better is: Oh hell yeah I’m heading somewhere! The few hours I’m gonna sit in that library tomorrow is more than enough proof that this isn’t only hospitalization-hell anymore.

It’s definitely still a struggle, but now there’s another side to it as well. Wish me luck.

My mind is a disco ball, I need to get off this trip

When I went to bed tonight something strange happened. I turned off the ceiling light and on my way over to the bed I was filled with terror. Not anxiety or the feeling of being uncomfortable, but terror. I got scared. It occurred so suddenly. I felt like the seconds before I could get my bedside lamp on were lasting for forever. As I turned the lamp on I sighed heavy with relief. The fleeting moment of terror was gone, I had no answers to why it had come so suddenly anyways but it was gone and was soon forgotten. I was checking my phone and reading random stuff and I figured the light could just as well be off, after all I didn’t need it for reading on my phone. So I leaned over and switched the lamp off, and then before my head could reach my pillow I was filled with the same terror again. I lay breathing heavily for a while, not understanding what was wrong with me! My pulse rate went up, and I got dizzy, and for the life of me I couldn’t get why I was feeling so scared all of a sudden. It hit me then: I was scared of the dark!

Now I lie here with the door open, so bright kitchen lights can reach me. I’m somehow still a little shaken, but I’m feeling better by the second. I have this strange feeling of the world spinning and I absolutely cannot understand why I should be afraid of the dark!? I’m 22 years old, I’m a grown up and I haven’t been afraid of the dark since never, so why should I be afraid of it now!?

I simply can’t answer that question, I have no idea what’s going on with me. The strangest sensation of falling and the world spinning is taking ahold of my concentration. We don’t exist and somehow all of this really makes me want/need to cut. Woah! I’m gonna fall out of myself! Some stitches sure sounds sweet right now. Plus I don’t think I can handle dissociation right now. I’M SCARED. I’m afraid of the dark. Somebody help me.