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

The relief

It’s there when you put the blade to your skin. As you drag it through the skin cells, and create a wound. As the blood spills. But then it’s gone. Within the blink of an eye, it’s gone. 

It’s there when you throw up your dinner. As you’re hurling in your bathroom. As tears gather in your eyes. But then it’s gone.You catch your breath, brush your teeth, and it’s gone. 

It’s there when you tell him to do whatever he pleases with you. As you take your clothes off, and lie down to be used. As you compromise yourself and allow someone to treat you as if you’re worthless, because that’s what you are. But then it’s gone. He gets his release and then he caresses your chin as if you’re valuable, like it was all a game. He kisses your forehead and tells you you’re beautiful, and it’s gone.

It’s there when he throws the punch. As you trace your fingers along your jaw, to your lips, and you lift the hand in front of you, and you see there’s blood on it. As you turn the other cheek and get hit again. As the dizziness embraces you and it’s hard to stand on your feet. But then it’s gone. He gasps and is by your side in a stride. He apologizes under his breath and begs for forgiveness, and it’s gone.

It’s there when you stub a cigarette on your hip. As you watch your bruises in the mirror. As your empty nail beds brush against your covers. But then it’s gone. It only lasts a moment, and then the moment’s gone.

Relief, sweet relief, it won’t really stay, until I’m dead. 

I’m not alive, I’m just playing pretend and you’re not real

For a week I’ve been living someone else’s life. Now I’m back to my own. Besides spoiled milk (a month old! Why do I do stuff like that to myself!?), a leaking fridge (how did that happen?) and dead flowers, everything was pretty much as usual. The blades ready, and my death wish present. Not that it ever went away.

I spent this week with a wonderful guy. He kissed me and told me I was wonderful. But I’m not. It’s a lie. He asked me if I was looking for something more. I told him I wasn’t. I mean, I liked him, but I’m not interested in a relationship. Not at all. Because I don’t deserve that.

I made sure that I was covered up at all times, and that the lights were off when I went to bed next to him. But one morning, he woke up and there was morning lights coming through the curtains. He saw some of my scars. He didn’t throw me out, or judge me, the way I expected. He asked me what had happened. He asked me if my life had been hard. He asked exactly the right things, said exactly the right things, accepted me, it seemed. So why couldn’t I accept his acceptance. Why do I cling to my isolation?

I see how life is good. I understand that it’s worth it. I even think it’s worth it just by thinking about my friends and my family, and by thinking of all the possibilities for my future. But then it’s not. It’s really not worth it. We should all die. There’s no point in living. But I can’t make that choice for others. If others find a meaning in their lives then good for them. And I know that my friends and family don’t want to die, so therefore there’s a point in living for me too, and my life is worth it, just based on the fact that the lives of those I love would be worse off without me (this isn’t something I believe, but it has been told to me as a fact, so I try to take that into consideration). So it’s worth it, right? But it’s not. I just want to die. I just want to die. I want to die. Hello? I want to die. 

Someone save me if you will. 
Or don’t. Because somehow your outstretched hands doesn’t reach mine. If someone told me the past week was a dream, I would believe them. It’s like looking at myself from above. I’m as distanced from my own life as I am from the lives on TV, maybe even more. Maybe I’m already dead. 

Someone? Save me if you will. 

Or don’t. Because I’ll act like a zombie and cling to the isolation that destroys me, and your saving will only be another push into the numbness of empty. 

If I wasn’t already dead, I’d want to die. 
And now I’ll spin into hysteria because the way you don’t exist is crazy. BLOOD. ❤ ❤  MUHAHA. Fuck this. What happened? Go to bed. Benzos ❤ Death? Oh yeah. 

I wish there was a doctor who could stitch my life up, pull all the edges together

I sit in the emergency room getting stitches. The doctor is asking me if I’m feeling ashamed of what I’ve done, if I’m ashamed of my self-harm. In between my outbursts of hysterical laughter, I manage to tell him that I am. That it’s not just the self-harm I’m ashamed of, but also the fact that I’m miserable and depressed. Because who am I to be sad when I got everything material settled, when I got a nice family and good friends? Who am I to spill a single tear, who am I to feel hurt, and feel the pain of the world pushing on my shoulders? I’m ashamed that I’m sick. Not because I think that mentally ill should be ashamed, of course not, not for a second. But because I am a worthless piece of shit, and I shouldn’t be allowed to feel pain, I should just suck it up and get over it, right?

I’m sitting on the exam table, bending my leg over, so he’ll be able to access the gaping hole in my body. I can barely keep still, I’m laughing so much. I’m loopy, and even if I try to stop howling, I can’t. I can barely pull myself together to answer his questions. But at the same time I’m totally clear inside my head. It feels like I’m trapped there. My thoughts are spinning, but I’m still clear, I’m still aware of how I sound, how I look. Shame isn’t really the feeling that fills me, it’s frustration. Frustration that it isn’t tears I’m hiding behind the hands covering my face. It’s an idiotic laugh, that doesn’t fit the situation at all. I’m not happy! So why am I laughing so hard, desperately, frantic?

He’s giving me a local anesthetic, it stings. Then I sit there watching him pressing the needle in and out of my skin, pulling the edges together. Why did I do this to myself? Why did I do this to myself? Why did I do this to myself? How could I make a hole in my skin? How could I cut deep into myself like that? How is that possible? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE!? … And how …  sigh …  how is it possible to be trapped inside yourself, yelling to yourself about being quiet, and still keep laughing as you see a doctor neatly putting you back together again? Where is the control? Where is the sense in that?

I get a valium, and go back home. I know that I’m stitched up, put together, fixed … but I’m not. I’m broken. I’m fucking broken, and I don’t know what to do about it, I don’t even know where all the shattered pieces are. I don’t know why I should even care about pulling it together. Why not just trash this life, it’s broken anyways? I take the valium, and some extra sleeping pills, and am grateful that I have a low tolerance, I barely make it to the bed from the couch once it starts working. I literally dive into bed, with my clothes on, and I’m taken away.

Sadly there’s a morrow.

 

 

PS: The doctor was amazing. He was real nice, probably the nicest I’ve met in the depressed, I hurt myself, I need help situation. I was glad I met someone who didn’t seem to judge me, I needed someone like that, though, don’t we always?