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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To 13 year old Marie (me)

I know you feel different. Shh, stop, you don’t need to tell me you’re okay, or that you haven’t really though about being different. You don’t need to put your armor up. I know that you feel different. And it’s okay. Don’t worry about me knowing. You can trust me. And by the way, I feel different too.

You don’t know me, and I think that if you met me you wouldn’t put your trust in me. But Marie, that’s not because I’m not trustworthy, or because I don’t care about you. It’s because you don’t trust anyone. But even if you don’t, I wanna tell you this: that you can trust me! I care about you, and I know you, and I see you. I swear that I’m here looking out for you, and I believe that you need to let someone in. I believe that you need to trust someone. Someone. Because letting someone in will never mean that you’re weak, it means you’re strong.

You know all these nights, the minutes before you fall asleep, and you worry that something bad is gonna happen tomorrow at school? Don’t. Don’t worry. Or all those nights, the minutes before you fall asleep, and you cry because of something bad that happened at school? I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry that you have to go through this. But I’m gonna tell you something, and you have to listen real close, okay? It’s not true. What they are saying, and the feelings you get about yourself after it happens, and when no one is there to help you or see you, those feelings they’re not true. Not at all. You are valuable. You are so valuable. To me. And I know that since you don’t know me, those words probably don’t hold any merit. But this might: You are so valuable to your family. They are caught up in their own shit, and they don’t see how much you’re hurting, but believe me when I say that it’s not because they don’t care. It’s merely because they are hurting too. But, and this is very important, tell them! Tell them what you are experiencing! And I know, I know that you’ll say that they should know without you telling them, or that you’ve already told them, but tell them again. Tell them again and again until they hear you, and until they help you!

Someone loves you, Marie. And I know what you’re gonna say, that everyone hates you, and that you know that for a fact. Well, I’m a grown-up, and this I know better than you. I’m insufferable right, thinking I know things because I’m a grown up? I know, I know, I’m partly teasing you, but mostly I know that someone loves you. And what more, I know that someone likes you. And one day you’ll figure out that it doesn’t matter whether or not all your classmates likes you, what matters is that you’ve got friends that’s there for you. And you got that! And hey, it’s OK to love books! It’s OK to love the puppy, and spend time with her, and with your family. I can promise you’ll never end up regretting not going to parties or being popular when you were a teenager. I know you miss it now, wondering why you can’t like it or want it. But what if I told you that you don’t miss it because you long for it, but because you think that somehow that would make you feel less as a fuck up, Marie, sweetie, it won’t. Because that feeling doesn’t come from not going to parties, or from anything true, it comes from the lies people have been telling you. It doesn’t come from you being a loner, because you’re not. It doesn’t come from you not having a life, because well, truthfully I don’t know of any other 13 year olds that lives as much as you do. You don’t need to do as much as you do! You don’t need to be the best at everything. You are good enough. Pretty enough. Thin enough. Perfect enough. Simply, you’re enough. Give yourself permission to stop up and breathe, and give yourself the opportunity to figure out what kinds of things that you actually like! And then when you’ve figured out what you like, do those things.

I wish I could make you live a little more based on what you want, based on what you like. But I’m not sure this letter can do that. I wish more than anything that I could make you believe that you are worth something, not just something, but so much. I wish I could force the people around you to give you the help you need, so you won’t have to grow up to become like me. Or so you wouldn’t have to grow up suffering as much as I have. But I’m sorry, I can’t. But be strong! I know you are. You have always been. You might not see it, but one day you will. And then, one day, you and I will meet. And maybe I’ll know how to tell these things to you in person. I believe in you. It’s gonna get better.

Yours truly,
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

Hey stranger!

I wanna tell you something that will make you smile. I wanna make a change. I want you to feel better. I want you to be happy. But the truth is that I don’t know what to do to make you feel any kind of better. I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. 

I don’t even know what to do to make me feel better. I’ve been sad, sick, tired and hopeless for too long. Maybe this is the time to let go. The time to stop trying. The time to stop being afraid of what death will do to the ones I leave behind, and what it’ll do to me. Maybe I just need to take the leap … again.

Stranger, and not-so-much-a-stranger-anymore, I want to tell you something that will make you smile. But I’m not sure I can. But I will tell you this: I appreciate your comment. Even if I take weeks to come back to you, I will always respond as long as I’m alive. And every comment, and word of encouragement means a lot to me. To hear that my words is read at all … Yeah, that’s kind of nice. Never give up in your ability to make a change in someone else’s life. Believe in the power of your words, and your caring.

And Stranger, one more thing, you’re valuable, worth it, wonderful. Believe it. Reach.

Peel off my skin and make me feel your love

I feel so desperately bad. So desperately alone. So desperately lonely. It’s not a steady pulsating pain, it’s gasping for air and screaming. I’M ALL ALONE! I feel like no matter what words I use I can never convey what I’m feeling. I’m just so hopeless.

I need someone to help me, to hold me, to heal me. But that doesn’t work now does it? No, because my body, my mind and my heart rejects every ray of light, and turns away all the open arms. I’m wondering if I’m broken! I think I’m broken. And you can’t hear me choking on all of this, on this night, on this life. Fuck. It hurts so bad!

I think the only way for me to feel close to someone, connected to the world, would be if they sliced me open and reached in and grabbed my heart. “Hush, darling, you’re not alone.” Maybe not even then.

I’m gonna say it, what we dread saying because we don’t wanna offend, and because we don’t wanna minimize someone else’s pain: I wish I had been raped and beaten instead. I would have known it all would soon be over, and I would’ve had a safe haven somewhere else and I wouldn’t question whether or not what was done to me was wrong. Instead I’ve lived for two decades believing I deserved it all.

(Please don’t take this the wrong way. I’m sure someone would rather have what I’ve had instead. But fact is we don’t know how we would’ve reacted to the other, but it’s still easy to think “if only”. And many end up where I am because of rape and abuse too, I guess the best thing would be to have happy things instead. But yeah, whatever, I think we all think like that once in a while. We image having the ailments we don’t have as better than the one we do have.)

And he doesn’t even know he ruined my life.

It hurts. So. Bad.

This loneliness knows no comfort

Shouldn’t the feeling of despair be less painful since it’s been here so many times before? Shouldn’t we have become acquainted and familiar and close by now and shouldn’t that make it easier? No, I swear: despair is what it always is and always will be: bottomless dread and pain. There’s no such thing as being used to it. I mean, yeah! It’s been here a thousand times before but it’s still as painful as the first time. This loneliness doesn’t get more bearable just because I know it.

I hate that! I absolutely hate that. Shouldn’t there be comfort in knowing what you’re up against? Shouldn’t there be relief in the familiarity, and support in the fact that you’ve been here before? No! The despair is as terrible as ever.

 I wonder if there will ever be a time where my life is free from this kind of suffering. I wonder if I’ll have weeks were I actually believe my life exists with a future. I wonder if I can ever forget to think about my death. I wonder if I’ll ever truly live.