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

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

Self-harm on a whole new level!

I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit this, because I think it’s terrible, but here goes …

My self-harm has come to a new level. It’s not clean cuts, or a bunch of clean cuts. It’s not stitches, or a bunch of stitches. It’s nothing that will make me have to go to the doctor, where I’ll get those condescending looks, and where I’ll be met with overbearing nurses who don’t want to listen when I try to tell them what kind of thread they need to use on my skin. I won’t have to take the risk of meeting a doctor who’ll make me justify being sick, or who’ll treat me badly because surely I must like pain. This won’t leave traces on my skin which’ll haunt me forever, only I can know the harm it has done to me, unless I’m very unfortunate and it turns out the wrong way. This won’t be visible on me, and I will never spend time trying to hide it, because it’s hidden most of the time anyways. I’ll never be left disappointed with the world because of this. It’ll never give me experiences of inferiority (visiting the doctor for self-harm often does). But it hurts.

I’m inclined to say that it hurts worse than any cut ever has, but I’m not sure if I’m saying that because it’s true or because in this moment it’s pulsating with pain. It hurts when I do it, and during the night, to the point it wakes me up sometimes, and then for days after. It hurts so much it makes me walk funny, and sometimes it’s so bad I look totally ridiculous when walking. It hurts in a very demanding way, it’s insisting to be felt, to be thought of, to be endured. It makes me feel like an idiot! Because who would do this to themselves? Who?! And why would someone do this to themselves? And three days after when it still hurts I think to myself that I shouldn’t have done it, but then I remember that I should, I deserve it. There’s no escaping it, because it’s already done and only time will make it right again. But I deserve that. How can I think that? And it makes me feel like an idiot even more because rationally I know that there are risks with doing this, like an infection (which could make me have to visit the doctor), or it never growing back. But I guess all self-harm in one way is idiotic. I don’t wanna be an idiot though, but I don’t know how to not hurt myself. I’m obviously not well.

I’ve been pulling my nails out.

 

Edit: I’m starting to wonder if I’m more messed up than I thought.

Truth #2 : Go you!

I worry a lot. I keep thinking that I’m not gonna make it; I will never have a proper job; I won’t ever move out from my parents; I won’t manage to take a grade in the stimulated time; I won’t get over my anxiety; I’ll always be prone to depressions. Basically I keep thinking that I’m not good enough, and that I’ll fail. I keep worrying and thinking in a way that doesn’t really make me feel as if I believe in myself. I tell myself that I don’t believe in myself, and I think that’s the truth. But I know otherwise.

I just got to thinking about this. I do believe in myself, and how do I know that? Because I keep going. If I didn’t believe that somewhere in the future things would be looking up for me, I wouldn’t keep on going, would I? The logic in my mind tells me I wouldn’t. So the fact that I keep on trying, that I’m fighting, and hanging in there, it must mean that I believe that I can make it. How can I think one thing, and know something else though?

I know that to get through the kinda mess I’m in, I have to do the work. To keep on moving, even when you see no way through, it must mean you have hope, and dreams, and faith for the future. Which means that I have faith in myself to do the work.
Telling myself that I’m not gonna make it and at the same time walking the distance, is like one step forwards and one step back. Maybe I won’t really move until I let myself believe 100 % in the power I have on my own future.

And hey you! You there. I know you must be telling yourself, or thinking to yourself that you’re not good enough. Compared to your friends or your neighbors, you have nothing. But I’m telling you, you do! You can believe in yourself, and I already believe in you! We have to try and be brave. Have faith and jump. Not look back.

The truth is I believe in myself.
(Faaak, that was scary, now I feel as if I have no excuses if I fail being awesome. But hey, don’t worry, we all stumble and fall, and all we gotta keep doing is getting back up and trying once more, even though we’re like TOO tired.)