You can’t show your cuts in public!

Yesterday’s agenda: Travel 2 hours away to go see my therapist, do some shopping afterwards.

Yesterday’s temperature: 78 degrees.

Yesterday’s main issue: Ran out of lightweight long sleeved t-shirts to wear (why can I never remember to do laundry??), grabbed a sweatshirt on my way out the door though.

Result of yesterday’s temperature and issue: It ended up being too freaking hot to wear my sweatshirt!

I digress, basically, I have never shown my cuts, burns, or scars (which cover mainly my left arm and right thigh) to anyone other than my parents and boyfriend. The self harming thing has been a lot better lately but I did end up cutting a couple of times last week. I’ve thought a lot about showing my scars in public, since I’m trying to stop and summer is getting really close and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to avoid it. I’ve never considered showing them before they were scars though or before I was done self harming.

Apparently though, yesterday I didn’t really care. I was going to a city where I didn’t know hardly anyone, and the people I did see (or who saw me) I’d never see again. So whyyy would I care if they saw my cuts?

Considering that I am usually ridiculously nervous just going out in public where there are *gasp* people! This was pretty shocking even to me.

First place we went into I did get nervous but as the day went on (and my therapist assured me that people don’t notice us as much as we think they do) and I realized no one was paying any attention to my uncovered arm? I was able to relax and be pretty okay with it (:

I still don’t plan on showing my scars around people I know until cutting is something in my past, but going out yesterday has given me a little more confidence for when I DO decide to show them.

In conclusion, do what makes YOU comfortable. Anyone who does judge isn’t worth your time and doesn’t really care about you so why should their opinion matter? And for the most part, they’re not going to notice anyway (: Hang in there!

Have any of you, that self injure, shown your scars in public?

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19 comments

  1. It took me a long time to be comfortable having my scars visible. I still don’t like having my recent cuts visible. But I view my old scars as a part of me now and if it makes others uncomfortable, oh well. But I also hope it might help someone else feel not as alone, because for a long, long time, I thought I was the only person in the world who self-harmed.

    1. I’ve thought that too! I’ve wondered if by showing my scars I might make it easier for someone else who’s hiding them. Or if maybe I’d even meet someone who has struggled with self harm… it’d would be nice to have someone who understands. Thanks for sharing and pointing that out, and good job on being able to accept and show your scars! (:

  2. i am struggling with the idea that i may bare my scars on holiday. like you i have never shown anyone expept my parents and boyfriend. so this is a big thing for me to even contemplate. i am glad your experience was positive. it is yet to be seen whether i’ll be brave enough, but your post has given me a bit more courage.

    1. Aww I’m so happy you found it helpful. It’s a pretty stressful and nerve wracking thing I know! I think it’s important not to do it until you feel ready, and to push yourself too much.
      I know that my boyfriend has been really supportive in telling me he’s okay with being seen with me if I decide to let my scars show and has even offered to take me somewhere where I wouldn’t know anyone else to help me get used to it. Maybe, when you decide you’re at that point, you could talk about doing something like that with your boyfriend or parents? Having someone with you can make it SO much easier! (:

  3. I have always shown them. The way I feel is, they are mine to show and no one else’s. Most people I encounter don’t even notice them. It took my boyfriend (now husband) almost a month to notice. The only people that have noticed are fellow self-harm-ers. If a cut is fresh, that is probably the only time I am really self-conscious about it. Other than that I wear a relatively bulky watch and some bangles, so they’re never actually seen.
    Because I self harm, I noticed that one of my close friends does as well and that has helped me talk to someone who actually understands how I feel. I have noticed though that no one else notices her scars.
    For the most part, people who don’t self-harm don’t have the courage to bring it up and ask you about your scars. At least, that’s my experience.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing this! It’s nice to hear someone say that they’ve had a good experience with showing their scars. I hope everyone reading my post sees your comment and is encouraged by it! I know I am (:

  4. I’m not entirely comfortable showing my scars, but in the summertime it’s just too damn hot, especially since most places where I live don’t have air conditioning, and with my job I work outside a lot. To cover up my scars, I’d have to wear long sleeves and long pants all the time, and I don’t really feel like getting heat stroke.

    People do stare at them. I have a lot of them, and mine are clearly self-inflicted. But I’ve only had a few people say anything, and most of those were kids who didn’t really know you’re not supposed to ask about things like that. When it’s kids, I just say I got hurt a long time ago. On the rare occasion an adult asks, I make some sarcastic remark about winning a fight with Freddy Krueger and Edward Scissorhands. That always shuts them up.

    1. Haha thanks for sharing the replies that you use! It’s really helpful to have some ideas in mind before you go out and show your scars, reduces the anxiety you might feel about it a little. I’m glad you’ve been able to find some replies (and retorts (; ) that have worked for you (:

  5. I currently have faint scars from when I had a bad phase of self-harming at the beginning of the year. My cuts weren’t excessive but I’m surprised to still have visible marks all over my legs. They’re mostly on my thighs and I don’t tend to wear short shorts/skirts but I have some on my calf. I’m hoping they’ll fade by summer though because no one knows I’ve self harmed recently; not my parents, not my friends, no one. Some know I have done in the past but not recently. Too scared to tell my parents because they would freak out, they did when they found out first time and friends either don’t know about my problems or don’t understand. I’ve normally been good at cutting in easily hidden places so this is the first time I’ve actually had to think about the possibility of showing scars…

    1. Aww that’s a tough situation… have you tried any scar creams to help speed up the healing process? I use Bio-Oil and Mederma on mine sometimes (not on all of them… I’m not really ready for all of them fade yet) but I have found Lavender oil to be the most helpful. Maybe if you can’t fade your scars completely they will at least be enough better that no one will attribute them to being newer? Hang in there and let me know if I can ever help somehow (:

      1. I’ll have a look into getting Bio-oil or lavender oil, didn’t realise that could help them fade faster. Thanks for the advice.

  6. I’m proud of you. *smile*
    I have to show my scars – they are on my lowers arms. You are right. They are a part of the whole person – they do not define the person.
    Beautiful blog. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    1. Aww I’m so happy that this post has gotten so much positive feedback! And thank you… that means a lot to hear. Everyones comments are making me feel much more confident about eventually showing my scars (:

      1. Never feel shame for your battle scars. You are a warrior coming home from the battlefield. :)

  7. I have never done any self harm, but I suffer with severe OCD. It causes irrational fear…aka panic attacks. It has created my agoraphobia (fear of leaving the house) and it has stopped me from getting dressed. School is such a huge trigger I can’t even touch it. I’m on medical leave from college. Anyways! To overcome my OCD I have to do what triggers these feelings. I do daily outings, and I’m always nervous because I’ll be having my panic attacks in public. I think we all have wounds that we are afraid to show to the world, afraid of their judgement…when in reality, people around town won’t want to spend their free time judging someone else constantly. They may have a few single thoughts, but they will move on.

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