I received quite a few negative and perhaps cruel tweets last night, asking why I promote self-harming on my blog. I write about many real life issues here on the blog, I write about sexual abuse, mental health, addictions and yes self-harming amongst many other day to day topics. Just because the subjects I feel comfortable talking about are a little off the wall for some, does that give rights to allow others to subject me to question and judgement, I am wrong for doing what I do?
Perhaps you should read a few of the thank you notes and emails before you carry on the view!
I wrote how to self-harm safety purely for selfish reasons, I needed something always on hand to remind those who cut to do it safety, why? Let me explain…
Part of what I do here online is to spend time to talking to mothers and in recent weeks men who are self-harmers, usually they would automatically go off and self-harm alone, yet due to the respect I have earned from them, they now feel able to come and message me first, as if asking for permission, or to be saved.
I have a message and then a few split seconds to react and remind that mum firstly to keep safe and then to talk. Safety comes first. I do not want a child waking up to find their mother dead because you cut threw an artery, are you following? Mums who self-harm are not trying to kill themselves; they are doing it because it brings relief to them. That is why I promote safe self-harming.
Why would I tell someone to use a clean instrument to cut, we’ll let me take you back to when I was 14, I was being bullied and the girls chased me into a park, I hid, alone and scared and to pass the time I unpicked bark from the tree I was crouched behind and I stabbed at my arms and cut myself.
I had another mum approached me to thank me for reminding her to always use clean cutting materials as she was a nightmare in her own words, for using broken bottles that had laid in the back yard or bin for days. She had never thought of the possible dangers this brought.
I am changing the way some think, they are not going to stop self-harming but they remember there is one person out there who they can come to, at any given time and always be listened too and never judged.
It’s difficult, what do you say to a mother who says “Emma, sorry I feel I am letting you down but I can’t cope and I need to cut?”.
I could yell stop , don’t do it but that would be irresponsible of me as I know all too well that self-harming is not a choice, it’s a coping mechanism, I believe self-harming is a coping strategy, and if it works and keeps them strong then so be it, I stand by what they do in supporting them.
I understand the need to self-harm, I am a self-harmer.
I receive messages from mums as they are shredding up their bodies, some may read that with an open mouth and think my god why would you want to talk to people who do that. That answer is very simple, they are just as important as you and I. They just cope with things a little differently than some do that does not make them freaks. It makes them strong and inspiring, they are not hurting others, they hurt themselves, they are not dangerous or aggressive in any way, indeed many are crying out for help, yet too afraid to speak out and that’s where I come in.
I became their voice, they write about why they self-harm, you can read many of the self-harming stories and experiences right here on the blog. After the anonymous writer reads the supportive non-judgemental comments they often feel maybe they can go and speak to their GP and for the first time in their lives seek professional help, some do not and self-harming is a way of life for them.
If you are unnerved, scared or think OMG how can people do that, then you are the type of readers I need. You see by doing what I do I am raising awareness of some of the world’s most hidden taboos and I am talking about them and promoting that just because we may do things differently to you or we have a mental illness or we take drugs or have been abused, does not mean we are not as equal as you. In my eyes each and every person behind the blog posts is amazing and inspiring and you could learn something from them.
I would rather stand by what I believe in and do than follow a crowd to be accepted and fit in. I do what I do because I want to raise awareness and I want as many mothers out there who are alone to find a place they do fit in, it is you the ignorant reader and society who are to blame for the way you see things, the world is great if you live in it with your eyes closed, I say its about time you opened your eyes to the crap that really happens.
I am sorry if my blog posts offend you, but I will carry on doing what I do, with our without your support.