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How did your parents react when they found about your self-harm?

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I started when I was 13, although that was just scratching with my nails. My mother saw cuts on my arms twice when I was 17 but I made up some excuse both times (an accident or something, I doubt it was very convincing). She seemed to buy it and didn't raise it again, so I never had to have that awkward conversation! I think she suspected but either trusted me to tell her if I was hurting myself, or couldn't bring herself to pry. Otherwise, I've been secretive enough to hide it from everybody. I quit almost three years ago with only 2 slip ups since then. My scars are quite faint and not obviously self inflicted, so I don't have to worry about covering it up any more.  :)

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I was 13 when my mom found out.  At first she reacted with anger, then concern.  It went back between anger and concern for a long time.  I think there was concern in her anger, though.

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I told my mum when i was 21  she said that i was doing it for attention even though i keep myself covered up 

She now thinks that i have stopped  ...i feel that she dont need to know what  i am doing ...its not like she will care any way 

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i was 17 when i first cut, my mother was angry and upset i hadn't talked to her and thought it meant i wanted to kill myself.(i didn't)

 

i had bulimia.

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I was 16 when my parents found out.  They came home from a party and saw me in the process.  They were furious.  I was told that I was an "idiot", "baby", "whine-ass".  My behavior was "fuckin' retarded" and they "better not ever see that shit again or else" (they'll give me) "somethin' to cry about".  That is the standard for a lot of parental threats, I believe.

 

I'm 32 now.  Stopped main SH 1 1/2 years ago, relapsed once last week (didn't realize I was actually SH until after).  Within the past 6 months my Mom has finally acknowledged mental illness as a reality and not "just havin' a blue day", "whining", or that I'm incapable of "dealing with shit".  It only took nearly 2 decades, but that's okay.  

 

For the record, I deal with my shit quite well. ;)

 

**the quotations are because these are the actual words/phrases they used.  I can hear them clear as day with every single inflection they gave (and still give from time to time).  I love my parents very much and have always felt sympathy for them, as well as anger toward them.  It's an unfortunate case of abused children growing up to abuse their own children (thus, I refuse to reproduce).  I understood that at a very young age and that made it easier to forgive them for what they did to me.**

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Well in Sixth grade i first self harmed, because i was getting bullied, a family member died, my brothers were always yelling at me as well as my parents yelling at me. so on instagram i posted pictures saying how i was suffering in silence and no one cared enough to realise, and a girl told the school so i had to go to the school counsellor and she asked me if i had and being young and stupid i told her but i told her only once and she then told my mum, when i got home that day we went out to coffee and she asked why and i just shrugged and we left and in the car she started yelling at me how i was stupid and how it is pathetic and doesn't solve any problems and not to do it anymore. and that was it. she didn't give me any support she treated me like a toddler  for a week but then everything went back to normal. after that i was clean for about 3 months when every one was being 'nice' to me then in seventh grade i relasped and my mum found out because i told my best friend who told her mum and her mum said she wasn't allowed to hang out or even talk to me and my mum asked why she wasn't hanging with me anymore and i told her. and she yelled at me again and took my ipood and phone off me for a month, she think i have only done it 2 times, boy is she wrong i told her i was getting bullied and she said just have a comeback, i have tried that it just makes it worse, i am still self harming she doesnt know and she can't ever know becuase she is part of the reason i do it. and my dad, brothers) don't even know so they still treat me like sh*t.  and friends(more like friend) is the only one who knows.

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I wish your family was able to be more supportive.

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I told my mother in a midnight confession call (when I can't sleep because I NEED to talk to her and tell her something pressing).  She didn't say anything for a bit, and then pleaded with me to get help.  She said I was having a major depression, and she was worried.  I had been seeing a therapist, but it was my awful first one who I HATED. I actually started cutting while seeing him because things got that bad. She begged me to switch...I did...best thing ever.  I still cut, but I don't talk to her about it anymore. It really upset her, and I hate upsetting my mom like that. If I need to talk to someone, I talk to my therapist. She's all sorts of nonjudgmental and always makes me feel like it's a setback, but we'll fix it.  

After reading through this thread, I count myself very, VERY lucky. 

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My parents found out when I attempted suicide on January 8th of this year. My dad was angry and yelled at me. My mom seemed concerned, but she's mentally insane so it was probably one of her disorders talking.

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When my parents found out about my arms I was a young teen (im now 23). I'd been sneaking out at night after they went to bed to meet up with my boyfriend. The police saw us in the city and took me in - he was 17 at the time so they didn't take him in, they only took in under 16's. The police called my parents and woke them up. They had no idea I was sneaking out.

 

I was wearing a jacket that covered my cuts but going into the police station they told me to take it off because it could be used to conceal weapons/drugs. I took the jacket off and they saw the cuts. By law they had to tell my parents and then my parents were forced to take me to hospital to be assessed - we were in the hospital for three hours, we ended up going home at about 4 am. It was very traumatic for both me and my parents. They had no idea I was sneaking out and no idea I'd been cutting. I feel awful for what I put my parents through. They must've been worried sick!

 

They were confused and worried. They were angry at me for sneaking out and causing so much trouble but they were concerned more than anything. They didn't understand why I was hurting myself. It wasn't until 5 years later that I told them I'd been sexually assaulted by a family member when I was 10.

 

Ten years later, my parents and I are closer than ever. They still don't understand 100% but they do understand that it was a way for me to release my emotions. They have always stuck by me and tried to help in any way they could. Now I am trying to get rid of my scars my mum is constantly looking out for products/treatments that might help. Their support and unconditional love is what keeps me going. I don't know what I'd do without them.

Edited by ErasingPain

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They never said anything.

 

My scars are evident in my left arm. I never hide them.

 

Nobody has ever said anything about it.

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Last year my mum came into my room and asked if I cut because someone told her I did and all she did was say "well you can't just hide the cuts with long sleeves forever" walked out? And never mentioned it again, my dad doesn't care and my little brother is only 10 (4 years younger than me) and is basically abusive to me

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i'm not a cutter. I'm a skin-picker. Been struggling with it for 25 years. I'm covered in scars that probably won't ever go away.

My mom and dad knew about it when it started at age 13 because my mom is the one who started it. She would come at me with a needle to pick at them telling me that boys would never find me attractive if I had those on my body. This lasted until I move away for college at 17.

So, yeah, I still have some issues. :)

Hoooold the fuck up, skin picking counts as self harm? Because I asked a tdoc about this and was told it was just a habit, and that's how I've always thought of it too. I've been picking the skin on my lips for as long as I can remember and I used to pick the skin around my finger nails. And I mean I do this until it bleeds and hurts. When I did it as a kid I didn't even register the feeling as pain, it just felt nice. I've never really thought of it as self harm though, it's not like I consciously thought I'd do it to make myself feel better, it just feels nice when the skin peels off and when sensitive layer of skin underneath comes to the front and I can taste the blood.

Dude, same. If skin picking counts as self harm, I've been self harming for WAY longer than I thought. I just remember being in elementary school when everyone had those little portable hand sanitizer things and feeling left out because I always had too many open wounds on my fingers to use hand sanitizer.

Anyway, on the topic: my mom found out about a year ago, when I was 14. She already knew I was depressed and she was more disappointed than anything because I kept insisting to her that I hadn't been self harming. Ultimately, though, she was supportive and made me go back to seeing a therapist (which I thought was the worst case scenario at the time but retrospectively I'm grateful for it).

I'm pretty sure she told my dad but he hasn't really said anything to me about it.

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Skin picking, dermatillomania, is regarded by most MH professionals as part of the OCD family of disorders. It is not usually considered part of self harm.

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My parents found out when I was 19. I was oversees volunteering and my Mum had been reading my emails (apparently I had logged in on their computer months ago and it remembered the password). I had emailed someone looking for help. Although I had an apartment of my own and had been out of their care for several years, they were paying my housing oversees. They said they were going to bring me home immediately. 

 

Mum said that god let her onto my email, that I was possessed and they were going to bring me home so their friends could exorcise the demons. (They have some strange beliefs indeed) My program leader was amazing though- he actually talked to them and told them to calm the hell down. He went straight out and got me help, two different options of people to talk to. I continued working there as normal and he treated me exactly the same except for the occasional inquiry as to how I was doing. 

 

I know that some people incorrectly assume that SH amounts to attempted suicide and my parents were probably scared by the whole thing, unaware that I had been SHing in different ways for as long as I can remember. I don't want anyone else to have to deal with what all comes along with SH and I never intended them or anyone to know. 

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My aunt, whom I live with, actually just found out today. Surprise surprise. :/

 

She was cool about it, though. Didn't freak out or anything.

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I was 13,I wrote a letter to my mom asking for a shrink... my mom was sort of upset and angry cause my brother had done the same thing once he got out of the army,so she kept asking me did I want to be like him,and telling me to stop,and asking the "why" question...my dad got pissed off..ridiculed me sort of..we never talked about it again after that.

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It was last spring, so I had just turned fifteen and had been cutting since the summer. Basically a doctor ratted me out to my mom, who would ask me to see my scars anywhere and everywhere, leading to me feeling violated and out of control. She would ask every detail and then if I couldn't remember, accuse me of lying to her. When she saw the first ones, her furious response was, 'Gee, were you trying to create a design or something?' When I got angry, she told me it was my fault and told me to stop. My parents still don't understand it's not that simple; evidently I am very, very addicted because I relapsed in August 2014 and am still cutting. My dad pretends it doesn't exist, my mom brings it up at any chance. All I want to do is forget the world.

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My mum found out when I was 15. I overdosed one night and then the next day felt so terrible that I fessed up to my mum and she took me to emergency. While I was being examined the doctor pulled up my sleeves while my mum was sitting right next to me and she saw them. She did the disappointed "oh, Meghan!" Thing but I could tell that she was just really kind of hurt and upset by it. Ten years later and I still feel so incredibly awful about that momemt. My dad has never really said anything about it but that's just kind of how he is. I know it made him feel shifty and hurt but he's not the type to be all emotionally open and talkative about that kind of thing. My step mum mentioned it a couple of times but pretty. Uchiha just asking if I was alright.

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The first time my parents freaked out and my mom did a complete clean through of my room where they didn't let me in. My mom cried and she made my room resemble a prison where nothing could be hidden anyway so she could do a complete scan of my room just by opening my door. It was a school day so my dad took me to the grocery store at 6 am and screamed and scowled at me telling me to pick things I'd eat because I had to eat. I was very scared and I had a hard time picking things which made him very angry. They assumed that if I was cutting I must also be starving myself. They found out because I forgot to wear my sweater and I was cutting my arms. I think my dad also might have hit me for it.

The second time I was at a beach wedding where I had to climb a rope down a short cliff to get to the beach. By then I had learned to dress very carefully and start cutting my thighs because it was easier to hide. But my skirt flew up because I fell and my dad yelled "what was that?" They yelled at me in front of the entire wedding. They said things like "how could you do that to my daughter? How could you hurt my daughter?" They screamed at me like they weren't talking to me and they screaming at something inside of me they hated.

They never saw again until I moved out and got out of the hospital. When I lived alone I started cutting my arms because it was easier for me to care for those cuts and they didn't spread as wide. I had lunch with my mom and she said "what's that?" I wore a sweater but the sleeves rode up too high and she said "what's that?" and I said "Those are from before the hospital." And she just said "ouch". 

At that point, I started caring less about hiding them because they're not going to go away. I saw my dad yesterday and he just said "Your brother said a lot of kids at his school do that." And I just shrugged and went "So? I don't know them."

 

Each time they forgot about it over the next few days.

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Even though I had never planned to tell anyone in my family that I had cut, I wrote my diary entries explaining how I felt kind of hated and worthless by how the way my father shouted at me sometimes - and then explaining that SI was the only punishment I deserved for being such a horrible daughter. Also that I deserved to die, because I was just a massive burden for everyone around me.

I ripped out these negative pages because I hated what I was writing. I knew someone would eventually read everything if I just left them in that book... and read everything they did when my father found them folded up in my bedroom bin. Gah, I really should have ripped them up!

I suppose he kept it between me and him that he found out. We both knew my mother was a [DEEPLY religeous] Christian and she'd probably swear and flip tables over stuff like, 'God, don't let my baby go to hell! Satan's leading her into the wrong path!' She definitely would have panicked and screamed, that was for sure.

I went home from school after first period since I was so tired - my mother picked me up, all smiles and saying 'I told Dad you are scared of him. No need to worry.' It was true, I was scared of him. I lost a lot of sleep (which was why I was so tired). But I didn't WANT him to know. Life, as I had thought, would have been much easier if nobody knew at all. But she assured me it was going to be OK.

I was just about to go to bed and rest when my dad came into my room and said, "We need to talk." I knew exactly what he was gonna say: 'It's not normal to be scared of your dad,' but... He pulled out that diary entry which talked about my suicidal thoughts and self-harming. I cried. He cried. I've never seen him cry before. I felt too guilty for making him feel like a terrible father - because he wasn't! I wanted to cut again because the guilt urged me to, but instead I promised I would never do it again. (No guarantees, but that felt like the right thing to say).

I now realise, after reading most of this thread, that I am lucky to have a father so caring and accepting -- he kept telling me that I was precious and loved and that in the time left he had in this world (he's almost 70 and I'm 14), he would try to make my life easy and happier.

But... I can only hope now that everything will run smoothly from here... "No more arguing parents, shouting, or swearing, for Rachel's sake." Sorry for making this post so long.. I needed some place just to 'speak my mind'. Like, is it OK to post an entire ESSAY on here?? :)

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My parents found out when I was 14.  My mother cried, and she was concerned about what would drive me to do something like that.  Unfortunately her concern was overshadowed by my father's reaction.  He called me stupid, worthless, all the names in the book frankly, and demanded that I "just stop".  He also said I clearly wanted attention.  First of all, even if that is what I wanted, clearly I would have been pretty fucked up and needing help if I thought that self injury was the only way I could get any attention.  Second of all, he was wrong fuck I always hid the wounds as best I could.  He was really emotionally abusive about it(he was abusive to me in several ways for my entire life until my mother kicked him out in 2012), and frankly it affects me to this day.  Him treating me like shit about it didn't stop when he found out, it continued throughout my teenage years.  He was constantly invading my privacy, obsessed with my self injury even more than I was in some respects.

 

I wish I could just erase the whole thing.  :raincloud:  :(

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I don't recall how old I was exactly - like 15? My mom told me that I should just stop. I tried to explain to her that wasn't really an option, and she didn't get it. She took me to a doctor for a while, and thought I got "better"

Like 2 years later, it got a lot worse. I don't really know why. IT just did. I was sneaking out of bed to talk to my boyfriend about it on AIM. My mom caught me one night after many many months of doing this...When she saw what we were talking about, she got angry. and frustrated. She took me to another doctor, and grounded me from the internet. My mom used to ground me from the internet anytime she was unhappy with my behavior, even when it was tied to MI. But, the Tdoc she took me to was helpful. Except my mom was unwilling to listen anytime I wanted a compromise...It was frustrating. 

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I never really outright told my family I SH, my family always dealt with things by pretending they didn't exist and if you couldn't forget you drank until you didn't care. 

 

I know my mother knew after my first hospital stay and as usual just didn't say anything until I became super protective of her touching me or trying to get me to try on clothes etc, and she yelled at me- got it out of her system I guess and we haven't talked about it since.

 

My parents are divorced so whether my father knows I can't say but my brother's girlfriend knows and she is very adamant that my brother nor father ever find out. I'm pretty cool with it being that way too- things have changed since I was a kid but I'm still terrified of my brother and fathers anger,even if it ever came from a place of concern.

 

Reading others stories I really hope those who had a more difficult time are doing better now and that have a good support system

 

Just take it one hour at a time    

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edit: (blank)

Edited by identity

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