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

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Someone at school saw my cuts and told the school guidance counselor when I was 13. The school called my mom and she came and got me from school. She just wept, not knowing what to do. Her half brother is schizophrenic and she grew up seeing him deal with the fabulous mental healthcare of the 1970s so I think she was really scared. She called my dad to come home from work early, he worked about an hour away. He was enraged when he got home, screaming. He ended up bashing my head into the wall. He didn't know how to deal with the cutting and my suicidal urges. I'm 24, married, and it's much different now. Even a year later when I was 14 it was much different. He accepted that I should try to be on medication and that therapy was helpful for me. I don't think my dad truly understood until he went through DBT family group with me when I was 17. His attitude changed a lot after that. My mom has always been supportive.

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When I was 14. I think she had suspected for a while and ignored it. I cant exactly remember how she found out for a fact I just remember her response. She told me she wished I had been doing coke, or heroin, or become an alcoholic instead because she could have dealt with that. 

Even though I'm now almost 26 and It's still a part of my life we've never discussed it again, she thinks I grew out of my angst.

My moms reaction pretty much speaks to my family's dynamic, if it's hard or painful ignore it. 

Edited by InsaneInTheMembrane

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This thread makes me sad in some ways and glad in others.

 

Personally, its a little weird for me.

 

I don't know that my parents ever said anything, like, ever, even when I was adult.

I would think it would be rather difficult to hem your kid's prom dress and not notice cuts on the lower leg.

 

But my sense is that they probably didn't know what to say, if anything...

 

Which means its best to not say anything at all, I guess, because I wasn't *clearly* in distress, only kind of imploding?

 

This actually causes a lot of sadness for "teenage me" when I think about it.

 

And I feel pretty exposed putting this out there.

 

*goes to sit with my anxiety and see what happens*

Edited by Wooster

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At 10/11 I freaked out and told my mom. She worked to calm me down, clean the cuts, and told my doc and tdoc.

When I really started at 14 I didn't tell her. She found out and worried, but didn't freak. There was a time she wouldn't leave me alone so I wouldn't cut. Usually she knew she couldn't do much. She'd try to check in with me, but I pushed her away a lot back then.

I don't think dad every said anything about it. My stepmother though, one time she mocked me, I have an obvious one going down my forearm from my wrist, she basically mocked me for being stupid because (and I am paraphrasing here) 'across the street' is easier than 'down the road.' I was so flabbergasted and infuriated that I couldn't bring myself to mention just what my scar is over and in-between. Sigh.

Other than that it's been left alone. Old scars are what they are. My niece used to run her face up and down the ones on my upper left arm, because she was two and it felt nifty (99% of my scars are raised away from the skin,) and my father and stepmother said nothing. I haven't mentioned relapses to my mom, just to my docs after the fact.

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I was seventeen when I started cutting with a razor. Although, I'd self harmed in the past before then. I think the first time that I ever hurt myself on purpose was when I was .... oh gosh, I can't even remember. Before I hit puberty, I guess. Anyway, the cutting with the razor started at seventeen, where I turned eighteen a week later. I told my parents about three months later after my legs were all scared up. 

 

My mom reacted badly. It scared me. She told me that I was disgusting and that my children would be disgusted with me as well. Even though, I don't have children. She literally looked that far into it. My stepdad never acknowledged it. I don't have the best relationship with either of them. Actually.... no one says much about it. No one asks how I'm doing. I've been sort of recovered for three months, but ugh! Come on. Just say good job! Please!? Obviously, directed at my family. As I know you guys would be proud as hell for me right? 

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I was seventeen when I started cutting with a razor. Although, I'd self harmed in the past before then. I think the first time that I ever hurt myself on purpose was when I was .... oh gosh, I can't even remember. Before I hit puberty, I guess. Anyway, the cutting with the razor started at seventeen, where I turned eighteen a week later. I told my parents about three months later after my legs were all scared up. 

 

My mom reacted badly. It scared me. She told me that I was disgusting and that my children would be disgusted with me as well. Even though, I don't have children. She literally looked that far into it. My stepdad never acknowledged it. I don't have the best relationship with either of them. Actually.... no one says much about it. No one asks how I'm doing. I've been sort of recovered for three months, but ugh! Come on. Just say good job! Please!? Obviously, directed at my family. As I know you guys would be proud as hell for me right? 

 

Three months is excellent, and yes, it is certainly something to be proud of. :) I'm sorry your folks reacted the way they did. :/ That's pretty unpleasant and must have been very hurtful.

 

I started with dermatillomania and interfering with accidental wounds well before I ever actually cut. My mom got exasperated and frustrated with me over the skin and scab picking, but Dad never said anything. I know, looking back, that it bothered them and they must have talked about it, but they didn't pursue it. Neither of them ever knew I cut. I started after my mom had died, and my relationship with my dad, which had never been very good, had come to total stagnation.

 

The rest of my family now knows I cut. My older brother was the first to ever call me on it. He asked me casually one morning how I was healing up and if I needed to see someone about it. 0.o He's been the most supportive. My older sister doesn't like it and she periodically tries to start a discussion about it with me, but these have a history of ending badly and I don't bite anymore. The other full sibs haven't ever said anything about it directly. One of my half-sisters knows, though, and she is very supportive, kind of like my older bro.

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My parents found out about my cutting when I was 15, I'd been doing it for about two years at that point. There's been a lot of mental illness in my family, many of my cousins are bipolar, both my parents have depression and my grandmother had DID. Because of how my mom viewed my cousins, who refuse treatment for their bipolar, and because of her experiences with her mother she was very upset by my self-harm. She didn't want to believe I was anything like them even though she knew I'd had psychiatric problems since I was four, I think the cutting just reminded her to much of my cousins. After she found out she searched my room, my phone, my computer and even my ipod. According to her she was "trying to understand and remove anything from the room that I could harm myself with." Granted there were things in there that I'm sure she was happy to get out of my room but I felt that my privacy was very violated by that. She also went through the house and locked ap ALL of the sharps. All of them includes forks, cheese graters, pens, glass cups, my rock collection etc. She installed locks on the medicine cabinet and on the garage so I couldn't get to anything in them. The medicine cabinet is still locked for some reason even though the garage isn't. She's gotten better about it over time, I think her initial reaction was only because it was an emotional revelation for her. My dad really didn't care much about it but then again he might have, he only seems to express any form of caring about me when I'm not there.

 

As for my skin picking I don't think anyone's noticed even now which is ridiculous because my mom picks at her skin to. I don't see how she wouldn't notice.

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I started when I was thirteen. My dad saw cuts on my upper arm not quite a year later. He made fun of me, and told me that I wasn't to expect any help from him or my mom for my stupidity.

 

My mom knew, but she never brought it up or talked about it, not even to tell me that I was being stupid or that she didn't like it. 

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I was about 15/16 and my parents were PISSED. Yelled at me, refused to let me go to a psychiatrist, barely let me go to a psychologist but sent me to the same one that "helped" my brother. They now admit he wasn't a good pscyhologist but I guess it was good enough then. Now I don't dare talk about any MI stuff (haven't cut in over a year) because if I do, it's all about shame and ridicule. They would FLIP if they knew everything.

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Someone at school found out and told a guidance counselor and I had to go to an emergency care facility. My mum just cried over and locked herself in her room and kept saying how bad of a parent she was. My step dad got really mad and told me I was so selfish and should learn to care about other people.

Edited by Blu.strong

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Someone at school found out and told a guidance counselor and I had to go to an emergency care facility. My mum just cried over and locked herself in her room and kept saying how bad of a parent she was. My step dad got really mad and told me I was so selfish and should learn to care about other people.

 

This breaks my heart for you, Blu.strong.  I'm so, so sorry to hear about their reactions.  I hope one or both come around soon and help give you the support that you so obviously need.

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It's okay Miron. That was years ago and we've never talked bout it again. Although I wish sometimes they could help me, they do not know I still struggle with self harm, I have also found supportive people who help me outside of my family. But thank you so much for your kind words.

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Personally, its a little weird for me.

I don't know that my parents ever said anything, like, ever, even when I was adult.

I would think it would be rather difficult to hem your kid's prom dress and not notice cuts on the lower leg.

But my sense is that they probably didn't know what to say, if anything...

Which means its best to not say anything at all, I guess, because I wasn't *clearly* in distress, only kind of imploding?

This actually causes a lot of sadness for "teenage me" when I think about it.

And I feel pretty exposed putting this out there.

*goes to sit with my anxiety and see what happens*

Written by Wooster (sorry my iPhone wont let me quote it)

I just wanted to respond to this by saying that I understand how hard it is to tell your story. I have never told anyone my whole self harm story because its just so personal. So I just wanted to thank you for sharing and while I understand being nervous sharing information also understand that you don't have to be because we're all here for you. Xxx

Edited by Blu.strong

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I was 15/16, and my parents found out.

#1 they ignored it

and then..

#2 It was Satan trying to sway me, and it was caused by taste in music and books... And only prayer & meetings would help... Cough.

My parents are JWs.

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My parents were...confused, disturbed, Idk...they snooped and found my journal when I was 14, they are kinda clueless when it comes to MI/SI, they think it's something you can control (or at least something I can control)

 

My mom made me show her my arms (which had nothing on them because I don't scar easily)

My dad ignored it I think

 

they don't really get my diagnoses, or they don't believe it or something, my family is all sorts of wacko...though it's very hush hush, no one talks about it, we may have problems, but we don't have problems, if you know what I mean...

 

I'm not the only one, we've had 1 suicide in the family back in the 50s, and a few people (including me) are on meds for various things, but who knows

 

my parents are convinced that it's in my control (my mom is trying to be supportive...dad just wants it to go away) and they are convinced that Jesus, eating healthy, and sleeping like a normal human will cure me completely

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I was 15 and had been self harming for a couple of years and they found out when I took an overdose and ended up in hospital my mam said if I do it again she will do it (she used to do it when I was little and has recently started again) and after that it was never mentioned again it became a taboo subject which made it worse for me and I still do it now and I'm 22 now

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The very first time my father saw me doing it, he tackled me to the ground, restrained me, took away the scissors, and then he grabbed me by the arm and took me to the bathroom to wash the wounds. He was really angry at me. Then when my mother found out, she just cried. 

 

After the first time, my mother has found out time and time again. Now any time I self harm, I get SCREAMED at. My mother screams so loud that she loses her voice. 

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