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

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I just read this entire thread, even though I myself have not self-injured.  

 

As a parent who well remembers my son and daughter's adolescent and teen years, I am saddened and shocked by the number of parents who reacted with anger, blaming, and even violence ("grabbed my arm, 'pushed my head against the wall', "told me I'd make myself even more ugly" etc.).

 

I would like to think I would have shown compassion and help/understanding if you had been my child even though I suffered from depression/anxiety myself.

 

I am sorry for those of you who endured the "non-support" of your parents at such a vulnerable and critical time in your growng-up.  Makes me unbelievably sad.

 

BTW - My son had different, although serious, mental health issues from about age 12- thru adulthood . . . . . I would have done ANYTHING (and it seemed like we tried lots of things!) to get him the help he needed.

Edited by FlamelessCandle

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my parents were scared... i was like 17 and i spilled out like 5 years of hidden illness on them and they were pretty much just in shock. them being scared though scared me because i had not thought about it as a scary thing, because i liked it... now that i'm older and wiser i see why they were scared but i was so confused at the time! all in all a very awkward conversation to have, that's for sure.

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I got the "Punishing and shaming than compassion" from family, psych nurses, doctors.

That's a silly thing to do

You just made a big mess everywhere

How charming... Maybe they think being "nice" about it will seem as a reward and we will keep doing it? Edited by heavendj4

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Weirdly, my parents were... nothing. I mean, they saw some cuts (I did not have many at that time, on the wrists), asked if I had tried to die, and I said no, and then I lied by saying that it was just because I wanted their attention and of course would not do it again. 
And they never mentioned it again. And now my arms are covered with scars and I say "it's the cat", they do hate the cat and have suggested several times to give him pills to make him tamer.... So, they simply forgot.

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She told me she wished I had been doing coke, or heroin, or become an alcoholic instead because she could have dealt with that. 

 

That sounds almost exactly like what my own mother said to me once. She said that we could drink together instead of me hurting myself, even though I don't drink at all.

---

I was about 18. I was at the doctor's office and decided to show off my fresh scars. I think it was the first time I ever showed anyone my self-harming. My mother came into the doctor's office and wondered what on Earth I had done to my arm. I think she was a bit shocked. In later episodes, she's mostly reacted with anger. I think she's scared for me, but I wish she'd react in a better way. I don't know if my father is aware of my self-harm.

 

I'm sad that some of you guys were scolded or laughed at by your parents. :(

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I started at 15/16 and kept at it for about 4 years almost continuously.  My parents were VERY overprotective and 'prided' themselves on knowing everything about my life as I was growing up, when I finally told them at the age of 21/22 once I had already left the house, my mom was shocked & extremely worried, but there was nothing they could do at that point.  I think it was my way of 'proving' to them that they didn't have as much of a hold on me as they thought (looking back, their choke hold/pressure may have been some of the  reasons for my self injury)

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i was 12 and i had hidden it from my mother since i was 8 years old. my mom was scaredand worried, and told me i could talk to her about whatever it was that made me upset. she understood because she use to do it too. i just felt exposed and violated which of course made me do it more. i really cant talk to her because she has bipolar too.

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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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