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scars and new relationships


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So, I've met this guy who I'm really into and who seems to be into me. He hasn't seen my scars yet and I'm really nervous about when the time comes that he will definitely see them. I can't decide if I should somehow awkwardly tell him about everything before hand or just let him see then answer whatever questions he may have. Has anyone been in this position before? How did you handle it? Any kind of advice would be greatly appreciated. This is the first person I've met in over a year who gives me that nice happy feeling. I don't wanna fuck it up, but with my track record, that's almost a given. What do I do? Help me, CrazyBoards!

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In my experience strangers who have seen my scars don't mention them even when I am becoming friends with them although I don't have friends anyway they never mention them if I was you I'd tell him first and talk to him about it it's prob best to just get it out of the way and if you explain it properly then I'm sure he will understand good luck :)

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I think you should wait for him to ask or for the moment. Waiting for the moment is terrible advice because how will you know the moment... you just will.

Wait for him to ask first. He might see them but take him a bit to read about it or try to know more or find a way that would be easy for him. As much admits hard for us It's hard for others to understand that we can or that we have hurt so much in the past

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I've been free of SH since April 2012. And, no, we haven't discussed my MI at all, I guess because it just hasn't come up yet since it's all so new. That's another topic I'm not sure how to broach. I want to be open and upfront, because I'm certainly not ashamed, but I also don't want to scare him off with too much too quickly.

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Hm. Well, I guess where I have started in the past is talking about any accommodations in my life I make in my life that are MI related. Something simple like, for someone with BP, "Oh, I can't go out too late tonight, I haven't gotten a lot of sleep lately and that can trigger a manic episode for me." Or starting off with something easier, "man, you're so right, I should tell my therapist about that." Drop it into the conversation in a somewhat related matter, and then just leave it.

If he asks for more information, great.  Be honest!  Continue to be casual.  It's a part of your life, right?  That's just how it is, and people who want to be with you have to know that.The idea is to be very matter of fact, like it's no big deal, and especially take care to give the impression you know how to handle whatever's may be going on. Even if it's not true all the time, it's the best idea not to deluge someone with information all at once. For one thing, you're looking for a romantic partner, not a caretaker, and so giving the initial impression that you have a good idea of how to take care of yourself generally and not only in crisis-crunch-time means that they won't rule themselves out as 'non-caretaker-material'.

Start off with something that's less overtly "OMG POSSIBLE EMERGENCY" than self-injury scars. That way you can gauge how he feels about being around people who have mental illness, what experiences he has with it, that kind of thing, and that's really going to affect how you choose to tell him about the scarring too.

Edited by saveyoursanity
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Thanks, everyone! SYS, that is really good advice. I'm gonna find a way to drop a few nonchalant hints into the conversation and take it from there. The thing is, for once, I actually do feel in control, though I know that's likely not always going to be the case. Anyway, thank you!

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I suppose it depends on:

 

1) Has he got any working knowledge of mental health/how does he talk about the issue?

2) Are you in a position where getting your scars out is likely?

3) Have you decided how much you want to talk about it and what questions he might have that you might find tough to answer?

4) How serious is the relationship, is it worth getting into the intimate details of, do you think this is someone you care about?

 

I had a one night stand with a guy whose arms got withered after a serious motorbike injury. he did't warn me (not that it mattered at all) but his own self consciousness meant that the naked bit was awkward for him. Many people carry injury scars, op scars, stretch marks, birth marks, skins conditions etc that would raise questions, I guess people handle it in different ways. You don't owe him any explanation at all, but I would guess that what you tell him would reflect whether you feel he is a good relationship candidate or not.

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I rarely cover up my scars, so I don't often come across this issue. Normally by the time I'm getting close to a guy, he would have seen my scars and probably asked/been told about them.

However, if I were in your shoes, I would probably wait a little to see whether it definitely seems to be going anywhere. If it seemed to be, I would then find a time when we were alone and just approach it gently, but without freaking him out, making it sound like a massive deal or something. I might just say something like, "so this is a little awkward, but I just wanted to show you my (arms/legs/whatever), just cause I didn't want you to see it by accident and freak out. So these happened a long time ago, I was in a bad place at the time, but I've gotten help since. I just wanted you to know."

Personally, I also have scars in places he would only see if we were intimate together, so I would mention that at the time too, but not show.

Edited by DizzyMissLizzy
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I stopped painstakingly covering my scars for this reason; work or school or meeting my boyfriend's parents i will cover them, but when i am meeting peers or just walking around, I tend not to. I think I started doing that for several reasons--putting an end to the awkwardness of being "discovered" and because where I was living, no one ever commented. Now that I have moved and maybe its not something that is so common here or maybe the people here are more concerned in the well being of others, I get comments for the first time. Most people are much nicer than i thought...most people just want to help and the scathing reaction i anticipated wasn't there. people are surprisingly nice and the ones that aren't you can pick up on...that in mind i think some people, good people, are especially nice when they feel you have trusted them with some personal information. it implies trust and if its a person that you intend to keep along for a while, then building trust is good. If its a fling or someone you don't expect to have a relationship with, then i think it shows good boundaries to not necessarily divulge everything yet. I do think that being left to "just find" something like scars might be kind of shocking, though. A person deserves the forewarning just to avoid awkwardness. i guess its a balance to walk...i wouldn't initially flaunt them either because people can interpret that as a sign to 'back off'. Especially if they have no familiarity with mi, people can make all sorts of assumptions. I've found that a lot of people think self injurious behavior is a "fuck you" to other people so it can be off-putting. There is also the fact that maybe other people have scars and secrets of their own! The first guy I ever slept with turned out to have been a closet self injurer himself.  i think its the minority who would be mean or judgemental toward you for it and if that were to happen, then its clear that they were not compatible and that you deserve better company anyway. the one thing that i don't know though is past versus current self injury...I always said "I used to self injure", I've never had the balls to admit that its an ongoing thing and the one time I did that relationship crumbled. i don't know, people are less open to knowing that someone actively hurts themselves, its scary to them and its not something that i would want to admit until i knew I could trust someone. 

Edited by kitkatt91
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