As today as Self Injury Awareness Day, I thought it appropriate to talk a little about self harm. For a start Chris uses it as a way of coping but you might be surprised to hear that I am an ex self harmer myself, which helps me to understand Chris and how to and how not to react. I am not going to go to much into this at the moment.
I started when I was quite young; using it as a means of coping, for me I couldn’t handle emotional pain where as turning it into physical pain gave me a means of managing it. You might ask why I was in emotional pain.. Well I was bullied for most of my school life. It was the bullying that triggered me to self harm. However at the age of seventeen, when I was pregnant with my eldest daughter I decided that it was time to find other means of coping with my emotions because I didn’t want her to grow up knowing mummy hurt herself as a means of coping. It wasn’t easy, it was amazingly hard to change what almost became a habit but I had long left school, and all the issues behind and I wanted to concentrate on Emily, my daughter. I managed to replace self harm with other means of coping and gradually the period of time between hurting myself got bigger until I no longer used it. I can’t say I have never ‘slipped up’ and turned back to it but I have soon remembered why I stopped and held onto that, now I can say ‘I am an ex self harmer’ and I got through what happened back then.
Now my experience helps me to understand Chris, he knows he can be open with me about how he is feeling and ask me for help when he needs medical attention because he knows I understand, because I have been there. I am not judgemental and although I don’t always say the right things he knows he can trust me. Even having the understanding that I do doesn’t make it easier to see the person you love hurt themselves, he still shocks me sometimes because I would do anything to take that emotional pain away from him, just like anyone would.