Should you show self harm scars? - TRIGGER WARNING

September 01, 2018
Today I wanted to talk about showing self harm scars. If you don't know much about self harm or the misconceptions that are around self harm my post about self harm misconceptions might help you before I dive into this post. I do want to just put a TRIGGER WARNING in case this post might upset some readers.

Earlier this week the bbc reported that almost 25% of 14 year old girls have self harmed in the last twelve months. That's a quarter of all 14 year olds. With boys it was almost 1 in 10 who had self harmed in the last twelve months. That's two very scary figures. It actually shocked me. I knew it wasn't uncommon for people to self harm but I didn't quite realise so many self harm. It upset me to think so many people harm themselves to feel better or a relief from how they are feeling like I have.

So, is it wrong to show self harm scars? I’m talking scars and not healing or open wounds or bandages on arms, thighs ect. I personally don’t agree with recent self harm being on show, I don't think it's fair on anyone and it can be very distressing for people. Scars on the other hand I am very different about. I'm all for people showing scars as it shows they have got through a tough patch in their life. 

I know this topic will bring up a huge discussion and I know it has with my self. As someone who’s self harmed themselves and has visible scars it’s an everyday question.... It's an everyday battle. Some days I feel ok... it’s my body and my scars don’t bother me. I’ve learnt to accept them but yes I’m not proud of them. What I am proud of is how far I’ve come. Other days it’s a different story. I feel vulnerable and I know I couldn’t handle it if someone stared or made a remark about them. Unfortunately people do and it can be hard to deal with. 

I know self harm is taboo subject and I’ve probably made many of you uncomfortable just writing this but I no longer want to feel I have to filter my pictures or wear long sleeves. I want to be Becca who feels confident in her own skin and hopefully this post will help someone else who struggles to show their scars learn that it's okay to.

The questions that go around in my head on a daily basis are: Will I upset someone? Will I trigger someone? What if I get stared at? What if someone makes a remark? Do I feel confident enough to be stared? Do I feel confident enough to have someone make a remark? What would I say if someone asks what the marks on my arms are from? The list of questions could go on forever. 

The thing is, you can't always protect everyone, you can't hide your body forever and you do just need to take the plunge and show your scars. The longer you wait the more anxiety provoking it will become. Scars aren't anything to be ashamed of. They are part of your past. They show you have been through a hard time but that you have got through it and that's all that matters. If someone says something about your scars ultimately it's their own issue and not yours. It's them that has the problem and not you. 

What I’m really getting at is if you see someone walking down the street with scars please respect them. Respect them for having the courage to feel comfortable in their own body and most importantly the respect they deserve from you not to comment. Yes, you might feel uncomfortable with it but at the end of the day it’s like having a scar from surgery or that accident you had as a kid falling out of a tree or taking a hot tray out of the oven. The only difference was it was self inflicted... it was self inflicted because the person saw no other way to cope because  they were saturated with emotions they didn't know how to deal with or they found to overwhelming.  



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