We recently received an email from Trisha, who works with people in her community. During the course of her work, she carried out a photo shoot and felt that LifeSIGNS may be interested in hearing about ‘Kitten’, a model with personal experience of self-injury, who chose to use her modeling opportunity to raise awareness and support for self-injury.
Hi, my name is Trisha Levine and I work with people in my community to support healthy, fun activities, like modeling and photography. Recently we did a photo shoot for supporting different causes and one of our models ‘struck home’ for me with the self harm cause. I would like to share her story and her photos from the photo shoot in hope that it will provide a success story for the many people self harm affects.
I chose the self-harm ribbon. The reason this particular ribbon has been close to my heart is because I have self-injured most of my life. I have been a ‘cutter’ in both my younger and older years. I have burned myself and punched solid objects. I could go on, but I would rather state this: I can acknowledge that I was never intentionally suicidal. I hurt myself for catharsis and seeking a sense of emotional release for the pent up hurt, anger, resentment, and depression that I felt trapped physically, mentally, and psychologically within. I felt that in the past I’d been trained to repress certain emotions, but self-injury gave me a physical way to experience and express those feelings. I support the self-harm ribbon because I have been there. I have felt these things and even felt the need to show these things. It took love, support, and constant affirmations – as well as kicks in the proverbial ass – to learn that I can express these feelings in other ways on the outside. I still have moments I slip into this head space, it never really goes away; therefore, I support this ribbon and its reach to try to battle against this constant struggle within the self. If I can do it, others can too.
If you rely on self-injury to cope with emotions, have a read of the ‘helping you‘ section on our website, where there are a wide variety of tips on coping not only with self-injury, but the emotions/reasons behind SI. You may also find the Alternatives to self-harm and Surfing the Urge pages useful.
Photos of ‘Kitten’ by Trisha