The weather’s lovely here in the UK right now, and although it’s nice to get out ‘n’ about, it does raise the annual issue of whether to hide or show our self-injury scars.
This of course is a personal decision. I, personally, prefer to keep mine hidden unless with people I love and trust. It’s not because I’m ashamed; it’s just that self-injury has always been a secret / hidden thing for me. It’s not that I don’t want to share my scars with the world; I just don’t want strangers to know of my past inner pain. Showing scars isn’t for me; but I do admire people who have the strength / courage not to care what the world thinks!
But scars are one thing; fresh wounds are completely different. It always saddens me to see people wandering around with fresh self-injury wounds on show. Quite apart from the fact that it’s unhygienic and potentially dangerous, there’s just no *point* to it. Fresh wounds should be covered by sterile dressings, let alone clothes!
For me, one of the worst places for seeing such things has been summer music festivals. I was queueing for the toilets at a festival once and the girl in front of me had some fresh and quite serious wounds on her arm. I asked her if you she needed any help and offered her my antibacterial lotion and suggested the first aid tent and the Samaritans tent. She burst into tears and told me she’d felt she’d had to do it because all her friends had SId specifically for the festival and they bullied her into joining them. Their ‘wounds’ were part of their festival outfit. I was disgusted and I talked to her for a long time. I still have her number in my phone and I think of her occasionally.
We often talk about self-injury not being for attention, and nobody wants to be thought of as an attention seeker. But what other possible reason is there for showing off fresh wounds? And please don’t tell me it’s a cry for help, because strangers at a music festival aren’t going to help you (well, unless you happen to be standing in front of me in the loo queue!)
I fully *get* that self-injury can be a cry for help. But ask that help from the right people yeah? If you want to show off your newly bloodied arm, show someone who loves and cares about you, or show a doctor or a nurse. Don’t show the checkout guy in Tesco!