the user-led self-injury organisation.

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Write a letter for yourself

Letters and envelopes‘Coming out’ about self-injury to the people closest to us is a difficult decision to make. How the other person reacts is bound to have a serious affect on us, be it positive or negative, and so it’s important to think about that first conversation (if possible) before you have it.

Or maybe you aren’t ready to talk yet, but need to get your feelings out somehow. One way of achieving both these things is by writing a letter to the person you want to tell.You never have to send the letter, it’s for your eyes only, but it will provide a route for your emotions and help to clear things up in your head for if you decide to have ‘the’ conversation for real.


Submit your Unsent Letter online or email it to


Before you start writing, have a think about why you want to ‘come out’ to that person. Everyone is individual and experiencing a unique combination of circumstances, but here are some examples:

  • You are tired of suffering in silence and need the support of your loved one;
  • You have a holiday coming up and know that your scars may become visible;
  • You feel ready to become intimate with your partner but realise he / she will see your scars;
  • You need help and can’t deal with things on your own any more. Maybe you want some support or someone to go with you to see your GP;
  • Someone else has found out about your self-injury and you are worried your loved one will be told. You would rather it came from you;
  • You want to confide in your best friend and let him / her know what’s really going on in your head and how you are dealing with it;
  • You want the person to understand how they affect you, and how they’re involved in the way you feel.

Once you start to write, just let yourself go and be honest about how you feel. Remember, this is a dummy letter and nobody need ever read it. You are doing this for your benefit only, and you need to be truthful to yourself. Try not to talk too much about the self-injury itself, but instead focus on the causes and emotional distress behind it. Take the time to think about how you really feel, try to dig a little deeper.


Submit your Unsent Letter online or email it to


Some things you might want to include in your letter are:

  • Real-world reasons why you resort to self-injury (i.e. too much school work, financial problems);
  • Emotional reasons why you resort to self-injury (i.e. depression, family arguments, anxiety, identity confusion);
  • How long you have been self-injuring and whether it is getting better or worse in your opinion. Think about why you started to self-injure in the first place and whether you now self-injure for different reasons or whether you can now cope better before resorting to self-injury;
  • Things that trigger you, including anything involving the person you are telling (such as arguments, invalidation of your feelings, too much criticism etc.);
  • What you would like the other person to do to help (i.e. going with you to see you GP, giving you more space and time to yourself, creating a calmer environment for you to live in or providing an ear for you talk to when you feel the urge to self-injure);
  • Any support you feel you need but aren’t getting. Do you need your loved one to be more aware of your emotional state or to spend more time with you for example;
  • Efforts you are making to move away from self-injury; or
  • Reasons why you don’t yet feel ready to move away from self-injury.

Bare in mind that although it’s easy to blame others for our emotional states, we are ultimately in control of our own actions and we make our own decisions. It’s not a good idea to blame others directly for our self-injury, no matter what they may have done. By claiming responsibility for ourselves, we ultimately gain control of our own recovery.

Submit your Unsent Letter online or email it to

Your Letters

Take care of yourself when reading other people’s letters – they may contain references to self-injury and emotional content. There can be some serious triggers involved.

Dear, mom and dad!

You probably know that I’ve been through a really tough time after my best friend died. But I have it worse than I tell you… You see, I cut myself. I self-injure. I don’t really know why I do it, but I just know I’m not doing okay.

It isn’t just because of the grief… I can no longer cry… I just sob, but there won’t come any tears. I cut to make me feel. I cut to take the numbness I carry everyday, away. I cut because there’s just too much pressure on me…

I don’t want you to treat me differently just because of this, but I know I need help… Some days are to tough, and that make me want to commit suicide, but I don’t. I don’t want to disappoint you in any way.



I’m sorry. You’ve always been the only person I felt that I needed to explain myself to.

For a long time, in order to give you the strength you required from me, I was hurting myself. Don’t blame yourself though, it is my weakness that leads me to do it, my inability to be the daughter that you want and need. There is only so much pressure that can be put onto someone before they snap, to stop myself taking out the anger, the hurt and the pain that I felt inside on you. You were weak, and watching as your cried again and again was too much for my heart to bear.

For you not to know that I’m not the strong, confident person you always believed I was makes the deep shame of my scars bearable. I fought the need hard, knowing that eventually I wouldn’t be able to stop and then I would do something that I wouldn’t be able to come back from, so I stopped, for such a long time, began to build myself up again, but then the pressure weighing down on me became to much again and once again I snapped. I just couldn’t take it anymore.

Did you know its been nearly ten years since I started? No of course you didn’t because you never knew it was happening. If I could ask you one question that’s what it would be. Why did you never notice? The long hoodies, even on the hottest day of summer, the tiny exclamations of pain if someone touched my arms by accident, surely you should have noticed something? I’m sure many of the reasons that I started with were purely selfish, you tried to give me everything, and you did, except for emotional fulfilment. It’s like a big chunk of me inside is missing, the part that feels, whether it be happiness or sadness.

As I said before you are not the reason for this, I’m sure you’ll understand who he is, the one member of our family that caused more hate and misery in our house that I believed one person could. The emotional, and at times physical abuse I suffered by his hands has left me empty inside, dead to the world, incapable of being truly loved by anyone. I guess hurting myself is my way of dealing with all that, I never told you just how much I hated him, and in turn you, for forcing me to deal with it, if it wasn’t for you I never would have stayed for as long as I did. He is the real reason why I damage myself, I don’t know why in this letter I take it out on you. As usual I take something good in my life and destroy it.

The worst part is knowing that it’ll never go away. Once you’ve experienced it, every time something goes wrong I think about it.

Again I’m so sorry, for not having the confidence to tell you all this. Maybe one day you’ll know the real me.

I love you and want you to know you’re the best I could ever ask for.


To my husband

I don’t know how to tell you, I don’t know if I ever will…

You know of my grief, you know of the pain and anguish I experience when I remember my childhood, being abandoned by my parents to a boarding school where I suffered teasing and bullying at the hands of students and teachers alike, and in later years physical and emotional abuse at the hands of those who were supposed to care for me.

What you do not know, is the extend of my grief and rage. Mostly during the day I am able to distract myself with work, or reading, or blasting music so loud in my ears that I cannot possibly think. But it is in the quiet hours of the night, while you lay asleep next to me, when the pain is at its worst. I lay and contemplate the injustices in my life. The tears seem to come without end. I rage away in my mind, wishing there was some way those that wronged me could pay for their crimes. And I stress because I cannot find the peace to sleep. So when it gets too bad, I scratch. I rake my fingernails down my arms, just to cause that burn that dulls the emotional pain. But soon enough it fades, so I go again, this time with the edge of the nails, both hoping that I will and praying that I won’t break the skin to make it bleed. If it bleeds, I know the burn and the sting will last long enough for sleep to come, but if it bleeds, then there will be blood on the sheets, I will have to explain, I worry I don’t have a long sleeved shirt to wear the following day…

I fear telling anyone about this, I fear they will not understand. I do not want to die. I don’t even want to hurt myself. I just need the physical pain so I can focus long enough to function. The scars don’t bother me – I’m scarred inside anyway…

I just wish I could tell you and know you would understand…



I dont feel that I can cope with life anymore.  Every day I walk down the street and I fantasise about hurting myself, imagining just disappearing into nothingness.  And I feel so unbelievably guilty.  All you wanted when you had kids were normal little girls, and you got me.  Iv had everything in life and

yet it just doesnt fill this gaping hurting hole inside of me.  I don’t know if its because of everything with dad but somehow Im not right.  I dont feel that I was made for this world.  Every part of me is just a selfish ungrateful little bitch, I HATE who I am and I hate that Im not happy and I dont know why.

I should be happy.  On the outside Iv got so much and inside I am screaming with rage and devestation because I cant deal with anything.  I’m numb.  I cannot cope with the simplest things.  The tiniest argument with someone I care about leads me to the self-injury.  When a certain feeling comes over me, the only escape is to hurt myself, to cut, to feel pain.  And its just become so normal

to me that a lot of the time I dont even see the problem with it.

I know that you know I used to cut, but i have to hide from you that i still do.  Theres been a lot of things mum, that have hurt me more then you can imagine, my lily, the ocd, dad… I wish that you understood how it felt to be me because then you’d know that its not your fault and you dont need to feel guilty that i do this to myself.  Its just a coping mechanism and its not about you and your failure as a mother or something stupid like that.

When you see that Iv cut and you cry about it, it just makes me hate myself even more.  I do want to stop mum, if only for you, so that you dont feel desolate at who I am.  I want you to be proud of me, but I dont know if you’ll ever get the chance because Im scared of everything I want to succeed but I dont have it in me.  I just want you to know, that you are the only one who stops me from killing myself.  I cant do it because I cant do it to you.

I love you and I pray that one day Il come through this, and genuinely not feel this way towards myself and towards life.  That would be amazing.

L x

Hello Dear

There is something I’ve been meaning to tell you for a while, but feel that I cant tell you in person. I’ve been cutting myself and it’s out of control.

I need to feel something real in life… I can’t see the light anymore and living just seems pointless.

I feel lost, lonely and numb, so much that it hurts, and I just cant ask for help nor cry; cutting just seemed to be the only way. I want you to know that it’s not a disease, but I’m not well at the moment.


I can’t just stop cutting – it’s not that easy, but with hope it will get better.

Talk to you soon

Love you loads

N x x x

To No One,

It’s hard to figure out who to pose the letter to. The irony of writing to the people who left the most scars, my parents just couldn’t suffice, and the thought of writing to people who reacted all the wrong ways – or just too right I couldn’t do either, so I’m writing this letter to anyone in the future who can get close to me.

I didn’t do it for attention, that’s a big reason people think we cut. What kind of attention does it bring up? It’s devastating to see the different reaction when someone sees a scar. The attention itself was always negative.

I did this to survive, to keep myself breathing and to keep myself from wrenching into sobs on the floor of the cafeteria, honestly I always wanted to cry in math class. It always was so ebullient there that pain would never shift, I would always be alone, and I would always be a scape goat. That word stalked me, it’s another insane side effect, probably some statistic to abused children. I get hung up on words, they haunt my head worse then any monster under the closet ever did, and even when I write them down they stick to me, so it only made sense to start writing words on my skin.

It took away the pain for a little, it made it a lot easier. When my mother called me a demon, a freak, pure evil, when I realized I had absolutely nowhere to go when I ran away, when I found out this game I had been playing was in a completely different language, it took the edge off, it made the breathing easier but the clench in my heart beat always took a lot longer to go away. The cutting took away the mental pain, it was a physical scar for each mental one.

Cutting kept me away from suicide, and it also did one huge thing. It stopped me from crying. It stopped me from sobbing completely, it also made my stomach pains feel a bit better but the big thing was it stopped me from breaking down in humiliated tears in public, or confessing too much. It helped lock me up but it also took me away a big deal, nobody reacted right so nobody was right. It makes me feel even more alone sometimes, like no one else has ever felt the exact way I have.

Scars are hard to hide too, especially with heat coming in. I’ve always been conservative with how I dress, but I love dresses themselves. I don’t own a dress with long sleeves, I don’t know where I could find one, and I also always am being shifted off to the doctors. I hate doctors, I’m afraid of being touched, and I avoid going there at all costs but it’s bound to happen again and then what?

It’s the Queen of Oxymorons, to explain my contradictory feelings. To a person who doesn’t exist, and probably never will, in print that can only get me in trouble because all I ever get in is trouble and nothing good ever comes my way. Even when nothing happens, that itself has become a pain, a reassurance, an “I told you so,” of the devil on my shoulder. Every word was used against me, everyone in my life ever- hurt me, either physically or mentally they lashed out with intention for me to remember so it only makes sense that I should be “allowed” to mark up myself too. It’s just easier if I hurt me, safest to keep my emotions tethered away from the people who will use them against me. I have stopped for long lengths of time, but there’s been days I’d duck into the Girls Room just to hurt myself.

I’m talking about judgement here. This isn’t for attention, and this isn’t for you, and it isn’t selfish. This was what I needed to do, and if you can manage to get close to me, fictional character, then kudos to you because I have a hell of a time trying to love me. I only hope someone amazing, that’s what you’d have to be to love me at all, could understand this, could take me for the scars because as much as I hate them I still tell such a big story with every one of them.

It Will Never Happen [that someone could love me that way] , but luckily I haven’t convinced myself of that completely because I’m still looking for omens and signs,

But I’ll give Love,


Dear Mum,

It’s very hard for me to write as I’m sitting here wondering what you’ll think when you read this. Please don’t hate me because I’m not as perfect as you think. Sometimes I think you can see what I feel like and I want to reach out and tell you everything that hurts inside me, but I can’t.

The truth is I was abused. From the age of 7. And he wasn’t the only one. He made someone else I trusted abuse me too. And it hurts mum, I just want you to hold me and say it’ll all be fine. I know it won’t.

I can’t cope with the pain so I’ve been hurting myself to stop me from breaking down. Those scars weren’t from next door’s cat, I did them. I can’t take this for much longer though, mum.

I want you to know I love you. Even when you snap at me for not doing something. Even when you treat me like second best in the family. I will always love you despite what you feel.

I’m so sorry for not being the strong, confidant woman you thought I was,

Your baby Xx

Dear mum/dad

I’ve never been able to even contemplate telling you about my feelings. Maybe in a few years, maybe when I’m not living at home any longer and I can give you space to deal with it. Mum, you saw some cuts a while back, but I refused to talk and we’ve ignored the issue. And yes, it has gone away. But not completely. If things get bad I still turn to self-harm as a way of coping. It’s not an easy thing for you to face I know, it isn’t for anyone, and yes, the self-harm hurts, but not as much as everything else.

I’ve never really dealt with Nanny’s death, Grandad’s death or the car crash. I still have terrible nightmares about them all the time but I’ve never spoken to you about it. Even writing this and referring to them makes me feel sick. I couldn’t cope with them and seeing as I put on a brave face everywhere, no one knew how much I was hurting inside.

Things got hard at school, I didn’t feel like I belonged with any of my friends and people on the bus were driving me mad. And then there was N. I was totally obsessed, in love, but he never thought of me the same way. It hurt like hell, facing such rejection, and having him flaunt it all the time in my face with all his other girlfriends and so I hurt myself. No one else liked me so why should I like myself? That was my reasoning and it sounds pathetic but its just how I felt.

On retreat, I went totally mad. I couldn’t deal with anyone so I shut myself away for an hour or so. But I had the means to do some damage so I did. And then you saw them, even though I’d tried so hard to hide the cuts, you saw them. I was so upset and it put me off talking about it, seeing the horror of your reaction. I talked to some other people about it and they didn’t understand but they were supportive.

Since then, I’ve struggled with image problems, eating issues and the like. It’s all better now, but thats thanks to my friends. I just couldn’t talk to you about it. I felt ashamed and I couldn’t understand it myself, why I still sometimes do, find myself in a black hole with no way out. I hope that if someday I do tell you, you don’t blame yourselves or try and over-protect me even more. I’m more grown-up than you give me credit for and it’s something I’m learning to deal with.

xxx A xxx

Mum, Dad,

I need to tell you this I really need you to understand, about me and my life. This is going to be really hard and you will find it hard to believe me but it’s true. I just wish one day I find the strength to tell you. I never told you because as much as I never want to believe it my self.

You know I used to self-harm when I was younger well truth is I never stopped and worse I never really told you why so listen because this is going to break you that’s they I have never told you.

OK I started self-harming when I was about 12 I think I remember being in science class at school. It got worse and worse till I got to a point where you found out. I hated the way you dealt with it mum you should have tried to talk to me more I was your little girl in so much pain and for going away on holiday and telling dad leaving me to deal with him nice thanks. Well dad you called me stupid I needed you we never spoken about it since and don’t think we ever will. I wish we could have been a family.

Here is what’s going to hurt the truth is I self-harmed to start with because I was abused for years many years by your son. That’s why I don’t ever want to see him and it hurts when you buy him Christmas presents and talk about him, he abused me for years it started one Christmas. I changed and hated that you never could see what was happening. I blanked it out for years think, I thought it and it was in some way my fault and I could have stopped it if I wanted but I could not coz I was 11 when it started and about 13/14 when it finally stopped.

(please don’t hate me I was just a little girl)

I now understand that I was not to blame and I did try to tell you both when I was about 12/13 I said that he keeps asking to kiss me and you said that I was lying and that I should stop saying thing like that I want to bad to tell you that he was abusing me but how could it. He punished me for trying to tell, he let one of his friends get at me, I can remember feeling so dirty and just wanted to die so much. I don’t blame you for what happened, but I just need you to understand why I am the way I am.

I love you both so much please love me back and remember I never asked for this, never. I will never be able to tell you will I……….


Your little angel


I know we’ve talked about this before and I realise that as a mother this is a difficult subject for you to discuss, but there comes a time when we all have to face things that we would rather not, and Self Injury is one of them. In writing this letter I’m not trying to hurt you or make you feel guilty; all I am trying to do is explain something that I know you do not understand.

When we talk, you equate self harm with “silly teenagers wanting attention”. Your response hurts me because, by saying those things, you are telling me that I am nothing more than a silly teenager, and as a 30 year old, with a mortgage and a responsible job I don’t think I fit into your criteria. The point is Self Harm isn’t anything to do with “silly teenagers” or “attention seeking”, it’s a media myth, and as much as you want to buy into that myth as a mother – thinking that your child will grow out of such silliness – I need you to understand that self injury isn’t like that.

You first saw scars on my arm when I was at university but my self injury predates that by about ten years. I began hurting myself around the time I first started senior school, beating myself in my room. Why? Well after 20 years I cannot remember. The point is I started young, and if it had been for attention, as you surmise, you would have known about it a lot earlier than you did. I wasn’t aware that this was self injury, at 10 years old I didn’t even know that self injury existed. I certainly wasn’t copying anyone, and I definitely didn’t tell anyone I did it. All I know is that I would get so angry with myself that I would lash out at my own body.

When my little sister started to self harm at 16 I went to a counsellor at college and talked about what I did to myself. That was the first time I came across the term “Self Harm”. By the time you had seen my scars I was 20 years old and had only just started cutting myself, due to the pressures of university and the fact that I was gay, and because I was seriously unhappy. I was alone, and hurting, confused, unable to cope with university, and so in the privacy of my own university room I would harm myself because I had bottled up my feelings since I started senior school and I wasn’t “good enough”. I wasn’t straight, I wasn’t able to cope with uni, and I wasn’t the ideal daughter, the one you could rely on. But I never told you what I was doing, and you saw the scars by accident, so how could that be attention seeking? Cutting myself seemed the lesser of the evils I faced… I had progressed to hitting my head by this point and was afraid I would concuss myself, and as no-one knew what was happening with me no-one would have been able to help if I passed out in my room. In the previous term I had been drinking to excess alone in my room, another recipe for disaster. Cutting was controlled and safe and it worked. It released the feelings I didn’t know how to express, and punished me for my imperfections at the same time.

I know that you don’t understand this, and that you deny that I have mental health issues. I am not saying that I am seriously unwell, I have been in the past but have not told you because of your reaction, but I do have some problems for which I need help. I am not asking you to do anything except accept that this is who I am, your imperfect daughter, who just wants you to love her for who she is, not for who you want her to be. So please understand, I am not a silly teenager, I don’t do this for attention, and I tell you this because I need your support not your condemnation.

I hope you can hear me.


Dear Mum,

I’m finding this letter really hard to write, so please read it carefully as it has taken so much for me to do this.

As you know around 4 years ago i was hurting myself. Self-injuring. It wasn’t my choice to tell you then, but i did. At first you pushed me to get help, and i wasn’t ready. Everything happened too quickly and i couldn’t cope. Then a few weeks later it all got brushed under the carpet and was never talked about again. This was mainly due to me… i can’t manage if it is talked about all the time when i’m just trying to escape and forget about it!

The truth is, i’m still struggling with depression and self-injury. I started harming myself, 4 years ago, due to being bullied at school. I was too ashamed to talk about it, and still am. Now things are better at school, but in the last few years the reasons have changed and i feel like i need to do it whenever something negative comes up in my mind, or simply sometimes everything gets too much and i feel under so much pressure.

It’s under control, and i have made it to a year without self-injuring in the past, but i still have ‘urges’ to hurt myself. Although, I hope to continue my recovery, and move further away from self-injury. It is possible that i may want to get help in the future. However, i want to do this independently, but i thought it was only right to tell you. I didn’t want to go behind your back.

I don’t want you to feel guilty or anything, it’s not you fault. There is one more thing i want you to know about. I’m finding our ‘family situation’ very hard to deal with at the moment. I don’t get on with dad, and it upsets me. I want a relationship with him… which i don’t have at the moment. We hardly speak, and i feel like as soon as i move out, i could go with never speaking to him again. Please help me with this. By telling you these things, i hope you can begin to understand me better.

Thank you. You mean so much to me. I hope we can work through this together.

S xxx

PS. Please don’t mention this to Dad.

Dear mum,

I truly wish I could tell you how bad things are again at the moment, even if it simply means I don’t have to pretend that things are ok constantly. This last week has been exhausting for me with you being around 24 hours a day, I haven’t had any time to fall apart at all and release those pent up emotions. When my GP did one of those depression questionnaires with me a couple of days after Christmas it came out as moderate, but that was before sleep was a problem too. Adding in that score as well now I wouldn’t be surprised if it moved up to severe. And the fact that I cut again last night for the first time in almost 2 years…… but I can’t even tell my GP that as she will write to my psych. She told me she supports me herself until or unless the thoughts became a reality, so I can’t tell her.

All those appointments I said were cancelled – well they were – but by me. I’m letting things get worse again, I’m doing damage to myself again and I’m just too tired to care.

When you nag me about not doing the house work I want to tell you so you’ll understand why I haven’t done it or at least I hope you’ll understand but I can’t break your heart when you think I’m doing ok and hanging on.

I just hope it doesn’t get to the stage when you find out when it’s too late like you normally have done in the past.

But please know you are my reason for keeping going

I love you


Dear Mum and Dad,

It isn’t easy for me to say this, and it won’t be easy to hear it either, but I don’t want to hide it any longer, and I owe you the truth. Please don’t judge me before you’ve finished reading.

When I was in year 10 and 11, all those scars on my arms, they weren’t accidents. I hadn’t fallen over carrying a music stand, and I hadn’t walked accidentally into a locker door. I had done it to myself. And then, a few years ago, I made a New Year’s Resolution to stop. It was hard, but I did it. For a while. Recently, I’ve been struggling, and I’ve hurt myself again. Not badly, but I don’t want it to get worse. I just can’t handle the pressure to be brilliant. I’m not perfect and I don’t need to be – I just want to be me, and for that to be ok. I so often feel that the world expects much more of me than that of which I am capable.

I’m telling you this so that you understand, and so that you can support me. I’m not telling you because I’m looking for more attention, or because I think it’s your fault – I would never want to hurt you. You have given me so much.

I love you both lots

S x

To my family,

Thought I should tell you
I wanted to let you know I self harm
please don’t be angry
please don’t hate me
I have lost all control
I have nowhere else to turn
I thought I would tell you
as I want help to stop doing it
I do it because I have no way else of coping
I feel so angry and constantly hurting inside
I want to be free of all pain
I want help to deal with my emotions
That are keeping me from the life I could have
I have not done it to hurt you
I have done it to hurt myself
to try and hide my horrible past
I need your help
I’m scared and frightened of what’s ahead
I’m scared of going through my past and dealing with it
I’m also scared of it happening again
I don’t want to die
Thats why I need your help
As I don’t know how much more I can take.


To my closest friends,

You guys have always said I’m a smart kid – a funny kid – but not the mean type of funny. Humor is important to me, and although I don’t usually employ it when you come to me with your problems because I worry about offending you, I would really appreciate it if you’d try to understand why it’s indispensable to me when talking about mine. When I’m making a joke about my own SI, it’s not always because I am taking the situation too lightly or failing to address the severity of my own problems. Rather, it helps me face these problems in a language I can understand and break through the grimy layers of shame and stigma that come with talking about SI. You guys might think it’s easy for me to talk to you about this kind of thing – after all, we share so much of our lives and minds (the good and the bad) with each other that you probably think there’s not much about me or my SI problem that you don’t know. That doesn’t change the fact that I still fear the alienating connotation that SI carries even around other self injurers or people like some of y’all that have dealt with issues that are rooted in similar emotional foundations, though. At the end of the day, it’s hard for me to tell you about my SI because I am embarrassed to ask for help, comfort, or counsel because I feel like you guys are too good to have your happiness or good moods sucked away by some depressing talk about that-time-I-tried-to-give-myself-stitches. Not so superultrafun, eh? It isn’t for me either. Feeling like I’m bringing pain to my loved ones makes me feel terrible, but all this slicing and dicing has made me realize that holding it all inside isn’t the way to go either. So: enter humor.

Self injury isn’t inherently funny to most people. After all, some of you have told me about your experiences with self injury and I don’t joke about them unless you’ve expressed that you appreciate that, but when I talk about self injuring and the mental and emotional affectations that come with it, I’ll often open with a joke or turn a few phrases throughout that make it easier for me to tell you what’s going on. To me, this feels natural because at the end of the day, the thought of me, the straight A, mostly positive, parent-charming, and relatively well-liked person smiling as I hit myself with a hammer or something, can be pretty hilariously ironic if you look at it in the right light. Look at me: I’m clean cut in every sense of the word! A little self-deprecating humor rarely hurts me, and to be honest, verbally poking fun at my most shameful of flaws can be a refreshing reminder that I consider myself emotionally tough enough to take it. Joking about SI helps me reclaim my mind because it’s like laughing the SI devil in the face. If I can joke about SI, it hasn’t claimed everything I am, and when I joke about SI – even if it’s just to myself – I don’t think I minimize the problem out of denial for its severity. Instead, I think the problem actually becomes smaller. Think of every pun as a baby-skin-pink, sausage shaped, infant size middle finger to the self injury ghoul. Bit by bit, I’m winning. Cell by cell and nerve synapse by nerve synapse I am reclaiming my life from what threatens to destroy the essence of who I am, and every time you laugh (even if it’s nervous laughter), you’re helping.

Thank you for understanding that humor, although it can seem worrisome to you, is one of the best in my growing arsenal of coping mechanisms, and thank you also for taking my problems seriously even when I don’t express to you that I do. Although I know you empathize readily and wholly with my troubles and that this brings you sadness (for which I am sorry), please understand that I feel the negative effects of my actions, thoughts, and feelings more thoroughly than anyone else. It’s true that this is hard for me, but I believe that pain and the beauty of humor are not mutually exclusive. Thank you for your support whether I’m snickering or crying about something that’s bothering me, and thank you for recognizing the seriousness of issues that I present in a humorous way because I’m afraid to tell you how bad something actually is. I love and thank you wholeheartedly.

Always your shoulder to laugh on,


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