Noticing Self-Harm

I wish I knew what to say.

I keep noticing strangers with self harm scars/cuts. I’ve been self harming for about four years or so, I know what it looks like when you cut yourself with a razor- when you’re used to those kind of cuts you can recognise them. Actually, it’s not just about knowing what razor cuts look like, you can tell when most wounds are self inflicted.

There’s something about the angle, the grouping- a dead giveaway are cuts only on the left arm… most people are right handed.

I want to do something- god, I wish there was something I could do. I know that if someone had come up to me when I was cutting and said something, given me some advice or pointed me in the right direction, then it might have helped me.

But is it rude? Is it crossing a line? After all, it’s their body and I know nothing about them- so if I go up and start telling them to get help then maybe I’m being nosy and patronising.

I want to say something.

I want to reach out to the people in the streets who are suffering.

I can see people walk past me with the wounds out there- I want to reach out and help them but I don’t know how.

I want to do something for the waiter who served me in the restaurant and for the girl in the card shop…

Years have passed for me, but I’m still struggling to be able to do something.

What can I do?

’til next time,

Wren x


4 thoughts on “Noticing Self-Harm

  1. Honestly I’ve wondered the same thing…I don’t usually say anything simply because when I was in that situation I didn’t appreciate it when someone pointed it out. But I so desperately want to grab them and say “stop, you don’t know what you’re doing.” or when I see their scars I want to reach out and touch them and say “I get it, I understand”…but I also realize how shameful people still feel over it, even years later and so I generally let them approach me.

    • I know exactly how you feel, it’s so easy to normalise what you’re doing when you’re trapped in a cycle of self-harm, it sometimes needs an outsider to come in for you to see what’s happening- but you never know how people are going to react to that or what’s really going on inside their heads.
      Wren x

  2. There was a chick who needed to use the phone, she came up to our door. I saw her scars, pointed to my own, and casually, yet compassionately said, “You’re not alone.”

    I have a huge scar that’s very noticeable, and people almost always ask, “oh, my god, happened?” I just reply, “Stupidity.”

    Personally, I don’t mind when someone asks or points it out–but I’m used to it, but I think it just depends on the situation and any emotions that you may be feeling, because you don’t know how they may react. I said something to her, because I felt that she needed to hear it. But I don’t usually, unless my intuition says otherwise.

    • It’s such a difficult situation, I think that I struggle because I know how lonely and desperate I was when I was self-harming, and how much difference it would have made to me if someone had noticed the cuts and said something; you just never know how someone is going to react or what’s the best thing to do for them.
      Wren x

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