Bringing Up Your Past Self-Harm to a Significant Other
There is no easy way to discuss past self-harm. No matter how you go about bringing forward difficult struggles from your past, it is almost always going to be an uncomfortable situation. Even for the most confident person, there is always something that gets in the way of that confidence and, for some, it can be discussing a mental health issue, like self-injury, they must deal with.
When looking at some people, you cannot notice that they once struggled with self-injurious behaviors either because they made marks that did not scar or marked areas are unseen. However, some scars can be very difficult to hide no matter how much make-up and jewelry you use. For those who have a few visible scars here and there, people may see the marks and question them, not connecting the dots.
Discussing Past Self-Harm With Loved Ones
One thing is for sure, it is not always easy for us to connect-the-dots for you and to explain our past of self-harm. So once you become comfortable in a healthy relationship, is there ever a good time to bring up difficulties from your past?
Loved ones may expect that you still have a problem even when the scars are three, five or ten years old. Usually we become defensive and fear having to explain the situation because, well, it was obviously not an easy time to go through. Sometimes significant others see your reactions to sharp objects or certain situations and that triggers a conversation.
Hell, maybe you write a blog on the topic, your partner reads it and becomes informed that way.
Past Self-Harm Memories Are Never Easy to Bring Up
Being that I now write openly about this subject and put it on social media, it was not a surprise when my boyfriend told me he had read it and expressed how proud he was that I’d overcome such demons. Of course, it always feels great to hear those things, but writing is different than speaking one-on-one. Like I’ve mentioned before, I can openly speak to a crowd of students about my past issues with cutting when discussing my novel, Noon, but have extreme anxiety when talking privately about it to a loved one.
I know that my significant other is not rushing me to tell him about my past struggles, but I feel as if it is important for him to know some of the story on a more personal note. For those who fear these conversations, how can we go about doing this without paranoia and anxiety attached to every word?
In the end, it truly depends on your relationship and your confidence.
It is important not to rush the conversation because when you decide the time is right to discuss the topic, you must feel extremely safe and comfortable. Sometimes you can’t help but feel afraid, and that is absolutely natural. But when you open up that little part of your past to someone you care about, your heart will feel more at ease.
Aline, J. (2014, July 12). Bringing Up Your Past Self-Harm to a Significant Other, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, June 7 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2014/07/bringing-up-your-self-harm-past-to-a-significant-other