a friends observant behaviour and me being scared

Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by black_rose_99, Jan 10, 2011.

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  1. black_rose_99

    black_rose_99 Well-Known Member

    I'm not quite sure where this is going to go, so let's hope I don't ramble on too much.

    I go to a dance class once a week. This week I was particularly nervous, as I have cuts up and down all my arms. Dancing gets HOT, so choosing an outfit carefully so as to keep my arms covered while not being too conspicuous about it caused major dilemma's this morning. I've been conscious of it every since I put them there, but they're easy enough to hide at home and at work - it's not too unusual to have long sleeves there, as it's cold.

    Tonight, there was a girl who had some quite deep scarring on her arms. Whether I am just seeing things that aren't really there or not, the first thing I thought was that they were SI scars, and it intrigued me. I don't know her, didn't ask, and didn't stare, and tried to talk myself into thinking they were something else - perhaps she was in a car accident or something that could also produce scars like that. But it heightened my awareness of my own arms.

    Then the weirdest thing happened - my friend who I go to the class with said something after class. This is a guy who I had a crush on for awhile, but when I realised he mostly just talks about himself I relegated him to friend zone, as I need a lot of reassurance and question asking sometimes to make me feel like people actually care. He doesn't know about my cutting or how bad the depression is - although he knows I can get into sad moods sometimes.

    So after class, he says to me as he walks me to the bus stop - "there's a girl in the class who either likes to scratch at herself or used to harm herself" and called himself observant.

    This floored me. And a number of thoughts went through my head - did he see my cuts? Was this a way for me to open up and talk to him? Has he cut or known someone who has for him to think that was the cause of her cuts? Am I invisible - why could he see her pain but not mine? How weird was it that we both had that same thought?

    We don't have the type of relationship that I can easily open up to him about that kind of stuff. Whenever he sees me in a sad mood, he tells me to cheer up, it's not that bad. I know that some people can't help but say something like that as they don't know what else to say, but it usually means that whatever I'm feeling I feel is invalidated - oh just cheer up, it'll pass. So I've never really opened up to him about anything that matters to me, which is why I wasn't sure whether it was a way for him to tell me he'd seen my cuts, or whether he just saw them and recognises the signs from somewhere. I have been telling a few more people about my SH - but they are people I know and absolutely trust, and it's only a very few, those who I can trust not to brush it off or alternatively make too big a deal of it. Interestingly, I speak more of my suicidal thoughts than any SH thoughts I have.

    But.. what if?

    I want to avoid my class now at all costs until they fade some more. They are not fading as fast as I thought they might, and I've freaked myself out that perhaps this time I've done some real permanent scarring damage, instead of the little shallow cuts I would normally make and go away in a week or two. I don't know how to handle it if someone sees them - the two people at my workplace I've told about my suicidal thoughts (both slightly involuntarily) then get all panicky about that, I'm afraid of what they'd do if they saw real actual harm on myself (given that I have told them I'm not acting on any suicidal thoughts). Don't get me wrong, I'm touched that they care and are worried about me. But the guilt I feel for making them worried eats me alive. I was late this morning because I slept through my alarm after telling my manager on Friday I was suicidal, so she freaked out when I wasn't there on time.

    Anyway, I think I may have taken up too much of your time (if you're reading this), the round and round in my head is doing me in!
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    :console::console: I think he was concerned and pehaps was a way to get you to talk to him. It is nice the he cared enough to approach you. Nothing to be ashamed of it is just your way of coping I hope in time that you will learn to relace that with a more postive coping skill. One that takes care of you okay please you are suffering enough without you causing you more pain hugs.
  3. black_rose_99

    black_rose_99 Well-Known Member

    Hi Eclipse, thank you :) I'm not good at opening up and often misread social cues because of my own anxiety about how people see me and my intense need to be liked and not rejected. That's why I desperately want to hide it. I hope that I will find a more positive coping skill too :) I'm not sure if he will try again or how I will react, but I do know I will be worrying this through my mind until the next time I speak to him.

  4. Madam Mim

    Madam Mim Well-Known Member

    I would be feeling exactly like you if I was in this situation. But, I wonder if he has seen your cuts/scars, because you go to lengths to hide them. It might be that he has no idea that you SI, and was simply commenting on this other girl's scars.

    Either way, I personally would just carry on as if nothing was said. If he has noticed your scars, he will make another attempt to bring it up, and if not, then no-one needs to know. On the plus side, he didn't say anything disparaging or cruel about that girl, so at least you know that he wouldn't be nasty to you if you do reveal the SI.

    In a way, I wonder if avoiding the class will make it obvious something is wrong. If you have found a good, unsuspisious way of hiding your arms during the class, I would carry on going as if nothing has changed, which I know would be hard to do, but I would imagine it might save you trouble in the long run. And dance is something you enjoy - SI shouldn't stop you from doing what you love, you can't let it rule your life.

    Keep moisturing your arms, preferably with something like E45 or Sudocrem, it'll help them heal as quickly as possible. And try not to worry, although I know that's far easier said than done.

  5. Romancer

    Romancer Well-Known Member

    imo, it could be that he just brought it up cause he found it interesting. i mean, he could just notice it, and told you in case you noticed it as well. doesn't necessarily mean that it's cause he wanted you to open up to him.
    but if you want to share it, go ahead. people might surprise you how good they react.
  6. black_rose_99

    black_rose_99 Well-Known Member

    Hi Mim,

    Thanks for your understanding. You made me feel a lot better about it, and of course you could be entirely right that he knows nothing about my SI. I think your advice is sensible to see if he brings it up again and then wait to see whether I feel comfortable enough to tell him. And the fact that he said nothing bad about the other girl is immensely comforting! I think you're entirely right about it being obvious I'd have something to hide if I didn't go - my colleague who I have started being a bit more open with said she was really glad I went - and I know how easy it is to start avoiding things when you're feeling down, so in a way I am proud I went to, and don't want to stop going for some irrational fear if I can keep it hidden. It's something I did and although it's hard to talk about, I need to own it and accept my own consequences. Need some better moisteriser though!! :)

    Hi Romancer, thanks for your support. I've had some good reactions from people I've shared with (although very few know about the SI), and if the situation came up again and I thought I could trust him, I would consider telling him.

    Thank you guys so much, I feel a lot calmer about the situation now and definitely appreciate the understanding you give

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