Living with the stigma of a suicide attempt

Discussion in 'After Effects' started by Rainman78, Dec 17, 2010.

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  1. Rainman78

    Rainman78 New Member

    As a child I was subjected to sexual, physical and emotional abuse by my older brother and despite trying to live a normal life since then 3 years ago everything came crashing down around my ears and I realised that I bottled everything up and it had to come out some where. As a result I attempted suicide by xxx the attempt very nearly worked but ultimately failed.

    Lying in hospital reflecting on what I had done I realised that I didnt want to die so set about rebuilding my life. I have succeeded in as much as I have a good job and I also have a pretty positive outlook on life and most importantly the suicidal thoughts have gone. However the one big problem I face is the stigma of my suicide attempt. I have a very nasty scar on my wrist and as a result meeting new people is a nightmare. Not many women want to take on a mans baggage but when that baggage is a suicide attempt they run for the hills, and understandably so.

    I am very lonely most of the time and have pretty much given up on the hope of ever finding love again.

    I would like to know if any of you have had a similiar experience? And if so have you managed to overcome it? Are there any organizations or groups out there where people like me can meet others who have been through the same experience? Are there people who can relate to what I have gone through?

    I find forums like this one full of very decent and helpful people but I struggle to come across people who can relate to my experience.

    Nobody ever talks about the after effect of a suicide attempt but for me personally its much worse than the suicide attempt itself or the months leading up to it.

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2010
  2. oval

    oval Well-Known Member

    hey pat, welcome to sf :smile:
    well my forearms are covered with scars and its isolates me alot from people. im extremely concious of what i do and how i move so that no one will ever see them when im wearing a shirt. and i also avoid being around people bc of them. i look like a damn zebra in the summer when i get tan and my scars stay all white and shiny.
    if you only have one scar then i think its easier for you to cover it with a watch or a big bracelet, depending where its at and how big it is. does it look obvious how you got it?
    i think, once you get to know people more closely they might overlook it and its in the past for you and we all have our story. i hope you can find more people who can relate to oyou and im pretty confident youll find alota people dealing with the same issue on here too.
    again welcome to the site and i hope youll find the support your looking for here :smile:
  3. Fitzy

    Fitzy Well-Known Member

    Hi. Not every woman will run for the hills - anyone who does is probably not worth knowing. There is a thread on this forum about dealing with scars - I THINK it's a sticky on the self harm forum. It may help?
  4. Dave_N

    Dave_N Banned Member

    Welcome to SF rainman. Sorry to hear about the abuse that you have suffered. :hug:
  5. Sadeyes

    Sadeyes Staff Alumni

    Hi and welcome...have you spoken to a doctor to ask about scar reduction? not sure what can be done but worth a try...welcome again, J
  6. BornAgain

    BornAgain Well-Known Member

    Hi Rainman,

    I'm going to be short, my previous response got lost after 30 minutes of writing...

    I am very sorry for all the abuse you went through, I hope that abuser is behind bars; I am also very happy that you are alive, not wanting to die and that all your suicidal thoughts are gone, you are lucky.

    Scars.... Try covering them, try a tatto on top of it, around it or show them proud like if is not a big deal.

    Relationships, make sure to show them you are secure of yourself, with a positive outcome after what happened, you don't need to say what you did until you trust them, just omit some details at first, but not talking about it is a stigma in itself, I have met a lot of great people by talking about it, but some people can't and don't want to understand it, specially those whose relatives or closed friends died by suicide, it hurts them to hear of others trying it.

    Having attempted it is part of you and will always be, I am very glad you are looking at it in a positive way, I am very positive, wanting to live, not depressed, but will never forget it and will always try to help those who want to attempt it, I would give my life for others not to loose theirs, people who know about your attempt will always remember, it will take the some time to trust you, you just need to prove them that you will not try it again and that you can get your life back together.

    I hope all the best for you and will be praying that you stay more positive and happy everyday.
  7. Entoloma43

    Entoloma43 Well-Known Member

    Just lie and say you got into some kind of accident.
  8. Rainman78

    Rainman78 New Member

    I want to thank you all for your kind words and advice.

    I have researched the possibility of scar reduction but have been told that it will still leave a scar on my wrist although it wont be as noticable. Tattoo's are a no-no as the ink doesnt take to scar tissue so even if I got a tattoo around the scar it will still be very noticable.

    Sometimes I try to accept it as part of who I am and if people don't want to know me becasue of it then so be it, but its very difficult sometimes.

    I suppose though that every single person who has ever posted on this site has scars be them mental or physical, and that we all have to keep going and just make the best out of what we had.

    Thanks again
  9. BornAgain

    BornAgain Well-Known Member

    Then maybe you can try makeup or better yet, special effects makeup, look it up online, maybe if not hiding it, you can at least modify the shape as to make it look like something else happened, instead of a fine and obvious cut... Be artistic about it.

  10. dazzle11215

    dazzle11215 Staff Alumni

    i read somewhere else on this site that you have to be like an onion with new friends, revealing yourself a layer at a time. this holds true for potential girlfriends, too. a little at a time and you should be okay. the right person will come along and she will understand. that's how you know she's right for you. but take it slowly. be the onion!
  11. Ardo85

    Ardo85 Active Member

    Yea, I agree about the onion thing. Meet a potential girlfriend and saying "Hi, I tried to kill myself and have or have had mental problems." This might be something you reveal to someone close, but not someone you just met. So, I would look into ways to make the scar less noticeable.

    But, eventually the topic will come up. You could be surprised that the person might be similar to you and has tried, thought about trying, or simply understand what it is like to be suicidal. A relationship with that kind of person would be a lot better than someone who runs for the hills like you said.

    I had a close friend that I have gradually distanced myself over the years. He doesn't know that I have had a suicide attempt, or even thought about suicide. His stance on it is "To take your own life, I have no sympathy for that". He also thinks that people who commit suicide shouldn't have a funeral or be honored at all. He obviously knows nothing about depression and suicide. Although he doesn't know about my suicide attempt, he knows about my depression and just says "why be depressed?" like its something you can just snap yourself out of.

    I eventually realized I don't need a friend like that. It is so much better to have close relationships where you can share everything about yourself instead of having to tiptoe around controversial topics.
  12. warrabinda

    warrabinda Well-Known Member

    ultimately, no one has the 'right to judge' you, unless they have been in your situation and had your experience. i can't speak for everyone but myself, i don't judge anyone who's attempted suicide. i think there's a lot of ignorance around it, and perhaps it's projected - people are scared of suicide, it's something they don't want to consider lest they themselves could do it, etc.

    i congratulate you on your decision to rebuild your life.

    I think the sad thing about scars is that although the past, where the incident/s have/occured is finished, done, gone, it is like a bind to it! at the same time it's a great reminder of a committment to change.

    you could always say you had surgery. to be honest when i see wrist scars that's usually what i think anyway. in a dark way it was surgery, so it's not entirely a lie! i'm sure there's some operation performed where a scar on your wrist is nesecary, otherwise it could be a work accident/accident at home. probably best though to be honest with people further down the track if need be. otherwise i don't think it's any of their business. it was a part of your before - it's a reflection of how you feel today, right?
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