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Old 15-06-2012, 03:18 PM   #1
Ballerina123
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I hate my self harm scars

Went I was 21-22 I use to self harm. I am now 25 and I have been self harm free for about 3 years now.

I never get the urge to self harm now even though I have had bad depressions and intense emotions since then.
My self harm scars are mostly from cutting and they are on my legs and my forearms. The ones on my legs are fine because the only person who sees them is my partner and he doesn't mind them.
However the ones on my forearm cause me some distress. I work I a hospital where I have to wear short sleeves for health and safty purposes. So you can see my scars and it is very obvious what they are from.
I love my job but sometimes I feel vulnerable with scars on my arms because I feel like people can see a part of my private life in my professional environment. I feel like because the scars are always on show I can never be fully neutral. If that makes sense.
Also I hate having to wear cardigans to interviews and stuff so that I am not judged.

I realise that I should not care what the world thinks but I do and I can change everyone's opinion about self harm so I feel stuck.

Trigger
The other day I was cleaning the kitchen and I was using a really strong oven cleaner that was a skin irritant. I got tiny drop on my wrist and it started to to sting. I washed it off but it left a tiny little scar (it is barly visible it was so small). But then I stared to think, if I poured this all over my arms it would scar over the self harm scars and it will just look like I have been burnt as a child from like a kettle or something. I will then be able to wear short sleaves without people knowing I self harmed. They will just think it was an accident. Which carrys little/no judgment.
Anyway I finished cleaning the oven and threw the chemical away.

It is not that I want to self harm but that I want to get rid of my old self harm scars by making the scars look accidental.
I worked very hard to stop self harming and I don't want to be reminded of it every day.

Has anyone had these thoughts before?


Last edited by random.swirls : 09-09-2012 at 10:30 PM. Reason: removing trigger label as per thread in facq


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Old 15-06-2012, 05:29 PM   #2
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hey
I have numerous times and i have tried a new method of coping with it - sounds crazy and ignore me if you dont agree

I took so much time and effort to make the scars and now i hate them, that i am going to make the same amount of effort to get rid of them. So now if i get triggered i get my bio oil out and use it to reduce my scars etc.
I also think that my scars are a part of who i was and what happened to me. The same goes to you. They arent your future and never will be. You faught so hard to beat them and you did. If you look in sh forum there is a link to a website that has ideas to reduce scars etc.

Sorry if im really off track but just an idea. Anyways hope your ok feel free to pm if u want to talk about anything.

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Old 15-06-2012, 07:46 PM   #3
earthbound_misfit
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I absoloutely agree with the above post: your scars are a reminder of what you have fought, and won.
I read recently a post from someone who'd got camoflage make up for SH scars... I think they got referred by their dr to this Red Cross initiative:
http://www.redcross.org.uk/What-we-d...kin-camouflage



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Old 15-06-2012, 08:16 PM   #4
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I know scars suck. But read my signature.

I met a nurse recently while here who had very obvious SI scars across her arms. They didn't. Trigger me or put me off talking. They helped me open up because I understood that she could empathise.
Likewise, there was a nurse at the Brooke who had scarring, though I'm not sure what from and she was happily milling around in short sleeves.
They don't have to be a bad thing.
They may be with you for life. But they tell a story of your survival. Not of your failings.




Imperfection is underrated.



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Old 17-06-2012, 09:20 PM   #5
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I used to work as an HCA at my hospital and had to reveal my scars. Its a really hard process isn't it? Feels like one of those nightmares when you walk into school naked.
So I think you are very brave and incredible to do what you do :)
It sounds like you arent accepting of your scars. Can you think of ways in which you dont continuously punish yourself for what you did in the past, but see some positives and admiration in what you came through and what you do now?
That might help you get through each day with your head held high. x



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Old 18-06-2012, 06:34 PM   #6
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Thanks you so much for the support guys.
Especially you li-low. I am a HCA to and I'm about to start my nurse traning so I appreciate how you feel also.

I don't think I am able to feel proud of my scars. Or proud that I got over it or whatever. I think I might be misunderstanding but I don't want to be proud of having a mental illness because it feels like I did it for the fun or that a self harming history is a good thing.
I don't feel like I survived because it was never really gonna kill me. I never did it as suicide attempts. I don't want my story to be on my arms.
I'm really upset about them not proud of them.

I'm sorry if I misunderstand. I just hate that I ever thought self harm was ok.

I'm sorry this is just a massive moan and a waste of everyone's time. Sorry again



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Old 18-06-2012, 08:00 PM   #7
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Don't be ashamed of what you had to do to get through hard times. You know now it is amaladaptive coping mechanism but it obviously served a purpose at the time, and has got your through. You're learning to use your voice now not your body <3




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Old 18-06-2012, 08:55 PM   #8
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I too am upset by mine which is why i suggested the bio oil. I think if i put the same effort in then they will go as much as they can do. But you have to do it daily for them to really fade. I have got the ones on my legs to go and most of my arms just my stomach left.

Whether it was going to kill you or not it was still a part of your life for a while and you had to fight it. I know mental illness isnt something you want to be proud of but its something that happened to you and was a part of your life but now your recovered you can look to the future. The mental health/self harm was a slight blip along the journey in your life. Its not something people are proud of but sadly its happened and will always be a part of your life.

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Old 18-06-2012, 08:58 PM   #9
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http://www.bupa.co.uk/individuals/he...extBlock213907

Xx




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Old 19-06-2012, 12:08 AM   #10
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Hi :)

I too have scarred my arms permanently. Your feelings are valid, whatever they might be. I hid mine for a long time but I finally decided that wasn't helping me. I am not proud of them by any means but it is a part of me. There are so many people who self harm secretly. You are training to be a nurse and I think working as a nurse, you will see many people with self harm scars. If they see yours, they wont feel so alone. It will comfort them and also show them there is a way out of this destructive behavior. Your arms tell a story about you and what you have overcome. This will help alot of patients that you see and treat.

I have used mederma from time to time to reduce my scars. I have alot of keloid scars and it really doesnt work on them. I know there is a type of laser treatment you can have to reduce them alot. I look up to you :)

loves.
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Old 20-06-2012, 02:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ballerinabetty View Post
I don't feel like I survived because it was never really gonna kill me.
But you did survive. It's not about 'surviving' physically; remaining alive. It's about you as a wonderful and complete human being, surviving through the pain and flourishing. I realise I sound like a cheesy self-help book, but it's true.



"I have a room for life at the home for the chronically groovy!" - Sgt Floyd Pepper


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Old 20-06-2012, 04:29 PM   #12
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Thanks for this it has helpped a lot.
Jodie thanks for that link too x



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Old 29-06-2012, 01:50 AM   #13
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The bio-oil works wonders if you use it frequently. I understand how you feel about the scars as well.

I tried to explain why my scars bother me to a friend the other day who knows I SI. I told her that it doesn't matter if they are faded and hard to see unless you are looking at them - I know when each scar was made and how I felt, or didn't feel at that moment. If I think about them I can feel that pain resurface and it makes me feel ugly.

Loads of love to you all <3



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Before there's a rose
The more that it rains
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:16 PM   #14
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I bought some bio oil today. I'm gonna use it several times a day every day for 3-6 months.
I'm gonna take some picture of now and at intervals to see it it helps.
I'll let you guys know.



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Old 03-07-2012, 09:26 PM   #15
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good luck, i found it has helped a lot but be careful when you use it as its oil it can be a bit greasy on hands/clothes etc depending on where scars are. The pictures are a good idea xx

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Old 08-09-2012, 05:00 PM   #16
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Hey ya, I have just seen ur your post and totally understand where you are coming from. I had ideas on what i could make my arms look like other then selfharm. i found bio oil, vitamin E cream, aloe vera and sun helpped alot. But it was still noticeable that it was selfharm. Which I didn't like as i am too in a line of work that requires short sleeves tops. So 2 years ago i went to my GP and asked her ways i could get rid of or minimise how they looked. And she recommended to have reconstructive surgery on them. And also told me that it wouldn't get rid of the scars but it would make it one big one that won't be sreaming selfharm. So I looked into it and found that here in New Zealand they fund you to have the surgeries if you had been selfharm free for a certain period of time. So maybe you could see if they do it where your from if you're interested. I had my left arm done in may and I'm quite please with the results.





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Old 22-09-2012, 12:02 AM   #17
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hiya,i've just seen this and i'm so glad i'm not the only one who feels this way my friends tell me not to care and they aren't that bad anymore they have faded but you can still see them the problem is in the past i used to go out clubbing and stuff and not worry bout them but i got so many comments from random strangers and questions and it was mostly negative and also i worked in a nursing centre and i have a few on my forearm,mostly they are on my upper arms though but one of my patients saw one day and from that moment he just made my life so difficult it was awful he just kept questioning me all the time as he knew exactly what they were so after a while i just started to cover up i couldn't take anyone else noticing and it would hinder everything i wanted to do,i had to choose t-shirts a certain length,no sleeveless clothes etc etc but i'm now 29 and i'm sick of doing that so after much support and encouragement from my close friends i came along to my dance group with my arms uncovered and within 5 minutes someone asks me what those marks are on my arms! i was actually devastated i had to leave the room and everything i just cried i can't stand that my past is written all over me i don't want people to know that side of me unless i want to share it with them.however i am making small progress now and i've been going to my other dance class in a leotard (where their is only 3 of us) and i know the girls there are clued up enough that they won't ask or stare and i can now wear vest tops around my friends its getting better but i'll never be 100% comfortable but its progress.so i would suggest really really small steps like keeping your arms uncovered in front of your close friends at first and then building up to the general public.also theirs a company in america that do tattoo cover up sleeves,basically covers up tattoos,scars etc,they do skin colour or whatever colour you want and that looks fine with tunics for work etc,just a thought? hope that helps.

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Old 03-10-2012, 03:20 AM   #18
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I too am so glad I found this post! Do I ever feel that way about my scars? YES!! I think a lot of times we tend to forget that they're there (because they've been a part of us for so long) until a random person points it out and questions it. It really is the most horrific feeling, like being naked in public and having people notice your flaws. And I agree with you, Ballerina, I am not accepting of my scars either. I don't think I ever will be. But I am starting to think that it's ok to not feel at peace with it. What is really awful about SH is the fact that even if we manage to stop the habit/coping skill, the past is carried on our bodies. I mean, alcoholics and drug addicts can be so destructive to themselves and to all of the people around them, but the minute they get into recovery, no one will ever have the slightest clue that they had a problem. Unfortunately it is not that way with us. In fact, from my personal experience and what I've read, there is a harsher stigma on SH than other impulse or destructive disorders (you know, because we "do it for attention"). So the culmination of all of this can make it very very difficult to carry out the days normally. I LOVE what Happiness said about putting just as much effort into getting rid of the scars. I may start trying to think that way! As far as suggestion of how to handle people's comments now? I wish I could say that I have the answer but I still haven't figured it out yet. In fact, most of the time I still blame my cat. Luckily most of my scars are on my legs or upper arms. There are two on my forearm that are very noticeable and that's when I say the cat. Most people do not have enough courage to blatantly challenge what you tell them about your body. I know my words were not very useful but I just wanted to let you know that I completely get where you are coming from. Hey, you could always get a full sleeve to cover up your scars! Tattoos usually get compliments not judgments. I have a sleeve on one arm so now I only have to lie half of the time!

Take care of yourself and be proud of the accomplishments you've made so far in both your personal and professional life.

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Old 21-10-2012, 02:11 AM   #19
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I have a few on my arm and I'm planning to get a tattoo to cover them up soon- could this be an option for you too? x




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Old 20-06-2018, 09:18 AM   #20
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Hello I'm starting an apprentiship with the elderly in either a residential home or via domiciliary care as a health care assistant I too have scars on my forearm,
My scaring isn't lumpy anymore partly because I picked up very bad eating habbit's to exchange for self harm so the unhealthy weight loss contributed to me loosing the lumpyness; I am not in anyway saying this is a way to get rid of scaring as it brings a whole new bunch of issues it's not about swapping it's about stopping! My scars are still very noticeable and cause me a lot of upset I never wear short sleeves and I have 1 friend who's house I go to and I can take my jumper off and not feel judged. The comparison of being naked in school and showing scars I couldn't relate to it more that's denifiatly how I feel about the situation. Of course starting this apprentiship means sleves above the elbows and that makes me not want to start I'm dreading September I can't get a tattoo as my scars aren't in the correct condition yet. I know how judgmental people are towards self harmers and I know the stigma only inflates with the elder generations as self harm has been viewed in a very wrong light by so many people and Ifeel like this will only be worse with the elderly. I cannot feel possitive about my scars and seeing them every day makes me feel worse about them and then it brings on those thoughts again which idont want but it feels like an endless visious cycle that I can't get off I want to help people it's my drive in life it's what gives me a purpose in this world and I feel as though I am being stopped and I know half of the problem of getting my arms out is in my head and I know that if I start going out with short sleeves sometimes I'd build my confidence but I can't get myself to that stage and I have 2 months to change it and it feel impossible. I can't wear coverup makeup incase a service user has allergies and I can't wesr long sleeves due to infection prevention. How can I live my whole life like this it makes me feel horrible I can never wear clothes that the "pretty girls wear" I loSr weight as I felt fat and I could never fit in the pretty retro clothes as there was never my size and now years later I won't wear them anyway as I have scars on my arm and legs I can cover most my scars just not on my arm. I'm scared of self harming whilst in my job I'm scared of under eating in my job I know that the feelings are to strong to resist how can I sit at lunch with everyone eating there dinner and act as though I dont want to eat make up lies all the timeabout food idont want my work place to think I'm not mentally strong enough for the job because I am it's what keeps me sain.
It's lovely to hear so many people have come through the other end and I wish you all the best and for those in similar shoes to mine I hope we can change people views so the next generation don't have to carry the same burdon as us x

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