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Old 06-08-2019, 09:00 PM   #1
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should we show our scars?

So its summer again and it is hhhhot! i always cover up my scars but in this heat im considering wearing short sleeves, i havent yet because im worried what people will think if they saw my scars... what do you guys think? have you uncovered yours? did you get a reaction? did anyone comment? should we cover up?

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Old 06-08-2019, 10:22 PM   #2
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I know how you feel. I didn't feel comfortable exposing my arms for years which would the the site of my self-harming. The scars would be brown or raised white lumps or...fresh scabby like things and I know that would have attracted a lot of attention- which I don't like.

I personally don't think we should cover up for fear of others but that fear might be instinctive, ie, I don't want to be bullied or targeted for my scars. I don't want others thinking about how I'm feeling.

My permanent scars are still running down my arm but I've not covered up for a good 10 years now. I don't really think about what others are thinking so much. That would be different if I was still self-harming in the same place which isn't happening.

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Old 06-08-2019, 10:45 PM   #3
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I dont cover up - I haven't since 2005. Only twice have I ever had comments and they were over 10 years ago. I go swimming most weeks and nobody has ever commented about my quite obvious leg scars down my left leg.

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Old 07-08-2019, 10:25 AM   #4
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Most of the time I cover up but if it's hot I will now wear short sleeves, and I've never had bad reactions. But I usually take a layer with me in case I start to worry.

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Old 07-08-2019, 07:14 PM   #5
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I wear long sleeves when out in public. There is a very small handful of people I will wear short sleeves around. I have had a few comments, not overtly negative, but questioning- including by the dominoes delivery man!

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Old 07-08-2019, 07:34 PM   #6
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I cover up, apart from the few on my arms that I'm able to lie my way around when people ask. And they do...

I did go swimming once when on holiday and because I wanted to swim so badly I didn't worry myself with what the other strangers around me were thinking. So I guess it depends. We shoudn't have or need to cover up and really it's no one elses' business so if you feel able to wear short sleeves then go for it.

Self harm is much more understood and well-known nowadays so I'd like to think that even if people were shocked, they wouldn't question you about it.

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Old 07-08-2019, 09:18 PM   #7
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I always cover up in front of treatment providers and in more professional work type of settings. Otherwise I don't bother or care. If I am actively self harming, the only other times I would cover up would be around family or in a situation where I would be getting dirty.

I don't generally get comments. I used to on occasion and usually just gave a sarcastic or flippant response or just say it was an accident or none of your business. I don't think I've been asked in years though.

I think it's a personal thing. For me if it's a situation like for treatment providers, I mostly do cover up because I don't want to trigger anyone else at that facility. So that to me is a rule that makes sense and not all places have those rules.

If it's a more professional setting, I do because they typically have rules about covering tattoos, so I include my scars the same. That said, I don't think that it would be a requirement and I could probably show them. But I also don't want them to distract anyone from anything else by drawing attention to myself.

If you want to cover them and it makes you feel more comfortable, go for it. If you don't, do that too. People who are going to judge you for something like scars will just find some other aspect of your appearance to judge on anyways.

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Old 08-08-2019, 10:30 PM   #8
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i cut on the upper part of my arms so it doesnt show when i wear short sleeves

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Old 10-08-2019, 08:55 AM   #9
I always have a choice
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I definitely don’t think we should have to cover up. You wouldn’t be expected to cover up other types of scars and having been mentally unwell isn’t something you should be made to feel ashamed of.

I generally don’t cover up when out in public and I can only remember one time in like ten years getting a comment from an adult in England (I say that because when holidaying in Cyprus we found a very clear distinction- the British tourists didn’t say anything whereas more often the locals did tend to ask, although not in an unkind way).

I often prefer to cover up in front of children because they are curious little things but that is purely my choice and not something that I would tell anyone else that they must do. Where that isn’t practical (I’m not going to wear long sleeves in excessive heat), I do then get questions. With secondary age kids (11+) I go for ‘ooh, that’s a personal question!’ which usually ends the conversation immediately and with very teeny kids a dramatic story about a pet lion is quite fun and if that isn’t going well, a detour to ‘have you been to a zoo? What animals did you see?’ does the trick.

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Old 22-08-2019, 09:53 PM   #10
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I think do what makes you feel more comfortable for me I can't cope with the heat so I wear tshirts n shorts been doin it for years sometimes people stare or ask me what happened but it's not very often now and if I feel OK with it then I actually answer honestly although there are times I just say sword fight with a pirate or something. The only rule I hav is to cover anything that hasn't yet scared but only for fear of triggering others

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Old 22-08-2019, 09:54 PM   #11
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Scarred not scared

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Old 26-08-2019, 02:30 PM   #12
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It's personal preference really. What you feel most comfortable with.

Personally I am grateful for the fact that I can show my scars in public without caring who sees them, however I used to cover them up and understand why people do so.

I get asked by strangers from time to time why I have scars and I enjoy the opportunities to educate people.

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Old 01-12-2019, 09:11 PM   #13
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While I no longer do, I used to cover up out of insecurity. Afterall, it was my fault, and since no one wants to see something so disturbing, it was my duty to conceal. I think that level of shame and self-loathing made my urges to self-harm worse. If I'm such a terrible person that I'd do something so awful to myself in the first place, I may as well continue, right?

As I've matured I've realized I wasn't awful; just desperate and without coping skills. Do people ask? Occasionally they do, but most people don't. I know they usually know where those scars came from regardless of if they ask or not though. Most people are polite when they ask, and many were former self-harmers themselves or knew someone whom was. Some people have been rude about it- even if unintentionally so- and I decline to respond in those cases. Remember that you don't owe anyone an explanation.

I still get insecure, but I realize I should fake it until I make it. I'm not proud of what I've done, but it happened and I shouldn't harbor shame. Just be confident. I find most people won't view you as incompetent, incapable or inferior if you show you've moved on and harnessed the strength necessary to get over a turbulent time. If anything it makes you look human and shows you've been through stuff like everyone has. I suggest finding a network of supportive people who don't judge your scars and will defend you if anyone gives you a hard time. That's what got me more comfortable wearing bathing suits, shorts and sleeveless tops in the first place.

Some people will judge. I have been rejected due to my scars in the past. However I find that to be the exception, not the rule, and that my fear of that happening was grossly exaggerated. People who don't get it aren't worth my time. Most people understand, and the only way to increase that understanding is to alleviate the taboo factor.

If you feel comfortable, consider any questions a chance to educate. If the inquires aren't coming from a condescending place, I am more than happy to inform and destroy the existing stigmas that shouldn't be there. I don't lie or deflect anymore (unless they're being callous obviously). While I don't tell my whole life story, I'm honest now. I have nothing to hide anymore. Ignoring that self-harm happens won't solve the problems for those who have or are currently struggling. Use your experiences to promote mental health advocacy!

Last edited by Choirs of Angels : 01-12-2019 at 09:13 PM. Reason: forgot details
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