I was going to reblog something and rant about it, but, since the OP captioned the picture as “My motivation.” I decided I better not rant at them specifically. I have no right to dictate how other people cope with things.
The picture had a poem on it. I kept the formatting, spelling, and punctuation as it was when I typed it.
(There’s nothing implying that OP was the writer of the poem, but if they did write it and they or whoever else actually wrote it finds this post and wants the poem taken out of this post, I will take it out.)
Hey little fighter
Please drop your handy lighter
Give me your razors
lift up your sleeves
Your scars will stay
But the bruises will go away
Now please eat
Because angel, you’re worth something to me
So take it in
Take it in and breath
Know things get better
Because even in this gloomy weather,
It can’t rain forever
Everything is wrong with this poem. E v e r y t h i n g.
Let’s start with the assumption that the only reason people self harm, develop eating disorders, and other such self destructive behaviors is because they need someone to love them. Some people get like that because — or get more triggered around — the feeling of being unloved. There is a stereotype that everyone who feels this way actually has a happy life and all they need is to be told they are beautiful or loved and everything will be okay.
It ignores people with serious mental illness, people with other health problems, people in abusive situations, and anyone in any other unhappy circumstance. You can’t just happy this shit away.
And, more importantly, you can’t fucking guilt it away.
Okay, story time:
I have been cutting off and on for the last 12 and a half years. I was 14; I am now 26. (That’s another frustration. The idea that everyone who starts self harming or develops an ED does so as a teenager or that it will magically go away when you grow up.) I have gone through some long periods without any self harm, and those periods were usually out of guilt.
Guilt is a problem. People will make your pain about them and you will feel like shit.
“I worry about you.”
“I don’t understand why you do this to yourself; I love you.”
“Is this my fault?”
It’s an infuriating form of emotional manipulation.
And for anyone who might not understand why these things are bad to say when someone does something like cut, burn, purge, starve, use drugs, etc etc I want you to think about something:
How would you feel if every time you screwed up on anything ever someone else made it about them? I’m sure some of you know the feeling in other ways.
“Why didn’t you get good grades? I made you study.”
“Why didn’t you make the team? We played catch all the time when you were little?”
Now add that to already having a horrible set of coping skills. You fuck up and cut yourself, someone finds out and makes you feel guilty about it, the urge to do it again rises. Bonus points if they find out you did it again after that and make it more about themselves, because they were the one that made you feel like shit about it and then they make you feel more guilty because you accidentally made them feel guilty, even if you didn’t tell them about it or you try to reassure them it’s not their fault.
About two or so weeks ago I cut myself out of frustration at myself and my mother somehow became suspicious. I spent an hour at her house one night just to get away from some noise at the apartment upstairs. When I went to leave she grabbed my sleeve.
“Let me see your arm.”
She wouldn’t drop it, she’d think I did regardless, and I thought maybe how shallow all of the cuts were it might have served some kind of comfort. It didn’t, but hey I tried.
This was the first time I forced myself to stand up for myself around this.
“I’m sorry you’re upset, but I won’t apologize for what I did. This is a problem with me, not you, and I have to deal with it.”
I then left and had to deal with her on the phone when I got home. I told her she made me feel guilty, and she made it more about her.
“I was just giving my opinion on it.”
We haven’t talked about it since. If I could avoid it forever I would.
I’m lucky now. I have some friends, a therapist, and at least some of my followers who understand this on some level or another. I can actually talk about what this actually feels like. Not everyone is so lucky. I wasn’t for a long time. I want whoever does do this to stop it. Maybe at some point I will write a shorter post to get that point across; maybe it’ll even get through to someone.