What Happens When Someone Comments on My Self-Harm Scars


I gazed upon the shaky lines that plagued my thighs and wrists with an overwhelming sense of regret and pride.

Some lines are quite faded now, but many are still visible to the human eye. Meaning that I’m constantly reminded they are present and will always be present. The lines are a part of who I am. They do not define me, but they represent a long journey I have traveled.

They represent 3 a.m. self-loathing sessions, and 3 p.m. panic attacks. They are a direct reflection of how I treated myself and how I treated others.

I never mention the purplish red marks that rest distinctly on my pale body. It’s one thing when someone else hurts you. But it is a whole other story when you are the “bad guy.”

Some days, I forget they reside on my flesh. Other days, elongated glances remind me that to some, I am someone to be feared. I desperately wish I would not freeze so I could just plead with them that I am not a monster — I was only fighting the one in my head.

Then, on my least favorite days, someone decides to comment on the horizontal lines, usually in front of others. Immediately my face is flushed and my heart drops. My mind races and the urge comes flooding back. Those are the days when I am reminded I am unlike the others. I hide secrets and demons.

Those are the hard days. The days that usually fade swiftly into a pitch black night. Those are the nights I cuddle up next to shame and isolation. Those nights I binge watch the mistakes I have made. I dwell in the darkness I once crawled out of.

My past reminds me of the ocean. Dark. Deep. Unpredictable. Overwhelming. Consistent in all of the above.

I would helplessly watch as the waves crashed over me, as I gasped for untainted air until drowning became my oxygen and treading through hell became my hobby.

There I floated — young, exhausted, lifeless.

Yet to the outside world, I was anything but dead. I was very much alive. So much so that my overall well-being or safety was never a question. Why would the girl who has it all be a danger to herself?

I suppose we forget that we are our own worst enemies sometimes.

I do not resent conversing about my dark past, only if I believe the person truly cares about my bright future. I deeply despise telling my stories to those who are obnoxiously nosey, rather than genuinely intrigued about who I am.

The thing is, I may have horizontal lines from battles I have lost.

But the sweet victory I bask in is vertical.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you struggle with self-harm and you need support right now, call the crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.

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Thinkstock photo via Silmen.


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