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Words are hard to find...
eva_belmort wrote in razor_dreams
How do you tell someone that you're a cutter? That the few faded scars visible on your wrist are the tip of the proverbial iceberg, that some days the only way to calm your spiralling thoughts is to drag a blade across your skin until everything slows with steady drip of blood?

Genuinely asking, here. I'm maybe-dating somebody, and I want to tell them, it's important to me, but I do not talk about this, have never told anybody, and I have no idea how. I tried, actually opened my mouth to say the words, but I froze up, felt sick and scared, and wound up saying something so banal I can't even remember what it was. Advice? Help? Please?

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Are you currently cutting or was it a past thing?

If it's in the past, it's more straightforward. You just sit them down and tell them that you had some trouble in the past and may not have handled it the best way, then explain everything. If you're not doing it anymore, be sure to mention that.

If you are still doing it, it's a little more difficult. Mention that it's not something you're proud of (at least it doesn't sound like you are) and that it's something you really have, and still do, struggle with.

It is scary, but if the relationship does go anywhere they're going to find out eventually. It's better to have it be on your terms, than by surprise. The only reassurance I can give is that people have, in my experience, always taken it better than I expect. Most of the reactions have been that they know someone else who does it, or they have themselves. I've heard of people freaking out, but it's never happened to me. In fact the last person I told just started laughing by how scared I was and then showed me their scars and it turned out great.

No matter how many times you rehearse it or get advice, you're going to be scared. There's no way around that. If you're really scared they're going to throw a fit or something, do it somewhere public where they can leave if they want. It's going to be hard, and you'll probably try a few times before you get the words out, but it's better to tell them than for them to find out on their own. Trust me on that one.

Good luck <3 I hope things work out well!

I'm still currently cutting, which makes it harder.

It's... not something I'm proud of, no, and I understand that it isn't the healthiest coping mechanism, but it's one that works for me, and I'm unlikely to stop anytime soon. (Going by my family, the other option is becoming an alcoholic...)

I really appreciate the reassurances, since, as I said, never done this before, and things are always worse when you feel alone. I'm glad you've had such good experiences with people! But really, if I don't and can't talk about cutting then it seems a lot worse than it is, so I'm definitely going to try again. Thank you so much!

The one thing that may come up is there is a good chance said person will want you to quit, or at least try to do it less often.

If it's something they've never done, be prepared to explain why it works for you. If you can't, just say that, but they will probably ask if they don't understand it.

I'm glad it helped :) I won't lie - it's scary as hell everytime I've had to do it. And you're right. If you can't even talk about it, it does make it seem much worse than it is. Good luck! I hope it goes well :)

I'm cutting a lot less often than I used to these days, though I'm not ready to quit just yet, so I'll have to explain that, too. Thanks again!

I just let the question come up on its own. All my friends have seen my scars and know where they're from, as there's a ton of them, but in your case it's thankfully not as obvious. If you want to make it a point to tell them then feel free to do so- you could start a conversation about self injurers in general to get the feel for how this person is going to react, and then say that you're one if you feel comfortable doing so. I like explaining my neurosis first before telling people that's what I am because that way I'm sure they've taken the time to understand.

Yeah, I haven't cut anywhere normally-visible in over five years. Which makes it a lot easier to not have to talk about things, and since I'm generally pretty cheerful in public it's just not something people ever assume. But some days? I really wish it was obvious, so that I wouldn't have to worry about people reacting after they've gotten to know me. That sounds like a good plan, though, to sound people out and try to make sure they understand the theory before making it personal, so I'll definitely see if that works. Thank you for your help!

No problemo! <3 And best of luck.

(Deleted comment)
Hey, that's a very valid point. I know enough people who use relationships as crutches instead of dealing with their problems that I'd never want to do that to myself, and it's a pretty horrible thing to do to somebody you supposedly like, too.

I know I have issues, but I'm a lot better than I was; I'm still a work in progress, is all. As to the relationship making things worse, we're still basically 'friends with potential' at this point. So I'm planning to be honest, and explain that I've got some problems, and see how that works out. If we can't even be friends afterwards, well, I'll be upset, and I might get worse for a while. But don't worry, I'm not the type to do anything drastic, and I'd like to try, at least.

I am glad that you don't need to cut yourself anymore, and that you're still positive years later; it's very hopeful, and thank you for your good wishes!

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