Adivce needed

B

brmonkey

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Oct 28, 2018
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Hi All. First time poster here. No mental health problems myself but would appreciate some advice on a situation with someone else.

The situation is: there's a guy I see regularly on a kind of 'friends with benefits' system (I'm a guy too, btw!). I'd say I meet him about once every couple of months or so and have been doing for the last year or so. We generally just have dinner then go back to his and have some harmless fun together. It's not serious and never will be, he's not 'out', has no interest in coming out and we aren't really compatible in that way anyway. As friends we do get along though, we generally have a good chat before and after about life etc.

The reason that I am posting here is that about six months ago I started to notice some lines on his ass cheeks. The first time I saw this, there were just a couple and I asked him if something happened, he just shrugged it off and said 'it's nothing just a small accident'. The next time I saw him was about two months later and it was pretty clear straight away is was a deliberate thing and he was self harming. I didn't mention it that time, but by then there were probably ten or so harsh lines, one it two looked quite deep. I saw him again yesterday, and this time his ass is covered with lines, many look quite serious and some fresh. I really wanted to ask him about it, but I just wasn't sure it would make anything worse. There's no other signs anything else is wrong (from what I could pick up anyway), at dinner he seemed happy and chatty, we had a great time as usual etc.

I don't really have any experience with mental health problems or self harm. I don't want to see him (or anyone!) do this to themselves. I also realise I might be one of the only people who has seen this, probably the only one who knows him well (I know that he meets some guys on Grindr occasionally, but never more than once and otherwise he's single). He's a really nice guy. BUT I don't know him well or anything, I've met him about six times in total and, mainly, it was just sex.

What should I do? Is asking about it a good or a bad idea? Is someone you don't know well asking about this potentially damaging? And should I ask him in person when we meet or by whatsapp?

Also, if I do ask him, how should I ask and what is he likely to respond?

I was very tempted just to say 'I've noticed all these injuries on your ass - have you been doing that to yourself?'. Too direct? I would have asked it, but I just have so little experience.
 
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Poopy Doll

Poopy Doll

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br monkey, it's so good of you to be concerned about your friend. Now, he KNOWS you are going to see the injuries. So in the back of his mind he is being vulnerable to you.

I would sit him down and tell him that you are fond of him and really care what happens to him and you noticed the injuries and would like to know if he wants your help. First tell him you care about him and then ask him if he wants your help. That way he can say yes or no.

Also, there are some very good books on self harm that you can read for yourself and recommend to him. You could read one and then tell him you read this interesting book. I know someone who self harms who bought a self harm work book that helped her with homework to do.

But remember, he has to be ready for help. You might only be able to plant a seed.

Ideally, he could go to therapy/counseling for this; someone who specializes in this.
 
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