Being told your attention seeking

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Gymnastsagie

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Jul 11, 2018
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#1
Hello, I wanted to ask other people’s opionions on this, because I was placed in a really tricky situation today. I have been self harming for about a year, and I finally plucked up the courage to tell a trusted adult, my aunt who I am very close with but her reaction was “oh let me see, i have never seen them before, you probably do it as an attention thing” and it was that comment about attention which really upset me. As I would be lying if I said I have never self harm for attention, because deep down sometimes my sadness comes from never being noticed, but for her to tell me that I only do it for attention really upset me. As it’s obviously a sign of pain, it’s not that I wanted to be celebrated and told I’m amazing, I just wanted to get it off my chest in a cry for some help with it, but to be told I was just seeking attention by my very close aunt really got to me, especially since I finally found the courage to say something about to hope that maybe you could get some support or help with it. :( does anyone else have experience with being told it’s just attention seeking?
 
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IWILLOBTAINMENTALHEALTH

Guest
#2
Please stop self harming. And yes I was called stupid and told I was attention seeking after my first suicide attempt by a therapist. That stupid bitch couldn't fathom that I really wanted to die. I hate people like that. I'm sorry you experienced that. :hug:
 
Fairy Lucretia

Fairy Lucretia

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#3
welcome to the forum x
i have been told i was attention seeking but it doesn't matter because i know why i do it and i know the emotional pain i am in that causes me to do it
i agree with furbarlady
please try and stop ,it sounds like you are young still-you don't want this going on for your whole life like it has me
love Lu x
 
M

Made4Match

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Joined
Jan 24, 2018
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#4
Hello there!

The fact that you found the strength and courage to tell someone is HUGE! I'm so proud of you for realizing you needed to reach out to someone and share what's been going on. I'm so sorry you received this response though. It can be so difficult to be told that the things you're doing is simply due to "looking for attention."

Please know that while I read your post, not once did I think you were self harming due to seeking attention. I'm going to ask that you stop harming yourself. Your life is precious and such a gift. I don't believe you're in this world today by chance. I believe you are gifted and you have a purpose for your life.

Have you thought about talking with a counselor? I could imagine, receiving a response like this from someone you love and care about so much could make you hesitant about telling even a stranger. But I believe a counselor may be able to help you feel heard and validated.

You are a beautiful soul!
 
Drooo

Drooo

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#5
You're upset because your auntie suggested it might be for attention yet acknowledge that you do, or have done it, for attention? Isn't she right? Could that simply be that she knows you and probably knows that you're likely to do something for attention because she knows that you want to be noticed, like you're putting out a vibe that you aren't aware of and she has picked up on this and that is the reason for why she worded it like that? Not that she has been mean or vindictive in any way, but perhaps more so that she's life-experienced enough and knows you enough to know what it was.

Don't self-harm, and especially don't self-harm for attention; it creates a stigma for those that do or have self-harmed out of genuine distress, which helps nobody and hinders many. Do as others have suggested, approach your doctor about potential therapy/counselling so that you can work through this wanting to be noticed thing and deal with it in that way rather than mutilating yourself.
 
C

Candy19

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#6
People may not agree with me, but I do think self harm is a cry for help for most, it might be the only way they can show how they feel. No "normal" or content person would take a implement or whatever to their skin, most people would cringe at the thought unless they are in a really bad place. At the same time I guess it depends how you go about it, flaunting your scars can trigger other people
 
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Candy19

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#7
It's kind of silly actually, there are loads of ways to self harm yet only one particular is labelled as attention seeking. I don't think it is a trend or ever was, even when I was in school only the people who had issues seemed to go through with it
 
Drooo

Drooo

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#8
It certainly wasn't that way for me. When I first did it I never even knew what self-harm was and I had no idea why I was doing it other than feeling ridiculous amounts of distress. I think most of all it was probably me punishing myself.
I kept my scars hidden for many years. Many years of wearing layers through boiling hot summers and people asking me why I wasn't wearing a t-shirt; many years of not wearing a t-shirt out in public at any time; many years of me avoiding public showers or swimming baths. The very term 'self-harm' was enough to make me anxious that someone may talk about it to me, might ask me about it, might somehow know that I had done it. For some people it is the most private and soul-destroying thing in the world that we wish absolutely nobody ever knew about; that we regret almost every day. That is the reality of it for me and why I don't take the subject or the act lightly.
 
C

Candy19

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#9
I was the same, when I first started self harming I hid it for ages. But when I started to trust people I was open to whether I did self harm or not and it really was because I felt like shit, if that's people's definition of attention seeking then so be it