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Hi I'm a worried Mum

M

MJM

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Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
10
Hi I have read a little on this forum as I wanted to find out about sh. Although what I have read has been very informative I am a bit of an emotional wreck at the moment and cant quite seem to get all this info to stick in my jumbled mind.

Basically I want to understand and find out the best way of dealing with the subject of SH. I know absolutley nothing as I have not had any experience what so ever.

My 17 year old son has started to SH I truly believe last night was his first time ..I have never noticed any marks what so ever on him. I know he has been very emotional lately with one thing or another and has admitted he is depressed.

I am 41 years old and a single parent to 4 children ..the oldest being 20 then 17, 14 and 5 year old. I feel absolutely useless as a parent about asking for help on my parenting but I really want to get it right if that makes sense. He is coming home tomorrow after staying with his Dad for a couple of days. I really want to know what I should or more importantly shouldnt be saying or doing. I really am at a loss as to what the right thing is :(.

I did read a bit as I said in the SH section so not sure if I should have posted this here..I apologise if its the wrong place and also for waffling on so much :redface: Please help me to do the best/right thing I really dont want to make things worse with him but want to help the best way I can x
 
bubbling under

bubbling under

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May 29, 2009
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2,184
Location
Hampshire
I'm sorry I'm a bit clueless on SH, but I didn't want you to feel unanswered. I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this, but what I do know is that just by coming here and seeking advice shows what a lovely mum you are!
Please take care, and I hope someone else will be able to offer you some really good advice. :hug:
 
M

MJM

Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
10
Thank you for taking the time to reply x I dont feel a 'lovely Mum' at the moment I feel I should 'KNOW' what to do but I have not got a clue.

I think I have kidded myself for too long now that parenting gets easier as they get older... WRONG lol x

I just have so many questions ...mainly why and really wanted to see how other sh'ers get on with their parents, do they talk about it to parents or would they rather not ? I dont want to approach the subject with him if it is going to make things worse if that makes sense ...I was a teenager myself once, a few moons ago..so I know 'parents dont know anything' lol ;) x
 
S

*Sapphire*

Guest
Hi MJM

And :welcome: to the forum.
I'm sorry that your son has started self harming. I self harmed as a teenager too, for various reasons. I did my best to keep it a secret from my parents, because I was scared of their reaction, that they may not understand. I guess if they did find out but were understanding about it, it may have helped me. But for me I did not expect that from them.

Mind has a really good page about self harm, it's possible causes, why people may do it etc.

http://www.mind.org.uk/Information/Booklets/Understanding/Understanding+self-harm.htm

I would not take what your son is doing personally at the moment, there may be other reasons he is using it as a way to cope right now. You really won't know until he tells you.

However you may be able to help him, familial support at times like these can be so instrumental to recovery, even if it is just about trying to find sources of help for him.

If I was to approach it, I would not go in with any assumptions about the whys and wherefores but perhaps start questioning in a non-accusatory and non-agressive way instead. Not asking questions like "is it because of me?" or making statements that could be misinterpreted as emotional blackmail like "it really hurts me" (even though you may not mean them as emotional blackmail). I guess there is a fine line between saying how you feel about it, and overwhelming him with guilt about what he is doing which could make him feel worse and possibly want to self harm even more. Only you will be able to decide what to say for the best.

Your son might want you involved in helping, he may not, again i would not take it personally, but let him know that you will always be there for him, and you can put him in touch with professionals who may be able to help him.

But I would read the link i sent you, it has a lot of information on there and a section for families and friends of self harmers.

I hope that helps in some way.
 
M

MJM

Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
10
Thank you so much Sapphire that is really helpful x Part of me does want to go rushing in saying what he is doing is hurting me and beg him not to ..but something tells its not the way and as you said its not an emotional blackmail thing it IS how I feel, but then I have to keep saying to myself its not about me, its about him and my feelings and emotions will never take priority over him, but of course because I dont know what he is feeling and I know what I am feeling I cant totally put how I feel into the background..Its very hard not to take things personally but I am trying my best. I still have not spoken to him yet ( I say yet, he may not want to speak to me) but he should be home later and I suppose we just have to go with the flow ..,it's not as though I have in my head what is going to happen or what should happen...its all unchartered territory for me at the moment. As I said before I am just worried about doing the wrong thing. Thank you for your reply I really do appreciate it x :)
 
unlucky

unlucky

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Mar 21, 2009
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Hi MJM, I'm really sorry for what you're going through but as has already been said you are a lovely mum for wanting to find out how to deal with this. I've self harmed since I was 17, I'm 32 now and to be honest I'm really not sure what to say. My mum dealt with it by shouting at me and I can definately tell you thats NOT how to deal with it!! I think you should try to get your son to see a doctor as the self harming is obviously a sign of something deeper. As you say he is depressed hopefully if the depression is dealt with then the self harming may stop. It must be really difficult for you, I've got a daughter who is only 9 and even though I self harm myself I really don't know how I would deal with it if she started. Keep doing what your doing and make sure he knows your not angry with him but will do whatever it takes to help him - I wish my mum was more like you xx
 
M

MJM

Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
10
Thank you Unlucky xx
that made me a bit tearful. xx I wont be seeing him after all again today :( he texted saying he is staying with his dad another night. I wish he would just say he is staying there 'x' amounts of nights so I dont keep getting my hopes up for seeing him and trying to talk with him. Its twice he has said he is coming home and then changed his mind. I do feel a bit angry if I am totally honest :redface: but I wont let him see that xx I suppose I just have to learn to be patient and just wait for him to be ready. Thanks again to everyone who has answered, you really have helped me loads :)
 
unlucky

unlucky

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Hes maybe doing the avoidance thing because hes not ready to talk about it. I know when I first got 'caught' I was mortified with embarrassment!! I still get embarrassed when I have to tell anyone, but thems the breaks I suppose. As I said before all you can do is be there for him and let him know that he can tell you anything without you judging him. I hope things go okay when you have your talk, try to be as casual about it as you can, sometimes it just makes things worse if theres a big issue made about it. I hope I don't sound patronising to you, I just know how difficult it must be for you. If you've any questions theres plenty of support on here for you xx
 
M

MJM

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Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
10
No Unlucky you do not sound patronising ..I really appreciate of your comments and they have helped me enormously.

What I dont get is that I didnt actually 'catch' him with regards the sh. I went to take him clean clothes at his Dad's where he is staying.

He went there after we had a silly little argument. Honestly is was so silly I had moaned about him spilling a drink and he completely lost it. I have never seen so much anger towards me. He totally lost it and I did try to stop him leaving.This was out of the ordinary, we never row ( in fact when he is home I rarely see him tbh. he is usually stuck in his room (which I thought was a usual teenager thing. But it has come out (to his Dad) that it wasnt anything to do with me just this is what brought everything he has been feeling lately to a head. He told him he has been depressed for about a year. I dont know whether there is a link but 14 months ago he was in hospital with meningitis and it was touch and go for a while but he did make a full recovery with no affects from it. Anyway I seem to be waffling again sorry :redface: getting back to the 'being caught'. When I took him clean clothes although he did not make much eye contact with me he was fiddling with his arms I get the feeling he wanted me to see it. In a way I think I prefer the fact that he was not trying to hide it. Maybe it was his way of showing me that he is hurting on the inside by having something to show for it on the outside ??? . I am not pretending to know what I am talking about here like a expert ..far from it..just saying it how I see it..trying to interpret or understand somehow.

From what I can gather from speaking to his Dad ( whom I do get on very well with despite him being an ex lol) he does feel bad at the way he exploded like he did. I dont want him to feel bad I want him to talk to me so I can try and help him get back to being his old self :( but I cant do that til he is ready or if indeed he wants me to. I feel so useless and there seems to be such a distance between us even if not in physical miles :( and the longer it is left I feel the gap widening :( ...oh well another day tomorrow ..he may come home, he may not ...I think because he has said twice now and changed his mind that has thrown me a bit. Trying to deal with my own emotions as well as trying to figure it all out. Perhaps if I think to myself he is not coming and then if he doesn't I wont be disappointed ...I used to be such an optimist but the pessimism is slowly creeping in now ..perhaps I am in need of help too :redface: ... but I am 'the mum' in this.. 'the adult' ..I am supposed to be the strong one but its hard :cry: sorry waffle over xxx
 
E

eternity

Active member
Joined
Jun 22, 2009
Messages
30
hi mjm,
i admitted to my mum and some other family members about 10 days ago that i sh. i found that i can talk to my mum about it now because she was the only person that didn't try to get me to promise never to do it again. she understands that although i have no intention of doing it now i may at some point do it again. i found that this lack of pressure from her and her willingness to just listen to me without judgement has been a blessing. not sure if this will help you with your son but hope so.
eternity:grouphug:
 
M

MJM

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Jun 29, 2009
Messages
10
Thanks eternity that is a massive help xxxxxx :)
 
intelgal

intelgal

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Mar 17, 2008
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1,413
Location
Yorkshire
Hi MJM,


I started slef harming in my mid twenties. I have always been very close to my parents but I have never been able to discuss it with them. Even when they came to a psychiatrists appointment with me the subject was never broached because it nevr entered their heads that I was doing this (Psych agreed they she would not tell them unless they asked).

At the time telling my parents was a no go for the foloowing reasons;

I felt a failure by self harming
I was embarrassed and woried they would thnk that I was doing it to attention seek
I felt ashamed
I needed help but at the time they could not give me what the help I needed
They would have demanaded me to stop.

Telling someone to stop self harming is usually the wrong approach ... In fact in the peak of my self harming .. safe self harming and being able to instigate things to look after myself were more improtant.

I hope your son is able to seek some good help ... Gp, crisis services or local MH teams maybe able to help.

Direction to this site may help
The Mix - Essential support for under 25s

Intel

Ps Take care to look after you.. your sons going to need you to be well...
Make sure you take time out !
 
M

MJM

Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
10
Thank you Intelgal I am sure he feels all those things at the moment too . I think he is glad I know about the sh...he didnt try to hide it but I dont think he wants to talk about it but I have assured him I love him and am here for him when or indeed if he wants.

I do feel a bit stronger now ...it has helped seeing him and getting a hug and also being assured that it was not our silly tiff that has made him feel this way :) it has also helped me so much having somewhere to come and offload whats on my mind and having people that understand whats involved and again I thank you all for taking the time to reply on this thread...it is very much appreciated :grouphug:
 
Emily-Rose

Emily-Rose

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Joined
Jul 7, 2009
Messages
159
Hey there..

I hope what I'm about to say is of use to you, I'm speaking from a self-harmer's perspective. I'm 17 years old and a self-harmer, and my mum has just recently found out.

My mum hasn't said anything to me yet (which to be honest, I'd rather she didn't. I'd rather approach her myself.) but I've noticed her trying to look at my scars, which I find rather uncomfortable.

So if I was to give information on how I would like to be treated I'd say, don't ask questions and try to pry in, instead say something like.. "I know what you're going through, I'm not going to pry in, but I'm here to talk whenever you feel ready. I'm going to support you 100% if you decide to get any help and I will be here for you to talk to at any time." That way he'll know he can talk to you whenever he feels ready, he might be confused and not ready to talk yet.

I'd also say not to act too shocked if you do see scars or cuts, as this can cause embarrassment and make him want to hide from you more. Of course, if you see something that you think needs medical attention, of course you'll have to say something. But not in a direct accusing way, but in a caring way.

I hope this makes sense, ask me any questions if you want..

Emily.x
 
M

MJM

Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
10
Thanks Emily that does make a lot of sense ..I think so far so good I have done what you have pointed out already xx Its really hard not to scream OMG what are you doing to yourself ....but instinct/ gut feeling scream louder and says noooo x I have not really had chance to speak to him properly yet ( not even sure thats what he wants anyway he doesnt seem to just yet) but I have assured him that I love him and I have not made a big deal out of the sh'ing itself. He wanted me to know he has done this ...he near enough pointed it out soon as I saw him the first time. I didnt feel it was right to totally blank what he had done because he was drawing my attention to the marks...so I suppose very awkardly said what have you done ( not in a rolling eyes mothers head on way) he said something silly like he fell over ( did want to roll my eyes then btw lol ) I gave him a hug and it was left at that ....he wanted me to notice, I acknowledged the fact that I was aware. It was like he was wanting me to see he was hurting ..like he had something on the outside to show what was on the inside ( just my take on it) anyway as I have said I have assured him he is loved and hopefully if I do get chance to speak to him one to one I can act on your advice :) Thank you x
 
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