This post may well be triggering for some so please read with caution.
Today I was yelled at in the street. I was told I was disgusting and should go and live under a rock. What was my crime? Wearing shorts.
It's not easy to understand why someone would yell at me for wearing shorts. Unless you saw my legs. Here they are. My legs, in all their scarred glory.
I am a self harmer. I have been for many years. I have been a self harmer for more years than not.
Why do I self harm? That is a very interesting question with no straightforward answer. All I can tell you is it is an addiction and an illness.
Allow me to dispel some myths around self harm;
Self harmers are a danger to society. No we're not. We are only truly a danger to ourselves.
If they can cut themselves like that then there is nothing stopping them from doing it to others. What kind of stupid logic is that? This is such an erroneous statement that I don't even know how to begin to address it.
Self harmers want to kill themselves. That's not true at all. If I wanted to kill myself do you think I would cut my leg? Of course not! I'd cut my throat! Am I suicidal? No. Not today. That's not to say I have never been and will never be suicidal but the two are not synonymous.
People cut for attention. This is not true. If I did cut for attention then you would already know about it. My self harm is not a cry for help it's just something I do.
There are many studies available for you to read about self harm. About how it helps a person to cope - yes, it's a coping mechanism. If you want to read any of these studies, ask me and I will gladly send you some.
I am not posting this for attention. I am posting this to perhaps encourage just one person to stop and think before they verbally abuse someone for something they know nothing about.
I am already aware of how disgusting my scars are. You don't need to tell me how bad they look. I see them every day.
I have been through a lot in my 30 years on this planet and yes, my head is a little messed up. I know that and my scars are a reminder that I have survived these things. I know that I am strong and brave because despite the abuse I have been subjected to I am still alive and I am still wearing my shorts!
So before you judge someone, take a second to try and understand why they do what they do. It's fine if you want to be disgusted. It's not fine for you to abuse me.
Share your own story and scars. Share my story if you like. Let people know its not acceptable to judge people for any reason and it's certainly not acceptable to verbally or even physically abuse someone based on their appearance.
I'm not ashamed any more.