WARNING: This post talks about self–harm and scarring – proceed with caution if these topics offend or upset you.
It is usually customary for first blog posts to be an introduction to the writer and what the blog is all about. However, after an experience I had the other day, I thought I would make my first post a public service announcement about scars and marks caused by self-harm. But not to those who have them, no, I want to address the ones who don’t. Namely, the people who may be like the ones I crossed paths with this week, the ones who have a tendency to stare.
The biggest point I want to make with this post is a simple one – stop staring. Do you think that the person you are gawking at is unaware of the scars, bruises and marks on their body? We are currently experiencing a rare and wonderful phenomenon in this country right now called summer, and that means everyone is getting out their coolest, comfortable and often revealing clothes in anticipation for the brief time spent in the sun.
This includes people who may have scars from self-harm. And yes, sometimes it is very obvious that those scars have come from previous acts of mutilation.
The scars on my forearm are these types of scars. They are obvious. And it took a lot of courage for me to wear a t-shirt in the good weather for fear of being stared at. I went through town and kept my head down and only clocked a few looks – but it was the moment on the bus on the way home, when a woman sat beside me, saw my arm and moved to stand away from me – that stung.
I am not a psychopath that will cut you up if you look my way. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that the people I have known personally who have dealt with self-harm due to mental health issues wouldn’t hurt anyone.
We’re not trouble, just troubled.
So if you’re out and about this summer, and you see someone with scars on their bodies – self-harm or otherwise – don’t stare at them. It’s not a nice feeling and you learn nothing from it.
Well, there you go – my first post on this blog. I will return with an actual introduction next time, unless something else winds me up before then.