My current girlfriend and I have been going out for 6 months and this is the first serious relationship that I have ever been in. I am 18 and she is 17 and we both live at our parents. I care deeply about her and I would do anything for her. A few months ago she told me that she had a history of cutting when, about this time last year, she had cut herself on two different occasions. When she told me this I told her that if she ever needed anyone to talk to about it, I would be there for her and I dismissed the problem because she told me she hadn't cut for a long time.
However, late last week, she admitted to cutting again, and said that the reason she didn't tell me was because she didn't want me to think it was about me (we had both been upset about something irrelevant). She told me that it was the first time she had cut herself since we started seeing each other and she told me that she instantly felt bad about it and also told me it was an accident. She promised me that she will tell me before she cuts herself again, because I told her I would drop whatever I was doing to be there with her.
I try to be as unintrusive as possible, but I asked her why she had done it and she told me that she couldn't remember. This sounded off an alarm because, to me, this sounds like she thinks it's not a very big deal.
Now, I am very worried that whenever she is upset she thinks about cutting herself. I value our relationship so much, that I'm afraid of what will happen if I confront her about speaking to someone about the issue, however at this point, her safety is my highest priority.
I just need some advice on how I should confront her or who I should tell. I am the only person that knows about this and it's the first time I've ever experienced any of this. I lay in bed and pray for her every night. It upsets me so much and I would go into the specifics of how this makes me feel but it's besides the point. I plan on talking to her about it tomorrow.
Please help, any advice would be greatly appreciated
Last edited by powerstruggle; 04-06-2009 at 02:45 PM.
I think your very wonderful for caring so much about your GF . The most important thing for yout to do it to tell her how concerned you are for her. Let her know ! She needs to hear it from you. Often times people who hurt themselves do not know how to express how they feel , and try to hide the cuts. They are embarassed about it. Try to get her to talk to you , ask her what is bothering her so much that she has to hurt herself to feel better? Believe it or not, that is what she is tring to do! She's trying to cope with feelings of anger, sadness, or undesired feelings. Try to see if she will talk to you about it . But, don't push her too hard. She will already feel bad she self harmed. LIke I said self harmers try and keep it a secret and feel ashamed. They are not doing it for attention either. Tell her you are there for her, and if she ever needs to talk, you will listen. She needs to know that she can trust you. However, you need to be good on your word. Because if your not, this could make things very, very bad for her. She needs to know you are on her side and that you are not going to do anything to hurt her emotioinally. Maybe there is something going on with her parents I don't know. Just be careful, and be very understanding. Try to get her to talk to you. And no laughing to your friends about it. If you really like this girl than you got to be respectful. Because Self harm is a very serious matter.
I feel your pain also.However,I hAVE READ ABOUT MANY CUTTERS,AND THEIR INABILITY TO CEASE THIS SELF-DESTRUCTIVE trauma.I believe that you must try to get her medical help.Even if you were 36 tears old,I believe that you are not able to handle this problem.Please understand that this is serious stuff,and down the road 10 years,you will most likely be writing for help,if you are still the doctor in this case.Prayer alone can only help,it will not cure.Sorry this isn't more what you want to hear.In any case,may God bless you both. Bill
I have already come to terms that she/we/I needs to talk to somebody about it, I'm just not sure how to be sensitive and still get my point across to her. I feel that if I tell her that she should talk to somebody, that she will take it as a betrayal seeing as I am the only person who knows about this, and I value her trust and respect so much. Maybe I'm just seeing the worst possible outcome but I love her so much and I worry that things could possibly get out of hand.
Ok, first of all, she needs medical help asap if she is currently cutting. If this is something she has been doing for years but stopped a year ago only to start up again recently, Im betting her parents know about it already but dont know that it has started up again. She is probably afraid of them finding out she started again.
Second, if you love her as much as you say you do, keeping this confidential is the type of "trust" she doesnt need. My ex was a cutter. It only gets worse if its not treated. Ignoring it or not dealing with the issues behind it does nothing. If she tells you she will stop on her own, she may mean it, but she wont. She cant help it. Its like an addiction.
Cutting is a serious problem that runs in circles. They feel better when they cut themselves, but then feel remorse and shame at what they have done. Then to make themselves feel better again, they cut. Sometimes its just little knicks with a blade, othertimes it can be complete slices with a knife across their chest, stomach, arms, legs, etc.
Talk to her parents or try to get her to. But DONT keep this to yourself. Tell her you will talk to her parents with her, although she will most likely not want this. She may get extremely angry at you for telling them, or for you wanting them to know, but in the end it could save her life. If she loves you as much as you love her, once she has been through therapy she will see that you were right in what you did.
I understand that her parents need to know about this, I just don't know how to talk to her about in the most sensitive way possible. Do I ask her if she's ever thought about talking to them about it or do I blatantly tell her that she needs to tell her parents and that I would talk to them with her if she wants me to be a part of this process?
I'm trying to go through all the scenarios that I can in my head. The last thing I would want to do is break down and cry in front of her. Even though I think it is, I'm almost certain she won't think it's a big deal because she has *only* done it three times. I am also positive that her parents don't know about this.
I'm really confused. Any advice on how I should act around her is greatly appreciated. I'm seeing her later today.
Last edited by powerstruggle; 04-07-2009 at 11:35 AM.
Be as blunt as possible without insulting her. If she makes it out to be no big deal, then ask her why her parents cant know about it. Put her on the spot. Tell her she has to tell them, or you can tell them for her (as long as she is sitting next to you while you do it.) You cant take the risk of her calling you a liar or telling them you are overreacting to one incedent, then they would probably never believe you.
Her explaination of only having done it three times may actually mean there have been 3 episodes of it, not just three cuts. Unless she is just starting with it, but cutters usually start in their early teens with just small knicks to themselves, so she may not even count those. They dont start cutting deeper until later, but that is also dependent on their stress levels and whats going on in their lives. The longer they do it, the deeper and more unconcerned they become about it until they have scarred their whole bodies.
Whatever you choose to do, hopefully you do it soon.
First of all people are not cutters, we are not defined by the fact that we cut. Self harm and self injury is a very important problem. Yes your girlfriend's parents need to know what's going on so that they can get her some help, not the medical kind, but psychological or pschiatric help. You basically have 2 choices you can go to her parents alone and let them know what you've been told by your girlfriend, or you can go over when you know she and her parents are home and just sit down with all of them down and have this conversation. Because if you try to arrange this with her, it will likely never happen, she will get angry, she will accuse you of betraying her, she will break up with you, whatever. I have cut myself since I was 13 yrs of and I am now 40 yrs. old, it is not a road that I would want anyone to ever travel. She is still relatively new in this terrible coping skill and the chance that she can get help and stop is very high, so please sit her down with her parents and talk. Yes, she will be angry with you, and yes she may not see you again, but you need to weigh that against her safety. Self Injury and very easily lead to suicide down the road, so please do this for her. You are an incredible young man for caring about her so much, most guys would just say, "this is too much for me, see ya!"
Let us know what you decide and how it goes. And whatever happens you can always come to this board for support and information, we will do whatever we can to help you.
I agree 100% with Kat. Also, Self injury is a very secretive thing for people who do it. They try and hide the marks and do not want anyone to know about it. The fact the your GF told you about it is that she really trusts you, and wants u to know, maybe so u can help her, help tell somebody so she can get the professional she needs . Self injury can become worse over time if the person does not stop doing it, or get the help. That is why she needs to talk to a counselor. It does not mean she is crazy or anything. It just means she needs the extra help expressing feelings that she has a hard time talking about.
I would try and talk to your GF and go to together so it is not like your going behind her back when talking to her parents. That will hurt her worse than anything, and could cause her a very bad Self Injury incident. JUst tell her how much you care for her, and want to help her not hurt hersef anymore, and that we need to talk to your mom or parents together... If she refuses tell her your do it yourself, she probably, go with you then. Hopfully. You are a good friend .And I know you really care what happens to this girl. Your doing the right thing for her, and could be saving her life, and yrs of pain .