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Just found out my boyfriend's a self-harmer, and it's killing me inside.

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
So, I've been a self-harmer for the past two years, (although I'm getting help for it now) and I recently found out that my boyfriend is too. He didn't actually tell me, but I'd been suspicious about it for a while, and I was out with him a few days ago when I noticed a number of straight, definitely deliberate cuts on his left arm.

I don't know what to do about it, it's really upsetting, especially because I know what it's like to be a self-harmer, and it's making me feel bad too because now I'm thinking about what my friends and family must have been going through because of me. I think I'd feel weird trying to talk about it with him, because I hate it when people try and bring up the subject with me, but it's killing me inside, and I don't know what to do. =/

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The obvious thing that jumps right at my face when I read your post is to help him help himself. You are getting help for it. Get him involved in that. Go through this together and stop together.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey xZoey, welcome to TheSite :wave:

    It sounds like you're struggling with two different emotions here - firstly worrying about your boyfriend after finding this out and being unsure how to help, and secondly - worrying about how your own issues with self-harm have upset those around you.

    What can work for one person might not work for another person but talking about what's happening will help to clear the air a bit even if it's to acknowledge that he doesn't really want to talk just yet - but at least he'll know that you're there if he changes his mind :)

    Have you seen this article we have on supporting someone who self harms? Here's the link: http://www.thesite.org/healthandwellbeing/mentalhealth/selfharm/supportingsomeonewhoselfharms
    You might find this useful to read as well as some of the other information in this section.

    It's important that you look after yourself here too, if you're finding it very upsetting then having your own support systems away from your relationship will help.

    As Strubbles said, maybe you can face this together, give it time and allow him the space he needs to open up. If you have only just found out he may be feeling a bit pressured or overhwlemed at the moment but in time hopefully you can talk.

    In terms of how you're feeling about your own family and friends, it's true that these people who really care about you may have been initally very upset and worried, as you are now for your boyfriend, but it's great that you're getting some help now and I'm sure they just want to see you happy and getting the support that you need *hug*
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I am sure he feels far more understood once he knows you used to self harm yourself. He can't be in "you don't know how it is"-denial anymore. Once he realizes you've been there and done that and sees you find stopping SH better he might have more incentive to stop or seek out help too.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thank you so much, both of you. I know that I'm going to have to talk to him, and hopefully it will make him (and me) feel better about it, but I'm not sure how I'm going to tell him I know. It's not exactly the kind of thing you can just say. I guess I'll think of a way to tell him eventually though. Thanks for your help, anyway. =)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The first thing to point out is that he's not a self-harmer, he's someone who self harms. Maybe I'm being pedantic, I'm not being all PC though, it's an important point. He's the same person he was before you found out about his problems, try not to forget that. Try to remember all of him, not just the self-harming.

    As for what you should do, think about what you want from others.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The first thing to point out is that he's not a self-harmer, he's someone who self harms. Maybe I'm being pedantic, I'm not being all PC though, it's an important point. He's the same person he was before you found out about his problems, try not to forget that. Try to remember all of him, not just the self-harming.

    As for what you should do, think about what you want from others.

    Yes, I know that, I don't think of him any differently because of it, other than that I'm obviously concerned and worried. Although I guess it does sound a bit strange, but that's just the way I speak. Also, that's an interesting way to think about it. Thanks. =)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey, I know what you mean, it's just very easy to think of someone's problems instead of thinking of someone. I'm not saying you would do that, don't worry.

    If you think about how you want to be treated, how you like to be treated, you'll probably find that's similar to how your bf wants to be treated. Encourage him to seek help but don't force the issue if he's not ready.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    xZoey wrote: »
    Yes, I know that, I don't think of him any differently because of it, other than that I'm obviously concerned and worried. Although I guess it does sound a bit strange, but that's just the way I speak. Also, that's an interesting way to think about it. Thanks. =)

    It's something that people say a lot in the US. I also dislike it for the reasons Arctic Roll gave, but you have the right attitude.
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