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how do I explain self harm scars to my significant other and or children?

14 Answers
Last Updated: 04/10/2018 at 3:16am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Polly Letsch, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I provide non-judgmental, person-centered, objective therapeutic treatment for individuals of all ages to improve social, emotional, mental and other areas of functioning.

Top Rated Answers
March 27th, 2015 3:48pm
Honesty is pretty key here. Chances are, if they're your significant other, they're interested in you as a person -- not for what you look like, or what you provide. That being said, if you're up front about it, it can really make things easier. There's nothing wrong with saying "These are my battle scars; I used to self harm but I am recovered." For children, it's probably best to just call them battle scars and of course not tell them about the inner-workings of self harm (depending on the age, of course). They'll grow up knowing they're part of you, and since they're your kiddos, they're going to love you no matter what. It's pretty unconditional.
December 14th, 2015 3:46am
To the both your significant other and to kids, explain that they are your battle scars or even that you got your stripes.
May 14th, 2015 1:25pm
Own it. Those scars represent not only pain and suffering, but if you are in the process of recovering, they can also empower and represent where you have come from and where you are currently. There is no shame in this. In fact, quite the opposite. If you can be an example of what happens to people when they do not love themselves, when they let our society driven unreachable goals overtake them and when they feel unloved and unworthy, if you can set that example for your family and tell them that you love them, you listen to them, and they listen to you, well, the scars are a healthy reminder. They are only a negative thing if you allow them to be. Very wordy, but the two words at the beginning are all I needed to say. OWN EM!
June 17th, 2015 10:30am
Tell them that you fought many battles and these scars are the remains of it. Only this battle was not easy as you fought with yourself and your emotions.
July 28th, 2015 7:41pm
How you could explain is how it was rough time in your life and at the time you were lost and felt it was the only way to cope. You could explain how you're better now and how happy you are to have stopped and got past the rough patch. :)
September 7th, 2015 6:32pm
I say mine are battle scars to children, because really they are, and you can't explain them to children because most are to young to understand. Though your significant other, I would just tell. I mean if they love you enough they will say it's okay and move on with life.
June 13th, 2016 12:41pm
Tell them these are battle scars which you got from fighting your monsters, and whenever they see someone with them,tell them to give those people a hug.
July 12th, 2016 12:14pm
Be honest as you want to be. If you want them to know it just be sincere the best you can and try to tell them what your feelings were.
October 17th, 2016 2:59pm
You may refer to the scars as your marks of conflict in the past. You were tested and stayed strong.
October 24th, 2016 2:51am
i would explain them that those scars are battle scars from fights that i have won against myself and for my childs i would explain them when they had the age to understand
November 22nd, 2016 9:31pm
If you're trying to explain them away to people you know, simply saying it's a birthmark is just fine. If you would like to be more honest with an adult or friend, say something like you struggled with depression when you were younger. But if you'd rather not talk about it then just say you would rather not talk about it. It's nobody's business anyway!
August 1st, 2017 9:43pm
This depends hugely on your relationship with your significant other and the age of your children. For your significant other I would usually suggest being honest with them, even though that may feel like a difficult conversation to have. For children, any answer needs to be age appropriate - it could range from "they're from when I wasn't feeling well" for a younger child, to a more on depth discussion about mental health and what to do if they ever need help with an older child/teenager.
March 26th, 2018 3:47pm
If you feel comfortable enough with your loved ones, you can tell them the truth. It's nothing to be ashamed of. You can tell them how you felt of how you needed to feel and that's why you have them. When it comes to children you don't need to tell them the truth. If they're not too visible, you can tell them you fell or something, but if they're visible you can tell them you were really sad and this is what happened to you from feeling that way. It really depends on how open do you want to be about it. But I wish you the strength and confidence to wear those scars with love and pride because they're just reminders of how brave and strong you are ❤
April 10th, 2018 3:16am
If your children are young you can tell them they are battle scars. If they are older you should talk to them about stuff like that one day or another. As for your partner, I recommend explaining it to him. Honesty is keeping every relationship together, just have a long talk with him.