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To Sam

I self harm quite alot.

My aunty commuited suicide, my mom and dad argue quite alot and i just feel so depressed, i've slit all over my arms. if i listen to depressing music, it makes me do it. I couldn't cope with it anymore, being a secret. So i decided to tell my mom, she said she supports me and wouldn't ever want me to be alone, and whenever i feel like doing it, i should talk to her. i've started doing it on my thigh, so she wouldn't notice. please help, i feel so alone.
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Sam

Hi there

It’s great to receive a letter from you and thanks for explaining how you are feeling at this time.

It’s clear that things are really tough for you and it’s understandable that your aunty’s death and mum and dad arguing a lot, really upset you. I can see you are searching for a way to cope with your difficult feelings. It can be really hard to understand and deal with with someone's death, when they have died in this way and it can leave so many questions and confusing feelings.

Thanks for being so open and honest about when you self-harm. It was such a brave step to tell mum and I believe any young person who finds the courage to get some support, is really amazing and an inspiration to other young people too.

It sounds like you know mum is there for you but you still feel the need to hide your cuts at times. I’m wondering if that’s because you are not ready to give up self-harming and might not want mum to know, or if it's for another reason. I understand it could be for many reasons. It is important for you to know that I believe that hiding self-harm is not a good idea and it is not something I would encourage. It can be hard to be open about it but many young people have told me this was this best way to get help with it.

What’s important is that you’ve written to me because you would like to find a way forward with all of this and I’m glad you have.

It’s interesting how you have become really aware that depressing music triggers you self-harming. Learning your triggers can be really important because there may be some triggers that you can avoid, and some people like to keep a diary of these to know where and when they happen and how to avoid or replace them.

If you are not ready to tell mum more about how you are feeling, how would you feel about talking to a ChildLine counsellor? They will help you explore more about your triggers, what it is about self-harm that feels helpful and can also talk to you about ways to distract yourself from self-harm. A counsellor will not tell you to stop self-harming, because only you will know when, or if, you feel ready to do that.

Your safety and self-care is also important and something that you can talk to the counsellor about too. You can ring to speak to a counsellor on 0800 1111 and calls are free, or log in for a 1-2-1 chat with a counsellor.

You can also learn more about self-harm, if you have a look at the Young Minds website.

I also wonder if you feel you’ve ever had a real opportunity to talk about how it affected you when your aunty died, or how it feels for you when mum and dad argue. When someone commits suicide, it can be a huge shock to the people who are left behind. These are things that you can talk to your ChildLine counsellor about.

And please remember, you can always get some valuable support from the ChildLine community, if you have a look at the ChildLine message boards

Thanks again for writing to me and I wish you the best of luck with your situation.

Take care,

Sam

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