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Asker

To Sam

Left because of self harm

I really like this guy and i used to talk to him a lot and i recently told him i self harm and he completely left me and it makes me feel really down that he ignored me and im scared he will tell everyone
Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Some people can get quite scared and shocked by self-harm when they have no experience of it themselves. This is usually because they don’t understand it and they don’t know what to do for the person who self-harms. I know from lots of young people writing to me that self-harm is often a way to cope or feel in control of something that is going on for them.

Any sort of friendship or relationship breakup is always hard. Trust is a key part of any relationship, and when you get close to somebody it is natural for them to find out parts of you that others may not know. Relationship breakups always have an element of fear then, as you are scared that the person will break that trust. I understand that self-harm must be a big secret of yours and it is understandable that you are very scared that this guy will tell it to others — especially since you know how he has reacted.

You don’t need to feel bad for having told this guy about your self-harm. You haven’t done anything wrong. Self-harm is not something you have to go through all by yourself. You were right to reach out and try to share with somebody.

Don’t  let this one negative experience put you off trying to talk with somebody in the future. Not everybody will react in this way to you. Lots of young people tell me that self-harm is their way of trying to cope with something in the best way they can. These young people say that what they need is somebody to listen and understand without being shocked or judging them. There are lots of people out there like this for you.

It is good to have somebody close to you in your life who understands what you’re going through. Think about the people in your life you really trust — perhaps a friend, family member or teacher. Maybe this person is somebody you could tell about your self-harm?

If you feel that you cannot talk to somebody close to you there are counsellors at ChildLine who you can speak to in confidence. We also have some useful pages with information on self-harm, relationships and friendships that you might find useful.

I hope you have found this letter useful.

Take care,
Sam

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