Ask Sam letter


To Sam

My boyfriend says my self harm is stupid

I self harmed on and off for a few years now, I had really good stages where everything was great and really bad ones. I finally spoke out last year when a nurse noticed something wasn't right at a check up and she encouraged me to speak out which felt amazing, I had to confidence to tell my new boyfriend who was upset but initially supportive. In a bad patch I self harmed again in which my boyfriend told me I was stupid and that I have no reason to, when I tried to explain he told me he wouldn't talk to me for months if I did it again. Since then I was fine until last week, I avoided taking off any clothes in front of my boyfriend since yesterday and he saw the mark. He wouldn't talk to me for two hours, told me that it wasn't like I couldn't feed my family or couldn't pay my rent so why was I feeling so sorry for myself and when I tried to explain he cut me off and told me he didn't love me because I was stupid. He was fine again after a few hours and I did speak to him but all he said was you better not do it again. How do I help him understand? I've tried messaging him but he just doesn't get it at all and makes me feel dirty and ashamed
Ask Sam



I’m really glad you’ve written to me. Self-harm is not something you should feel dirty or ashamed about. It sounds like it was a really big step for you speaking out and telling your boyfriend. It was the right thing to do and I think it was really brave of you.

It sounds like your boyfriend is finding it hard to understand. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have told him. He might think that he's helping you by saying those things to you but really it sounds like he is just upsetting you more. You deserve to have support for your self-harm and talking to people you trust like the nurse and your boyfriend is a good way to try and get that support.

You might find it helpful to look at our info about self-harm together with your boyfriend. You could also try writing him a letter which explains all of your feelings and what support you would like from him. This could help him understand.

It’s important to remember that you deserve support. And you have taken a really huge and brave step in telling your boyfriend. But if he can’t understand then it’s not your fault.

It’s really important to carry on talking to the nurse or someone else you trust. Or you can come to ChildLine and talk with one of our counsellors. They are always here to listen and support you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Take Care,

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