How do I tell my parents I’m worried I will start self harming again?
Thank you for reaching out to the YouthLine! If you ever need to talk, you can give the YouthLine a call and talk to another teenager. There are teenagers available to talk Monday through Friday from 4-9pm. It is much easier to offer you support and resources over the phone. You can also chat with a teenager through instant messaging by going to our website at www.oregonyouthline.org.
From the way you worded your question, it sounds like you have had a history with self harming. It also sounds as though your parents are aware of this. Since I can’t ask you these things, and for the sake of answering your question, I am going to assume that this is the case. The fact that you used to self harm and have gone through a period of time where you stopped, takes so much strength and you should be very proud of yourself for that. Unlike what many people think, people who self harm are not trying to kill themselves, but rather are just looking for a way to cope and don’t know of any other healthy ways. If you were to ever contact the YouthLine again, I would be interested to know if you have any other coping skills that you use instead of self harming? Exercising, listening to music, drawing, taking a bath, etc. I would also be interested in asking you if there is something going on in your life right now that is causing you stress and making you feel like you are going to start self harming again. If there is, I really encourage you to talk to someone about it….whether it be a friend, counselor, or of course the YouthLine if you feel comfortable calling. Sometimes just having another person listen to what is going on in your life can be very helpful and make you feel much better.
When you talk to your parents, I would just encourage you to be very open and remember that honesty really is the best policy. I imagine that your parents will really appreciate your coming to them and that they will see the strength in it. It can be very hard to approach someone, especially parents, about such a sensitive topic. If you feel most comfortable talking to both of your parents at the same time, I would suggest that you let your parents know that you are needing to talk to them about something and figure out a day and a time that works for everyone so that your parents can give you their full attention and there will be no distractions. When talking to your parents, instead of just telling them flat out that you are wanting to self harm again, I would recommend that you let your parents know what’s going on in your life and what is stressing you out or making you sad and upset. My guess is that your parents love and care about you very, very much! By really talking to them and letting them in, they will have a much easier time trying to understand and offer you the help and support that you deserve and need right now.
Thank you again, Abby for contacting the YouthLine. Like I said, you can give us a call any day, any time. Our number is 1-877-968-8491.