My introduction to the world of self injury was in a hospital setting when I laid eyes on a teen with fresh scars up and down both legs.
They were in straight lines, possibly a hundred or so, and they were red and angry looking. My first reaction was that they had been scratched up in an accident.
It didn't occur to me for a second that it was self inflicted.
I was astonished that one could do this to themself. I cried tears for this child.
My heart was aching as I imagined the level of pain they must be in, both physically and emotionally.
No parent wants to experience this with their child.
Sadly, even if your child is not engaging in self-harming behaviors, chances are they have a friend who is. And they probably know about it and don't know what to do with that information.
It's heavy. Not breaking confidence is the sign of a true friend, right?
We need our villages to help us raise our teens.
We need to share our hearts - the joys and the fears.
I recently read an article about how isolating it is to raise older kids. When they are younger we have play dates or classes and connect with other moms. We share about the sleep or teething challenges and rejoice in the celebration of firsts.
Then we have teens and they want privacy. So we walk around pretending like everything is fine.
We make small talk about how well they are doing and then cry when we are alone.
Some are fortunate to have close friends or support groups that we can be honest with.
Individually we may feel like we are fucking up as parents because we seem to be the only one struggling.
When I saw this podcast it led me down this rabbit hole. It reminded me of all the youth I have encountered that have engaged in self-injury and how dangerously secretive and addictive it is.
I offer these links up to the mamas and papas in the village such that you are equipped with solid info and prepared for difficult conversations that may come into existence.
I see you. I see you dealing with shit whether you talk about it or not. I'm grateful to be a part of your village and I am here for you. Please take the time to take care of YOU 💜
You've got this mama!
We are so good at taking care of everyone else...give yourself some love 💜