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After I told my mother…

Question:

I’m a girl and I’m bisexual. I finally told my mother after 3 years of knowing myself. It didn’t go as well as I had hoped. I used to self harm over a year ago but my ex, and now best friend helped me to stop. I hadn’t done it since then until recently. Her reaction just made me feel so awful plus the pressure of how other people might react. I hate blaming it on things. I also hate saying that things that happened caused me to do it. I’m the one who did it, I didn’t have to, but I did. So its my fault and I don’t like blaming it on my problems. I also realize that its unhealthy to self harm but at the time, it seemed like a good idea. This happened about a week ago, and since then, I’ve had a difficult time stopping. The pressure keeps adding up and I suppose that’s how I release it. I just know that its a bad habit that I need to break. Advice?

Letter submitted by:

Answer:

It’s good of you to reach out for help, after taking the courageous step of  telling your mother, only to have things go so badly.  I’m sure at the time you felt that it would be a positive step in your life.  But unfortunately, human beings can sometimes be unpredictable. That’s not your fault, as even the most well-thought-out plans can sometimes can go astray.  So don’t be hard on yourself. It should be her problem, and she’s the one with the bad attitude.  And it’s not right for other people’s reactions to pressure you. After all, there’s nothing wrong with you, and you were just being true to yourself and being honest about it. Those are admirable qualities.

 

The best thing you can do right now is to keep the lines of communication open with her and others, and try to educate the people around you as to the true nature of your sexuality. On http://www.bisexual.org you’ll find a lot of helpful information on bisexuality. If you click on resources, then bisexuality-general information, then “Bisexuality 101 from PFLAG” you can find information that may help. Hopefully with time, everyone will come around.

 

As to the self-harm, at least you recognize that it is unhealthy. Self-harm can be difficult to stop, but you have a good start. It may help you to also consider how you feel before and after you hurt yourself. If it helps to release anger, you might try getting the anger out in another way like hitting a pillow, stomping around in heavy shoes, ripping up an old newspaper or flattening aluminum cans. If it helps you when you’re sad, do whatever makes you feel taken care of and comforted. That may be listening to certain songs, calling a friend or eating a favorite food. Sometimes, writing in a journal or drawing/painting helps a person to feel better. For some people, doing something physical like running outdoors or yoga can help relieve stress. If self-harm helps you to feel less numb, do something that creates a sharp physical feeling like putting your hand briefly in ice water or stamp your feet on the ground). There are websites available including www.safe-alternatives.com and at http://www.helpguide.org/mental/self_injury.htm that can help you learn about self-harm as well as additional things you can do when you have the urge to hurt yourself. Also, it would be important to tell a trusted adult about this habit in order for them to find a therapist for you to work with to find safer and healthier ways to deal with the hard things you’re going through. If you’re not comfortable talking with your parents, you could ask a school counselor for help finding a therapist or call 1-800-DON’T-CUT where you can be referred to a therapist in your area. When you have the urge to hurt yourself, you can always call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386) and talk with a Trevor lifeline counselor about what you’re feeling and experiencing as well as your urges, which can help to delay or stop those urges. They can also work with you to find a therapist to help you.

 

You have shown that you can take bold moves. I hope that this advice will help you work through your problems. And remember that we’re always here for you and keep us informed as to your progress. And if you need more assistance. remember that we’ll always be willing to help you, as we DO care about you. Good luck, my dear young lady.

 

Trevor Staff