It’s so bad you’ll want to start cutting again.
co-worker, Tuesday afternoon regarding something trivial
THINGS WRONG WITH A PERSON EVER IN THEIR LIFE SAYING THIS TO ME:
1. Saying this is a trigger. A person can be triggered to engage in self harm by having it thrown in their face in the above manner. At this point I’m well past the point of that being an issue, but there is a risk when you say this to someone who has self harmed (or someone who’s thinking about it), and triggering is a big fucking deal.
2. Self harm is never a fucking joke. I am the healthiest and happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life and can never erase the physical evidence that I’ve not always been happy and healthy. That is something I have to live with for the rest of my life, something that will always be difficult, something you can see in my wedding photos (the ones I didn’t carefully photoshop), something every person who meets me when I’m wearing a short sleeved shirt gets to make a judgment call about, something I will have to explain to my children someday because mommy has those marks on her arms. I don’t joke about it. I don’t think jokes about it are funny. Call me sensitive, that’s fine. I’ll call you an asshole.
3. The follow up to this comment was “you know I only say that to you as…” (I didn’t hear the rest because I cut the person off and left the conversation). There is no manner of saying this that is okay. There is no role someone could have in my life that would make this comment acceptable. My HUSBAND would not be given license to go there (and thankfully never would), so the rest of you on this planet? DEFINITELY fucking not.
4. The actual statement itself implies that I’m someone who will self harm at this point in my life if something is bad enough, or that it’s funny to suggest it and it’s a cool and edgy way to tease me. I’ve worked long and really hard for that to not be true. Sometimes it is true, and the fact that I don’t follow through on that feeling is a huge deal for me, a huge indicator of the continued growth I’ve had as a person. This person knows that and still thought it would be funny to make light of the issue.
5. The person who said it is a fellow clinician. I can’t even articulate how fucking ridiculous that is, that another therapist would being so jaded and desensitized to the issue that they would make that joke, let alone to someone with my history.
It’s been bothering me for days, and I haven’t had an opportunity to address it with the offensive party, so plop. It gets dropped here. I shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it just because it involves my admitting to something that remains one of the things I’m most ashamed of about my past coping skills.
Trauma leads a person down a scary path. I traveled that path at a pace and level of safety that I was capable of at the time. I’m better for it (the overall journey), and I don’t deserve to have others make light of it.
Glad that’s off my chest.