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?
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I’m glad you had the courage to reach out to us for help. It took courage for you to tell your mother, I’m sure. It’s sad to hear that it didn’t go as well as you had hoped for. Sometimes that happens, as us human beings can be unpredictable creatures. We often times just have to do what we think is the best option and hope things go well. In this case, you’re left with dealing with an unplanned and most unfortunate result, which you shouldn’t beat yourself up over the results. At the time, you did what you felt was your best option. Your best choice now is to just consider her bad reaction and continuing behavior to be her problem for having such unjust, prejudice attitudes. It’s horrible that she makes you feel awful, and that the pressure from how others might react can really weigh on you. But in reality, it’s they who have the problem. You, after all, are just trying to be true to yourself, and being honest about it. For that you should be proud of yourself, and proud that you are so courageous. Just try not to be so hard on yourself, because you deserve better treatment.
Sadly, don’t expect to quickly change your mother’s behavior, though if you can educate her about the subject and keep the dialog going, hopefully over time your relationship will improve. 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. Just keep working on her.
And even though it may have seemed like a good idea at the time to start harming yourself, at least you realize that that’s not healthy. That’s a start in the right direction. Ask yourself what it makes you feel like, and why. Consider that there are lots of ways to help yourself feel better without putting yourself at risk. If harming yourself 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 harming yourself 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 andhttp://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.
It can be very difficult to stop such harmful behavior and it would be important to tell a trusted adult about it 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. Since you may not be 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 urge to hurt yourself, which may help to delay or stop the urge. They can also work with you to find a therapist to help you.
I hope this will help you work through your problems. And remember that we’re always here to do what we can. Best of luck, my dear. And do keep us here at AskTrevor informed as to how you’re doing, as we DO care about you.