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Please be honest, if you were at work, or a regular customer, and you saw this...

(256 Posts)
FFSOMG Sat 15-Jul-17 23:27:50

Clickbaity title to try get people who wouldn't normally reply to a post about self harm to read and hopefully reply.

If you were at work, or say you took your dog to a kennels, or went to the hairdresser, and a member of staff there had quite severe disfiguring obvious old self harm scars, what would your thoughts be? How do you think you might react to that person in future? What about if you had worked with that person for quite a while before seeing their scars?

I've never had a negative reaction, but I usually cover up. In my current job, it is extremely difficult to wear long sleeves, and I have to work with the same customers every day. I have lived with my scars for so long I can't think what it would be like to not have them, obviously my friends all know. I was wondering what people who don't know that pet of my life history might think?

The job involves working with quite well off, sheltered, well-to-do country horsey folk, which I do have to mention because it does make a difference than say if I was working in NHS services or somewhere.

PandaG Sat 15-Jul-17 23:29:37

I hope it wouldn't make any difference. I think I would think you were brave for showing your past, and would respect you for it.

YorkshireCurly Sat 15-Jul-17 23:30:02

Personally, couldn't give a toss. None of my business what has gone on in your life.

EssentialHummus Sat 15-Jul-17 23:31:50

I noticed scars like this on a work colleague who I was quite close to. Made me realise that she'd always/usually worn long sleeves until then. I didn't say anything (not sure what I could say) but I suppose it made me aware that it was an issue she had. I'd always found her very nervous/anxious despite her very clear intelligence, and in my mind these were linked.

Howlandbreathe Sat 15-Jul-17 23:34:20

I don't think I would know what it was; and probably wouldn't notice unless they were very recent cuts and I certainly would be good mannered enough not to mention it.

... and I think I fit your demographic to a T

Addley Sat 15-Jul-17 23:35:24

I'd think "Oh, he's/she's got self-harm scars," then move on. I've known a few people with them. It's fairly normal (not common, but normal) and not particularly interesting. Like a birthmark or a hearing aid or something, just one of those physical things about someone's body that you notice if you meet them.

SapphireSeptember Sat 15-Jul-17 23:36:40

I would think, or rather I would feel sad, because a fellow human being has had to suffer the same shit that I've been through and I know how much it sucks. Now I am biased because of my own life experiences, so probably think differently to people who haven't been through that. I know people can be downright arseholes about it, like the bloke who made me cry at work, who then got a right telling off from the store manager. However I think most people are humane enough to keep their thoughts to themselves and if they have issues with scars then that's on them.

Snap8TheCat Sat 15-Jul-17 23:37:34

Without being mean, I wouldn't care.

Wolfiefan Sat 15-Jul-17 23:38:28

I wouldn't have a "negative" reaction. If anything I would think old scars show how far you have come and your strength in dealing with this.
Not that I would say that out loud to someone I didn't know really well and whose past is none of my business.

bbpp Sat 15-Jul-17 23:38:31

I have the same sort of scars OP, so I'd feel a sense of solidarity and that I'm not alone.

I'd also be impressed at your bravery. Mine are covered, constantly. I've had/ am having treatment to flatten them (from gels to injections to possibly surgery) and tattoos to cover them. It might make me feel more comfortable getting mine out.

My mum told me a story, after she'd found out about mine. It was a few months later and she'd gone swimming with my little sister and there was a woman there covered in quite severe, but clearly old scars, laughing and playing with her two young children. She felt proud of her in a strange way, that she'd overcome it and now had a seemingly happy family.

BumWad Sat 15-Jul-17 23:40:08

It wouldn't make a difference to me. I would notice and that would be the end of it.

CrazyKittenSmile Sat 15-Jul-17 23:40:14

I have very obvious self-harm scars on all of my body apart from head, neck and hands. I'm a teacher and I do wonder what parents and colleagues think about it - I do try and cover up but it's not always possible. A few people have mentioned it and been supportive (e.g.: a head at my lady school pulled me into the office and said how brace she thought I was for not hiding the scars and was very kind about it) but mostly people are far too polite to acknowledge anything. I get anxious that it will effect how colleagues see me - that they will think I am weak or unstable or that I won't be able to deal with things and I don't like to think they might be speculating on why I did it and whether I'm over it. But then I also think maybe I am giving it too much thought and although it feels like a big thing to me most people probably won't dwell on it that much.

ZippyCameBack Sat 15-Jul-17 23:41:36

I honestly wouldn't think it was any of my business. People have scars for loads of reasons- I have a fairly prominent facial scar and I can't remember anybody ever asking about it. I think most people have better manners than to ask personal questions like that.

confuuuuused Sat 15-Jul-17 23:42:37

Saw someone's SH scars recently for the first time through a charity even (not MH) related. I thought good for her for not hiding under long sleeves. I've never SHed but don't see her any differently and wouldn't of thought of it again if it wasn't for this post

ZippyCameBack Sat 15-Jul-17 23:43:58

Forgot to say, most of the well-off horsey people I know (and I know loads of them) would only care about things which would make you unsuitable for working with horses. If you don't literally frighten horses, then I wouldn't worry about it!

nancy75 Sat 15-Jul-17 23:44:28

I honestly don't think I would think of self harm as being the reason for the scars, I probably would notice & I probably would wonder (to myself) how you got the scars but I wouldn't ask or talk about it.

3boys3dogshelp Sat 15-Jul-17 23:48:56

I would notice and know what they were but wouldn't form any opinion of you based on them. It's not my business and doesn't affect your ability to do your job.
Horsey background.

Patriciathestripper1 Sat 15-Jul-17 23:50:45

I am going to be honest now (and probably get flamed)
To me I would find it quite shocking to see as well as a red flag for future problems and reliability with this person.

tigerdriverII Sat 15-Jul-17 23:51:31

I wouldn't notice or even recognise them.

Geepee71 Sat 15-Jul-17 23:52:52

I'd possibly notice, wonder what they were from, wouldn't cross my mind they were from self-harming. Wouldn't ever mention it, as none of my business and rude to ask personal questions uninvited.

TinselTwins Sat 15-Jul-17 23:53:29

I'm not gonna lie I'ld notice them. I'ld make sure I didn't stare, but I'ld notice.

I'ld then judge you on what you did and what you said though.

Ohyesiam Sat 15-Jul-17 23:53:35

I would think that there was someone who had had a hell of a lot going on for them at some point on the past.
I wouldn't feel judgemental.

SallyGinnamon Sat 15-Jul-17 23:54:29

Not sure if I'd actually know what they were. If I did realise I'd be sad that someone had been so unhappy to have done that. But times change and I'd talk to the individual in front of me.

elephantoverthehill Sat 15-Jul-17 23:56:22

It makes me sad.

FrogFairy Sat 15-Jul-17 23:57:07

If I noticed them, I would feel compassion for you that dark times in your life had lead you to self harming, but also pleased that you are now in a better place.
I would not comment or ask at all. Not my business.

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