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To ask if you'd judge someone if they had obviously self harm scars?

(181 Posts)
ConfuzzledAboutStuff Fri 17-Feb-17 08:39:22

Posting for traffic. I have namechanged.

I self harmed as a teenager and now have a mass of healed scars up both arms (as faded as they'll ever be). I haven't hurt myself in almost 5 years. I'm a coward too scared to go swimming or wear short sleeves for fear of people seeing and judging.
So that's what I'm asking. Would you judge if you saw someone with scars that were obviously from self harm?

DeviTheGaelet Fri 17-Feb-17 08:43:44

No I wouldn't judge. I'd feel sad for them as I've been there and I would hope they are OK now but that's as far as it goes. Don't let your scars stop you living your life flowers

Trifleorbust Fri 17-Feb-17 08:45:05


namechange20050 Fri 17-Feb-17 08:45:11

No I wouldn't. I never self harmed myself but at uni I lived with a few people who did. So it's nothing I've not seen, if that makes sense! If seems to be quite common.

00100001 Fri 17-Feb-17 08:45:14

I wouldn't judge as I know two people who self harmed and have visible scars on their arms and legs

One is a keen swimmer and goes 3/4 times a week smile

Most people won't even notice you (in a general way that you don't notice people at the pool) let alone any scars smile

juneau Fri 17-Feb-17 08:45:30

I think if you're really worried about it still then you're not ready to bare your arms. People will notice them if they're obvious. I'm not especially observant, but lots of scars on someone's arms - yes I would notice that. Would I judge? Well I would notice and make assumptions, if that's what you mean. I'd assume that you'd cut yourself and that you either have or had some mental health issues. I think if you do bare your arms you'll have to be ready to answer people's questions, because inevitably people will ask - not everyone by any means - but those that do will give you a chance to explain. Are you ready to talk about this with strangers?

LilacSpatula Fri 17-Feb-17 08:45:48

I wouldn't judge. People may suspect but I have similar scars from falling from a bike and when I explain people are reassured and seem relieved. Not that you should have to lie but if you decide to, it's possible, and you can share further with anyone you wish to once you trust them. Hope that's reassuring? flowers

TestingTestingWonTooFree Fri 17-Feb-17 08:46:39

Wouldn't judge, would notice. Would probably be pleased that they weren't too self conscious about it and would hope they're in a better place now. I think you want a one-liner explanation to shut down questions at the ready.

EmpressOfTheSpartacusOceans Fri 17-Feb-17 08:47:07

Oh God yes. I'd notice, recognise and absolutely judge.

As someone who also has arms covered in healed self-harm scars, I'd judge you as a fellow survivor and a strong woman for getting yourself through that.

sooperdooper Fri 17-Feb-17 08:47:15

No I wouldn't judge, I'd be sad for them they'd been in a bad place to do that and hope they were better now but I wouldn't judge

user1471432361 Fri 17-Feb-17 08:47:23

I'm covered in scars too. I never wear short sleeves in public and probably never will. Even with very close friends I feel far too self-conscious about it.
I do go swimming though - I was determined to find a way after having kids. I wear a long-sleeved rash vest and shorts. I was self-conscious about this too at first, but nobody has ever questioned my choice of outfit and I now don't even think about it. I wear the same on holiday to go in the pool or the sea.
I also wouldn't judge if I saw someone else with scars. I would feel a kinship to them, and would think they were braver than me for not hiding!

tinydancer88 Fri 17-Feb-17 08:47:50

Would notice, wouldn't judge.

Hannahbanana1725 Fri 17-Feb-17 08:48:10

I have self harm scars on my arms and stomach. The ones on my arms are barely noticeable unless you are specifically looking for them. The ones on my stomach are rather obvious which makes me really uncomfortable in the summer when I want to sunbathe etc in case someone says something but no one ever has

identityhidden Fri 17-Feb-17 08:48:28

If anyone does they aren't worth knowing to be honest flowers

I have several scars from intentionally burning myself, work as an auxiliary nurse and the only persons who have ever pointed it out have been a patient who was self harming (we were able to have quite a therapeutic conversation after she asked) and a colleague who had done the same.

I don't doubt others have seen and know , but it's never been pointed out to me or questioned. Certainly no one's treated me any differently so far as I can tell.

I would try to gradually increase your exposure, so wear short sleeves in the house first, then out shopping or similar , then on a lunch date, at work etc. I would have thought most adults wouldn't ask unless out of concern, I would hope.

RachelRagged Fri 17-Feb-17 08:48:54

No judging from me .

One of my DSs self harmed for a while , 10 years or so ago .

flowers OP

museumum Fri 17-Feb-17 08:49:05

No I wouldn't judge and if they're very healed I wouldn't even worry much - so many people seem to have done this when younger.
If any were more recent or raw I would worry about the person and feel sad for them.

TheRumTumTugger Fri 17-Feb-17 08:49:34

No. One of my best friends has scars all up her arms and thighs. She hid them when we were younger but these days she gives zero fucks.

No body has ever said anything to her.

Also, on the subject if others judging you, I heard a great quote recently: what other people think of you is none of your business.

So what if someone judges? You don't need to know or care.

bushtailadventures Fri 17-Feb-17 08:49:41

I wouldn't judge, no.

I wanted to put something profound too, but I couldn't think of anything that wasn't cringey smile

I hope you find the courage (wrong word but I can't think if the right one) to wear whatever you want!

BookHunter Fri 17-Feb-17 08:49:41

No wouldn't judge.

Nquartz Fri 17-Feb-17 08:50:06

If I did notice I wouldn't judge, I'd feel sad for you that you'd gone through something horrible & proud that you didn't care if people did see your scars

notaflyingmonkey Fri 17-Feb-17 08:50:52

Who cares what people may or may not think? Go swimming if you want to, it's a great form of exercise. I have self harm scars on my arms, and I can't think of a single person who has ever said anything.

Well done OP for managing to stop.

BifsWif Fri 17-Feb-17 08:51:24

No, I wouldn't judge at all. I'd think you were amazing for surviving such a difficult time.

HorraceTheOtter Fri 17-Feb-17 08:53:19

I have very obvious scars. Burns, so they'll never go. Still obviously self harm though. I always wear shorr sleeves, I have no reason not to. I see people notice, but no one has ever said a word.

CondensedMilkSarnies Fri 17-Feb-17 08:55:14

Well done Op for 5 years of not hurting yourself , that's a massive achievement and you should be proud of yourself .

I see lots of people with scars and I certainly don't judge - my heart goes out to them and if they're obviously old scars I think how strong the person is to have overcome their problem xx

I see self harm scars the same as any other surgical scar , that the person has been unwell and hopefully are getting better X

Devilishpyjamas Fri 17-Feb-17 08:55:36

No I wouldn't judge but I would be concerned about you. (Wouldn't say anything though).

I was covered in bruises the length of my arms for the last couple of years & didn't wear short sleeves in that time. People would ask about them & they could not be easily explained in a few seconds. I found three quarter length sleeves so coming just below the elbow protected from questioning even when I had bad bruising.

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