This happens constantly. I come up with a blog post topic, I begin doing a little research and then I change my topic because I become inspired by something else. I was intending to do something on tattoo trends for 2016. See, I am obsessed with tattoos. You wouldn’t know this looking at me seeing as I bear only 3 little tiny tattoos. Nonetheless tattoos are very cool to me. Another thing I am obsessed with? Psychology. I studied psychology in college. I wanted to be a sex therapist. Things happen and life doesn’t necessarily pan out the way we plan so I am now not a sex therapist. I am still insanely obsessed with psychology and have a difficult time not analyzing everyone I meet (do not confuse analyzation and judgement. I am a helper and a lover not a judger.). While doing a little research on tattoo trends I came across something I had seen before. Self harm scars. You’ll understand why I saw all of this in a moment while researching tattoos. Have you ever seen these scars before? I am sure you know someone who is/was a victim of self harm or maybe you were one yourself. I bet a lot of you cannot fathom why someone would do this to themselves. It isn’t difficult to understand. Pain. Deep emotional pain. There is not just one reason why someone causes harm to themselves. I believe there are many reasons why people do this. But when it is all said and done, self harm is at the root of a darkness we cannot see but one the victim can feel. An article in Psychology Today describes self harm as this:
“Self-harm is the deliberate infliction of damage to your own body and includes cutting, burning, and other forms of injury. While cutting can look like attempted suicide, it’s often not; most people who mutilate themselves do it as a way to regulate mood. People who hurt themselves in this way may be motivated by a need to distract themselves from inner turmoil or to quickly release anxiety that builds due to an inability to express intense emotions.”
Now, I have never personally been into self harm. It never dawned on me to hurt myself to move pain from one area of my body to another. From emotional to physical, for example, and believe me I am familiar with emotional pain and turmoil but I always dealt with it in a different way… by being an asshole. Joking aside, I was lucky enough to have a mother who dragged my ass to a shrinks office the minute she sensed I was struggling. But the truth is, I am no stranger to these beautiful, injured souls. I happen to be a magnet to those who yearn for love and those who need help. It is part of my nature. I plan to discuss this part of me some other time in detail, but to give you a better idea of who I am I will tell you this… I am an empath. Throughout my life I have been befriended by wounded souls. I also tend to gravitate towards people who are broken. Time and time again lovely people come into my life unexpectedly and within moments I feel their pain or know everything about them because they have told me. I used to have a difficult time with this because I used to absorb their pain/emotions, but now I understand and I have learned boundaries and techniques that allow me to be of help, not at risk of feeling too deeply. I guess you can say I have a soft spot for self harmers because I have known many and they are not who/what you think they are. The healed ones used to cut to feel something, they don’t self harm anymore, but they can’t hide that they once did. Their self inflicted scars have found forever homes on the bodies of those who have now found peace. Here is the thing that sucks the most once all is said and done. Emotional and psychological issues live within all of us, many worse than others, many aren’t even aware of the depths of their issues, many believe they have none. The thing is we can’t see this. Maybe once we get to know them, maybe we find out what is going on inside of their heads, maybe we find out about emotional shit that went on in their lives years ago or in a more recent past but the thing is, if they didn’t tell us, we wouldn’t know. That is not the case with former self harmers. They can’t hide their past. They can’t forget about it because every time they look down they see how their past pain has now scarred over… forever to be seen. They hide their scars the same way they hid their pain. They are ashamed of their past and the mutilation. These scars carry horrible memories and pain that once was so intense they found relief in something other people can’t understand. They are judged by them. They wish they could disappear because they are better now. Those scars don’t define them. That is easier said than it is to understand or prove. It makes me sad to think they can’t escape something that is no longer relevant yet something so deeply etched in their souls.
Now comes the part where I became inspired while doing a little research on tattoos. I came across an article in Cosmopolitan about a young tattoo artist who dedicates her skill to former self harmers by using her art as a means to give these beautiful souls freedom from their past. A life they can never completely escape even after years and years of good mental health, their scars keep those memories alive, alive when they want them to be dead. This tattoo artist, Whitney Develle, had a friend with these scars. Whitney covered those fuckers up with ink and it changed her friend’s life forever. Hers too. So now homegirl does this on the regular, giving wings to souls who have been wanting to soar but never felt they could. She does her thing and covers up their pain with art. Covering those scars frees them from having to explain, having to hide, having to remember everytime they see their scars. The scars become irrelevant and now they have beautiful tattoos to proudly wear for all to see. They are finally free. You can read the article here and see just how incredible this is for someone with this past. I love Whitney and I love all those who have ever felt that pain. Knowing they have found a way to escape something that once seemed unescapable is awe inspiring. And all at the hands of an artist with a beautiful heart.
I hope this has opened your eyes and hearts a bit. People who self harm aren’t freaks. You think they are but they aren’t. They are broken and they bleed to feel something. They bleed to feel better. It is complex and scary, yes, but what it really is is sad. Remove your judgement. You can’t be judged because we can’t see what goes on inside your mind and even if I could see it, I wouldn’t judge you. I would do the same thing for you as I would do for someone whose pain I can see through their scars. I would love you and I would try to help you. We are all damaged, broken, and beautiful in our own ways. What is important is not what is wrong with us but how we deal with it. Don’t cover up your pain with things you think will erase it. You need to acknowledge what is going on. Get help. Get better. Get strong. Get healthy. And remember, wounds need to bleed before they heal. It is a process and you will be ok. If you bear scars that cage your soul, ink about covering them up. You deserve to be set free because you are beautiful.
Love it. Live it. Share it.