This is sorta like the sex after rape thread, which had a lot of my feelings and fears, except it didn't, because I've never been raped and only mildly sexually abused (well...I wasn't really, well sorta, I don't know, it's not something I want to talk about, it's not the point of this topic). So my question is for cutters/self-injurers... how do you have sex or let yourself be in a relationship after you recover?
I've only been in three relationships when I wasn't cutting. And in all three relationships the person ended up leaving me for good friends, so I already find it really hard to trust people not to hurt me.
The thing is....back in the day I didn't hide my scars because I alwyas had a good excuse for them. But, last school year I started doing them in places where people couldn't see, and no one has seen them except for my best friend, on accident, in the locker room. So no one has ever really seen my scars. I have a boyfriend now, and he doesn't know about that part of me, because when I met him three months ago I didn't talk about it and since then I have recovered, so he doesn't know about it. I'm sure we'll get intimate sometime, but I'm so afraid of what will happen. I'm afraid that he'll be disgusted or...I don't know. I'm afraid and ashamed of what he'll think. I mean, logically I know that he's not going to be disgusted and he'll be entirely caring...but I can't shake the feeling.
All my scars are on my hip bones or right above my pubic hair line or on my chest, there are a lot, and not hard to miss. I just don't want him to see that part of me...I dont' want anyone to. So...if anyone else has felt the same way, how did you handle it? What did you do?
------------------ Brittany Scarleteen Advocate
"Just say no" fights teen pregnancy the way "hey, cheer up" fights manic depression.
Oh, I totally feel you on this one. I've definitely been self-concious about my scars. It was easy enough to say my friend's cat scratched me until it became words. Right, the cat scratched "BAD" into my leg. It's a very talented cat. My scars have faded pretty quickly, mostly because I wasn't cutting very deep to begin with. I've never had anyone notice during sex. I've only had sex with two people since April, which was the last time I cut, and the worst I ever cut. The first time we were in the dark and one of the people knew about it, and the other couldn't see. The second time I was just lucky and he didn't notice. I kept worrying he would look down or feel the scars. I decided that I should just tell him. I think it's important to tell people I'm really close to about it anyway. So when he was driving me home, I just told him. He totally didn't freak out. He said that he didn't notice the scars. He was completely supportive. So I'd say it's worth it. Anyway, it just sucks to always have sex with the lights out.
I know exactly what you mean. My worst scars are where my upper arm meets my shoulder. They're definitely noticeable to anyone standing close to me. I prefer not to, but I will still wear tank tops. Three people, two of which are close friends, have noticed and all immediately knew it was self-mutilation. The scars on my ankles, calves and hips are not as noticeable, but the ones on my breasts are unmistakeable. The times I've had sex since they've been there have mostly been in dim light. The couple of other times I've got away with not taking my shirt off even though it was a weird thing to do. Of course the guys knew I was hiding something, and that ruined the relationships. I think I need a degree of intimacy before I can heal, but my scars are standing in the way of that.
Posts: 13 | Registered: Jul 2001
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When I was 13, I was in a pretty serious accident and there was a lot of scarring. I was mortified - so mortified that I faked doctors' notes for two years so I wouldn't have to change in the girls' locker room.
Worse than that, I thought no guy would ever find me attractive with all these marks.
At some point, I realised that I was going to have to live with these scars for the rest of my life, and I needed to deal with them.
I started to look around at people who were not perfect, but perfectly loveable. I started with my mom, who had bad stretchmarks from having babies - but my stepfather met her after that, and still found her perfectly attractive.
And then a family friend, who lost a leg in an accident, but never tried to hide it - because he couldn't. He just expected people to accept the way he was - and they did.
And then I looked at the people around me in my school, and you know, so few of them were perfect when I really looked at them.
Last, I realised I wouldn't not like a guy just because he had scars, or was different, or whatever.
People did ask me about them, but I was able to tell them I'd been in an accident. It might be less comfortable for you, since your situation is different. You don't have to answer if you don't want to - it's your business. But someone close to you should be proud of your recovery, and not be freaked by old marks. We all aqcuire them as we get older, some sooner, some later.
If you don't want to tell about them, you can just say "it happened a long time ago, and I don't really talk about it" or, "it's private, but maybe I'll tell you one day."
By the way, I never think about my scars anymore, and hardly anyone ever asks about them. The older you get, the less of an issue that sort of thing becomes, in my experience.
We *all* have warts, and don't let anyone make you think or feel different.
Many years ago, between the ages of 5 and 7, I underwent about 15 reconstructive surgeries to try and correct some congenital defects on the right side of my head. I have many scars on my neck, abdomen, chest, right leg and right ear, mostly from skin grafts. None of the women I have been with has reacted badly to them. Perhaps because I have lived with these scars for most of my life and am not self-concious about them. No woman ever ran screaming from the room.
Your scars are a part of you. If a partner is truly attracted to you the person, he/she will not have a problem with them.
------------------ We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
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