Should I be ashamed of showing my arms?

So from self-harming from the age of 15, I don’t exactly have the prettiest arm any more. I have raised scars, normal scars, and wounds. Should I be ashamed of showing them? I’ve always wondered this.

While I’m at home, I feel comfortable not wearing long sleeves or a cardigan, but as soon as I leave to go outside, I’ll wear a lode of long sleeves or I’ll put a cardigan on. It’s harder in the Summer, although I’m used to covering up and wearing a cardigan, I sometimes don’t think and roll my sleeves up and then it’s the paranoia if anyone saw. What do they think? Are they talking about it? Why are they laughing? It’s a constant barrier around self-harm.

When I’m visiting family, I’ll cover up. If it means going to the beach with cousins then I’ll wear a cardigan. I know they don’t understand, and I know they use it against me. I remember my little sister seeing my leg and went ”why have you got lodes of scratches?” and I turned around and went ”I battled through being eaten by a dinosaur”, totally random but it stopped. The my brother saw my arm and it was ”look mum, look how many scars and scratches Sophie has.” It’s horrible. I want to feel comfortable, but at the same time I don’t want them to EVER experience this. 

There’s times I want to walk out the house, without long sleeves or a cardigan and just get on with it. But the fact of having that paranoia stops me. I should be able to go out and not fear what people think. I still do it with close friends – I constantly question myself over and over. There’s this one person, I met her online and she’s supported me through everyone imaginable. Getting a text from her saying: ”I love you, every bit of you, even your scars” makes me feel so much better. Although she’s never seen them herself, she accepts me for being who I am, and I could never thank her enough.

So, should I be ashamed? I don’t think I should, in all honesty self-harming has been my seatbelt before doing things more damaging. I’ve heard of different things to help cover up scars and stuff (will be in my next blog post!) but maybe I’ll use that as an excuse? Maybe the world isn’t ready to be seeing something so ‘exposed’ or to see someone’s pain upon themselves.

Hopefully one day, I’ll be able to feel comfortable with going out, without a care in the world! Until then, I think the long sleeves will have to do!


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