What would you say...

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What would you say...

Post by nzmum on Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:22 am

to an eight year old who is curious about the scars on mummys arms.

im am a hopefully ex self harmer ( 3 weeks now) but i have scars on my arms that are clearly visable, especailly to children who are just more perceptive and notice these things.. my son used to ask how i got these cuts and scars and i would tell him "oh i did some gardening today' well now he is that much older and that story wont wash. my boy doesnt ask anymore although im sure he still wonders, but its other children who will say to him, " how did your mum get those' and i havent been able to come up with something for him to say when hes asked.

hes to young to know the truth and i certainly dont want to give him any ideas so i wonder do i fob him off with... ill tell you about it when your older? or do i say its part of mums depression, what would you say? any ideas would be appreciated,

thanks,

nikki.

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Re: What would you say...

Post by mistameenah on Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:26 am

how old is your son now?
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Re: What would you say...

Post by logical-cents on Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:40 am

I wish I knew what to say to kids who ask as well. Sorry can't help
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Re: What would you say...

Post by nzmum on Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:21 am

hes 8.. a couple of years ago i could get away with, gardening storys etc but at 8 hes just that much more onto it.

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Re: What would you say...

Post by Paddy on Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:23 am

I would say, Congratulations on making the right decision and becoming an ex-self harmer. Thats a huge thing to decide to achieve, Nikki. cheers

As to what to say, I don't know, I'm sorry. I just know that its one of the
unthought of consequences of our flawed thinking and actions. Tis a bugger, innit?

I guess for a while I was 'lucky' cos there was a lifestyle block, Gorse and Barbed Wire fences, that sorta stuff. I knew they were lies I told and I probably fooled no one.

What I maybe coulda said was 'I deliberately hurt myself at a time when my Brain was very unwell and it is is something I will always regret and wish I'd never done.' Or something along those lines?

Something that doesn't suggest it is a desirable or wise 'event' and not something you'd ever want anyone to do to themselves?

Congrats again, and Take very Gentle Care, eh?

Paddy.
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Re: What would you say...

Post by Maisie on Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:23 am

Its a tricky one isnt it. Definitely harder once they dont just accept a reply without questioning. I did it wrong I think (actually that is a no brainer - I did it completely wrong!), telling one of the young ones in my life that it was a tiger Shocked He is now 9 and doesnt believe me. I understand why!

I now say to all the kids that they are the result of a car accident. I try and make that as convincing as I can because I dont want them to know at their ages that such a thing as self harm even exists.

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Re: What would you say...

Post by nzmum on Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:07 pm

i know what u mean.. i want to wrap my baby in cotton wool and have him think that the world is a safe place, a good place, that his mum doesnt do stupid things to herself because, how hard is that to deal with?

he is just starting to realise now that there are bad people in the world and he is trying to make sence of that, and my hospital stays

the other night after he had gone to bed, he came back out and he said, "we need to pray" i said " ok sure lets pray' he prayed for all the people in hosptials and thanked God for all the food and water, then he added, and please make the baddies stay away!

AMEN, he said!

i still havent done anything about this because even tho i believe for the most part, that honestys the best policy part of me is scared that i might just end up turning his world upside down.

he said to me the other day, you have a big butt lol then i he said, thats ok cos u have had depression (how that relates im not sure lol )and u were in hosptial, and i said to him, were you scared when i was in hosptial? he said, no, i was sad, i asked him what made him sad, he said, because you cried. i wasnt sure what time he was thinking of so i asked him was it when there were tubes he said yes... he is rememberiing when i was in icu and i do remember crying and saying to my mum, that i was sorry, i dont remember seing him there tho but he was there.

its really hard cos as a general rule, we want ot protect out kids we want them to feel happy and save, my boy has seen some things that i wish he had never seen but for hte most part, he is a nieve lil thing

he still believes in santa and the toothfairy and.. i tell him sometimes that i went to hogwarts school of witches and wizardry, its one of those fun things ive been telling him for a while, he knows its not ture and tells me so but sometimes he says, mummmmm tell me the truth! do you really go there? he wants to believe.

im getting of track, im tired, sorry.. masie, i just know what you mean about not wanting them to know that self harm exists.

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Re: What would you say...

Post by Maisie on Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:44 pm

I see the anxiety and worry in B. The thing is he is a smart boy, and he has a lot to try and make sense of. Possibly one of the reasons you are seeing that come through with him now is that he is starting to feel secure enough to think it through.

He 's probably not the only one trying to make sense of it, maybe youre doing a bit of that too - I know I struggle with that, and Im much older, experienced, educated than he is. So its a big task for a little boy.

Sometimes what we call honesty, is actually a weight on the child of a small boy who isnt yet equipped to deal with it. He is only 8. He doesnt need to know this stuff yet. Sorry if that sounded too direct!

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Re: What would you say...

Post by nzmum on Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:52 pm

not to direct at all, its what i think too. kids shouldnt have to deal with adult problems, there just kids, i think ill just plod along and when he mentions things ill help him buy asnswering as best i can to his level, giving him just enuff info that will statisfy him, well i hope it will. The more i think about it the more i think perhaps ill have a talk with him and if his friends ask him why my arms look like that, he can say, thats part of mummys depression, i think for now thats going to be the best way to handle it

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Re: What would you say...

Post by Josie on Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:26 pm

You are right to think about it as it will come up in the future and you have my sympathies. I am not qualified to be able to give advice and would suggest asking someone who is qualified would be the best place to start. There is a whole can of worms there which is way too much for a child to take on.
Lying is not a good place to start I feel either, let him be a child and not have to worry about adult things for a few years yet anyway.

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Re: What would you say...

Post by escadachic on Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:47 am

nzmum. I told my daughter who is 7, with regards to her Dads scars, that the cat scratched him and it was a big cat. But yeah, I guess you son is a little older and won't believe that. Thankfully she has never noticed my scars. I'm an ex-self harmer too.

What was not so fun, was trying to explain why her daddy was in hospital, at risk of dying. I just told her, he was sleeping so he could get better again and that the machines were helping make him better. He tried to kill himself you see. She believed me though. I'm not going to tell her at nearly 7, that her daddy was trying to kill himself.
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Re: What would you say...

Post by nzmum on Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:27 am

escadachic, i told the exact same thing to my boy when he was a little younger, that the cat scrached me

i also tired to commit suicide and was in icu with liver failure, because they thought i was going to die, my son was bought up to see me, i dont remember him being there but he was, he was told mummys liver wasnt working properly omg just writing this makes me cry.. yeah he was told that my liver wasnt working and that the machines were helping me. He is still working thru seing me like that, he has mentioned it once recentley where he said i had a bigg butt (lol) but "thats ok because you were in hospital and you had depression" funny how they reason things. i asked him if eh was scared and he said no he was sad because i cried, i remember hugging my mum, crying and telling her i was sorry. he must of been there for that.

he sees the word 'liver' as a dirty word, he loves human body books, factual things but if the word liver is in there he shuts down and says Dont talk about that dont talk about that.


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Re: What would you say...

Post by nzmum on Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:54 am

sorry i had to stop typing for a sec. like your daughter i too wouldnt tell my son what i tried to do. there are somethings that they just are far to young to comprehend, nor should they have to, infact i hope i get by without my son ever knowing the truth, hurts to much and i love him to much to want to see him anymore hurt than i have already made him.

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Re: What would you say...

Post by escadachic on Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:54 am

My daughter knows as much these days, is that mummy gets sad sometimes and that she needs to try and be nice and well behaved for mummy, as it's not nice when mummy gets sad. Not sure if she totally grasps it. I think it was probably hard for her becoming a sister after being an only child for 6 1/2 yrs and then having a very unhappy mum.
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