Self-Mutilation/Self Harm

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Question
My mother is…
Well…
Her mother beat her, abused her. Badly. And she’s lost several children to SIDS or rebellion. So she’s abrasive and cruel because she’s afraid that I, her little prodigy, will turn out like them. She’s cut me off from everything. Internet is rare, and only friends she approves of. Which are all people that make me feel uncomfortable.
And she’s demanding and pushes me to do things I don’t like to achieve goals I don’t want. Learn a new language. Apply for this program. Listen to this music, they’re the only thing worth listening to (that I can’t stand). And when I actually tried to show her who I am, she rejected it and stuck with the perfect mental image of a daughter she’d created. Only problem is, that’s just not me.
So we have a terrible relationship. So I’m always stressed. So I started cutting.
Nothing serious, just barely deep enough to bleed. Mother never noticed (And still doesn’t know), or if she did she didn’t care.
Until I found a few real friends. Real, supportive, amazing friends that made me happier than I’ve been in a long time.  They didn’t want a perfect uncomfortable prodigy. They wanted me. They listened, and made me laugh. So I wasn’t as stressed, so I stopped.
But she’s cut me off from them, too. I can’t talk to them and I can’t see them. I only see her. She’s even started homeschooling me so I can’t be ‘distracted’ by people in school. I haven’t been out of the house in days.
And I’m lonely and my anxiety attacks have come back. I’ve tried writing and drawing but nothing helps. And I really don’t want to start cutting again but I don’t know what to do.

Answer
Hi Hannah,

The only real advice I can give you is to talk to your mom. Tell her everything you've told me (except about you self-harming if you aren't ready to talk about that yet). It seems to me your mom just cares so much about you that she doesn't want anything to stop you from being the best person that you can be. She just seems a little misguided in the best way to do that. Let her know that you need to be able to have friends and to leave the house every once and while, because if you don't you're not going to grow socially the way that you need to.

If you can't say these words to her, write her a letter. But don't be hostile in what you say. Show appreciation that she cares for you so much, but make sure she can understand where you are coming from. As for your anxiety, you could potentially talk to a doctor and see what they would recommend. Sometimes medication works, other times seeing a therapist will work wonders. You will probably need your mom's permission for either of those things, but if you explain the situation then perhaps she would be okay with it.

Best Wishes,
Lacey

Self-Mutilation

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Lacey

Expertise

I can answer any and all questions about anything related to self-harm. I can offer advice on what to do if you know someone who is self-harming or if you yourself are. I can provide ways to get help and ways to cope. I have gone through counseling so I can answer questions related to that as well.

Experience

I was a self-harmer for a while, before I got the help I needed. I have been through what some of you may go through and I can provide an inside look that many others can not provide. I believe in getting help to those who need it. I have also helped friends and loved ones overcome their own self-harming addiction.

Education/Credentials
I have taken two seperate psychology classes, one at a college level. I have written two research papers on the topic of self-mutilation, focusing on cutting. I have read many books about self-mutilation. I have learned ways to cope, get help, and ways to relieve the anxiety in a way other than self-harm. I realize that I am not a psychiatrist but I believe I can help in a way that a psychiatrist wouldn't be able to by providing first hand experience with the topic.

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