A: Thank you for writing in with your question. I’m hoping that by the time you read my response you will have already figured out how to tell your mom and your therapist about this latest cutting episode. But if you haven’t, I hope my suggestions might help.
I think the first thing to do is to take some pressure off yourself regarding this “confession.” It may be more helpful for you to think of the cutting episode as just one piece of a large puzzle, rather than an isolated event, and also give yourself credit for all the days you haven’t harmed yourself. If you are afraid your mom will be upset, it might be best to tell your therapist first and ask her to help you tell your mom in a session. Your therapist is there to help you, not judge you. Let her know how much you want to get better and to learn other techniques to handle your stress. You might benefit from reading some self-help books for new ideas and coping strategies. There are lots out there but here is one to start with: Stopping the Pain: A Workbook for Teens Who Cut and Self Injure.
Finally, remember that your mom loves you and wants you to get better. It is very difficult for parents to know that their child is hurting and sometimes their concern can come across as anger or some other emotion. Talk to your mom about your feelings and be willing to listen to hers. It will make for a stronger bond and a deeper trust.
With time and work, you can get through these difficult issues and feel better. Please don’t give up on yourself.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts