My sister is cutting herself!!! How do I get her to stop?
Well, my sister is 13 and she's cutting herself. She's not particularly unhappy with her life right now, I just think she's experimenting. About a week or so ago we were outside and I saw these scars, like in a line, along her wrist. Like from the end of the hand up about five or six inches. They weren't that deep as far as I could tell but I'm really worried for her sake. I told my parents and when they checked they had faded away. She also once cut her first initial into her arm, and when I saw it and pointed it out, she literally pushed me away and turned back to what she was doing and told me to that there wasn't anything and to mind my own business. What should I do?
What a tough place to be, you want to help your sister and you know she needs help, but she is not in a place where she wants help. And it is hard to help those who do not want help. Here are some things to possible try...
#1-Tell an adult. Cutting is dangerous and addictive, as I am sure you know. The things she is doing to herself are not okay. Let somebody else know what you saw with her. Yeah, she will probably be mad at you, but this is too big of a problem to NOT let somebody else know. Tell a counselor at school or one of your parents.
#2-Instead of talking to her about it, write her a note letting her know how worried you are for her and tell her if she ever does want to talk about it, she can come to you. Also in your note please give her the following website, www.yourlifeyourvoice.org and tell her she can email the counselors at that site about her cutting and they will provide her with advice and support about how to proceed.
#3-Try to keep her busy. The less time she is alone, the less opportunity she will have to cut. Try to get her involved at school and in the community with activities that will keep her social and engage her interests. This will also help raise her confidence.
Self injury is a tough problem, but it cannot be kept silent. Please let somebody else know what is going on and encourage your sister to get help for herself. Please take care!
Boys Town National Hotline-A resource for parents and teens
I'm very proud of you for reaching out for help. You have very valid reasons to be concerned about your sister.
You did the right thing by telling your parents, and it's important that you reinforce this important issue with them. Talk to them again -- make sure they take you seriously. If they're not listening, you can always talk to another trusted adult or guidance counselor.
If your sister needs someone to talk to (or you do), there's an anonymous, 24/7 cutting hotline that's free to call. The number is 1(800) DONT-CUT.
If you're ever worried that your sister's life is in immediate danger, please make sure that you call 911 immediately.
Thanks again for reaching out for help. You're on the right track, and the next step is to get adults involved and helping.