Dad dot info form. Ask questions, get answers
Clear all

[Solved] Self Harm

Eminent Member Registered

Hi all, just when things seemed to be settling down following a traumatic separation in July, here's another bombshell. My parent's in law had my boys for the weekend as I was making my first foray back into a social life, going for a night out in London.
On my return everything seemed a little unsettled and my mother in law told me that my 12 year old is self harming. I spoke to him later in the evening and he showed me cuts/ scratches all up his arms. Once aware of this some of his behaviour over the last couple of months makes sense. Keeping his long sleeved school shirts on into the evening, locking the bathroom door in the bath when he used to leave it wide open etc.
He told his nan that he has been doing it since his mum left and some well healed scars seem to corroborate this.
I feel awful for not being the person to find out and for him not feeling he can talk to me about what is on his mind. He has also mentioned bullying at school as an issue although I regularly ask him about it as it has been a concern in the past.
I have contacted his school to discuss it with them (with his permission) and to try to arrange some counselling, they have been very good in the past.
If anyone has any experience of this I would be grateful for any advice you may have. My first reaction was to try to rationalise it as fashionable, peer led and a fad, but looking at the recent past (he has not seen his mother since July - apart from briefly when she surprised him in a shop and he fled in tears) and was an observer to our horrendously fast and traumatic split.
He seems relieved that I am aware without being angry but I'm worried about this forming a pattern for him and continuing unchecked. He is adamant that he doesn't wish to see his mum but I wonder if this is bravado tinged with fear as he hasn't seen her for so long, I think it might help. I'm sure it would benefit both boys if we could present as a united front but I can't do that yet due to my emotional state and her (to me) irrational behaviour.



Topic starter Posted : 01/12/2014 4:11 pm
Illustrious Member Registered

...this must be a great shock for you, he probably didnt tell you because he knows you are having a hard time right now....your poor boy is suffering and this is his expression of his pain and his helplessness. There is help out there and the fact that he is talking about it and is happy for you to seek help for him is a good start. Here's a link to a couple of websites where you may find some further advice and support...they both have a helpline

I think you're right that his mums absence and his refusal to see her could be pivotal but right now I think it's more important to seek help, speak to your GP and maybe discuss counselling as a way forward, it may help him to recognise that the changes that have happened are out of his control are not his fault and counselling may help him to start to repair his relationship with his mum. I'm sure you have reassured him that it's ok if he wants to see his mum... Just keep showing him love and reassuring him.

The school should have pastoral care available which may help your son talk through his problems and the fact that he is being can be so cruel.

This is tough for you but I know that you will find the strength to help your boy. We're here if you need to talk.

Posted : 02/12/2014 3:24 am
Illustrious Member

Yes, pastoral care worker is essential - and it's also essential that he knows that it's in complete confidence, and anything he says won't be passed on to you without his permission.

Since he is OK that you now know about it - suggest that you set aside some time each day/week to talk about how he feels - and let him talk, without trying to rationalise, and do not use the phrase "yes, but". Since his nan also knows, and presumably he told her - maybe she can help, he may feel comfortable talking it through with her. The more people he feels are on his side, the better for him.

Posted : 04/12/2014 12:33 am

Pin It on Pinterest