The post we'll pretend doesn't exist

I typically choose not to delve into my personal life here. However, this is important enough that I'm going to break protocol....and you, dear reader, take whatever's helpful from this, but we're all going to pretend I didn't write it, because I don't want to have the conversations it could initiate.

Previously, I've briefly touched on my history of self-harm:
Here, and here

Nov 13 several of my Facebook friends very visibly celebrated "To Write Love on Her Arms" Day. This was problematic enough for me personally that I had to point out that it might be counterproductive, and no one else seemed to realize it.

I'm not pretending to speak for everyone, but there are things that I wish people would take into consideration before plastering phrases all over Facebook.
So...briefly, as I try to avoid writing things that may be harmful or triggering to others:

1)"To Write Love on Her Arms" is really, really problematic phrasing. Switch out the implement, from a marker to an exacto knife or a razor blade, and the same gesture gives you self-harm. Not good imagery.

2)In winter/cold weather, self-harm is a much more sensitive topic, because the cold makes my scars hurt. It's also a much more vulnerable time, because my shoulders and arms stay covered.

3)I really, really, really HATE the word "struggle."

4) Via facebook and other impersonal means of communication, it's very difficult to communicate support and love. You certainly can't do so by joining groups and participating in events. And Facebook"raising awareness" doesn't do much for the people you claim to be trying to help- I don't care whether it's victims of human rights abuses or people who suffer from depression or deal with self-harm.

5)Self-harm is only part of the picture. And while, after scoping out To Write Love on Her Arms website, I can see that they address more than that as an organization, the name/slogan is horribly misleading. Also, this unnamed "her" is really irksome....I can't read the stupid slogan without feeling like a generic target. Yes, so I deal with self-harm impulses. I don't need my nose rubbed in this every time I log into Facebook for a week. There's a heck of a lot more to me than that one fact.

All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone. I know young women who have dealt with self-harm in the past who feel very differently- but I think this is a valid perspective as well, and needs to be considered, before people start randomly throwing things up on Facebook.


charis said…
Today had a cousin become a "fan" on Facebook of To Write Love on Her Arms. Currently pondering whether posting something similar to this on facebook, or writing the TWLOHA folks and asking whether they've ever thought about needs assessment,evidence-based practice, SMART objectives, and evaluation (all the good PRECEDE-PROCEED stuff)is a better approach. I hate to be a snotty grad student, but I'm really not convinced they're doing any good, and people are giving them money that could probably be used better elsewhere.

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