Monthly Archives: April 2008

Of Self Harm (There’s More To This Lesson Than “Please Don’t”)

Snarklings, the Lady of the Manners has to ask: what on earth have you creatures been doing to yourselves? The Lady of the Manners has gotten an absolute slew of letters recently from Snarklings worried about their friends. Even worse has been the flurry of letters from Snarklings who are worried about themselves. The common point of worry? Cutting.

Now, the Lady of the Manners wants to make it quite clear to all of you that she is not about to turn Gothic Charm School into a syrupy after-school special.


The Lady of the Manners also wants to make it quite clear that self harm is not good. No matter what sort of stress you or people close to you may be suffering, hurting yourself is not going to improve the situation. Oh, the Lady of the Manners understands the train of thought that can lead to cutting or other self-damaging habits. When one is extremely upset or near panic from stress, the idea of inflicting a small amount of damage that one can control as a release is terribly seductive. But the idea is a trap, because that small, controlled amount of self-harm can lead to larger problems: the need to keep secrets from people you are close to, for fear that they won’t understand; the shame, because maybe you feel that you should be able to cope with everything, and that cutting yourself is just one more failure on your part; the fear that if people knew you did this sort of thing, they wouldn’t understand why, and perhaps think that you’re just doing it as a manipulative ploy for attention. Or they’ll think that you are in life-threatening danger and in need of constant supervision.
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