January 17, 2012

Swirling thoughts

I don't know if anyone really reads this. But if you do, then you will know about my past posts where I have talked about my friend Laura. Back during the summer before my sophomore year (grade 10) I attempted to tell Laura about my struggle with self-harm. To make a long story short (which I could bore you with many tiny details about) I wound up unable to actually tell her what was going on. She was a youth leader, and I was a minor, and in the states there are confidentiality laws which say that clergy (=staff at a church) are mandated reporters if a minor they work with has told them about someone hurting them (including them hurting themselves) or their own plans to hurt someone else. This can be interpreted to include if a youth is self-harming and definitely includes if a youth expresses feeling suicidal. Basically because I was 16 (a minor) I was not able to tell her because she would have to tell my parents.

Since this point (6.5 years ago) I have on and off wanted to tell Laura about it. When I really began wanting to tell her (when I was about 19) she moved away to a country on the other side of the world. It was hard, and I didn't really want to tell her via skype. Right now I am visiting her on the other side of the world. I have the opportunity to tell her. I am questioning myself though.

Should I tell her? (Maybe she has questions and it would be good of me to answer them.) Should I forget about it? (It was 6 years ago, maybe she doesn't even remember.) I go back and forth on whether or not to tell her. If I don't I will probably regret it, but what if I do and it goes horribly? It scares me to think about telling her.

If I tell her this, maybe she will look at me differently. There are some questions she is bound to ask me, questions that are scary and I am not sure I want to answer them. I know, I know, as per the advice I give people, you don't have to say anymore than what you want to say, but it is hard to remember that on the spot. (questions like: where do you do it? when was the last time? what do you use? anything details sucks.)

And of course I over-think everything. I replay the conversation over and over in my head trying to figure out how it will go. Me talking about this is not easy, I feel like I am losing my 'control' by talking about it and that scares me. I try to control it by thinking through the conversation and analyzing everything. The truth is I don't even know how to start the conversation with her.

Right now she is sitting near me, and tomorrow I plan to talk to her about it. That is if I can get up the courage and find some time alone with her.

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