Skye de la MareThe Unhidden

CW – Self Harm

Here’s Skye‘s story:

I first self harmed at around the age of 9/10 I went to a ballet school and hated having to dance on my own in front of the class. When we all lined up waiting for our turn, I would scratch my arm as hard as I could. I loved how it made the skin all hot and tingly and took my mind off the impending performance and thinking about everyone’s eyes on me.

As I got older I started cutting and burning, it was hugely wrapped up in my alcohol issues and sexual trauma.

I think women especially are taught to turn their anger inwards, that it’s a dirty undesirable trait so I turned mine toward myself. That and the desire to take back my body after feeling the lack of control of being sexually assaulted were huge motivators. People think self harm is about attention but they were always my secret.

I stopped regularly cutting myself when I turned 20 and although there were a few relapses. I’m so proud of myself for finding alternative coping mechanisms and it’s not something I’ve turned to in years. I don’t mind my scars, there are a few I’ve even grown fond of and now I’m a mother I’m already thinking about how I will use them to teach my son about mental health.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention Skye about your session to encourage others to tell their story?

I highly recommend the charity Mind for mental health issues and the Survivors Network for support regarding sexual violence.

Thank you Skye. I’m so proud of your ongoing journey and being a mental health advocate xXx

As part of my ongoing ‘Life, Death and Everything In-Between‘ project, I’ve decided to dedicate some of my efforts in photographing scars and conditions we can’t see with our eyes or when we are fully clothed. This aspect covers most of the topics I’ve been messaging/chatting with some of you recently i.e. Mental Health, Alcoholism, Cancer, ME, Endometriosis etc.

I want to use coloured gels to draw your eyes to the ‘Unhidden’ too. The person I am shooting gets to choose the colour.

If you have an Unhidden, I’d love to arrange a sitting and tell your story.

L