So here is part 2 of the self harm project. This is Amy. Amy was such a pleasure to photograph. She was open and honest and realizes the true importance of using one's experiences to help and educate others.
Like all of my subjects their form of self harm is only a small factor in the issue itself and I think one sufferer who I spoke with recently really described it well:
" I self harm to feel pain, a type of emotion that I can comprehend. I am confused by my internal emotions and thoughts and struggle to make sense as to why they exist and how to deal with them. Physical pain gives me the control and safety of feeling that I understand my body and my feelings. "
We all self harm in one form or another, whether it's through lack of sleep, drinking alcohol, smoking, biting our nails, denying ourselves a luxury through guilt.. however these are often seen as everyday acceptable behavior that can be passed off as habits or a choice we make for justified reasons. It is when an individual behaves in a certain way towards themselves that is unrecognized by society as 'normal behavior' that we classify it as self harm or psychotic functioning.
What I want to know with these individuals is how they deal with these urges and how it came about. Why the inside seeps out and line between inner and outer feelings becomes blurred. I wanted to explore the individuals as people with stories,how they deal with their urges and not just addicts of unusual responsive behavior.
The implications of the self harm can in itself be more than or just as harmful to the individual. Lost ties with close ones, isolation, bullying, career opportunities and difficulty in relationships.
Amy was expelled from school due to her self harm (causing her hands to bleed using her nails to pierce her skin) causing distress in other students.
As mentioned other parts to this body of work will progress within time.