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Among them: Lack of role models and invalidation - most people who self-injure were chronically invalidated in some way as children (many self-injurers report abuse, but almost all report chronic invalidation). When I told one of the volunteers, a mother who had been helping me there, she said, "Maybe it's not so bad..."I remembered later that she had also said this about my visa situation, "Maybe it's not so complicated." I felt so hurt by her lack of understanding that I had to bite my tongue not to say "Did you hear one word I said?!

I grew up with a single mom who read and shared self-help books.

A healthier response, one which is both informative and assertive, without being aggressive, is to simply express your feelings clearly and concisely. So I suppose they think they can tell someone how to feel and, then like magic, that will work, too.

For example, you might respond, "I feel invalidated," "I feel mocked," or "I feel judged." One factor common to most people who self-injure, whether they were abused or not, is invalidation. Now I am wondering,..someone says, "Don't think so much," how does one do that?

When we are invalidated by having our feelings repudiated, we are attacked at the deepest level possible, since our feelings are the innermost expression of our individual identities. As a parent I want to teach my kids these things I’ve learned.