Member Rara Avis
Maureen, our rules don't primarily exist for the young or the impressionable (and those aren't necessarily the same people, either), but rather for everyone. As just one example, teens certainly aren't the only group that thinks lost love is somehow only painful if it results in death. It's a cliché, but even more importantly, it's a untrue cliché.
Self injuring; it is no different than alcoholism or drug abuse.
You're absolutely right!
There's no difference at all. They all carry dangerous consequences and are to be avoided by all sane, healthy people. When they are explored in that light, as a reflection of reality, they are suitable subject matter for responsible writers, at least in "some" of our forums.
It's only when writers try to make self-injury, alcoholism or drug abuse appear as good things that we run into a problem. Actions that carry dangerous consequences are problems in Life, not solutions to Life, and responsible writers are careful to not confuse the two.
Think of it this way. If you wrote something that tried to talk people into strapping a bomb to their chest or attempted to convince them to drink bleach, it would be pulled in a heartbeat. We won't provide a venue for you or anyone else to advocate someone's death. Well, frankly, that kind of suicide/murder isn't greatly different than self-injury, alcoholism or drug abuse. If you want to talk someone into killing themselves, you'll have to find a different place to do.
Of course, most inexperienced writers don't really feel they are "trying to talk someone into killing themselves." That's certainly not their intent, at any rate. Usually, I think, they're just throwing their heart out on a piece of paper (literal or digital), along with a whole lot of neophyte clichés. Frankly, however, I'm not interested in what they meant to say as much as what they DO say. They don't get any leeway for their inexperience or lack of writing skill, and honestly it takes a LOT of skill to do it both truthfully and realistically. If they want to broach dangerous subjects, they either have to get it right or find somewhere else to share it.
Those who take the time to look will find poems on the main site that explore self-injury, suicide, alcoholism, drug abuse, and many more sad reflections of life. The subjects are not forbidden by any means. We just insist they're explored responsibly, as problems to be solved not solutions to be sought.