Earlier this year, T.I.‘s older daughter, Deyjah Harris, revealed she’s suffered from self-harm. Fans showered her with loving and supporting messages as she opened up about the traumatic experience in honor of “Self Injury/Self Harm Awareness Day.” In a brave post, she educated her 1.7 million followers about the “multiple forms of self-harm” and encouraged everyone to “live in your truth.”
On Monday, Aug. 8, the 21-year-old took to Instagram to get even more transparent during a Q&A session. Most asked how she remains positive throughout her personal struggles. But one individual who had a more personal question asked, “What’s the purpose those cuts on your arms? (Not trying to be rude).”
Harris initially found it humorous but she used the moment to educate others on how to approach a self-harm sufferer with the same question. She also revealed that she began self-harming between the ages of 11-15 and again at 17.
“LMAOOOO,” she began. “Ok, so a better way to ask someone this question would be “if you’re comfortable speaking about it, would you mind sharing what harming yourself did/solves for you?” IDK chile but you know me.”
She continued, “I’m open and transparent but you asked so around 11-15. I think that back then…I was doing it because I was sad and numb in a way. However around 17 (so after my auntie Precious passed) that’s when it kinda changed. It got worse.”
Harris admitted she self-harmed to cope with “a lot of anger” she felt after the passing of her aunt, Precious Harris. T.I.’s sister passed away in February 2019 following a car accident that month. Initially, as described by unnamed sources to TMZ, the 66-year-old was reported to have suffered an asthma attack after crashing into a utility pole. She was placed in intensive care at a local Atlanta hospital and passed away days later.
Months later, T.I. accused the same outlet of attempting to profit off his pain after TMZ released a coroner’s report that revealed Precious’ actual cause of death.
“It’s like, ugh, I can’t explain…I want to be honest, but I don’t want people to look at me and say, ‘OMG, she needs help,’ or try to give me sympathy because I don’t need it,” Harris explained. “The short answer will be because it’s a way for me to release anger, or sometimes I’m numb, so I do it just to feel something.”
According to the Crisis Textline, self-harm is a form of purposefully hurting oneself physically, emotionally, or socially. Some individuals turn to self-harm as a way to release stress, pain, or negative feelings such as “when depression and anxiety lead to a tornado of emotions.” The site also offers resources, healthy alternatives, and recovery options that allow millions of people to verbally process and express their feelings on a text-based free app. To reach a crisis counselor, individuals are encouraged to text CONNECT to 741741 for assistance.