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14 year old daughter self-harming

14 year old daughter self-harming

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Re: 14 year old daughter self-harming

Hi everyone - thank you all so much for your messages of support and encouragements and advice.  I had a really hard week last week where it seemed that my daughter was back to feeling suicidal.  I was worried after we went to the GP to get another care plan and talk about the pill.  I had to leave the room and when I signed the care plan I saw that my daughter had told her that she was feeling suicidal but less so lately.  I went to her room to see if I could get a sense of anything else and I found some really dark writing.  It really scared me and I cried uncontrollably all day.  I just didn't know what to do.  If that aspect wasn't on the table I would cope so much better with everything else. I spoke with her psychologist who told me that I needed to tell my daughter what I had done but that it was out of care and concern for her safety.  I told my daughter what I had found on the way to her psychologist appointment.  She was so cross with me but I stood strong and I listed all of the people who love her and think so much of her and value her.  I told her that she is loved and respected and how much I admired her bravery.  I also expressed my fears and how I would feel if she wasn't around.  I told her how much I missed 'us' as we used to be 6 months ago.  She told me she lied to the GP just to tell her something because she didn't want to tell her what was really wrong.  She wouldn't tell me what that was though.  My daughter had a long chat with her psychologist and then I had a good chat with her as well and felt a little better and hopeful - she always seem to put both of us at ease about things.  So then my daughter surprised me as she was not cross with me, she was smiling at me, she wanted to spend some time shopping with me.  All weekend she was just fine.  When she returns to school I worry because that is where the issue is.  I am counting down the days to the end of the year because I think the summer break will be really important for her.  She wants to go to school which is great but something there upsets her.  Her laptop is broken now which I am kind of glad about as she was quite attached to it.  We will be getting anew one as she needs it for school but there will be strict guidelines around it.  Now we turn the internet off and she is not to have electronics in her room.  This week she has been sitting listening to audio books and painting in an art book - this seems theraputic.  I am still scared for her every minute of every day.  She didn't want the pill because she didn't feel like it was a hormonal thing.  I'm not so sure because she was so down last week but this week she has her period.  I am now recording her moods and her cycle (I have to be a detective for this as she doesn't like to talk about any of it).  I make sure she eats breakfast each day - even if I make it for her.  I make sure she eats dinner every night.  I am still struggling a lot.  My partner was great over the weekend as he held a family chat (first time ever) to talk about the messy house and screen time for all 3 kids.  My daughter was worried he might have known something he shouldn't about her but it wasn't about her.  I have told my daughter that I will not snoop in her room again so that she can feel trust in me.  I have kept my word so far only going in her room if invited.  I am so tempted to have a look in her book but I think I need to stop doing that and use my eyes, ears, instinct, love, words and care to guage how she is feeling.  She is going on an overseas school trip in 3 weeks for 2 weeks which the psychologist said will be good for her (harder for me).  She is so excited and is packed already.  She's looking forward to a few things coming up and talks about next year and when she grows up which makes me happy but I remain wary.  I am happy that she spends more time out of her room than in.  So whilst today I am ok - still scared and wary, I have felt strong enough to write this.  I am so thankful to you all for taking time to talk to me - it helps a lot.  I wish we could talk openly to anyone and everyone about this but the poor children who suffer this illness would be judged and that would make it worse.  Oh and I meant to say that screen time does put my daughter in a mood even if I know she is watching a funny thing - I think it is a zone they go into and so limiting screen time has really help.  Removing self harm objects that I find in her school pockets and the psychologist said this is ok but that she will always find something.  My thinking is that it might delay the thought for her at that moment.  Please keep your advice coming as anything you can share is gratefully accepted.  

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Re: 14 year old daughter self-harming

Hi @Lizzy  wow well done!  it sounds like you have done a lot of great work!  i'm really proud of you!   keep up the open non judgemental dialoge.  A question for you that is not to do with your daughter......  I understand that being a parent is extreemly worrying,  trust me I have had lots to worry about,  the questions I want to ask you are 1)  how is worrying helping you and your daughter feel better? 2)  if you were to give advice to someone in your situation what advice would you give regarding the continuing worrying?

 

Just asking because of course worrying is important, it helps you reach out like you have done, however, sometimes it takes over and stops us living joyfully.  so i am saying this as every moment you spend with your kids can be joyful moments! 

 

So clebrate how far you have both come! Congratulate her for being more open and honest!  And enjoy the times you have together!

 

Much love

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Re: 14 year old daughter self-harming

Thanks yes I know - my worrying has taken over to the point where I can't function properly but you will be pleased to know that I am seeing my own counsellor who is helping me to focus on less worry / more life.  She has asked me if my worrying has affected what is happening with my daughter - good or bad.  I know that it hasn't but I sometimes feel that if I take my mind off of it then something bad might happen and I will feel incredibly guilty.  I know that is silly and simple worrying thoughts won't change anything and will most likely put stress on my daughter that she doesn't need.  I am trying really hard to continue normal life things for her sake and I am trying to do enjoyable things with all the family.  It's a battle in my mind especially for someone who is usually optimistic.  Like I said - I feel ok today and I am trying really hard to minimise my worrying thoughts.

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Re: 14 year old daughter self-harming

Hi @Chauny, welcome to ReachOut Parents. Thank you so much for your lovely words of support. I really want to mirror them back to you - you are an amazing mum and you are doing an amazing job! It sounds like you have some great support in place at home but please do come back anytime to chat to some other parents who know what you are going through. 

 

@Lizzy I'm glad to hear that you're feeling more hopeful today but I can also understand that it must be so hard not to worry constantly. Have you thought about trying some mindfulness or meditation practices?

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Re: 14 year old daughter self-harming

@Chauny that's hard for your daughter and your family. But I can see that you are on the right track. I hope with professional help your daughter will get better.

In the mean time, don't forget to take care of yourself. Both you and your husband need help too to sort things out or at least release some of the stress. Come to our forum helps, talking to friends and families as well. Don't forget to give yourself a treat once in a while or you may even have some counseling yourself. We need to stay strong for our children!


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Re: 14 year old daughter self-harming

Thank you for the kind words @readthemanual!! I forget some days that there are 2 other people in our family, I feel my whole life is consumed with looking after my daughter.
We have had a very hard 24 hours! The day started with an incident at school that was devasting to my daughter which ended with her sitting in a park just crying. To her credit she didn't lash out but really what's worse, lashing out or feeling utterly defeated at every turn! The doctors appointment went well with lots of crying, from both her and I!! She finished her school year today, 5 weeks ahead of every one else, in the hope that releiving some pressure will help her cope. Under the circumstances she is in good spirits today, or better than what has become her normal. Day 1 of medication and day 1 for me to look into courses that she can do that will give her more confidence.

Her psychologist has said that I need to let someone else take the pressure some days just so I make time so as my other relationships don't fall apart. We have already organised for my daughter to spend some time with my mum, who is very supportive of my daughter, on Friday night.

Again thank you, sometimes you need to hear kind words from someone else. And those words are what I needed today.
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Re: 14 year old daughter self-harming

Hi @Chauny, it must be devastating to see your daughter defeated. How are things going since your last post? Do you have anything nice planned for tonight while your daughter is with your mum?

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Re: 14 year old daughter self-harming

Lizzy

 

Stop and take a breath. A big deep breath. I've read through all your posts and I feel the fear, sadness, confusion and how you are rushing around trying to keep your teenage daughter safe and I cry for you. I cannot for the life of me think of a parent who is doing more for their child.

 

Whatever darkness is haunting your daughter can't be shared right now because she doesn't feel it's safe to tell you. That's disturbing and frustrating but it's OK. She knows you are there to listen if she wants to talk. There's so many things a 14-y-o thinks are "the end of the world" that we would't give a second thought about. How dreadful could it be that she can't tell you? Suicidal thoughts? Thinks she's gay? Had sex?

 

Self-harm Instagram accounts? Jesus Mary and Joseph! Although I shouldn't be surprised as I remember a plethora of teen anorexia sites 10 years ago when that was the self-destruction du jour. If I sound disdainful it's because I am. And angry that a kid can't just be a kid and if any bullying went on the parents would talk, the bully would be pulled into line and everyone was happy again.

 

Keep telling her you love her "no matter what." I agree with an earlier suggestion of telling her how much it hurts you to see her hurt herself. There was an excellent program on SBS Insight on this topic and it was so surprising to hear the reasons people have for hurting themselves. "Because I'm disgusting." or "Because everyone else is disgusting." in other words, there is - of course - no logical reason. It is a mental illness.

 

I think it's a wonderful idea for her to spend time each week at her grandmother's house. Great for both of you. It's Friday so I hope you get so well-deserved relaxation. Let me know how you go, I'll check in over the weekend. Warm wishes and hugz to you @Lizzy

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Re: 14 year old daughter self-harming

Hi @Luula, since finishing school the pressure and anxiety has lessened, she is tired all the time and just so sad now which we will talk to the doctor about but it seems the anger is now almost non existent. I also spoke to the education department and they have been fantastic, they are helping me move her schools so this relieves the pressure a little.
I left work this year so our family could concentrate on helping her so I am lucky that I am able to spend a lot of one on one time with her.
Friday night my husband and I took our 5 year old daughter to look at the Christmas decorations around our town while my daughter was with my mum, sadly she didn't cope and my mum called after an hour. On a very positive note, after mum dropped her off to us, it took a while but she started playing with her sister, she hasn't done that in a really long time so my husband and I were able to sit on the grass and watch them run around. It's the little things, it has been the longest time since we have heard her laugh.
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Re: 14 year old daughter self-harming

Feeling a bit worried today for no particular reason but I guess that is to be expected.  My daughter has een a bit more even keeled over the last week which is heartening but I can't help but worry.  I tried to have a chat with her about the internet and some things I thought she was looking at but she just got very angry with me and told me that I am not to talk to her about any of this ever!  I feel so very helpless because if she could tell me what the issue was and what is causing her so much pain that she feels she has to harm herself then maybe that would take the pressure off of her and she would feel a bit better every day.  But she won't talk to me about any of it.  I decided on Sunday that I would stop snooping, assuming and prying and just start listening, observing and giving her the space she needs at home.  I promised her that I would stop trying to talk to her about it.  I am worried that she is still harming herself and I am worried that things may be worse deep down than she is showing us all and the hard part is that we have no control over that.  I want to do more for her but she won't let me.  So next week she goes away for school for 2 weeks and she will be so far away I won't be able to catch her if she falls.  She has a great team of people around her who know what has been happening so I hope that that will be enough and I hope she is kept busy and happy enough that she begins to feel better about things whilst away from school.  She talks about the things she looks forward to and the things she want to do during the holidays and the following year and into the future so that gives me hope that she is trying really hard to feel better.  I just want life to go back to normal - I just want my happy go lucky little girl back who loves life and her family and her friends.