01-30-2017 08:15 PM - last edited on 02-03-2017 12:19 PM by Ngaio-RO
My Son has started school today with around 80-100 light cuts along hi forearm. To my knowlegde this is just the second time he has cut at all.He is currently under the care of a Physciatrist and Physcologist after a suicide attempt between Christmas and New year - again a first.
All of this is very new behaviour that started just a couple of months ago.
When he cuts I am very unsure how to react, behave and respond?
01-31-2017 11:38 AM
Hello @Mumtoo Thanks so much for sharing your story with us.
I'm so sorry how terribly hard things have been for your son and you. Possibly the only thing worse than being in so much pain you need to self harm or suicide is to be the parent watching helplessly as it happens.
It's completely understandable and natural for you to have no idea how to respond when this happens. But it says a lot about what a committed and loving parent you are that you are looking for suggestions.
We have some info that should help you understand and manage the self harm incidents. This one is about why young people do it and this one links to a number of different things to do when managing self harm. I highly reccommend having a look. Expanding your understanding of why and what to do can really help with the feelings of being powerless.
Which leads me to ask what kind of supports you have in place for you. Supporting your child through something as distressing as a suicide attempt and self harm takes a lot out of you. There's a tendency to put aside all your own needs and focus solely on theirs. Which feels like the right thing to do but unfortunately will lead to you being depleted really quickly. How are you keeping yourself afloat? Who's helping you?
If you guys are around could you let Mumtoo know anything that helped? Or, anything that really didn't?
02-01-2017 09:00 AM
02-01-2017 09:36 AM
Thanks for your advice.
I do plan on getting some counselling for myself, it has been a challenging year for all of us, losing both parents (my sons Grandparents) in a short period of time, family conflict and now my son with a suicide attempt after Christmas and now self-harming. I am lucky to be supported by a wonderful partner and great friends.
I have read quite a lot on this forum and the internet about depression and self-harm. The more I read the more I feel like my son is not really following any of these traits or behaviour. (This week I have finally been advised that his suicide attempt did not involve the amount of drugs if any that he said he took. It is SO frustrating as a parent to have privacy thrown in your face when trying to really understand what is going on. I realise that in situations some parents should not be across certain information, but really why not get a background story from the people who know the patient rather than shroud everything in secrecy. Why wouldn’t the emergency department tell me that they didn’t find evidence in his blood that he took the drugs? I have been left spinning and now spinning in another direction to think that he went to such an extreme measure and lie).
I fear that in realty my Son does not have depression abut perhaps anxiety. He tells me that he has depression yet I don’t see any signs - finally this week another case Dr read his notes and disclosed to me that the ED team and then his physiatrist also do not believe that he has depression. It’s hard to understand why I have been kept from this important information regarding my 15 year old son.
Now with this week’s sell-harm I also see not the behaviour many of you describe, he isn’t regretful, embarrassed and does not want to hide what he did from anyone. He went to school with 100 fresh cuts on his arm to lead peer support at school and thought it was all okay. He denied that he did it the night before and tried to say that it was a few days ago, but it was evident that it had just been done.
I am now in a lost situation where my son attempted suicide and is committing self-harm but is not depressed. I assume this is some form of attention seeking or emotional void he is trying to fill?
My son is much loved, active sportsman, intelligent and a USUALLY a great communicator.
Now he is lying and manipulating continually but not just to me, also to the professionals who are trying to help him. (I can’t even believe I am saying this about my son – all of this is so foreign to me.)
02-01-2017 10:40 AM
Hi. Sorry I haven't had the chance to chat lately. Things got quite low and scary there with my daughter and she had a trip to go on which I ended up on too. I had no internet so haven't been able to write and then I lost my password so my apologies. I went on the trip for support if she needed and she did really well. There was still an undercurrent but it was nice to see her smiling and a bit more confident. I'm kept low key on the trip because she wanted to be independent but every now and then she came to for a quick hello which was nice. This was good for me too. I learned a lot about what she can do on her own rather than what she shouldn't do. We returned form the trip just before Christmas and we had a lovely day and then went away as a family for a bit which was nice albeit a little stressful at times. I think it helped us to bond a bit more as a family as we were far from our normal location. I had a whole of the school holidays off which was a deliberate effort to provide the kids with a stable and happy time at home in the hope that this year would start well. So the school year has started and so far so good. She seems more like herself although I can see that there is still a long way to go. I am hopeful that she becomes stronger as the year moves on and she copes with some of the stressors that come her way in a positive and constructive manner. I am prepared for set backs but I am hopeful that she won't revert to her old coping methods. I'm going to write a summary of how we have helped her over the last few months and how she has helped herself and how I have sought help so that anyone reading this can know they are not alone if they are experiencing similar things with their children. It really does help to read other people's experiences. Thanks for caring! You have no idea how much you have all helped me personally through this nightmare! Give me some time to write my story now. Mumtoo - stay strong and look after yourself in order to look after your son.
02-01-2017 11:42 AM
02-01-2017 04:36 PM
02-01-2017 06:53 PM
What an incredible wealth of experience and compassion there is here. I am in awe of you all @Mumtoo , @Chauny and @Lizzy. Such incredible mums (and I'm sure there are Dads in there too) dealing with the most incredibly difficult situations and still managing to be loving and patient with your children and then supportive and kind to each other! Incredible.
02-02-2017 09:03 AM
02-02-2017 10:37 PM
@Chauny this sounds like a very hard and challenging situation for the entire family. It sounds like you all are trying very hard to progress and keep on the right path, it must be hard trying to split this attention between the kids as well. Just out of interest have you checked out Parentline at all? The link there has a list of numbers for each state
The counsellors there are able to explore a tone of issues impacting parenting, family and overall relationships. In the mean time have you got any self care planned to give yourself some down time?