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Daughter self Harming - how to manage my own feelings about it?

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Daughter self Harming - how to manage my own feelings about it?

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Star contributor
Jess1-RO

Re: Daughter self Harming - how to manage my own feelings about it?

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Hi @tsuwei,

 

I'm really sorry to hear how difficult it has been for you and your daughter Heart It is something that many others in this thread @Tulip @Le-cheile can relate to. 

 

I can hear how much pain you are in watching your child go through this. @Taylor-RO mentioned in an earlier post some information about self harm that might be helpful. Is your daughter accessing mental health support like a GP/Counsellor/Psychologist?

 

The issues around social networking are really difficult, particularly in a growing online world. ReachOut has some resources that might help here. I would be interested to hear from other parents with similar experiences around their children and social media use?

 

@taokat @sunflowermom

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Parent/Carer Community Champion
sunflowermom

Re: Daughter self Harming - how to manage my own feelings about it?

Hi @tsuwei @Le-cheile@Tulip

I totally understand what you are feeling.  My heart breaks for you because I have gone through this too.  My 15 year old daughter self harms.  But it is getting less often now.  At one point it was almost daily and I had no idea how to stop it.  The reality is- I cant stop it.  It must be her idea.

We have talked about all the coping skills we see online.  She has tried many.  She will sometimes do henna art on her arm, cupping techniques, some journaling.  Mediation lately has really helped her slow down her thought. ( I do this with her)   but I know the urge is still under there.

I have tried to leave her alone about it more.  And if she comes to me after I hug her and bandage her.  But I remind her if she comes to me before she self harms I can help distract her- get coffee, etc.

We have recently started setting more limits around her phone and going out with friends and I am prepared for her consequences yelling, shutting me out, possible self harming.  But She needs the structure and is doing better because of it.  For a long time I have let her hold me hostage as a parent.  But the boundaries are letting her know where I stand and its better for our family.  Hugs to all of you!  We will get through this!

Active scribe
tsuwei

Re: Daughter self Harming - how to manage my own feelings about it?

These past two days my daughter looked happy and normal, after I did lots of thinking, I decided for now the best is I still pretend I do not know. I tried to keep her busy with meeting her friends and doing sports camp, still give her phone time, but much less. She looks normal and happy. 

 

I tried to occasionally gossip about some other movie stars/teenagers' problems to give my quick opinion without making it too long and lecturing. Hopefully I can influence her to think from a different perspective. 

 

I am planning a road trip just two of us, will get into areas that has less internet connection. After I read so much here online, I know it will be a long battle. I have to be patient. 

 

I treat her online strange mean talking and self harm as her own dark secret, I think everyone has their own little secret, I hope by making her busy with other activities, she will switch her focus on more positive healthy things, hopefully she can use her own intelligence and my little brainwash to overcome whatever brought her here. 

Super star contributor
taokat

Re: Daughter self Harming - how to manage my own feelings about it?

I’m glad your daughter has had a couple of good days @tsuwei, and hope she is still doing well. It’s fabulous she is showing improvement after less screen time. Good on you for being able to implement that. 

 

My daughter has self harmed again recently which is so upsetting. It shows the emotional distress they’re experiencing and it’s difficult because we can’t wave a wand and fix our kids. I try not to make a huge fuss but I’ve started searching her room again while she’s out or in the shower, just to remove anything I find. 

 

A road trip trip sounds like a wonderful idea and a great chance to spend time together. Do you think you might be open to broaching the subject with your daughter and hear from her what is making her feel the need, what is the pay off she gains, and maybe come up with other ways she can gain that? 

 

It sounds like you guys are a very close, loving family and your daughter’s lucky to have you Heart

 

Active scribe
tsuwei

Re: Daughter self Harming - how to manage my own feelings about it?

Given what we knew about her, since she was little, talking to her directly was always difficult and tricky. She is defensive and completely shut down even when school just wanted us to get some info about other kids and she was not at fault at all. and we could not get any information from her. 

 

My worry is if I do that, she completely shut down from us, or the fact we knew gave her much bigger stress might make everything worse. 

 

I see progress after these past few days, I think the fact I spend so much time with her, never 'yell at her' 'always hug her' does work. Before I knew she self harmed, I can get irritated by her disrespectful behaviors, then we ended up fighting. Now I have 'bigger problem' to work on, I am paying attention to her happiness, my behavior changed a lot. From her change, I can see  parents' support is most important for this age. She seems much happier and less irritated . I wish I was a better parent before all this happened. My short temper pushed her away and I added a lot stress to her life. 

 

I have a longer version of the story. I will write it down when I have more time. 

 

 

 

Super contributor
Taylor-RO

Re: Daughter self Harming - how to manage my own feelings about it?

Hey @tsuwei, I replied to another comment you made on a different thread. Are you looking forward to your time away in nature? It sounds like it can be difficult to bring things up with your daughter at times especially when things are sensitive. You can only try your best and learn about how things could be done differently. Please fill us in with this longer version when you are feeling up to, it is great to have you here on the forums Smiley Happy

Parent/Carer Community Champion
sunflowermom

Re: Daughter self Harming - how to manage my own feelings about it?

Hi @tsuwei

I understand that feeling of "walking on egg shells"  When you said you used to get mad about her disrespecting but now you have bigger issues to worry about.  I have felt like that many times too.  I think I go through different stages of parenting at different stages of crisis.  For me sometimes its been okay to be a little lenient on somethings- like chores, etc.  especially when you are afraid to tip this delicate balance of already uncertainty.  I think there are times that come later that you feel more like "laying down the law".  I think its ok to deal with things as they come and decide the best parenting style to fit that situation.  I feel I have learned not to always be banging down her door asking how she is and giving a little space- but its hard too.  The thing that has stayed constant is that I always hug her and tell her how much I love her- no matter what else is going on. 

I can really see how much you love your daughter!  Like @Taylor-RO has said- We are here for you!