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HARM OCD daughter - wife needs support and is traumatized

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HARM OCD daughter - wife needs support and is traumatized


HARM OCD daughter - wife needs support and is traumatized

Looking for some insight here. My daughter's about to be 13 and has Aspergers, OCD, and Depression. She tel;ls my wife how she thinks about what it would be like to cause her harm, doesn't love her, doesnt think she ever did, and other awful, devastating things for any parent to hear.My daughter was such a sweet child up until about 7 months ago and then this happened. SHe is not violent. She is actually incredibly empathetic, which makes this so confusing.  She doesn't think she will do this in reality, but rather gets caught up in thinking about over and over in her head and focuses in on the thought.


My wife, however, has to listen to this over and over every day, multiple times a day. My daughter is very help[ful, but when her brain rests it starts thinking about this HARM OCD stuff. And my wife is now scared to go to bed at night not because she thinks my daughter will do anything but rather the devastation and anxiety and depression she now has as a result of this traumatizing illness.


How do I support her? I have tried staying up at night with her, but I need to get up at 5 am every day  and drive 2 hours to get to work. Its exhausting for me as well. I want to help but I just don't know what to say to her anymore other than "I am sorry you have to go through this". If I try to ask how it makes her feel but after so many times of asking, it becomes redundant. And i dont want to make her fear a reality in her head either. 


Any meaningful suggestions? Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Super contributor

Re: HARM OCD daughter - wife needs support and is traumatized

Hey @lkaplan1170, that sounds like it would be a really difficult situation for you both. It sounds like you are trying to find the balance between supporting your wife and your daughter. As hard as it would be to do, if there is any risk towards the safety of your daughter or others, please contact emergency services as safety is always a priority. Has your family been speaking to a health professional? There might be some really good strategies specific to your daughter's diagnosis that they could suggest to handle the situation appropriately for everyone involved. This also includes you too, as I am sure this must have a massive impact on you being a support person. It could also provide more support for both you and your wife to avoid distress, sadness and trauma.


It is so hard to support someone over a long period of time especially when the situation is complex, so I can only imagine how you can feel like your efforts are 'redundant'. You could try asking your wife what is the best way to support her? Sometimes people want you just to sit with them and acknowledge their struggle and pain, which can be uncomfortable to do but helpful for them. I am just going to tag some other members for input here, @taokat @sunflowermom @softballmum@hippychick

Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: HARM OCD daughter - wife needs support and is traumatized

Hi @lkaplan1170

I know this is such a devastating time for your family.  I have a similar situation to your wife.  I feel like I take on most of the communication between my daughter and myself.  In our situation I am home much earlier than him and take her to appointments, etc.  It is emotionally exhausting.  However, I have gained a relationship I never thought possible with my daughter.  It has grown stronger than ever.  I must admit at times I resent my husband and I tell him so.  He understands and doesn't take it personally- sometimes there is no equal division when it comes to parenting.  At least one of us is there for our daughter.  He also apologizes and he helps where he can.   If possible help your wife find a break in time weekly to get out on her own for a couple hours to recharge her batteries. I know that helps me just to have coffee with a friend or get a pedicure and let my mind rest for a minute. Oh, and maybe bring home dinner once a week so she can take a nap or a hot bath and not worry about dinner.