Self Harming Daughter and I as a Mum are lost what to do
12-19-2017 09:23 AM
I suspected my 15 year daughter was self harming after changes in behavior and also some scratches in odd places that she would be aware of and deliberately cover them up. I would ask her about them and she would come up with an excuse.My instincts were confirmed and I found proof. I tried to seek help from other places with no help or support intil my friend found this group for me. I phoned a doctor and made an appointment and told the receptionist what my concerns were and ask that the doctor be discreet. I bought up that she has got some scratches(this is what i call them) and I am concerned. Nathing came from that.appointment. I have always told her that no matter what you can tell me anything good or bad and that I love her till the ends of the earth and back and I will always have her back and support her in everyway possible.
We went back a second time as we needed to go there for something else. While we were there I openely said to the doctor that she appears to have deep scratches on her stomach can you please check them out. I was asked to leave the room by my daughter and waited outside. When I came in the doctor said that she has been given a form for a counselor. From this appointment she totally shut me out and would not speak to me and totally avoided me. I appologised to her but I didnt ever mention self harm at all.
Where do I go from here? I am scared to bring up anything as she has only started talking to me again after 3 weeks. I have wrote her letters and messaged her always telling her I am here always. If i ask her about her doctor follow up I am worried about the implications. I have tried to ask her to do things with me that I know she would like and she always declines. From the outside looking in you would not think this is possible from her as she is involved and kept busy with outside of school activities and is a respected person within these groups.
I have not taken anything away from her room as I think it is well hidden and it will just be done with something else. She is moody and snappy at me but will communicate with me when she wants something from me such as to find something that she needs or to drive her places or pick her up etc. I am happy to take her and pick her up as I value our time in the car even if it is in total silence most of the time.
I tip toe scared to say the wrong thing. I think the trigger is her weight she is constantly looking at calories etc. For this reason I do not have scales in my house.
As a mum it is also making me extremely ill that I am lost and dont know how to help her.It is causing me to physically be sick constantly. I have previously suffered from depression and I can also feel that I need help as well.
She will be going away for a few weeks on a camp which has been planned for a long time now and I want to make sure that our relationship is a communicating one before she leaves.
Please help me I am totally lost , do i try and take her back to the doctor? I am sure she will decline. I have read some of the other topics as well. I have read about joining your parent coaching group as well which i will also look into. Do i make an appointment for the same doctor to chat about my daughter?
I am worried I have also ruined the relationship that I have with my daughter and I dont know how to build it up solid. I understand that she may not trust me etc by it is tearing me apart.
I have spoken with her dad and he was no help at all actually.
Sorry if it is a bit jumbled.
Re: Self Harming Daughter and I as a Mum are lost what to do
12-19-2017 12:41 PM - edited 12-19-2017 03:44 PM
Thanks for reaching out. We’re sorry to hear that you’re having a tough time connecting with your daughter on this difficult topic, but it’s great that you keep trying and that you have sought help from your GP to get her a referral to a counsellor. Try to encourage your daughter to continue to see the doctor and counsellor, with or without you present.
It is also important that you keep reaching out, and keep the conversation open with your daughter, even if she withdraws. Even though she may not be ready to talk yet, it is important that she knows you are there and ready to listen and support her when she is ready to talk.
I know this might seem super difficult right now but I can tell from your post that you are already doing great things to keep the lines of communication open with your daughter by writing her letters and offering all the love and support you can. I love that you are considering the ReachOut Parents Coaching service. I think this is great because it will help you with one-on-one training about your specific situation and help you with practical tips about how to best talk to your daughter about your concerns.
There are a few place you might like to look into and recommend to her for additional support:
- You can encourage her to speak with Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 to help her cope when she feels the urge to self-harm
- The Butterfly Foundation also has some resources for both you and her, to help promote a healthy body image: https://thebutterflyfoundation.org.au/
You also need to remember to look after your own mental health as a carer, so that you can be your daughter’s best possible support. Posting here for support was actually a really great start, as there are other parents on here that have given great advice about this in the past like @waldo_pepper and @motherbear.