08-01-2019 11:23 AM
First, sorry for the long story but I’m second guessing myself with how I handled an issue with my 16 year old daughter.
She unfortunately inherited one of my less desirable genes, in that she was a bed wetter until 13. From when she was 6, we tried the moisture alarm, medications, drinking less, going before bed, scheduling etc. None of it worked and by about 8, we had decided she would continue to wear protection to bed. She wore youth size diapers to manage up until her first year in high school, three years ago, when it abruptly stopped. She’s been okay since.
A few months ago, I went to her room in the morning to wake her up as she had been out with her friends late the night before and I didn’t hear her come home. I always knock of course, just in case, but she didn’t respond so I entered. She was there sleeping, and decent thankfully, but her covers were off to the side. Her panties looked pretty different, and my heart sank a little bit as I got closer and realized she was wearing a diaper, and it was visible that she hadn’t made it through the night.
I felt terrible for her, being 16 and still having these issues and what’s worse is she didn’t tell me. I didn’t know how she got the diapers, and she obviously was using her own money and worrying about hiding them from me or her siblings. I gave it the day and approached her about it that night. She was very embarrassed, but it really was nothing new so I reassured her and told her it was fine. If that’s what she needed we will deal with it, and I’d get her what she needed and we’d figure it out. A week went by and I made an appointment with our family doctor. When I told her that, I wasn’t ready for her response.
She began crying and told me there was nothing wrong with her, and that she had lied to me. She told me she stopped wetting her bed before her 12th birthday, but was scared I would stop getting her diapers when I found out, so she would pee in them in the morning after she woke up instead of going in the toilet. She was of course changing herself at the time, so I was none the wiser, only taking out the garbage. She kept that up for over a year until she stopped because she said she was afraid her new friend group would find out.
I asked her what it all meant now. Why she wore them, if she always used them. She was beet red and didn’t really have an answer, so I laid off the pressure. She just kept saying she doesn’t know, and she just wanted to wear them. She said she felt stupid and she was sorry. She’s a darling, and I support her as much as I can, so I just told her it was perfectly fine, I thanked her for being honest with me, cancelled the doctors apt, and told her that I would help in whatever way she wanted. She knows I’m not judgmental and will support her, and that she can approach me with anything. She finally opened up to me a bit, and told me she just liked the way they felt.
We came to a deal. She keeps a small supply in one of her drawers, just like underwear. When it gets low, I get her a pack and top it up. She uses her allowance to pay for them, and she gets rid of them herself. The problem is, sure enough, one of her friends did find out. Luckily, they’ve been friends since elementary school and I don’t think there will be any issue. However, I feel like something might happen in the future which could affect her socially, and I blame myself for allowing it.
I don’t get it. She’s very fit and plays competitive soccer, she’s attractive, has lots of friends, is social, gets good grades, all that. Am I being too nice? Should I step in and stop it? I feel if I do, I will just lose her trust and she will find a way to do it anyways.
Sorry for the long story, and thank you for any help.
08-01-2019 01:37 PM
Being a teen today is very confronting and confusing time.
It sounds like your and your daughter have had a good sit down and chat which is always good.
I am a big believer in accepting differences and that we all don't fit into a particular mold
As it sounds like your daughter is continuing having diapers and she says "she doesn’t know, and she just wanted to wear them" it might be helpful for her to talk with a independent professional to understand why she is doing what she is doing.
I would think a meeting with your local GP would be a good place to start, as they can help with referrals etc to specialists. Should there not be an physiological reasons those referrals maybe to physiologist or other mental health support.
I am not suggesting there is something wrong or she has mental health issues. I am simply suggesting sometimes it is good to have an outside perspective to help us understand why we are doing what we do.
09-07-2019 09:13 PM