02-01-2018 11:30 PM
She has been home for just 2 days now. Its been mostly good - She opens up to me so much more. She has told me so much about her past I am shocked I did not know. We are both still learning about her triggers. Last night she had a "dark" couple hours before she finally fell asleep. We both felt disappointed in this old feeling returning. But we know there will be ups and downs.
I am doing ok personally. Trying to keep busy managing all the little big things for her- like getting home school going, taking her to therapy, seeking projects to keep her mind busy. I still do work and that's tough- But I managed to sneak in 2 hours for nap and vegging out yesterday and painted my nails. I still never know what day it is- they all seem to blend together. Our family started daily check ins in the evening- take 15 minutes. Its helpful for our family but also uncomfortable if someone is not in a good space.
02-02-2018 07:44 PM
Thank you so much for your update @sunflowermom. It's fantastic that your daughter is sharing more with you, but I get that it can be hard sometimes when we wonder how we didn't pick up on things. Teens can be very good at hiding things from us though.
I'm so sorry your daughter struggled last night, but glad to hear she was able to work through it and get to sleep. It does take time and there will be ups and downs, but with therapy and learning coping techniques, she'll learn that she will get through the tough times.
Good on you for taking some time for you. It really helps us manage a lot better when things around us are stressful. We're always here to offer you support as well.
I love that you guys have started checking in each night, what a great idea. Do you mind if I ask how you deal with it when someone's not in a good place?
I completely understand that it can be uncomfortable when someone's not happy, and for me it's often because I feel unsure of how to deal with it or what to say. ReachOut has some really helpful fact sheets that you might like to have a read over for some tips. You can find them under the tabs at the top of the screen named 'Common concerns' and 'Skills to build'. There are a number I'd recommend, which is why I thought I'd let you have a look through the various topics instead of providing a specific link. I hope that's okay.
02-02-2018 11:34 PM
Thank you - I will check out the skills building because sometimes I just feel stuck on what to do or say. Last night she was triggered in her teen group. We had stay after and have a private session with therapist. My daughter told me and is now opening up about a huge trauma when she was 8 years old she gave me this information a week ago- and now dealing with the trauma is extreme for her. Her urges for self harm are almost constant. So on the way home I got out of the car "in the country" and just screamed at the top of my lungs...it felt good to get it out. I didn't ask her if she wanted to do it- but now she has another idea of what to do. I guess what I am saying is that I will start "modeling" coping skills- like meditation, a walk, journaling, opening up to my mom more even when I don't want to.
We forgot our family check in last night- its a new habit and things were so stressful last night. But I haven't really learned what to say if someone is not in a good place. Just "I am sorry" and "what you are saying is totally understandable."
02-02-2018 11:44 PM
Hi @sunflowermom It so hard watching your kids struggling and the pain they are experiencing. Sounds like you are doing everything you can to get your daughter the help and support that she needs. I can sense the love and devotion you have for both your daughters. It is great that she opening up to you and sharing what is going on for her. There will be ups and downs, but seems like you are doing all the right things - continue to be there for your daughter and remember to look after yourself in the process.
02-03-2018 01:21 AM
02-06-2018 02:01 PM
I notice looking through past posts that you have provided so much empathy and positivity towards others but I am wondering....how is your daughter currently going with TAFE and life in general? Are you both managing OK?
Its so difficult when teens isolate. My son spends all weekend in his room....at least he is going to school now. He struggles with learning, finds it difficult to focus on tasks and suffers from depression and severe anxiety. We have support in place at his school, a counsellor and a psychiatrist (mainly for prescribing ant-depressants).
We have tried so many medications (stimulants for the ADD too) and aside from his mental health symptoms, he has been hypersensitive to the meds. I intend to do the best I can as a parent and so shall begin with the coaching. I'm trying to look on all of this nightmare as a challenge and opportunity for growth. its been ongoing for about 10 years. I have separated from my husband, cut right back on work due to not wishing to leave my son alone and up until recently kept my sons problems hidden from family and friends. I did this because I wished to protect him from all the labelling and judgement from others. Now, however I wish to talk about it all. My son however does not want for me to talk to anyone about his problems (other than professionals) so I need to do it confidentially. Its important for my own sanity. I need to confide in others safely and without judgement. I feel that I can do this here with the forum.
Were your friends and family aware of your daughters mental health issues or did you open up to others? How did she finally come out of her room? What an AMAZING job you have done of caring for her! Was it isolating for you too? That's so wonderful that she is now going to TAFE.
I shall keep you posted about the coaching. But please let me know how your beloved daughter is going. YOU too.
02-07-2018 09:59 PM
Hey @Sister, thank you for your lovely words!
My daughter has finished her first 3 days at TAFE and is loving it. She's made a couple of friends and is working on an assignment with one of them. She's decided to get maths tutoring to help her along, so all this is a massive turn around for her. It's been really nice too as she's spending more time out in the loungeroom with me when she gets home. I'm really proud of how she is managing all of this.
I'm coping pretty well overall. I think this week's been a culmination of the last 8 exhausting years! I'm a whole mix of thoughts and emotions! Like you, I've learned so much, and agree completely when you say it's all an opportunity for growth. And what better inspiration for positive change than our kids?!
It's definitely a challenge, and I've really struggled with us not having a 'normal' life. I can hear you really understand the struggle and the sacrifices, and I've found that to be such a huge comfort for me in this forum. My daughter went from a happy outgoing kid to a highly emotional and aggressive child and unfortunately it couldn't be hidden. My daughter and I have both lost friends because of the exact judgement you talk of, and lack of understanding around mental health. I don't share a lot with friends and family these days. I write, and get the most support from people online going through similar things. I totally get why you have kept things quiet, but we do need to talk about it - it's a huge burden to carry alone.
I think what brought my daughter out of her room was gaining understanding about herself and learning coping techniques. She slowly gained more and more confidence, going at her own pace, which is what she needed to do, I can say now in hindsight. She became quite afraid of herself and her overwhelming emotions. She feels safer now to expand her comfort zone I think.
I'm so glad you're doing the coaching. I did it last year and found it really helpful, and my coach was lovely. They are so supportive and understanding and they work with our strengths as parents. I'd love to know how you go!
Thanks again for your support
02-14-2018 03:02 AM
Just wanted to put out a new update- Im feeling down and need a little support. Up until yesterday things have been going pretty good. Daughter has not self harmed in 2 weeks! However, I came home from work at noon and she still had not been out of bed. She was in a zombie like state. I was scared because I have seen this before she has been hospitalized in the past. She went to take a bath, yelled at me, we went to family support group last night- then when we came home she refused her medication. She would not say why leaving me confused. She is bigger than me and it wasn't gonna happen. Later that night she came in and told me they dont help and she doesn't want to have chemicals in her body. She says she thinks they make things worse. I said I stand by her if she wants to find an alternative but she needs to taper off and talk to Dr. So I at least got a partial dose into her last night. I am scared and dont want to move backwards. My heart is breaking, just looking for a way out of this fog. Has anyone had luck with alternatives to medications? She does go to lots of therapy and support groups on a weekly basis so we are covered there.
02-14-2018 10:10 AM
Hi @sunflowermom thanks so much for the update and I'm sorry to hear about your setback yesterday I completely get how heartbreaking this must be given the positive things that you have been noticing over the past couple of weeks.
I am completely in awe of how calmly you dealt with a really trying situation last night and it is so wonderful that you could be supportive (within the limits that the situation placed on you). I might have said this before, but even if it doesn't seem like it when in the middle of a crisis the calmness, love and support that you provided last night will give such strength and comfort to your daughter.
Your advice to her about getting the Dr involved with the decision is really smart and I love that it helped you with some practical steps yesterday. More than that, seeing your doctor, who has the best clinical knowledge of, and experience with, your daughter's specific situation seems like a great way to start a conversation around not just your daughter's experiences with her current medication but other avenues that you can investigate to complement this treatment.
02-14-2018 08:51 PM