I am sorry to hear that your daughter is self harming and that you are also struggling. I know this journey very well and we have been in this for over 3 years now. My daughter started self harming the summer before grade 8 after her best friend showed her her self harm and told my daughter that it helps her depression.. so, my girl tried it and hasn't stopped.
Its the most painful, scary and upsetting thing any mom can go through.. seeing their child hurt themselves like that, and one of the hardest parts for me was and still is this secrecy around it. She gets so incredibly mad at me when I try to talk about it or ask if she has been self harming. We have spent thousands in therapy, psychologists etc and I even hospitalized her once. Nothing has helped and she even goes so far as to lie to the therapist, or shall I say, withhold the fact that she is self harming. I ask her, do you want to stop? and she says no, not really.. and the doctors tell me that I need to change my parenting style and stop giving it power,
What that means is, stop trying to control it, fix it etc. Manage my own anxiety and pain around it, because she feeds on that and vice versa. She will hole herself up in her room for days and self harm when she is having a depressive episode and there isn't a thing I can do about it, We have even removed the doors off of her room then moved her room to upstairs closer to ours and nothing makes a difference. At one point I was driving myself completely and utterly insane with grief and trying to keep an eye on her so that I could stop it. After all, thats what our job is right? Well, my dear, I feel your pain. Its the worst, and it seems the harder we try to love, the more we are rejected by our children.
My suggestion to you is this: Focus on your health and self care. Focus on learning how to manage this new relationship that you have with your child and not reacting. I have made this mistake over and over, and it is the most challenging thing for me. I want to hold her, sleep with her in her bed at night so she cant hurt her herself but thats not what she wants. She wants me to leave her alone, and to accept it.
So today, I am online, desperate for some sort of support, like you are, and realize that what it comes down to is just me managing my own anxiety.. because otherwise I feel so devastated.
I also want you to know that I question myself daily. What did I do wrong? What did I not do? And I beat myself up. Even though our kids have everything they could ever want or need. They have not been abused or neglected. It just seems that this is a fairly new epidemic and its a contagion. Our paediatrician told me that in his experience, this type of thing will usually resolve itself when people are in their early 20s. Great, thats what I have to look forward to.. but, really its about my daughters pain. I remind myself daily.. She is in great pain, and it is her way to cope. She is 15 and there is nothing I can do about it except love her and be here for her.
I hope this helps to know you aren't alone. It seems like there are many of us parents out there, just as sad and confused and helpless. The best thing to do is that you talk to people, friends, strangers on the internet, and therapists. Not to your kid. Take care.
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