Hey there @Rivers
Thank you so much for coming back on and updating us about your daughter - it is incredible to hear what's happened since we last heard from you, and hearing that things can improve and move forward is so powerful for other parents going through tough times with their teens.
What you said to your daughter made me cry as i read it:
"I'm so sorry that you feel in pain to the extent that you want to hurt yourself; it must be horrible for you. If you ever want to talk to me or to anyone else, you just let me know or write me a note, or let someone else know... it doesn't have to be me. You're a gorgeous girl and this is not your fault, it's something that is happening TO you, and you're doing a good job trying to wrestle with it. We're immensely proud of you. It is really tough to go through what you're going through."
What a beautiful compassionate response to your daughter's pain.
I am really moved to hear how far your daughter has come, and that she is ready to go back to a new school for a fresh start. I can hear how painful and challenging the path must have been to get to where you are now, but what a great outcome.
Thank you again for sharing.
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@Chauny this sounds like a very hard and challenging situation for the entire family. It sounds like you all are trying very hard to progress and keep on the right path, it must be hard trying to split this attention between the kids as well. Just out of interest have you checked out Parentline at all? The link there has a list of numbers for each state :) The counsellors there are able to explore a tone of issues impacting parenting, family and overall relationships. In the mean time have you got any self care planned to give yourself some down time?
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My daughter was very "different" and withdrawn when she was actively self harming. Once we found out about it we were able to see the signs. It didn't mean that we could divert her from this or even talk about it. So I just gritted my teeth and tried to be dad and took every chance to chat, even the pedestrian stuff, so it was a habit and hoped that we could keep talking rather than the silence we'd had so many times. It felt bad and we felt very helpless but there was nothing we could do.
After a while she stopped and we finally realised that. A lot of the history and what she actually did came out at an interview with a psychologist she was seeing. We were invited in for a chat at the end of the session and found out many things.
It's not really a good news story because we were merely passengers on this out of control bus which happily stopped at an OK place. She has told us that it was a "phase" - her word - and that's over now. As for your worrying, we worried ourselves silly even though we knew it was pointless, but this is my child here and I'm not made of granite, of course I worry like hell about her. Overlay worry with a knowledge of your helplessness and you get the concept of how it feels as I'm sure you do. She chose to let herself recover, we were locked out of her world and couldn't help - an awful feeling for a parent - so we had little to do with her recovery.
All I can suggest is unconditional love and prayer if that's your thing. Try to keep your life going too, you're not much help to your child if you're an emotional wreck. That's what we did, more or less successfully - less rather than more I must admit. I truly wish you good luck with your daughter as she works herself out.
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