Hello @davina15 ,
Thank you for sharing your experience. I am reading that you're finding it hard to navigate the 14-year-old's communication, social skills and behaviour. I hope it's okay for me to ask a few clarifying questions? The way I'm reading and understanding your post, is that you're his mother. Is that correct? When you write about him being self-absorbed, what does that look like for you? And what do you find you observe when you mention they have awkward abrupt and out of the ordinary social communication? You also write about it's had to communicate issues regarding how you're coping. What has been your experience in trying to talk to him about these? In the same capacity, how are you and him coping throughout all this? Have they mentioned anything concerning to you about what's going on for them? When have you started noticing this behaviour? Has it been ongoing or something that's only recently started to occur? Has there been any changes since the father passed away? I know I've asked a lot of questions, but it's only so we can gain some more clarity about what's happening. We'd really like to find a way to support you in navigating this situation. Hoping to hear from you.
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Hey @Reesa ,
Welcome to the forum. Thank you for sharing what's going on for you. It sounds like you're someone who really wants to support your niece. The mother reaching out to you shows that she believes you may be of some help for what's going on with your niece. This is particularly noted in that you took the time and effort to sit with both of them and work out on some goals for your niece. From what I understand, you and the mother are trying to figure out how to best support your niece and have stated that if your niece isn't able to make some progress, that you'd consider the relocation pretty seriously. How did your niece respond to that? To answer your question, it would truly depend on what your nieces own expectations are. Has she disclosed a desire to live with you? Is she opposed to the idea? I can imagine if they really didn't want to live with you, that the ability to link them in with mental health services wouldn't be as easy due to the resistance. I can see where you are coming from. Sometimes being in a new environment can stimulate some big changes. But, like you've mentioned, it takes them away from their peers and boyfriend, so what could that mean for them? I'm sure there's still plenty of time to figure these things out, and I hope they are open to those Monday check-ins. Wishing you all the best in this!
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Hey @Momofboys2021 ,
Thank you for sharing your experience. That sounds like it's a really challenging situation to deal with. It sounds like your son has been experiencing anxiety and the way it presents itself has left you feeling limited in what you can do. I can't believe you've had to wait for over 2 years for mental health support. Does your son have any support available through school or something similar? I hear you. It can be really hard being a bystander and wanting to support someone who may not realise how much support they need. It sounds like they are experiencing separation anxiety when they're not around their safe people (you). Have you found any successful strategies that can sometimes work? Do you have any support helping you out directly?
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Hey @kingsl2000 ,
Thank you for your reflections over the original post. There's a lot of things to consider and I can imagine it's really helpful offering your personal perspective, experience and outlook. I'm not sure if the OP is still following the post, but I hope that your reflections can allow for an open-ended discussion on this topic.
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Hi @Tiredabusedmom ,
Just a quick heads up I moved your post to a more appropriate sub-forum section. I just want to say that it really sounds like a difficult time that you've been experiencing. That type of abuse that you've talked about is never okay. I can't imagine how complex and intense that situation you described was for you. I want to check in with what's happening for you now. You mentioned that hospital experience was last year. What's going on now in your relationship with your daughter? I can understand you're reaching out and assume things haven't gotten any better. Does your daughter have any professional supports? Or better yet, is anyone else supporting you while trying to navigate this situation? In this situation, it's important to recognise that you are only in control of yourself and your actions. In saying that, identifiying what your boundaries are when it comes to communicating with your daughter is also something to consider. Have you found if there are any strategies that are helpful or have worked in the past both in mediating your communication with your daughter and in helping you with alleviating the stress-load? I can't say I know from personal experience what you're going through, but I really want to send through my empathy for your difficult struggle.
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Firstly, I just want to validate that it sounds like you’re doing an INCREDIBLE job at being present for your son. It takes some true love, care, and value to put that time and effort into supporting your son as best as you can. There are a few things you mentioned I wanted to touch upon and I’d love to hear what you think: It sounds like one of the major difficulties is in trying to find the right balance between respecting their independence and how and what you want to do to support them. On one hand, it sounds like you feel by being too involved, it’ll push them away, but on the other, you can recognise what could help, and want to offer input to them about it. There’s no black/white answer to what the right thing here is, except to say you’re doing a really good job because you said yourself that they trust you enough to tell you, and that’s a testament that you are in fact a reassuring space for them.
Secondly, in the way I’m reading what you wrote, I can’t help but hear that old adage “you can lead a horse to water, but can’t force them to drink it”. You’re right, 18 is quite a milestone age and they are going through some major changes in almost all aspects of life. In trying to answer your question “what can you say to an 18-year-old to convince them they can overcome what’s going on?”, I can empathise that it feels really difficult to figure that out, but it may not necessarily be about telling/saying anything, but about continually being that safe space for them, and if they find the capacity and desire to want to work on things, that you are available and ready. Perhaps it’s once again a reflection of where is the balance that works for both of you? That leads onto my next question. What do you find helps you connect with your son? Do you do any sort of activities together or is it just talking?
Finally, your own personal experience has given you such unique perspective and insight into what depression can look like, and I hear you when you just want to share what helped you overcome those challenges and offer your son the help where you otherwise didn’t have any growing up. In reading your post, I can sense that in writing it, there were such charged and overwhelming emotions. I hope that by writing it, there is a sense of catharsis that you can share that burden. I wish I could more thoroughly answer your queries, but perhaps someone else may have some good input, here.
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Hi @TiredMumof4 , Thank you for giving us an update. That's concerning that they've gone MIA. I can imagine it feels pretty difficult waiting for him to get picked up for breach of bail and trying to start the process again. That disappointment you mentioned is understandable. You've been really, really trying to turn over a new leaf.
It's hard to be in the position you're in. I wonder, do you have any supports that are heling you out through this?
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Hey @Annco , I'm glad to hear that the principal was very helpful. Even though you knew a lot of the things they were bringing up with you, at least it can be of some comfort that you and your husband are not alone in trying to find the right ways to support your daughter. Regarding the psych, I can imagine it feels disheartening to know that even in a professional setting, your daughter isn't engaging. It can be one of those things where you can make all the progress, but if they don't even meet you a portion of the way in the middle, it can feel really difficult to see or find the strategy that might work to help with your daughter opening up. How can you find out what your daughter is feeling without being intrusive? One of the hardest things to work around as a parent. Without answering it, the most important thing is that we are accessible, available, empathetic and listening without judgement. We can't choose when or if they open up, but if the opportunity presents itself, we have to remind ourselves to be patient and not get carried away with a "Oh my goodness, they're finally talking, time to pry". Take the time for yourself to balance out your responsibilities and continue doing your best in being present. I hope there's a breakthrough, too. Keep us updated if things change!
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