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AIBU to be pissed off that my dd has to suffer emotionally after her friend committed suicide cos I can't afford private therapy?

(140 Posts)
borninastorm Sat 20-Apr-13 23:45:43

Last year my dd's friend took her own life. My dd was just 13 at the time and her friend 14.

Because they weren't at the same school dd's school didn't offer a counselling response. They did provide her with a counsellor but unfortunately this woman isn't trained in dealing with bereavement by suicide which I have since learned is a very specific type of counselling and it's even more specialised when it's for a teenager.

So, since then I've tried Winstons Wish - they only provide help for children directly related to the person who has died; Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide who don't provide counselling help and Cruse who have nothing and nobody in our area that could fulfil my poor dd's very specific therapy needs. ANd there's a waiting time of 6 months+ for counselling via our GP and no guarantee that she'll get the specialist help she needs.

I've looked into private therapy but it's too expensive for me right now. So the only thing I've been able to provide my dd with is some highly recommended books and a listening ear, but she needs so much more than that.

AIBU to be pissed that my teenager has to emotionally suffer because I can't afford to pay for private therapy for her?

And does anybody have any advice on how best to help her and/or get her the help she needs?

borninastorm Mon 22-Apr-13 11:05:25

Maryz I've just reread one of your posts and I think she may be at the point now where she thinks she should be feeling better and she's not she's feeling worse. I think that's troubling her and worrying and upsetting her.

When we have a chat tonight I'm going to explain that it's ok to feel how she feels for as long as she feels it. That she doesn't have to be her version of normal anytime soon.

I hope your DS has got through the anniversary week ok? It's so hard when you're child is suffering, no matter what age they are.

DIYapprentice Mon 22-Apr-13 11:27:17

Grief is a process - and it can take a very long time. Society, as a whole, are completely crap at letting someone grieve. The first year is terrible, there are all the 'firsts' to get through. Your first birthday, their first birthday, first Christmas, first holidays, first Easter, and then the first anniversary of their death. So many things that have the power to hurt you suddenly, when you just think you've getting a handle on it.

ithaka Mon 22-Apr-13 15:52:30

I do agree that society is crap at letting people grieve -everyone wants a fix, when there is no fixing it.

expatinscotland Mon 22-Apr-13 21:11:02

I agree with SGB when it comes to someone as old as the OP's DD, who can make that choice.

For me, I rely on the support of other bereaved parents, and hope I support them, too, because from my point of view there is no way to really help me, IYKWIM, short of the impossible, and the only ones who truly can understand and with whom I feel comfortable expressing my feelings are with those who walk this road, too.

For our children, however, we have chosen the help offered because of their ages at the time their sister fell ill, the circumstances surrounding her condition and her death. The 7-year-old, in particular, has lasting memories of her sister and certainly of us following her death. The 4-year-old, too. And although we are as supportive as we can be, things came out during play therapy, particularly for the 4-year-old, and art and play therapy for the 7-year-old that they can't really express in words yet, they are just too young.

They can't say, 'I'm scared that if I get sick enough to go to hospital, I'm going to die like my sister. It makes me really anxious.' Or, 'I feel really out of control.'

Some close friends of our family, one of their two sons, the elder, he drowned when he was 6, 33 years ago. The other son was 3. I got to have a long chat with him, the first time I'd ever been able to in person with the sibling of someone who died as a child.

His perceptive meant a lot. His brother was not spoken of in the home. It was thought that, as he was too young to remember, it was best not to 'upset' him. This was the prevailing thought at the time, but it damaged him.

For those who do not believe grief and loss damage people look no further than Queen Elizabeth I's childhood and adolescent letters to her friend Robert Dudley. She made a vow to herself early on never to marry or have children because all that she perceived and experienced of it around her was death for the woman. She stuck to that promise.

expatinscotland Mon 22-Apr-13 21:15:54

My child drew a huge picture after her sister died. Of a child in a hospital room and bed with wires coming out, surrounded by all these people, and people going in and out. And all the people were black. Their clothes, everything. Outside was all black. And the child was all in white. She drew another, of a family, outside, children riding scooters and bikes, rainbows, sunshine, trees and flowers. All the people wore smiles, and from all their eyes were tears flowing out.

She cannot say just yet. She's too young.

Counselling, play therapy, art therapy, etc are vital for such children, IMO.

cory Mon 22-Apr-13 21:16:56

But ithaka, letting people grieve in the way that comes natural to them isn't always very good for the people around them. My friend's poor little ds took his grief out by banging other little boys' heads against the pavement. He couldn't be let to grieve in his own way because other people got hurt. It wasn't that anybody wanted to stop him from grieving: the counselling he got was more about channelling his grief.

I wish my mum had had bereavement counselling when her parents died. Instead, the family dealt with it in the traditional style- which basically meant that I had to substitute for her mother. I was a child, I shouldn't have had to do that. My dad was just helplessly sweet and my brothers kept their heads down. She went through a patch when she was shouting all sorts of odd accusations at us. No doubt a natural reaction to grief, but very frightening and confusing for a young teen who had nobody to turn to.

Of course, we should all be more tolerant of people needing to take time to grieve. But sometimes families may need a bit of help to deal with grief.

MoaneyMcmoanmoan Tue 23-Apr-13 01:27:55

Ithaka I totally get where you are coming from, and I am so sorry for your massive, massive loss.

PERSONALLY (and I accept this may not hold true for everyone) I find that when I need to talk something out, I get better advice from talking to a wise friend who has been through similar experiences, or who is just very empathetic.

I find the lack of response from many counsellors irritating. I realise they are just there to listen, but really? I could talk to my dog if I just wanted someone to listen. Not trying to be flippant, but that's how I feel! At least she occasionally licks my hand in sympathy. I get that some counsellors are able to give tools to cope - ike CBT etc but I have unfortunately never experienced that.

Please don't hear what I'm not saying. I know some people have had terrific experiences with counsellors. But equally, some of us have found them less helpful (or perhaps have just encountered particularly shit ones).

Anyway, IthakaI just wanted you to know that I get where you are coming from - not downplaying the importance of counselling in general, just suggesting it may not be for everyone.

ithaka Tue 23-Apr-13 06:44:37

Thank you Moaney. I do have family support and some good, long term, wise and caring friends. I realise not everyone has this support.

I also empathise with your dog comment. When my son died I bought a horse! I have had her for over 10 years and she is now seeing me through my father's sudden death. In grief we have to do what is best for us and our family - for some it is counselling, for me it was a horse...

Scheherezade Tue 23-Apr-13 08:24:57

Urbane, are you dismissing all psychological therapies, or just counselling? Please tell your thoughts on CBT, CAT, DBT (which is considered the only effective treatment for BPD, after large scale scientific evaluation), EMT, psychoanalysis.

All very different from counselling.

ithaka Tue 23-Apr-13 08:47:33

Scheherezade, your question sounds quite combative, which I am sure wasn't your intention. On this thread we have been sharing our different ways of coping with bereavement, accepting there is no right and wrong and recognising everyone's different needs at different times. No one has to tell their thoughts if they do not wish to and we can all disagree and all still be 'right'.

cory Tue 23-Apr-13 08:50:06

ithaka, I think Scheherezade might still be on page whatever-it-is been reading Urbane's posts which were quite aggressive and so have missed that the conversation has since moved into mellower, more supportive channels. I also found Urbane's comments quite upsetting, but am glad to see that this thread has moved on.

ithaka Tue 23-Apr-13 08:53:14

Sorry Scheherazade, I see what Cory means (thanks Cory!) Scheherazade's question seemed so out of tune with the tone of the thread, but I can see it might have seemed appropriate in response to earlier posts. This is such a sensitive subject, I hate to think of anyone being unnecessarily upset.

cory Tue 23-Apr-13 08:55:59

I've done if myself often enough, started reading a thread and got so incensed at something on page 3 that I forgot that there were still 15 pages to go.

MoaneyMcmoanmoan Tue 23-Apr-13 08:58:08

flowers ithaka.

You are lovely - in a "I like the cut of your jib"" kind of way. Not a "weirdo stalking you on the internet" kind of way grin.

borninastorm Tue 23-Apr-13 10:58:43

expat your dd's picture sounds so sad and so telling of her pain and her fears.

My dd drew some pretty 'dark' art in the immediate aftermath of her friend's suicide. Some she's shown me, others she keeps to herself. And I think the ones she doesn't show me are the one's that are the darkest, the ones she thinks might scare me or worry me or even hurt me.

The same goes with her words when we talk about it. I can see her sometimes choosing her words carefully so as not to scare me or hurt me.

She doesn't understand that I don't care how dark or scary her words or art are I just want to support her, while she in turn wants to protect me from her sadness and grief.

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