Think DSD is getting depressed...

(13 Posts)
Helpstepmum Sun 16-Dec-12 20:12:27

I'm not entirely sure this is actually the right section for this but was worried about getting a bad response in other sections. I've name changed.

DSD is 16, she's lived with DH and me for about 5 years. During that time she's spent a varying amount of time at her mums. Recently it's only really been every other weekend. She's never had a great relationship with her but it seems to be getting worse and worse. Last week DH ended up picking her up at 11pm as she phoned and was very upset. It turned out her mum was very drunk and had been shouting at her and had physically attacked her. When DH arrived she was calling DSD a fucking bitch. sad

Since then poor DSD has been very withdrawn, she's hardly come out of her room and won't talk about what happened. She's always pretended that she doesn't care about her mum's behaviour (there's a long history of this kind of thing) and makes jokes about it but obviously it really does affect her a lot. She's a lovely girl and we have a close relationship, I feel so sad for her. I'm just not sure how I can help her now sad

VBisme Sun 16-Dec-12 20:16:33

You can help by continuing to be a constant in her life, and be there to talk if and when she's ready.

Helpstepmum Sun 16-Dec-12 20:42:23

Thanks VBisme. I really do try to be there for her.
I find it difficult because I've always tried to keep out of discussions about her mum as I feel very angry towards her and I don't want DSD to know that.

I'm just worried about the long term effect this is having on DSD. I don't think it's beneficial for her to have any contact at all with her mum but obviously she still wants to see her and I think she hopes that it will get better.

HoHoHoHum Sun 16-Dec-12 20:54:25

Can you access counselling for her? It may help her to have a friendly listener who isn't part of the dynamic...

ElenorRigby Mon 17-Dec-12 10:39:29

I hear you helpstepmum.

It's a terrible thing to watch a child being destroyed by their own mother.

I think the most important thing is to keep telling her it is NOT her fault, that many parents are far from perfect and that's not her fault again!!

It's really hard for an adult to let go of the ideal of having loving supporting parents/family. It follows it must be far more difficult for a child. sad
But when it's not true for the sake of sanity you need to nudge towards reality as gently as possible.

Give examples of mothers/parents who dont make the ideal. Maybe buy a book about toxic parents or show her a thread like the stately homes thread.

I have tried to do these things with my DSD ie tell her it's not her fault, that parents can be very far from perfect and that its not her fault again.

Hope that makes sense x

ElenorRigby Mon 17-Dec-12 10:44:28

Oh another thing you can do not directly related.

A lot of vitamin deficiency's cause anxiety, depression etc Helping her eat well and supplementing particularly with high dose B vitamins and vitamin D3 will support her physically at this very difficult time.

HKnight Mon 17-Dec-12 16:26:32

Oh god, your DSD's mother could have been my mother. She was an abusive alcoholic who would make her feelings about me wanting to spend time with my father known.

I guarantee DSD is depressed already, if you are a teenager and your mum calls you a f.bitch you spend hours crying to yourself wondering why your mum hates you.

I saw a very wonderful psychiatrist who taught me how to not blame myself or constantly seek my mothers love. I also had medication which helped a lot.

Watch out for self-harm, tell her its ok to feel angry and upset about her mums behaviour and she doesn't have to spend time with her if she doesn't want to.

I wish her the best of luck x

NatashaBee Mon 17-Dec-12 16:36:04

I would ask the doctor for a referral to CAMHS.

Xalla Mon 17-Dec-12 16:41:56

I'd echo what HKNight is saying about self-harm; I had an abusive Mum and that was my outlet of choice so to speak.

Has she got any hobbies or other outlets you could really encourage atm?

Poor girl..she's lucky to have you.

Helpstepmum Mon 17-Dec-12 21:25:46

Thank you all, there are some good suggestions here.
It's heartbreaking isn't it Elenor. Do you start conversations with your DSD about her mum. I always thought it would upset DSD to hear me talk badly of her mum but maybe that's not the best approach in this situation. I'm good at the practical stuff like providing healthy food and funnily enough have just bought her some vitamins! Just not so good at the rest if it sad
Natasha, yes, it sounds very similar. A lot of DSD's mum's issue is that DSD wants to spend time with her dad and me.
I agree that some kind of counselling might help, just have convince DH and then DSD of that. What's camhs?
Xalla, she has many talents. She's an amazing artist and musician. she has an outstanding singing voice. She just can't see her talents and I think has given up because she thinks she's going to fail sad

ElenorRigby Mon 17-Dec-12 22:13:34

Helpstepmum nope I don't/won't bad mouth her mother but just word it general terms about parents fallibility. Even with older children bad mouthing a poor parent aint going to work.
As I said before children cling to wanting the love/acceptance of a parent. Offer them pieces of the puzzle without being too direct, they need to come to their own conclusions.
During this time reassure them again and again it's not their fault, that they are loved, worthwhile and wanted. It's a very fine line.

Bonsoir Fri 21-Dec-12 07:24:55

Why don't you want your DSD to know that you are angry with her mother? Repressing anger towards bad behaviour is not a healthy way of dealing with this situation. Your DSD needs you to model an analytical, adult approach towards her mother who is failing in her duty of parental care, so that she can process her feelings.

Stepmooster Sat 29-Dec-12 22:05:13

My mother was a narcissistic alcoholic. She did so many crazy things. She used to mix alcohol with diazipam tablets I found biscuit tin fulls. 6 years ago she got fired from work went on a massive bender and ended up in trouble with the police. For years I tried to 'save her' tried the GP and social services. She tried to stab my sister and she would be physically and verbally abusive. We tried to get her sectioned but no one was interested, as she wasn't a danger to herself apparently. She used to ring me all the time drunk telling me she was going to kill herself. The authorities told me she was just attention seeking and that unless the alcoholic is willing to change there is nothing anyone can do to help them. My sister and I ceased contact. Last year she overdosed and died on my birthday, probably because she missed us. My relatives told me she had previously set fire to her flat, had been constantly arrested and handcuffed to hospital beds to receive treatment for alcohol poisoning. I had prepared myself for the worst and honestly felt relief, she was always in my nightmares but not now.

How has it changed me? I can't stand drunks. I point blank refuse to assist anyone who is the worse for drink. I grew up far too young, taking care of my family as a teenager, realising education was my escape, I left home at 18 and was able to be strong and independent. It takes me a long time to trust anyone. I've told my husband if he ever becomes an alcoholic or a drug addict I will leave him and he will never see me again. I will not go through that again. If I'm having a bad day I think of the day she tried to stab my sister and realise I've overcome worse. Our life experiences make us who we are, and I think sometimes when you can get bogged down in the what ifs and maybes. It took long time to accept life isn't always fair. HUGS TO All xxx

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