Difficulties with stepdaughter / stepdaughter with difficulties(3 Posts)
Hi - thanks. She is already in the CAMHS system. She sees them with her parents. So she has some support and stuff but I suppose I am needing to figure out how I can help and how to deal with my own responses to what's happening. I'm not particularly included in the processes around her support, and that's probably fair enough - I'm sure she doesn't want any more people involved than there are already.
I'm writing mainly because I'm worried about my stepdaughter but also about some difficulties in my relationship with her.
So the summary - SD is 13. Having a very rough time psychologically. I've known her around 6 years and she has always been a drama queen and bad tempered, and a bit spoilt, so it was hard at first to distinguish genuine mental torment from the dramatics that have always been there. Still, in the last 6 months or so it's become apparent that there is some serious stuff going on. She's been self harming and tonight she took an overdose of paracetamol. She took 5. She came out of her room and told us straightaway, crying and saying sorry. We talked to her and got her to drink salt water and throw up. She kept saying she couldn't do it but eventually did and threw up copiously. I suggested calling 111 to be on safe side but she begged not to go to casualty (we'd said she'd have to if she couldn't be sick) and my partner decided not to after she'd thrown up. They then watched a bit of TV and both went to bed. I can't do that. I'm really shaken up and not sure how to help, what my role is here, and how to deal with my own feelings in it all (secondary, but important to the dynamics of the household in which troubled SD lives. Also, the rest of us do matter too after all). I had similar issues as a teenager myself and used to work in mental health but had to leave after trauma and bereavement stopped me being able to handle the distress of others. I feel really shaken up. I am basically posting primarily because I'm worried about her and would like to hear from anyone else who's dealt with this in their family, but also because my semi-detached role is problematic for me. She goes to therapy with both her parents. Not saying I should be involved in that necessarily but I do find it difficult to switch my involvement on and off. I also have a young baby and I'm fairly sure that she resents her and that plays a part in her issues. She generally ignores the baby and occasionally refers to her scornfully as "the child" or "it". However she denies having any issues about having a baby sister. Things have definitely got worse since the birth though and her attitude towards the baby certainly says resentment to me. There's quite a few strands to this thing basically. Hope this isn't too long and involved. I'd really be interested to hear from people who've experienced similar things, not just around the self harm but more generally dynamics with stepkids and new babies and all. Thanks
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