DD'S emotionally unbalanced friend, 12(9 Posts)
Well this is one I haven't seen before.,,I've posted several times in the past about dd's best friend who we've had various difficulties with using emotional blackmail on dd when she sees other friends etc. Really came to a head today when best friend tells dd that if she doesn't sleepover tonight she will commit suicide! I find this at the same time both worrying, maddening and ridiculous. I have contacted the friend's mum who thanked and said she is speaking to her. How do I help my daughter to support a friend who obviously needs emotional help whilst not allowing her to become entangled in a cycle of emotional blackmail though? And to top it all off somehow I've ended up taking them to the seaside thus afternoon!!!
i'd be encouraging new friendships if this were my daughter.....
Agree with Heysoulsister, you need to encourage your daughter to form new friendships. Sorry if this sounds harsh, but I'd also be weaning her away from this girl because she has the potentially to hinder your DD's opportunities. A 12 year old can not handle a needy demanding friend it is hard enough for an adult to. These situations do not tend to get better they get worse so I'd be thinking of any trick in the book to distance the girls.
your dd needs new friends and also have you spoken to the girls mum about it I think you need to have a quiet word with her about her dds behaviour
I think you help your daughter by teaching her that she can listen, empathise with people who are feeling sad but that ultimately she is not responsible for either their emotions or actions.
As a teen/young adult I seemed to be a magnet for the sad/self harming/paracetamol overdosing friends. I spent hours holding sobbing people. I sat in an ambulance from school with one friend who claimed an overdose and sought me out to tell me, school were very good with me and called my parents to tell them what had happened as they, correctly, thought that I'd either not tell them as 'confidential' or minimise the experience (typically of me and harder stuff!).
My Dad was excellent at 'debriefing' me, listening without prying for details, taking me to see friends who'd dissolved on the phone etc but also drove home the message that, ultimately, it was their problem not mine.
I started to change the day after I'd said goodbye to an exceptionally good friend (who'd been lived with us for a bit) who had to return to her home country rather suddenly. I walked into the common room to be asked for a hug by someone I'd been listening to as he was 'distraught' that Kurt Cobain had died! For the first time I said a proper no to someone. It took a long time to really detach from some of the 'physic vampires' and counselling at Uni helped. (My counsellor very gently said she felt that I arrived with an entourage for every session...!) and now find I can listen, empathise, worry and do what I can but put myself and family first.
Sorry-bit of an essay! But your daughter will need a safe space to help her manage this friendship whether it continues or not. Be that space and you'll be able to help her for a long time. Glad you spoke to the other mum and hope that the girl accesses some help.
Speaking as the mother of a teen who has been suicidal to the point of making several attempts (though thankfully never used it for emotional blackmail to my knowledge), I think it is essential that you should do what MsPickle says in her first paragraph: make it clear to your dd that she is not responsible for other people's actions.
Being a good friend is a fine thing, but it is not certain that giving in to her friend's neediness is actually helping her at all. Don't suggest that her friend is fibbing. Just put it to her that if her friend feels so bad about not having a sleepover that she is thinking of taking her own life, what she needs is not a sleepover but help so she doesn't have to have those feelings. And that help has to come from the adults around her.
Cory, that must be very hard for you to deal with. I hope your dd is on the mend.
And I like your emphasis on the help coming from adults, I think it's easy for teens to slide into a strange 'kidult' world where friendships become exclusive of adults and the potential for serious secrets to be kept/help not sought because its been discussed in confidence is great.
Thanks for all your really helpful posts which I have read with interest.I've done pretty much as most have suggested, emphasised that adults need to support this girl but that dd can still be a good friend. I don't want her to have to deal with her friend's issues alone but at the same time I don't want to send out the message that you abandon people who need help. I've also told the mum we will help if we can. Took them to beach yesterday and it was all quite relaxed. DD is about to go away for a week with her dad followed by two weeks with me so will have a break from this friend which is a good thing in many ways. Cory I am so sorry to hear about your daughter, I can't begin to imagine how hard that must be, spending out hugs to you both
Sounds like you are spot on, MaryRose. And emphasise to your dd how important it will be for her friend to have some ordinary friendly times that aren't about her feeling rough. Everybody needs a bit of fun, even if they are in a bad place.
Thanks for kind messages from both you and MsPickle. I think we are over the worst now; dd herself is more aware of her issues and better at heading them off at the pass, so to speak, and taking responsibility for her condition. Her younger brother (just 13) said in a family therapy meeting a few weeks ago that he isn't worrying about her when he is at school any more and that is a big breakthrough. We have tried very hard not to let it rest on his shoulders, but obviously living in the family he can't help being part of it. But we have always emphasised that the responsibility is not his and that professionals are supporting his sister.
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