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Please help me help DSD. Desperate.(6 Posts)
I was married to exH for four years, during which time DSD lived with us. She moved from her mother at 1, in with her Grandmother. At 4, she lived in with XH. I joined them at 5.
The relationship was emotionally abusive. ExH is a violent, manipulative bully. To me and DSD.
When j left, she returned to Granny. XH took her back 9 months later.
He is neglectful, angry, controlling.
SS do not feel she meets the threshold for intervention.
The year DSD spent with mum was chaotic and mum (very young) has had very erratic input ever since.
DSD is now 11. She has had a series of broken attachments, and her life is miserable.
She is angry. So very angry. Can't let it out anywhere.
I see her whenever I can but as XH won't let me, this has to be when Granny brings her to see me, which leaves DSD on edge in case daddy finds out.
Granny calls me in tears and despair, she doesn't know how to manage the situation.
We went out today, DSD, Granny and me. DSD wanted to look in the shops. She did this and then we went for a drink in a coffee shop. Because Granny said she couldn't have both a milkshake and a cake (she is extremely overweight), she physically hit, kicked, spat on the floor, called her granny a fat cow, pushed chairs on the floor.
I told her to just walk away. Eventually she got in the car and we tried to talk to her.
She was sobbing, historical.
SS will not intervene.
I thought with all of your extensive experiences with therapeutic parenting and attachment issues you might have some guidance and I am so so worried about her.
How desperately, desperately sad, and what a mess. I am not an expert on therapeutic parenting or attachment issues but I'm sure others will come along to advise soon.
My first thought is that she needs professional help. She's crying out for attention because she is so deeply unhappy. Apart from Granny, has your Ex got any other sensible members of his family who know what he is like and could intervene?
I'm wondering if you could apply to the Court for access? I have no idea if that is possible, but you were in her life for a significant length of time and if she wanted to see you a sympathetic judge might allow it. I assume you never formally adopted her as a step-parent?
There are some brilliant people on this forum who know how to deal with these issues, but some may be away because it is half-term. Hold on. I'm sure you'll get some good advice soon.
Sending you a hug because this is clearly very distressing for you too.
Poor child, I can see why your heart goes out to her. Is granny a positive influence, I.e. a stable person in her life, because it sounds like she needs that desperately. If you are able to be there for her consistently, that could also help: it will be tough going, I suspect, but so precious. I wonder how she is at school, because the school might be better placed to access help for her (since it sounds like her father won't?). They could request an Ed Psych review, which could be a helpful assessment.
There are lots of therapeutic parenting interventions, but right now the basic issue sounds like she just doesn't feel safe. And until that feeling of safety is established, she's not going to be able to start engaging with healing activities. It might be helpful to remember that inside, she is very likely far younger emotionally, hence reverting to toddler type behaviour when under stress. Many children with these kind of experiences also have a real need to control, due to insecurity. This is a really tricky one to manage. Bruce Parry's "The boy who was raised as a dog" has a chapter each on children living in a variety of situations, and might be a helpful read.
I'm really sorry for your DSD's situation, and I hope she and you can find the right help.
Thank you so much.
Granny is a difficult influence, to be honest. The whole family are very dysfunctional but I try to very much guide granny in how best to deal with DSD. Things have got much worse for her since the divorce (2years ago), and she is very very hard work, which is just so understandable.
The school have been useful. I wrote and requested that they considered offering a CAF, clearly they can't feed back to me, but it just never happened.
DSD has told her mother that she sometimes thinks about killing herself.
I have asked my ex to get her counselling, under the guise of it being because of BM, I have tried being direct about my concerns, nothing.
I have encouraged Granny to consider residency, this is what DSD would like, but they feel that they are too old now (70's) and she is just too difficult to manage.
I just want to scoop her up and rescue her.
Sorry, should say school have been useless!
I'm sure some other people will have some ideas too so hold on.
If she is talking about killing herself can her mother be persuaded to ask SS for help and a Psych assessment?
Are you able to speak to her mother? Do you get on with her?
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