ABIU to be seriously concerned for my daughter?(102 Posts)
My DD turns 15 this June and I've recently become incredibly worried about her. She's always been a little chubby but has always acted as though she doesn't care about her weight. However when I checked her emails recently (I do every so often to make sure she hasn't run into any creeps, you know what it's like on the internet) I see that's she's been talking to her friend about attempting to lose weight without my knowledge. When I confronted her about it she refused to answer me, instead opting to berate me for invading her privacy. I believe she has changed email addresses now as that account has not been active for around a week but she refuses to tell me her new address. I logged on to her old address yesterday and it seems that just before she changed accounts she told her friend that she's probably only gaining weight, and wants to be able to see her ribs clearly.
In addition to this I recently found that she has gone through 3 razor blades in 3 months, and the last time she took a shower I found a small smear of blood on the edge of the tub, as well as several missing plasters. It wasn't menstrual blood as she finished her period two weeks earlier and is very regular. She wears short sleeves most of the time but never anything shorter than knee length, even in summer. She claims she doesn't have the thighs for it but I think she may be cutting her upper legs. DD is smart and if she were to cut I think it would be an area she could cover without arousing suspicion. I've also been watching her closely and she seems to give up easier than before, she used to be a fighter but it now it she seems almost resigned even though in public she still acts with the same 'f*ck you' attitude.
My mother thinks that DD is just going through puberty and is attention seeking but I am have serious concerns which DH shares. ABIU to be so worried about her? Or am I being stupid for not trusting my gut instinct and taking her to the doctor's office?
welcome to Mumsnet OP.
When you say Drs office... are you not in the UK?
You need to give her some privacy... I would have been freaked out if my mother knew that much about my personal hygiene at that age. No wonder she feels the need to try and keep some parts of her life private.
If there is an issue then invading her privacy by reading her emails is wholly counter productive to creating an atmosphere where she would confide in you.
Confronting her is equally likely to result in being stonewalled.
I think you need to find some quiet time and talk to her like an adult.
Tell her you are worried and why. Tell her you won't read her emails anymore. Ask for her trust.
Your dd needs some space, so please respect that and give her some. It sounds like you are suffocating her with your constant checking up
Being overweight is a very personal issue and if she is self conscious about her weight this is more likely to be the reason she doesn't show of her upper legs not that she is self harming.
I have short stumpy legs and would NEVER wear anything above the knee for this very reason.
Jeeeeesus. If you were my mum I'd have left home and joined the foreign legion for a bit of privacy, never mind changing my email address! You keep track of her periods? Check her razor usage? Ffs. Can you get a pet or a hobby or something and back the hell off the poor girl?!
Ok, I would just like to clear a few things away as I seem to have given the wrong impression.
When she got her email address we agreed that I would have the password to keep an eye on things. As she's become older this has been less necessary but I do still like to check. It's not that I don't trust her, it's all the other nut cases I'm concerned about.
I think it was the thing about wanting to see her ribs which frightened me the most, she has never even mentioned wanting to lose weight and she's suddenly talking about wanting to see the outlines of her bones.
I know roughly when she gets her periods because we share a bathroom bin which I empty, thus when she gets her period tampon wrappers and pads start appearing and after she's done they stop. Based on this I have to assume that the blood I found was not menstrual blood.
My daughter only shaves her legs up to her knees, after which her leg hair becomes very pale and fine so she doesn't really need to, and as it's getting warmer here now she's wearing board shorts and there are no cuts on her shins. Also she shaves once a week, so lets say she uses a razor 5 times a month. She, like her father before her, is thrifty as anything so she normally uses her razors until they're so blunt that she can't cut anything with them, usually 10-15 uses at the very least. For her to go through one per month is very unusual.
She's always been the 'suffer in silence' type so I don't think backing off will make any difference but if you guys genuinely think it will help then I'll try it. I suppose that if there IS a problem I should at least be glad she's talking to her friends rather than trying to deal with it all herself.
what is wrong with being able to see ribs? If you are a normal weight you can cant you? (I can and my bmi is 23)
She's never mentioned wanting to lose weight to you OP.
Bearing in mind, what you saw wasn't meant for you - it was for her friend, who she may well have been discussing this with for ages.
Prying rarely does any good, this is a clear example of this.
If she is overweight then clearly she is not starving herself. If she begins to lose weight then monitor it and if it comes off too quickly, or she becomes too obsessed with it, then you will have real cause for concern.
Has it ever occurred to you to just ask her nicely about the razor blades, perhaps along the lines of, do you need some more?
How do you know how often she shaves? How do you know how many shaves per razor? I just don't get why you know this?
Can you genuinely not see that you are being overbearing here?
Definitely back off with the emails now she's older. Certainly it was a good parenting thing to do as she was younger but it seems she now prefers her privacy so abide by it.
You are allowed to worry - you are her mother and always will be but you definitely tackled it in the wrong way.
As someone has suggested, start taking her out for things she likes to do (coffee shop, shopping trip etc) and build some trust between you. it won't be overnight but will take time.
As for the razor issue, is it possible she's experimenting with shaving her pubic area? If you see no evidence of self-harming, why suggest she might be? Also a bit of blood is possible from little nicks that are barely visible, as I used to do it.
Whatabout suggesting a different way to rid legs of unwanted hair?
She also wants to loose weight because she's probably getting to an impressionable age and maybe wants to impress someone, improve her confidence. I would support her decision to loose weight, especially if as you say she is on the chubby side, and offer to help her with meal and exercise management IF SHE WANTS IT, but if not back off and leave some leaflets around the house for her to 'accidentally' find.
I seriously wouldn't worry aout the 'seeing my ribs' comment. Worry only when you don't see her eating and she dramatically looses weight!!!
If she's using a razor that many times (& I assume she's doing underarms too) no wonder she's nicking herself.
You're supposed to see your ribcage. As you said, she's chubby, reacting hysterically to her wish to lose weight won't help. Help her lose weight healthily by throwing all the junk out of the house, preparing healthy small portioned meals and get her exercising.
A healthy attitude toward eating, exercise and body size requires the ability to rationally discuss those issues and come up with a common sense solution for related problems.
I wouldn't leave her to sort it out by herself, she needs proper guidance otherwise she could fall into the trap of yoyo dieting gaining more weight each time or develop unhealthy eating habits which could lead to an eating disorder.
My daughter self harms but wouldn't tend to use less "obvious" items than a razor. In fact she can make pretty much anything into a "weapon" which is very scary! Top of her thigh/side of stomach would be the area she "gets at" most. It's very very difficult to spot it!! Even in summer she wears shorts over bikini bottoms etc. Please don't do anything to lose her trust. Don't poke and pry. I find that the best approach is honesty. Asking questions-but not demanding answers there and then. And-weird as it sounds-my DD is often happier replying by text. And that's ok by me! I'll take whatever communication I can get!!
To be honest OP the only thing I'd be worried about right now is her using her razors so many times! They must be blunt to buggery. I still think it's odd you know so much in such detail. I too think you should back off regarding the emails. Teaching her about internet safety should be enough, you shouldn't have to read her every word.
why did you 'confront' her about trying to lose weight?
Using a razor that many times would leave it blunt and probably a bit rusty! Very easy to hurt herself on, by accident. I go through 2 or 3 razors a week.
I have a 14 year old, I can't imagine being so controlling and knowing about her personal life. I would have hated it at that age too.
Op it's ok to worry, I do.
Please take my suggestion and go for a shop/coffee together and chat.
Again if you snoop first rule don't tell them or you loose the ability to snoop in the first place!!!
My dd shaves her whole body I think everyday the razors she goes through.
I too record my dds period dates as I do mine. Thought that was a sensible thing to do if you think it through [comfused]
I wish I could see my ribs op, relax relax and chat.
Suggest you go swimming together. Then you can check her legs.. And then leave her in peace for gods sakes!! Give the poor girl some privacy!
As a side note, I think it's great a fair few of u are also terrible at shaving
Just talk calmly to her op. Pp had a brilliant suggestion with coffee and shopping. You've probably lost touch, as such, with her recently due to her age so it could be a brilliant way of getting close so she feels comfortable and that you don't have to pry. Good luck
OP you need to back off. If she does have self harm and weight issues then you smothering her will make it worse.
I self harmed in my teens and was bulimic. My mother was extremely controlling and over bearing. She made everything a hundred times worse.
There is nothing in your post that I would find particularly worrying but you are there and if you think there's something wrong then a more grown up chat with your dd may help you get to the bottom of it but you come across as over anxious in your op.
She won't tell you anything if you don't back off.
Counting how many razor blades she uses is weird. And stop reading her emails.
Would tend to use ... Not "wouldn't"!!!
She will become ever more secretive if you don't give her some space.
Stop "confronting" her. If you want her trust you won't get it by doing this.
You know how her leg hair grows on different bits of her?
You do need, as everyone has said, to back off. Poor girl sounds smothered.
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