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Shit all over fan-blades (In need of wise counsel/experienced voices re DD12)

(7 Posts)
freakoutgrrl Sun 24-Nov-13 00:24:55

*cross-posted for maximum input*

The difference two weeks can make in a household with a troubled preteen sad

Found out she had self-harmed (through school) and though it took a week (my mind was all over the place and strangely enough I felt angry at her but did not show it of course) finally felt we had begun talking about it properly last weekend, and she was in a place of knowing she was loved by me and would be supported through this. I had mentioned that I would enable any wish to spend time at a family member for a while should she want to including her dad whom has has only been in the picture for two years as I know she has grown close to him and his family. She has stayed round his for approx 21 days over this period including long weekends and an extended 8 day stint.

Anyway she turns around and says she would like to go an stay at his for a little while. My head reels but I go ahead and take her. She is able to get to school from his with relative difficulty and I just want her to be happy but yet again I am also angry and confused by turn of actions. This was on Wednesday night. She goes to school from his on Thursday, I am stressed but it seems she is fine. I do not speak with her. I get a call from her dad on Friday to say she has been in a fight at school. The school did not inform me which I found very strange as no mention of a dad on her records let alone a contact number. Find out she told them to inform her dad and NOT me after the fight. She came round to pick up a coat today and I asked why tell them to phone your dad and she said this was because she is now 'living with my dad'. At this point I reminded her that this is not so.

She is in Yr.8 and all of this fighting is a first at secondary school, and also not the kind of form expected at her school at all (Girls Day Indie). I have arranged a meeting with head of year and deputy head is scheduled to be there too.

I am no longer angry just scared of losing my feisty beautiful daughter to bad circumstances. I have no idea what is going on with her. I have no idea why she is self harming. I have no idea why she is so angry. I feel like my child is unraveling. I am worried on so many levels. Securing her future in the school is one thing (she is v.bright and majorly sporty so a genuine credit/asset to the school but I am afraid they could take away her bursary which helps with fees or worse ask her to be removed). Helping her to get back to herself is another (she is now seeing school counselor once a week), and of course dealing with her 'living with my dad' shit. I did say she could stay for a week or two but now panicking about the task of getting her to be happy about returning home. We are meant to be moving into new house in a couple of weeks as well!! (I have so much on my plate right now)

She acts like I am some kind of enemy, and deep down I fear that she would rather live with her dad but that cannot happen, and I know she is not capable of making any sound judgement on this yet I don't want her to hate me or resent me in years to come.

Should I find a child psychologist, find a different way of working that allows me to be more of a taxi/ready available mom (as I think she is wanting my attention somehow...) or just let her know that I am boss till she turns 18 and what I say goes and that is that!

What should I be thinking about ahead of meeting with school and how do I get her to begin preparing for a return home. And of major important, how do I get her to begin to see me as on her side and not against her??

nefelibata Sun 24-Nov-13 08:49:50

oh gosh you poor thing, I honestly don't have any sensible answers to any of your questions but didn't want to read and run. I would think this is the kind of situation where some expert advice would help. Try calling parentline or something similar? Or drop in to your local youth service and see what they have on offer (I know that ours works with 11 - 24 year olds and would be super in your situation) because only you know your daughter and you really need some RL hand holding and practical support now. I really hope things improve asap. Also, can you talk to her dad 121 without her and explain your fears and concerns?

freakoutgrrl Sun 24-Nov-13 12:52:28

Thank you Nefelibata thanks

I really do feel totally alone in this. Talking to biological father is an option but a last resort as I just don't think he fully appreciates how complex and volatile this situation is.

I am now also wondering if DD might be experiencing delayed grief as my husband died 28 months ago. She seemed so 'not bovvered' about his death (made me feel like I was the only one that loved him...) that I was taken aback when school said she had mentioned it as something that was upsetting her.

I think RL support is the way to go definitely and I just need to figure out what that looks like. Current priority is getting through the meeting with school tomorrow and bringing her back home...

TiredDog Sun 24-Nov-13 13:12:02

OP. I sympathise. Teenage girls can be so emotional and difficult. I suspect the death of your husband affected both of you and then your relationship with each other. Throw in the usual teenage girls general angst and it's a recipe for disaster.

I had a similar situation when my DD was 14. Initially I thought we all coped ok but as time went on it all unravelled and it became obvious that DD had hid a lot of emotion. Emotion that she felt was unacceptable for a variety of reasons.

I paid for a counsellor (didn't find CAMHS or NHS much good) and we had a couple of joint sessions. I made sure she knew I loved her. I didn't allow bad behaviour but I did give some slack. She moved in with her Dad and it was terribly traumatic. She desperately wanted to come home but had driven herself into a corner. It took awhile to heal things.

Don't forbid her because that is a challenge to a teenager

foolonthehill Sun 24-Nov-13 17:52:23

Young minds...super supportive, voluntary and lots of specifically trained counsellors to help you and your DD.

also available very quickly.

best wishes; they have helped my DC through hellish period and me too.

freakoutgrrl Mon 25-Nov-13 15:52:09

Thank you all! Checked out the link to young minds and it sounds like it could be some help so will follow up. Found another charity called Grief Encounter for bereaved children and had a little chat with them earlier so will see if this could be another support angle.

Made up my mind on the way back home after meeting school that arranging private counseling will be the next step so will start looking for someone through recommendations if possible in the first instance. But I really like the idea of seeing someone together as suggested. I hadn't thought of that but it sounds like a great idea. She could still have individual therapy in addition to this.

School meeting was positive in the sense that they indicated a desire to support DD through this difficult period by remaining understanding, vigilant and by teaching and reinforcing a language that promotes a positive self image of herself (as she seems very low in confidence in addition to being sad, 'angry' and surly(!). However they did say we have wiped the slate clean but should this happen again (fight) we will have no choice but we cannot allow rumours to start that * is a school with violent conduct amongst pupils. As an aside, teacher I met with has been at school for 9+ years and no physical fight had ever happened amongst pupils at the school. I feel worried for DD as I imagine she might lose friends and get a reputation that she will loathe to have and doesn't really deserve sad

I also had a chat with DD's father and he very reasonably said he would support me in my decisions, and I made it clear to him that though DD will be returning home this coming weekend he needs to help her by letting her know she will be seeing him more regularly in a sort of structured arrangement as I think she needs things that are constant and secure around her right now such as contact with him.

I feel like there is a lot of work to be done but I really want to help DD feel better and see her grow from this. So though covered in proverbial shit I feel hopeful about working through this, and that is a long way from where I was when I wrote the opening post.

foolonthehill Mon 25-Nov-13 17:22:08

You have a plan, and a good can always be added to or altered as needs/wants change.

well done you. And lots of good luck for all of you

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