DSC's mental health.(11 Posts)
I'm pretty worried about my DSD's mental health in the long term.
Aged 7 her mum coached her to lie to social services that her dad was being abusive. She was subject to interviews with social services and police at that time. The court case went on for at least 6 months.
Before this she had always been a right Daddy's girl. Since then she just hasn't been the carefree child she was.
Last year I found a letter she wrote to herself. I've sat on this for some time. I find it hard to read:
"Now I'm writing this, I don't know what to say. When I'm feeling emotional, I feel like screaming (out loud) all the things inside.
That's one: I bottle things up. I can't face the truth straight away, so I hide it within and pretend everything is alright.
That's why I want to write this, to face things head on.
Three years ago now, I ... well, I know what I did and I'm not proud of it, but I think I've finally figured out why I did it. I think it was to lash out at Dad, showing him that I was upset about him and Mum spitting up; telling him (without words) that I didn't think it was fair that I suffered from it.
I'm crying now- this is probably one of the first times I've acknowledged it properly.
Otherwise I forget about it; pretending everything's alright, worrying about spots and hair and friends. I must seem like a right airhead.
That's another: I don't let anyone see me for who I am. I can be a proper
bitch cow when I want to, too. Bitching about ex- best friends.
Lying (only when I need to, though) very convincingly too.
I sound like a right monster, don't I?
But it's what everyone does. You'd be inhumane if you didn't."
Word for word she wrote the above, she was 10 at the time.
As she's getting older, I fear if her mental well being.
I don't know what I'm asking except maybe does anyone have experience of how children fare when they have been damaged by something like this.
How old is she now. She sounds very eloquent and intelligent.
Writing this has probably helped her to make sense of it all and can only be a good thing.
Why do you fear for her mental wellbeing?
Does she see a counsellor now?
Thanks Kaluki for the reply.
Yes she is a very smart girl.
I fear for her because she's so conflicted and so confused.
It's really hard to read a 10 year old calling herself a bitch, cow and monster.
She's turning in on herself, blaming herself.
She was never like that before what happened. She was such a clown, so carefree.
I have told her I found what she wrote and told her what happened was not her fault.
I bought her Warshak's DVD and Amy Baker's I Dont want to choose to try and make sense of it all.
She's 11 now, I guess as the teenage years roll, I'm worried these harmful self loathing thoughts will take hold more.
How sad my dsd could have written that.
I read that when a child is forced to turn against a parent and is made to believe they are a monster, they start to beeline them self a monster because they are their parent's child. So a child hearing Mum say "your dd is useless, he's a joke, he's cold and cruel and tight" hears that about themselves.
That is what is so so cruel about alienating a parent from their child and using the child as a puppet.
How often does she stay with her dad and how is their relationship now?
Russian she is with us the standard EOW and Half Holidays. She gets on well with her Dad and always has.
The allegations she made were trumped up by her mother. The judge in court even said "The mother blames the father for everything"
We first found her mother was telling her inappropriate things when she was five. One day at lunch she piped up "You arn't with mummy because you were nasty to mummy".
During the court hearings it became clear she had been sharing adult information with DSD, bear in mind she was 7 at the time of court hearings pertaining to the false allegations.
So she has a mummy who she's close to telling her daddy's a nasty man.
She has a daddy she loves who's not like that in her experience.
Thus the confusion and conflict.
When she said in the letter:
"I think I've finally figured out why I did it. I think it was to lash out at Dad, showing him that I was upset about him and Mum spitting up; telling him (without words) that I didn't think it was fair that I suffered from it."
That can't be true. She was 12 months old when they split. She has no memory of them being together. Those words are her mothers not hers.
The poor kids doesn't what her thoughts really are. Her mother has implanted hers.
Why the hell do parents do this crap to their kids?
Sorry Kaluki no she doesn't have a counsellor. I'll ask DP to look into it though I know DSD's mum won't support it.
Yeah Russian what she wrote was really really sad.
My husbands ex clearly says things to my dsc's. The eldest once came out with "do you remember when you tried to kill yourself in the car dad?" My husband had been in a car accident and broken his back, the car had spun on oil on the road from a lorry turning over so it was an accident. He said his mum had told him that. There's loads of other stuff too that she's said. It's horrendous. I do not understand why she would emotionally abuse their kids like this because that is what it is. She claims to love them but left them with my husband for 3 months while she ran off with some bloke in the army and came crawling back when he dumped her. It's disgraceful yet she actively punishes my husband for her own mistakes. She went around telling everyone he beat her black and blue (he never touched her) when she was the one who broke 2 of his ribs yet was happy to leave the kids with him. People like this don't deserve to have kids yet they are happily dragging them up into damaged human beings.
It so very sad
kash your dsd sounds like a very troubled little girl and i agree counselling is the best way - can your dh talk to her school and see if they can help her obtain it whilst at school so dm cannot interfere?
has her dad seen the letter? it will take time for her to get over it and she is clearly holding onto a lot of guilt, love hugs and reassurance that you both (but esp your dh) love her and that you don't blame her for anything that happened in the past.
Totally agree with what Russian said ... when I split from my oldest's dad many years ago there was plenty I could have said about him - but it would have been me lashing out, being spiteful, and dragging our child into a situation they didn't have the emotional maturity to make sense of (heck, I couldn't make sense of it as an adult) and which was nothing to do with them. Right from the start I figured that if I ever badmouthed my child's dad I ran the risk of making them feel bad about themselves .... after all, if your parent(s) is/are crap, then what does that make you ? If you're repeatedly told how awful your parent is, then it doesn't take a lot of imagination to realise that a child would start to question - even if they were doing so subconsciously - "who" they were, and in a negative way. I thank god that even though like most people I'm far from perfect I always managed to keep a lid on any outbursts about my ex, and our child therefore only ever saw us being civil, honest, communicative and fair to each other (and about each other) and was thus never put in a position where they had to "choose" and/or feel worried/ashamed/anxious about enjoying time spent with either one of us, let alone have to lie to either parent in order to "protect" the feelings of the other. That child is now a well rounded and successful young adult doing a really worthwhile job and I'm very proud of them. I'm also proud of myself for always putting their interests before any petty spite or desire for "revenge" I might have felt (which dissipated in due course anyway) because most other aspects of my life have been pretty disastrous!
I didn't need to read how to behave when I split from my ex - it was just instinctive - and my motivation was always to protect my child and minimise any adverse effects from the split upon them.
Unfortunately, my DP's ex took completely the opposite approach .... for years, and is, to an extent still "at it" even though both stepkids are now older teens. I could be here all night relating what she did but I don't have the time and it would identify me too easily. Suffice to say the damage to her own kids (and our family) has been immense. One child is currently receiving residential help for their mental health issues as I write (can't say more to protect their privacy) - which of course is terribly worrying and quite possibly (probably) caused, at least in part, or at the least not helped one iota by years of deliberate alienation, exposure to adult issues they'd be confused and worried by, emotional blackmail re: seeing dad (e.g. "poor mummy" left all alone) and so on and so on - I'm sure many of you know how it goes. It enrages me because it was all so unnecessary, has dominated our family for well over a decade and now this .... yet another crisis which is awful for the child involved as well as the wider family. Whilst I can't say conclusively that years of PAS have led to this, I'm quite sure the resulting self esteem and self loathing issues (and the rest) are connected .... just as I feared would have happened to my child had I been irresponsible, stupid and cruel.
Kashew .... I can only reiterate what others have said and urge you to try and get your SD into counselling asap. What she wrote is so telling, and so sad. What sort of mother would want to put their child in that position for god's sake ? Why does "revenge" matter more to parents like these than peace of mind for their child ? I think had my stepchild had counselling years ago maybe things wouldn't have escalated to the situation we have now. I was going to suggest what mymiracle said and get the school involved too. I really do wish you and your SD well and hope she gets the help she seems to be crying out for.
How awful, catsmother. Of course, mum would probably blame the divorce or the fact that dad "never cared" or "abandoned" them as the reason for the child's mental health issues
It's so irresponsible to use your child as an emotional crutch or "friend" after your split. I just can't get my head around it.
Thanks all for your replies. Sorry for the delay in response.
DSD knows I found her letter because I told her that I had found it.
We talked I told her none of what happened was her fault.
DP of course knows what DSD wrote, I told him just after I found it.
DP and I know DSD needs counseling support but we also know without her mums support it will not happen.
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