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An update of sorts on the annorexic, self-harming suicidal 12 year old

(28 Posts)
biffa85 Wed 12-Sep-12 13:35:31

Hi everyone,
I was hoping to be able to come on and give a positive update on how things were going, but unfortunately not.

Over the school holidays, YD was hospitalised for a night after being suicidal. She had stockpiled a load of Hubby's medication - enough to knock out several elephants - and so we took her in on the advice of the Family Support worker. She was discharged the following morning and assessed by the CAMS team.

She then had appointments with CAMS and we thought we were beginning to make progress. It turns out she told both CAMS and the Family support worker a load of really hurtful lies - that Hubby beats me on a regular basis, that I leave home for weeks at a time, that we do lines of coke on the coffee table etc etc. Luckily, the family support worker and CAMS both realise that these are total lies and have been supporting us and trying to help her.

This morning, after a small argument, she went off to school as normal. At 10am, the family support worker rang and asked me to go and collect her from school. She had told them she was planning on hanging herself in the toilets and therefore would need 100% supervision. So, off we went to collect her. Two hours later, after the police had been called in to escort her from the premises, and am ambulance had been called to deal with her, I left the building in tears and came home after she screamed at me in front of teachers, police, paramedics etc to just "F off!".

Hubby is now dealing with her as the ambulance have taken her to A&E. We've been on the phone all morning to CAMS and the Crisis Team asking them to come out urgently and assess her, as we both feel that she needs in-patient care. My nerves are shredded and I just cannot cope with her anymore. I feel like we're being passed from pillar to post and back again this morning - not to mention the waste of resources in dealing with her.

Hubby believes that she is mentally ill and needs help. Part of me thinks the same, and part of me think she is being a manipulative little madam who is loving all the attention and having people run themselves ragged after her. I know that probably makes me sound really unsmpathetic, and I don't mean to be, but I really have no idea how to cope with all of this.

Anyway, rant over. I shall be in bed seeking solace in chocolate and wine if anyone needs me.

AGoldenOrange Wed 12-Sep-12 13:37:26

Didn't want to read and run but ((hugs)) and wine

GooseyLoosey Wed 12-Sep-12 13:44:38

Sounds terrible for you all. Hope she gets some help.

biffa85 Wed 12-Sep-12 17:40:16

Hubby is still at the hospital. At the moment, they are refusing to section her. Cams have been out and assessed her and don't think she needs sectioning, but are looking into trying to find emergency foster care for her for tonight. Quite what the logic of that is, I do not know. She needs medical help, not foster care. No-one seems to be telling Hubby what is going on up there, and I can't get hold of the family support worker or social worker to find out what is going on.

flow4 Thu 13-Sep-12 10:01:00

I'm sorry to hear things are so bad for you all, biffa. I hope that yesterday's events, awful as they will have been, will mean your family now gets some support. When teens struggle, it often seems difficult-to-impossible to get help... But with CAMHS, the hospital, social services, school and the police involved, no-one can ignore or deny what's going on for your DD and you.
Others will be along soon, I think, who will have similar experiences. You are definitely not alone in struggling with a child who's having mental health problems. sad HUG

cory Thu 13-Sep-12 11:51:26

really really sorry to hear this

don't feel too guilty about the thoughts you are having: it is very normal and natural for a parent to feel anger in this situation- I know I do and we have been through similar (though thankfully not the fantasising)

just be aware that though it is natural for you to have these feelings, they are not necessarily a correct assessment of her medical situation or needs

or to put it another way- if she does feel that need to manipulate her environment in such an extreme way, then that's not exactly healthy is it? it's something her friends are not doing, something healthy teenagers do not do and something that risks seriously messing up her life

whatever way you look at it, she needs help and you are fighting to get that help for her

don't feel bad that the school and medics have seen the worst of her: sometimes that helps- what they have witnessed with their own eyes will make far more of an impression than anything you can tell them about her situation

Brightspark1 Thu 13-Sep-12 17:38:37

I remember your first post and have sometimes wondered how things turned out. I'm so sorry that it ended in such an awful situation. I have been through similar, and I don't know how to link posts but if you search, you might find them; there was lots of support and good advice on them. Having a child with mental health problems is so isolating and tests your inner resources to breaking point. I found it nearly broke me, and even now although I cope from day to day, I still struggle sometimes. I felt battered by all the visits to a&e and the police coming round. There seems to be so little support available for parents. Your DD is attention seeking as that is the only way she can ask for help, her manipulative behaviour is part of her MH problems, I don't think there is any point in trying to separate the two.
Be kind to yourself and take any help offered thanks

biffa85 Thu 13-Sep-12 17:44:25

Thanks for the support folks. Just had a phone call from the social worker that went to see her today (she went to emergency foster care about 40 miles away at 2am) and apparently she is happy where she is and doesn't want to come home. She is still making allegations that her dad (Hubby) has been physically violent towards her. The nurses that observed her interacting with him yesterday at the hospital have told the CAMS worker that went out and assessed her yesterday that there is "no way that child is fearful of her father".

We are, obviously, devastated that she doesn't want to come home and even more devastated that she continues to tell lies that could have serious repercussions.

The social worker wants to come and see us tomorrow and to collect some of her belongings - clothes, phone charger etc. He didn't really seem to believe me on the phone, although I have told him that we obviously want her to come home, but if she is going to keep going on about killing herself if she comes home, then obviously it's not a good idea at the moment. I think he took this as "we don't want her home", whereas I don't want her home if she's going to kill herself at the first opportunity. Although quite why she thinks she needs to kill herself in the first place is beyond me. I'm not saying that we're the perfect family, far from it, but we're also certainly not the family from hell.

I suppose all I can do is wait and see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully it will be a truckful of valium rather than more crap, but I fear tomorrow is going to be another full day of crap. * sigh *

flow4 Thu 13-Sep-12 19:27:22

Hello Brightspark, I hoped you'd be along soon to talk to biffa, though I'm sorry things haven't got better for you sad

Biffa, there are quite a lot of threads that you might find useful. Here are just a few of them...

(You can find more if you use the 'advanced search' option (top right) and search by user-name, e.g. 'Brightspark1' or others whose comments you think might be useful or interesting).

Bright, I hope it isn't upsetting to revisit any of these... It feels like it could be... I hope because you suggested it, it's OK... confused

biffa85 Thu 13-Sep-12 20:41:43

Bright - I have read through your threads and it sounds like our situations are very similar. Although YD doesn't have a formal diagnosis of anything - mental or behavioural, - there are a lot of similarities.

Some days, she can be lovely - really loving, lots of cuddles and 'love you Mum' etc. Other days she can be utterley evil - screaming at me to go and die etc.

It's as if her perception of reality is completely skewed. Hubby and I were having a conversation the other day when she walked through the living room and screamed "For gods sake, just stop bloody arguing!" - we were'nt arguing, we were simply talking. Yesterday at school, she accused me of shouting and screaming at her - the teacher in the room with us the whole time confirmed that I'd been talking to her, and at no point was I shouting, nevermind screaming. How I controlled the urge to smack her there and then I do not know.

The hope is that, as this has been her second hospital admission in 2 weeks, and now she is in emergency care, that someone, somewhere will help. Cams have been brilliant, and the family support worker has been a fantastic help. She knows that YD is coming out with complete lies and can evidence that nothing untowards has happened in our house. However, there seems to be a constant ever-changing supply of social workers getting involved (3 in the last 2 weeks - 1st one was very nice and understood and said that she had no child protection concerns and didn't feel that SS needed to be involved - 2nd one last night was a complete evil cow who didn't listen to a word I said and wanted us to have YD back at home, despite Cams saying that she shouldn't come home, and 3rd one this afternoon who asked me if I was sure that I wanted to deny her allegations against us, despite apparently being warned by the FSW that she lies to get attention.

It just feels like she is having a monumental temper tantrum and everyone is running around fawning over her and giving her loads of attention instead of telling her to get a grip and stop behaving like a 3 year old.

School have been brilliant. Although she assaulted a teacher yesterday, they want to suspend her, but have said that they would accept her back into school if it would help us as a family. Personally, I want them to suspend her for as long as possible, starting from when she eventually returns home, so that she learns that it is not acceptable to assault a teacher. If they let her go back to school without punishment, that just tells her she can get away with her ridiculous behaviour and it will encourage her to misbehave even more.

At the moment, the only thing keeping us both going is the believe that there IS something wrong, either behavioural or mental, and that she is ill. We love her to pieces and desperately want her home, but not until she is well enough to come home. The social workers are making me feel like I'm just being a heartless mother by not wanting her home. The truth of it is I sobbed my heart out last night when I went to bed, but if she keeps saying she's going to commit suicide if she comes home, then she needs help.

Thanks again everyone for your support and kind words. I'm sorry for ranting on.....I hope tomorrow is a better day.

flow4 Thu 13-Sep-12 21:35:09

biffa, there's a lot of research that shows teens don't recognise emotions as others do. 'Troubled' teens have even more problems identifying emotions. Particularly, they are likely to interpret several emotions, including unhappiness and fear, as anger rather than what they are. There are a couple of references here and here.

SirGOLDBoobs Thu 13-Sep-12 21:48:04

Please please please try not to take her behavior personally. I know how hard that is. But it sounds as though she is ill.

Does any of this read accurately to you? From what you're describing it sounds very familiar to me. Especially with reference to the lying (normally used if people feel they need a reason to feel as bad as they do) and the over sensitivity, ie, accusing you of shouting.

Try to remember that if she is attention seeking, there is always a cause for this.

I'm sorry you're having to cope with all this right now.

cory Fri 14-Sep-12 08:34:53

As SirGOLD said, keep reminding yourself it's nothing personal. A child with mental health problems is going to have a skewed idea of reality: that is what mental health problems do to you, even if it's just depression or anxiety: you can't see straight. If she thought you were a tree, you wouldn't blame yourself for looking like a tree, would you?

What you have to keep telling yourself is that mental health problem isn't something we do to our children any more than we give them cancer or juvenile arthritis.

It took me a long time to work this one out, but I am gradually coming to accept that if a loving and secure home did not protect dd from developing a painful joint disorder, then there is no particular reason why it should have protected her from developing a mental health disorder either.

The test of the family is not in which tragedies hit us but in how we deal with them. You are hanging in there! You are continuing to think about what is best for your daughter! You are doing your job as a mother!

Brightspark1 Fri 14-Sep-12 22:22:32

biffa I'm glad you read my old threads, even if all they did was make you realise you're not the only one. DD came from a loving two parent family,with a caring older brother, she was at a good school and support from the extended family... and it wasn't enough to stop her going through hell, and taking us with her. Looking back , we had no choice, we could not carry on, both DH and I had reached breaking point and she was losing any ability to cope at home. It was the right thing to do, even though it still hurts to admit it.
flow it is hard to reread the posts, but it is helpful becauses I realise how far we have come in the past few months. She still hasn't returned home, but the place she is at doesn't just provide bed and board, but has worked with her in a consistent and sustained way to improve her self esteem and her behaviour. Slowly, very slowly... it is working.
She is still not home, and I hate that, but our relationship is improving, she came away with us for five days a few weeks ago, and it went really well. Her exam results were a bit of a disaster, but she has taken it in her stride, has started college and is happy to resit. She now has some insight into her behaviour and is finally willing to work with CAMHS. I don't for a minute think we are out of the woods, but I can allow myself to hope a little bit.
I have talked a lot about my situation , not to offload but to try and offer you some hope, that even though things must seem so black for you, with help she can make small steps to recovering, and to mend your relationship.
I hope CAMHS and the support worker help to work out what is going on with you daughter, and that the time away from you will give her the space to calm down .
Don't feel guilty, SW are constrained by budgets, and a child in care costs them money. You were/ are in an intolerable situation. Don't blame her either, she is not behaving like this deliberately.
If she is admitted, Please don't be in any hurry to get her sectioned though, as you will relinquish any control or say in what happens with your daughter, it would be better to go for voluntary admission. Your daughter is much younger than mine, I don't know whether that's a good or a bad thing, your situation will be different but I'm happy for you to PM me if it will help.

flow4 Fri 14-Sep-12 23:02:19

Bright, I don't know whether to applaud, pin a medal on you, or hug you... thanks

biffa85 Sat 15-Sep-12 22:07:32

We've had a couple of phone calls from her today, and quite honestly, I don't know what to make of it! She sounds very bright and chirpy and told me about how she's been shopping today and got some new clothes, went to Cost Coffee and played Connect 4 with the foster-parents kids. She sounds like she's on holiday! Not a mention of "sorry for the aggro I've caused" or "I miss you all too". When I asked her if she knew when she was likely to come home, she said "I don't really see the point, do you?"

I can't tell you how much this hurts. I don't know whether or not she realises just how much trauma and hurt she is causing. On the phone, she sounds like she doesn't care less about what we're going through.

We're now waiting for Monday when hopefully we will speak to the social worker who is handling her case and try and make progress from there.

ThreadWatcher Sat 15-Sep-12 22:21:01

Biffa85 - What an awful situation for you. horrendous sad

It's as if her perception of reality is completely skewed - I could be wrong but isnt that a natural consequence of anorexia. Im sure someone who knows will put me right if I am talking cobblers.

Im wondering if a mental health advocate could help the situation (especially given the inconsistency of the advice and care she has been given) - again I dont know much, Im only guessing.

Keep us updated - hopefully in a few months you will have more positive news....

Brightspark1 Sat 15-Sep-12 22:33:50

biffa please don't be taken in by her words. You'll have read on my thread that at the time it seemed to me DD showed no emotion when she went into care, it seemed that she was even happy about it. Recently, in the past weeks at a CAMHS meeting she talked about how scared and frightened and sad she felt at the time. She just put on a mask for the world and covered up her real feelings. Threadwatcher is right, anorexics, if they aren't eating, aren't able to think straight, they are cognitively impaired by their starved state.
I really hope Monday's meeting goes OK, but don't expect everything to be solved in one meeting, progress at best can be painfully slow.
BTW thanks Flow

biffa85 Mon 17-Sep-12 15:50:20

I spoke to the family support worker this morning, who said that there was a meeting planned for this morning at 10:30 between YD, social worker and foster parents. She explained it was normal procedure and that parents weren't invited as it was a planning meeting to find out what YD wanted and how long the foster parents could keep her for.

After spending the day sitting around waiting for the phone to ring, I gave up and rang the social worker myself. Apparently the meeting didn't go ahead this morning and has been rescheduled for tomorrow.

Hubby is quite upset that, since Thursday lunchtime, we've had no contact from social services as to what's happening. He's absolutely heartbroken about the allegations that she's made and the lies that she's telling people. The social worker has now said he will come and visit us this evening to explain everything to us.

Meanwhile, I have sent Hubby to bed to get some rest. He's absolutely shattered and quite angry because he feels we've been kept in the dark. He's also worried that whatever he signed late on Wednesday night has transferred all our parental rights to social services and getting in a quite a state over it.

I'm trying to think positive and have tried explaining to him that the meeting isn't anything to worry about and if anyone had serious concerns then surely they would have taken ED into temporary care as well. He thinks they still might. He's asked me what I would do if they said YD could come home as long as he moved out - I told him it wasn't an option and we'd get through it as a family, but he's convinced himself that the world is against him. Luckily, he has a counselling appointment tomorrow morning, so hopefully they'll be able to help him.

PropositionJoe Mon 17-Sep-12 16:00:05

I'm so sorry to say this, but I think you are going to need an experienced solicitor to fight your corner with SS unless your DD comes home this week.

flow4 Mon 17-Sep-12 16:43:01

biffa, obviously I don't know your daughter or your family,so I can't know the facts... But I would say that your DD wouldn't be the first young person to make up stories about what has happened to her, and social services will know this. They will be listening carefully to her, but they will also listen carefully to you and your DH, and If they believe any of what your youngest is saying) your other daughter too. If, as you say, she is lying and your husband is not abusive, then SS are very likely to be able to work this out.

I think young people can sometimes dig themselves into enormous holes and not know how to get out... Then they tell lies from a kind of desperation. Or maybe she thinks she needs to lie to justify all the drama and upset so far? Maybe she believes what she's saying, because it's the only way she can make sense of how she's feeling?

It looks like you're going to have a tough time for a while. But hang on in there... smile

Brightspark1 Mon 17-Sep-12 21:29:17

I'm not a SW, but can only speak from my experience. I think it is extremely unlikely that DH has signed your parental rights. Even now we have 'parental responsibilty', and could, if we chose take DD home at any time. Social services is a huge beaurocracy and they seem to work slowly and are hidebound by procedures, but that doesn't mean that they are deliberately excluding you. It is in their interest to help DD to return home to you providing she can remain 'safe'. You will hear the word 'safe ' used a lot, it doesn't necessarily mean that they think your DD is in danger from your husband, but it seems to used in a wider context, including her anorexia and her behaviour.
As for your DD, it might be that she is finding it difficult to distinguish between reality and her own perception of what is reall, she may have convinced herself that what she is saying is true.
Hang in there

mindfulmum Fri 21-Sep-12 00:45:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mindfulmum Fri 21-Sep-12 00:46:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

biffa85 Thu 27-Sep-12 20:36:01

Hi folks,

This last 2 weeks has been an absolute nightmare that has gone from bad, to worse, to even worse.

YD went into emergency foster care a fortnight ago. This Monday evening, she rang me at 8:30pm screaming that I had to phone the emergency team and get her out of there as she wasn't staying any longer. The foster parents had taken her phone charger off her and were insisting she kept her bedroom door open. I asked her why, and she mumbled something about the police having to bring her back at some point. I told her if it was that bad, maybe she should consider coming home?

Anyway, at 1am Tuesday morning, she was moved into a childrens home. It turns out the foster parents rang the emergency duty team asking for her to be removed - she had run away in the afternoon with a 10 year old boy and had been missing for 3 hours before the police found her and returned her to the foster parents. She had then barricaded herself in her bedroom. At some point (details are sketchy at the moment) she had managed to get hold of a knife and self harmed. They couldn't cope with her behaviour any longer. (Welcome to MY world!)

Last night she rang me to ask when she was going back to school. I told her that, as far as I knew, she had to go to school when she eventually came home and sign a Behaviour contract before they would let her go back. She ended up screaming at me to go away (although not so nicely put) and hung up. She then rang me this morning to apologise - presumably because she wanted me to give the children's home permission for her to go on the internet!

The social worker then turned up unannounced this morning to advise us that she has since made further allegations - one that she was raped by one of her elder sister's boyfriends, and another that she was raped by an uncle. It turns out that she told this to the 10 year old she ran away with on Monday, who in turn told the foster parents who likewise told the social worker. So it wasn't a direct allegation made to the social worker. She has also alleged that we deal drugs from home as well as regularly snorting coke on the coffee table.

We've today been to a planning meeting at the childrens home with the social worker, a residential worker and the social workers manager. YD refused to come into the meeting because we were there. Cams have been out today to do a mental health check on her but we've yet to get any feedback, so no idea what the outcome was. It turns out that both the police and social services have investigated her allegations of rape and are taking no further action - because YD doesn't want to make a complaint or have the police involved - (she doesn't want the police involved because she's LYING!!)

I am completely at my wits end now. Either she is mentally ill, or has a behavioural problem, or I have accidentally given birth to the spawn of Satan. How can any child of 12 years old make up such vile and malicious stories as this??? I'm getting to the point where I really don't know if I want her to come home right now. It's as if she's 2 different people - the nice YD and the evil, nasty, abusive YD. As if it's not bad enough, the social worker is a real wet lettuce - he never rings to let us know what is happening, hasn't arranged a meeting with school yet to get her contract signed despite her supposedly being back at school tomorrow as the suspension ends today and generally speaking, I have an overwhelming desire to grab him by the throat.

Anyway, apologies for this being so long. Rant over - for now.

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