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Think dd is self-harming

(30 Posts)
dontagreewithit Tue 13-Nov-12 23:09:46

Dd2 (13) has been very 'teenagery' for a while now. She goes through phases of being really moody, uncommunicative, can't bear to spend any time with me, dh, dd1 or any family member because we are "too annoying" & so on.

She is not particularly doing well in school, just coasting & getting into low level trouble for not bringing in the right books, being silly in lessons etc.

Outside school she has a very active life - in a choir & singing group as well as a pantomime company, so most of her spare time is filled up with these things.

She has used my phone to go on Facebook & left herself logged in. Rightly or wrongly I read messages between her & a friend & they seem to be discussing how they have self-harmed. Talking about covering up their arms, making excuses about her friend's dog having scratched them, things like that. There is nothing in the conversation about why they may have done it.

I have no idea what to do with this information. How do I broach the subject? Should I even broach it? She is so unwilling to spend any time with me or dh, and basically communicates in grunts. She will go through phases of being civil, but when she isn't, trying to talk to her is very difficult.

I feel really helpless & lost. What do I do?

whatthebloodyhelldoidonow Thu 22-Nov-12 23:19:34

I dont mean to hijack this thread but I am sat here reeling from a phonecall I had from my 14yo (yr 9) DDs school earlier today telling me they suspect she is cutting herself.

I feel devastated tbh. They think there are 4 or 5 other girls in the same year with similar marks on their arms. They are not sure if its self harm for release or some sick craze.

DD started new school Sept and weekly boards (full boarded at her old school). Its been a shit term for her really. 2 biggish shit incidents that did cause alot of distress but I have had a general feeling of all not being well despite her "jolly" demeaner inbetween the 2 incidents. I was back in last week chatting to staff about a gut feeling of mine something was not quite right - had no idea it was something as awful as this though.

Its just awful for a mum to see their child hurting themselves like this isnt it?

I dont even know where or how to start talking to her this weekend. Her younger sibling is home from (different) school this weekend too so privacy is going to be limited. DH is away on deployment for another 2 months. He went before the start of term. I have no one here to take sibling out for an hour or 2 either.

Any suggestions welcome and I really hope dontagreewithit does not mind me on this thread. I am so sorry to anyone finding themselves in this situation. I hope you manage to make a breakthrough in communication with your DD soon dontagreewithit.

dontagreewithit Thu 22-Nov-12 23:26:30

Hi whatthebloody, sorry you have had this horrid news. I have no great insight or help to give, I have still not talked to dd about this, mainly because I don't know where to start & when I do talk to her it's such a relief if she isn't just growling at me, I don't want to jeopardise the fragile "ceasefire".

I do have a a feeling that it is something that a few of her friends are doing & there is no obvious "bad thing" going on in dd's life that I can see that would trigger something like this, so I guess I am hoping it is a phase more than anything, but I am aware that I could be deluded...

whatthebloodyhelldoidonow Fri 23-Nov-12 00:17:53

I am sat here hoping for the best - the best being its a craze and she is doing it because her friends are because I dont want her to be in such an emotional mess that she is doing it for emotional release. sad

So I have finally caved in and cried. School want me to speak to her this weekend. Have been reading up and although I know I have to approach it gently I am bloody terrified I will screw up.

I thought I had a good relationship with my DD. I feel I have failed her and it hurts like hell.

I know exactly what you mean dontagree - with just being glad for communication.

Luckily our relationship is fairly jovial generally (but obviously not as close as I thought). DD called home tonight, she seemed OK and I was just glad to speak to her about normal stuff and her day that I didnt approach it really - not that I would over the phone.

Bloody hell by the time we get home tomorrow night I will be bloody knackered anyway - let alone the fact I dont think I will sleep tonight. I just dont know where I am going to find the inner strength to deal with this - its been a long, emotional and exhausting bloody term since September for us and this is the bloody icing on the cake.

I know its not about me but I am ashamed to say I am feeling all kind of things tonight gutted, angry, dissapointed, anxious and so worried for my lovely DD and a bloody failiure as a parent. I am allowing myself tonight to cry and try and get these feelings out of my system so I can face upto trying to gently discussing this in a non judgmental gentle non accusationary way over the weekend - the whole while keeping a happy facade on my face for the younger sibling.

Have just sent DH an email telling him. Its shit I know but I cant wait to tell him about this till he gets home late January. Poor bloke can do nothing but I had to get him on board with this. I dont know when he will pick the email up or when he will be able to get intouch either so am on my own with this. Fell way out of my depth.

RoobyMyrtle Fri 23-Nov-12 11:31:28

Hijack alert: I found out recently that my dd1 has been self-harming too and spending hour upon hour most nights (for several months) talking about suicide with an older friend. It's devastating and terrifying. I can't really get to the bottom of why she has been doing this as she doesn't feel able to really talk about it (but I have given her contact details for a counsellor and our gp's and one at school who will talk confidentially if she wants it). She says now we know she feels much better and doesn't need any help but we'll see what happens...

I feel like the worst parent on the planet as I had no idea this was going on. Looking back I can see the clues were all there but I totally underestimated how she was feeling. I've since (with her permission) looked through all of her facebook & mobile messages and can see that she has been feeling lonely, unloved and mis-understood for a quite a while sad

I feel so guilty. Because I'm not very well (long-term) and so am tired all the time, and dh is a workaholic who is glued to his PC or mobile literally every second of the day, I think we let her and her sister drift away.

I've now made changes that will hopefully help: When they get home from school we have a round table cuppa and chat. Mobiles are switched off as soon as everyone gets in and Facebook is blocked from 5.30 onwards. We have reintroduced some family mealtimes (they have a lot of after school activities and dh gets home late so it's not often possible) and family games & outings. I've also encouraged her to see more of her friends outside school and to get back into creative activities she'd dropped in favour of Facebook. She also deleted all the "mean girls" from her FB.

I'm sorry that other people are going through this too and I totally get what you mean about feeling ashamed about your own feelings. One of my first reactions after I'd absorbed the body blow what "oh FFS - what now? Your sister's just been given the all clear from her medical problems and I don't even get a week off before I have to gear up for another fight!" blush I've got over myself now...

whatthebloodyhelldoidonow Sat 24-Nov-12 05:59:51

I am sorry you are going through the same/similar too RoobyMyrtle. Its truely gutting. I too find myself askin lots of questions of my parenting and wondering what I can change to help my DD.

I have had 2 hours sleep tonight after very little the previous night too.

I now know she has admitted at school that she did cut herself. She told school she does not know why. No one at school can believe it of her because she is normally so happy and bubbly apparently.

I have her home now where she is staying until I get to the reasons behind this.

Just wish I could sleep so I have a clear head with the strength and patience to have a good proper talk. Think I may set her younger sister up with some fairy cakes to decorate and ice whilst I find somewhere private to have a good chat with DD1. Literally have no one or nowhere to offload DD2 for an afternoon at the moment so going to have to manage somehow.

Every time I think of my beautiful DD hacking herself away with a razor blade I feel sick to the stomach and I have to fight the tears. I cannot believe things have got this shit for her before I realised. sad

Wish me luck.

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