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How do I help my DD?

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Toni2011 Mon 25-Feb-13 09:08:00

DD will be turning 12 in a few weeks but is very much in the throes of puberty and the joys that brings. She is physically significantly more advanced than her peers but is struggling to deal with this emotionally. In January she suddenly decided to run away from home at 6 am (she had slept soundly that night) so she (literally) jumped out of her window, landing on the tarmac outside with no shoes or coat on before hobbling down the main road until she collapsed in pain. She had injured her heel from the landing and was taken to hospital when a kindly dog walker called an ambulance for her.
In a way it was a good thing, in that it gave DD the opportunity to deal with some of the things that were bothering her as she had to explain why she did it. None of the issues were new, and she and I had already talked about all of them recently - I think it all just got on top of her and became more of an issue because she was having a particularly heavy dose of PMT that day.

We are dealing with the problems still (no friends at school, feeling pressure to achieve academically, dealing with excessively heavy periods, among other things). The issue now is that she is refusing to let herself get better, both physically and emotionally. Xrays showed no fracture to her foot, although the doctor did give her crutches to use for a few weeks as he said she had probably bruised her bone in the impact. He gave her a recovery time of 4 - 6 weeks. We managed to get her to stop using the crutches about a week ago, although she didn't want to let them go. She also developed a limp where she walks on her tiptoe on her sore foot, refusing to put her heel on the floor. We are now into week 8 and she has made no improvement in the last 2 weeks at all. I don't think that the injury is physical anymore - she got lots of sympathy and support when it happened and I think she appreciated that a little too much.

So, how do I now encourage her to walk normally so that she doesn't do further damage by limping and walking on her toes, without appearing unsupportive? I've tried everything - the nice encouragement, getting cross with her, taking away her crutches to force her to walk, taking her to the doctor so that she can hear them say there is now nothing wrong with it, explaining it will not heal properly if she doesn't use it.... I've run out of ideas.

She isn't helping herself emotionally either - she refuses to deal with things when they first arise. She ignores problems until they become so big she can't deal with it and then it gets too much for her and she breaks down. One example: she lost her PE shorts a few months ago. She didn't want to tell me, so she lied about it, saying she had left them at school. This went on for weeks, until by the time I forced the issue it turned out she had lied to her teachers, forged notes from me excusing her from PE and had hidden stinking PE kit in her locker so nobody found it. She wound up in heaps of trouble and under immense stress because of a silly series of actions. Even after her breakdown in January she is refusing to deal with her problems and I am just waiting for it to reach that point again.

Honestly, she doesn't have a bad life. She has everything she wants and needs and we have lovely, settled family and home. I quit my career to look after my kids so she has my full support whenever she needs me (although I do also have a 2 year old and am pregnant again). We don't struggle financially and I have always tried to be the best mum I can be. It's really breaking my heart to see her struggling and suffering so.

Any thoughts gratefully received.

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