My heart is broken now, and it will never be mended. My DD who is 13, has been having some problems lately, she started cutting and has anxieties, talks online about death and stuff. Very hard time for all of us. The thing is, I have always been blaming myself for it. I know it is my fault. She has always been stubborn; very good, quiet child but if she did not want to do something there was no way you could make her. She would not scream and shout; she would just sit or stand there and do nothing. This would drive me crazy. I have to admit that I have my own problems, dealing with anger as I come from a family with anger management issues. I would go crazy and start shouting and yelling and screaming, go nuts. When she started school, she was always struggling. When we sit down to work she would literarily just shut down. I just did not know how to handle her; I would get mad, make her sit at the table for a long time, most of the time she would do nothing.
When at 12 she started cutting I realized that it was all my fault, I was pushing her to hard and she broke. I have no idea how to live with this, I will never forgive myself.
Real problems are now that she does not want to talk to anyone about it, not just us but therapist either, but she has Instagram account and she pours her heart out there. Today I read a post that broke my heart. Amongst other stuff that she writes usually, how she is lost and depressed and does not know what to do, she wrote how she cannot wait to leave the house, how she does not believe me when I say I am sorry and that I love her, and how I made her write, when she was 4th grade, “I am stupid and I do not know anything”. I thought I would die. I do not see why she would make something like this up, but I swear I do not remember doing this. I occasionally spanked my kids, and yelled a lot, I know when I start screaming I would say things I know I should not, but I always thought I never said anything like that. I know that she must have felt stupid after my raging about how can she not understanding something, or learn after sitting at the table for so long, but I do not remember, that I made her write this. I do not see why she would lie though and I feel horrible because it must be true. I went to talk to her and tried to get more from her, in the mean time she deleted the post, I wish I took a screen shot, I wish I can read it every day and remind myself of what kind of a mother I am. A monster.
OP, I don't know very much about MH but I do know this:
- if you were a monster you wouldn't be here looking for help
- teenagers exaggerate especially when telling other teens how hard life is
- no mother is perfect. It's learning from our mistakes that make us better
- your DD needs professional help and family counselling might be useful
- you need to look to the future and how best you can help DD, not dwell on the past as you cannot change what went before, only what lies ahead
Friendofsadgirl, I know what you mean. My daughter is in therapy for cutting, but it does not seem to be getting anywhere since she is not willing to talk to anybody. I have to try harder and get her another therapist, get us another therapist, it is obvious that we need to work this out together before she is adult and has to deal with real life problems. I feel sick at this moment; I cannot explain it to you. I was given a precious gift and I broke it. Unintentionally sure, but still I mishandled it and broke it. At this point I cannot get past this feeling inside. It is hard. I know that all teens “hate” their mothers and exaggerate; my DD is no different, but still. Us parents we feel guilty for anything that happens to them anyway, right, and to get a confirmation like this from a child is …unbearable for me. Thank you for your kind words.
Could your DD have undiagnosed learning difficulties?
My DD is dyslexic and that parental pushing, child shutting down sounded familiar.
Could be another avenue to explore, it is very stressful for a child to be under performing and not know why.
You can only do your best,I quite often say to DD I may be the adult but quite often I am far from right or perfect.
You didn't break your precious gift, just maybe bent it a wee bit and like anything a bit bent it can be straightened out with some (maybe a lot!?) of work.
I wish you and your DD all the love and luck you both need to get through this together. Reassure her that this is something you both need to work on. She just needs to know you're there for her now as that's all that really matters.
Yes, after six years of struggling with school we finally pushed the school to do something about it. We requested psych eval and the psychologies told us she had learning disability (did not say what kind). This is when I loosened my grip a little bit and stared understanding why all this was happening.
I have to say that I am seriously upset with the school. Teachers must have noticed something was wrong, and every year I was asking why is my daughter was struggling and why didn’t her marks get better. They kept telling me all is well, she is doing fine. And you know what, my daughter is very quiet and obedient and that is all that mattered for them, not her academic progress.
I thank you all for reading my post and for taking time to answer, this means a lot to me.
I think that is a good thing as it is something you can work with.
I am very surprised the Ed Psyc did not explain the nature of your DD's difficulties to you.
Make it a priority to understand how your daughter functions, this will not just be on an academic basis but how she deals with all situations. This will help you talk to her and support her mental health.
For example my DD is dyslexic which affects spelling,reading and writing but more importantly I know she only takes in information in a "big picture", she overloads easily and doesn't really relate to wordy discussions but is fantastic visually.
If you can afford it have a new in depth Ed Psyc report carried out privately and use that to help you understand your DD.
I am so sorry for your distress and your DD's distress.
I echo the advice from other posters that it important to find out as much as you can about the specific learning disability. You need the name at the very least. If it's dyslexia, for example, that actually has specific STRENGTHS as well as weaknesses, and knowing more about it all may hugely help repair your DD's confidence. I know several people who, quite rightly, see their own dyslexia as sometimes an asset!
But my biggest, hugest, most heartfelt suggestion is this - does your daughter know what you have written here? You have written movingly about how regretful you are about those times shouting at her and forcing her to sit at table - I think it would be very very important for her to hear your heartfelt regret and apology exactly as you wrote it here . It will help her see you are a human who makes mistakes like any human, but that you deeply regret those actions and do really love her.
There is a brilliant book called 'how to talk so kids will listen' that may also really help, once she feels safe enough to open up a bit again.
I would agree with friends above ^^. Your DD needs professional help. I'm presuming by the fact you said 4th Grade that you're in the US. We have a couple of fantastic youth mental health centers near us and I don't think that's particularly unusual. Check your health insurance to see what you have covered and give your DD another outlet to talk, other than Instagram.
And there is no shame in you finding someone to talk to while you all work through your issues too.
Thank you guys. Yes you are right I have been thinking about getting another psych eval. The only reason why I did not is because I did not want to put her through that again. She is not very happy about any of the steps we have taken so far. She does not want to be different, is worried that she is weird and “mental”, you know how kids are. I know for sure that she does not have dyslexia, but what is her learning disability it is not very clear to us. I did talk to her and told her I was sorry and I realize that I was wrong to force to her to study and get angry with her when she did not. I will keep doing it but it is hard. We live in Canada
Choose your Ed Psyc very carefully,if you are lucky you will get one that will involve you and encourage your DD.
Since my DD's evaluation she has grown massively in confidence,running her own business as a photographer and competing at national level in her sport. She is still not keen on school or confident in her academic abilities but we are careful to support her strengths as Trifle says.
DD is well aware she is different and is now very proud of that, a huge change to the shame and failure she felt previously.
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