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DD 13 and self harm

(5 Posts)
hillbilly Tue 11-Dec-18 08:59:46

I can't believe I'm writing this. My daughter has been keeping herself to herself for a while which I just put down to usual teenage behaviour. We've had issues with her using her phone in the bathroom possible sending pictures of herself. We looked at her phone to find very upsetting messages to one particular boy about feeling worthless, about how she can't bear me, when can she leave home, how I make her feel like s disgrace. She's been having problems with school work too. We have arranged for her to see someone regarding confidence and preparing for exams.

I've been the main person dealing with school, homework and day to day stuff with the kids. I thought I was being firm and fair but obviously I've been doing it all wrong.

We've talked to her about it and I've backed off, just offering support as and when needed.

This morning I found a note in her room that she had written. Describing her feelings and that she had been cutting. I'm completely devastated for her.

I'm so out of my depth with this - how to I approach this and what do I say to her?

pippistrelle Tue 11-Dec-18 09:26:53

That's so hard, OP, and I feel for you.

Did she leave the note for you specifically? Overtly, I mean? Even if it wasn't overt, I'd suggest that she wants you to know: this is her cry for help.

If I were you (and to a certain extent, I have been...) I would tell her you found her note, you love her, you're worried, you want to help, you'd love her to talk to you but understand that may not feel comfortable for her right now.

Would she consider talking to someone else? If so I would divert away from the confidence and exams help towards a more general counsellor.

CAMHS gets mixed reviews depending on area but, wherever you are, the waiting lists tend to be long. If you're able to pay for her to see someone privately - and she's willing to - that's the route I'd be taking.

hillbilly Tue 11-Dec-18 09:41:15

Thank you Pippi. The note was tucked inside a notebook under her pillow. I don't think I was meant to find it but can't be sure. I was snooping. No denying that. I don't want I worry that telling her I found it will break trust completely. Apart from that I've seen no evidence of self harm but she's very secretive and spends a lot of time in the bathroom which we commented on a while ago ( we only have one bathroom so no one gets to spend ages in there!). I think we need an open and honest talk with her without being specific and any advice on that welcome.

The coaching is meant to help with strategies at school to calm herself when feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

pippistrelle Tue 11-Dec-18 09:50:54

Okay, if the note was somewhere you weren't supposed to see it, then I think just a general 'I want to talk to you, I'm worried about you' introduction. And maybe the coaching you've already arranged could be a way in. Talk about the reasons for it but say you've been questioning whether it covers any issues she's worried about. Does she want to carry on with it, or had she considered a different sort of approach that might cover wider issues?

Best of luck to you both.

hillbilly Tue 11-Dec-18 10:57:18

She hasn't been yet. But maybe the school stuff is a result of the other stuff so it may not be the best first approach.

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