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Old 22-11-2014, 02:18 PM   #1
retrogirl66
 
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Confused and concerned mum of SH

Hi everyone,

I found out yesterday my gorgeous 15yr old daughter is cutting. She withdrew from me about 2 months ago and I gently prodded her to open up to no avail. I've talked to her, argued with her and finally I decided she must just be going thru a teenage phase... Obviously I was very very wrong as 2 weeks ago she started SHing
I'm sure I've done the wrong thing by telling her she has to see a psychologist to help her.
Any advice at all would be helpful... I'm a sole parent with no family and I'm struggling to come to terms with how this happened, what to do now and whether I can salvage the wonderful relationship I had with her up until 2 months ago...
Thanking you in advance xo

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Old 22-11-2014, 04:00 PM   #2
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Hello there, I'm so sorry to hear that your daughter is self harming, I know that's such a difficult thing for a parent to find out.

Did she seem receptive to the idea of seeing a psychologist? How willing is she talk about it to you? If she is not at all receptive to sharing what's going on with you, you could perhaps write a note to her explaining that you're worried and that you care and that you accept that she might not want to talk to you about it, but asking her what she thinks would help her (seeing a professional, talking to you, talking to a different family member or friend, doing lots of fun stuff to take her mind off her troubles).

My mum recall vividly the first time I lied to her (I was a super-honest child!) and it was about self harm and for some reason she was probably the last person I felt able to talk to about it, despite the fact that she was an excellent parent and had done nothing wrong. I think for me it was difficult to deal with her being so hurt by something I was doing and it was easy to just lie to her. Throughout my struggles I never opened up to my mum, but I'm happy to say that I did get through it all and now have a better relationship with my mum than I ever did before, so it is certainly possible to salvage your relationship with your daughter, even if for a while things feel rocky and she doesn't feel able to talk to you about what's going on for her.

Best wishes to you and your daughter.



We’ll find a way to fight it, we always have.
It's not how tragically we suffer but how miraculously we live.


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Old 22-11-2014, 08:09 PM   #3
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Thankyou for your kind words. I'm afraid I fell asleep (it was 2am here)
My daughter said she would go if her friend could come with her. I don't think they allow that in sessions.
I will definitely write her a note today as she's not receptive to talking to me at all (which has been a shock in itself).
Thanks for that advice... It's a start.

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Old 22-11-2014, 11:46 PM   #4
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Hi there,

I'm sorry to hear your daughter has turned to self-harming, as Jenna said, it is something very difficult to find out.

It's good she seemed a little open to the suggestion of speaking to a professional. It's a good first step. It might be worth asking whoever you choose to see about people going to sessions; some allow it, others don't.

I hope writing things down to her helps a little, it can be very useful in allowing you to explain how you're feeling and her taking it in and thinking about it before replying. When I went to the doctor for help with self-harming etc, I wrote it all down as it was easier than saying it.

Self-harming is a very private thing, and chances are she's either scared how you'll react, worried she's hurt you, embarrassed or doesn't want to worry you. For me, with my parents, it was all of these things.

As Jenna has said, it's not a dead end of your relationship with her. I didn't turn to my mother at any point in my teenage years/early twenties about depression/self-harm etc. I in fact never wanted her to find out, however, I'm glad she did. We are a lot closer now and I feel I can go to her if I'm having a bad day or finding things hard (don't get me wrong, I'm recovered and not acting any of those behaviours for some time).

One piece of advice I would say to you, which I have to do in my mentoring sessions with teenage clients going through this, is not to rush it. Allow her some time to get used to knowing that you know, rushing into it will only make her clam up more.

It is obvious from these posts you care a great deal about her and turning to somewhere like this to understand more shows you really want to understand more and help as best you can.

If I can be of any help/support, please feel free to PM me.

x x x



It's the ups and downs of living life this way. Promise me you'll never go away. Just stay with me through one more night because it's always darkest before the light and now I promise you I'll never turn away. I won't let you give us one less heart to break...


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Old 23-11-2014, 03:20 AM   #5
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Thankyou Katie.
I'm trying. I just bought some books online regarding advice to parents and also a book written by a self harming teen so I can see it from my daughter's point of view as well.
Unfortunately I won't have much time to read them today as its my son's birthday and we have plans but I have the day off work tomorrow and I'm endeavoring to get thru some at least.
After that I'll go thru all the posts here I can to try and get as much info as possible to arm myself with everything I can to help her.
Thankyou for your advice and kind words. Xo

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Old 23-11-2014, 05:23 AM   #6
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I am so sorry your daughter has begun SHing, I can only imagine what you must be feeling and thinking as her mother. (I kept my SH hidden from my parents and even now do not have the family support you are able to offer your daughter.)

Books are a great source of general information about SH, as are websites.

Let your daughter know you are trying to understand by reading the books. Do not ask her direct questions, but let her know you are there to listen whenever she is ready. She may never feel able to tell you everything, but knowing she has your love and support will make a difference.

As Katie said, her thoughts will be mixed about you knowing. Do not see that as a failure on your part, it is a very secret act.

Are there any mother/daughter activities you have enjoyed together in the past? Maybe spending time together will help bridge the communication gap (normal in many teenagers).

I wish you the very best of luck and hope your daughter is able to get the help she needs. Do not forget to look after yourself at the same time!

I hope this has been of some use to you.

PM me at any time if you wish x



A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step - Confucious

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometime courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow.' - Mary Anne Radmacher

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Old 23-11-2014, 02:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retrogirl66 View Post
My daughter said she would go if her friend could come with her. I don't think they allow that in sessions.
You could definitely ask. They might not allow it long-term, but they might allow her to sit in at the start, or at the very least her friend could go with her and wait in the waiting room, and often knowing there's someone just outside ready to give a hug afterwards can help!

It sounds like you are doing everything you can to help her and even if she doesn't appreciate it right now, she's very lucky to have you.

As Edge said, maybe you could arrange to spend some quality time together doing something that the two of you normally enjoy. It might help to have some kind of agreement with her about when you will try to talk about her difficulties- one of the things that panicked me most was when the topic was sprung upon me and that made me worried all the time that we were about to have a conversation I didn't want to have. I'm aware she might just say she never wants you to bring it up, but hopefully she'll understand that that would be difficult for you, so maybe you could come to some agreement where she knows that when you're out on days out or with family or on school evenings you won't raise the topic, and but that at the end of the week you will mention her general wellbeing in case she feels she does want to talk, but you won't push it? Or something like that. I hope that makes sense!

I hope your family have a nice day celebrating your son's birthday :)



We’ll find a way to fight it, we always have.
It's not how tragically we suffer but how miraculously we live.


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Old 24-11-2014, 06:58 AM   #8
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Wow that's great advice. I will endeavour to have that conversation with her today. I have found it some information from some friends and now know at least some of the issues surrounding her overload which led to this.
Thank god it's nothing too serious and are all typical teenage issues... Not to say they're not important to her of course, because they're important enough for her to SH but they are all things that we / she can work on.
Xoxox

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Old 24-11-2014, 07:02 AM   #9
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I am pleased you are able to help her through this time in her life. As you say, they may be typical teenage issues, but to her they may seem insurmountable. Hopefully by working through each issue she will be back to herself.

I wish you luck and remind you, there is always someone here for you if you need a sounding board.
x



A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step - Confucious

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometime courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow.' - Mary Anne Radmacher

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Old 24-11-2014, 01:42 PM   #10
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Just wanted to say you seem like such a wonderful, lovely Mum. Keep doing what you're doing as she will thank you for it in the long run, even if right now she can't see how supportive you're being x





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Old 25-11-2014, 02:21 PM   #11
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Thankyou Malison. Your words mean a lot to me right now...
Thankyou Edge... I do realise for sure that these issues seem insurmountable to her... I'm just so glad that I got to the bottom of the issues although it makes me sad that she couldn't come to me about them... I do understand... I know this is going to be a long journey and I'm so glad I found this place to help me and hopefully in the future I'll be able to return that favour to other mums or even other members that are SH themselves... That's a long way down the road tho... I'm going to focus on my baby girl first and thanks to you guys I have some great starting points..

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Old 25-11-2014, 10:46 PM   #12
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Wrote this before I read the whole thread (so it might be kind of irrelevant):
Oh dear, that is a mess. As a parent with kids that SI:ed and being a late starter myself I can relate.
First of all: It might not be your fault. It might but it is not necessarily so. Your daughter might have other problems that are not related to you. Having said that, to talk and care, and suggest solutions are not a bad thing to do. My advice is not to see it as a teenage thing, it’s not god for your daughter to hear that she grow out of it and it can be a pejorative approach to the problem. Your child is in pain and that should not be neglected.
But my suggestion is not to focus too much on the cutting. In my experience that could be her least problem. A view that depends on how sever she cuts and the fact that it can become an addiction. Still try to focus on her, keep communication going at any cost, if you can talk and you’re not panicking a lot is accomplished.
Take care

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Old 29-11-2014, 06:20 AM   #13
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I know this is a sort of old thread but i just wanted to say something as a self harmer whose dealt more than once with parents finding out. I've skimmed the thread so i don't know if anyone's mentioned this, but has your daughter been willing to talk to you at all or has she just clammed up? If she hasn't talked to you at all..know that self harm isn't easy to get over. She won't quit just cause you (i assume) want her to - its just like drugs or alcohol, if you do it long enough it gets addicting. Eventually, if something upsets you badly enough its the first thing you think of. Its a coping mechanism for feelings and emotions that are too strong that you don't know how to handle, at least for me it was. Therapy can help her learn how to handle things better when something's wrong or she's struggling. And another thing, that the other person above mentioned - don't over-focus on the cutting. The cutting is only a symptom of whatever she's dealing with. If you overfocus on it, you can actually make it worse because that puts too much focus on it. You need to focus on your daughter and helping her overall, not just on stopping her cutting. I'm not saying that this is what you are doing, i'm just saying it as a general piece of advice because this is what i've known parents to do. They can sometimes focus on the rather shocking behavior of self harm over what might be causing it.

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Old 30-11-2014, 03:47 AM   #14
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Hi I don't have a lot of advice really, most of the things I'll explain here are quite similar to what others have already said, I know it's not easy for you to find out that your daughter is cutting, but you are doing the right thing in trying to understand from your daughter's point of view.

You said you want her to see a Psychologist, please try not to put to much pressure on her to do that, she could find it intrusive & a bit overbearing in the begging, and that could just put even more strain on your relationship, let her know you are there, and that you love her.

There are a few other things you can do to help her, these include letting her know that it's ok for her to express herself if she needs to and that you'll respect her privacy if she would like to go to her room to scream into a pillow, that's ok, or to cry that's ok too, and that she won't be judged.

You could also think about keeping a first-aid kit, as hard is it may be she has to stop in her own time, when she is ready, it's better if she's keeping it clean, and has access to first-aid equipment, you don't want her getting infections, my parents had to learn the hard way, as they didn't want to see things from my point of view, and if you do happen to find any blades it's not helpful to remove them.

You could think about some distractions that might help your daughter, there are lots on the forum, and maybe write her a list of them that she might like, some can include going shopping, watching a movie or listening to some of her favourite music, you can find some more suggestions here: http://www.recoveryourlife.com/forum...splay.php?f=22 or here: http://www.recoveryourlife.com/forum...t=Alternatives

I hope your ok & most of all hope your daughter is doing ok, you will get your relationship back, it'll just take some time xx

Regards, Ceri.





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Old 01-12-2014, 10:57 AM   #15
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To KariNicole...
Thankyou for your wise words... I've quickly realised the cutting is a symptom of her internal anguish and she happily saw her old counsellor from many years ago on Saturday however it could only be a one off... The good news is that she was happy to discuss issues in my presence so I have a fair idea of what's happening although that doesn't mean I know how to help her ��
She has agreed to go to a counselling service too so we're waiting for that date to arrive...
Thankyou xo

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Old 01-12-2014, 11:00 AM   #16
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Great idea stumpy!
I'll purchase more bandages... I do know she's using my antibacterial cream and I also bought her healing oil for scars which I've collected along with many items for her crisis box I'm putting together for her thanks to this site...
Just hearing you gorgeous girls willing to help me is so insightful as to your beautiful nature's... Very similar to my precious daughter...
Thankyou xo

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Old 01-12-2014, 11:04 AM   #17
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Thankyou Auror...
I hadn't thought of her cutting too deeply... I'll have that conversation with her after I've made an appointment with her to do so... Advice given previously suggested I do this and I've been loathe to do it for fear of what I might hear but I know it's the best way... Less pressure... Keep it light... Be facial and let hey know how much I love her... They're my major aims right now... Thanks to all your help... Otherwise I would have been forceful and upset and angry and blaming myself which wouldn't have helped my baby in any way shape or form... I really can't thank you enough!

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Old 01-12-2014, 08:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retrogirl66 View Post
I've quickly realised the cutting is a symptom of her internal anguish and she happily saw her old counsellor from many years ago on Saturday however it could only be a one off... The good news is that she was happy to discuss issues in my presence.

She has agreed to go to a counselling service too.
That's brilliant, it sounds like she appreciates your support, and the way your approaching things, understanding from her point of view

Quote:
Originally Posted by retrogirl66 View Post
I'll purchase more bandages... I do know she's using my antibacterial cream

I also bought her healing oil for scars which I've collected along with many items for her crisis box I'm putting together for her thanks to this site.
It's great she's using antibacterial cream, it shows she's being responsible in ensuring her wounds are kept clean, and I'm glad your making her a crisis box, I have 2 boxes, a first-aid/crisis box & a distractions box, my distractions box has Magazines, Paper, Felt Pens, some water based paints, glitter-glue, elastic, some beads, loom & loom bands, a yoyo, a bag of elastic bands that I use for making an elastic ball, a soft sponge ball that I can throw around without breaking things, some squeezy stress balls, a tangle toy http://www.sensetoys.com/G2ERKIJSAB, and a list of movies or places I like to go, amongst other stuff, maybe that's something you could think about too, and she could decorate her distractions box any way she likes, that is a distraction in it's self

Quote:
Originally Posted by retrogirl66 View Post
I hadn't thought of her cutting too deeply
Am glad your gonna approach this, but another thing to consider is a crisis card for her to carry, if she's ever somewhere out & about found in distress, so they know to contact you or another crisis contact, I have 2 contacts on my card, I know from personal experience, if I'd cut too deep & was found in distress I'd clam up but point to my pocket where they could find my crisis card

xxx





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Old 02-12-2014, 05:56 AM   #19
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For a mom that is more prepared.

Quote:
Originally Posted by retrogirl66 View Post
Thankyou Auror...
I hadn't thought of her cutting too deeply... I'll have that conversation with her after I've made an appointment with her to do so... Advice given previously suggested I do this and I've been loathe to do it for fear of what I might hear but I know it's the best way... Less pressure... Keep it light... Be facial and let hey know how much I love her... They're my major aims right now... Thanks to all your help... Otherwise I would have been forceful and upset and angry and blaming myself which wouldn't have helped my baby in any way shape or form... I really can't thank you enough!
Hi, for one thing I will repeat what others have said. You sound like a great mom and I'm so happy you are willing to listen to advice. All the advice here has been the best and will really help in your own crisis tool box.
But I will also say this to prepare you. This is going to be in no way an easy road. Not for you and not for your child. My mom found out I was self-harming around the same age. She was ill prepared and ill informed. This should never be thought of as a teenage phase even though she may be able to "grow out of it" with proper help. There also may be times when it seems there are no right things to say, do or choose. It will be then that you will need to take a breath and remember all the information you have and then choose what you believe to be best and remind yourself that is all you can do. I only say this because it sounds like you just want to make the right steps and do the right things because you love and care about your family. I believe that is great and will help a lot. I know from being the child there were times where nothing anyone did was the right choice and it was confusing and scary and made my mind swirl. I believe though you have a better chance at knowing what to do above my mom. My mom was told from my therapist that this was only a bad teenage thing and I would be fine in time. So my mom had very little clue that she need to watch out for anything. I will pray for you and your child that both of you will have the strength and love to get through and smile on the other side.

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Old 02-12-2014, 08:55 PM   #20
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Hope it works out. As said above - You seems like a super mom.

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