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Moms with Teens Moms with Teens

New to Group need help/advice with a teen who is cutting herself!

Posted by on Feb. 17, 2013 at 2:10 PM
  • 11 Replies

Hi, I'm Deb and I am raising my ex-husbands daughter from his previous relationship. We were raising this child during our marraige but he wanted out ( alcohol), he previously had been abandoned by his father as a young child and consequently abandoned his three sons from his first marraige.  I married again 5 yrs ago and my husband is more than supportive, we are hoping to adopt MJ this year as she has had no contact with her birth parents in over 8 yrs. I am one of only a few Step-Parents who was awarded custody over the birth parents! MJ. has lived with me from 1-5yrs of age, during the separation from her father I had partial custody... now full. MJ knows deep in her heart that she is loved and that I fought for her for four years, but  perhaps because she is a teen almost 16, she struggles with identity issues as well as simply being a teen. I have always read her diaries/letters/writings as my parental rights? Recently I read that she has been cutting herself and I confronted her last night with this, she claims that she has never been happy and feels that no one loves her!! After a tearful night of retelling how she came to be in my life (something I have to do every year or so) and reassuring her of my love ... I am not at a point of what to do about her cutting herself. I explained that if she intends to harm herself in any permanent or non-permanent way it would not be under my roof, that I will do all I can to protect her, but that once she turns 18 and goes off into the world she will have to choose for herself what she will do and I will not be able to stop her. Can anyone give me some words of advice??? I'm thinking of getting her into counseling though she says she will not talk to anyone!!!  THanks for listening... Deb

by on Feb. 17, 2013 at 2:10 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Tisha1115
by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 9:42 AM

She needs to see a mental health professional, she needs help.

amonkeymom
by on Feb. 18, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Definitely get her into counseling.  Even if she won't talk at first, she will eventually come to open up.  Also, encourage her to talk to a counselor at school, someone who she feels she can trust who she can go to when she feels that she might want to hurt herself.

Quoting momagain98:

Hi, I'm Deb and I am raising my ex-husbands daughter from his previous relationship. We were raising this child during our marraige but he wanted out ( alcohol), he previously had been abandoned by his father as a young child and consequently abandoned his three sons from his first marraige.  I married again 5 yrs ago and my husband is more than supportive, we are hoping to adopt MJ this year as she has had no contact with her birth parents in over 8 yrs. I am one of only a few Step-Parents who was awarded custody over the birth parents! MJ. has lived with me from 1-5yrs of age, during the separation from her father I had partial custody... now full. MJ knows deep in her heart that she is loved and that I fought for her for four years, but  perhaps because she is a teen almost 16, she struggles with identity issues as well as simply being a teen. I have always read her diaries/letters/writings as my parental rights? Recently I read that she has been cutting herself and I confronted her last night with this, she claims that she has never been happy and feels that no one loves her!! After a tearful night of retelling how she came to be in my life (something I have to do every year or so) and reassuring her of my love ... I am not at a point of what to do about her cutting herself. I explained that if she intends to harm herself in any permanent or non-permanent way it would not be under my roof, that I will do all I can to protect her, but that once she turns 18 and goes off into the world she will have to choose for herself what she will do and I will not be able to stop her. Can anyone give me some words of advice??? I'm thinking of getting her into counseling though she says she will not talk to anyone!!!  THanks for listening... Deb


dlsbucky
by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 2:44 PM

My daughter (14) has also cut and I had her talk to a therapist.  That has seemed to help.  She did tell me that when things aren't going well and she gets stressed, she cuts herself.

As far as counseling, we made an agreement that she would talk to someone and go for at least 2 times and then we could discuss if she would go again.  We also agreed that she did not need to share anything they talked about and that I would not talk to the counselor unless the two of them wanted to share something.  She has gone back several times and since then, and the agreement still stands and seems to be working.  I told her I understand that there are going to be some things that she may not be able to talk to me or her dad about, and that is okay with us.  We want to do whatever we can to help her grow up to be an emotionally stable adult.

 

lazyd
by Bronze Member on Feb. 19, 2013 at 3:11 PM

MJ needs to be put into counseling right away!  My now 14yo daughter was cutting herself.  She is now in therapy (individual and group).  She is on abilify.  Just DONT tell MJ that when a kid turns 14 that it is the CHOICE of the TEEN that they dont have to do anything when it comes to their "health".  Your daughter has every right to refuse treatment.  Just tell her that she HAS to go until she turns 18.  If i told my daughter that it was in her right to NOT go to therapy, she wouldnt go.  But i think she needs the meds for a while to help her lift her mood.  She doesnt cut anymore, but we are still going thru teenage angst of following rules, etc.

bizzeemom2717
by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 3:20 PM

 I agree with the others, counseling asap. Good luck.

momagain98
by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 6:59 PM

thanks to all who replied to my post about my daughter cutting herself!! Therapy is in the works, I do not think she gets to make all the calls on this at all!!! I'll keep you all posted on how things are going....

MrsBLB
by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Welcome to the group Deb.  It's good to hear that you will be getting the counseling.  Please keep us updated.

Maverick1957
by Member on Feb. 20, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Twice I've heard about this on CM; have met 2 girls here who have done it.  One even, while step son was at HER house, carved into HIS arm.  Last time he hung out with her.  I don't know what causes them to do that ...only professional counseling would be able to determine.  Agree with everyone else...COUNSELING IMMEDIATELY!

Charity1978
by on Feb. 20, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Dear Deb,

                 I used to date a guy who did the same thing before I met him.But we had several conversations about it because I personally wanted to be aware and be causious that he wasnt going to do this again.He said the reason why most cutter's cut them selves is because they feel a release in it when they do it.I can tell you this you need to pay attention to her moods.He had his ups and downs and I could always tell when he was down so I would look for a reason to get him out of the house even if it was just going to the store or the park or something it helped him get out of whatever funk he was in.I knw it helped him talking about it with me also which was like counseling in a since.You also may try getting her into a youth group also I knw that has helped me with my boys tremendesly and they feel like they can be there own person there too.Well I hope this helps out.

daisykat
by on Feb. 21, 2013 at 8:11 PM
1 mom liked this
Ok, here's the deal. Cutters are far more likely to commit suicide than a non-cutter. Cutters do it for several reasons- first of all, it's an intense form of self-hatred and she feels the need to punish herself. Ask her what she's thinking about in the moment before she cuts. I guarantee it's something in the nature of her hating herself. Second, cutters do feel a release when they do it. The brain responds to pain by releasing endorphins, so there's a brief high. Then that cycle will repeat, with her self-loathing increasing to the point where it's too heavy a burden, and she'll cut again. Trust me, I speak from my own personal experience as a former cutter, when I was a teenager. Futhermore, you have every right to violate her privacy by reading her diaries when she's not around. Until she's 18, you own the air she breathes. Finally, I'm also a recovering alcoholic. Gently explain to her that it's not that her father doesn't love her, it's just that he hates himself too, and so rather than cutting her escapes with alcohol because he believes deep inside that he's not worthy of her. Here's something that may help, besides obvious therapy- do crazy, non-conventional things with her. Put on swimsuits and finger paint huge pieces of paper with your whole body, encouraging her to let those feelings out through art. Take her to a bead shop and make necklaces or bracelets with her, having her pick beads that express her feelings. Take her fishing (I'm telling you, it works) and while you sit with your fishing poles you can talk with her. Do some different, unexpected activities with her and help her find a passion. Good luck, I'll be praying for you.

daisy kat (tina)
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