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Advice Needed: I recently learned that my 16 year old daughter was...

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I recently learned that my 16 year old daughter was cutting and burning herself. How do I confront her without her pushing away?

by on Mar. 16, 2013 at 4:19 PM
Replies (41-50):
MrsKish
by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 10:20 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting blogenmom:

My daughter and I do not have an open relationship. She no longer confides in me, she has never forgave me for divorcing her father though it was for the best. I Defantly think counsaling would be a good idea, I just wish I knew how to confront her on the issue.

do not tell her school, private counseling. things like cutting have a stigma that will follow your DD if put in public record.

3kidz123
by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Problem is you don't know that she's just a cutter. I was a cutter too but I also have been attempting suiside just as long. There is no way to know what cutting means for her. It might end there or it might not. Plus not all hospitals are like that. I've been to a few and some are very helpful.

Quoting bear.katten:

Omg taking her to the hospital could be the worst answer! She is not attempting suicide, she is cutting and burning. If the cuts are deep enough for stitches then yes she is a danger to herself and should go to the mental hospital. But regular cutting is much more effectively treated by open communication, understand and therapy. You dont just jump to hospitalization! Again, I have been a cutter for 10 years. I have been to Spring Harbor and it was the most horrible, scary, degrading thing that has ever happened to me. It did not help ONE BIT (THERAPY with a good therapist helped!). The hospital can hold her for MONTHS, other kids at school figure out whats going on because you are gone for weeks or months at a time, you learn other horrible behaviors in there and trust me you want to die! They even make you telk them if you have had a bowel movement every day!
You need to try communicating and therapy before you dump her in a hospital (and dump your problem on other people).


Quoting 3kidz123:

This isn't a tiny problem and this isn't something minor! Go get your daughter, put her in the car, and drive her to the hospital! Tell them she's been cutting and burning herself, she's a dangre to herself, and you can't keep her safe in your home. Have her committed! While she's in the hospital look around for a theripist to take her when she gets out. Drive her to every appointment and make sure to walk her in and pick her up so you know she's going. Find a family theripist too, so you guys can also go together. When she comes home makes sure all sharp objects are hiden and all lighters. Let all the staff at her school know that they are to repost ANYTHING other than her going to class to you. If she's bleading through clothes, skipping class, not turning in homework, you need to know about it. You can't trust her right now and she doesn't need a friend from you, she needs you to keep her safe! She has just gone back to being 2...you decide what's best for hers, you don't leave her home alone, she keeps her door open. I know this seems harsh but I went through that myself as a teenager. If she's cutting that's bad, but cutting and burning? You will find her dead if this doesn't stop! You don't want to wait till she attempts suiside before you treat this like the emergancy it is. GL, and go take her to the hospital!!!

Quoting blogenmom:

My daughter and I do not have an open relationship. She no longer confides in me, she has never forgave me for divorcing her father though it was for the best. I Defantly think counsaling would be a good idea, I just wish I knew how to confront her on the issue.




bear.katten
by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 10:28 AM
And feel free to show her my pictures (I will post more if you want) she needs to see what she will have to live with for the rest of her life. She needs to see what she will have to cover for work and explain to her kids some day. This may be triggering so take a walk after, watch a movie together, whatever! Just do not leave her alone for a few hours after she see's these.


Quoting bear.katten:

Bottom of left arm.

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chaslee
by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 10:29 AM

My son's a cutter and burner.  PM me if you would like.  But don't force the issue, please.  Don't take away everything in her room, don't "freak out" on her.  Be calm and tell her that you love her, no matter what.  Don't make it a confrontation.  And above all else... don't ask her to show you or do "body checks" every day.

bear.katten
by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 10:30 AM
I obviously know that but the first step is definitely not hospitalization!


Quoting 3kidz123:

Problem is you don't know that she's just a cutter. I was a cutter too but I also have been attempting suiside just as long. There is no way to know what cutting means for her. It might end there or it might not. Plus not all hospitals are like that. I've been to a few and some are very helpful.

Quoting bear.katten:

Omg taking her to the hospital could be the worst answer! She is not attempting suicide, she is cutting and burning. If the cuts are deep enough for stitches then yes she is a danger to herself and should go to the mental hospital. But regular cutting is much more effectively treated by open communication, understand and therapy. You dont just jump to hospitalization! Again, I have been a cutter for 10 years. I have been to Spring Harbor and it was the most horrible, scary, degrading thing that has ever happened to me. It did not help ONE BIT (THERAPY with a good therapist helped!). The hospital can hold her for MONTHS, other kids at school figure out whats going on because you are gone for weeks or months at a time, you learn other horrible behaviors in there and trust me you want to die! They even make you telk them if you have had a bowel movement every day!

You need to try communicating and therapy before you dump her in a hospital (and dump your problem on other people).





Quoting 3kidz123:

This isn't a tiny problem and this isn't something minor! Go get your daughter, put her in the car, and drive her to the hospital! Tell them she's been cutting and burning herself, she's a dangre to herself, and you can't keep her safe in your home. Have her committed! While she's in the hospital look around for a theripist to take her when she gets out. Drive her to every appointment and make sure to walk her in and pick her up so you know she's going. Find a family theripist too, so you guys can also go together. When she comes home makes sure all sharp objects are hiden and all lighters. Let all the staff at her school know that they are to repost ANYTHING other than her going to class to you. If she's bleading through clothes, skipping class, not turning in homework, you need to know about it. You can't trust her right now and she doesn't need a friend from you, she needs you to keep her safe! She has just gone back to being 2...you decide what's best for hers, you don't leave her home alone, she keeps her door open. I know this seems harsh but I went through that myself as a teenager. If she's cutting that's bad, but cutting and burning? You will find her dead if this doesn't stop! You don't want to wait till she attempts suiside before you treat this like the emergancy it is. GL, and go take her to the hospital!!!

Quoting blogenmom:

My daughter and I do not have an open relationship. She no longer confides in me, she has never forgave me for divorcing her father though it was for the best. I Defantly think counsaling would be a good idea, I just wish I knew how to confront her on the issue.






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Aniroc
by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 10:32 AM
That's a hard thing to deal with. I used to do the same thing when I was younger, for me it was to feel outside pain when I had too much inside to handle and it's actually addictive. It was hard to stop until I had kids and they were old enough to see what I was doing. I have bipolar and go into severe depressions and I was not diagnosed so I just thought I was a screwed up mess. I was, I just didn't know why. Couseling will probably help, but only if you find one she REALLY clicks with and feels like she can open up to. Once she feels like she has someone to talk to safely she will find that to be a better outlet than hurting herself to deal with her feelings-THAT'S what it's all about, not knowing how to deal with her feelings inside. If she finds a therapist she can trust maybe they can do a psych evaluation on her and see if she needs any kind of meds, if she has an illness then she's probably beyond overwhelmed and can't figure out why she can't handle things like other kids. You can talk to her and tell her you know she's hurting herself and you and her need to find someone will find someone together to talk to who wont judge her because you think she's feeling overwhelmed by life and you want her to find someone she feels safe and able to be open with. Explain to her that you aren't judging her but there are other ways to deal with life and there are people out there who can talk to her about all of the alternative that will help life get better. Self mutilation is a band aid, nothing gets better, it's just a distraction, explain to her there's a way to fix problems instead of redirecting the pain only to find it's still there later. THAT is my recommendation. I hope she gets the help she needs, i'll be praying for you guys. :)
3kidz123
by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Why don't you try calling a hotline...let them know exactly what your daughters doing (how deep the cuts are/how bad the burns are) and see what they say to do. While some of us here have cut our stories are diffrent and what helped us is diffrent so try talking to someone who knows more than we do about the subject.

SAFE (Self-Abuse Finally Ends) Alternative Information Line
1-800-DONT-CUT

bear.katten
by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 10:40 AM
I have also been a cutter for 10 years.. I'm just curious, when did you start? Are you "sober" now?


Quoting the4mutts:

Dont tell her to stop! That's the biggest thing. You'll only make it worse.

Be very specfic and say "I know that physical pain doesnt hurt a much as emotional pain"

That's why she's doing it. Let her know you are there to help her deal with her emotional pain.

Get her hormones checked.

This is a very touchy topic, just try to be accepting.

Sincerely- A cutter for 10 years.

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BeAmour
by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 10:41 AM
As a recovering cutter, you need to first, find the source of her self-harm.

Empty shells resort to cutting, meaning, the spirit of life has left from their bodies. They have few emotions, that are genuine, left to offer. They literally feel empty. The self-harm is a way to remind yourself that you're alive because you've been hurting for so long, you've become numb, almost in a literal sense.

Once you find out the root of this shell, you can try and start to help.

I have to warn you though, she won't stop unless she actually sees that this is a problem and has something comparable to replace it with.
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LoveOfWisdom
by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 10:43 AM
1 mom liked this
What about a temporary tattoo? Those last longer.

Quoting LadyOphelia:

Try the "Butterfly Project".   Basically, it is drawing a butterfly on the body part that is frequently cut (we have specific places...cutters do). Then the idea is to keep it "alive", give it a name etc. Don't wash it. Once it fades, it has flown away & the person has gone X days cut-free. BUT friends, family etc can do it too in honor of the cutter.

That being said, maybe draw one on your arm. Google & print out the project. Go up to her & simply tell her that you drew this butterfly out of love for her. You are there to support her. Give her the info on it (especially popular with teens).  That might be the window you are needing to be able to get her to open up & to go seek counseling.

**disclaimer: I am several weeks cut-sober. I have suffered all my life with it. It isn't just a teen angsty thing**

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