Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by bookworm, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. bookworm

    bookworm New Member

    I just recently joined this site. I've never really belonged to anything like this before, but hoped it would help me and my family. This is my first post.

    We have been dealing with issues with our difficult child for years now. I sometimes think it was from day 1. She started cutting in 8th grade and the school called me to tell me that they had discovered this about her and a few other friends. We sought out therapy. One therapist tried to see her arm and she flat out refused to show her the cuts. We finally found a young therapist for her to talk to, but she mostly just lied to the woman and then came home and lied to us about what the therapist said. We stopped therapy after a short time.

    Now the cutting has gotten worse. After a recent discussion, I realized that the cutting was more than it seemed. It is an addiction. I want to find therapy, but I'm not sure what to look for this time. I need to take her to see someone who can see through her lies and manipulation and get to the root of the problem. My family is often in turmoil because of the fights my husband and I have with our child. She wants things her way and will go to extremes to make sure that she gets them. She does not like being denied.

    I feel like I've failed as a Mom sometimes both for this child's behavior and for the fact that I believe my other two children have been deprived attention that they deserved.

    If anyone has any advice on tips for finding a therapist or what kind of therapy I should seek, I would really appreciate it. She is trying to stop cutting and gave me her collection of razor blades, but I can tell from her deteriorating behavior that she is having a hard time quitting.

    Thanks for letting me vent.
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi bookworm, sorry you had to seek out a group like this but you will be glad, I believe, when you see that there are quite a few here who can relate. My son is not a cutter so that is not something I can speak to. I do know the intensity of a child pushing to have his agenda ALL of the time. just totally exhausting.

    I know people will be along, but wanted to welcome you and let you know you are in good company here.

    See you later! Dee
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and welcome!

    First ((((hugs))))

    Second - sadly, cutting is all too common. Kids will send one another "cutting videos" on FB and such - it's almost a "club".

    The kind of therapy available to you is going to depend upon your resources. What does your insurance cover? Can you afford private therapy? Do you need to look for a provider that charges on a sliding scale? Is your child covered by medicaid? Do you need to go through state and county facilities?

    And then, you can call and speak to therapists and find out whether they have any expertise in cutting...

    Good luck!
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    Hello, welcome and ((((HUGS))))

    Yes, cutting can be like an addiction. Use that knowledge. If difficult child is trying to kick the habit and has willingly given up her blades to you, that's just step one. She, with your help, needs to actively pursue substitute (hopefully healthy and positive) behavior. This can be tricky, because nothing will bring the same satisfaction as the addiction (regardless of what that is) but there has to be something.
  5. Cressida

    Cressida New Member

    Hi Bookworm,

    I'm afraid I can't relate to how it must feel to know that your child is self-harming (mine is only 7 & has never done anything like that), however I can talk on a personal level as I used to cut a lot when I was growing up. Feel free to drop me a PM if you think I can help, or if you fancy just venting/talking to someone who's been there on the 'other side'.

    Keep strong, and please, please know that it absolutely is NOT your fault - you've not failed as a parent; far from it (despite how it might feel sometimes!). She will get through this, as will you.

  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    First off - HUGS. Lots of them, and very gentle ones.

    Secondly - how old is she now? And... Razors are not the only thing she can use. Giving you her razors and saying she is trying to stop, but having deteriorating behavior otherwise, is a HUGE red flag.

    My school district, Onyxx, cut. I was concerned she was doing so when she started wearing jeans and long sleeves in the summertime. With a heat index of 105-110, something was wrong. And then I found a razor that had been pried apart. We took away her razors. Things got worse. She stole all my sewing machine needles, paring knives, forks, light bulbs suddenly broke a LOT as did mirrors, hard plastic toys of Jett's were in shards, screws and nails went missing... You would be AMAZED.

    The first thing is, please realize that this is NOT YOUR FAULT - you are NOT a bad Mom, just the fact that you are reaching out for help speaks volumes to the contrary. Yes, your other two children may have lost out on some time & attention - this is a hard and sad fact, but you are ONE PERSON. Your husband is ONE PERSON. And the drama is what your difficult child is feeding on.

    As for type of therapist - seeing through lies and manipulation is one of those things we have problems with. Therapists seem to like behavior charts and to tell the parent what THEY are doing wrong. Well - here's the thing. I went to a court-ordered parenting class with husband. None of their tools worked with Onyxx. Many did not work with Jett (though a few did). These are NOT neurotypical kids. Find someone (I'd say female, no good reason except your daughter is and so are you). First appointment - just you. Explain what's going on to the therapist. If therapist dismisses your concerns out of hand, move on. Make sure that you keep in touch with therapist, possibly through email - therapist doesn't have to tell you what difficult child says, but if they suspect a diagnosis, they do need to let you know. (And then, if a psychiatrist is necessary for medication purposes, schedule one.) If you need to go through your county health department - DO IT.

    We've gone through tons of counselors for Onyxx. She doesn't trust anyone and won't open up. We've been fighting this battle for years.

    Don't worry if she lies to you about what the therapist said. It's not important unless she says that the therapist said YOU or husband should do something. In which case you shrug and say, "Well I guess she needs to let me know, huh?" and walk away.

    Don't engage her. This is SOOOOOOO HARD, but SOOOOOOO necessary!!! If you can speak in a monotone, do. Favorite phrase: "I'm sorry you feel that way." Refuse to argue with her. Onyxx likes to say, "you won't argue because you know I'm right!" Well, of course we know nothing of the sort but... "I'm sorry you feel that way", in a monotone, was great. Confused her long enough to defuse her.

    If you have not already read The Explosive Child (I think it's by Ross Greene), get a copy ASAP. This book helps with typical teen stuff, too! It will also stop a lot of arguments, because let's face it, some stuff is just NOT worth fighting over. For instance... My mom would have gone off the deep end if I, as a teen, had dyed my hair rainbow colors and pierced anything but my ears. And my room better get cleaned weekly!!! Well, Onyxx's room was probably a petri dish for MRSA at one point or another, her hair's been quite a few colors, and she's gauged her ears, had her lip and tongue pierced, and - did this herself - pierced her septum, navel and hips. Yes, I said hips. We drew lines and they were ignored, so we figured out what was IMPORTANT to us and redrew the lines. (FWIW, I will never forget when my mother found out my navel was pierced. I was 35 and had had it for 7 years by then.)

    In the meantime, keep coming back. Venting and having someone to talk to helps. I don't do message boards, and I've been here for 3 years now!