Am I a terrible mother?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by StressedM0mma, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    difficult child told me something (actually write me a note), and I am having a hard time believing her. I have put my armor on, so if you need to yell or criticize I am ready.

    difficult child told me that she had(has) an eating disorder. That she was not eating during the time she was cutting, and after she quit cutting. Now, I watched both of my girls and what they ate. And, she never restricted what she ate. She told me she only ate at home, and that while she was at school she would just throw away the lunch I made. She was thin, but not skinny. She was telling me she was passing blood when she was going to the bathroom. And that her hair was falling out. Now, the hair part I straight out do not believe. She is constantly getting her hair cut, and a friend of mine does it, and she never mentioned it. And she would have if her hair even seemed brittle. The blood, I do not know. When prodded, she couldn't/wouldn't give me a direct answer.

    I have been very detached from difficult child these past few days. I told her it was up to her to make the decision about school, and I was no longer going to worry over it. I completely detached from it. She has been following me around actually asking to help with things/chores. So not difficult child. I feel like since I no longer am bowing down to her, and fretting and hand wringing she felt the need to "up the ante" so to speak.

    Unfortunately, with all of the lying she has done the past year, I am having a hard time believing her. When I went up to her room to talk about it with her, there were no tears, and she didn't seem worried. She had this weird smile/smirk on her face. And when I asked her a couple of questions her first response was "what you don't believe me?" Why would she have jumped to so you don't believe me before I really even said anything?

    Am I dealing with yet more manipulation, or is she trying to open up? Call me a horrid mom, but my gut is telling me manipulation.
    I am ready for any and all responses/opinions good or bad.
  2. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    With my daughter, I have no idea what to believe or not.

    The cutting and not eating thing, I would probably believe that. I (in my non-doctor knowledge) think they're both forms of being able to control oneself. I see my daughter eat fine at home, and then refuse to eat her food at school, or even (supposedly) drink any water all day. She makes up for it usually, but is much younger than your daughter.

    I don't understand why she'd be passing blood in relation to that. Was she sure it wasn't blood from her period (that would be my first guess, as clumps can come out on the toilet)? Was she eating a bunch of red stuff? If she was indeed passing blood, that is a serious issue and she should see a doctor. I'd tell her that you're going to take her for a colonoposy because of it and see what she says. Let her know what's involved. Would she fess up then?

    The hair thing, I guess it depends on the hair. I have super thick hair and the one time it fell out, after pregancy, was the best I've liked the thickness of my hair. Nobody could tell, even at it's worst it still is healthy looking (just turning gray). Her hormone levels or lack of nutrients could cause that. But then they'd do something to her nails too, right? Look at her nails, any ridges or lines? I have some because I know I need more of certain vitamins.

    You're not a horrible mother. It's just hard to believe somebody when all they do is lie. But her writing it in a note makes it more believable. My daughter expresses herself better in writing, but again, she's younger and has communication issues.
  3. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I don't have a teenage daughter so just forget it if I'm no help. But I don't think the debate should be wether you believe it or not. Maybe she just needs to be heard? When it comes to eating disorders, I don't think the parents are necessarly the most qualified to deal with it anyway. Why not tell her something like "I can tell that you are worried about your eating habits and the consequences on your body. Why not talk to a nutritionist about it?". Give HER the number and let HER make the call. At 15, she is old enough to make an appointment and go to the visit without you (I did handle my medical care when I was 14). Wait a few days and ask her if she needs to talk about a bit more or if she is all set.
    You are not here decide wether it is true or not. She believe it's true so you give her the tools to deal with it.
    If it is just manipulation, you'll find out soon enough. If it's not manipulation, she will be talking to the right professional who can direct her.
    Just my 2 cents.
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I like what Ktllc said.

    Because to me it sounds like an attention ploy. You detached, she's gotta get your attention somehow! And how do you prove/disprove something that is in the past?

    So, here you go, darling daughter... Here's the number.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I'm with Ktlc and Step, doesn't matter....she very well could be seeking your attention, you are now over the school anxiety issue so we need another issue, maybe??? or she may be considering trying it to see if it will gain her attention, or may have half heartedly tried it??? In any event, unless she has massively used laxatives or is super constipated stool blood is probably not the issue (most common cause= hemorrhoids) or is she means throwing up blood that is very serious and an emergency so can't play with that either.

    I think just continue the putting it in her lap method, showing you will make the time to get her where she needs etc. but not even talking about it except to check in after the appointment. I am really sensitive to it and honestly my parents were the last to know. I remember people saying bulimia and cutting were more of the similar kind of personality profile but not sure that is true....

    Sorry she is doing this, and NO you are not an awful parent....only thing you can do is have her checked out by her therapist and gen doctor and mention it during the assessment.
  6. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I don't think you're an awful parent at all. Actually, I completely understand why you are feeling the way you are feeling about this. I think that the advice that the others gave you is pretty straight forward. Give her the number of the nutritionist and see what she does, if anything. If she is looking for attention and trying this out to see what happens, she will see that you are not falling all over yourself and wringing your hands like you have done in the past. If she really did/does have an eating disorder then she will be in the right office to truly deal with it.
  7. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    I'm with the others as well. My daughter (middle difficult child almost 15) lies and attention seeks too all the time. She is histrionic/hyperchondria with constant ailments. I have to take the wait and see approach to her complaints which does make me feel bad sometimes, depending on what it is as I worry what if this time it's serious. It's a precarious position to be in. She "attempted" cutting as a copycat behavior of her older sister and and other kids at school only I knew this as she is not the type (the way she reacts to something similar painwise). I spoke to her on that occasion and forthright told her I knew it was for attention and that she was going to get the wrong kind of attention for it and not like it. Sure enough, a girl in school who was an actual cutter demanded her to explain now or threatened her to tell the guidance counselor and she'd "get in trouble", which she wouldn't. She did NOT like that one bit! She never did that again and was mad that she got negative attention instead of sympathy or another kind.

    She complains about vomiting or blood, like yours as well from time to time. Turns out the vomiting was all fake and the blood wasn't blood at all but discoloration from food she had ate (like tomatoes in one case another food in another) only as a child she had no concept that food can do strange things like this. She also has complained of her "hair coming out". Yes her hair was coming out but no more then anyone else's can do when hair goes through a heavy shed stage, she just happen to notice it and she also has a thick head of hair.

    I don't know if anything I said helped any or gave you food for thought but you are certainly not a terrible mother and I definitely know where you are coming from. I live this every single day with mine. I just keep reinforcing to her that sometime something is going to really be wrong and I won't be able to know for sure to believe her. by the way, she pulls this with the school personnel as well but they have learned her MO too.
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Sounds attention seeking to me. I'd mention it to her psychiatrist/tdocs and just refer her to them.
  9. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    Thank you all so much for understanding. And for the info. It is all wonderful. I already told her that at her therapist appointment. Tues. she is telling her. And she can call and make an appointment. with her pediatrician. to handle that. She was telling me she peed and pooped blood. The poop issue I already told her was hemorrhoids. She said it was bright red blood. And peeing blood? I do not know. I am guessing Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). She was saying her hair is recently falling out. Uh, it could be because you are constantly coloring it!? So, I did not freak out over it, and you all are very right. It doesn't matter whether it is true or not. How I react to it is important. The school issue- I just ask her now, "are you going to school tomorrow?" I ask her before bed. I told her I just don't care if she goes or not. I just want to know, because I have things to do. I think she was amazed that I wasn't going to coddle her or force her to go. It was like a toddler who wants attention even if it is for acting out. So, wish me luck for the continued detachment. My husband even commented that I was out 3 nights this week with easy child's orchestra stuff and rescue stuff. I am finally starting to get back to me.
  10. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    That's a VERY good thing!!
  11. Keepbreathing

    Keepbreathing New Member

    I have a son with asperger's and anxiety. I also have a son with ODD. I joke that I need a lamaze course so I can just keep breathing. Some days, that is all you can do. There is a website that you should take a look at. It is: It is for neurofeedback. We are currently doing this with my son that has aspergers. He actually has 3 friends now! They do brainmapping and then design a protocol for your child based on the areas that need help. I have been in pediatric medicine for over 20 years. This is completely painless and will not cause harm. If you can find an MD that is doing this therapy, most of it is covered by insurance. You might also apply of medicaid in addition to your primary insurance. You can do this if you have a child with a disability. Good luck and keep breathing!
  12. Hope2

    Hope2 bluemoon

    This is just a thought...but how would she react if you told her you made a doctors appointment for a complete physical since you are worried about her health.......if she is agreeable then maybe she does have some medical problems..if she says you are over reacting then I might think manipulation..hope this helps
  13. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I agree with Hope2...

    No sense arguing with her - just react to the information as presented.

    "Honey - this sounds serious. I've made an appointment with the GP for you to discuss things and see if there's anything we can do to help."
  14. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    I so appreciate all of you on this board. I knew I could come here and put out my true feelings and not be blasted. It is so great to be able to take a breath and not feel like someone is going to look at me like I am a derelict parent. I want so much for difficult child to get well, but she has to be the one to do the work. I can not make her better. I am finally getting it. Thanks so much all.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Okay, I vote with-the others ... listen to her, but give her the #.
    I have no idea if she is telling the truth. My son does the same thing. Only it's usually his friends that he makes up things about. In regard to his own lies, he usually just does what he pleases, and then lies about it.
    Wish I could help but I'm in the same boat.