Cutting as Part of a Game????

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    This probably sounds dumb...

    but you know how sometimes the pieces finally "click"....?

    Like a lot of kids, difficult child is really into "Twilight"...

    but in my opinion, difficult child has been a little toooo into Twilight.

    We know she's been experimenting with cutting...

    We know she's been fantasizing that's she's actually a vampire....

    And the other day she came home from school with bites (not hickies, as we originally thought) but actual bites all over her neck.

    Is it possible that there is a group of kids at school that are cutting themselves and sucking each other's blood????

    Has anyone else heard of such a thing????


    Oh Yes--and we also found razor blades in her purse and a whole wad of band-aids in her backpack
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Anything's possible. I'd definitely alert the school that this is going on. Obviously she couldn't have done that to herself and there are others involved.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Thanks GCVMom--

    I have alerted the school.

    The school counselor has requested that I have this addressed with our regular therapist.

    Here's the thing, though--

    I have brought my concerns about the vampire thing to the therapist and the psychiatrist AND the psychiatric hospital many times.....

    AND the psychiatrist at the psychiatric hospital noted that difficult child has been cutting.

    And yet, this has all been dismissed as "typical teen" and simple depression.


    So I called the therapist this morning and told her my concerns about this AGAIN!!!!

    At this point, I am actually hoping that the school finds a knife or a razor blade or something in difficult child's locker so that SOMEBODY has to take this seriously!!!!

    What's it going to take????

  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    DF - 14-y/o daughter - is it possible this is Onyxx?!

    Vampires really exist, cutting, blood, razors, bandaids...

    THIS IS NOT typical teen BEHAVIOR!

    If they just dismiss it - push. Push. PUSH. It WILL escalate. (Like you hadn't noticed...)

    And PM me if you need someone to cry on, we all need it...
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Cutting isn't typical teen behavior. Neither is depression for that matter. What kind of mental health "professionals" are treating your difficult child?

    If any of it occurs on school property, it needs to be addressed by the school. It can't be swept under the rug, so to speak.

    Just so you know, when my daughter M was 8, she was taking Prozac (in the same medication class as Celexa) and pierced her own ear -- highly unusual for an 8-year-old. The docs blamed it on disinhibition brought on by the Prozac. There could be disinhibition going on that is occurring from the Celexa. Something for you to be aware of and to bring to the attention of your so-called mental health professionals.

    Your daughter needs help.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I agree!! I agree!! I agree!!

    Right now, as you may already know, we are stuck dealing with our under-funded county mental health agency.

    Unless and until my daughter does something completely over-the-top....we are going to remain caught in this revolving door: we go in asking for help, we are assurd everything's fine, we are sent home, we go back in.....and on and on and on.


    (PS--Step, yes some of your stories about Onyxx sound very similar. Our girls could almost be "twins".)
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Are you keeping a written log? If not, you should be.

    Do you have a Medicaid caseworker to whom you can file a complaint about the lack of appropriate treatment for your daughter?
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Our state has an application one can file through the governor's office that releases funds (on a per case basis) for additional mental health services for people who have exhausted their options through medicaid. We have applied for this service...

    Unfortunately, we have been told that the waiting list is miles long and that nothing will be available until it is difficult child's turn "in line".

    So, we wait....
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Keep making a stink. Dont shut up. Keep taking her to doctors and hospitals. Medicaid can be used at private psychiatrists. I have medicaid and I see a private psychiatrist. Pull up online all the psychs within 50 miles of you...maybe...or 30...and call them all and ask if they take medicaid. Get her an appointment with as many as you can. Ask them if they take difficult cases. around and ask who does neuropysch exams if you havent had one...or havent had one in the last couple of years. That way when you find a new psychiatric you can get a referral. If you dont have a clue who to call...look for a rehab hospital and call there. Thats where I got mine done. They do kids too. I found that out just by chance. Heck...the rehab I almost went to is in Florence...check there.

    You dont have to use county mental health. I thought you did too for years. You dont.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Self-mutilation is not a game. My daughter did it. Often self-mutilators hang together, but that is only because they are alike and birds of a feather stick together. My youngest daughter would never cut. That's a healthy attitude, unlike my oldest one who did "to feel something."

    Cutting is common among kids who have been sexually abused (my daughter was), who have mood disorders, and is almost legendary among those with maybe impending borderline personality disorder. It also becomes addictive and can be hard to stop.

    I'm on Medicaid and any university hospital, and they usually have the best doctors anyway, will take it. Even if you have to travel I would go. This does not sound in any way typical teen. Please, please get her help. ((((Hugs)))))
  11. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member


    This sounds very scary (finding the blades and band-aids -- yikes!), and as you and others said, in no way typical teen. I hope your continued pushing will get her the help she needs.

    Many (((hugs))).
  12. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    My difficult child 1 was a cutter but I think in her case it was to gain "status"--she could get her friends all worked up and worried and she got lots of attention from her friends, teachers, therapist, etc.

    My easy child/difficult child 2 also began cutting but in her case it was truly because of her emotional problems and she has worked hard in therapy to deal with her problems and to also not resort to cutting as a coping mechanism.

    Having 2 kids who cut I can really see the difference between the one who was doing it for attention and the one who was doing it as a coping mechanism. Also, cutting was a "popular" thing to do--sort of like smoking or drinking--it became a "cool" thing at my kids' school.

  13. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    DF -

    Read this:

    I've been thinking Borderline (BPD) a looooong time with your daughter. It's fairly uncommon to diagnosis a child with Borderline (BPD), but it is done - and more so than it used to be. It didn't used to be done at all. (I know my grammar is bad today...can't find my words...sigh...)

    Check it out and if you want some book references, let me know.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The more I learn about Borderline (BPD) the more I think we have a lot of kids here who will eventually get the diagnosis. It's relatively new, and often mistaken for bipolar. These are the kids who are "over-the-top" and their moods swing every minute, not every few days.

    At any rate, cutting is a huge symptom. Sadly, it IS hard to get a Borderline (BPD) diagnosis at a young age when it would be the easiest to treat it. Like with me, often it is chalked up to bipolar. They do share similarities only Borderline (BPD) is not really helped all that much with medication.

    Take care. This is scary. It is never "cool" with TTs to cut. There are groups that cut, but they're not the TTs...
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Yep. For sure.

    What you are dealing with here (if this is what is really going on) is complex. First, there's the cutting and self-mutilation.

    Then there's the group involvement, the "egging on" of one another, the collective peer pressure effect of kids who cut together endorse one another's behaviour.

    Then there's the vampire thing - think about it in terms of sadism coupled with masochism (it's not the same thing, but in terms of giver and taker). One participant is the submissive one, the donor, the one who wants to be taken advantage of. The other participant (the one who fantasies about being a vampire) is the taker, the dominant one. You need a partnrship of both.

    Depending on what these kids' fantasies are, they may be taking turns and swapping roles, or they may be all one way all the time. There are groups of people (not just kids) who act out such vampire fantasies and who refer to themselves as genuie, blood-sucking vampires. Of course all the fictional magical powers are just that - fictional. What we are dealing with here is nothing evil in a "hold the crucifix in front of you as you slowly back away" kind of way, just people who need to find a way to feel powerful over other people (anyone who is a willnig victim) and for whom this is their choice. And for these people there are always those who choose to donate their blood for the cause.

    The whole vampire genre is a form of sex without responsibility. From the very first vampire novel, the concept of the evil predator who takes not just the blood of the victims but their souls as well, was very appealing to a culture where sex was very repressed. Victorian women could read these novels and shudder with a thrill but still enjoy the vicarious thrill of the idea - the vampire's power over the women often made them his apparent willing victims but the victims could always say, "I couldn't prevent it, his eyes hypnotised me" or whatever. I saw a review of the Twilight movies in which the reviewer said much the same thinng - the reason teen girls especially are so into this stuff, is because it is very much about sex and sexual desire, but in terms of "it's not my fault".

    So if you have a girl who is already a cutter, who is very confused about sex and perhaps very afraid of it but at the same time fascinated by it, plus a girl who tends to be a bit histrionic - then yes, this is exactly what she is looking for.

    When you talk to teachers and therapists about it, the main concerns are not merely the acting out of vampire fantasies (which could be considered a passing fad, fairly harmless) but the combination of group mutilation (a cult of self-harm in a group form) plus the secrecy plus the contagion of the obsession. Then there is the realy biggie - the health issues. Human blood is not clean as a rule, it has to be considered a biohazard. Otherwise, why do health care workers wear gloves when handling human blood?

    When I was a kid growing up in Sydney, there was a way of swearing undying friendship (or sealing a childhood pact) by declaring yourselves to be blood kindred. You were supposed to each prick your fingers to allow a drop or two of blood, then rub the cuts together in order to mix the blood and share it. The risk of co-infection would have been very high and it was because of this risk that the practice was loudly frowned upon (which often only made it more attractive to the real fringe kids, the ones who disobeyed on principle).

    If these kids are either cutting one another to draw blood and then sucking it, or actually biting to draw blood and then sucking it, they are risking serious infection with long-term consequences. The dirtiest part of the human body is the mouth (contrary to popular opinion). If any of the kids participating in this have had sex, they have a much higer risk of being carriers of various contagious blood-borne diseases such as HIV and the various hepatitis strains. The mouth is also lined with mucosa, which can allow viral transport into the body. Or from the mouth (and saliva) into someone else's body. HIV has been isolated not only in sexual secretions, but also in blood and in saliva.

    So with both the school and the therapist, I would push the serious health risks of this practice and emphasise - you want their help in stopping this behaviour, if it is actually happening as oyu suspect. Because if there is ANY chance that it is going on, and they faily to help you stop it, then if she catches something form someone, or someoone else catches something from her, THEY ARE LIABLE. Because they failed to prevent once they knew.

    If ever you want someone to do something for you and they seem reluctant, look for the money. Find the hip pocket nerve that will have to trigger them to respond.

    In the meantime if thye don't want to beleive you - take photos. I suspect she has enough bravado to actually pose proudly for photos, especially if you can find the right way to phrase the request. Because wearing those bite marks is going to be like a membership badge, a way of informing other kids exactly what she's up to.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 was talking today about her days of pretending to be a genuine spell-casting witch when she was in high school. She did it to keep bullies at bay (and it worked). She convinced a lot of adults and for a while she had me worried too, so I demystified the magic in witchcraft and explained the actual history of how thse various spells would have worked (herbalism, psychology, physiology). To a certain extent she kept this behaviour up as a way of commuicating with the other kids - "Don't mess with me, or I will mess with you, badly." She had close friends "in the know" who often joined her in the witchraft pretence. She had other friends who she did confide in but whose parents banned them from contact with her (because those parents had expressed their concerns to me and I had told them, "It's all a sham, I'm not concerned, she's only pretending" and they didn't believe me, they wanted me to organise an exorcism). To this day there are still people who avoid even me, because of their belief that I didn't take my daughter's "dabbling in witchcraft" seriously.

    The difference between my daughter and your daughter is partly one of degree, and mostly one of whether she has lost herself in living a fantasy as if it is reality. How much belief is invested in this?

    What I did with easy child 2/difficult child 2, to ensure that belief was NOT involved, was to give her all the facts and take the fun out of it. I don't know if that would work with your difficult child - would she respond to a discussion on the history of vapire mythology, of the possible sources of the myths in terms of TB epidemics or familial inheritance of genetic disorders such as porphyria? The symptoms of porphyria are fascinating and really fit the myths. To understand the stories and how they came to be, you need to understand society through the last few centuries as well as understand human psychology and the attraction of such a concept as shown in the earlier writings of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Sex without responsibility, sex without having to do anything because you are being preyed on, sex because someone desires you so much that they reach out and take - to be considered attractive enough to be at risk is to be truly desirable but without being seen as a "bad girl" even after you have been totally consumed by vampirism - even then, it wasn't your fault. The vampire seeking after blood is a creature slated for destruction but the thirst for blood (ie sex) is still something beyond the vampire's control. Again, sex without being seen to be responsible.

    What you describe, if it is really going on, is very unhealthy - mentally and physically. The possibility needs to be checked out thoroughly, if only to protect the school from subsequent lawsuits when kids in a few years time begin to test positive for various blood-borne diseases.

    There's nothing like looking down a microscope at various nasty organisms to take the romance and fantasy out of a practice like this!