So, difficult child's girlfriend is a cutter ...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Unbelievable. These kids are like magnets.
    I was wondering why she was so needy and why difficult child was so anxious if he couldn't get ahold of her.
    On one hand, it's great that he's caring and showing compassion for another person. on the other hand, he doesn't have the wisdom and coping skills to deal with-this. His girlfriend is living with-her mom and step dad. According to her (through him), her mom berates her, calling her an idiot, stupid, whatever, and her step dad is an alcoholic. I've met them and of course, couldn't tell much from the few minutes we spent together, except that the step dad was busy with-Christmas lights one time, and then another time, stayed put in his chair when I came in and never stood to greet me, although he said "hi" from the chair. The mom answered the door.
    girlfriend spends weekends with-her bio dad and step mom. The biodad is super-strict and short-tempered, but the step mom is wonderful. girlfriend doesn't think she can trust any adults (apparently her parents on on their 2nd or 3 marriages) and hasn't told anyone about her cutting except for difficult child.
    He said she uses a knife, and always wears long sleeves and long pants. Even in the summer.
    I would love to tell the school counselor, just to keep an eye on the girlfriend, but don't know if I should.
    I have many more questions for difficult child, but if I keep grilling him, he'll cut me off. husband and I told him not to tell her that she told us, because she'll have a fit. It's a breech of confidence. on the other hand, it's good for adults to know. Just in case.
  2. mazdamama

    mazdamama New Member

    You are definately between a rock and a hard place. Do not know what advice to give to you as the only cutter I have ever been in contact with was the boys' bio mom. This girl sounds as though she is in real pain emotionally. I know f I was in your position I would try to become her friend and pray she opens up to me so I could help her get the help she needs. You call the school with your concern and your difficult child most likely will figure it out who called. I am glad to know that she has both you and your difficult child caring about her.
  3. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    Terry, my difficult child was a cutter. She hid hers from us as well. She did hers on her hips/butt. I found out on accident about 6 months ago. She was using a razor blade from a razor she would shave with. (clean) She also has trouble with trust issues. We do not know why. Cutting is a way for them to release emotional pain. Actually, cutting is a way to handle all emotions. When my difficult child couldn't deal with things she would cut. Her therapist, pediatrician and my own therapist explained that it is just a very bad coping skill they have chosen. I would tell your difficult child to ask her to make sure that she keep the cuts as clean as possible, and that she is using something clean to make the cuts. -- I know that is not what most people would say, but unfortunately he is not going to be able to make her stop. So, if he can make her safe that is at least a step. I am not sure what to say about calling school. You do not want to go behind difficult child, but I understand that you want her to get help. Is there anyway you can let her hang at your house more often? I would just tell difficult child that it was good that he told you, and that if he thinks she would like someone to talk to that you will always be there and that you will not judge.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Okay, I'll do that.
    Thank you. And so sorry about you difficult child. I assume she doesn't cut any more?
  5. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    No. She hasn't cut since june 2011. Glad she quit, but we are dealing with how to handle all of the emotions now.
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    As the parent of a cutter...I think you SHOULD alert the school counselor. Especially if she is bringing knives or razors to school to cut at school. Better to err on the side of caution.

    I also wonder if the story your son relayed has been exaggerated a bit? It sounds awfully dramatic. The parents are on their third marriage, they constantly call the daughter nasty names, Dad is super-strict with a nasty temper - this could all be "difficult child stories" I wouldn't be too quick to believe everything. Trust your gut and keep an eye on your son - I'd hate to see him get drawn into any un-necessary drama.
  7. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    My dtr is a cutter too, as far as I know she has stopped.

    I agree with daisy here, take all second hand knowledge with a grain of salt, and I would talk to the school counselor.
  8. myeverything04

    myeverything04 New Member

    This sounds like the exact thing I would do, but I tend to try to 'fix' everything myself, even when things aren't my responsiblity to fix and I don't have the skills to fix them. Then, about half way through trying to 'fix' it, I'm more stressed out and in over my head. How long has your difficult child been seeing this girl? Is it possible to maybe invite both her and her parents over for dinner one night? Maybe you could get more of a feel for them and see if her stories to your son are exaggerated.

    I know this has to be a very hard decision because you are betrying your sons trust if you tell the school (and he may not trust you with other important information, even if it pertains to him next time) but at the same time, can you really take this on by yourself?
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    No, I don't want to take it on ... that's one reason I was going to tell the school counselor. This girl needs a safety net, not a one-woman SWAT team.
    I will talk to difficult child again and try to be subtle ...
  10. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    As far as whether or not you should contact the school, I'm not sure. If the girlfriend is in danger, isn't receiving any help, and you know this to be true, then I think you must contact authorities. However, at this point, you really don't have much information. Your difficult child might not be telling you the entire truth, exaggerating, etc... His girlfriend might not be telling him the entire story either. I think you did the right thing by telling your difficult child not to tell his girlfriend that he told you. I agree that if you continue grilling your difficult child, he'll probably stop talking to you altogether. It is possible that your son's girlfriends' parents are aware of the situation and already have her in therapy, trying everything they can think of to help her. Don't know what to tell you... SFR

    P.S. The one positive in all of this is that your difficult child trusts you enough to talk to you.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I will ask him if he has shared with-her that he goes to therapy. That would be a way for them to open a conversation. Even though she doesn't trust adults, and he thinks he IS an adult, it may be worth it.

    Also, I hadn't thought about the cutting utensils at school. Hmm.