Mindy - posted on 01/17/2011 ( 20 moms have responded )
I just found out from our roommate that my 13 year old step-daughter is cutting herself. The roommate is an old family friend who lives in our basement. My daughter has latched on to him over the last couple of years, confiding in him about things she doesn't want to discuss with myself or her father (or even her mom). My husband has primary custody and her mom lives a couple of hours away. They see each other about one weekend a month. That is her mother's choice. So the kid has had a messed up life. But I've been in the picture for 7 years. I've been her mom for the last 6 years. Not only is she cutting herself, but she's also using erasers to create burns on her skin. We have cats, and any time I've seen scratches on her arms, I just assumed it was from the cats. My roommate has informed me otherwise today. We also recently discovered while she is at her mom's, sometimes her mom goes to work, leaving the 13 year old alone. Because of that, she has befriended gang members. She says she's not in the gang, and since she doesn't live there, I'm not sure how she can be part of it. She is just a mess. Meanwhile, my husband doesn't want to be too hard on her because he's afraid she'll take off or become completely uncontrollable. I think we need to get tough and make her accountable for her actions. I'm just so frustrated and scared. My husband was out of control as a teen, and I don't know how to handle this sort of behavior. I also have a 4 year old son, and I don't want her to negatively influence him. And advice for this wicked step-mother of a 13 year old girl?