Does my daughter sound suicidal!?

Rebecca - posted on 12/07/2014 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Her teacher thinks it's partly puberty, but something tells me that it obviously is not. I remember some questions she asked me were suicide-related. We went all the way across land for a vacation over this summer, and my 12yo asked me what would happen if someone jumped off one of the tallest trees. Then she asked me the same question again. Over the past, in the 6th grade, the counselor called her in her office, saying that she has a friend from a high school who she was contacting through messages saying that she wants to hurt herself. I always monitor everything she does online.
She's been listening to a song called Heavy Love by Serena Ryder and it sounds 'depressing'. You can look up the song on YouTube/Google. She opened a Facebook account once, I let her keep it, but I told her she shouldn't be using it until 13 because it's required. I found out she joined a group called Try To Live Without Cuts On Your Wrists and it has a certain type of people whether they may be cutters, self-harmers, or suicidal. I made her delete the group because I don't allow her to talk to people she doesn't know online, it's one of my Internet Safety rules.
She's in counseling now. I don't see her hanging out w/ any friends either...she tells me that all of them are from other schools, not from her school, so she can't hang out w/ them at school. I told her she's welcome to invite her friends from other schools, but however, I haven't seen her invite anyone. She gets bullied at school and is starting to hate school. I saw things in her journal and a few of her quotes are not getting out of my head: "I'm only 12-years-old, that's too young to die. Oh, can you explain these issues with someone if you were a real live girl, my dear diary? I cannot." Advice needed!?!

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Rebecca - posted on 12/09/2014

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Dear Jodi,
It concerns me too. However, I'm not upset that she joined the group w/ total strangers without asking me first...I guess she made that decision to join without me because she knew I would've said no.
I told her that she's not in trouble. I'm worried about her, but she says she's fine.
She told me that she got into a fight again today and that the other girl accused her of bullying her and burst into tears and ran away in the rain. She told the counselor today too because she sees her every Tuesday. The counselor advised me saying that she knows a place for kids of all ages can get help because she knows people who work there.
Her 16-year-old friend has told me this morning that my daughter has told her she wants to cut herself but she's too scared to hurt herself. I can't really believe that because my daughter is scared of needles...she didn't even agree to take a blood test but I guess that's different.

Jodi - posted on 12/08/2014

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I'll be honest, girls are complete and total bitches to each other at this age - I teach kids this age and they are just horrible to each other. It is just a part of puberty, but they need to learn both how to be kind to each other and resilience, which makes for a particularly difficult time in their lives.

I think it may be worth seeking some support outside of school. A youth worker is not a counsellor and is not qualified to diagnose depression or other mental health issues. By all means, they are a great support, but your daughter needs to see a psychologist to be properly assessed. It concerns me that your daughter has joined a self-harm group, or is even trying to live without doing this, and the comment in her diary is concerning.

Rebecca - posted on 12/08/2014

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Dear Jodi,
She's only counseling in school. I think there's only one youth worker, and that's the counselor.
She has a thing in school about "popular" kids, and I said I don't make her go to school as a punishment...she is a GREAT kid and she does all her homework, house chores without being asked, and is a caring, sweet, friendly, loving little girl. There's a girl back in sixth grade who used to pull her arm, as she told me, and "force" my daughter to go everywhere w/ her. This year, the girl moved away but there's this other girl she has big issues w/.
She's also telling me that the girl has a sister who's two years younger than them and looks very simular to her older sister, and is doing it too to her classmates. The classmate, the older sister, tells her not to hang out w/ bigger kids and that she's not allowed to. I don't think there's anything wrong w/ her hanging out w/ older teens as long as they're good. The girl has told my child that she was racist, lesbian...she came home about a week ago asking me what the word 'hontus' meant and I was shocked. Other than that, she's gotten into two physical fights in the sixth grade.

Jodi - posted on 12/07/2014

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Is she in counselling at the school or with an outside agency? She definitely needs counselling and other mental health support. It's not the teacher who should be evaluating her. Do you have a pastoral care unit at your school, or youth workers? A school nurse? These are all people you probably should talk to, as they can put other supports in place for you at school.

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