My 16 year old daughter is so traumatized that she is starting to hurt herself.

[deleted account] ( 1 mom has responded )

About a year and a half ago I decided to finally leave my alcholic common law husband. I would come home everyday to a house of horrors. My daughter always got home before me and her dad would interogate her about everything until I got home from work. At the same time his Mother was diagnosed with cancer that was terminal. We were extremely close to her and watcing her die was devasting to us all. During this time the police were called on many occasions due to my ex's drunken antics. He was very hurtful to us all and when his mother died he took her ashes and put them in a Texas mickey bottle, My daughter and I were heart broken by that. Once we moved he would leave her awful messages on her cell phone. After we moved I tried for a long time to get her some councilling but she refused. Now after all this time she is starting to see a counselor but everytime she comes home after her visit she seems in worse emotional state then before. She was so upset that she scratched her arms up and down until it was bleeding. I thought she had burned herself at first but she confessed to me what she had done. I'm really scared and I don't know what to do next. Any advice would be appreciated.


[deleted account]

Unfortunately, the start of therapy is often very, very painful. For the first year or so, expect her to come home from therapy emotionally exhausted and in pain. After a year or so, it gets much, much better.

That said, you do need to address her cutting with the doctor. Have her sign a waiver at the doctor's office to allow her doctor to speak with you about her condition and treatment. She is still a minor, so you may be automatically entitled, but mental health is one of those tricky ones, so you might need the paper. Just ask for it, they have them on file. This way you can share your concerns with the doctor and he or she is more free to discuss them with you.

You might also consider joint counselling together. It is likely she blames you for keeping her in that situation for so long or that she blames herself for keeping you from being able to leave sooner. You might be able to help her work through that faster if you work together and let her see things from your perspective. (Don't try to talk about it without a counsellor present though. That will only open wounds and you won't have the tools to close them properly. If you do not want to go to counseling with her, just listen if she opens up and let her form her own ideas about it all).

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