I went into my daughter’s room this morning after she left for school. Today I found the first aid kit and a box of bandages …normally these are in our bathroom. She has had the antiseptic spray and antibacterial ointment in her bathroom for a while now and it makes my heart sink every time I see them. I am struggling so much right now because I feel like I have lost my daughter. She’s 14 1/2. We are seeing the counselor again tonight. My daughter does not talk to me about anything important. The therapist told me not to ask any questions and let her come to me. Same for her father. I feel like she is living in a different world that I am shut out of. It is so scary. The only time she talks to me in a kind voice is when she wants something. We have a long drive home from school everyday…about 30/40 minutes. She is mostly silent. Some days it doesn’t bother me much and other days I just feel depleted. I wish kids understood that their parents are HUMAN BEINGS with feelings too! I know teen years are tough. Especially these days with social media and pressure coming from every angle.
I would love some advice from a teenager on how to approach her. My daughter does no sports, refuses. She doesn’t have any after school activities. We tried from when she was small…girl scouts, 4h, kung fu, art lessons, dance lessons, volunteering at the Humane Society. None of these things stuck. After enough refusal to try anything, we (my husband and I) sort of gave up I guess. The battle became too much after a while. We have another child too …her 10 year old brother. I feel sad for him that he basically has no relationship with his big sister. She is so secretive. I am now (I’m ashamed to admit) sort of afraid of my daughter. I am afraid to discipline her if she talks snotty because I’m afraid she’ll hurt herself. I just discovered I think she’s having an eating disorder too…I had one when I was 15-19, so I understand this and I see the signs.
The therapist tells me there’s really nothing I can do except be strong and continue being her mother. I feel so alienated from the world right now…I see pictures of other mother’s daughters on FB (who used to be my daughter’s friends in grade school) all smiling and achieving and doing lots of healthy stuff and instead of being happy for them, my heart sinks. My daughter has pierced her septum, stretched her ears, dyed her hair many different colors – right now it’s black and blue. She wears black eyeshadow – won’t go outside. I am so sick of this. I thought it was just a phase when she started dying her hair in 7th grade…I have been waiting for this to take a turn. If she had a positive attitude and was healthy, the style wouldn’t bother me so much. I wish I could make my daughter see how special she is and make her understand that she has so much to offer the world. She only has one girlfriend that she ever does anything with…and that is rarely. She is very attached to her boyfriend who we like but I worry what she will do if they every break up.
I actually feel angry at my daughter at times. Then I feel deeply sad for her. It hurts a mother to the core to witness a child deliberately hurting herself and it makes it even worse that she won’t talk to me at all. I know I’m not supposed to ruminate about the past but I am constantly wondering where did we go wrong..this is useless I know.
I am so tired of the negativity of this…it’s dominating my mind. It’s putting a strain on the family. My husband can’t say one thing to her without her biting his head off. He has been working really hard to not engage her but it’s hard.
Well, that’s it. I needed to get this out of my system. Living like this is so hard because we as mothers want to protect our kids. In the end there are no guarantees about life…and that’s a hard thing to swallow.