I found out yesterday that my 12 year old daughter has been self injuring for over a year now. She doesn’t want to go to therapy and says she isn’t ready to talk about it yet. I respect that, but I also know that isn’t a solution at all. I wrote her a letter and reassured her that I am not angry and that she is not in trouble. I told her that I didn’t know what to do, but that I love her and that we will figure it out together and I will do whatever I need to help her.  We have talked and spent time together today, but she hasn’t brought it up.
I don’t want to push her too much, but I know a conversation needs to happen very soon. She said that one of her friends knows, but hasn’t said who yet. I feel like that’s something I need to know. She is a very private person anyway and doesn’t want anyone to know about this. And I understand that, but I feel like her friend probably needs someone to talk to as well. I can only assume that her friend hasn’t told her parents about it.
I think what I am wondering is where do I start? What questions do I ask her? Is group therapy maybe a better idea for her? Should I ask how often and if it has progressed? Should I ask to see what she has done and with what? Should I make her leave her door open all the time and never leave her by herself? She has always been responsible and besides minor indiscretions I have never had a reason not to trust her. I don’t want to go through all of her stuff or invade her privacy, that’s lousy.  I feel like this isn’t one of those things that breaks trust, but my heart instead.
I’m not looking for a magic answer or anything. I was just hoping to hear from other parents and teens that have been where we are at. Were there certain things that worked better than others? Things you wish you would have done or your parents would have done or said?