Hi, this is my first post on here and I have a lot of 'stored up' feelings etc so please bear with me
I found out in January that my 14 year old daughter has been self-harming since last September and whilst I was completely shocked, upset, confused and guilt-ridden (don't us mums always feel like this no matter what we do?) have remained calm and understanding throughout. To me, my daughter is the most beautiful, clever, kind-natured, warm-hearted, thoughtful, amazingly wonderful girl in the world. According to her she is fat, ugly and 'never good enough.' Her thoughtfulness is to the extent where she will put the thoughts, feelings and wants of others before and above her own resulting in her not being happy and herein, so I believe, lies the root to her problem.
From the moment I found out I have spent every waking hour thinking of ways to make sure she is happy and to make her see what is important in life and how much she means to me, her dad, her grandparents etc, as well as think of other focuses/distractions. I suggested to her that she keeps a notebook where she writes down how she is feeling as it is sometimes easier to do that than to express it face to face with someone. I wrote her a letter, which she keeps in the back of her book and reads when she needs to, telling her what a beautiful person she is inside and out and reminding her that she is loved dearly. We sat together one evening with a large piece of paper and felt tips and wrote down some good memories and some of the things she had to look forward to. She started to take guitar lessons as it was something she wanted to do and music can be a good form of release. We went out and bought art materials so that she could back into drawing which she has always loved. I bought her a rabbit, she'd always wanted one and I thought it would be good to have something else to focus her love and attention on other than the boys that seem to keep coming in and out of her life and messing with her head. And, most importantly, I have been here for her, talked to her, listened to her, asked her questions but without putting too much pressure on her as I know she sometimes finds it hard and doesnt always understand it herself.
Am I doing enough? Am I doing the right things? I dont know, but I do know that I am doing what I think is right. Sadly, my girl goes along with what she thinks makes others happy so I never really know if what I'm suggesting is really what she wants.
Her dad and I split up 2 years ago and I know this has also had a huge impact. Sadly, he finds it harder than I do to understand what she is going through and therefore offers little support, tending to 'have a go' at her for doing it rather than trying to talk to her about how she feels or how he can help. She SH twice last weekend after having not done it for about 3 weeks and doesn't want me to tell her dad. I know he has a right to know but I don't want to lose her trust and the most important thing is to try to protect her.
We are now waiting for our assessment appointment with CAMHS which isn't until May and the school nurse told M last week that there is nothing more she can do for her. For me, right now, another month without help and support is too long.
So, I have talked enough for now, even though there is plenty more that I could say! If you feel able to offer words of advise or support please do, It will be gratefully received