My daughter is a cutter. I have known this for at least a few years now, and there is nothing I can do to help her. She blames me for the fact that she cuts herself, and that simple fact breaks my mothers heart. She started cutting to deal with the pain of her father and I not having a very positive relationship for so many years. She claims she didn't know how else to deal with it, and so she took to cutting. Something her brother had done in the darkest depths of his depression, when he needed to know that he could still feel something. A mimicking act, maybe, but that is neither here nor there. I noticed right away, as her body part of choice was not hidden and called her out on it. She vehemently denied it, and then told me what was up, and that she was going to stop.
My daughter is a habitual liar. She has been lying to me since she was old enough to string sentences together. She will lie to get out of trouble, to save face in front of her friends, and to hide things she would rather you did not know. She will continue to lie even when you have called her out on it, convinced that she will somehow get away with in the end. There are very few things my daughter has successfully lied to me about.
What my daughter doesn't realize, because she is too wrapped up in her own self-absorbed world, is even on the days that my husband and I continue to not get along, we are making progress. We stumble, because we have a break down of communication and someones needs are not getting met. But we work through it, better than we ever have in the past, and we move forward, having learned from each experience. All she hears is the disagreements and decides that her world is falling apart.
My daughter cannot have a healthy relationship with any boy, because she was in a bad relationship with someone that ended because he tried to go too far against her wishes and she has not dealt with it in a health manner yet, and it haunts her.
She suffers from poor self-image issues that started right around the time she was diagnosed with food allergies. I have spent her whole life telling her how beautiful she is, but she looks in the mirror and sees someone who she feels is fat and ugly. It breaks my heart. As someone who has suffered from crappy self-image issues for 30 years myself, from being abused as a child, I don't know how to help her. Just when I was finally starting to feel good about myself, my health went to crap and my body failed me. I have wasted away to nothing and my hair is falling out, and how can I tell her that it's so important to feel beautiful, when I don't feel that way myself?
She has written suicide notes, whether because she felt she was at the end of her rope, because she wanted to see how it felt to actually do so, or for dramatic effect. That she would do so, knowing that her brother attempted to take his own life, feels like a slap across my face and the biggest "fuck you mom" that I can imagine, pardon my crass language.
In the end, you can choose to either accept the help you are offered, or continue down your own self-destructive path. Over the winter, I called a local therapist, on the recommendation of a good friend who suggested another therapist who was full, and gave me this one instead. Highly recommended. They hit it off right away. She went for several months, and worked on everything except her deepest, darkest issues. The things that were most broken in her life and needed the most fixing. As a mother, who is watching her daughter self-destruct before her eyes, having tried to help her, I don't know what more to do.
I wish I had a positive roll model to give her. An adult that she trusted, or a couple she could look up to. Someone that she could talk to, who was not me, because clearly we don't have that relationship anymore. She lies to protect me from the things that I already know, and I cannot tell her I know them because I would violate that fragile bit of trust we have left. Raising teenagers has to be the most heart-breaking, difficult job in the world.