How do I help her?
A tale of how my daughter learned to talk to me…
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A few months ago, I got a call from my 12 year old daughter’s school counselor. She urged me to get to the school as soon as possible. For some reason, she didn’t really tell me what happened, just that Abby (my daughter) was safe. Can you imagine the trepidation and fear having to walk into the school not knowing what happened. I was imagining all sorts of craziness, especially being an avid parenting reader, I thought for sure my child had punched someone for something they said or did to her.
I walk into the office, and the first thing I see is that she had been crying. Now my anger was starting to peak because I’m a mama bear, and no one messes with my cubs. However, this time I couldn’t inflict punishment on the perpetrator, because it was Abby herself. As I sat there listening to the guidance counselor tell me that my daughter was actively cutting herself and had talked about not wanting to live anymore, it honestly felt like someone had punched me in the stomach, like I had no breath left and was lightheaded.
How could my pint sized, beautiful daughter do something like that? When she looked at me, with tears in her eyes, I broke. The tears and fear that I had held back until now were flowing. I hugged her harder that day than any day prior because I honestly never knew that she thought that. I had noticed that she wore her dad’s sweatshirts and leggings more, but leggings are in style now, so I didn’t think much of it. Lord was I wrong…..
Crap, why haven’t I seen this before now….
I felt like that was the first time Abby really spoke to me, not at me, but to me. I learned right then and there that my listening and situational awareness were crap and well, when you’re at bottom, there’s only one way up. So at that point I picked up my bootstraps and asked what did we need to do to get her better.I felt like that was the first time Abby really spoke to me, not at me, but to me. Click To Tweet
Because Abby had said that she thought of suicide, I had to get a physician to see her and make sure she was physically ok. The physician, which was great and kind, gave me a card for some therapy for my child. While I don’t mind spending money on or for my children, I was very happy to find out that this was free to us. Starry counseling in Texas was a wonderful organization. They worked with Abby to come up with a plan for her to deal with her pain and this spanned over several months. They taught her about coping skills and handling anger issues in a productive manner. We had had a death in the family and I never really understood how it affected her until then. She never really spoke about it, just seemed more quiet than normal. For anyone who has a pre-teenage daughter, this may seem somewhat normal. My daughter was growing up and dealing with something that I hadn’t had to deal with at that young an age.
It’s not always a call for attention…
Understanding that Abby had a problem and needed help, and not the kind I could give her, really opened up the fact that we didn’t communicate as well as I would have liked, but a little effort from both sides definitely has changed that. I can’t say that she doesn’t have her bad days and her inner demons will always be with her,
but I think with time, she will learn more about coping mechanisms and how to deal with issues that will arise.
We will get through this together ….
I am just happy and appreciative that she didn’t make the choice to end her life, because one suicide is simply one too many….. There are always ways out…
Lastly, if you reading this post, and wonder how in the world I managed to get my therapeutic outlet online, trust me, it’s easier than you think. I simply signed up with Bluehost, and started my journey into blogdom.