A Glittery Pink Weekend Post

tumbler girl cutting

This photo of a girl recovering from  cutting is now widely shared in Facebook; my daughter’s daily update.

Again today, my daughter (12) told me about a good friend sending photos of her cuts by WhatsApp to another friend, showing her arms covered with cutting marks and large butterflies. 

She wasn’t aware that this girl was cutting, but she’s not surprised anymore.

My first cutting post was the primary reason for me to start blogging last January.

The good things that came up since I understood that not all’s glittery pink at the teens kingdom (ok,  I didn’t think it was), is that I started blogging, and then there’s this parenting new site that followed , an amazing journey for me.

The bad thing is that my daughter is breaking news to me every second day now about the epidemic spreading, and guess who became the news reporter to other naive parents, thinking their world is glittery pink.

As in “Hey, what’s up, how ’bout some coffee? BTW your daughter is cutting, you should see what’s going on there!”

Or even better: “Hi, you don’t know me, but your daughter is cutting. Yes, your daughter. No, I’m not crazy. Yes, her arms. Well, not only her arms. Yes, with a knife…well she might be using other tools as well, I have no idea! No, she’s not trying to commit suicide. Do you think it’s a good idea to look into it? You know what, why don’t you speak to someone who’s better qualified than me to break these news to you?????”    

Great weekend update; I have another unfamiliar mom in line to talk to.

Another sleepless night ahead.

Decided to share my headache  with you; I’ll feel better, and you don’t have to read it, the classic win- win.

Here goes:

* What if the mom will be angry at her daughter, because she didn’t tell her but instead told others? What if it will make things worse for this girl?

*What if this mom already knows, feeling ashamed or feeling it’s her fault, and will blame her daughter for making others aware of it as well?

* What if she’ll be angry, and her daughter will be angry at my daughter and will stop being friends with her?

* She’ll be angry, her daughter will blame the friend that she sent the photo to, and both will blame my daughter?

* Both will tell the others in their group and ALL will  stop being friends with my daughter…

* What if my daughter will stop confiding in me. That’s the worst thing that could happen.

One thing’s for sure, I need to get my daughter’s approval first.

I tried. Bad idea, really bad.

I’m not qualified to be a mom. Didn’t pass the exams.

I need to remember that so far, somehow this breaking news thing went ok. It will probably be ok this time again. Sure it will! I’ll only take the daily anti anxiety pill.

I’ll call her tomorrow. Some tomorrows never come, but if it will, I promise to  let you know if I’m still alive. 

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108 Comments

Filed under Quality time with kids

108 responses to “A Glittery Pink Weekend Post

  1. The hardest job in the world is being a parent in today’s world, especially if your children are teenagers. Thank you for speaking out, and may God bless you and give you wisdom in handling this troubling situation. Hugs.

  2. Thank you for having liked a few of my posts! I have enjoyed reading your blog and I am glad to follow you! 🙂

  3. I just started following you and man first blog I read, “cutting”, but you are so real, so in the reality of it. And the reality is… you are not a professional, you’re but you are going to be in the now and be there! That is amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thank you for posting on such an important topic – a valuable and imminently readable blog.

  5. So glad you’re highlighting this problem. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Love yours, and looking forward to getting parenting tips. 🙂

  6. lovelaughterandtantrums

    My step-teen has been cutting herself too over the last few months. Having just read your article, it seems as if it’s far more prevalent than I’d thought amongst teens these days. Great post and it’s certainly not something that I’ve had to face before now.

  7. This problem is very real, and very heartbreaking. Thank you for shining light on such a topic.

  8. just wanted to stop by and thank you Parenting and Stuff for liking my poem, That Day. it means a lot to me.
    i’m following your blog now, as a dad a of a 13 year old girl going on 18? we parents need a forum and all the advice we can get.

    my daughter doesn’t cut but an acquaintance of mine does, she’s troubled and often suicidal. i wrote a poem about her just last week. In Feather and Cuts
    http://whocouldknowthen.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/of-feather-and-cuts/
    i look forward to reading some of your older posts to catch up, thank you again.

    peace.

  9. Thanks for the visit. I have raised three children and must say I am so fortunate each is happy and healthy. Your site is worth visiting since the subject of parenthood is always with us. – John

  10. Your blog reminded me of my past as a teenager, and that cutting and depression isn’t just a 21st century issue.

    I wrote a bit of my story.
    http://25yrsandcounting.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/to-write-love-on-my-arms/

  11. Oh boy. I’ve been that mom…the one who has to speak to mother of a girl who is hurting herself. It is never, ever easy…and there are so many bad reactions…but you are doing the right, brave and difficult thing. I applaud you and I empathize.

  12. Why don’t you send the pics, whichs the girls sended, to their parens?

    Rin Yamashita

  13. Thank you for discussing such a relevant and difficult topic. Many parents are unaware of just how prevalent cutting has become in young children. It is not just children that are from troubled families who are doing this. I have two daughters, 14 and 18, who tell me about girls thay know who cut and they come from homes where both parents are very involved and very caring. I can only imagine how hard it must be for you to have to break this news to a parent, but even if they do not take the news well, you are doing a great thing.

  14. Hi,
    I’ve never been a mom but If I were, I would consider the conversation shared between a mother and daughter as something sacred.

    Thanks also for visiting my blog.

    Ciao,
    Patricia

  15. I had a boyfriend who was a cutter. It terrified me! Still does in concept (but not actuality because we are not together any more.) Cutting is a hard one. One with not a lot of easy answers. But it does emplify how our society does not know how to deal with or even recognize emotional pain so that it manifests in something so disturbing!! Good luck!! If it were my child, it would really terrify me!!!

  16. I’m truly terrified for the future of my girls. This world is turning so bad regarding body image. I wrote a post about anorexia recently.

  17. Bobby Liu

    It pains me to read this article that teens are resorting to such self-inflicted torture. I’ve actually never come across ‘cutting’, least not where I grew up from. Back when I was a teen, the issue was glue-sniffing. Not to sweep all under one carpet, the fundamental reason is that teens lack a cause, social and otherwise. Teens, and we’ve been once, are restless creatures. Nothing scares them more than boredom. With a purpose, perhaps situation may be less excruciating? In Singapore, someone started this movement to buy food in advance so that stall holders can give to the needy. It is a purpose, https://www.facebook.com/chopefoodfortheneedy. ‘Chope’ in Singlish term means ‘to reserve’. Perhaps think of a social cause to get your teens to believe in and start. Hope this little suggestion helps.

  18. A general comment about all the “what ifs” of telling: The worst case scenario-“What if” you don’t and there is a chance she could have gotten help or that your speaking out can make even a tiny dent in how this girl sees what she is going through and it changes her perspective for the better?

    This is what I think before I remain silent on things when it is a matter of someone’s well being and I have the information sitting right in front of me.

    And this thought is specifically about the “what if” in regard to your daughter confiding in you; my belief is that she did so because she trusts you to do the right thing 🙂

  19. Thank’s for stopping by mah blog. This is such a difficult disorder to deal w/. When I was in the hospital, even adults were cutters. This usually means they really have some issues to deal w/ and cutting is a way to distract from the emotional. pain. It is also a cry for help and if the girl gets proper help, even though she will be angry in the beginning, she will eventually be thankful.

  20. and a last “what if”: “what if your call saves the kid from doing herself further harm?” That’s the most important, and your instinct is good. Follow it, however hard it is….

  21. I pray that eventually, when I become a daddy to a daughter, I can be there to help her if she would cut. I’ve seen it happen too many times to good friends of mine, and I would likely be mortified to know that it happens to a family member.

    A good blog post, I’ll keep watching this place.

  22. You’re in a difficult spot, and I don’t envy you for it. There are times when we have to choose between doing what we think is right and what our daughter wishes we would do. It’s never an easy situation. I wish you the best of luck, and thank you for visiting my blog!

    By the way, the site is amazing! Anyone who hasn’t visited parents-space yet should do so, it’s great!

  23. I know how you feel – not so long ago I found out that my son’s girlfriend was cutting herself. after that, and talking about it with a few friends, I discovered that it was quite common and was stunned to realize how many young people, especially girls it seems, are resorting to this attempt to feel something. It’s a tough call you’ve got and there are no easy answers but, as a parent, I’d wager that most of us would want to be told.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and liking my post “Apparent Safety..”

  24. My son went through a period of time when he was cutting; thank god that has stopped. I wish someone had told me; I had to find out when he mistakenly cut too deep and had to to the hospital.

    I applaud you for speaking out on such a wide-spread and growing problem among teens and young adults!

  25. When I found out my eldest was cutting at around 14, I knocked on the bathroom door and asked if I could go in. We sat for a while talking – she was denying it, but a close friend of hers had let me know, so in the end she had to show me.
    They weren’t huge cuts, and were mainly on her legs. We talked about why she was cutting – she said all her friends were doing it, and had said it was a great way of getting rid of frustration. She had started and slowly found that every time she felt annoyed she felt like cutting more and more. It had became almost a routine. That made me so sad….
    Anyway, we talked each time I sensed she was annoyed or frustrated and had lots of hugs – which she protested about to start with (but secretly wanted)
    It stopped pretty quickly after that, although I did keep an eye on her for quite a while. She’s now almost 18 and hasn’t done it since.

  26. Thank you for shedding light to this problem. I had a friend from high school who used to cut. She assured me she was fine and had stopped doing drugs and stopped harming herself. To be honest, I was too ashamed to ask if she was telling the truth. Luckily, she seems to be fine now.

  27. When my daughter was in 7th grade (last year), she had a friend that liked a guy. Besides her emotional issues and in order for my daughters friend to get his attention, she started cutting herself, and doing all kinds of crazy things. The friend was hospitalized (Baker Acted) because of her actions. She certainly got the attention of the boy. He felt bad for her and started hanging out with her when she went back to school.

    My daughter took notice of this, and started cutting herself. She never really cut herself deep enough to really do a lot of damage. Her marks were as if a cat or dog scratched her. This got my daughter attention, just not from the person she wanted. (She also wanted attention from a boy, and to be able to go to group therapy at the school, with her friend). Instead, the school counselor called me about what had been happening thanks to one of my daughters friends telling them…..the same one that was doing it first.

    So, my daughter ended up in group counseling during school time, and wasn’t allowed to hang out with the friend anymore…..

    Its sad when kids feel like they need to hurt themselves, for any reason.

  28. Those conversations are never easy, but I’m glad you are reaching out anyway as it could save her life. While she may not want to commit suicide, she may end up misjudging her depth and lead to just that. It’s never easy for anyone to hear their child is hiding something from them, let alone hurting themselves. Being a messenger often translates to being the enemy, but you truly are helping. Sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better.

  29. I’ve worked with teens who have cut for over a decade now. It’s so very confusing and alarming for everyone involved. I really like how you mentioned that cutting does NOT necessarily mean suicidal….good point for people to know. Thank you for posting this…..very brave of you:)

  30. Difficult topic but it seems like you handled it the best you could. And thanks for visiting my blog. I appreciate it and hope you enjoyed the story.

  31. It’ll be ok, even if the “bad” things you fear happen, more good will come of it than bad. You may never see all the good but trust me, more things that need to get better will rather than not if you didn’t speak up.

    If teens are posting pictures and talking to someone about it, it’s because they want help. It’s like implied consent, even if they vehemently deny it.

    Bobby Liu, good point.

  32. Pointing out the cutting does not mean suicidal is the easiest means to approaching this topic. I remember watching the movie “Secretary” when I was working as an undergrad and was shocked by how honestly it approached something that is widely becoming an epidemic with young women (and men).

    Bringing attention to a difficult subject shows courage, and showing that you care takes even more.

    Thanks for sharing.

  33. She might be mad at you for being “meddlesome” or telling how to raise her daughter. She might already know what’s going on – if that’s the case, no harm done. But she might *not* know her daughter is cutting, which is a huge problem, in my opinion.
    I’m nor a parent, I’m not even in a relationship, but I believe covering our eyes and ears and pretending there isn’t a problem, won’t make it go away – so what I’m trying to say is, I would want to know.

  34. What a frightening world our children, well in my case grandchildren are growing up in. I really was blissfully unaware of this epidemic of cutting that seems to be spreading. Thank you for bringing it out into the open.
    And thanks for reading my blog and clicking like.

  35. You are brave, strong, powerful and just as qualified to be a mom as anyone else out there. We’re all just faking it. Thank you for putting yourself out there to care for other people’s children.

  36. A difficult reality…I hope you moved forward. Thanks for continuing to pass by my blog.
    Ellespeth

  37. Yes I had heard about this, and many other things that kids have been doing over internet. A tragedy of our times, that we as parents in our quest to provide only the best for our kids, spend the one thing they need, Our Time working to provide these things. We give our TIME to employers, and yet our children need that and so much more, it is something that we all can afford.

  38. I am not a parent yet but I do work with teenagers. I am glad you are making parents aware of these issues teens and teenagers are dealing with. These things are real! Thanks for visiting my blog and liking my posts!
    God bless you!

  39. BREAKING NEWS: No mom passes the exam, including the ones who tell you they did.

    • Bobby Liu

      That’s a little harsh..at my stage in life, I gotta say had my mom not been the tough woman she was, I wouldn’t be where I am…yes, at the time when I was refused freedom to hang out, to do what I thought I was old enough to do, I was angry and became rebellious…and guess what? We’ve been there before. A mom doesn’t get recognized coz she doesn’t invent the next telephone, and only a mom will ever say they’ve not done a good job, coz in life, you’re never ever happy with your own creation, just like we kids will always be mom’s creation.

  40. La.

    The neighbor girl is struggling… and you never know exactly what to do.

  41. My son attends a virtual school and makes friends from all over the country. Last year, one of the girls he was talking with in another state told him that she was cutting. It really threw him for a loop. He finally came to me and we did some research and talked it out. He finally decided to talk with the girls mom himself and the friend hated my son for about 6 months. Long story short—girl got help and is better now. She is now friends with my son again and told him that she is glad he cared enough about her to help. SAometimes it is hard, but all we can try to do is help each other.

  42. You never ease to ‘Freak-me-out’. I feel I’m biding my time just waiting for my girls to get a few years older and argh! I hope living at the ends of the Earth might make a difference???

  43. So sad to hear that this is such an epidemic. I hate to think of children in the kind of pain that would cause them to do this to themselves. Thank you for being brave enough to share the news and speak out.

  44. I’m glad you’re posting about this and it’s sad to hear what these girls (and there are alot of boys as well) are going through. You sound like an amazing mother to your daughter and it’s good that you’re making sure her friends parents are in the loop.
    Cutting was never the epidemic it was when I was at school a decade ago. In fact I was the only one of my year that did it. My parent’s knew that I had and teachers would report it to them but I still hid it. My advice for parents from the teenagers side is to just be there for them. As a teen I kept it to myself but it was nice knowing that if I needed support I had someone to turn to. When my parents put the pressure on me to stop in any way I would feel more stressed and guilty which in a cycle would lead me to cut. I just pushed myself further from them. It’s a tough situation for anyone to be in but it can be got through and there are alot of support sites out there trying to help people. Fingers crossed with support like yours other methods of coping can be found for these children affected.

  45. My kids are still so young, it’s hard to imagine them ever being teenagers! I know it will come quickly though, and when I really think about it, I am nervous for my daughter. Let us know how it went with the other mom!

  46. I first heard of this issue back in high school when chatting with a digital pen pal. She was sharing her struggle with cutting. It was something I couldn’t relate, but it did remain in the back of my mind. I also recall how a girl at church about four years my junior showed where she cut herself to a few of her friends; how I remember that, I don’t know. I must have heard it from someone else. Especially being an Asian-American church, you don’t want to get into anyone’s issues that is not your concern.

    Such a pressing issue, but even in this case, nobody wants to be the snitch even if it means saving a life, and sadly, people are more concerned saving face (and relationships and preserve the status quo) instead.

    Props to bringing this issue into light.

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