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Another Part Of The Story - My Daughter Emotionally Manipulated Me

Discussion in 'General' started by Marlene, Nov 25, 2006.

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  1. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    I had sat down this morning and wrote down, for the first time, what had happened with my daughter and her hurting herself and threatening suicide. I was done and ready to cut and paste it into a post (working in Microsoft word). I was exhausted, sick to my stomach and had a headache…but I had gotten it down. Then a get a stupid error message telling me that the program was shutting down and since I hadn’t saved it, it was gone. I hate *&%^$#%&# computers!!!!!! So, it looks like I get to go through it again. Oh, joy!

    A few months after my father died, I went into my oldest daughters room and noticed that she had been cutting on her upper left arm. I had cut myself as a teenager because I was looking for attention and when I saw what she had done, I felt so guilty for not being there for her, not giving her the attention she needed. After my father’s unexpected death, I went inside myself because I was hurting. From his death and from knowing that I would have to go through the whole process again when my sister died shortly. I sat down and to talk to her and she started talking about suicide. Her reason was if everyone she loved was dying, why should she stick around. I remember that my husband was in the room. I don’t remember if I called him in or if he was walking by her room and came in. He talked to her…about what I don’t remember. I was too terrified to open my mouth. All I could think was ‘I just lost my father, I’m going to lose my sister. Am I going to lose my daughter, too?’ The only thing I remember saying to her is to ask her what she thought her Grandpa or Aunt Barbara would say about it. I don’t know if that helped or hurt, but I was grasping at straws.

    I was able to get her into therapy very quickly after I spoke with the doctor. My happy go lucky daughter that shared so much with me became withdrawn, sullen and told me nothing. The only adult person she spoke to was the therapist. She shut out the rest of the family. And the therapist wouldn’t talk to us because of confidentiality. All I could think was ‘F*UCK confidentiality. This is my baby’s life you have in your hands. What is going on?’

    She started having anxiety attacks during this time. I remember one morning I went into her room to make sure she was up and I found her on the floor, curled into a ball and crying during an anxiety attack. I laid down on the floor and held her and had my own anxiety attack as well. I just felt so helpless and scared during this time.

    She was in therapy for about nine months and things were getting better. The therapist, my daughter and I agreed to stop the therapy and see how it went. That was late summer. During the Christmas break from school that same year, she told me she wanted to see her therapist again. The earliest appointment I could get was in February. That first appointment, she (my daughter) told me she wanted me to stay in the waiting room (her other sessions were done with me in there part of the time and the rest she was alone with the doctor). Not too long later, the therapist came out and called me back to her office. She told me she wanted the gun out of the house. I didn’t understand what she was saying and she said it again. She told me my daughter had told her she knew about the old shotgun in the back of our closet and had thoughts of using it on herself. I remember feeling my whole body go cold. What I thought was over was back even worse. All of that fear and feeling helpless came back.

    When I got home I told my husband what the doctor had said. He said he didn’t believe it. I told him I didn’t care…he either took the gun apart or got rid of the damn thing or I would. He took it apart and hid the different pieces.

    During this second round of therapy, my daughter changed. Even her then boyfriend said she was the only person he knew who was happy to go to therapy and looked forward to it. Where before she hadn’t talk much unless you really prodded, now she spoke freely about how if she wanted to end her life, it was her choice. And how it was her decision and no one had any say in it. Whenever she spoke like that, it was like cold knives in my spine. That’s the only way to describe the physical feeling this talk gave me. My husband and I kept an eye on her and knew where she was at all times. I was afraid to leave her alone. I was afraid that I would walk into the house and find her dead. My anxiety got so bad that I was smoking like crazy trying to keep the anxiety down. She started doing things to get our attention. She would lay on the floor in her room in the dark because she knew her father or I would come and find her and tell her to come out with the rest of the family. It seemed like if she wasn’t the center of attention, then she would start talking about hurting herself. After the second time that she cut herself (it was worse than the first and she now has scars to carry from it) her father and I and the therapist told her that if she physically harmed herself again that we would Baker Act her (3 day involuntary commitment). The doctor told her in great detail what it would mean and what would happen and she stopped cutting herself. But the talk continued. One day she and he father were arguing about something and she said something like, ‘Well, I’ll just kill myself’. My husband (who hardly ever raises his voice) screamed at her, ‘Well, if you’re going to do it, stop talking about and just f*cking do it. And make sure you cut you wrist long ways rather than across so they can’t sew you up and save you.’ I don’t know out of the three of us who was more shocked when he said that. But he had reached his limit. It was also when I realized that I was being emotionally manipulated by my daughter. She was beating me up with the thing that caused me the most fear and she knew she was doing it. It was at that point that a great deal of my fear and guilt turned into anger and hatred towards her for this.

    So here I sit. At this wall that I don’t know how to get past. And the wall is all anger towards one of the people I love the most in the world. How do I heal when I’m stuck here?
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  3. canucklady

    canucklady Active Member

    wow marlene, i am so sorry you are going through this. i read your post from daughters perspective. i am going through a hard time too and when was a teenager cut as well. i feel so bad that i put my parents through that all. i was just in so much pain, i didnt realize i was hurting others too. it took awhile for my parents to trust me again, but eventually they did gain my trust. i hope you can hang in there for your daughter. keep posting, thinking of you
  4. cookie

    cookie I'm a VIP

    that's got to be a hard thing, marlene, try shifting the focus of your hatred to her actions so that you can see that you do, indeed, love her, or these feelings would not make you feel guilty. there is nothing wrong with hating what she did, and teaching her that you can give her attention without dire circumstances. we have all done things we are not proud of, but have been forgiven for. i would try hard to forgive her (i am having trouble with a forgiveness issue in my life, too) that doesn't mean that you have to allow her to manipulate you again. just realize that her problems probably started with bona fide feelings and she used it after she saw your reactions. typical kid, really.
  5. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    You know marlene, when I got most of the way through that, I thought exactly what the ending came out as, being she was turning a problem into a teenage benefit for attention. This is teenage behaviour... they get hold off something that can hurt their parents, or cause their parents to provide constant on tap attention, and they run with it, because they don't fully comprehend or understand the ramerfications of their decisions. They are made without any input, without commonsense, because that often fails to exist throughout teenage years, they use what they have and simply do not have the maturity to think outside the box.

    Marlene, anger is built up off emotions. This doesn't change, and applies to everything we do. What do you feel really? Your stuck because you stopped at anger, instead of looking below the surface to what is causing the anger. Lets go deeper Marlene... what do you feel?

    I feel betrayed that my daughter could use my emotional state for her own well-being.
    I feel she abused my love for her own self pity.
    I feel disgusted that she could not think off others past herself.
    etc etc etc...

    Use the [DLMURL]http://www.ptsdforum.org/thread700.html[/DLMURL]. At the bottom is a one page printable list of them all... get used too them Marlene, use them for each and every incident to find the emotional state for each. We must deal at the emotional level to heal the problems, because anger or rage is dealing with the problem, not the cause. The root of all trauma is the emotional level, that is fact.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  6. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    How do I feel? I've never done this before, so I don't know how this will turn out. The above is a pretty good start!

    I feel disappointed she used her father and I's love and concern as a weapon against us.

    I feel repulsion for her emotional manipulation of my family.

    I feel a loss of trust that what she tells me is the truth and not something she's making up for attention.

    I feel sad because I know, at first, she was hurting and needed help and that turned into her finding a way to always be the center of attention and she doesn't realize how badly she hurt her father and I.

    I feel like a chump that I didn't see sooner that I was being played.

    Damn, this is hard. When this started, she was 15. Logically I understand that teenagers are unaware or just don't care about other's feelings except their own or their friend's. Family feelings stop counting somewhere along the way.

    During this time there was so much emotional 'stuff' going on in my life that I've found it very hard to seperate what emotion from what person. If that makes sense. I found it easier just to lump it all to gether and put it all away. Now that I'm dealing with it, the sorting out process is difficult because so many of my emotions overlap situations and people.

    I do hate what she did. Because she did it to my whole family. In family, what affects one, affects all. Good, bad or indifferent. My husband tells me, 'Just let it go...it's over.' Maybe he's forgiven her. He's so much better at that than I am.

    I do love her and I want to forgive her and trust her again. I know that the forgiving part is up to me and now that I have words in my mind other than anger to put to my emotions, maybe that will help me sort through things easier and forgive. I've found that forgiving someone is not an easy thing to do. And I know that trust is going to come with time and distance. There's just no getting around that.
  7. GR-ass

    GR-ass Well-Known Member

    In saying that yeah she was using cutting/ talk of suicide to manipulate you yes, she probably was. For whatever reason she was.

    Unfortunately until you find out *why* she started cutting she may never stop. You probably know this, especially if you were a cutter.

    It's easy to say I'll stop, I'll stop, not so easy to actually stop.

    I swore months ago that I would no longer cut. That I would stop hurting myself because it was hurting my mum. Sad part is, I've told my mum in fights that I don't want to live. I've told her that she just doesn't get me.

    I'm right, she doesn't. She doesn't understand why I cut, how good it feels. She doesn't understand that cutting is the way I let off steam, the way I let myself feel.

    No one cuts themselves for no reason. What is your daughters? There has to be a reason, no matter how small hpw minor you think it is. There is always a reason.

    Think I just played Devil's advocate.
  8. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    She and I have talked recently about the cutting. She said it was not only about getting my attention, but when she would have an anxiety attack, it would stop it. There's something about pain that short-circuits an anxiety attack. Same way some people snap a rubber band on their wrist to stop one.

    There were only two times that I saw cuts (there may have been more...I don't know) and they were always on her left upper arm. She wears tank tops, low rise jeans and shorts. So it would be readily visible. And for a long time I would pop into her room and make me show body parts covered by clothing to make sure. It may not have been the best thing to do, but it was all I could come up with at the time.

    The one thing that makes me think she's stopped is that she was talking to me the other day about a friend of hers. He got a girlfriend and the girlfriend basically told this friend that he had to choose her or his friendship with my daughter. He chose his girlfriend. She was crying and upset and told me that when he told her that, she felt like she had before when she would cut, but knew it wouldn't solve anything and she didn't.

    My hope is that since the that circumstances that lead to the cutting have changed, years have passed, she received help and her maturity level has gone up that this is something that is over.

    Am I afraid that it may start again one day? Oh yes. But I'm trying not to focus on the future, fear and the 'what ifs'. All I can do is get through this one day at a time.
  9. GR-ass

    GR-ass Well-Known Member

    hugs lots

    funny that she should say that it stops the anxiety attacks, it's why I tend to cut.

    Just wish my mum could understand that it isn't about her.

    Proud of you both.
  10. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Thanks for the hugs GR because I need them. I had one hell of a trigger off of this today. As I was trying to keep breathing and not fly off into a million little pieces, something I read here kept running through my head. Something to the affect of gotta hit the triggers to face the fears to deal with them. I held onto that line like a life-preserver until I felt back in control. Fortunately for me, we were at the movies and it was dark so I could zone out and think and no one knew I was only giving the movie part of my attention.

    When we got home I sat down with my daughter (and hubby sitting next to me-moral support) and I talked to her. I told her how proud I was at how far she had come, but that I was still stuck emotionally in the past and had to work through it if I'm to get better and get past it. I explained (for the first time) what I was feeling when all of this was going on. She talked to me about things she hadn't talked about before. This talk was hard, it hurt, but I feel like a lot of my anger (and other emotions) are 'worked out' (for lack of better words).

    I don't mean to sound like a cry-baby, but this bringing old shit up, going over it, dealing with it...it's freakin' brutal.

    GR-hugs back at ya! I hope things get better with you mom. :kiss:
  11. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Marlene, now your getting it. Well done. Such a little thing is harder than most imagine. Finding our lower emotions is much more difficult than people think, until they meet the challenge. It is easier to isolate emotions once we look deep, to find solutions. End result, no more anger, or much less off, which means less panic attacks, less anxiety, less stress. Apply this to everything in life, and you find it becomes instinctive over time. You can channel anger long enough then to find what is causing it, which near immediately lowers anger as you get better at it. Well done marlene... excellent progress with yourself, and your relationship with your daughter.

    Cass... cut the cutting shit out. To stop anxiety, there are other ways from simply applying a bandaid to the situation, being cutting yourself. All your doing is harming yourself, harming those around you who love you. Just look at Marlenes response to her daughter cutting herself for the same reasons... to stop the panic attack. Apply this to your mothers feelings, and bingo, you just found out what she feels in regard to you doing the same thing.

    Cutting yourself, your not fixing anything, your applying a bandaid to the moment. Keep that up, you will never get better by hiding behind bandaids. Its a choice, and only you can make it and stick by it. You get a panic attack, you reason with what is causing it, not put a bandaid on the moment, because the moment is just going to continue reappearing time and time again.
  12. GR-ass

    GR-ass Well-Known Member

    Thanks Anthony, just what I needed.
    That hasn't an ounce of sarcasm in it. I'm so tired of the quick fix, cos you know what it doesn't help in the long run.

    I had a bad panic attack today and I didn't cut. I wanted to, but I didn't. I want to get better, I want to heal, and I am finally getting that healing hurts.
    (cynical laugh) I mightn't like feeling like this, but at least when I'm dealing with the shit that makes me want to cut, when I am dealing with whe why's I can start to heal.

    It is a choice that I have to stand here and make. Its a choice that I will stick by.
    The only thing that seperates my cutting, my addiction from other addictions is well, absolutely nothing.

    If I don't this shit I will end up dead, and I'm not ready to die. More then anything I want to live.

    So thank you Anthony. You got through to me.
  13. GR-ass

    GR-ass Well-Known Member

    Marlene *hugs lots* I'm glad.
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