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well, didn't think i'd be around here for a long long time if ever again.

late last week i had an allegric reaction to what we think was Lyrica. my foreams and feet began to burn and itch like they were on fire. the only thought i could hang on to was scraping off all the skin to get relief.

so of course i did to some degree (until i took about 4 mgs of clonazepam to calm the hell down).

my forearms are a mess ;)

there's no way i could blame this on the cat.

and, because i used the rubber band trick over and over, there are bruises where the elastic kept hitting.

my feet i can hide because i can wear socks (as crazy as that makes me right now).

but my fifteen year-old daughter is coming home this weekend from a camping trip - and it's way too hot to wear a sweater.

my plan is to tell her i kinda flipped out because of the allergy, and leave out the fact that the old keloid scars were my own fault :/

do you think this will scare her too much? do you think she'll believe me? we have a very very good relationship - better than most especially at her age - but i've never told her i self injure.

thanks in advance for any advice, if you've been there (on either end).

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I know very little about SI, so other people might have better opinions, but I think that there is NO reason to tell your kid that you SI. Even if you give her implausible reasons for the marks, she'll probably believe them.

Telling her is kind of like dumping your adult problems on her, a kid. She doesn't need to deal with that and doesn't have the coping skills to deal with it, and it will probably scare the hell out of her.

That's my uneducated opinion.

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I agree with Libby.

I dont think telling her is in her best interest. Especially if she has no clue that you SI. She may very well freak out in any way possible.

And she may ask a lot of uncomfortable questions that you may or may not be able to answer.

I cant really give you any advice about what you should tell your daughter regarding the injuries. But telling her that you SI might lead her to having a very unstable emotional condition.

You are in a tight postition right now. You certainly dont want to lie to her. If and when she found out, she would most likely stop trusting you. And trust is probably one of the most important factors in your relationship right now.

I hope you find some way to explain your arms that wont hurt you more and wont hurt her at all.

Good luck,

Selene

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thanks Libby and Selene.

it's hard stuff to hear right now but you're probably right - i've just got to come up with a better lie. it's just that she's so damned perceptive in that way (like her mother, sigh). but yeah maybe she'll just choose to believe the lie anyway and let it be as long as she sees i'm alright.

thanks.

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Actually, I think that lying is OK in this case. The kid does not need to know. Period. Let her live her life without obsessing about taking care of her upset Mom.

Also, she'll probably start doing it herself if she knows that Mom does it. After all, why not?

You need an ADULT to talk to, not your kid. It sounds like a great time for a therapy appt. We ALL need support, but leaning on our kids is not cool.

I was a kid whose parents leaned on me at times, and I hated it. It was a very uncomfortable feeling, and it caused me a lot of distress.

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Also, she'll probably start doing it herself if she knows that Mom does it. After all, why not?

Ah...erm...what...the...FUCK??? I mean, seriously. The ridiculousness of that statement defies A: pretty much all mental health belief and B: damn near all common sense.

Anyways, onto the real issue here.

The first questions that ought to have been asked: what were the extent of the injuries? Like, were they: ow, I scratched too hard, or maybe ow, those damn allergies, maybe I shouldn;t have used sandpaper, heh? Or is it anything that a plausible lie could be construcuted around? Y'know, we're kinda good at that, given descriptions; God knows I've helped with a few before in a pinch!

Oooookay...now 'bout that "lie" thing. As lies tend to be, this part will be comlicated and multilayered. Please read all the way through and then re-read. It will not necessarily be in order.

Firstly: 15-year-olds are immature children. Thus, it is VERY important that you do NOT treat them is immature children. Because they aren't. To put it another way: you may get away with telling your 10-year-old that mommy and daddy are "wrestling". Tell that to your 15-year-old, and y'all better DAMN well have on tights and be doing a 3-count. Get it?

So, if you're going to lie to a "very perceptive 15-year-old" make it good or prepare to have your relationship be the same, change for the worse, be irreparebly damaged, or just be changed on some wierdly unfathomable level that may require therapy or may have your girl come back in 20 years and say "oh I knew what you were doing, I just wish you would have been ho honest with me".

You don't have to come straight out, no. But straight-up lying may be worse than the truth. Often the truth will out. I, more than many, know this. And it SO will bite you in the ass, and you may be surprised by how many already know...

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QUOTE(Libby @ Aug 25 2006, 01:15 PM) *

Also, she'll probably start doing it herself if she knows that Mom does it. After all, why not?

QUOTE cns

Ah...erm...what...the...FUCK??? I mean, seriously. The ridiculousness of that statement defies A: pretty much all mental health belief and B: damn near all common sense.

Anyways, onto the real issue here.

cns, I assure you that my statement is neither ridiculous nor in defiance of logic. I spent 13 years working 50 hrs a week with teenagers as a teacher, and as a program administrator, and in direct care with emotionally disturbed youth at a residential treatment center. This included kids who SI'ed and copy-catted one another. I earned a Master's degree in Human Services.

What are your credentials which enable you to render such harsh judgment of my views?

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Hiya lysergia,

I'm with Libby and Selene that you should try to keep it from her. I also respect Libby's credidentials, and have my own experience dealing with teenagers directly.

My experience with teenagers comes from when my dad was experiencing legal issues from being busted for the meth production (self-medication and without SSDI trying to make a living), and social services gave me custody of my younger siblings. My sister was 15 at the time. She also has bipolar disorder, but nowhere near as bad as mine or my other MI issues. For example, she doesn't have psychotic symptoms, or PTSD or ADD. She takes Depakote and I take a pharmacy.

On the day I was awarded custody I had a total spazz-out and had to be taken to the hospital. My sister knew that I was in the psychiatric hospital obviously, but I never let on the extent of my problems or the conditions I was being treated for. She just knew that I was bipolar and overwhelmed, and "had a nervous breakdown". When I got home I was so medicated that I was on Paxil alone (on purpose, to purposely induce hypomania- my pdoc actually did it on purpose so I could deal with the kids) and they didn't know anything about how bad it really was.

They could go to school and about their daily lives and be confident that their big sister was in charge. They could put aside some of their huge worry over dad and have that security that they were being taken care of by someone who was at the helm.

Kids need security and confidence in their caregivers. Showing your daughter, at this stage in her life, your SI issues would only make her feel insecure at a time when she already questions life and everything around her. She may well also have or be developing her own MI issues and this, along with her teenage hormones, may give her a lot to obsess over. Take it easy on her and buck up. Even if it kills you and makes you feel totally stupid, make up lies to cover up what you did. Even the stupidest lies. If she REALLY doesn't believe you, just tell her that you are hurt and don't want to talk about it. Or, I have a few "long sleeved" shirts with semi-sheer sleeves that would cover injuries if I had injuries. maybe you could hunt for a couple of those at a second-hand store if you have the time. Don't look stupid and wear seasopn-inappropriate clothes. Hope she doesn't notice and if she does, totally lie to her.

The kids DID ask me why I was so "hyper". I told them I was so excited to have them and start on a clean slate, a new leaf, and was energized about making our home. They were really thrilled to hear it and it gave them even more confidence. Their emotional trauma over being ripped from dad settled well, even my sister's bp issues after a hospitalization she went through over all of it.

Still, even though two of them are adults, I haven't told them why I was hyper or the extent of my MI. I am and will always be a parent/role model figure for them and they just don't need to know. My mom knows, and I know her issues just like I knew dad's, but I'm in my late 20s and can take it.

Loon

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thanks everyone - i value your input whether you agree or disagree on the best course of action!

the extent of the injuries really isn't that bad, now that it's healing and i've been able to reduce the size of the big yucky scabs (yeah i know gross). it's just not anywhere near what a cat would do to your arms, which is the excuse i've used in the long-ago past (successfully). i don't want to describe the injuries beyond that cause i'm afraid to trigger someone.

self-injury isn't something that happens often here anymore, and it's almost ALWAYS med-related in the last five years (not enough meds, wrong meds, etc). we have never wanted to pass that knowledge or behaviour on to our daughter, and that's been our source of strength in quitting SI (yay!). it's been ten years since we did anything visible on purpose (i.e. not med-related), so we've built up some other coping methods in the meantime.

as to whether daughter would copy SI because her mom does it? well, ymmv depending on the child, but dollars to donuts mine wouldn't. i smoke, and she doesn't, and probably never will (hates it with a passion and wishes i wouldn't). some of her best friends cut, and she talks to me about it because she doesn't understand - but she never emulates their behaviour. besides, she's wimpy about pain LOL - she says she cannot understand why anything painful could make anybody feel better heh. her friends also smoke, drink, do drugs, and sleep around, which she doesn't emulate either (and no, i'm not just a naive mom hee... we talk about EVERYTHING including whether she should try sex with a girl first instead of a boy so she won't get pregnant ack! what a kid.)

so yeah, i think some kids do copycat that stuff (more likely copying peers than parents i think). but that's if they've got issues they're looking to resolve in the first place, i think (i've a psych degree too, but meds have eaten large holes in my education).

i've always tried my best these past few years, now that she's a little older, to give her as much education as i can about pysch issues and meds and stuff so that it DOESN'T scare her. we've talked about my being multiple (dissociative), we've talked about my depression, and we've talked about my PTSD a little. every conversation has turned out way better than anything i could have expected - her questions were insightful and full of genuine curiosity, and she was incredibly relieved to finally know the truth.

but i know that SI isn't the same conversation - SI is a choice, not a diagnosis that i have no power to escape. it felt a little like maybe i would be admitting to a crack habit or something (which i don't have! ever!), and that she would worry about me more and respect me less. i mean there's lots of stuff about my past that caused the PTSD that i would never tell her about (nobody needs to know that much about their mother), but i couldn't decide if this fits in lying category or the educational category.

so far, my potential lie is that i scratched up my arms because of an allergic reaction (true), but that i did most of the damage in my sleep when i didn't realize i was still scratching (lie but plausible). i think that'll work.

thanks again everyone. and again i appreciate the disagreement, because there's never a blanket answer for every child or every issue, huh. everything you all said helped me think more clearly about what's best for my family.

you rock ;)

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(and no, i'm not just a naive mom hee... we talk about EVERYTHING including whether she should try sex with a girl first instead of a boy so she won't get pregnant ack! what a kid.)
If I had a kid, I would say that's a smart move! I'm wondering what you said...

Loon, you rock, and Lysergia, you too. You're both damn strong women.

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Thank you, Libby, these are hard questions and situations, but I think we rise to the circumstances (with meds, naturally!). I don't think that without psychiatric help behind the scenes I could have coped successfully.

Lys, maybe have a game plan for when med issues could come up? even if you never use it. i have all kinds of "what if" plans. Even if I never use my plans, and I hope I never have to, they're there. Prevention is the best medicine.

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Libby - thanks ;) and my reply was something like "who knows, you may never GET to men if you start with the women first hehehe".

Loon- thanks and yes, a just-in-case plan is something i should work on. just kinda thought i'd never need one again, eh? ah, well. life's like that.

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I say don't say anything. One things kids tend to do is blame themselves for the actions of their parents even if it's not their fault and they don't understand. I did it all the time ESPECIALLY as a teenager because I felt that I was "mature" and should have been able to stop my Mom from doing the things she did. I didn't understand that the illness was larger than me(and I was bipolar as well not diagnosed yet which magnified any ordinary teenaged feelings) and not for me to manage but it didn't stop me from feeling responsible. I wanted to be able to "do whatever it was" to make her well. The girls here are giving you excellent advice. You're a strong woman you can handle this.

lilie

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  • 2 months later...

I'm new to this forum so please forgive me if i make any mistakes. I have SI'd on and off since I was 14 and more severely in the past 3 years. I'm now 31. Yesterday I was at my cousins when her 5 year old son asked what the lines on my arms were. I felt so embarrassed as I didn't know what to say. I think I just said I'd cut myself and he seemed to accept that, I don't like lying to kids but I do feel that they should only know as much as they need to for their age/intellegence etc. I just wouldn't know what to say if he questioned me more deeply about it and I'm sure he will at some point as I spend alot of time there. Any one any ideas on how to tackle the situation?

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neonbabe-

i'm not a SIer, so i don't know all of the best excuses, but it seems like it is a good idea to blame it on the cat, the neighbor's cat, your great uncle's cat, whoever has a cat. claim the cat got scared and injured you. a little kid will believe that.

loon

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