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05 Sep 2007

Teen cutting herself

I'm a karate instructor. Last night one of my students, a 14year old girl, was sitting there by my while I was sorting the cards. She told me that her "mom" wanted to throw her out of the house. It's actually her Aunt. She took the girl in when she was still a baby after her sister didn't want the baby. I asked her what happened. She said she doesn't know, that her mom came into her bedroom and told her to pack her stuff and get out of the house. I know from previous talks that other people will go to her Mom and tell bad stuff about this child. Then her mom just start accusing the child of all this stuff without asking her if it's true or not. So last night she showed me her arm. It looked terrible. I asked her why is she doing it, and she said it made her feel better!! I don't know what to do, as I promised her not to tell anybody. I told her she can come and talk to me anytime. I'm quite young and know how it was to be a teenager. But I don't know what else to do!!!! She said she wish she was rather dead. I couldn't sleep last night. Please tell me what to do!!!!!
Answer 311 views

01 Jan 0001

Let's se. She sounds like a troubled girl, who has had good reasons to feel rejected and unqanted, in her life, and her mom sounds sorely lacking in good mothering / parental skills. If you'll check the archives of this forum, you'll find we have usefully discussed the surprisingly common problem of self-cutting or self-mutilation quite often. It does, oddly, produce a strictly temporary sense of relief in miserable kids, especially when they feel abandoned and tense. Its unwise, by the way , as a general principle among helpers, to promise to keep secrets, without making it clear that this is not something you can do BECAUSE you care about what happens to the person, and that you might need to disclose some aspecrt of their secrets to help them get the help they need.
Talk to her again, and suggest that she could be feeling much better than this if she could get the help she deserves, and meanwhile explore what possibilities there are for this. Strictly speaking she needs to see a good local child shrink or counsellor, though there may be a problem about who would pay for this, if her mother is rejecting her --- maybe the mother ought to be reported to the Child Welfare authorities locally, for an investigation into what is going on, and they could refer her for the professional help she deserves. Talk about such options with her, and try to persuade her of the advantages of getting help and of having more people on her side.
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