Everything posted by latterdaymom
latterdaymom posted a topic in Advice BoardMy daughter recently told us she doesn't want to be "mormon" anymore and doesn't want to go to church. She has had a rough year dealing with depression and self harm. We've also had some big trials in our family (husband lost his job and is still unemployed; lost a child in an accident 2 years ago). I know those things have had a big impact on her. We noticed that something was "off" around age 11, and we took her in for therapy. She's been going on and off since then. There is a family history of mental disorders in our extended family so it doesn't surprise me what's happening here. She's also on medication but we are still tweaking with it. This summer the doc added lithium to help her with self harm but instead of calming her down it made her more irritable and aggressive. She feels like the church makes rules of what we "can and can't do" which really aggravates her ("It's dumb we can't date before 16 and drink coffee, and shouldn't wear short shorts and tank tops" etc.) She's also a strong willed child and doesn't like to be "controlled", which doesn't help her complicated situation. We think the combination of meds gave her the "push" to decide she was done with church. She thinks no one likes her in YW...literally. She has this idea in her head that they talk about her behind her back and don't want to be her friend, which is completely false. She is a beautiful girl, but something has convinced her she's just trash. I feel so helpless, and don't know what to do for her. For now I am focusing on just uplifting her and loving her. I am more concerned about getting her stable mentally before her spirituality, but it is in the back of my mind and I am concerned. She hasn't attended church in a month. Now I know there will be a few of you who will say, "she's messing with you...you just need to put your foot down and tell her to snap out if it". Or, "just throw her in the car and make her go...She is a child and doesn't have a choice". People these things do not work...I know personally and if you know the plan of salvation, you know that "forcing" people to do things is Satan's plan. So please...if you think your judgmental remarks are going to fix this, then take it somewhere else because you aren't helping. So with that said...I need some real advice.... Has anyone else had a teenager who went through this and came back or changed their mind/attitude because you did something different to encourage them to come back? What can I do as a parent to help her? Thanks for your input. Concerned mom
latterdaymom replied to latterdaymom's topic in Advice BoardPraetonian Brow thanks for your insight. We have been going together as a family to therapy for 2 years now, and it has helped tremendously. I would agree that the lithium could have made my daughter manic just like it did with your mom. We are actually weaning her off of it to see how things go. So far she's not having outbursts as often as she did a month ago, so I'm hoping that's a good sign. I believe the self harm was brought on after she lost her brother. She had a particularly hard time accepting his death and shut down emotionally. She felt like the only way she could feel relief was to cut. She refused to talk about his passing because she didn't want to cry and feel the agonizing grief. In her mind it was better to avoid it. It was then we realized she needed to have talk therapy, her emotional life depended on it. That is why most people self harm. They have a difficult time expressing their emotions and to get that release they resort to hurting themselves. It releases endorphins which makes them feel better, but afterwards it hurts physically and seeing the scars brings on shame. Feelings of negative self worth sets in and the cycle can start all over again. You can recover from it, but that takes a lot of therapy, love and empathy from supporting parents. I also have depression and so I understand what it's like. I just have always had the desire to go to church, even when I was a teenager. It was the only thing that I felt was constant. My parents divorced when I was 7 and shortly thereafter I was abused from a trusted LDS caregiver after my mom went back to work. I had every reason to rebel and leave but I just didn't want to. Perhaps I'm expecting my daughter to cling to the one thing that "saved" me. I don't know for sure but it's possible. I realize though I can't expect her to feel the same way I did since we are individuals and have different personalities. Too bad a parenting manual didn't come with the kids I gave birth to. Wouldn't it be so much easier?
latterdaymom replied to latterdaymom's topic in Advice BoardSkippy funny thing you mentioned the bishop...our bishop was just assigned as our home teacher (our last one moved out of the ward). We spilled the beans to him the last time he was here to HT. He was surprised, but very understanding. Thanks for your suggestions. We do have conditions in place where she needs to do spiritual/positive things (playing her cello/reading uplifting books, write in journal etc.) if she doesn't attend church.