HiPlease help I don't know what to do. I told my daughter off yesterday for telling a silly fib. I tried to explain that the fib was so irrelevant so lying just made it worse. She got very upset crying and regretted that she told the lie. I asked her to wash up after dinner, I went to check on her and she jumped and hid the knife under a tea towel. when I realised what she was doing I asked her to show me her arm that she had put behind her back. She had 'banged' the knife up her forearm and has small cuts/scratches. I asked her why and she said 'I felt it was the only way' she said 'it felt like the sadness was coming out'.I believe her when she says that this was the first time. She has promised that it wont happen again, she regrets it and it stings, she has asked me not to tell her dad. and says if she feels like doing it again, she will come to me before she does. We have a very strong relationship and she said that if I hadn't caught her she would have shown me (I don't know how true this is, id like think she would have) .What do I do now? trust her that she wont do it again and it was a moment of 'madness' I am worried sick, I don't know what to do for best, I feel like this all my fault, I've let her down.

Comments (4)


By: Ruth Ayres

on: 08.07.16

Thank you so much for getting in touch with SelfharmUK and I am so sorry to hear things have become some difficult for your daughter, self harm is a complex and difficult thing to understand. My advice to you would be to continue to talk to her about how she is feeling in a very gentle non threatening way. Its important that she knows she is able to talk to you and it sounds like you have the kind of relationship to encourage that. Is there another trusted adult you could encourage her to talk to, sometimes its easier for young people to talk about things outside of their family network. Similarly is there anyone else you can talk to? It’s important you have support too. Self-harm is often a coping strategy and there is often something else underlying the behaviour, it might be worth going to your GP with your daughter and talking about it in a safe place. One thing I would say is try not to tell her she has to stop, it is like I said a coping mechanism and it may mean she turns to other things if she feels forced to stop self-harming.

By: realgirl03

on: 14.07.16

hi my name is tracie and i am only 15 years old and i used to self harm , i think it is a really good thing that you have reached out for help, i agree with Ruth ... try anf make sure your daughter feels like she has someone to talk to about how she is feeling ... but not to feel like she has someone watching her every move , see the thing is when i was in that point i didnt want anyone to be there and to be all alone but deep down i felt like i did really wont someone there ..
i know you feel worried and want the best for your daughter so trusting her is a good idea but if you have any concerns then seek support , this may mean GP.. i am here if you need to chat to someone about anything and/or if your daughter needs support ..

The Author:

on: 15.07.16

Hi Ruth, Thank you for replying. My daughter and I have been talking and she says she knows she can trust me to be on her side. I have told her that whenever she feels the need to cut herself to come to me and we will either find something to do, talk, sing, dance whatever she wants! She really doesn’t want to do it again and is frightened in case she gets the urge. she doesn’t like the pain after. I have explained to her that if it happens again we will need to seek help. I’ve explained that its not because she’s been naughty or I am disappointed but because we both need the support. and she agreed. We are closer than ever, I haven’t told anyone because I made that promise to her. I don’t want to break her trust on this. Again thank you for replying.

Dear Tracie

Thank you for taking the time to read my question and commenting. I have taken your advice and have stopped following her into the kitchen, I even let her take the scissors up to her room so that she could do her homework. She doesn’t understand herself where the urge to cut came from, she is very frightened that she may get the urge again. We have a very strong relationship and she knows and says that she can trust me to take on her problems; a problem shared is a problem halved. We have agreed that when she feels very sad again she will come to me, or call me, we will do what we do best sing and dance terribly to pop music. If she cuts again I will seek help and she has also agreed to this.
I haven’t shown her your comment as I promised I wouldn’t tell a soul. But if it happens again I will.

Thank you for reaching out to me, I hope you have someone that you can speak with, you come across as very mature young lady. Thank you again x

By: Ruth Ayres

on: 15.07.16

I am so pleased to hear that your daughter is talking to you and you are getting closer, your advice to her that if she feels like cutting to come and find you sounds like great idea. It is also great that you have told her from there you can do something together. I hope that things continue to improve for her and you. If we can help at all in future please feel free to get in touch. Ruth