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Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / Struggling as a mum of teen. Want to give up. Trigger warning 'self harm and suicidal ideation'

Topic: Struggling as a mum of teen. Want to give up. Trigger warning 'self harm and suicidal ideation'

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. Scarey
    Scarey avatar
    1 posts
    14 August 2021

    Hi there,

    I'm not very good at communicating in writing but here goes.

    I want to give custody of my 15 yr old to their Dad. I feel as if i've reached my limit and have no more to give.

    I had twins at 17, both are doing well now and parents of my grandkids but during their teen years both suffered depression and anger issues.

    Another child at 22, she suffered serious depression, self harm and suicidal thoughts during her teens. She ended up in a mental health facility multiple times. Went off the rails with drugs as well. We had an episode where she was delusional on drugs. Very scary. But she is doing well now and living with her boyfriend, working, studying.

    Now i have a 14 year old still at home. Multiple seriouse food allergies. Dad and I seperated when they were 3. We have been dealing with anxiety, depression, self harm and suicidal ideation. We got them help though Drs and the government youth mental health service. They have been on medication for almost a year. They have recently said they identify as a boy (born a girl). This has come completly out of the blue for me. I don't judge people for anything but knowing the work that will need to go into this mentally is too much for me. I did explain this to my child and they seemed ok and said they would talk to their Head Space pyscologist about it for support.

    It has now come to light that they have started self harming again, that they hear voices telling them to hurt themselves or others. This was found out by their Dad. He is currently looking into getting them into a pyschiatrist.

    My biggest issue at the moment is that I don't think I can cope with this anymore. I'm thinking that maybe they should live with their Dad and just have normal visitation with me. I honestly don't think I can offer the support that they need at this time. This hurts me alot but I don't know what else to do. I am mentally worn out from all my childrens mental health issues. I feel like for the last 15 years I've been dealing with it everyday, one child after another with each one a bit worse then the last. I don't mean it to sound bad but it has happened that way, each child has been worse mentally then the last.

    The 14 year old's dad and I have an okay relationship, not close but no animosity and able to communicate. But he does live half an hour away which would make getting to school hard. They would also not want to live with their Dad as he is more strict then me.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6824 posts
    14 August 2021 in reply to Scarey
    Hey Scarey, 

    Thanks for joining us here on the Beyond Blue forums. We really appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us and letting us in on what's been happening with your family. It sounds as though you have a long history of trying to manage your children and your own mental health. We can hear how exhausted and overwhelmed you feel at the moment. 

    You've mentioned that it would hurt you to have your daughter move in with their dad. Would you be able to share a bit more about why you feel this way? 

    We can hear you care for your children and these struggles are really weighing on you. We'd recommend that you get in contact with Parentline. Talking to a Parentline counsellor can help you navigate difficult parenting dilemmas such as the one you've outlined. If you follow the link below it will take you to the contact numbers for Parentline in each State/Territory:

    We would also recommend that you get in contact with our friendly counsellors at the Support Service, available 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 3pm-12am AEST here: 

    We hope that you keep checking back in and let us know how you are going when you feel up to it. We're all here for you.
    1 person found this helpful
  3. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    11068 posts
    14 August 2021 in reply to Scarey

    Dear Scarey~

    I'd like to join Sophie_M in welcoming you to the Forum which has may understanding and caring people, most having been through hard times.

    Life certainly has thrown an awful lot at you, from children with problems to separation, and each time you have risen to the occasion, despite there being no manual, not knowing what to do, but succeeding in raising your children anyway. I admire your accomplishment and can see the love and concern that lives inside you.

    Now you are at the stage where you have given all and see even more in front of you. There is a real temptation to assume that for the people you love you assume you are a bottomless well of strength, help and care. Sadly that is never the case. You can drain yourself dry and that stops you going on. Unfortunately rather than seeing the marvelous good you have accomplished you most likely feel guilt you cannot continue.

    I know the feeling, but in different circumstances. My wife spent 9 months in hospital before passing away and by that time I too was completely drained -I even felt relief along with guilt, anger, loss and many more emotions.

    I suspect that you are so exhausted you see things as simple black and white. For you to give your ex the main burden now does not mean it will always be that way - and even if it were as you recover you will be able to contribute more to them rather than only just holding on until you crash.

    May I ask what your ex thinks of the idea?

    While they might not want to live with their dad the way you put it is not that he is a bad father, simply has a different approach to you, something they would have to get used to. He would probably have to get used to being more flexible too in order to keep their relationship going well.

    Trying to make the decision all on your own is very hard, and leaves huge doubts whatever you decide. Sophie_M's suggestions of who to talk with are good ones.

    In addition do you have anyone, perhaps family or a friend, you can lean on, talk things over and gain fresh perspective?

    You know you are welcome here anytime



    1 person found this helpful

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