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Question
Posted by: FD | 2010/07/23

Suicidal Daughter - URGENT Intervention Required

Good day
I urgently require assistance with regards to my 14 year old daughter [this is the 3rd time she’ s threatened suicide]. I do understand that she may be pushing our boundaries, in order to get us to give in, but since I cannot and will not, I worry that she may very well attempt it (just to get her point across) –  and it may be fatal!
We are experiencing major issues with my ex-husband and in-laws and my daughter has daily contact with them, via her friends’  cellphones. They have been indoctrinating her and have been a seriously negative influence –  providing her with a cellphone and a hubbly bubbly machine, resulting in serious discipline issues. They have also taken her from our home on many occassions, without our knowledge and consent.
Let me provide a brief history:
• My first marriage was traditional but never made legal and was ‘ dissolved’  in 1998 due to severe physical, emotional and psychological abuse from both him and his mother (although hers was only psychological and emotional –  I was beaten in their home, in front of my daughter, under 2 at the time) on numerous occasions and his parents never intervened or offered any assistance –  I have no physical proof of the beatings, i.e. police reports)
• I caught him fondling her (she was under 2 at the time) –  and just as he was about to slip his hand under her diaper, I stepped in and he immediately dismissed it as ‘ play’  when confronted
• He has never paid any maintenance for my two children, now aged 14 and 12
o I have no desire to pursue this. We (my husband and I) are content with and capable of supporting our family.
• The relationship between myself and my children’ s grandparents and aunt is exceptionally strained and have been for years, with no improvement in sight. I have asked them on numerous occasions to please stay away, as I know that they pose a very real threat to the wellbeing of the children. The aunt has been making and maintaining contact with my daughter against our wishes and especially when we’ re not home. The initial contact was made after 10 years, this year, and no interest has been shown in my 12 year old son, which I find strange and suggests to me that they have ill intentions and are deliberately disrupting and corrupting my daughter, our home and our family life.
• They have never positively contributed financially, emotionally or psychologically to the children’ s wellbeing.
• We do not share the same values and ethics systems or religious beliefs –  this in itself is already a serious conflict of interest, one which will not be beneficial to my daughter and son.
Kindly advise of a private in-patient programme/institute, as I believe that an out-patient programme will not be beneficial, if she is not removed from the situation, with no contact with these folks, a preference. I need for her to have appropriate counselling, giving her adequate time to heal. I have tried Crescent Clinic, but they are unable to admit her, due to her age.
We are exceptionally desperate –  there has been a serious decline in our family life –  every one of us (my current husband, my 12 year old son) are being seriously affected and apart from that, this has also affected our working life and our daughter’ s schooling career.
Looking forward to your urgent advices regarding.
Thank you very much!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

You are right that while such threats MIGHT not end seriously, one cannot afford to ignore or minimize them. Lifeline or SADAG may be able to suggest available resources near you, and in view of her age, a child psychiatrist would be best. ( You don't mention where you live, and we're anyway not able to keep track of all relevant practitioners in the country )
Sounds like a very complex situation, with disgraceful behaviour by the ex and in-laws.
Sometimes an advantage to going to the maintenance court is not merely to establish the principle that he must be financially responsible for the child, but one can also ask the court to decide issues like custody and visitation rights, in the best interests of the child, and such a court would hear your concerns about possible abuse, etc. This is something definite to work with, rather than relying on whatever he and his family might try to arrange, and the court might even be persuaded to limit or forbid access by those of his famioly who are interfering unhelpfully for the welfare of the child.
So, apart from seeking proper clinical assessment and care, do get proper legal advice, too.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Lin | 2010/07/23

Why not phone SADAG. They have a great deal of contacts for your daughter. They''ll be able to assist you with numbers and details of professionals in your area.

Reply to Lin
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/07/23

You are right that while such threats MIGHT not end seriously, one cannot afford to ignore or minimize them. Lifeline or SADAG may be able to suggest available resources near you, and in view of her age, a child psychiatrist would be best. ( You don't mention where you live, and we're anyway not able to keep track of all relevant practitioners in the country )
Sounds like a very complex situation, with disgraceful behaviour by the ex and in-laws.
Sometimes an advantage to going to the maintenance court is not merely to establish the principle that he must be financially responsible for the child, but one can also ask the court to decide issues like custody and visitation rights, in the best interests of the child, and such a court would hear your concerns about possible abuse, etc. This is something definite to work with, rather than relying on whatever he and his family might try to arrange, and the court might even be persuaded to limit or forbid access by those of his famioly who are interfering unhelpfully for the welfare of the child.
So, apart from seeking proper clinical assessment and care, do get proper legal advice, too.

Reply to cybershrink

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