Today I am pissed off. My nerves are a wreck and I feel like smashing something. I feel this way because I feel powerless as a mother and as a human being.
I received a call yesterday from my step-daughter’s child care provider. She is 11 years old. She is receiving text messages from peers that are telling her they wouldn’t care if she killed herself and that she should “just go ahead and do it already!” I am disgusted. I am broken. How do I protect her from this?
Yesterday I also found out she has been self-harming. She thinks she is ugly and fat and that the world would be a better place without her. My heart is broken for her. It aches at the pain she is feeling.
I was not much older than she when I first started to self-harm. I understand why she is doing it. I believed I was that ugly and fat girl too. I can’t tell her this. I can’t tell her that I self-harmed from low self-esteem because I cannot tell her it didn’t help. In the moment it did. I can tell her how beautiful and smart and incredibly funny she is. I can tell her that all of these people do not matter in the bigger picture of life and that they will be nothing but a distant memory one day. I can tell her to keep her head down and stick close to the friends who make her feel good because those are the friends worth having. I can tell her all these things, and I do tell her all these things but, I know that my words are meaningless. She is living these moments and they are happening now and what the future may be is moot in this moment.
We have blocked the numbers, spoken with the police, are working with the school, arranging for her to have counseling to help her deal with these dark emotions but what difference will all of this make?
I will hope and I will pray that she finds the strength in herself to get through this. I will make my best efforts to instill in her confidence and self-respect. I will not let my daughter become a statistic in this ever growing world of cruelty to self and others.