Wasn''t sure if I should post elsewhere, but it is kind of to do with contact, so here goes.
As you all know, SD''s contact with mum is rare and sporadic. We are all getting used to that & SD is disengaging from her mum emotionally to some extent. There''s nothing we can do about that as we have tried, and failed to make mum realise that it will affect their relationship. However, SD has made us aware that the content of contact is making her paranoid, and she''s getting more and more upset by it.
Mum has always had body image issues of her own, and from when SD was very little, has been critical of her body. Just lately though, during physical and phone contact, she has been saying things to SD which are upsetting and potentially dangerous to a girl of 13. SD is a very pretty girl with a lovely figure. She has no health concerns, apart from the ones mum is putting in her head. She''s told SD recently that she must see an optician because she has a lazy eye! She doesn''t (my eldest son had a stigmatism from a baby, which was treated successfully), & even though SD knows she hasn''t, its making her paranoid. Mums also told her she hopes she''s not wearing sandals without socks because her feet are ''gross'', and that she''s probably got asthma. None of these things are true, but its becoming an issue. These are just a few examples, there are many more.
We are of course reassuring SD, and our GP has offered to check her for the lazy eye and asthma purely to reassure her, but it shouldn''t be necessary.
We'' re not sure how to deal with this, as SD says every time she sees or speaks to mum she picks on her.
I hope someone has some brilliant ideas. All I can think of is to keep explaining that these comments are all part of the ''illness'' and trying to build her self confidence and body image. It''s all about mum and her own self destructiveness isn''t it? Nothing to do with SD at all.
I do think you need to be worried - if only because the level of damage that has been and still is being done to SD might one day leave her reaching for a bottle too.
Thanks both. We are worried because she''s dug at SD her whole life, so its nothing new. The worst was when she told her she had heart disease! Poor kid, and of course we got her checked out and reassured she''s completely normal. But, she''s got enough to deal with just being 13, let alone anything else.
We wonder if its a control thing, because mum knows she''s lost her in terms of residence, so perhaps she does this to try and control her, keep her worried. SD''s past hasn''t been carefree in any respect, so maybe mum can only keep her worried and paranoid by doing this. I don''t know, but we hate it. It''s so unfair, and so wrong. Telling mum not to do it wouldn''t work, probably make her do it more
If it was me, I would tell SD that she doesn''t have to deal with her mother if she doesn''t want to.
My OH''s ex decided to leave him and left her daughter behind and was even heard to say she never wanted her in the first place.
The daughter is 12 now and is lowly beginning to realise her mother only wants her as an unpaid babysitter. I have said right from the start that he only needs to tell her that she doesn''t need to see her mum and leave it at that.
Well, lately she has been standing up to her mum more, telling her home truths, but then she feels guilty. She knows her mum is ill, so has a teeny amount of compassion. But, being angry & upset with mum seems to be how she mostly feels. We have supported SD when she''s said she would rather not see her mum, but we cannot control what mum says to her.
I don''t think it will be long before she says she wants nothing more to do with mum, and we wouldn''t blame her if she did, but mum wouldn''t take it well and could up the anti in getting at the poor child.
All we want to do is protect her and minimise the damage, but its very hard to do that when we have no control over what is said
I know, as an adult the affect of negative comments.
At Christmas, 4 months after giving birth my Mum told me I was loosing too much weight, too quickly I''d lost my bum it was flat, I was looking soooooo tired and not-too-subtlety hinted at some spa treatments she has, that I should have to make me look better, she then produced a bottle of serum ''For Mature Skin'' - I''m under 40 (just) - even as an adult these comments knocked me, never mind the comments made to SD.
Some people are able to shake off comments like these, some may be a little more sensitive.
I think Children should always be spoken to positively in these matters, esp appearance.