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Effects of lies & ? low self esteem ....

Old 07-12-2012, 04:43 AM
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Effects of lies & ? low self esteem ....

Hi all,

Haven't posted for a couple of weeks, but really things are no better.

As I said last time, we have had all the hoo ha of SD's mum's supposed 'cancer'. Turns out she just had laser treatment for some pre-cancerous cells, although she is insisting to SD that she actually does have cancer. Of course we have put the child right, but isn't it pathetic?

SD's mum phoned my husband on Monday evening, to ask him something. She said that because of her 'operation', her 'doctors' have advised her she cannot travel for the forseeable future (rubbish. Laser treatment is a procedure, not an operation, and the recovery period is a couple of days ... she had it done 3 weeks ago!), and therefore cannot possibly travel to see SD in our town. She asked if my husband could take SD over to her on Saturday so she can spend the day with her in her home. He said no way, she started shouting and screaming, so he hung up. Then, about half an hour later, she text him saying she'd spoken to SD (who was out when she called my husband) and SD had said she would love to go over. So, we called SD on her phone and asked her to come in, which she did. She told us her mum had indeed phoned her, and had said my husband had agreed to taking her over on Saturday!!! SD said she was surprised her dad had agreed to this, and that she didn't want to go, but placated her mum by saying she would. Of course then she found out that her dad hadn't in fact agreed, and boy was she angry. So, my husband text mum, and told her her lie had been discovered, and that there was no way SD was going over there, and he explained that this was because we did not want SD exposed to her drinking, or put somewhere where she may find her mum's booze and be tempted to pour it down the sink. He explained that this would make SD angry, there would be a row, and as their relationship has been somewhat volatile lately, doesn't want SD to be angry and upset with her mum anymore. He said she is welcome to come and see her in our town whenever she wishes, as this is ultimately more healthy for them both as it's harder for mum to drink when she's visiting our town. He said he wants SD to have contact that is placid, calm and not spent angrily or rowing. He wants her to return from contact and say 'yeah, it was nice', rather than upset, angry and saying she never wants to see her mum again (which is what's happened on the one occasion SD did visit her mum at her home, when she wasn't there). Mum of course didn't accept this, and said 'she is her own free spirit and she is able to choose her own free choice, and I am her mum'. He text her back and told her that this wasn't up to SD, it was up to him and that he needs to protect SD from any further upset and anger, end of. So, that was that, haven't heard any more from her.

But, SD did say to her mum on Monday when she spoke to her that she was to receive an award at school (yesterday) for 100% attendance in a special Awards Assembly. This is, for her, a great achievement, as she has never had 100% attendance during her entire school life (when she was living with mum, attendance was very poor), and she told her mum she wanted her to go as parents were invited. She told her where, and when, all the exact details. Of course mum didn't turn up, and last night we had a very tearful, sobbing child. However, she told us her upset was because she thinks she is fat and that she has a double chin. She does not. She is a very beautiful girl with a stunning figure who looks fantastic in everything she wears. She sobbed and sobbed and said she wants to be thin (alarm bells ringing), and that she is overweight for her age and height (according to a website she's looked at). This is rubbish, and we reassured her and reassured her that she is not fat or overweight, but did tell her that if she wants to join an exercise/dance class, we will of course enrol her.

I'm not sure if this is all because of how her mum affects her, or whether it's just normal teenage girl angst and hormones. She does seem to have very low esteem at the moment, and it's surfaced on the day her mother didn't turn up to a very special awards assembly at school.

Please help!
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:12 AM
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So nice to hear your update.

I will tell you that I grew up in a alcoholic enviornment and my self esteem and body image was very damaged. Alcoholics want perfection in everyone they know, and they will pick on any tiny flaw there is. This is devastating for a young woman.

I suffered horrilby with these issues for years and as an adult still do.

She is young, this is really the time to work on this issue, counseling maybe, some group of young adults with her same worries. Also hobbies that she can excel

at, a sport, dance, photography or anything that builds her self image.

Please keep us posted. Love to you Katie
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:24 AM
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Thanks Katie. We know her mother has body issues of her own. She never liked her breasts, and wanted to cut them off, and she always used to tell SD her ankles were ugly, so much so that when she was 6 years old I tried to get her to wear some pretty sandals on a very hot summers day and she refused to wear them without socks, stating her ankles were 'ugly'. Her mother has always been slim, skinny now tho as she only weighs six stone, and even SD says she knows this is unhealthy, she has got fixated on thinking she's fat, and she is far from that. I have to say that this is the third 'fixation' in a row. The first was that she wanted, yes wanted, to have braces fitted to her teeth, and when the dentist told her she didn't need them she was devastated. Then she fixated on wanting glasses, and again when she was told she doesn't need them, was upset. Now this. The braces and glasses fixation weirded us out to be honest, because any kid at school that has braces or glasses tends to get picked on, and she knows this so we were unsure as to why she might want to place herself in the firing line so to speak. It's almost as if she wants to stand out. Perhaps she does.

We're so worried about her.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:51 AM
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My two cents but potentially getting her some support with someone versed in body issues, body dysmorphic etc.

They are finding a strong link between alcohol use in families and eating issues, and though I did not grow up in an alcoholic home my parents both did and for me it came out with eating, food, and unrealistic body stuff.

I got away with some of it with people not trained with it. Getting that support was really helpful to me (in addition to just general support).
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:07 AM
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I wondered if there might be a link between alcohol use in families and eating disorders. Kind of makes sense really, because of how messed up kids get because of parental alcoholism. She's also at 'that' age too. But, we don't want this getting to be a problem, down the road of anorexia as we're sure her mum has suffered anorexia in the past. When my husband was with her she wouldn't eat, barely a tomatoe a day at times, but he always put that down to the gallons of cider she was consuming at the time. She definitely has dysmorphic issues though, and we cannot be sure that she hasn't passed these onto her daughter. After all, kids pick up on things don't they.

She's a little brighter today, and has returned home from school having just auditioned for the school production of Wizard of Oz. I hope she gets a part, something to throw herself into and concentrate on. But, it's what's going on inside her poor little head that's worrying.

I wonder if her mother has any idea of the damage she's caused.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:38 AM
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I did not want to call it a disorder because I don't know, but there is studies showing alcohol abuse histories in the family can contribute to eating disorders in other generations.

It is not the only piece of a complication situation, but it can contribute.

The don't talk, don't feel part that comes out in any addiction definitely played a role in food behaviors for me.

I look at it like my genetics loaded the gun, but it is the environment (and me) that pulled the trigger. My brother who grew up in the same environment does not struggle with food at all, but may struggle with alcohol. Alcohol has never been an issue for me (except in the hands of someone else).

Body image stuff is hard for anyone. Good luck for all of you. Just a warning but as a teenager I did not understand how abnormal I was feeling and was not interested in a lot of support.
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:32 AM
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Thankfully my stepdaughter is receptive, she knows she's suffered and that her suffering has made her abnormal in ways. She strives to fit in on one hand, but then on the other fixates on things that would set her apart. She says she feels different to other kids, but then she has to have the latest clothing, hairstyle, make-up etc., almost to the point of obsession. She never had these things when with mum. She describes herself as a 'skank' with greasy hair and headlice, awful clothes (boy, they really were awful), and her mum never allowed her much in the way of freedom, but dominated her by forcing her to do chores beyond any reasonable expectation. With us her life is the polar opposite, and I guess we are guilty of spoiling her to a point.

Katie, something you said about alcoholics wanting those around them to be perfect, that reminded me of something SD told us many years ago, and that was that her mother forbade her from frowning, because it would cause wrinkles on her forehead. She would make SD cleanse and moisturise twice every day, telling her she must do this (at 5 years old) otherwise she would have wrinkles. I find that bizarre, but it makes sense after what you said, and also the body image stuff. She would make SD do stomach crunches of an evening, so she'd have a 'washboard' stomach (just remembered that too). So, she didn't want her daughter to have wrinkles, wanted her to have a flat stomach and told her her ankles were ugly. Jeez, is it any wonder the kid has issues.

I'm not sure where we go with all of this, really I'm not. There is so much to consider, so much to sort out ......
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