We did talk that evening. I was able to set aside all the childish parts of me that wanted to stamp their feet. I talked to Emily about how our relationship had changed and that I was sorry if I didn't always understand or do the right thing. We cleared the air and it was worth it. That would be my one piece of advice to anyone with teenagers, talk to them and make sure you listen. You don't always have to have the answers.
Since that weekend there has been a noticeable change in Emily. She had side effects with Fluoxetine (prozac) and is now taking something different. I'm not sure if its the new medication or the work the unit do with her, or in fact a combination, but there has been an improvement.
After weeks of having cut off her father, she called him and arranged to go to a community bonfire. I had mixed emotions. Part of me was pleased that she had the confidence to venture out. The other part of me was resentful. Why did she not agree to go out with me? How come he was forgiven all of a sudden. Once again, I set my feelings aside.
On the Sunday we managed a family outing to a local park and small animal centre. Not much, but it was nice to be out as a family. My Son is so desperate to do something at weekends that even these small outings placate him.
This last weekend Emily was so animated. Laughing one moment and a stroppy teenager the next. I didn't mind the stroppy teenager. After all that's just normal. When we talked she told me she was no longer interested in hurting herself and she was looking forward to Christmas. We went shopping together and she enjoyed looking for presents for people.
She is unfortunate to suffer from very greasy hair which, as she has got older, has changed from a lovely blonde to a dark mousey colour. I offered to add some highlights. Emily decided on a full head of blonde. The transformation was instant and I don't mean the colour. Her head was held higher and she actually admired herself in the mirror.
The following day she wore make-up, the first time since my wedding day. With the hair and the make-up came a confidence that had lain dormant for too long.
Was it really possible the phoenix was rising?
- Mum of 2, suffering my own mental health issues, I began to write this blog as a way to release feelings and emotions. At 13 my daughter was terribly bullied which has led to her having serious mental health problems of her own. She is now 16. I wanted to document our journey and hopefully be able to look back and see how far we have come.