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Manipulation and a ruined Bday party

TrueNorth77's picture

On Friday, when skids were with Crazy, SD13 made another statement about suicide at school, triggered by her friend blocking her on Snapchat. She finished out the school day and then Crazy had to do the Safety plan with her, which = Crazy staying in the same room with SD for 12hrs. Apparently SD said she had written suicide notes to people, and she had tried to suffocate herself with a pillow the last time she was at our house.....which...ok. She also said she didn't want to come to our house. Cue the messages from Crazy to DH saying this is all our fault, that "sending SD outside by herself and to ride her scooter by herself is not helpful", and he should essentially spend every minute with her. Heaven forbid SD go outside! Also, he didn't make her go outside by herself, he made her come sit with US. DH broke the rule of not engaging with her and told her to stop with the parental alientation already, stop trying to be her friend, and be her parent. 

Skids came to us on Sat. (2 days early, due to DH's insistence on "switching" days with Crazy to make up for the days she will be taking skids while we are out of the country next week). They arrived at 3:30pm, DH went up to SD's room to talk to her, and at 5pm he called me in and told me that SD had just read her suicide note to him, said she was "going to kill herself no matter what at some point", and when he said he was going to take her to the hospital, she at first said ok and then said she didn't want to go. DH filled me in in front of SD, and essentially asked for my opinion. I said, Nope, she doesn't get too decide- she said she is going to kill herself no matter what? Too bad if she doesn't want to go! We can't be with her every second and she is going- we have to keep her safe and we are beyond the safety plan. So he whisked her off to the hospital that's 40 mins away. 

Did I mention that it was DH's bday the next day, and that I had a party planned at our house that was starting in less than 1 hour? DH missed almost the entire thing while taking SD to the hospital. We had tons of people over to see him, and he didn't get home until 10:30PM....WITH SD. Of course she walked back her statements when she was at the hospital talking to the Social Worker. And, because SD had a Counselor appt. set for Mon (yesterday) plus a Psychiatrist appt. for tomorrow to prescribe meds, it basically would have undone all of that to keep her at the hospital. So the Social Worker thought it was best to send her home. 

I'm really annoyed. Do I think SD is struggling with how to handle her emotions? Yes. Do I think she is suicidal? No. And, DH talked to her therapist yesterday, and her therapist said she doesn't believe SD is suicidal either, and that she is being manipulative with these actions. She agreed with DH that SD needs to know she cannot just threaten suicide when it's not a real threat. I don't know what the therapist said to her, but after her appt, SD didn't say a word to us.

DH has now limited SD's phone time, because he doesn't think that the unlimited Tik Tok is helping. She took it in stride and almost seems relieved in a way. Last night I poked around in her phone a bit, as DH and I agreed to make sure everything is on the up and up, and I found a screenshot of the text she sent to Crazy a few months ago saying "I'm not going to do anything right now, but I'm having a harder time than you know and someday you may not have your baby girl anymore"....she had put text at the top of the photo saying "A message I sent to my mom on Feb 5th". It looked very much like it was labeled for bragging rights, or something along those lines. Like, look at how bad my struggles are. This tracks because she cut herself once almost a year ago and she immediately downloaded an app and has been tracking "X number of days since I last self-harmed" every since. 

Also of note was a snotty message from Crazy to SD in reference to SD's period saying DH doesn't know anything about girls, and "his wife doesn't know anything about children". So, I guess you have to have children in order to know anything about a girl's period? Being a woman and having gone throught it yourself doesn't count. Blatantly obvious was my absence in any of the 15+ pics she has as her phone screensaver. Which, Crazy doesn't let her have pics of me, but I don't think she would anyway. I am really ready to just back off and let her have the unhealthy relationship with her mom and stop trying so hard with her. 

Anyway, I'm sure I sound heartless, but for real, I am OVER this whole situation. The suicidal statements anytime she is upset. Not caring whatsoever that DH had to take her to the hospital and miss his whole party. Making these statements at school, and then rather than being sent to the hospital for a hold, the school just knows about the safety plan so SD never gets to see what can really happen when you make these threats. It's extremely frustrating. DH thinks that we just need to hold on 8 more wks til SD turns 14 and will get a job (she is excited), because she has no real friends to hang out with and she needs a purpose and something to do. Also, she should be on meds by then. God I hope this all helps. 



dragonfly878's picture

Every. Single Time. she threatens suicide take her to the hospital or call 988. What that teachers her is that her words matter and that you will respond the exact same way each and every time. That will get real old quickly.

TrueNorth77's picture

DH and I think the "Safety plan" is now a load of bull that SD can activate at a whim, but I'm not sure anyone will take her to the hospital every time either, unfortunately...even though I think it should happen. But, DH thinks this trip to the hospital and going through the asessment process in a bleak room for 4-1/2hrs was not fun for her. He also completely broke down sobbing when he went to sign her in at the ER desk, and could barely talk, and he thinks SD seeing that will make an impact on her. I am not so sure she won't just like that attention. That she has the power to make her dad cry. We'll see. Just another reason I'm over it, because we are now pretty sure she's being manipulative, and DH has cried SO many times over it. 

la_dulce_vida's picture

At this point, she needs to be admitted for a 72 hour hold. Taking her to the ER is not enough.

I don't know how you deal with this.

All it took my autistic son is ONE trip to the ER for him to stop saying he was going to kill himself when he got frustrated.

TrueNorth77's picture

We genuinely thought they would do a 72hr hold. I'm frustrated it didn't happen- Don't ER's initiate this? From what DH said, the Social worker said the purpose of bringing someone in is to get started with therapy/psychiatry, but since SD is already doing that and would be with us and had appts, and backed down from her statements, they didn't keep her. I feel like I'm missing a piece of information. I think she needs a 72hr hold also, and we thought that would happen. 

dragonfly878's picture

From my understanding hospitals will only do a 72 hour hold if they see her as being legit. Seems they also thought she was full of it... why waste a bed on someone who doesn't really need it for someone who does...

I think have her call 988 then (don't waste your money on the ER bill) but just have her call 988 and speak with the clinician...

shamds's picture

That's unrealistic to be wasting money everytime to cater to her bs suicide attempts/attention seeking behaviour.

she threatened suicide because her friend blocked her on snapchat, thats being a drama queen. There comes a point where this attention seeking behaviour needs to end because its not practical you taking her to hospital every single time as that further validates her attention seeking behaviour. Maybe therapy is in order to address this

TrueNorth77's picture

So she is in therapy. Which is actually what gave her the means to enact the "Safety plan", and it seems like she makes these statements more now than she did before! She likes her therapist though and has told us how she makes her look at things differently and gives her good ideas. But I think as long as she is getting some kind of attention from this, she's going to keep doing it. 

And yeah I guess it does cost money to admit her? DH said if he had taken her to the hospital with the adolescent unit, it would have been over $10K. I'm not sure if there will be a charge for him just taking her since she wasn't admitted, but it was a waste of 5-1/2 hours... 

Shieldmaiden's picture

I'm sorry you had to go through this. This kid sounds like a handful. I agree with dragonfly878, you should take her to the hospital, call 911, or have her go to an emergency therapy session when she threatens suicide. She needs to know that you take these threats very seriously, and she shouldn't threaten if she doesn't want to end up having a permanent stay in mental facility. Also let her know that its not all "Girl Interrupted" style slumber parties either. Its actually a terrible place to go, and she will have her freedoms taken away. 

Also, if she threatens suicide and then walks back her words AFTER her dad misses his b-day party to take her to the hospital - there should be further consequences at home.Lying and manipulating should be punished. However, if your DH doesn't want to enforce these rules in your home, you may want to disengage from the entire thing. 

TrueNorth77's picture

I am biting my tongue so hard from saying anything to her about making him miss a party and then taking her words back. It should not go unaddressed, but me saying anything will go back to Crazy, get twisted, and God knows how much it will escalate. 

Thank you for sympathizing with my plight though. :) 

CastleJJ's picture

Our HCBM was highly "suicidal" during her teen years. I put it in quotes because every mental health professional said she wasn't actually suicidal, but rather using that tactic to gain attention and manipulate situations in her favor. BM pulled the suicide card whenever the attention was off her or she wanted control over a situation. She used to cut herself, threatened to drown herself in a lake, threatened to drive her car off a bridge, etc. She used this tactic to manipulate friends, her parents, and DH into doing what she wanted. 

BM's parents took her to the hospital EVERY SINGLE TIME. Why? Because it made BM not want to use that as a crutch anymore. She learned that every time she made a threat, she would be hauled off to the hospital for hours to days, poked, tested, etc., which wasn't convenient or effective for her. She wanted to make empty threats with no reprocussions. Eventually, she stopped using that as an attention-seeking tactic. She later got pregnant with SS as her next attention seeking tactic, but that is a story for another topic. 

Call SD on her bluff EVERY SINGLE TIME. I know it sucks to ruin birthday parties, family vacations, etc. And SD partially wants that, but holding her accountable for her actions is the only way to stop the behavior. 

floralsm's picture

I hate social media for kids. Does she have a tik tok account she uploads all her suicidal nonsense on? I also believe this is all for attention. 
Its also frustrating that BM plays right into her hand and condones this behaviour and lashes out on you infront of SD that you aren't taking her seriously. Of course that gives SD the green light to continue her sharade. Sorry you deal this and she made it about herself instead of her dads birthday. The fact she takes back what she says is odd. 
 I don't think taking screen shots of threats they say to end their life to their loved ones and edit it to promote it is normal. You would only do that to get attention for it? What medications is she going to take? Anti-depressants? Do you think she is suffering from a depression at all? It's all very extreme attention seeking behaviour for someone suffering from depression that ie, tends to be isolated, irritable or withdrawn. 


TrueNorth77's picture

Great question. DH and I did think she was a bit depressed- almost like a situational depression. She seemed genuinely sad and lost. Do I think that now? Nope. She has zero signs of depression. She spends a lot of time in her room, but even then she is always happily chatting on the phone, reading books, watching shows or Tik Tok, yesterday she was singing and laughing and being ridiculous in the kitchen, and this is how she mostly is. I have not seen anything indicating she is depressed. She just has moments where she gets sad or upset, always after a disagreement with a friend who cuts her off (she has a history of all of her friends abruptly ending the friendship, for good). She does upload some stuff on tik tok, but it's private and none of it is about suicide. 

Which leads to what meds is she going to take. DH isn't sure she needs meds. I mean I can't blame him- she really only needs something if it can help her from reacting so strongly to emotional situations. I'm ready to do anything to get this to end, but of course DH and Crazy have to be on board, and neither of them is going to take her to the hospital every time I don't think. 

AgedOut's picture

It appears to me that she controls the situations around her with her vague threats of suicide. Like the other posters I say take each threat as if you think she means it. And if her mommy puts up a fuss say something to the effect of "the thought of her commiting suicide scares us so much that we would be neglectful to ignore her cries for help. We could never live w/ ourselves if we ignored her threats and ended up losing her"



I do not think that her intention is to succeed  but at the end of the day you'll know that you did your best to protect her. She may find the attention she gets is not what she's looking for. 

NoWireCoatHangarsEVER's picture

My SD pulled that at school one time and one time was all it took.  North Korea took her phone away for sneaking out with boys and the next day at school she went right up to the front desk and said if she didn't get her phone back she would kill herself.  She was hauled away in the back of the cop car to the Crisis Stabilization Unit for three days.  They took away all her clothes and she had to wear their scrubs.  She was never alone.  They even went into the bathroom with her when she went to pee.  That was the one and only time she pulled that stunt. 

TrueNorth77's picture

This is what I've been saying all along! When I suggested it after SD's statement at School on Fri, DH said that "hopefully it doesn't come to that". I said, why? I think it will change her attitude. Because otherwise we are just going to keep going around and around like this. And bam, the next day, he was taking her to the hospital. I wish they had kept her. I think it would have changed the course of this. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

SD sounds like she may be developing BPD. Buckle up, it's going to be a long bumpy ride. Borderlines do occasionally follow through with suicide attempts, so make sure and take her every time. I hope she has Medicaid or good insurance. That stuff gets expensive. 

Thumper's picture

I write the following with the deepest of compassion. 

Every threat must be taken seriously. 

In my 20's I knew two people who took their lives. One was a former boyfriend who had the world at his feet, kind, good hearted,  very handsome. The other I knew from Elementary school. His family were refugees from Vietnam during the 70's. . They truly were good people, inviting, warm. .Going to their home was a foodies delight, plate after plate. He died in his 20s also. 

 I never saw anything that was out of whack. Sometimes I wonder if I missed something along the way. Sad


TrueNorth77's picture

Every time she makes a statement, we follow through on the Safety plan put in place by her therapist, or take her somewhere. Even if we don't believe she will do it, we treat it as if it's a real threat and follow the plans in place. We have the meds locked up. We have our beliefs, but we are not so convinced that we would risk ignoring her statements. I think she should go to the hospital every time. Then the most that we can do has been done, and she will not have fun while it's happening. 

DH's aunt just committed suice 3 weeks ago. It was awful and everyone is still reeling. It was completely out of the blue and her family had zero idea. Which makes it even more infuriating that SD is using this as a tool for attention, or whatever she is doing. It's tragic and nothing to play with. 

Felicity0224's picture

I feel for you, this cycle is exhausting. My OSD did this many times and we were in the same mindset. Everyone agreed that it was a manipulation tactic, but we were compelled to take it seriously and the whole world had to grind to a halt every time she did it. About a month before her 18th birthday she did it and they actually admitted her (this was probably the 5th or 6th trip to the hospital in 3 years). The experience was predictably miserable for her, and she hasn't so much as mentioned suicide one time since. 

TrueNorth77's picture

I will die myself before then. You can bet your ass I will have spoken up longgg before we ever hit the 3yr mark. If she does it again, she needs to be on a 72hr hold somewhere (I thought that's what was happening this time) to show her it's not fun and games and attention. I would bet $ that will put an end to it. 

Rose_Pedal's picture

Ugh, reading this broke my heart for you!

I fear that this is the direction my SD11 is going (my most recent blog talks about her lame first 'cutting' attempt.) I personally think this is a ploy for attention for your SD. I swear depression and suicide are becoming a 'fad' with these young kids. I know that sounds stupid and may even sound ignorant to some but seriously, I feel these kids want to look grown and appear to have all these "grown up" problems that make them feel and seem important and "edgy."

Most people that are truly depressed and suicidal are not going around telling everyone- most of the time they are suffering in silence and no one would ever guess (not saying thats the right way to be) but screaming from the rooftops that you are going to kill yourself every other day is usually just other words for 'Look at me, I want attention! Everyone pay attention to me!"

You can only cry wolf so many times before no one takes you seriously at all. I would hate to see it get to the point where she is truly contemplating this and no one takes it seriously because of all this nonsense behavior now.

My heart goes out to you. I'm so sorry. I'm always here to chat and my inbox is open for you!


TrueNorth77's picture

That was really nice. I 100% agree with you- they all want to have issues and problems and be slightly more messed up than their friends. It is SO common, the self harm and suicide talk. I have a handful of friends with teens/young adults, and every single one of them dealt with cutting or suicidal statements with at least one of their teens. SD's therapist told DH that she thinks this is a manipulation tactic, but said the problem is that often times they will still try something for attention, and sometimes it works, even if that's not what they really intended. SD told DH she would try by suffocating herself with her pillow or drowning herself in the bathtub..... I mean.... sigh. Even the therapist shook her head, but again, sometimes they accidentally succeed. 

I just know that I maybe have 1 more incident like this in me before I'm going to open my big mouth.  

Rags's picture

That has to be taken seriously with the fullest consequences. Take anything and everything out of this likely manipulative faking idiot child's hands.

As for   she had tried to suffocate herself with a pillow the last time she was at our house/


This kid is playing everyone and everyone must keep her nose firmly on the grind stone of consequences for her lies, bullshit, and manipulations.

That kid wants to play games, then play games. The rubber room, medicate her into a snot ball of slobber and babbling.

She wants to threaten suicide, then take any bit of control and self determination away from her and make it clear that she will not get the opportunity to hurt herself, no access to anything that might have even a near ZERO chance of causing her angst. No social medial, electronic connectivity, access to friends, anything that would give her any emotional cycling. No happy, no sad, no nothing. Keep her midicated into a semi coma catatonic state.

Then when she freaks out and claims to have lied, then apply consequqences for the lying.

This kid would have no life until she reaches the age of majority and then I would make her a ward of the State with no self determination even then.

If I am wrong, no big deal and she does not get to kill herself. If I am right... oh well. Stupid choices win stupid prizes. She has earned those stupid prizes if I am right and this is nothing but manipulative bullshit.

Good luck.

Survivingstephell's picture

I think I might strip her room of anything she says she will use.  Pillow? Gone.  You can give her constructive consequences.  Directly related to her threats.  

TrueNorth77's picture

I asked this same question, do we take her pillow?? I think we should. You threaten to suffocate yourself with it? No pillows. DH said no because he thinks it's ridiculous for her to even try. I think as long as they try to take the nice approach, we are going to be dealing with this for a LONG time. I do know that DH is losing his patience with it, and especially hearing from her Counselor that she thinks she is being manipulative also (what we both already thought) is going to shorten his patience even further. If there is a next time, I expect it to be much less pleasant. 

1st3rd5thWEInHell's picture

Get the kids out of tiktok and prevent them from watching content containing suicide and self harm...It gives them an idea that its "cool" and they can get "brownie points" and be the center of attention

My parents were of the generation that if I had threatened to kill myself or just said "i want to die", they would have told me to go ahead and show them what I am made of so I have to commend you for following her into her foolishness

Cant believe you are going to waste psych resources and meds on someone who is perfectly healthy and simply suffers from attention seeking

Anti depression meds only work if you are truly depressed and seek an end to your life....but if your goal is attention seeking, you will continue to threaten with suicide and scare your loved ones into losing you

I would look into NPD and Borderline for this child if I were you...She is probably either one of those but far from depressed and wanting to end her life

TrueNorth77's picture

I can't say I disagree with you on any of this. We were sympathetic to her issues. Did all of the things we could. She really did seem lost. But, not anymore. Now it has gone too far, too many times of "I'm going to do it", only to backtrack an hour later. I was so upset for DH every time he cried when she would talk about it. Now I'm just mad. And a little annoyed that my super strong DH is repeatedly a puddle of tears for a manipulative SD. It. Has. To. STOP. I had thought she needed meds to end this cycle, but I am not seeing the signs of sadness I did before....the psychologist still thinks it will help, so whatever, load her up. 

We are definitely at a turning point of, ok now you are using this as a tool. Sympathy is waning, expect different results. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.