I don't know what to do

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I don't know what to do

Postby Aleh » Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:52 pm

I'm so sorry if this is really long, but it's kind of desperate.
I have a friend who I've known since I was about 11 (I'm 15 now), I love her to bits, but I'm worrying about her. In June last year, her dad died, and she was extremely upset, as you can imagine. She is left with her mum, and her two sisters (aged 2 and 4). She basically does everything for her sisters, but her mum is very cynical towards her. Only the other day, when I was round there, me and my friend were on the computer listening to Green Day, her mum came in and said "Don't you think it's about time you started listening to proper music?". I was completely miffed but my friend kept her cool, though when her mum left the room my friend looked fit to explode.
She seems to be getting kind of withdrawn, and looks like she's away with the fairies, and I sometimes have to say things twice to her before it sinks in.
Her little sisters really are a handful - moreso than any other toddlers I've come across, and my friend seems to be on the verge of cracking. Her mum doesn't really come across as grateful for everything that she does for them all, and always expects her to do more to help, because her dad isn't there. A kind of role model for the little ones.
Also, since we came into year ten, she really isn't enjoying school anymore - she used to love it. She hates chemistry, and drama, and has even openly insulted her chemistry teacher because she so badly doesn't like her and thinks she's a bad teacher. She always has lots of coursework and homework to do, but with all her responsibilties at home she sometimes doesn't get it all done or has to stay up til the early hours, therefore her grades are falling. She's already beginning to crack under the pressure, but with the GCSE exams coming up, I'm just worried about her. I don't want her to fail because of her responsibilities at home, but it looks like that's the way it's heading. I've talked to her about it, but it isn't really discussed. I don't want to say anything that'll bring up painful memories of her dad. Any suggestions as to what I could do? Help would be greatly appreciated.
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Postby captainf » Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:48 am

Hi,

I think that your friends mother is still in the grieving process and is therefore neglecting her children. Your friend is therefore having to pick up the pieces.

It's most likely that they are both still unhappy and are grieving over the fathers death, but as both seem to be under stress and pressure, maybe you could talk to your friend about getting some counselling, not only for your friend but also her mother? Either individual sessions, or a family counselling session, that way they can both discuss their worries and concerns together. They then will understand how eachother feels and be able to orientate their lives into a better direction thats less stressful for the both of them.
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Postby Laurajane » Thu Mar 03, 2005 10:57 am

yeah she hasnt dealt with it or come to terms with his death which does take a very long time, and i'm not sure people ever do 'get over it' so to speak but she can't carry on like she is doing and her mother can't either- she needs to be mother to the small children and your friend needs to be there for them but not act as the main carer for them. I definitely think she needs to speak out about it- talk to her and advise her to go to the doctor and see about counselling.
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Postby all_apologies » Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:19 pm

First of all, it's great that she has as good a friend as you who has spotted the signs and is looking out for her. You should be proud!

It's difficult to suggest solutions to this kind of problem - for example, although counselling may make her feel better, it wouldn't actually stop the problem itself.

Are teachers at your school aware of the pressures she faces at home? I understand you might not feel it's your place to tell her guidance teacher what she's going through, but if teachers knew then they may cut her some slack.

It basically sounds as if her mum's the one who needs help, perhaps needs to see her GP about what sounds like grief induced depression. No mother wants to watch their kids in turmoil, and yet your friend's clearly having a bad time of it. And I'm sure the younger kids wouldn't be half as boisterous if their mum was taking proper care of them. I'd suggest for now telling someone at school who'd be better trained to deal with this kind of situation.
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