Supporting my daughter – living away from home

forumCategory: FamiliesSupporting my daughter – living away from home
Liliinnz asked 2 years ago


My gorgeous 22 year old daughter is 3 years into depression – and it feels like she’s never going to recover – to her and to me.

She lives and works in Wellington.

We live in Auckland. She doesn’t want to come back to Auckland.

In April she was in respite for a week and then in hospital for 3 weeks while she recovered (emotionally rather than physically) from a suicide attempt.

She’s since gone back to work. And moved into a new flat, on her own and seemed to be recovering.

But in the last week or so things have turned down again – she’s currently back in respite.

She has a new Case Worker – who is telling her that she doesn’t think hospital is the answer – but my daughter is telling me that she doesn’t trust herself at home.

I want to go down – I’ve asked her if I should – she’s asked me not to.

My whole body and soul is screaming out to go and ‘rescue’ her and all the professionals are telling me that she has to do it herself.

But what if she can’t?

I feel like her poor little brain is so full of drugs that it’s impossible to tell what is depression and what is drugs anymore.

Apparently, I’m a fixer. And in the last 3 months I have had to turn off every desire to fix the situation – and every instinct to fly down to Wellington and go into bat for her.

We have a close relationship – but I now know that my stupidly happy, optimistic, never had to deal with anything like depression personality means that she probably feels like she’s failing me – because she’s not feeling better quicker. However close we are and however much I love her – and oh my God, I do, I am having to learn to stand back and watch this nightmare unfolding. I am having to learn the art of ‘contact and support without the expectation of significant improvement’.

I’m told I need to look after myself. But the only way I’m every going to be ok is if she’s ok.

I feel like every minute might be the last minute she’s on the planet.

And I don’t know what to do…

Any help – any knowledge of the system – any thoughts gratefully received.


Jade-Auckland replied 2 years ago

Hi Lisa,
Thanks for reaching out. I’m a fixer too, so I can relate to how you are feeling!
I notice you are in Auckland – would you like to come in to our Supporting Families office and have a chat about how you are going? Sometimes it’s easier than typing it all out! Our phone number here is 09 378 9134, and one of our Support Workers (like me) would be happy to help you through this rough period.

Take care,

Liliinnz replied 2 years ago

Thanks Jade – I’ll give you a call.

1 Answers
Olivia-AucklandOlivia-Auckland answered 2 years ago

Hi Lisa. Me too, I’m a fixer just like you and Jade. I know it can’t be easy for you especially with the distance between you and understandably as Mum you want to make sure she’s ok. It may help to talk with her about her support network there in Wellington. Outside supports may provide another resource if she’s not wanting you to go down. She’s working so she may have some workfriends, neighbours, her Caseworker who may be able to provide more information and support, especially as she may have face to face contact. There are also 24hr helplines such as Lifeline (0800 LIFELINE or 0800 543354) where she can talk to someone anonymously. I know people talk about self-care a lot, that’s because it’s so important. Talking with someone may help to offer some ideas whilst also getting the support in your own needs. All the best Lisa, feel free to give SF a call if you need to talk with someone.

Liliinnz replied 2 years ago

Thank you.