Hi I'm new here

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Kat Serene, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. Kat Serene

    Kat Serene New Member

    I don't generally post on forums but I'm at the point of needing an outlet so here it goes. I've been in therapy previously to sort out personal issues but I just feel that my going to therapy myself won't change anything because this isn't exclusively about me. I have a 16 yr old daughter that I thought I had a close relationship with. But that started to disappear since about last June. The key issue is down to trust. She has always been strong willed and wanting to know why. I did all the things we are told we should do: read to them, encourage them, give constructive feedback on their behaviours so that the behaviour is addressed and not that they are "bad", talked to her openly about sex, drugs and alcohol. She has wanted for nothing. Yesterday, for the umpteenth time she told me she is so done with me, called me the "c" word and said she despises me? Why?

    Well a few years ago, when she started using the internet I installed parental controls and logging which she was aware of. Seemed everytime I relaxed the monitoring she would do something else stupid. Everything seriously blew up this past Halloween when I found out by monitoring her chats that she had become hugely intoxicated and was sexually inappropriate in public at a party with her boyfriend. I tried to talk to her about it but she became explosive and it has never recovered. Since last June (aside from the Halloween incident) she has done many things that have caused me to wonder what I did wrong in parenting her:
    • Skipped school in may and june to go to a boy's house to swim and drink;
    • went to another's house with a friend and got drunk, so drunk the boy attempted to sexually assault;
    • went to the same friend's house and got so drunk she passd out in her own vomit;
    • stole at least 2 bottles of alcohol from our liquor cabinet which I didn't notice until the one rare time I drink I found the bailey's was empty (we are mainly a non drinking household and the alcohol is on hand for the occassional visitor;
    • had some friends over at the cottage and they and some other cottage neighbour kids came over 1 night and drank. yes we were there but very clever about concealing it. i later found out she embarassed even her boyfriend by her overly sexual behaviour with him;
    • went to a school semi about a month ago and confronted the boy who almost sexually assaulted her about the "dirty looks" he was giving her and he started to push her around until her boyfriend intervened - yes she had a few, whatever that means;
    • the following week after semi, she went out with a friend of hers, a boy we had come to like and trust. they went to a weed lounge;
    • the week after that, she went to a party and came home with a 750 ml bottle of peach schnapps 2/3 empty - didn't even try to hide it insisting she shared. i didnt believe her and we argued and i told her that i would check the chats to see what happened. she goaded me to do so and i did. found she hadnt in fact shared all that much and that she spent some time on the couch giving her boyfriend major hickeys for all to see.
    She hates me because I lurk her. Is it really lurking when she knows? I would gladly stop but everytime I do she does something that makes me suspicious and when i tell her i will check she says go ahead and when i do she gets angry and unfortunately, I am generally right in my suspicions. She tells me i dont need to know what she does because sometimes its embarassing what she's done so she doesnt need me and her father knowing. She thinks her behaviour is one offs and says "its done, get over it", But its the same thing over and over.

    Oh and would it surprise you that my high IQ daughter (over 130) is barely passing?

    I just dont know what to do or where to go. In a few days we're supposed to be going on a cruise the 3 of us. Yes, confined to those tiny staterooms with our relationship in tatters. Why did I plan this you might ask? Well stupidity is the only answer I can give. We spent a week apart after christmas and then she had dental surgery and things seemed to be on the mend. No sooner did she recover than the shenanigans started again. Maybe I'm the crazy one but does anyone else see any tendancy toward risky behaviour?

    I wish I could just crawl into a hole and die. It would be better than this living hell called my life.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Welcome - and hugs. I'm sorry you had to find us, but I'm glad you did.

    Some people (though probably not here) will say that's typical teen behavior. in my opinion - trying it once is typical. Continuing on, it's a problem.

    One thing I noticed with my own school district - Onyxx - they don't think they want boundaries and rules, but they do. Since my husband has started backing me up, and enforcing the rules himself, things got better. On the surface, anyway - but there are years of baggage with my kids.

    I honestly don't have a lot of answers - but I do have a few questions... One, has she ever been diagnosed with any developmental issues, ADHD, or psychological? And that said, is there any kind of addiction, mental illness, anything, in the family tree? Has she been in counseling at all?

    Kids do tend to change in their teens, but this sounds pretty abrupt. Do you know of any trauma that might have happened to her? Sometimes this can be a jumping-off point.

    And as awful as a family vacation seems... It might be what she really, truly needs to open up. (Or not. But most of the time, I prefer optimism.)

    More hugs, and welcome again. More people who know a LOT more than I do will be here.
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    It sounds like her world needs to become very, very small.

    If you can afford to get her into a rehab facility that specializes in dual-diagnosis teens, that may be your best option.

    Otherwise, her behavior does not earn her any privledges
    *no computer access
    *no cell phone (except maybe one only capable of calling you)
    *no access to the cottage unless accompained by an adult
    *call the police EVERY TIME she is missing, skips school, is drunk, possesses alcohol, etc.

    Her opinion of your behavior is irrelevant. She does not get to decide if you are 'lurking' her. She does not have a right to privacy, you have a right to parent her.
  4. Kat Serene

    Kat Serene New Member

    I have tried taking privileges away, grounding and she does not have access to the cottage without at least 1 parent present. but we cant follow her 24/7. when she is dropped off at school, that's where we expect her to be - not skipping. she thinks i am too strict and that she does what every other teen does. i'm not so sure. part of the problem is that i am the disciplinarian and believe trust is earned. her dad and i differ on that and that is a large part of the problem i know. he generally gives her the benefit of the doubt so she has now gravitated to him as an ally. this would be a good thing i suppose but for the fact that in his effort not to alienate her he comes off as wishy washy. another problem is that a 16 year old here has the right to leave home and live wherever they want so she uses that to blackmail because she knows i would rather have her home than wandering from house to house or worse - on the streets. making her world very small would be a challenge at best because she goes into rages and has gotten violent with us. when we have defended ourselves, she has accused us of pushing her. i have threatened to have her charged with assault if she became violent with either of us again.

    when she was about 5 she was sexually assaulted by 3 of her same age/gender friends at school/daycare. we had her see a psychologist and the psychologist assessed that she was fine at that time. i did notice an increase in her tendency to be aggressive but for the most part it was rare. however, she did seem to have difficulty maintaining friendship. a few years ago, she had a huge facebook fight with kids she had gone to school with 8 years earlier. one of her former classmates posted individual pictures of each of the kids in that grade 3 class. the comments posted on her picture were particularly mean: what a b**** she was, how mean she was and how they were glad to see her leave the school. i had to intervene and call the kid\s parent and ask that her child remove the picture because it was causing a major problem. we had to physically restrain her from doing physical harm to property and were accused of physical abuse in the meantime.

    a few years ago, she had a falling out with her best friend and it cost us the friendship of the parents also. the issue was drinking. apparently the kids had gone to our cottage to watch a movie and she drank beer. she said she had taken an open can from the counter and was pretending. it was the first time and so we opted to believe her and we didnt have any further reason to doubt until about a year ago. she reconciled with this friend for about a year but it was never the same and they are now no longer friends. we tried counselling again but stopped because she refused to participate and was belligerent. the problem is that while those kinds of outbursts were sporadic, since october 2010, they have become almost an everyday occurence. we are scheduled to meet with a counsellor in early april as a family but god only knows how that will go. i guess you could say there were periodic signs of what was to come but it was once in a blue moon and we chalked it up to phases.

    i love her with all my heart but i really dont like her. she loves to tease and pester and annoy people for the sport of it, but try teasing her. she will comment on other girls being "sluts" or getting drunk or being "wastes" because they smoke weed but when she does anything of the sort then it seems to be ok. its like she believes its ok for her but not others - do as i say, not as i do comes to mind.

    my father as well as her dad's mum were alcoholics. neither of us are. we mostly abstain although my husband will have a beer with dinner. she appears to be a binge drinker so i am very concerned where that will lead. the statistics are not promising. she has not had any assessments although i believe that is part of what will happen in april. i just feel like we are so lost to each other that finding our way back is a near impossibility. i am a very strong person and have overcome a lot of adversity to become successful. but she has totally broken me. i am weary of the fighting and battling. she is becoming what i dreaded most and i feel powerless to stop the trainwreck that will be me and her.
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Boy is she determined to screw up her life, huh?! Don't you wish she put that much energy into good, positive things in her life?

    I am not sure what is going on with her, but you sure do need to find a different way to parent her. Traditional parenting is getting you nowhere.

    I tried non-parenting my difficult child, but she was not doing all these risky things. I don't think I would go that route with her.
    Have you considered a PINS peitition with the courts? It is 'parent in need of services'. It is supposed to have a judge involved to get her sticking to your rules. So if there is a curfew of 9pm and she breaks it she has to deal with the judge. That is my assumption of what it is like, you would need to research further.
  6. Kat Serene

    Kat Serene New Member

    you have no idea how many times i've said that myself! if she only used half the energy for positive things that she uses for the negative she would be uber successful.

    the ironic thing is that she has a half sister and half brother (hubby's first kids from first marriage) and they both went down the path of devoting more time and energy to partying and having fun rather than school and growing up to be responsible. my stepdaughter got pregnant when she was 17 and now has a teen daughter she parties (drinking & pot) with. cant even tell you how many time my little angel has said she doesnt want to become her sister. i guess the mirror she looks in doesnt reflect her half sister yet .... and maybe my husband's daughter should have been enough to put me off parenthood with him ... live and learn huh?
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    First step - your home has to be an alcohol-free zone. That means your husband has to give up his beer with dinner. It won't hurt him one little bit. tell him it is the sacrifice he must make for his daughter. Collect up the contents of your cellar, in entirety, and donate it somewhere or leave it at a friend's place. If people visiting your home are offended by your lack of alcohol in your hospitality, then already your house has been sending bad messages to your daughter. It is OK to be dry, if you need to be.

    Your daughter has a huge addiction problem and you need to treat it as such. I also think the earlier assessment that she was OK after the abuse - wrong. We had a similar experience with easy child, and she was NOT fine. She still is not fine, even though she now has no memory of her abuse. She blocked it out and now wishes she had confided in us, so we could at least tell her what happened. All we knew of her incident 9she was 5 years old) was that a 7 yo boy in her class held her down, removed her underwear and told her he was going to have sex with her, and sex hurts. And if she told, he would send his father round to our house to kill me. Whatever else happened, she would clam up and say nothing. Would give no details. We do not know, but we suspect there was penetration, with objects if nothing else.
    In our case easy child does not have an alcohol or drug problem, but uses food as a drug of choice.

    Your daughter is heading for rock bottom and you can't prevent. She has to do it for herself. I would suggest you and your husband get yourselves to Al-Anon, fast. They will help you get on the same page. But he MUST work with you. If he reacts to the house alcohol ban by sneaking it in, then he will be demonstrating the very same behaviour you're trying to stop. You need to be a team in this and to agree on what to do.

    Stick around. Sorry you need us, but glad we're here for you.


  8. Kat Serene

    Kat Serene New Member

    Thanks for the suggestions. I have no issue making the house alcohol free. i drink so infrequently i personally wouldnt even miss it. but how do i prevent her from having friends get it for her? i know this has happened. do i not allow her to go to friends homes? do i prevent her from going to parties? not that she goes to a lot but probably once a month or two. these are generally house birthday parties. and 18 months from now when she goes into residence if by some miracle she makes it to university, how do i prevent her from over-indulging? its these kinds of questions that overwhelm and confound. they have to learn to be responsible in dealing with alcohol because its out there. clearly she lacks the ability to say no and that's what scares me because its all around us and readily available. seems once they turn 16, they have more rights than parents. the thought of letting her hit rock bottom and possibly being hurt scares me to death. maybe i'm just paranoid but she seems to be a magnet for misadventure, because of the choices she makes.

    and while this isnt about me, i have to say that i'm neither a quitter nor a failure yet i feel like i've failed at the most important job of my life - that of being a mother. funny how that goes isn't it. my father and i were both raised by his parents (my parents abondonned me when i was 2 and i was raised by my grandparents). he's a high IQ alcoholic who is physically and emotionally abusive and has moved from one labour job to another while i am the complete opposite. 2 people raised by the same parents and very different. i am raising a clone of my father it seems. sorry, i'm just rambling now but i just feel so helpless and hopeless. i don't even know what to say anymore except thanks for listening and responding. i don't know that anything is a comfort but at least i know i'm not alone ...
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Making your home alcohol-free is not the solution. it is just the start. it would mean tat any alcohol you find in the place has been brought in by her or her friends. it would make it easier to keep track of it and it would also show that YOU are making the effort to reduce temptation.

    But this has to come down to her. First she has to recognise she has a problem, and then she has to deal with it.

    This is not your fault. It is a combination of genetics and social pressure. We do the best we can with our kids, and past a certain point their peers become more important as role models, than parents. All we can do is hope that when our kids reach that point we have done enough as parents to help them slide through.

    Go check out Al-Anon. I sense you are in danger of falling into a co-dependency trap and possibly even enabling her (or husband enabling her) unwittingly. Al-Anon can help.

    You did not abandon your child, but right now you are needing help from others. You can't do this for her and you can't do this alone. Time to call for the fire brigade... metaphorically speaking.

  10. ready2run

    ready2run New Member

    i don't think you have failed.... these things take time to play out. your daughter sounds like me at her age. i was horrible. i never knew why but i felt this rage and anger at my mother, like i hated her and i would do anything to get away from her rules and her trying to force me to do things her way. once i started drinking i could not stop and no one could stop me. i also live in ontario and my parents told me if i thought i was so grown up and didn't want to follow their rules i could leave at anytime. i know they were trying to use reverse psychology, but i left. i got pregnant and had my oldest child when i was barely 17. i managed to stay sober and clean while i was pregnant. after that i fought hard to stay sober most of the time. other times i was back into the overwhelming feeling of hate and needing to escape(mostly from my mother who i now know was only trying to help) i definitely agree that you and her father should both be attending al-anon meetings if possible or some other co-dependancy group which it sounds like he needs more than you do. their tough love methods may just be what your daughter needs to get herself back on track and if not, you will learn to keep yourself from inadvertantly causing more harm than good with good intentions. i was in and out of rehab and it was hard but i did it so i know it can be done. she will most likely need to hit some kind of bottom to open her eyes and see the reality of what she's doing. for now, from what i've been through, trying to put a tighter leash on her will only make her fight back harder and feel alienated, although i don't have a parents perspective on this so i can't say not to get totally strict and lock her up. i would want to do that too, i'm sure. you can't really keep her from over-indulging once she is of age, if that's what she wants to do. i think giving her information would be the best way to help, in my opinion. make sure she knows her family history of alcoholism. give her written proof that these things are hereditary. give her information on the difference between social drinking and over-indulging, and on how to identify if she may have a problem(AA checklist is corny but effective). make sure she knows that she can come to you if she needs help in that aspect without being afraid of punishment. and then she will need time. maybe lots, maybe not so much. that is if she is already addicted, which for teens can happen much faster than with adults. also, consider that while she may be going to a bit of an extreme, she may just be doing normal teenage stuff.
    i'm sure my mom felt like a failure as a mother when i went through all this stuff but none of it was really her fault, although she did kind of drive me away she didn't mean to. it's too early to tell how she will turn out in the long run. i think once we get past a certain age and lose our rebellious fight for individuality we all start to settle into who we are going to be. that is when you can see as a parent all the good you have done. hope you find something that works for you and for her. there is alot of help out there for addictions if she decides she wants to take it.
  11. Kat Serene

    Kat Serene New Member

    thanks for giving the "other side" ready2run. we were all teens once but unless we went through it, its hard to understand why. i remember hating my grandparents at times and thinking they were killjoys but i never would have dared to run away or openly defy them. but then we are all different and motivated by different things. deep down i was afraid of being abandoned again but that isn't a fear my daughter has. quite the opposite. she has always had everything she ever wanted and more. except for this last one, we never went on vacation without her. is she spoiled? does she know we'll always be there? undoubtedly - yes. and despite what the psychologist says, i tend to agree with marguerite - the abuse likely has had an impact. are hubby and i on the same page? likely not. and i KNOW i have alienated her by revisiting the same ground over and over because i desperately want to get through to her but am failing. you would think i'd learn. i believe it was einstein that said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing time and again and expecting a different result. its why i feel useless now - she hates me and tunes out the minute i start to speak. and if that's all she does if i'm lucky. more often she will yell abuses and call me vile and hurtful names. a part of me wants to admit i have pushed her away and the other part just cant take another beating. april and our family assessment can't come soon enough. in the meantime, i dread next week ...
  12. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I don't know if this helps at all, but there was a scientific study done recently that showed that something happens during the adolescent brain that is akin to insanity (seriously). Is there a way in which you can hold onto the faith, hope and trust that who your daughter is (apparently) now is not who she will remain...?