Was I wrong for pulling difficult child out of high school when she was 16?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by GuideMe, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    So my daughter is having a meltdown as we speak and is bringing up the fact that I took her out of high school when she was 16.

    Here are my reasons:

    Since 8th grade, I got a call from the vice principle every other day about her behavior, always afraid that CPS was going to show up at our door. The sheer amount of stress of this had me banging my head into walls literally. Also, she would be late for school or miss school and we would catch hell for that too.

    9th grade went ok fairly without any incident, except she got into one fight and missed quit a few days, but she passed.

    10th grade is where it all went crazy. Every other single blessed day I was being called to that school for everything difficult child was doing. I was being harassed with phone calls by the school and being made to come to the school all the time. School was very far from me, eating up my gas and because of my own illness, was killing me. I was under real duress. She was constantly getting suspended. Then, if that wasn't bad enough, truancy got involved and in the state that I lived in, parents were held accountable for truancy and the whole year had truancy and jail hanging over my head which was very, very, very hard on me , every day was a living nightmare getting her up for school and the final straw was when her and her boyfriend got into a major fight at school in front of everybody. The final, FINAL straw was when the principle called me in for a serious meeting and surprised me with four printed out pages of threats my daughter made to another girl on twitter. Principle said "you are very lucky I don't have the police here right now, difficult child has one more chance" I knew my daughter was not going to be able to control herself so I pulled her little behind out of school and put her online school!!! Was I wrong for that???? She said I should never have given up on her but she doesn't understand the HELL I was going through!!!

    This is out of control! She still blames me for this and doesn't even want to look at how bad she was!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    They all blame us. It's part of GFGdom. I wouldn't pay any attention. She is the way she is by her own choices and maybe a personality disorder, which she will probably freak out if you suggest she treats. It is unhelpful for you to rethink everything you did. She is not this way because of any one thing you did. Maybe she inherited her personality from a relative. Sounds like she was always difficult. Maybe she needs help, for whatever reason (it's not you) but she won't get it, will she? Her adult life is in her hands. What happened when she was six or twelve or fifteen or eighteen...she can still decide to live a good life. Have you ever read "A Child Called It?" by David Pelzer? He was severely abused and wrote about it. It was hard to read. I cried a lot (none of our kids went through what David did, sorry). Yet he joined the service and now helps abused children. He has a wife and child and is a responsible human being, although he grew up being called "it." Nobody was even allowed to say his name. He was beaten, starved, poisoned and forced to live in the family's heatless garage in winter. THAT is abuse. Not the little stuff we did to help our situations, while our kids were warm and toasty and feeling entitled and powerful over us.

    David did not grow up to be a difficult child and your daughter doesn't have to be one either. She is making that decision AND making the decision NOT to go for any help to change how she is. She wants to blame herself on you and you're accepting her nonsense, and it IS nonsense. Tune her out. Lock the door in your room, put the radio up, read a good book. Let her rant and rave to the wall.

    I have a better idea, in my opinion.

    I suggest you work on detachment.

    If she is making you physically sick, in my opinion, she needs to find another place to live. It is not worth giving your life for her rants and raves and her unwillingness to help herself. You are far too wrapped up in her stuff. She is considered a woman now. When she doesn't act like one, it's time, again in my opinion, to give her a shove toward adulthood. She is abusing you and you are letting her do it. Would you let anyone else treat you like this? She has no right to abuse you either.

    If it were me, she'd have a stern warning to start acting respectful or she'd be looking for a place to stay, even if she had to get on government programs because she refuses to work or can't work. She is in your house and has no right to do this to you. Did you act like this to your parents at her age? Think about it.
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    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    That is a tough call; but you are certainly looking out for her. She was messing up at school in a major way.Will you or someone else be able to at least partially monitor her schooling? Do you have the ability to pay for a tutor if necessary? It's concerning that she isn't at least partially buying into schooling on line. What might you do to sweeten this pot? What does she like to do? Interests? Maybe for any A's on major tests, she can be rewarded with something...movie tickets, gift certificate to McDonalds. You can encourage her to have any of her nice friends over on the weekends. Also, it would be nice if she could see the advantages of on line schooling...maybe more flexible hours, etc.
    Sounds like some parameters need to be set, as doing this will require discipline and self motivation. If all goes well, might it be a good idea for her to back to her school next year? Ya know, she might not even want to. Don't overly concern yourself with her fretting as the truth is you are doing your best for her to get a good education and she needs to put some effort into that too.
  4. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Amen MWM, you are helping me so much through this! Thank you so much.

    Nomad, she is 18, this happened when she was 16. She is throwing this up in my face because of the break up she is going through. I am a piece of **** because I pulled her out of school, I gave up on her, "I let her burn", I'm lazy, she hopes I die in hell because she is the way she is because of me. She doesn't see that I was sinking and she was drowning me in every possible way and still is. She doesn't help me with nothing, I clean up all of her messes, it's just too much. She is violent and she bullies me when she doesn't get her way. Who can live under that duress? I am slowly pulling away though, trust me on that.

    Oh and I forget to answer your question, I bent myself into a pretzel trying to get her to go to school and do good in it. She refused. It was her fault, not mine.
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Oh my! Sorry I missed that this happened two years ago. Yep, she needs to get over it. And, best for you to pull away...as you said. Good for you! Such a waste of time and so annoying when they blame mommy for all their mistakes.

    Is she still at your home? I would expect her to clean up her own messes.

    Oh, and some boundaries need to be set up in your home...like no violence and no name calling for starters.

    Perhaps other living arrangements for her will need to be considered!!!! Seriously think about calling the police if she is violent with you.

    If she would agree to go to therapy and you can afford it, etc., I would provide for that. But whether she has a disorder or not, she doesn't have the right to treat you with such utter disrespect. And again, seriously consider calling the police if she is violent or even threatening you.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    She is violent and bullies you? How dare she do that in YOUR house or to HER mother. Violence is a dealbreaker for me. The police should be called.

    I'd be packing her bags. You don't deserve that. If she wants to live with you there should be strict boundaries about her behavior. She is old enough to clean up her own messes, cook her own meals, do her own laundry, and move out and get a job and her own place. If she flounders and refuses to make her life have meaning, that is on her. I would not put up with that sort of behavior from an adult another day.

    You are important and she is abusing you. Would you put up with her behavior from a spouse? A friend? Anyone else? Why do you put up with it from her?
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  7. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    My daughter was put into alternative school and that was the most ridiculous waste of time for everyone. It was a joke - they did no real school work. They would hand out worksheets and watch movies. Meanwhile I had to stress about the transportation BOTH ways while trying to work. I didn't work from home at that time. When she got into trouble at school again for trying to sell drugs, they told me she would spend the rest of the year in alternative school (it was the beginning of her sophomore year). At that point, I said forget it. She could pull out of school and I had her get her GED that spring.

    My daughter, now, will tell you that it is her fault she is where she is in life. She has major, big time regrets. She can't even get a job at a lot of places because she has shoplifting on her record. But at that time, everything was our fault and she was just the victim.

    Your daughter blaming you is true GFGdom. She is the captain of her ship and she can drive it anywhere she wants. She is 18 now. Living at home is a privledge, not a right. Maybe it is time to experience the real world?
  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    You did the only logical thing, given your daughter's behavior.

    You probably have some residual guilt
    over having made this choice for her. You did everything in your power to turn daughter away from the Dark Side, and when It didn't work, you blamed yourself.

    Daughter senses the guilt and the vulnerability beneath it and is focusing her attack at this vulnerable spot to get her way now.

    Did I read this wrong, or is your daughter faulting you because the boyfriend, who is still in school, ended their relationship?

  9. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Is this child working?

    Is she in school now?

    Plans for the future?

  10. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I agree, we must all work on completely getting rid of the guilt. I was also one of those parents (I think most of us are) that really struggled with 'what if?'. I blamed myself and my choice of a father for my son's behavior problems. Now, as I am older (and he still is an older difficult child lol) I have met so many people that have raised difficult children in a home environment that makes you scratch your head as to WHY this person choice that path. I know believe that our difficult children would have turned out to be difficult children regardless of the home environment, and parents.

    My difficult child was also giving me a fit in school and he skipped a lot. He started out in gifted classes and for whatever reason absolutely hated school from day one.

    One trait difficult children share is immaturity. The week my difficult child turned 16 I drove him to take the GED test and sat in the car and waited on him to finish all 3 days. I can't tell you how hot it gets in Florida in the summer, but I knew if I left so would he!

    The way I see it, you made sure your difficult child had a chance for a future higher education, if and when they decide they want it. A GED opens doors for some jobs that they would not be able to apply for without one. Also, in Florida if you just dropout you cannot get a driver's license until you are 18.

    Raising a difficult child is not for the faint of heart! Hope you have a peaceful day!
  11. TearyEyed

    TearyEyed Member

    No. If I had to go back and do it again, I would have done the same thing with my difficult child. Trying to force him to go to school was a nightmare. Suspension after suspension. He finally went to an alternative school and that didnt work out either. Fights, suspensions, attitude with teachers. I had to leave work a million times to run to the school to deal with whatever drama was going on. It was exhausting. And me forcing him to go didnt work. Countless mornings fighting him to get out of bed. He flat out refused. He never did graduate. He only had 2 credits left. He doesnt care. I finally gave up. He is 19 now and there is nothing I can do.
  12. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Read this again. Pretend you aren't the one writing it. Would you be angry if say, your sister or your best friend's kid behaved this way toward them? What would you tell them?

    My kid is a pain in the posterior...but if he spoke to me this way, if he dared to raise a hand, he would be OUT. Oh he thrown fits and punched holes in his door and one time I smacked him on the back of the head (just an open-hand smack like you'd do joking) when we was having a fit and he turned nose to nose with me fist clenched. I looked him in the eye and said, "Don't. You. Dare." He didn't. He also left the house until he calmed down, which we require every time his voice raises. Since we made that rule, that he has to leave for at least 1/2 hour every time he shouts, he's only had to do so twice.

    There is NO excuse for her bullying you! Is SHE paying housing? Is SHE paying for the utilities? That is YOUR house! Don't let anyone bully you! The fact is, she is 18 years old and YOU are no longer obligated by law to give her anything! Every single thing she gets from you is a gift...if she behaves this way she clearly doesn't appreciate it. I think she would no longer be a person I'd feel like giving a gift to!

    This hasn't got a darn thing to do with what you did 2 years ago...which was completely and utterly justified.
  13. PennyFromTheBlock

    PennyFromTheBlock Active Member

    I'm new to all this detachment- but reading about experiences with difficult child's at school gave me pause. Am I reading my own stories here? Where when the school called I didn't even need them to tell me who they were, I knew them by VOICE. He never, even when I cried and pleaded, cared about what HIS actions did to ME. Missed work, truancy court, money for fines that I had to pay because he was a minor. Just shy of graduating. alternative school. I mean- it's all crazy.

    I know it's easy to say you must do.....XYZ. I do. GuideMe, I have to co-sign about the violence. I'm glad I never had to deal with my son becoming violent with me. He punched holes in the walls. Broke things. Yelled. Screamed. Made threats. But never threatened my physical safety nor did he ever lay his hands on me. Call the police. I always told both of my kids (growing up) that if they EVER lost their minds and touched me in anger, I PROMISED the police would come and they would go to jail. I assume they believed me, because they never did it.

    I didn't control any of the other stuff well- we just moved with one foot in front of the other everyday.

    My son went to inpatient once for a suicide threat in the 10th grade. He was there 6 days. I felt guilty for a long time at how peaceful my home was when he was gone. Normal. No yelling, nothing. Just the daughter and I co-existing (she was in her 1st year of college still living at home), doing things. I felt guilty when I didn't sit at home and cry the whole time. I knew where he was and that he was safe. I've not had a stretch of peace like that since (and that was 6 years ago). I deserve it and so do you. My journey of waking up and figuring out how to detach from him is just beginning and it will get worse before it gets better. But I have to do it. I must. You must. Please don't let your difficult child hit or hurt you. You don't deserve that.
  14. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Thank you all for the replies, I read each of them and felt so touched and supported that I got so many and supportive replies. You don't know how much this has helped me. There are not a lot of things that I am confidant about, but there is one thing that I am confidant on and that is I did everything humanly possible and beyond to get that girl through high school and graduated. You all really have no idea the lengths I went to. But difficult child doesn't see that at all. Not even in the least and it hurts me and infuriates me that she would even have the nerve to say I am lazy and gave up on her regarding this issue. She is not just saying this stuff to hurt me, she actually BELIEVES it with every fiber of her being and it causes GREAT ANGER in her and eventually lashes me out on me in the worst way because she feels like I am soul reason she failed out of high school. She is so convinced of this and even though *I* know what I have done (and I am very steadfast in my conviction even more than she is in her false conviction), I feel empty because she doesn't know it. I want HER to KNOW it. I really hope when she gets older and has her own kids, that she actually see's all that I did for her and that she was wrong on A LOT of things, not everything, but a lot of things. I can move on from this eventually, but I will never really be at peace with this issue until she fully realizes how wrong she was about this high school thing and actually apologizes to me for it (she needs to get on hands and knees and beg and grovel for forgiveness to even put a dent into some of the things she has done to me) and that may be two decades from now. That is too, too long. I can't lie, I need validation from her desperately.
  15. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I think that one of the most crucial pieces in learning to detach is to let go of the idea that they are going to acknowledge anything we did to make their lives better. Waiting for that to happen, arguing with them about it, keeps us stuck. If it makes YOU feel better, write them down. When difficult child starts to play the blame game, haul them out and read them to yourself until you feel better.
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  16. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    After pondering this, this will probably be the hardest thing in the world for me to do. I have read this very sentence that you wrote at least 50 times so far trying to get it to sink it in, but it won't yet. I don't know if I actually understand the true power this holds. I guess what I need to know first is, do all of your difficult child's literally blame you for everything that goes wrong in their life and when I mean everything, I do mean everything. That is very hard and even abusive in my opinion. It makes me feel like total dog crap. She is so instant on blaming me for everything is is literally second nature to her. She makes EVERYTHING my fault. I can't live like this, I can't.
  17. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I can only answer for myself. Yes. He still does it from time to time. He will also deflect the blame from himself to anything from the weather to any other thing that pops into his head. I have found that meeting these fault flinging episodes with utter silence is a very effective way of taking the wind out of his sails.
  18. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    When my son is at his worst, I am convinced he doesn't love me. That's my overriding feeling. My son says he loves me every single day. Multiple times a day. I think that we instilled that in him. My husband and I say I love you every time we end a conversation over the phone or even by text or email. I got it in my head at some point that if I were hit by a truck or something, I wanted my last words to my husband and son to be "I love you". So my son does it too.

    Talk is cheap. There are times that is my inner thought when my son says, "I love you." My head says, "No. You don't." I understand how empty that makes you feel.

    Mine has grown past blaming us for everything. He often shifts the blame on other things - his friends, the world in general - but there are times he admits it's all his fault. Usually that's when we get the "poor pitiful me" stuff. "I'm terrible, I'm horrible, I don't do anything right and I try so hard!" No...he doesn't.

    Bottom line, I think, some day, she'll realize what she did and what you did. You'll know, but it won't be because she told you so. You need to get past the need for validation. YOU know the truth. You can't make her see it. It will happen in it's own time.
  19. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    difficult child's always blame others. It is part of their nature.

    My difficult child asked me years after she was out of high school why she hadn't taken both the ACT and the SAT (she only took the SAT). I told her that she said she didn't want to at the time.

    She then said, "Why didn't you make me?" I reminded her that I wasn't able to make her do anything at that point and I surely wasn't going to waste my time battling with her over the ACT.

    Her reaction was, "Well, you should have made me take it."


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  20. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    The giffy picture LOL

    and my daughter says that ALL the time "why didn't you make me?" which in turn makes me want to jump off a high bridge and giggle hysterically during the long fall.

    Why didn't I make you? Hmmm, because when I tried desperately to make you do something, you scream, yell, break things, hit and you say " you can't make me do **** mom, **** you b*****!!!!!" I can't believe her of all people would actually have the audacity to say something like that to me. Why didn't you make me. Pffft.