My Daughter, the Carny Girl


New Member
She joined the carnival! :sad: I kept trying to call her but her phone wasn't charged. Finally gave up and went to Wal-Mart and talked to one of the girls she had moved in with. Turns out they were at the point of kicking her out because they had had enough of her lies and behavior. She semi-beat them to the punch by getting a job with a carnival. They begged her to call me and she said she had and I had told her she couldn't come home. One lie after another after another.

So, I have no idea where she is or what is happening in her life and I'm not sure I ever will. This breaks my heart. I'm so afraid she will end up pregnant or, worse yet, begin using drugs. What a horrid, sad life she is choosing. :thumbsdown:

I am moving within the next four months. She knows this. She also knows that I am planning to move to the South. I can keep my cell phone with the same number and hope and pray that will call me sometime soon but that's all I can do.

I'm not sure what I have done to deserve this. I've loved her with everything in me. When she picked me up from vacation, things were okay with us. Not great, but okay. When she came over to pick up her driver's license so she could work five days at the county fair, she hugged me, said she loved me. Then she joins the carnival and never even calls to tell me? The sad thing is I'm so devastated I can't even cry. All I can do is hope she is okay and that she contacts me soon, even though I doubt she will. :sad: :sad: I don't even have a way to contact her in an emergency. Silly, stupid girl.
#1 You did not do anything to deserve this.

#2 She is not doing this TO you.

I know it feels personal. Believe me, I know. To her, this may seem like a responsible thing. Think about it. Not getting along with her roommates, on the verge of getting kicked out. If she told these people that you said she could not come home, either she actually believed she could not come home, or she did not want to come home. So, as silly as joining a carnival may seem to many people, to her it may seem like something responsible that provides her with both a job and a home. And, instant friends.

It is unfortunate that you have no way of knowing what she is up to. That is where detachment comes in. Because you also have no control over what she is doing. Worrying about it is only going to make you a wreck. Worrying about it will NOT change the outcome. I am not saying to stop caring about your child. I am saying, detach. Stop worrying constantly about things that you have no control over, because whatever is going to happen will happen whether you worry yourself sick over it or not.

Pray for her well being. I am too. Pray the serenity prayer. Till you are blue in the face. and find something to do that is just for you.

Gentle hugs (and prayers for YOU) being sent your way.


New Member
The hardest part of having adult children like this is the letting go. Definitely the hardest part. It is not in our nature as parents. I was reading about this very thing last night in a book called "Free Inside & Out" (it is faith based). It was saying how you can still love someone unconditionally, but if their behavior is toxic, then you should love them "from a distance". Doesn't mean you stop loving them. This decision of hers does not mean she does not love you either, but for whatever reason she wants to be on her own.
Sure, not a really great choice on her part, but a choice none the less.
I don't know if you are a spiritual person or not, but my faith has held me together during the last few years and has actually even increased due to things I've been through.
Even if you aren't, try to get some perspective, perhaps by confiding in a trusted friend or posting as you are here.
She knows your number, and at some point she will probably recharge her phone.
Take care of yourself.


New Member
Oddly, it doesn't feel personal and it does at the same time. It feels like a horrible rejection of my values. For some reason, I put carny people a few steps below the homeless. Isn't that a sad judgment? I really hope my stereotypes are wrong -- losers, druggers, wanton sex, willingness to cheat people (probably the worst thing about them, to me).

I can intellectually understand exactly why she did this. It certainly beat asking to come home again and maybe getting rejected. It is a roof over her head and some money. It beats seeing the disappointment in my eyes and knowing I'm thinking how she failed again (wouldn't say it, but I'm sure my actions would make it obvious). Emotionally, it hurts.

I'll get over it and I'll survive. I'll grieve for a few days and then continue on packing and getting things ready for garage sale. I'll worry about her and I'll hope she is okay. As was said, she'll have my number and can contact me when she is ready. If not, there's nothing I can do at the present time. Heck, I don't even know the name of the carny she went off with. As I said, silly, stupid girl.


Hi MeowBunny,
my dtr (19) is an "exotic dancer", not exactly what I had envisioned for her when she was born! But, I don't view it as a reflection on me or my values or really having anything to do with me. She is no longer rebelling against me since she doesn't live with me and I don't support her financially. I think she probably doesn't give me a lot of thought at all and that's okay with me. We have a nice casual type of relationship now and I am removed from the drama and chaos so I can enjoy the "good" parts of her without having to be drawn in to the stuff I don't approve of. I am able to tell people who ask about her that she is an exotic dancer without embarrassment or shame because I have separated myself from her and her actions now so I don't feel responsible for her choices. Anyway, I could definitely see her joining a carnival as a second job choice!


Former desparate mom
<span style='font-size: 11pt'>Sometimes, some of our difficult children want to belong and fit in so much that they gravitate to others who seem to be outcasts or people on the fringe. It's why some become part of cults. Everyone has a desire to belong.
I worry that my difficult child will find someone who will tell difficult child to join them and he will. It will be a welcome relief to always being the odd one that they don't see the danger.
I hope your daughter stays safe and finds what she is looking for and it's a good and healthy life regardless of who and where she is. </span>


Active Member
my son has run all over the USA, without a license in a broken down car. he was gone 4 months. that was 3 yrs ago. he scared me so much thru that time.
of course he is now 24 and works and has an apartment now.

my cousin joined the carny when it came to town years ago. she traveled with them, had two sons, and still is with them. we could not believe it when she left. she gave one son to her sister to raise and kept one. we see her every so many years.

I pray your daughter gets tired of the adventure and misses home. God bless.


(the future) MRS. GERE
Well, maybe this goes to show you how naive I must be? I never thought of carnival people as being less classy, I just figured they liked the group they hung out with and liked the adventure of going to different places every few days. And it neveroccurred to me that they would be conning people since anyone who goes to a carnival gets something out of it, even if it's just a few hours of fun.

So maybe it will help to see a different/perhaps naive perspective on this?

Still........I'm very sorry she didn't let you know of her plans. That really stinks. I can't tell you how many times Rob has moved and not told me. And most of the time he doesn't have minutes on his phone so most of the time I'm not really sure where he is and can't contact him. It's very worrisome and very difficult not to get completely annoyed.

Big hugs,

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
My grandkids Kayla and Alex's Dad is a carny.

Hopefully she'll contact you soon. Maybe she felt desperate and the carny life looked appealing at the moment. Saying a prayer it gets old fast and she comes home.



Active Member
Another way of looking at it is she is working and surviving, and she's independent. Hopefully she'll do everything in her power to stay safe.