Returning mom, new username, reintro myself

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by recovering doormat, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    Good morning, afternoon, evening everybody. I'm a returnee posting under a new username (used to post with my real name and decided that perhaps that's not such a great is a small world after all).

    I'm still working on my signature, to consolidate what is going on with my three kids, aged 18 to 12.

    In the meantime, I'm reeling from the revelation last night that my youngest, who does not have a diagnosis and has been my healthiest child, has had sexual intercourse with a boy she goes to school with. He is 13 and I suspect his parents do not know. My daughter has not admitted the truth to me but she did confide in her older sister. I don't know where this happened, when, how many times, or if they used protection. I'm guessing not. because yesterday afternoon she came to me and asked if I thought she was getting fat. She complained that her breasts were getting larger (I didn't notice anything, but most of her friends are as developed as she is, or more) and her belly sticking out. Then she told me she hadn't had her period in six weeks and she was worried about that. That's when I broke out in a cold sweat.

    She denied having sex or even heavy petting, yet she still seemed upset. I went to the drugstore, got an EPT Gold test, sent her to the bathroom, and she emerged several minutes later withthe wet tests, both saying "no." She seemed triumphant.

    Later in the evening, she told her sister that she did have sex but wouldn't tell us the boy's name.

    I made a panicked phone call to a therapist who has been working with our family through the divorce, and who has expressed concern over my daughter's precocious sexuality. I'm taking her to a gynecologist as soon as I can get an appointment next week, and if she is not pregnant I think she must go on some form of effective birth control. Short of chaining her to the stove, I don't know how to completely prevent her from being with this boy again. Assuming I have the right kid.

    I'm just sick about this. If she is pregnant, I just can't even think that far ahead. When I was 16, I had unprotected sex with my boyfriend, and got pregnant. The notion of telling my parents was so unthinkable (we were traditional Catholics) that I chose the easy way out and had an abortion. It wasn't so easy, because the guilt put me into a deep depression that still resonates with me thirty years later, and has affected the way I have been raising my kids. I kept my abortion secret from my parents and family and was terrified that I would be found out. It took a lot of counseling, both psychological and spiritual, to get me to forgive myself.

    My 'tween daughter has told me that she would never have an abortion. I'm thinking to myself, I can't barely hang on right now to my sanity, how the h*** will I get through a 13 yr old going through hard labor?

    Her father has no idea of any of this. She has been avoiding him the past few months, refusing to stay overnight at his house (part of the agreed-upon visitation) in favor of being with her girlfriends. She is pretty, outgoing (to say the least), just made the varsity cheerleading squad, and had told me just weeks ago that she wants to do better in school this year. She is preoccupied with her social life, as are a lot of junior high girls, and there is room for improvement in her grades.

    I'm torn between rage and wanting to slap her across the face for lying to me and for being so stupid and unaware, and wanting to protect her from herself.

    Has anyone here been through anything like this. I'm mean good God, she's 12. I feel like someone has hit me over the head with a board. If anyone in my family finds out about this they will be horrified, and she will be shunned. They aren't the most forgiving bunch.
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    WOW big time! What a difficult situation to be in. I can imagine how scared she is. Dig out your toughest warrior armor. What a very young age! If she is pregnant you are facing hard choices ahead.

    So, first step, try to relax until she has her doctor's appointment.

    Next step, if she is pregnant: You and her talk. You assure her that you love her and are there for her. The two of you decide what you both want to do - how to get through this. Who will be told when and how. How you expect each person to react and how you both should handle those reactions.

    3rd step: Talk to the siblings in the house - give them the plan. forbid them to tell anyone outside the schedule you have come up with. Give them the time they can tell their friends.

    4th step: Follow through with your plan

    5th step: Show her every day that you are there for her. That you know this is the hardest thing she has ever faced in her life but that she has the strength to follow the plan.

    Let us know ASAP - I am right there with you holding my breath.

    p.s. love your board name
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    That is a pretty hard thing to cope with, a 12yo who may be pregnant. I think that you have to get her on birth control. Several moms here have said that the shot gives better control over whether the child is taking the birth control. I believe that there is the reg depo shot that gives several months of protection, and a shorter acting version that you can use to see if the young woman can tolerate the hormones - it CAN aggitate those with mood disorders.

    We had a discussion a few days ago about teen pregnancy and unfortunately there seems to be a trend where the young and very young girls are getting pregnant and thinking it is "cool" even up to carrying the baby around in cute clothes.

    No one here will have condemnation or judgement on you or your family. We all know you can't truly control a child - ALL of us have had kids doing things that we REALLY did not want them to do.

    I think that Adrianne has a good idea. However, your daughter's father must be consulted on whatever the plan is. Your daughter is going to NEED both parents fully supporting her through this. The boy's parents must know also. HE is just as "at fault" or "responsible" as your daughter is in this situation. But if you can't get his name, you can't get his name.

    Sending big hugs, I know this is really really rough.
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    In my experience, it's not a switch that you can "turn off". Especially if there is a particular boy who has succeeded and is in active pursuit. As you don't know who it is, I would contact the school. I bet that they know who it is. Not that they are breaking any laws, because he's not that much older than her. Shocking and appalling, but not against the law. I'm not sure about the laws in your state, but at age 12, I would think that with a pregnancy or STD that CPS would become involved, but other than that...

    If I were his mother, and she got pregnant, I would be very upset if you hadn't somehow found me beforehand to let me know what my little Romeo was up to. If I were his mother and I had money, and she got pregnant, I'd probably make your lives he77. My advice is to do what you can to figure out who this boy is, and to keep them apart. She may think it's love - or not - but 12 is way too young for this stuff!

    ACK! I feel for you, mom!
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2008
  5. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    I knew from past experience that supportive voices would be around soon, and I was not disappointed. Thank you all for your support and advice.

    By itself, this latest crisis would be numbing; taken together with her older siblings' antics (her older brother and sister each have been to court during the past month for misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct, criminal mischief and drug paraphernalia) it's almost more than I can bear.

    Her father and I were divorced in December after a lengthy separation, which included a custody battle, home study, three day trial, and now he has appealed the judges' decision on who gets what assets, which places a hold on our finances for at least another year. There could be another trial. It's a total waste of energy and money but he is determined to make me cry "uncle" and give up everything that was awarded to me (he chose not to settle and split the assets 50/50, but went for a trial instead, and got his arse handed to him).

    My youngest was my healthiest child, but for the past four years her dad and I were preoccupied with the other two kids' psychiatric problems, which included 9 inpatient hospitalizations between the two of them, their school issues and lately, their conduct disorders that involved the cops. I blame myself for neglecting her. She turned to her girlfriends as an escape from an intolerable home situation and that lack of oversite on my part has come back to bite me big-time.

    I've decided that in addition to seeing an OB/Gyn ASAP and being put on some type of because (with her immaturity, Depoprovera probably is the best idea), I can find out which boy it is by telling her that I'm going to speak to both their mothers. That will get things moving, I'm sure.

    Since her period is late but the tests were both negative, I'm fairly sure that she is not pregnant, but perhaps enjoying the attention from her closest girlfriends? Once the doctor confirms one way or the other, I will bring her dad into it.

    Unfortunately, CPS (DCF in our state) is already involved with us because of my older son. He lives with his dad two miles away and his presence in my home is contingent upon his behavior. Eighteen months ago he threatened his sister with a pair of scissors and refused to let her leave the house while I had run an errand for ten minutes. He didn't physically harm her but it was serious enough to get CPS involved in an investigation,a nd they found neglect on my part for leaving them alone. It is still an open case. I'm terrified that if they find out about this, they will take her away from me.

    Are there all-girl boarding schools for girls as young as 12?
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Welcome back...I wish I had an answer for you, because I'd know what to do here...but I don't. Many hugs.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Recovering, welcome back.
    I am so sorry about everything you are dealing with.
    You are on the right track to get your daughter an obgyn appointment and get her a DepoProvera inserted into her arm.
    (by the way, if she's not fully developed and it turns out she is pregnant, a dr may recommend abortion because it would be too dangerous for her.)
    Regardless whether she denies having sex, you still have to have "the talk." You want to focus on respect and caring and friendship in relationships; that sex isn't something you just do and throw away like a candy wrapper.
    I don't know if you work full time, but I would never let her out of my sight from now on. I would be with her at the mall, at the movies, at home, at restaurants. I would pick her up after school and make her do her homework right next to your desk at work. You can still make it fun, rather than punishment. It will be very time consuming, but at some point, this boy will give up and find someone else. She will have a broken heart but she will learn.
    Hire someone to be with her if you have to.
    I have no idea how CPS works but if you are her legal mother, they shouldn't take her away from you.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2008
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hi, RD!! Welcome back! I love your name and actually posted a chuckle about it in the WC this morning when I saw it- it can descriibe a lot of us here, I think.

    I'm sorry to hear you are back under circumstances like you described. I can't imagine what you're going through. A 10yo girl was "after" my son to get physically involved when he was 12 yo. Fortunately, the girl's parents' and I found this out and had a rather lengthy and heated discussion before things got that far. It was difficult to make sure they stopped ALL contact, but it worked- of course, both sets of parents were making efforts once everything was out in the open. I can't add anything to what's already been said, but would strongly suggest contacting the boy's parents. I doubt very seriously that they know or condone or would want their son getting a girl pregnant at all, much less one this young. I'm not suggesting it was your daughter who initiated this- I figure it takes two, unless there is a big age difference or mitigating circumstances.

    My heart aches for you-
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Twelve years old and missing periods... :9-07tears:
  10. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Sending hugs and support.

    I'm with Terry. Every waking moment would be supervised. Much, much easier said than done.
  11. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    You've already been given advice. I just want to say I'm sorry things are so bad. If DCF does become involved in this mess, let's hope they have the sense to understand that it is truly impossible to watch a child 24/7, especially if she is determined to have sex.

    Don't beat yourself up too much. We can only do so much. You had two kids that were out of control and you were doing your best to save them. Your youngest is still young enough to get back on track. She's got a lot going for her. She wouldn't have friends, be active, etc. if you hadn't done a lot of things right.

    For now, HUGS. I can only imagine your devastation.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hi and welcome back. I also really value the name.

    There are likely to be cultural differences here, between your environment and mine. So I will do the best I can.

    I have two daughters now in their 20s. At first I thought they were both PCs, but am increasingly realising that the younger one is very difficult child at times. And although I wouldn't have described my youngest as hypersexual, she DOES get the 'cuddlebunny" label, plus she is very attractive in a jailbait sort of way. The combination has meant that we watched her like hawks but STILL got caught. We knew that the first bloke she slept with would have a look of stunned delight and amazement on his face - and we weren't wrong. We also knew he would get badly hurt - again, we weren't wrong. It did take another year or more before they broke up, but it was messy.

    easy child - she actually was younger than easy child 2/difficult child 2 when she first had sex, and when she later broke up with the boy - she was a mess. So was the boy. But in their case, they got back together and are now engaged.

    We did the best with our kids, tried to raise them right in the church, with good values - all the things every parent tries to do. But I also remembered enough from my own childhood and my friends from school and church - it is NO protection. If anything, it can make you MORE unsafe because it can make you (and the child) smug and complacent. "It won't happen to me - temptation? Not a chance!" And it's either a front, or self-deception.

    With our kids, when they got old enough for me to really worry, I began what husband & I called "aversion therapy" - we reminded the kids that they were each the result of a sexual union, and that we hadn't stopped our activities in this area whatsoever. We would kiss in front of them, we would hold hands if we felt like it, we would make jokes (not over-the-top disgusting, but enough for the kids to realise we weren't virgins). We also used just about every opportunity to discuss sex and sexual responsibility with the kids. If they acted grossed out by us hugging, we pointed out that as we are married to each other, there should be absolutely nothing wrong with the thought of husband & I having sex.

    But we kept harping on the subject - if you think you are old enough to have sex, then you are certainly old enough to be sexually responsible.

    Sexual responsibility involves far more than safe sex and contraception. It also involves UNDERSTANDING why it's important, as well as understanding the social difficulties of asking your new partner to use a condom. What sort of message does this request send? That you don't trust him? That he shouldn't trust you? Or that you should be too innocent to even know about condoms?

    Sexual responsibility is also about the emotional fallout and other ramifications of having sex with someone; it's the responsibility within the relationship, even if it's a 'quickie' - there is still fallout, still ramifications, still the need for responsibility and consideration.

    These days kids seem to have plugged in to the "instant gratification" habit so ingrained into them by the advertising they are exposed to. "I want it now, so I will have it now - I deserve it" seems to be the message - if you are a success, you can have whatever you want, when you want it. No waiting. Instant vending machine.

    The trouble with this, is it ignores the consequences. Teen pregnancy aside, the consequences are disturbing. You have children playing at being adults, without the tools that maturity (physical and mental) can provide to them, to protect themselves. The long-term emotional damage is appalling.

    A few concerns (other than what I have already generally expressed) - first, does she really know what "having sex" means? For some kids, oral sex is NOT sex; for others, it is. For some kids, heavy petting is considered to be the same as full-on sexual intercourse. For some very innocent kids, simply kissing a girl would have them worried they had got her pregnant.

    A girl of 12 may not yet be having regular periods. It's quite easy for her to apparently 'miss' a period. Is she charting her periods? She should be - it's part of sexual responsibility. Her body is changing a great deal and this alone can be hard enough to deal with. Adding sex to the mix is like adding gasoline to a heap of gunpowder, right before you throw in the lit match. But how can we get this message home to children who are still such babies?

    If she has genuinely had sex, then the genie is now out of the bottle and can't be forced back in. That is unfortunate. She needs a crash course in sexual responsibility. If possible, she needs to sign a contract of sexual responsibility - I think every teen should, but it should become mandatory BEFORE the first sexual experience (which should be planned, it should never be impromptu).

    You may want to modify or add rules of your own. But you need to get a feel for the sexual politics of the kids in her area of influence. I've heard some stories about how in some areas of the US, attitudes to sex among the kids have become worrying - a combination of "let's have sex, I'm bored," and "I want to make my boyfriend happy or I'll lose him; he wants me to give oral sex to all his mates but it's not really sex so I'll do it, to please him so he won't dump me for someone else."
    A child who refuses to go along with what can at times be overwhelming social pressure, can find themselves having a very lonely teen existence, thoroughly ostracised. Meanwhile a girl who DOES go along with it will feel cheap, used, devalued and a doormat. it risks setting her up for a life of putting her own needs and wishes to one side purely to please someone else. A boy experiencing this gets a very wrong message about respecting women (or more correctly, NOT respecting women).
    And that's without even considering the disease risks. Or the pregnancy risks.

    Very bad, all round.

    Sexual responsibility has two arms - physical, and emotional.

    Physical - protection against pregnancy, against STDs (or whatever they're called these days). Also protection against forcing the body to do something it's just not ready for, which includes a girl giving birth too young.
    Deterrents here include showing her footage of the Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia, to show her the GOOD side of what help is available EVENTUALLY for girls who gave birth when still too young and not physically ready. Other deterrents - all the medical information you can get not only on how the body functions, but on all the things that can go wrong. She needs to know about the much greater risk of UTIs as well as how to recognise early symptoms and what to do about them to protect herself from kidney damage. There are even health problems that a normal, healthy woman can get from simply having sex with too many different partners in too short a time! And if she's starting to have sex with one boy at 12, what will she be doing to heighten the excitement, by the time she's 18?
    She needs to be able to pass an oral test, which also includes a practical component - buying condoms, buying a pregnancy test kit, having a Pap smear (and going back for the results), having a doctor talk about sexual responsibility and contraception, and if she really wants to pass with Honours she also needs to learn about the MALE reproductive system including any health problems he may unwittingly have, so she can at least recognise the early signs of testicular cancer, for example. Or recognise a syphilis chancre. Or any other disease manifestations, preferably BEFORE she gets put at risk herself. She needs to know (and believe) the punchline of the old joke, "What's the difference between love and herpes?"
    (A: Herpes is forever.)

    And now the emotional component - sexual social skills. The first rule is, "Do not do anything you do not enjoy doing, for its own sake."
    The second rule is, "Do not do anything which can do ANY kind of harm to ANYONE, even at a later stage."
    It's almost impossible to have any kind of decent self-esteem when you're in your early teens - it's confidence-shattering. This makes a person (male or female) especially vulnerable to being manipulated into doing something they don't want to do. At this age, so close to the willingness to please of the pre-teens, and still into the tentative exploration, they are very much at risk and very vulnerable to subsequent damage. But they don't see this!

    To be involved in a one-to-one close 'love' relationship with one other person, exclusively, at such a young age - it's not healthy, because you cut yourself off from the chance (need) to learn how to interact with a wider age range and wider choices. But if you choose to have sex casually, that is also very damaging - not only does it devalue the sex, it devalues the individual.

    Sex is a very intimate, personal, giving thing. It is the most precious gift you can give to another person, to show you trust them to not hurt you, to show you love them and want to be emotionally and physically close to them, to the ultimate extent.
    To simply toss it around casually - not only does it devalue the sex, it devalues the individuals concerned. If there is a boy who likes her and she has sex with him, he might think she has just made a lifelong commitment to him (or vice versa) when it mightn't have been meant as anything more than a purely physical release. This really messes with people's heads, really badly. The social damage it can do can follow ALL the kids involved, for years.

    I really don't know how you get the message through.

    One thing that helped with us - easy child used to watch "Degrassi Junior High". Interestingly, a lot of parents were vehemently objecting to this TV show being on, especially when it began to deal with the problems of teenage pregnancy. easy child was watching this when she was 7 years old and I got a lot of criticism for it. However, she got some very strong lessons out of it which she valued, years later.

    I happened to see an episode of the original series yesterday, on one of our newer digital TV stations. We've had the new series on about a year ago or more - easy child 2/difficult child 2 watched it but easy child was especially glued to it, for the cameos of the "older generation" - Spike's daughter is now entering Junior High herself, just as there is a 10 year reunion for the first group of school graduates. Again, they deal with the social issues around growing up.

    But seeing the episode of the first series yesterday - I can't think of anything better to make your child watch, to help her learn social responsibility above and beyond sexual responsibility.

    It all is going to need to come together, and unfortunately chastity belts are illegal.

    Good luck with this one, it's a nasty problem. And you didn't necessarily do anything wrong - there are just too many factors. Blame is only going to slow you down - it's time to dig in and find a way to cope.

  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Marg has a point. Sometimes a difficult child is a difficult child in a prettier package than others. I'm thinking that sometimes we really don't know until they are grown up what kind of people they really are.
  14. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    So much compassion, so much good advice...thank you again ladies.

    I've been trying to carry on like it'sa normal weekend around here. My daughter vehemently denies she's had intercourse, and insists that she only took the pregnancy test because I insisted. My older daughter told me that younger sis confided in her Friday night "don't get mad at me, but I'm no longer a virgin." Older daughter is 18 and spent Friday night tossing and turning, as I did, and spent yesterday looking up all girl boarding schools in the U.S. that take 7th graders and older.

    Haven't spoken to her dad yet because he tends to overreact and over dramatize. I could see him taking me to court to get custody of her, and that won't solve anything: he is self-employed and can't supervise her after school.

    I am unemployed while waiting for the marital legalistics to stop, so I can certainly keep her attached to my hip when she's not in school. Her friends can visit here.

    She got her first period at the start of 5th grade, several months after turning 10. So young! She was upset about it, like her body had betrayed her. She knew about menstruation from her sis and me, and from school, but no one expected it so early. My older girl was 12, as was I. But this generation of young teens are so physically developed. They have adult sized breasts and narrow waists before tehre is "teen" attached to their age.

    I have been open and at times graphic with my kids about sex, because I was determined not to raise children in the sex-phobic atmosphere I was brought up in. I would launch into discussions and that would make my kids squeal "enough mom, that's so gross!" But I was trying to make the point that they should not be afraid to approach me about anything.

    Another thing I've spoken to my girls about is the psychological fallout from having sex too young. You are so right, Marg, that no one talks about the ramilfications, about how it feels to have everyone in school know what you did last summer (and their parents, too, kids like to blab to the adults around them to show how mature they are), or about what it feels like as a girl to see the boy you fellated or let into your body be with another girl. It's devastating. When I got pregnant at 16 and aborted, my parents later found out about the sex (found because pills in my purse) and blew their stacks, couldnt' see the boy anymore (secret relief to me). He was surprised that I wouldn't cross my folks, and soon turned his attentions to other girls. I am shamed to think of the hysterical phone calls to him, once I knew he was having sex with others. Just awful. Years later when I met the man I married, I chose him because I knew he would be sexually faithful. Unfortunately, it was his only positive trait!

    So, I have a 12 yr old girl who may or may not have had intercourse, who is probably not pregnant right now but who knows if we tested too soon, and who I do not know to be telling me the truth. Who may or may not be showing off for friends. In other words, we have a liar on our hands.

    I've told her to expect a visit to an OB/gyn very soon, probably this week, and that she can expect to be spending a lot more time at home. She is acting angry towards me, that I'm overreacting.

    I'm hoping that once we get to the doctor's office, after that first invasive pelvic exam and the discussions about because, STD's, the Gardasil shot, we will have a more productive discussion.

    Wish me strength, ladies, I"m going to need it.

    To top it off, it's Sunday a.m., and I just realized that there is no milk for my coffee in the fridge and I have to get dressed and go out. Argggh! Is there no justice in the world?
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Reminds me of Flying High II - the stewardess is announcing a whole series of disasters going wrong with the flight - but when she announces they're out of coffee, THAT'S when the hysteria starts!

    Hang in there. You're doing everything you can. There is probably a lot more behind this, it will take time for all this to come out.

  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Aw, doormat, no fair about your coffee. :) :(

    Sounds like you've given this a lot of thought (like you have a choice?) and you are actually holding up very well.
    I would expect your difficult child to be mad at you. It's always someone else's fault. Sigh.
    I send you strength.
    And I will send it again as the days and wk go on.
  17. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I love you username. :)

    Having not read all the responses.........

    If this were my child at 12 (Lordy!) her social life would be over. Every moment of her life would have adult supervision. Not as a punishment. But for her own protection. 12 is OMG so way too young for intercourse, and an unthinkable age to become a parent.

    And yes, I'd still go to the OB, have a pelvic exam done, and put the child on birth control just in case. Because even a highly supervised child can still manage to have sex and get pregnant if they're determined enough.

    Scarey as heck for any parent.

  18. habibi

    habibi New Member

    RD, when you say you are looking for a boarding school, are you talking about a regular, college-prep school, or are you talking about a therapeutic, emotional growth type of boarding school?
  19. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    Thank God tomorrow is Monday, I know that probably sounds odd to most of you, but it means for me that

    1) I can make doctor appointment. for my Lolita-wannabe (hope this doesn't offend, but the only way I can keep my sanity these days is through highly inappropriate humor);

    2) Said child is in school for six hours so I can exhale and do what I need to do;

    3) I will be picking her up from school from now on and if she wants her girlfriends over, that's fine. No boys. At all. Still dont' know who her partner was and she is still denying anything happened. Older sis stands by what she told me two days ago.

    4) I am looking at all-female boarding schools for ages 12 and up. I don'thave the money now, but when the divorce is settled I will get half of my ex's IRA and I can pull some money out of that. Everyone says don't touch that money for your kids,it's for your retirement...yeah, well...this here is an emergency...and besides, with the trillon-dollar bailout of AIG last week, ain't nobody working now who is going to be able to retire.

    Very draining day. I lay down on the couch for a minute mid-morning, and didn't wake up for four hours. I get that way when under extreme emotional stress.

    There's a gym nearby advertising for month to month memberships for $10 per month. I'm going to join - I need some way of alleviating the stress besides spooning up pints of Ben and Jerry's ice cream.

    Here's hoping things improve..and that I stay vigilant.
  20. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    No new advice. Wishing you continued strength and sending gentle hugs your way.