Teen ran away (again) ... should I call police?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by myfirstandlast, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. I don't know how to even begin summing up. :sad-very:

    My stepdaughter came to live with us 18 months ago at 14 y.o. because she was defiant, physically aggressive with her mother, and suspected of using drugs (weed) and alcohol. Her mom couldn't control her, and we thought we could give her a fresh new start ...

    We've had ups and downs but nothing "huge" until last fall when the school called to say she was reported to have taken some pills and also given them to a friend. She had stolen my prescription Darvocet and they were using them to get high; a friend reported her afraid she'd overdose (she'd taken 4).

    She was suspended for 2 weeks and warned that she could have been expelled, and that the police could have been involved, because she was technically "trafficking a narcotic" ... and we thought she was sufficiently scared ...

    We locked up our medications, but not much else we could do. Things seemed okay, she was in school-required drug counseling and not causing too much trouble overall. Then she got busted a second time with stolen prescription drugs at school ... she had taken her grandmother's Ambien while visiting with her mom, and was so high and out of control at school that once again a friend fearing for her safety told the authorities.

    She was suspended for 2 weeks again, and had already been failing several classes, so when she returned right before school was dismissed, she failed 9th grade English (refused to read required book) and Algebra. She refused to go to summer school and will have to take these classes in 10th grade, become a "super senior" and is, in my opinion, a great dropout risk. She does not care.

    Last week of school she got a new boyfriend: almost 20 year old with drug and alcohol problems, less than honorably discharged from the Army, juvi record, and friends that care enough about our daughter to come and visit her parents and tell us that we should keep her away from him. *sigh*

    When hubby got home late a few weeks ago and discovered she wasn't in her bed, we discovered she'd been sneaking out during the night to see him, getting a ride to town from who knows who, partying all night and then sneaking back in and sleeping in. When she got home at 4 a.m. and we'd locked her window, she took off and was gone for 24 hours. She called once to say she was safe but not saying where she was or who she was with, and that she wanted to be emancipated, etc. After some digging we found out where she was and contacted the boyfriend's mother, who brought her home.

    It's been a rocky few weeks, with her trying to earn some privileges back, but everything exploded last night. I'm not sure how it started, we'd been playing a board game and laughing. I guess she wanted to set off some fireworks, and her dad said to wait until he got there, and she didn't. They started arguing, he went to knock a paper plate of firecrackers out of her hands and either the plate or his hand accidently struck her face and she came unglued. She swore and screamed at him, compared him to her abusive ex-stepfather (the cruelest thing she could possibly do) and took off again.

    He's a mess, he blames himself for everything, and she does not respect him, me or the other kids ... they usually try to stick up for each other but lately they've been really upset with her and her actions and lies. I've always tried to stay out of the way of my husband's dealings with his daughter and be supportive of him, but lately I've been really concerned for the younger kids' well-being and I'm past my breaking point ... I really want her to go back to her moms at this point. She wants that too, but I think mom has said no. husband doesn't want that, she's got a completely loose rein to do what she wants there, but he also doesn't know what else we can do here.

    Anyway, I told all the kids, two weeks ago; anyone disappears during the night like that again, I'm calling the police. I'm not sure if husband is ready for that, or what happens next ... what they can do. Hoping for advice, and the clarity to know the right idea (for us) when I see it.

    Thanks for enduring the long read. :sick:
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I'm so sorry you had to find us, but I'm glad this place is here for you. You're in a tough spot. You are the step-mom of a defiant young girl with some obvious trauma who is in need of some serious help. I would call the police. Your other children are watching. If she is allowed to continue on a destructive path, she will get pregnant or worse.
  3. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Yes I would call the police. You have to protect yourself also. She is out of control you do not have to put up with that behavior fromher. She needs to be stopped somehow and sometimes the legal system has to get involved. Also you could have her committed if she is a threat to herself and others. Get information from the probate judge or magistrate in your county.
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Can you check your insurance policy to see if it will cover in-patient Chemical Dependency treatment for her? I would think that there is so much more going on that you have time and room to write here and what you have written sounds like enough to admit her to an in-patient program. I don't think you need to go the commitment route but am not sure - the facility or county will know for sure.

    You need to do everything under your power to get her this type of help BEFORE she turns 18. Once she is 18 years old, by law she can walk away from any program (unless she is committed and you do not want her to get to the point that she meets that criteria). Actually, you will want to get the process going before she is 17 years old because that last year until 18 goes so fast.

    If your insurance does not cover, check with your local social services offices to see if she would qualify for a government funded program. In MN, it is called Consolidated Chemical Dependent Treatment Fund (CCDTF) that the counties can tap into to help any person go through treatment (does not need to be committed). CCDTF will also sometimes pay for the co-pays and deductibles of your insurance if you meet that criteria.

    The county will do an assessment on her (needed to tap into the CCDTF funds). That assessment will determine the level a care she needs.

    If your insurance does pay, ask to meet with an admission's officer at the facility you would like to go to. That facility will also do an assessment to make sure the services they offer will benefit your daughter. The admissions officer can help you work with your insurance company to determine benefits and coverage.

    You may have to travel to find an inpatient adolescent program but this is worth it.
  5. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Yes, I would call the police. If nothing else it gets a paper trail going. I was just talking on another thread about having to report my difficult child missing every single time she did not come home when she was supposed to. The police did not really look for her at first but when they saw we were parents who truly cared and were trying to get her help they became our biggest allies.

    She was found passed out from drinking by the police twice in 5 days--that was enough to have her put in the hospital and then referred for inpatient rehab.

    I'm so sorry you and the rest of the family are going through this--it is so unfair to the other siblings to have to live in this kind of mess.

    Hugs to you,
  6. dadside

    dadside New Member

    [FONT=Calibri, sans-serif]Kudos to you for trying to give your stepdaughter a “fresh new start”. Unfortunately, with drugs in the picture the challenges multiply (as I learned). Getting her off drugs is essential to achieving anything more. Once off drugs, educating her about positive actions/activities without drugs, and providing incentives for following them, are important, as is minimizing any temptations. In particular, her “old friends” should be as much out of the picture as possible.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Calibri, sans-serif]She has to want to be off drugs to stay off, and that is part of the drug education objectives. I really believe that to get her off, she should be away from home and her neighborhood and community temptations – ideally in a good “program” -- for a minimum of 60 days. That won't achieve the education goals and build her personal commitment to a self-sustaining level (even given the home supports that will be needed), but will at least clean her system and allow a start on the rest. The options for achieving that depend on your financial resources and on the services available in your state and community.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Calibri, sans-serif]You are right to be concerned about your younger children, who clearly suffer from all this. I'd not advise telling the kids you would call unless you will surely follow-through. And, I'd check first to see what a call would accomplish. I doubt that you'd get more than could be achieved now through local youth services agencies. So my suggestion is to start with those agencies.[/FONT]
  7. I know that there is a huge risk of loosing the child to the system if the police gets involved. A friend also got a huge bill from forced rehab. It is my oppinion that the system has been to smart when it comes to put the bill on the parents.

    I would ask her to meet me at the bank where she could talk to a professional about what it costs to live alone. Once teens realize that living on your own means no cell and cash, they return.

    But you have to sit down with husband first. It is his child and he has to be the punisher or you will be the evil stepparent.

    I will send you some hugs. It is a bad situation to be in.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This sort of took me back into time when my daughter used to sneak out of her room at night, but it never occurred to me NOT to call the police. I wasn't even worried about her record, I was worried about her safety out at night with undesirable people. Trust me, stepdaughter's deeply involved with drugs and was probably involved when you got her. And I don't think taking her to a bank or talking about cash will help because drug users are normally also drug suppliers. Goes hand-in-hand. She and whatever loser boyfriend she hooks up with have plenty of ways to make money, including stealing and selling things hot and dealing drugs.

    Has she been sexually abused by this boyfriend? If so, did she ever get the proper intervention and treatment for sexually abused kids? If he beat her, I'd say he's at high risk for having sexually abused her too. Boyfriends and steps are the #1 offenders. And sexual abuse, drug use, running away, finding bad boyfriends etc. are so intertwined that it's hard to say where one starts and the other ends. When a child is abused, they usually end up doing drugs as teenagers without intensive intervention by an abuse conuselor. And the drugs lead to bad behavior, mouthing off, running away, failing in school, not caring about anything, drug-induced symptoms of mental illness, and scary boyfriends that they will try to see even knowing they are no good for them.

    At this point, I agree that finding a good program away from home may be good for her. I wouldn't limit it to chemical dependency, although maybe in those programs, since so many drug-using kids were abused, the program actually combines everything and wraps it into one. Not all RTCs are good or even desirable. Check them out.

    As a matter of plain compassion, I would never send her back to mom and the boyfriend or, if he's gone, her other string of boyfriends. I would rather her turn her into the police than that. But it doesn't sound like she can live with you two either.

    I wish you good luck with this. Keep us posted.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Call the police. Every. Single. Time. If she runs away, if she sneaks out, if she has drugs, if you find drugs in the house. Whether husband wants it or not.

    Different places handle the calls to the police differently. MOST will ask you if you will let her stay in the house. I gave my oldest one trip to a long term psychiatric hospital, two acute psychiatric hospital stays, and two calls to the cops. The third time I called the cops because he was assaulting me or one of his siblings my answer was NO. He can NOT stay here.

    They were not happy. I refused to have him on the property. I was smaller than he was, and disabled. husband works long hours 90 minutes away. My other kids should not have had to tolerate as much as I did allow.

    But that is how I felt. And what I was personally prepared to do.

    Decide what you will tolerate. Where the breaking point is. Do not EVER tell any of the kids or husband that you will do something unless you will follow through 150%. 100% is not always enough with our kids.

    At this point you need to let adult boyfriend and his mommy know you intend to press statutory rape charges if he so much as speaks to her again. If they are together somewhere?? Call 911 and tell them that she is in danger of statutory rape by someone who has already done it to her before. She is probably too young to give legal consent for sex. If he is convicted then he will spend the rest of his LIFE as a registered sex offender. Make SURE you stress that to him and his mother - and stress it hard.

    If this guy gives her weed? Or any other drug, even DXM (dextromethorphan - a cough suppressant that is OTC and becoming a HUGE problem)? That you will have him charge with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and with distribution.

    if he does this stuff at school, such as gives her a ride or picks her up? BONUS!!! He gets a tougher sentence if it is at a school!!!

    Make sure thatEVERY SINGLE one of her friends knows you will have them charged with whatever illegal stuff is going on also. You want to scare them all away from them. Call the other kids' parents. Let THEM know that their child is hanging around with a drug user and/or sharing drugs with your daughter who is using.

    I hope you can find treatment for her very soon. Many hugs.
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm sending supportive thoughts your way. Over the years we have had many awesome step parents who have had the same two prong problem.. troubled teen and guilty parent. I'm not suggesting what you ought to do because I have no idea what your spouse's personality is like. in my humble opinion, if he is not prepared to work as a team with you....chances are the cause is lost until husband comes around.

    I hope you have a peaceful weekend. DDD
  11. husband called the police and reported her as a runaway. Bits and pieces have come out ... she's not with the 19 y.o. (I talked to his mother and the police talked to him) ... she's with a 22 y.o. man that was a friend of his. This is at least the 6th guy she's been "in love" with since April ... she's an emotional train wreck and so naive. Wants to live "her life" without interference from us.

    As far as we know, from what we believe (although most of what comes from her or these young men we cannot trust) she is staying at a campground at least 6 hours away. Don't know which one or if that's even close to true, but we had to tell the police something, and that's where the guy says he is (at first claiming he hadn't seen her, and then calling the 19 y.o. and threatening him for ratting him out to the police ... the officer heard it himself).

    It's hard to share my concerns with husband without depressing him more and making him feel worse. I'm worried about her stealing from us, I'm worried about the youngest looking up to her like she does, AND I'm worried about HER. I feel, like some of you, that the drug use we know of is just the tip of the iceberg.

    She's been in weekly substance abuse counseling since last fall. She knows what to say to fool the counselors into thinking everything is fine ... not the nicest thing to say but she is very manipulative. :/ Then she goes on her social networks and brags about being high or hung over. She's super sweet when she wants something, then explosive when she doesn't get her way. Predictable cycle of screaming, crying and begging.

    Nothing we can do but wait to see if she comes home ... OR if for some reason he gets pulled over AND she is with him AND gives her real name, they'll take her in and call us from wherever to pick her up. I'm SO angry about the pain and torment she is causing her father ... he has NEVER been abusive to me or the kids and so does NOT deserve this treatment. Now I even wonder if her ex-stepfather really was abusive or if she made it up for sympathy, as it is something she would bring up when she was in trouble, one of the rare times husband yelled at her, she'd cry and yell back at him to just hit her like ____ did, that she deserved it ... of course crushing him in his tracks ...

    I'm so upset about being lied to, being stolen from, and having her run around telling people that we kicked her out (when she snuck out) or that husband hit her ... a huge part of me does not want her to come back but to go ahead and jump from the frying pan and see what it's like to live on her own with a 9th grade education, no job, and no more of daddy's money. :/
  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am very sorry you are going through this. We went through and are still going through much of the same. You can file charges on this 22 year old and have the court order him to stay away from her.

    I'm glad you called the police. Her behavior is escalating to the point where you can't handle it alone. I hate what drugs do to our kids.

  13. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I agree with Nancy. If you dont iinvolve someone else to help you - it will drive you crazy. When my son was going through what yours is now going through the police were my best friends! I even had then over to the house to try and talk some sense into him - it didnt work. One tiime when I had called the police on him for throwing things in our home and wrecking it, etc. they came in with a tazer - my son said to them Tazer, whoa! (sarcastically) what are you going to do robocop?! They didnt take him in that time but I was waiting for them to tazer him. Many times they did take him in and we tried to get him placement while he was behind bars - now he is 25 unless we have hiim involuntarily commited it is his choice. But it is our choice not to let him live in our home while he is continuing this lifestyle. Why should we choose to let this ruin our lives? We have done everything we know to do - I continue to go to Alanon and counseling - I still have my fears and doubts but I know my life is imiportant. Do what youhave to do to save your sanity.
  14. Update: she is with her mom now ...

    Yesterday daughter called the 19 y.o. saying that she was pregnant and hungry and needed him to bring her some money so his baby could eat (so apparently her and her friends ran out of money already). She was preg checked at her doctors' last week and it was negative ... I talked to his mom and told her (she'd called me to let me know daughter had tried to contact the 19 y.o.) and she was relieved but then realized how bad the manipulation was ... she apologized and said that daughter had been there the night she ran away, but they hadn't told me because daughter told them that husband had punched her in the face ... OMG that lying brat ... how COULD she ... he would never ever EVER ... even when she does this screaming in-your-face "hit me hit me" BS ... oh I don't even want to see her again. :`(

    Then we talked to her bio-mom who came to get her stuff, as she was scheduled to spend a week with her anyway, and she told us that daughter had called her and told her that husband had punched her in the face also ... now we know what daughter told her 22 y.o. "friend" so he'd come and get her from hours away ... just wait until HE learns the truth about her. She's going to lie to the wrong person some day and get knocked around FOR REAL ... *sigh*

    Her bio-mom said she knew better, at least, called her out on the lie, but daughter insisted and yelled at her for not believing her, tried the whole guilt thing, manipulating, ugh. I don't know what led to her mom picking her up, wherever they were, but last we knew she was with her mom as of 3 p.m. yesterday, so until she splits again, we can breathe and plan.

    I am just so mortified that she is running around telling people that her dad punched her ... and yes I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that he did not ... younger daughter was there during the argument and saw her get in his face and KNOWS it is a lie just like everyone who knows him. With the hatred he has for abusers like my ex and her mom's ex, she couldn't hurt husband worse than this. :`(

    She's losing her cell phone, internet access, the door to her room ... don't know what else we can do as there is not much to take away and we can't chain her in her room at night. We lock up our medications but she finds ways to abuse anyway ... we discovered she was saving up her own "migraine" medications to share with her boyfriend to get high, I don't even trust her with anything OTC and don't think all these "headaches" she's been complaining of for months are legit; could be just withdrawals the officer was telling us.

    Oh yeah, the first time she called her mom, it was from a hospital because they had to take the 22 y.o. in because he was vomiting blood ... WTH are these kids doing to become that violently ill and not see a problem with it?!

    Another tidbit, when the officer called the 22 y.o. and told him how much trouble he was in for what he was doing, advising the prompt return of the 16 y.o. in his company ... they all thought it was the 19 y.o. calling and disguising his voice! There is another young man with them, an 18 y.o. that was begging daughter's bio-mom to not get the police involved, but then she told them it wasn't the 19 y.o. who had called, it was an actual officer, and they got spooked. I imagine that's why she ended up getting daughter yesterday, when the young men realized that this wasn't fun and games and the police WERE really looking for them.

    I was never into ANY kind of trouble even remotely like this, not even as a young adult, so I'm just lost and confused in this world, and (was until recently) rather naive to the level of deceit these kids are capable of ... I hate the helpless feeling. I really hope the younger kids are learning from what they're watching. My 14 y.o. is fairly respectful of authority figures and a by-the-book type, straight edge, happy loner "gamer" type ... I worry the most about my 11 y.o. who has been trying to act like her older sister for the last 8 years to the fullest extent allowable, and then more so behind our backs. Worried about her acting out sexually more than the drugs, with the absence of her own father and the role model she looks up to ...

    I really do want to hide under the covers for the next few weeks, months, years!! :/
  15. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I understand the way you feel. My son used to tell whoever that his Dad was an alcoholic and hit him and that I was addicted to crack cocaine!!!!! His Dad doesnt even drink and I have never even smoked a cigarette. It made me feel so bad to hear my son talk of us like that. He told me. I said why do you disrespect us and want other people that dont know us to think we are like that. I am a teacher and your Dad is an engineer. You cant trust ANYTHING they say. Everything is manipulation. Just be careful. Take advantage of the time that she is not there. We did remove the door to my sons room also. He was rolling joints in his room!!!!!! We didnt even know he had pot in there. So from then on we didnt believe anything he said. It is sad.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry she is telling such hurtful lies. Esp when she is doing the "get in his face and scream HIT ME over and over" routine. Yes, it is a routine and many kids try it. I don't know if they each figure it out as a way to put the parent/adult on the defensive, or if the kids tell each other how it works so well, but MANY kids do that.

    I am so GLAD your husband is not the kind to ever hit anyone. You should believe him over her from now on - in every instance. She is proving to you and all who believe her that she is an outright liar, and cannot be trusted. Hopefully the mom will get through to the boys that this IS a big deal, and that they can do JAIL TIME - cause that is why they call it "JAIL BAIT"!

    Soon she will have to move on to new friends because all the ones she has will get tired of her lies. She will also try ANYTHING to get support - she proved this with the I'm-prenant-and-he-hit-me routine. Just be sure to NOT believe her any more.

    If she is abusing her migraine medications she is on the wrong medications. Have you tried imitrex or maxalt or relpax? You cannot get high on those. THey will make you vomit if you take too much, but they will NOT make you high. If she is on any other medication I would not give it to her when she says she has a headache. You simply cannot believe she has one, not if she saved them up and tried to get high off of them. It is just too dangerous.

    Are you aware of DXM? It is a cough suppressant and is in OTC and prescription cough syrups and pills. I have only seen it in red gel-caps in pill form. If you find any cough products then she is using DXM. It is deadly. Even the OTC form is deadly because of the sheer quantity the kids use.

    I am so sorry you are dealing with all of this. From now on you should make your relationship with difficult child a "do to get" relationship. If she wants ANYTHING she has to DO something you want to earn it. Whatever it is.

    Taking her door and cell and internet away is a good start. Does she have a lot of clothes she likes? BAg them up and lock them up. Keep out a few outfits, ones YOU want her to wear, and put the rest in a bag. Locked up, or else put them on freecycle or give them to a thrift store if you don't plan on ever giving them back.

    Same for books, CDs, anything but a mattress and a few outfits you pick. Everything and anything else should go. Esp after she told people that husband HIT HER!!! It is just unconscionable and she should lose everything you have given her for it, in my opinion. If she can say that about him, then clearly she doesn't want anything he might have paid for.

    Sending gentle hugs to you, husband and your other kids.
  17. No news is good news, right? Haven't heard from her bio-mom at all, the original plan was for them to return on 7/12 so maybe we have one final week of peace to plan ...

    Bad news is our insurance will not cover an inpatient drug treatment or mental health program, the only thing that can be done is to try to take her to the emergency room IF we catch her in imminent danger of dying from either drugs or suicide attempt.

    I'm in a pretty ugly place here. I don't want her to come back to our house (not without at least 30 days of intervention) and neither do the kids. Dad doesn't want her to stay with her mom, her mom doesn't want her there either, so that only leaves our house ... or whatever druggie adult friend will take her in. We would have to leave her home alone with the two younger kids as we both work, and I don't want to do that. husband works as a temp and doesn't have any leave time he can take; he's already taken lots of time off due to crises and appointments, we're treading on thin ice there. Hell if I want to be home with them all. daughter-11 confided that daughter-16 really, really HATES me ... thinks that every time she gets in trouble it is due to me putting her dad up to it, hates my rules, hates chores, hates limits, and of course everything is MY fault. Ugh.

    I have tried SO hard to make this fragmented unit into a family, but now, I swear, sometimes I think the only way to survive is for my husband and the oldest to move out and live in an apartment together or something until she's 18 and no longer our legal responsibility. No matter how much we try to stand united this really divides us. We are still very much in love, committed, faithful, strong people, but my strength is fading ... when he's stressed, he yells at the kids more, and I'm on the verge of a breakdown. There is nothing I can't stand as much as feeling helpless and having no control over a situation to make it better.

    So, let's see, I know about the Darvocet, Ambien, Adderall, Ultram and weed ... cutting and suicidal threats ... failing school, skipping classes ... drugs in school, sharing pills ... unprotected sex ... multiple partners in a short period of time ... sneaking out ... running away from home and hiding out with 19 and 22 year old men ... what don't I know about yet?! How much more can I take?
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    WOW! I am amazed and impressed that you haven't run screaming from the hills yet! Surely it is too much for your husband to ask that you risk your kids safety by keeping her in the house. If you need to be a family of different addresses, I hope it works. Make sure you have regular "date" time and that NOTHING difficult child does interferes with it.

    With the list of drugs she has tried that you know of, I would assume she has also tried cocaine or heroin. usually when they can't get an easy supply of prescription drugs they try heroin or crack or meth because it is cheaper. And easier to get. So I would just assume she is using them.

    If they think she is pregnant with their child, WHY would these guys supply her with booze, cigarettes or drugs of ANY kind??? I am sure she is asking them too, or for cash so she can go buy drugs. Surely they have seen enough ads with the risk of whatevers to the unborn child that tehy know it is certain that teh baby will be damaged if she uses anything.

    I think you need to protect YOUR children from this difficult child. She is NOT a risk they should ahve to cope with. They have enough problems, just being kids, they do NOT need to deal with her. I am SURE she is hateful to them, and says scary things about what she is doing and what she wants to do to you. You will ONLY find out the extent of what she has done and said to them and around them AFTER you free them from her grasp. They won't tell you the worst things because they are afraid of her (if they have any sense) and her retaliation. Until you recognize this, and see that she is a FAR greater risk to your childrens' safety, you won't have a clue as to the extent of what difficult child is doing/saying.

    SAVE YOUR KIDS. It is ALL you can do. If husband thinks setting up a separate home for her will help, then encourage him to try. Just don't let your children pay for his child's illness. Insist that husband help difficult child by getting her into a long term facility or by having her live at moms and do whatever mom can get her to do. Just take the craziness away from your kids.

    As I said in another thread: Don't sacrifice your kids on the altar of his child's mental illness.

    sending hugs and strength to you!
  19. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    She is 16. If she is a threat to herself or others you can have her commited against her will by taking her to the hospital - especially if she acts like she has overdosed oryou think she has had too much of something. I did this with my son many times. First if he got violent, etc. I called the police.
  20. I sent my husband here to read, well, *my* side of the story, and the responses.

    We can't afford him to move out, and we don't want him to ... leaving the big problem of ... what do we do when she comes home from mom's ... if we're back to our "normal" schedule (ha ha) she comes back this coming Sunday.

    We have not heard from her bio-mom at all since she was picked up. Of course we haven't heard from daughter-16 either. I have only heard from a few of her friends, "She said that husband hit her, is it true?" and I told them what I could.

    She hit my youngest daughter a few months ago, what we hope(d) was an isolated incident, looking back she was probably tripping when it happened, as her moods swung incredibly fast from fine to explosive. As a mom I wanted her gone then, but as a wife and stepmom I wanted to try and see if we could work through it ...

    When she's home alone with the kids, she's always calling us at work complaining that they are fighting, being loud, getting into her room, etc. and when we talk to them we hear that she is screaming at them, slamming doors, turning her music up loud, getting into *their* stuff, etc. They all suffer from a lack of respect for one another and personal space/belongings. We can't hire a babysitter for a 16, 14 and 11 year old ... we have to work ... what options do we have?

    Don't want to dump her on a family member, but feeling totally out of options ... no Plan B or even Plan A for when she comes home ... when we got custody 18 months ago, I was scared and concerned but never dreamed it could be this bad. Now I'm so worried and stressed I'm dreading the end of the weekend getting here because we're so NOT ready for whatever's coming ...

    If she apologizes for what she said, for lying about husband hitting her, if she is compliant with our new restrictions and lack of privacy, there is no way I will believe she is honestly trying to start over and not just "playing along" until she gets a chance to sneak out or run away again. I don't think she is yet to the point where she wants help or wants to change. I worry that she will be the type to hit rock bottom before she gets to that point, and I fear that she could be seriously hurt (or worse) on the way down.

    So, if she threatens to kill herself again, all we can really do is take her to the emergency room... and what if she refuses? Call 911 and wait? What happens next?