We Didn't React The Way She Thought We Would

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    On my other thread about husband losing his debit card, I mentioned that Jess was upset that he kept blaming her. It has been going on for two months or more.

    Apparently she got sick of the blame when seh was innocent and with all the rationality of a 16yo she decided to live down to his expectation.

    Yup. He dropped the card and instead of giving it to him she kept it and when seh was at the store with him she used it. Took out a lot of cash with it. I know she hasn't done it before because this is the ONLY time there has been ANY money missing.

    After some emails with husband, we talked and looked at the account together after he got home from his temp job. I had a feeling that she took the money and understood why but it was still wrong. husband agreed to let me talk to her about it because he saw that he really hurt her by the nonstop accusations. We both thought that if she did finally take money that it might be because she was accused so many times and for so long with no sign that any wrongdoing had happened. husband perceived that teh only card that fell out was the debit card, but reality is that we have been picking up his Sam's card, insurance cards, driver's license, etc... for months as they fall out of his wallet.

    So I took her into the bedroom and asked her about it. Told her that this was a big deal. That if she took it, to just tell us and return what she didn't spend, to please be honest. I also said that if one of the kdis didn't take it then we would file a police report tomorrow, then the bank would pull the ATM video and see who used it. They would be able to find out who used it in just a few moments as the transaction would have the time and date. That if we had to go that far then the police owuld be involved and it would be really big and bad.

    She denied it and tehn said she might be on the video at the ATm because seh helped an old lady who couldn't get her card out of the machine. The lady walked away but jess was able to get the card out and then gave it to her.

    I didn't push, just told her that was a really strange story. She left the room acting like she had nothing to worry about. She is NOT a good actor and it was clear she was upset.

    Two minutes later she came in and gave me most of the money. She was in tears. Didn't know why she did it, had not done it before, hated herself, wanted me to call the police because she stole, etc...

    Pcs are REALLY easy to break in a lie like this and they are WAY hard on themselves. I still say easy child because the way she handled it all.

    She was so mad at herself. I hugged her and let her cry, promised her I understood, that this is sort of typical for kids and it is a big deal but she is NOT a horrible awful person.

    I told her that from now on if she goes to the store it will be when I go. No purse goes with her, and if she takes money it has to be given to husband or I to hold. She can spend her money how she wants but husband and I must hold it for her. She is NOT to touch any of the bank cards ever. If husband loses them again and she finds them, she is to leave them wehre seh saw them and tell one of us. She also cannot walk off to the bathroom or another area of the store when we are out.

    I got husband to come in and he was AWESOME. He could see how upset she was and he just thanked her and said he forgave her. Said he understood how getting blamed for all this time wehn she didn't do it could get her to impulsively use it because she was getting the mistrust anyway, so she might as well live down to expectations.

    He also said that when he gets back to ahving a regular job we will get her a checking account and her own debit card as long as this doesn't ever happen again.

    I am so glad this is over. She is going to do extra chores for the next month and will pay back the money she spent out of what she took out oft he bank. Mostly seh set her own consequences and we had to lighten some of them.

    I guess maybe if Wiz hadn't acted so differently in similar situations then I would have been harsher. But she was SOOOOO upset and angry with herself, and I can easily see why she was tempted. After two months of husband giving her dirty looks each time he opened his wallet, well, in my opinion it was almost inevitable. Part of me was tempted to say that she didn't have to pay the $$ seh spent back ( a very small portion of what she took out) and that losing the $$ was husband's consequence for constantly blaming her when she hadn't done anything.

    But that would NOT have been right. In order to work through this and take responsibility, Jess NEEDS to pay the money back. She won't forgive herself if she doesn't. So I did NOT offer to let her off the hook.

    husband did apologize for blaming her for all the times when she hadn't taken his card, admitted that he was very wrong to have done this. He did this AFTER she confessed, and it really shocked her. He can see how he created the situation where seh was so angry with him and then acted impulsively.

    My feelings about this are so odd to me. I am not angry. At all. usually stealing makes me furious. But after all we experienced with Wiz, all the times he did NOT fess up even with proof staring him in the face, well, this seems to be very different to me. I think I feel this way because she came in and was so extremely upset with herself.

    I think both husband and Jess learned big lessons today. I know she was shocked when he just hugged her and held her while she cried, adn then thanked her for being honest.

    What a night!
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    And this, right here, says it all.

    YUP, she is still a easy child.

    Sneak in a hug for me, too, will you please?

    (Although - how in the heck do the kids know your PIN???)
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    She knows the PIN because husband once asked her to run into the store to pay for gas with it. the pump thing was broken and he was tired. So that is his fault also. Plus, he is NEVER careful about making sure no one is watching when he puts it into the ATM or at the cash register. I have heard cashiers scold him about this - two said that he needed to be more careful and they didn't want anyone accusing THEM because a customer wasn't being careful about entering the PIN. I agreed with them (have been a cashier in that situation myself).

    I am jsut glad that they both learned a lesson. I also thank GOD that she is a easy child.
  4. ML

    ML Guest

    Sounds like she learned a big lesson today. You definitely handled it well.
  5. keista

    keista New Member

    My son used to 'uber-punish' himself too.
    If you haven't already, you might want to also point out the other lesson in the whole mess. When we listen to other ppl's negative comments about us, we can get caught up in the trap, and start believing it and living it. She may have been shocked because she didn't fully make that connection. Reading your story, we all know why she did what she did, but she probably doesn't. The point is, that negativity can come from anywhere - parents, teachers, peers. You're not smart, pretty, good, athletic, whatever enough to do XYZ. even if it's NOT true, if you hear it enough times you tend to believe it and then act accordingly. All people need to learn to protect themselves from such influences.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Good point keista, I will be sure to point that out to her. Thanks
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Yup. Keista made a very good point about the lesson. Actually that is probably bigger than the whole stealing thing.....

    If negativity is spouted at you long enough, it's easy to start buying into it.
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    ...Exactly... And unfortunately, that's the same thing that we're dealing with, with Onyxx. More elsewhere on that.

    Susie, I think you and husband did great with Jess.
  9. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    It is SO different with easy child's isn't it?? My easy child is truly SO sorry when he does do something wrong that I cannot stay mad at him. Now, when difficult child would get in trouble for something? She would yell, cuss and make a huge scene as if it was all our fault. BIG difference.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think you are all right that the negativity lesson is more important than the stealing. NEVER thought I would think that but with her I do.

    PG - you are so right. It is like dealing with hyenas and dolphins. Each have good and bad points, but the differences are astounding.

    This is yet another reason I often feel that J was my reward for not strangling or abusing Wiz and for sticking to what he needed to learn and could cope wtih as best I could.
  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    This is a great story! I am glad it ended so well for everyone.

    I had to laugh at your comment about it being a easy child or difficult child issue. In my house, it's difficult child who is one who guilts herself more than anyone ever could and almost immediately coming clean. easy child, on the other hand, is one who will hang onto the lie forever and a day. Hahahaha, just funny!
  12. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    LOL - there was a debate going on the other day about "push gifts" and whether they are warranted or not. I never got a "push gift", but I DO feel I should get a reward for surviving the teen years!!!
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree with-Keista, to talk to her about negative comments and self-talk.
    Glad that's over with!
    Good job.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I spoke to her briefly about the negative messages. I did sort of see a light bulb go off. She was super upset with herself because she just has never done things liek that or wanted to. THinking about the effect of husband doubting everything she said, and each time he couldn't find something immediately looking at her with blame all over his face, and all his comments about how before he never dropped the debit card and it is only that one that ever falls out, etc.... she was able to see how the idea of just taking some money using the card could occur and seem like something she might as well do.

    Knowing WHY she did it was very reassuring to her. She was thinking she was turning into a horrible person for even thinking of doing what she did. It also gives her some ways to not get into that situation again. When she hears those negative messages she is going to challenge them more as they are happening rather than let the messages just keep happening.
  15. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Good for Jess!!!

    And good for YOU too, explaining it the way you did!!! :hugs:
  16. keista

    keista New Member

    Yay! I'm so glad she got it. Some kids wouldn't believe it, I know some grown ups wouldn't believe it. Now she can build on and protect herself with that knowledge :)