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Could use some advice

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  • #58714
    Laura C
    Participant

    I am a mom of a 17year old daughter who moved out of my home while my husband and I were away for a weekend about 3 months ago. When we found out what she did we filed a runaway report and tried to get her to come home. We knew she was living with 2 friends and paying rent on this apartment with them. With the help of the police we brought her home twice. She was brazen, cursed at us and told us she wanted to live on her own. She said many hurtful things to me and my husband. I also have a 10yr old daughter at home who has felt the pain and hurt she has caused us. The 2nd time we brought her home she filed a CPS report (child protective) stating that I tried to strangle her. Of course it was totally untrue and CPS closed the case after a few weeks. She did everything she could to fight us and not return home. We found out about 6 weeks ago she had been dating a 20 year old guy and I think this is the major reason why all of this happened. She had been dating him and lying to us since October 2013 about not having a boyfriend and her friends were covering for her. Being a minor she knew dating a 20 year old guy would not be allowed in our home.

    Anyway, that is the background story but now to my question and need of advice. She is graduating high school next week. My husband has made the decision not to attend. She has not been in contact with us except for a few times over Facebook messaging. My husband believes she owes us an apology and should pick up the phone and call us. He feels she grandstands on Facebook in front of people and is not doing anything to ask for forgiveness and remedy the estranged relationship.

    I am struggling if I should attend her high school graduation? My husband feels it would be a slap in our face as she has done these past 3 months. Not even sure if she would acknowledge us and may cause more pain and embrassment since her friends will be there for her. I am trying to get over the pain and anger of what she has done. I have mixed emotions of what to do and hope you can give me some insight or advice.

    #58715
    Inky
    Participant

    Go to the graduation. Years from now, she will literally forget all the heartache she put you through, but she will remember if you weren’t there for her graduation.

    What you should do is call the cops on the 20 year old for molesting an underage girl, your daughter. It is a Social Crime. Tell her that once she turns 18, it has nothing to do with her anymore, but it does have to do with the State law and protecting all the other naΓ―ve girls he WILL go after.

    She will throw a fit first, of course. Say, “You can be mad”, and keep silent and calm while she has her tantrum.

    Then let her “go” after her birthday. She will return one day, if only for $$.

    #58717
    Inky
    Participant

    Edit: It depends on the State whether age of consent is 16 or 17. But the police talking to him will send a powerful message that this is NOT Ok! (I had a family situation, not like this, but something else. When they asked me what I would do, I said, “Scare him.” The kid’s face was white when he was done with “the talk”.) I know I got off your original question, but: Priorities.

    #58719
    Laura C
    Participant

    Age of consent in my state is 16. I have reported this to police, juvenile services and child protective services. They just throw their hands up. Juvenile services counselor said if she is in love she will do things like this. I have never met the guy and I don’t know where he lives. She will be 18 in 3 weeks. Thank you for your advice. I am angry and hurt at all of this and appreciate your feedback.

    #58723
    Inky
    Participant

    OK, You have officially done All You Can.

    You know how they say, “It’s a phase?” Well, I predict, when she’s 24 she will have grown into an elegant young woman. Hold on to that vision. Don’t let go of it, or scoff at it. Just say, “To when she’s 24!”

    And go to the graduation. And enjoy it (whether she’s happy you’re there or not!) If she asks why dad’s not there, say, “For business”. She knows the truth.

    Hang in there, Mother!! πŸ™‚

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 3 months ago by Inky.
    #58725
    Kendra
    Participant

    When I was 17 I had a falling out with my mom over the person I was dating. I ran away from home as well. As time went by I got into another relationship that my mom didn’t like and as a result she didn’t go to my wedding and prevented my younger brother from going as well. I am 52 now and as time has gone by I have since mended fences with my mom but to be honest, it will always hurt that she wasn’t there for me on one of the most important days of my life. So from my experience I would say that you really should go to the graduation and really try to convince her dad to reconsider. Even to just sit in the crowd and watch without interacting if he prefers. Problems like this will eventually be resolved but the hurt she will carry by you not being there will never go away even after the relationship gets back on track. As far as the boyfriend goes she is so close to 18 that trying to cause issues there will only push her further from you and closer to him.

    #58741
    Al
    Participant

    Laura C,

    I am sorry for the suffering and difficulties you are experiencing.

    While difficult to see someone you share part of your being with come to potentially cause harm to their life and future, in the end, as each of us must do, we must remember that our journeys are ours to tread, our paths ours to walk, and our lives ours to live. The adversities themselves must be ours as well to suffer and overcome for they are ours alone to learn from to teach us our unique lessons. And, despite your efforts to help her, she has ultimately and unknowingly decided on the path she will take and must now solely endure what she is meant to endure.

    I believe the best course of action now, according to my teacher’s teachings, are to stay kind, loving and compassionate. She will undoubtedly face difficulties, as we all do, and you and your husband must be there to be of continuous example to her both directly and indirectly, to be of support when she needs it, of guidance, of remembrance of the importance of kindness and of love. This way, she will always possess an obscure and inherent awareness of the virtues which are necessary to lead, or revert to, a more wholesome way of life. And, when she falters, perhaps in her own search for meaning, purpose and happiness, she may stumble upon these virtues deep inside herself.

    As for attending her graduation, please do so despite her acknowledgement of your presence. Being there for her then and now are purely acts of love and ‘acts of love’ are never forgotten. While her mind and heart may currently be shrouded and veiled in misconceived and chaotic elements, be sound in knowing that this small yet grand act of being present will be etched deeply in her heart to be aroused at a time she very much needs it. Please convey this to your husband.

    Finally, when she eventually turns 18 and still has her heart set on leaving, if you have the chance to speak to her prior to her doing so, earnestly express your eternal love, support and desire for her happiness to her. Whatever her reaction, take care in not unsettling the energy/atmosphere by responding negatively else cause potential lasting damage. You can do so by harnessing your love for her. This will help in keeping your nerves as calm as they can be. Please also share this with your husband.

    All of your lives have been influenced by this event. However, though sad in nature, this does not mean all of your happiness and peace of minds can no longer be attained/maintained. One condition should not disturb and dominate the rest of our conditions (though more preferable if all were in equilibrium and at harmony). You can always choose to be happy. ‘Choice’ is always available. Hence, do not let one event ruin the rest of your life for your happiness is just as important.

    I hope this helps and I will pray for all of your peace.

    Al

    #58807
    Ellen
    Participant

    I agree that the (potential) short term pain of attending your daughters graduation is worth the long term gain. The past 3 months have been especially hard on you, understandably, but do not forget years and memories you cherish, and most importantly she will always be your daughter. The opportunity to attend her graduation will only present itself once in this lifetime and it is one of the most important days of her life.

    I had one friend in high school, we were 16 and her boyfriend was 24. We all thought he was really incredible at the time, but now looking back over a decade later… she realizes he was a creep. They say hiensight is 20/20, but in the event that she decides to spend the rest of her life with him, you also want to be there. Meet him, love her, and be there when she gets married, bears your grandchildren, and needs advice from her mom.

    When it comes to matters of the heart, we should expect to lose when we offer anything other than support for decisions others make; the heart wants what the heart wants and no one can change that. This is a good opportunity to help her merge into adulthood stronger and with more self assurance because she has the support of her family and to show her you trust that you have raised her to make smart choices even if it doesnt seem that way right now. She is entering a new phase of life and will benefit from you, and your husband sharing your knowledge of the real world as she goes through the motions.

    If it goes badly at her graduation, at least you can always look them in the eye and say you tried. If you try and explain your absence was due “business”, like someone posted before me said… no one will believe you.

    #58817
    Inky
    Participant

    Of course no one will believe a parent’s absence was due to “business” LOL. However, if Dad’s set on not going, and the Mom goes, and the daughter asks “Where’s Dad?” the options are:

    1. Business
    2. Not feeling well

    or

    3. “Well, Daughter, after putting us through hell…. (diatribe).”

    I just don’t think Graduation Day is the time or the place to do #3.

    Alternative: Implore the father to go as well.

    #58836
    Big blue
    Participant

    Hi Laura C,

    If your husband likes numbers, point out that the past few months amount to 1% of her beautiful life – so far. Or, if he Really likes math, ask: “Gee honey she’s been a beautiful daughter all her almost 18 years and we have this challenge now for what, a few months? What per cent of 18 years is 3 months?”

    Big blue

    PS: Go! Celebrate! Get that big party going! πŸ™‚

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 3 months ago by Big blue.
    #58845
    Bill Lee
    Participant

    Hi Laura,

    You have received very wise advice here. I would also encourage you to attend the graduation, even if your daughter doesn’t acknowledge your presence there. It may not be evident, but I’m sure some of her friends, classmates, and teachers empathize with you and will admire your dedication as a parent for placing her needs before your own.

    Your daughter sounds like she will have to learn some hard life lessons. It’s awfully painful to witness, but the best thing you can do is keep the lines of communication open. That doesn’t mean you approve of her decisions or behavior.

    Your husband is hurt and feels rejected, and it is manifesting as anger. Unfortunately, his response is to hurt your daughter back. My advice is to help him re-direct his anger into compassion, perhaps by reminding him that your daughter is physically grown up, but emotionally very confused and doesn’t know how to establish her independence without being rebellious. Remind him of the happy times they shared. That sweet, loving little girl is still inside of her.

    There is no tougher job than being a parent to rebellious teens, especially if they’re smart and resourceful. Be good and gentle with yourself. Your inner child needs nurturing as well.

    Peace & Serenity,

    Bill

    #58862
    Laura C
    Participant

    Hello:

    I want to thank you all for your wisdom and great advice. I will be attending her graduation along with my younger daughter (her sister). I have yet to turn my husband to come but I think at the very last moment he may decide to come.

    With the help of your words here and what has helped me these past few days is to realize that she is still a child. I think she is feeling lost and has caused so much pain to us and doesn’t know how to open the door and get back in touch with us. I know if I did not go to her graduation it would pain me more deeply that I missed this once in a lifetime opportunity. I do not know how she will treat me in front of her friends that have helped her these past few months but knowing that I am there despite all the pain and anger she has caused me will hopefully make her see I am opening the door for her opportunity to work herself back into our lives.

    My husband is stubborn as is my teen daughter. The can be Pig headed and will not like to appear weak but hold the higher ground. Even if he does not come, that is OK. As long as I am there.

    I also know holding on to anger is not a good thing. Life is too short and precious. Life can change at a moments notice so live each day and don’t turn your back on those you hold dear to you.

    Thank you again! You all have helped me so much!!

    #58875
    Bill Lee
    Participant

    Hi Laura,

    Sending you positive energy and strength as you attend your daughter’s graduation. Kudos to you for placing your daughter’s feelings ahead of your own. Best wishes to your husband as well for Father’s Day.

    In Kindness,

    Bill

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