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Old 02-14-2008, 04:59 AM
 
Location: Life here is not an Apollo Mission. Everyone calm down.
1,065 posts, read 4,109,309 times
Reputation: 967

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Last night has to be one of the worst nights of my life.

Sorry in advance for this being long.

Some background...

My ex-husband and I have been divorced seven years. He is remarried to a woman that I respect very much; she is a very thoughtful and intelligent stepmother to my daughter. I am single. We all live in the same small town. My daughter is with me four days out of every eight. She has her own car, cell phone, Itouch, computer, and up until Christmas, carried a 3.72 grade point average, and has two part-time jobs, she also plays the violin, & I recently got her a tutor, at her request, to clean up her technique for a school placement audition.

Since she returned to school after Christmas break, things have not been going well. She is consumed with not having a boyfriend and not having a date for the prom. It is all she talks about. She tells me every little detail about the boys she is interested in; funny things that happen at school, but often does not mention anything else that is going on at school reference her prep for college, forms she needs to fill out; administrative things have gone downhill, fast.

Now the real problem. A few days ago, she expressed interest in going to the doctor about fatigue and her weight; she passively-aggressively said that "no one cares" to take her. I told her that that was not true and that this is the first time I've heard of this and would make her an appointment the next day. When I asked why she had not asked me before, she told me that it (her health) didn't have anything to do with me. Her dad is good at taking her to the doctor for things like acne (which they put her on birth-control) and then telling me after the fact.

Monday, the father of a friend from school died. Not a best friend, just a friend. I told her that I did not want her to miss school to go to the funeral. (Currently, she failing English and carrying Cs in her other classes. This has never happened.) I told her that she should not miss the visitation the night before and if there was a wake after school on the day of the funeral; she could support her friend; but she is not to leave school.

Between then and now, this funeral has grown and treated by her classmates as some huge social event. Last night she was back with her father (he works 2nd shift and they rarely see each other.) She went to the visitation and then to work. Her stepmother called me to say that my daughter has asked her to call the school this morning to get her out of school for the funeral. Her stepmother said that that was not was she was informed was happening (my ex, myself, and his wife all agreed two days ago that she was not going to the funeral.) Not only is my daughter insisting on going, she has agreed to drive two others, to a funeral that is quite a distance, further than she has even been allowed to drive. She did all this without asking.

So last night, I'm home alone, decorating Valentine cookies I'd baked and watching a Netflix British comedy when her step mother calls to tell me that my daughter is on her way to my house to get an outfit (I forgot to mention that my daughter does not own one proper thing to wear to a funeral) and that she is "set to fight."

I hold the door open for her with the same love and smile I always have and she blows into the house past me, raising her voice that she needed to get some clothes. I said (calmly) that she is not going to the funeral and I followed her into her room. I also reminded her that she is not missing school and that she doesn't have anything to wear to a winter funeral. (Am I wrong, or are bare legs not a good thing at a funeral?) She yells that she will call in her absence to the school herself and tries to get by me, but I want to calm her down and discuss this. She shoves me out of the way, I grab the hood of her coat and demand her keys because she is shrieking and is in no condition to drive. The entire time, I am repeating her name in a calm voice and holding on to her while she struggles with me and I repeat, give me your keys...give me your keys. I didn't raise my voice and at one point was whispering in the hope that she would quiet and calm down to listen to me. She pulls out of her coat and her shoes fall off, I have one half of the key chain and it breaks and I have her keys; she throws a box fan at me and knocks over the kitchen trash can; she runs out of the house with no coat or shoes, all the time shrieking and screaming that she can't believe that I put my hands on her and the she is calling the police and then she called me a name that she has never called me.

Up to this very point, she has been a calm and loving child and we have always been over the top close. Last night she was like a violent crazy person.

My ex has a very very permissive parenting style. His wife told me last night that when our daughter gets lippy with him, he always "bends." He was supposed call me last night, but never did. I'm sure he is siding with my daughter and my daughter will be leaving school to attend the funeral.

Oh, and my daughter also said last night, "why are you even getting involved in this, I'm not even at your house." (Meaning it's dad's dime, not mine.)

She called me after she got back to her dad's house, more screaming and name calling. She is mad that when I dropped off her school bag, I had taken her phone (that I pay for) and the iTouch. She told me that "I" would not be seeing "her" for a longtime (screaming) and that I "blew it." She and I are sent to fly out of town on vacation in two days to visit my parents.

Anyway; alot of crying last night and very little sleep. My best friend promises me that her daughter went through the same defiant thing and she grew out of it.

If, as a parent, that I cannot demand her car keys and ground her with the support of her father and his wife, what good am I (we?)

Again, sorry this is so long.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:07 AM
 
Location: Southern NC
1,917 posts, read 4,224,265 times
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You've done the right thing by taking away priviledges...stick to your guns.
I would definately get her that Dr.s appointment...she could be suffering from depression, PMS (my teen had this severely!) or something that is causing her emotions to boil over. Good luck!
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:19 AM
 
Location: Life here is not an Apollo Mission. Everyone calm down.
1,065 posts, read 4,109,309 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NC~Mom View Post
You've done the right thing by taking away priviledges...stick to your guns.
I would definately get her that Dr.s appointment...she could be suffering from depression, PMS (my teen had this severely!) or something that is causing her emotions to boil over. Good luck!
Thanks. I don't know what good it's going to do, at my ex's insistence (from his cell phone at work) she and her stepmother snuck over and took the car back, after I had already offered to bring it to her if she would drive me back home so we could talk calmly.

She seems to think that I have no right to pin her as I did and demand her car keys.

I agree this is chemical, but if I don't have the support of her other parents, I'm being made to be the bad guy.

This is exactly the reason why I fought my divorce. I didn't want it; she's an only child and this was not what she deserves. I've even go so far as to not date or remarry because I did not want any domestic drama like she witnesses from time to time at her dad's.

I have to get her on that plane. Her grandparents will be crushed and will blame me. This is a very lonely place.
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:46 AM
 
1,363 posts, read 5,341,204 times
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I think it may just have more to do with the actual funeral than something major. In her mind you are preventing her from supporting her friend (best or not), you are stopping her from sharing in the grief and drama of the day with the "everybody else." I'm not saying it as a critique to you, but I remember how it was in high school when a friend's brother died. You're absolutely right, it is a social event and probably the first time for a lot of these "kids" to feel like they should do something "grown" to support their friend in a way that they have built up in their circle to be this absolutely, most important thing that has to be done. For my friend's brother, EVERYBODY was there-people my friend couldn't stand were hugging her, people who didn't know her brother took off from school because we "all had to go to Randy's funeral".

Your daughter over-reacted, absolutely. And that needs to be addressed and I don't think you should feel badly for landing on her for how she behaved. However, while I get the reason why you didn't want her to go, I think you maybe should have given her the permission to go. Not because you're giving in, but because (and I know what I'm trying to say, but don't know if I'm going to word it correctly) being able to share in this grief with her friend and being able to show that she has sympathy, and empathy for her, along with the rest of the classmates may be more important than missing the one day of school. Maybe somebody else who might be thinking along the same lines as me can help me make the point better.

In any event, good luck and I hope she gets on the plane willingly. If not, then I think you should make her call her grandparents to tell them why she's not coming. If she wants to be grown, then let her get a taste of the responsibility of how her tantrum is going to effect grandparents who are waiting to see her.
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Life here is not an Apollo Mission. Everyone calm down.
1,065 posts, read 4,109,309 times
Reputation: 967
Quote:
Originally Posted by regarese View Post
I think it may just have more to do with the actual funeral than something major. In her mind you are preventing her from supporting her friend (best or not), you are stopping her from sharing in the grief and drama of the day with the "everybody else." I'm not saying it as a critique to you, but I remember how it was in high school when a friend's brother died. You're absolutely right, it is a social event and probably the first time for a lot of these "kids" to feel like they should do something "grown" to support their friend in a way that they have built up in their circle to be this absolutely, most important thing that has to be done. For my friend's brother, EVERYBODY was there-people my friend couldn't stand were hugging her, people who didn't know her brother took off from school because we "all had to go to Randy's funeral".

Your daughter over-reacted, absolutely. And that needs to be addressed and I don't think you should feel badly for landing on her for how she behaved. However, while I get the reason why you didn't want her to go, I think you maybe should have given her the permission to go. Not because you're giving in, but because (and I know what I'm trying to say, but don't know if I'm going to word it correctly) being able to share in this grief with her friend and being able to show that she has sympathy, and empathy for her, along with the rest of the classmates may be more important than missing the one day of school. Maybe somebody else who might be thinking along the same lines as me can help me make the point better.

In any event, good luck and I hope she gets on the plane willingly. If not, then I think you should make her call her grandparents to tell them why she's not coming. If she wants to be grown, then let her get a taste of the responsibility of how her tantrum is going to effect grandparents who are waiting to see her.
I wanted to tell you that I really like your post and will be reading it a few times today. The first paragraph is 100% on target. I've talked with a couple parents here at work with 16 year old daughters and they've helped too. Thx regarese and NC mom for your posts.

Last edited by MainStreet; 02-14-2008 at 07:50 AM..
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Burlington County NJ
1,969 posts, read 5,286,236 times
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Wow MainStreet - you had a difficult night. I feel for you. I agree with Regarese. I also agree with NC~Mom. I think that this particular situation seems to be a fight over being able to support her friend like Regarese said. And, I would let her go as well - explaining firmly that her behavior is not what has changed your mind - but that you have reconsidered - Maybe you could even go with her? But it also seems that there are some underlying issues that need to be dealt with like depresstion etc like NC~Mom said. Grades slipping and such are not to be taken lightly. Sudden personality changes either. I would also take her to the doctor. See what you can find out. It could be something as simple as the birth control pill she's on is not working for her - it could be something more serious. Especially since she has been mentioning to you how she feels about her not having a boyfriend and a date for the prom and how this has been affecting her lately. Its probably nothing - its probably just teenage wacked our hormones - but you want to make sure.

Don't give her back those priviledges though - she should not be rewarded for that behavior - I'd take it all away for like a month! She threw things at you - physically fought with you - called you names and yelled - went behind your back - no way should she not be punished. The world must come crashing down in order to prevent this again! I know you have a battle with your ex - so that's going to be hard.

And yes - you have to get her on that plane! This is a planned vacation to see her grandparents. It would be disrespectful to your parents to not go because she's throwing a temper tantrum.

Hang in there - you'll be ok. She'll be ok. I'll keep you in my prayers.
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:40 AM
 
12,620 posts, read 17,684,974 times
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I would also think about the possibility of her using drugs. sudden changes in grades and attitude signs..... They have home drug tests or have the dr do one on her when she goes to the dr.
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Oz
2,238 posts, read 8,695,129 times
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Originally Posted by Miborn View Post
I would also think about the possibility of her using drugs. sudden changes in grades and attitude signs..... They have home drug tests or have the dr do one on her when she goes to the dr.
DO NOT DO THIS!! Please, please, just sit your kid down and ask first! It is such a breach of trust to have the doctor do a test on the sly, or to suddenly present your kid with a test and demand that they do it. I remember going through my teen years, and I didn't do drugs, but my mother dragged me to the doctor every six months and demanded that he perform blood tests for drugs simply because I had teenage emotions going on. It is a terrible feeling to know that your own parent won't bother to just sit down and talk with you, but would rather ASSUME that you've done something wrong.

Don't do it before having a good heart-to-heart with her. Please. It could ruin your relationship.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Burlington County NJ
1,969 posts, read 5,286,236 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoaminRed View Post
DO NOT DO THIS!! Please, please, just sit your kid down and ask first! It is such a breach of trust to have the doctor do a test on the sly, or to suddenly present your kid with a test and demand that they do it. I remember going through my teen years, and I didn't do drugs, but my mother dragged me to the doctor every six months and demanded that he perform blood tests for drugs simply because I had teenage emotions going on. It is a terrible feeling to know that your own parent won't bother to just sit down and talk with you, but would rather ASSUME that you've done something wrong.

Don't do it before having a good heart-to-heart with her. Please. It could ruin your relationship.
Absolutely! Talk with her first. Doing the test will only cause more strain. After you talk with her - if you think that is something you need to do then cross that bridge then - but you need to talk first. You need to get her to open up to you. If you tell her to take a test she's going to lose all trust with you and run to her father. Your at a critical point here - you don't want to lose her.
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Texas
690 posts, read 2,353,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoaminRed View Post
DO NOT DO THIS!! Please, please, just sit your kid down and ask first! It is such a breach of trust to have the doctor do a test on the sly, or to suddenly present your kid with a test and demand that they do it. I remember going through my teen years, and I didn't do drugs, but my mother dragged me to the doctor every six months and demanded that he perform blood tests for drugs simply because I had teenage emotions going on. It is a terrible feeling to know that your own parent won't bother to just sit down and talk with you, but would rather ASSUME that you've done something wrong.

Don't do it before having a good heart-to-heart with her. Please. It could ruin your relationship.
Could not agree more. Besides, just because this has come on rather suddenly does not mean that you should assume drugs are involved. Contrary to a somewhat popular belief these days, difficult teenagers does not equal drug problems.

Sounds to me like she's going through a difficult time, obviously, and that there are probably things going on in her life that you don't know about. Nothing necessarily major, to you, but to her, HUGE. I remember myself at that age. Everything was DRAMA, baby.

I also agree that she probably should have been allowed to go to the funeral, for reasons nic and others gave. She probably felt as if she wasn't being allowed to support her friend, and it probably went through her mind that there was no way she'd be able to explain to this friend that she couldn't go because her mother wouldn't let her out of school for it. Please don't take that as a criticism of your parenting by any means - just my assumption of how she probably felt, based on remembering myself at that age.

You're doing the best you can. However, her other parents are obviously NOT helping at all, and that will make things worse for you. I'd suggest a family meeting, if at all possible....but regardless of what you decide to do, just be there, as you've been. It's the best thing you can do.
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