Jun 9, 2012

Where Did I Go Wrong?

Musings of A Beautiful Mess
We were happily chugging along in life. There were some trials and quite a few bumps but I felt we did a good job of navigating our family through all of them. I emailed teachers, talked to parents, talked to her, told her our reason for punishment and praised her when she was doing good. I thought I was doing the right thing. I thought I was raising a daughter who would eventually make the right decisions and get back on the right track. There was yelling, but no physical punishment (no matter how much my hand was itching to make contact with her cheek), I knew it would do no good to lay my hands on her. Once the heat of the moment passed, we all took deep breaths and talked as calmly as possible. We wiped the slate clean, the past was the past. We accepted her boyfriend, despite not liking him. We went to bat for her at school and in the courtroom. We didn't make excuses for her actions or her behavior, but we as her parents stepped up to the plate. All this while I'm trying to graduate from college. Have you ever had to schedule a final around your daughter's court date? It isn't easy, I don't recommend it. The shit storm of having a rebellious teenager died down and she was polite, fun to be around, helpful, got her grades back up, and was generally being a NICE person. I actually enjoyed being around her and wanted to spend time with her. We were getting good reports from her teachers, not just about her grades but about her attitude. She was being respectful and kind to her teachers. "We have turned a corner! She is doing so well. That was a shitty year, hopefully Zilla learns from this and won't put us through this." That's what we thought, we were high fiving each other and commending our parenting skills because clearly we rock. Then Thursday June 7 happened. There was a period of 26 hours that I didn't know where my daughter was. My 15 year old daughter was not home, nor did I know where she was when I went to sleep that night.

I filed a runaway report that night, I knocked on her boyfriend's door, I had the police call his mother, I called and sent a text every single one of her friends trying to get ANY information as to where my daughter was. I woke up the next morning and started calling people and schools right away. I was in contact with her boyfriend all day and he told me he didn't know where she was, yet I'm being told by a few different sources that she IS with him. I went back to his house and his older sister tells me she has no idea where my daughter is. I resorted to telling them that she is a missing child at this point and there is an Amber Alert out for her. Yep. I lied to get that damn kid to tell me where my kid was. This whole time, we never heard from the boyfriend's mother. WTF?! Where is she?! Why isn't she answering her door and her phone at 11 PM and if my daughter is in her house, why does she think I would be OK with this?!

Finally at noon, on Friday, I found her. It was pure luck that I did find her, but she was safe. Pissed off at the world, but safe. The officer came and she got cited with a few things, but that really isn't on my top priority list of worries right now. My biggest worry is how do I get through her?! How do I tell her that I am not against her? I am not the enemy here, I am WITH her! I want her happy, I want her to have friends, I want her to do stupid teenage things (not illegal) and have stupid stories to tell when she gets older. I do not want her to run away, nor do I want her to die. I want her safe, healthy and happy, clearly that is too much to ask at the moment.

Where did I go wrong? Was I too overprotective? Did I not give her enough space to learn to do things on her own? I thought I was doing all the right things, how how wrong I was.

8 friends have commented:

Stacie on June 9, 2012 at 1:33 PM said...

Many. many hugs. You must have been terrified!

I don't think you have done anything wrong. What you have tried are all things I would try. Now, I think it is time to get the input of someone professional and have her talk to a counselor. Maybe a new set of eyes on what is going on would help you center and find a new plan for reaching her. It could be as simple as needing a new way of communicating with her so she "hears" you and you "hear" her.

Much love.

Kristin on June 9, 2012 at 10:37 PM said...

Honestly hon, you didn't go wrong. Some kids, no matter what you do, go through a stage like this. My middle sister was hell on wheels during her teen years. Long story, lots of back ground. She didn't graduate from high school or stay living at home. My parents despaired. Now, she is happily married, has two beautiful daughters, and is working on her PhD. The only thing my parents did was continue to be there for her when she needed them most. If you need to talk, give me a call. {{{Hugs}}} and prayers.

St Elsewhere on June 10, 2012 at 11:53 PM said...

I am not mothering a teenager, so I can't really say anything.

Maybe these are her wild days and all you can do is to hope that she will ride it out.

She may be shutting you out, but ensure that she knows that you are always there when she needs you. Tell her you love her and care for her, and you will be there for her. My brother hit a rough phase (not this kind, but different), and he went through it all, but my mum stayed firm and pursued the cause enough to see him sail through.

You can do it. Your kid will come around. Just let her know that she should make mistakes with care coz some of them stay for a lifetime.


Andy on June 11, 2012 at 5:18 AM said...

Oh no! I can't imagine what you went through. Hang in there, they aren't teenagers for ever.

Danielle on June 11, 2012 at 7:00 AM said...

You know in your heart that you are doing NOTHING wrong! I'm not going to try and give you any advice. You know I'm here for you at all times. I love you tons and know that you and your family will figure it out and get through this!

Jamie on June 11, 2012 at 3:54 PM said...

I am so, so sorry to hear what you have been through. I don't have any experience raising a teen but I remember my own years and they weren't pretty. If I could erase any year from my life it would be 14 - without a doubt.

But I think it would be important to keep reminding her that you will ALWAYS be there for her, in good times and bad, and that you won't give up on her. When she's older (and has her head on straight) that's what she'll remember.

Much love to you, sister XOXO

Lori Lavender Luz on June 17, 2012 at 9:24 PM said...

Be gentle with yourself. We do the best we can and can't always control the outcome. You KNOW your heart has always been in the right place.

I'm so sorry you went through such a harrowing experience. May your daughter soon realize that you are the best friend she will ever have. YOU are the one who will always have her back, and always has.

Hugs for you.

Anonymous said...

When she's ready, she will look back and remember that you fought for her in a time when she maybe wasn't fighting for herself. Don't give up!

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