In as few words as possible, I'm going to attempt to explain our situation. I ask that you try to stick with me through the entire post (will likely be a bit lengthy) and post your words of wisdom.
17yo dd is quite mature for her age, although she does show her true age from time to time;-), she's graduating high school a year early, has been accepted to her first choice college to start this fall, she has a part time job, gets very good grades, she's kind, patient, bright, a good friend and daughter. She lives with her bio father as he was awarded custody, why is beyond me, and has not had a very happy life there. DD has been in very little trouble, the usual teen stuff.
Last Friday we visited the college she'll be attending this fall and she realized after touring classrooms of her chosen major that she wasn't interested in that particular program. She was in tears on the way home and never quite got back to being herself. On Sunday she said, "I just don't feel like myself today." I asked her if she wanted or needed to talk and she said no.
On Monday, dd was arrested for shop lifting at a chain clothing store. She went with intent as she had wire cutters and scissors with her. Her reason was, "I was bored and didn't want to pay for the stuff." She also said, "I'm glad I got caught, maybe now Dad will pay attention to me. He never pays attention to me, never says 'good job'." And she deserves the acknowledgement, she's worked very hard to get where she's at. I'd like to clarify that dd did not say any of the above with sassy tone or attitude. She's very well mannered and was expressing her feelings at the moment.
DD has spent the last two years telling me she would be moving out of her dad's as soon as she graduated (the incentive for graduating early) and would be coming to live with us. I'm fine with this plan. We've been very close the past few years and she tells me almost everything.
I spoke with dd's bio father this morning and he informed me that dd has asked to seek therapy, she didn't even mention this to me. Not sure if this is a ploy for lighter sentencing or if she truly feels she needs it. I'm just so shocked she didn't mention this to me. She hasn't spoken to me since calling me Monday evening after her father picked her up from juvenile detention. I'm not sure if she's ashamed and doesn't want to talk to me...
She'll be here next weekend and I really want to have all my feelings sorted before then as we're going to sit down; dd, myself, and dh, to discuss things.
Right now I bounce from anger to broken hearted with tears pouring down my face. I've had an almost constant headache since Monday night, haven't slept well, have some health garbage of my own that cannot take all of this. I really need to get this stuff sorted. I'm afraid dd is headed down some bizarre downward spiral. I don't want to see her mess up everything she's worked so hard for. I want to inspire her to do good and do well. I want to help her get back on the straight path.
OH! And ex hubby forces dd to remain on depo while living with him. She doesn't want to do it and I don't want her to either. We've decided collectively that it was best to do it for the time he insisted as not to make waves, making it an easier transition in moving out. fwiw, dd has had sex ONCE and has given no reason to indicate that she'd make a bad choice where that's concerned. I do have concern that the depo is playing a role in hormonal stuff.
Additionally, dd's bio father has laid out the following punishment:
No cell phone
No going out except school and work
No driving privileges except work
No visitors until the end of the month at which time she may have visitors but still no going out
They've taken away a concert she was to attend this month but will allow prom at the beginning of May.
If dd has any further issues, she will lose prom and all visitors for the remainder of the school year.
I'm concerned the punishments they've chosen (this is something we don't do) are going to only depress dd further. I'm concerned for her well being at the moment and am toying with calling my attorney to ask for immediate emergency custody.
Any thoughts, advice, suggestions, etc are warmly welcomed. Thank you to those have hung in there through the entire post.
I didn't want to read this and not reply. But I don't know if my advice is right or not! Bless her heart and bless yours, too! My inclination would be to not express anger towards her for this, especially since her father is dealing with her harshly over this. As her mother, I would definitely be approaching this situation as a helpmate and trying to love her and help her in any way that I could.
First thing is, YES, if she is asking for counseling, absolutely she should get it, first thing.
and I would be having a long heart to heart with her to find out in what other ways I could help her. And yes, I imagine that were I in your position, I would try to get the emergency custody or whatever it takes to get her to my supportive home rather than father's punitive one, if possible.
These would be my thoughts and inclinations if I were in your situation, but I am not claiming that this is necessarily what you should do! Good luck to you and to her; I hope she gets help from you or a counselor or someone, as she does sound like she is in a precarious position!
Mama to 3 boys
I'm sorry to hear all that. Her bio father seems harsh. Most teenagers will shoplift (or try to) at least once. I know I did, got grounded for a week or something, with the warning that if I got caught again, the punishment would be worst.
When will she turn 18? Is it anytime soon? If so, maybe you can just try to wait it out.