I am so worried about my 13 yo - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 08-26-2004, 04:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well my daughter always used to be well mannered and she always brought home straight a's. She then went into middle school and made new friends and her grades started to slip. She got some d's and c's and such and she promised to do better. We changed her school anyway..

Recently she hasn't been eating much and there are many marks on her arms which leads me to think that she is cutting. Not only that, her grades are still low and she is so negative. She has openly told her father that she and her friends joined a legalization of marijuana march, it scares me..because I always told her how bad drugs are..I am not sure if she uses it...all i know is her and her friends think LSD and marijuana is just funny..they are always talking about it. They are always acting high..or they just seem high..i am not sure if they really are or if that is just a big joke between them.

Even more recently then that she began reading some book about heroin she found in my book shelf. I noticed that in her drawer there are a few spoons, and it just scares me..also..there were some needles around the house for some medicine for a friend of mine and one of them dissapeared. Maybe i am jumping to conclusions...but i don't know. She has been eating less lately, sleeping more during the day and staying up all night. She doesn't talk to me much anymore either..When she is around the house i try to look at her arms for any signs of her useing but then again you can shoot up other places.

At first i thought that i would notice money from my wallet gone or her gone from the house but i am at work alot and i just got my mac card paper and about 200 dollars in total has been withdrawn from the wawa down the street...and she knows the passcode.

I am really worried about her. Do you think I am jumping to conclussions? Should I worry? What do you think? What should I do?
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#2 of 20 Old 08-26-2004, 11:02 AM
 
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If you feel she is suicidal and a danger to herself and others, you can Baker Act her. Contact the police and let them know that she is suicidal and that you want to do it, they will give you the steps you need to take. My parents are going through with this with my step sister. She's 17 and she's been snorting coke for about two years. In the state of FL, they have no rights to put her in a drug treatment facility w/out her consent (she's a minor). When you call the police, I would see about putting her in drug rehab, but don't get too hopeful. Even if you can put her in, she's so young and invincible it probably won't do anything unless she really wants to change her lifestyle. Please don't just let this sit and ignore the problem. You can try to talk to your daughter, but you may end up pushing her further away or making her leave. Seriously, call the police and see what your options are. She at least needs counseling if she's self abusive and the fact that she's cutting herself and acting in a way that is self destructive you can Baker Act her and have her committed.

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#3 of 20 Old 08-26-2004, 11:08 AM
 
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No wonder you are so worried, I would be too. My kids are still little, but your thread caught my eye. My first thought is that maybe things are not as bad as the seem, but something is wrong. Hopefully your dd isn't doing all that you fear, but she sounds like she is begining down a bad path. My little brother started out around the same age, at first it was all talk a macho sort of thing. Unfortunately it didn't stay that way and he has spent the last few years in and out of trouble with the law and just about totally lost touch with the whole family. It was very hard on my mom. He is clean now and holding down a job, but he is 22 and that is a lot of years of hard times.

If I were you I would take some action NOW. Better to find out you are wrong and have your dd mad at you that to do nothing and have things get worse. Maybe you could talk to a teen counsler alone to get some help approaching your dd, then maybe get her into some counseling. 13 is such a hard age for girls, hopefully you can't turn things around now .

I wish I had better advise for you. Take care of your dd and yourself.

Good luck mama
Robyn
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#4 of 20 Old 08-26-2004, 11:43 AM
 
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Have her take a drug test. They're available from health food stores and pharmacies where I live. You can also take her to the dr for this. You have to first find out whether or not she is doing drugs.

If she is doing drugs, you have to come down on her with everything you have. Do you remember those ads, with the guy who used to play Archie Bunker-- I can't remember his name-- but his son died of a drug overdose. He looked straight into the camera with this agonized intensity would say that if you find out your kid is doing drugs, make them stop ANY WAY YOU CAN.

You are still her parent. Short of physically hurting her, you have just about any option available. You can change her schools, take her out of school and homeschool her, take away her cell phone, change your bank password, password the computer/ internet, tell her she cannot go out, use the phone, etc. I am sorry if I sound harsh but I am one of those people who believe that when it comes to drugs/ drinking/ unsafe sex you MUST intervene and get your child to stop ASAP.
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#5 of 20 Old 08-26-2004, 11:52 AM
 
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Make her take the drug tests and if they are positive, come at her like gale force winds! I have lost some good friends due to stupidity like this. I had somone come at me like a gale force wind, and I am much better for it. She is young and does not see that her actions now will have dire consequences for her future. It will be very very hard now and the family will be in turmoil, but in the end, it will all be worth it. Meowee is correct. Being under house arrest would really stink for everyone, but you have to make sure she is safe.

It wouldn't hurt to get the other parents involved as well. If your dd is doing these things her friends are as well.
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#6 of 20 Old 08-26-2004, 11:52 AM
 
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As a teenager, I would have been really resentful about being forced into counseling, drug testing, etc. and it definitely would have backfired. It depends a lot on her personality whether those methods would work in the long run. I would start spending a LOT more time with her, and know where she is and who with at all times. This will help you get to know each other better and limit the time she has to engage in activities you disapprove of. If you can not provide after school supervision yourself, find another way to do it (if she doesn't want to sign up for a sport/ club, insist on a babysitter!)
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#7 of 20 Old 08-26-2004, 11:57 AM
 
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I know you don't want to jump to conclusions but she sounds like me in high school. And I was doing drugs.

Get her some help, and the rest of the family too.
It is a touchy situation. I was tricked into a rehab stay, and was worse when I got out just to get back at my mom and "show her". So, I agree with the above poster that forcing counseling might make her resentful, but...... What is your choice. I do think also, the above poster was right when she said spend alot of one on one time with her.

-Michelle
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#8 of 20 Old 08-26-2004, 05:17 PM
 
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Wow, I've never been in your situation so I can't say as I've figured out exactly what I would do if I were, but I just had to say that if I were already depressed and cutting (which I *have* experienced), being "Baker acted", forced to take a drug test, and railroaded into rehab/counseling would make me feel resentful as hell. It would make me feel humiliated and powerless. It would make me feel like everyone was against me, no matter what they said to the contrary or how often they said it.

I'm not saying that getting her evaluated and treated is a bad thing. I'm saying that it's all about attitude, KWIM? If she's "in trouble" and needs intervention, she needs to feel like she has allies she can open up to, not enemies she neds to shut down on. Frankly, reading some of the responses here scared me. They gave me flashbacks to my mom. Guess how much help she ever was to me?
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#9 of 20 Old 08-29-2004, 05:46 PM
 
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Wow - I hope I don't have to go through this with my kids. I did have to go through it with my brother. The problem with many of the drugs you listed is that they are addictive. She may think she can control them - as my brother did - but in the end they control you (and your family). I would speak to a councelor or minister about holding an intervention. Many of the people are right that the choice has to come from her, but on the other hand you cannot put yourself or the rest of the family in danger - And with drugs there is danger - even from someone you love and someone that loves you. I cannot tell you how much money my parents lost, the sleepless nights. I cannot tell you how it felt when he hit me with a car because he was caught again (now growing pot in my parents house while my mother sick in the hospital - he'd only been home for a few days in just one of his many cycles). And this from a previously A student at a private school, quaterback on the football team.

I think that even he would agree now, as he works to straighten out his life from those early choices, that my parent's permissive and in many cases inabling behavior did not help him on the road to recovery.

Certainly your daughter may not be in the same situation as he, but you are talking about many of the same signs. I applaud you for looking straight at the problem and not explaining it away. In fact, the question is probably already answered in your mind and you are just looking for us to agree.

How you proceed is very difficult from here - you want to let her know that you love her and will do everything in your power to help her lead a straight life, but you cannot condone or allow some of the behavior she is exhibiting. I would recommend talking with a councelor or priest to help you through this process. You have to have all your ducks in a row if she is willing to accept help before you approach her.

Good luck. It sounds like you are in for a bumpy ride no matter what happens. But I'll tell you, I'd rather have my daughter hate me than have her be dead.
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#10 of 20 Old 08-29-2004, 08:08 PM
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I'd drug test her and confront her about the missing money (what the heck is a wawa?)

It sounds as if you DO know she's on drugs, but wish you didn't. There are so many signs! Come down fast and hard, every state has a law that will help get a teen into drug counseling. And get family counseling! I'd also consider taking some time off from work to keep an eye on things if you can, and I'd also consider homeschooling, since she's making lousy friend decisions.

Best of luck to you. Be strong, you're saving your daughter!
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#11 of 20 Old 08-31-2004, 01:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red
what the heck is a wawa?
It's a convenience store, a really, really great one, based in Wawa, PA. http://www.wawa.com/

(Just had to let you all know. It's a regional thing.)

SAHPilot Mama to a 5yoson, a 17 mo old daughter, and wife to .
Worried about your baby's head shape? PM me for craniosynostosis info!
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#12 of 20 Old 08-31-2004, 08:01 PM
 
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ITA with girlndocs. I would certainly not advise you to baker act her. I advise talking to her honestly and without judgement about what is going on in her life. I might consider *family* therapy.

Mom of 5 boys- 13, 10, 8, 2 : and newbie Aug. 24th, '09 . babywearing advocate . Cook, baker, homemaker, wife to a man with another woman's kidney (live altruistic, unknown donor).
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#13 of 20 Old 08-31-2004, 08:13 PM
 
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I would do something immediately. At the very least confront her.

Pay attention to your instincts, oftentimes where there is smoke there is fire, and in my own experience with one of my kids, its true.

Your fear is valid and in no way overreacting. the grades, the marks on her arm, her sleeping and eating patterns are all screaming drug use, not to mention the missing money.

Remember you are responsible for her actions should something happen, as her parent and legal guardian, you are liable. And her actions don't just affect her, they affect the whole family. She might refuse alot of things, but she doesn't have the right to systematically ruin your family because of the choices she makes. Heroin is awful and addicting and can lead otherwise law abiding citizens to break the law, and do God knows what else.

In my case, i had to come down hard, set firm limits, kept her out of school, and started her in therapy with a counselor. I did test my child once, and then i kept tests in the house (you can get them on the internet). I completely understand that some kids balk at this, run away, and in general, can refuse. But in my case, this worked, and my child will graduate this spring. I had to remember that i was her parent and not her friend, and that i might have to feel her wrath if i was going to get her through this in one piece.

Good luck.

PS, love your name.
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#14 of 20 Old 09-07-2004, 08:23 PM
 
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sweetbaby beat me to it. I've been through this with a teen also. Fight hard to save her, she's worth it.
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#15 of 20 Old 09-20-2004, 11:33 PM
 
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I don't think I could ever Baker Act someone. I think it would backfire- those friends who have done it to control their kids' behaviour have certainly not had success, and I just don't think it's right to force someone into treatment. It's too reminiscent of the 50s and shock therapy if your kid was gay, using drugs, a Communist...

She might not be using drugs, or not using hard drugs- the spoons and all might simply be she's caught up in the drama of the whole scene, like Go Ask Alice type stuff. You can also experiment with cutting without it being a problem- I know I did. And if I could've I would have stolen money from my parents even though I wouldn't have used it for drugs. But 200 dollars would have disappeared in a heartbeat on books, clothes, food...

It sounds more like you need to get back in tune with your daughter and what she's going through, not jump to conclusions- seems to me that would only drive her further away.
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#16 of 20 Old 10-13-2004, 07:47 PM
 
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I believe I'd baker act her as an absolute resort. Can you homeschool? There are virtual schools accountable to school districts now and other ways where you don't do much.

I worked in a kid's behavioral hospital. Most of the kids will be in jail at age 18. Your child would learn a lot of things from these kids that you would not want her to learn. The docs don't really do therapy and treat the kids. They just mess around with their meds and maybe talk with them 5 min. twice a week. Your kid could be on 3-4 different meds when she gets out. (zombieitis) The place I worked supposedly used Nebraska Boy's Town model. Nobody enforced this consistently. It did not work due to that. On the girls' unit, girls attacked other girls. On the boy's unit they attacked staff. The behavioral hosp. is all about the money too. If you don't qualify for medicaid your kid will have a very limited stay there.

I'd try keeping her with you 24/7 for a while. And drug test her weekly. And maybe a good counselor, family therapy. I think the cutting on arms is a personality disorder and you do not want to get a label that follows her around, so be careful who you choose. You are still responsible for her for 5 more years.
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#17 of 20 Old 10-13-2004, 08:01 PM
 
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Can you get her involved in something like sports or music? Maybe karate or a self-defense class? If you keep her busy enough she will have less time on her hands for drugs. If she gains self-esteem by doing something she is good at she will not want to put drugs into her body. Help her find a new outlet for her energy.
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#18 of 20 Old 10-26-2004, 03:40 AM
 
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this has really got to be one of the toughest things to happen to a parent. My mom always used to say that it's easy to be a good parent when your kid is being good, it's when they're in trouble that they need you the most. (in response to other parents' comments about my... ahem... unexpected first pregnancy).

You have to walk a fine line, and it's hard to predict ahead of time how your kid will react to any particular action you take. And if you "come at her like gale force winds", and worse yet "Baker Act" her, you run a very strong risk of completely alienating her. This will mean that she will turn from you and nothing you do will have any effect. Doesn't always happen, but it could.

Here are my suggestions:
1. Read "Hold On to Your Kids" by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate. Will explain to you what went wrong (orienting to peers instead of adults), and suggest things that will fix it. The focus is the attachment of the child to the parent. Without that attachment, the parent doesn't have the innate authority to parent the child. Some of their suggestions may be too late to implement, but not all of it. Most of it will take lots of time, though, and you don't have that right now. It definitely sounds like drugs are an issue here, and the longer you wait, the more likely she is to fall further into addiction.

2. Make a break with her current situation, and put yourself as the person in charge. One suggestion is to go out into the wilderness with her. Definitely take her out of school, at least for now. If you can't do that sort of thing with her, maybe your spouse, or a trusted connection (like a youth pastor or something) could. Or maybe travel to somewhere that you know but she doesn't. You might have to be gone for a week or two. At least. The important things are to remove her from her peers and for an adult to be in a position of authority, able to take charge and "orient" the child - tell them what's going on and when, and where you're going, etc. If it was me, and I had to miss work, and even if I had to quit my job, I would do it. (Easy to say, I know.) Minimize her interactions with other kids until she is oriented to you or another adult you trust.

3. Find support and help. Preferably help that will enhance/support your relationship with your daughter and not contribute to its further deterioration.

4. Say as little to her as possible beyond "This is what we're doing" - avoid getting drawn into arguments.

Those who've been through this as the child or the parent, how does this sound to you? Although I'm familiar with the ravages of addiction (I live in Vancouver!) from the experiences of family friends, it hasn't yet happened to me personally, so I wonder what you all think. I'm using the book above to hopefully prevent any of this, but there are no guarantees.

-Lori

Lori : mum to Emily (nov94) and Calvin (jul 03), : and : married to : Wes
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#19 of 20 Old 10-26-2004, 07:40 AM
 
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you should be worried
talk frankly with her
well she is displaying at the very least depression and if cutting is happening then it is a certain type of disorder. My older son knew about 3 kids that did this and I know 2 other people who have this disorder.Get her help, she may also need to go to a rehab hospital if she is using heron- an addiction on this order is life threatening. Stay away from the methadone treatment, recovery from it is never.
I homeschool but had my niece live with us from age 10 until she was almost 20 and she went to school. Jr high is hell! I almost think that all kids need to stay at home during this time period until high school because the hormone changes and their world views are so brittle and harsh- I have never seen children so vulnerable and so critical of self and others.
Find the Love Line radio show and still yourself to listen to it. they are a bit crass but Dr Drew is an addiction specialist and Adam is there to keep things going, they have heard it all multiple times over. After listening to several shows you will be far more informed. You could even call them...
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#20 of 20 Old 10-26-2004, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee
Have her take a drug test. They're available from health food stores and pharmacies where I live. You can also take her to the dr for this. You have to first find out whether or not she is doing drugs.

If she is doing drugs, you have to come down on her with everything you have. Do you remember those ads, with the guy who used to play Archie Bunker-- I can't remember his name-- but his son died of a drug overdose. He looked straight into the camera with this agonized intensity would say that if you find out your kid is doing drugs, make them stop ANY WAY YOU CAN.

You are still her parent. Short of physically hurting her, you have just about any option available. You can change her schools, take her out of school and homeschool her, take away her cell phone, change your bank password, password the computer/ internet, tell her she cannot go out, use the phone, etc. I am sorry if I sound harsh but I am one of those people who believe that when it comes to drugs/ drinking/ unsafe sex you MUST intervene and get your child to stop ASAP.
Yep, just what I was going to say! You need to take care of this NOW! Test her, then take ACTION!
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