Sometimes bad things happen…

Ever since the girls were tiny, I’ve made it my business to know who they were going to school with and who their close friends were.  I volunteered to be in the classrooms and on field trips as much as I possibly could.  I really got to know the kids at the school and watch them grow up. 

 At about forth or fifth grade, I started noticing some real changes in some of these kids.  No longer were they the sweet, loving children I had known for so long.  They seemed to be getting secretive and sullen.  Naively, I just chalked it up to hormones.  

 When our girls entered junior high, it seemed as though I no longer saw most of these kids anymore.  The small classrooms that I had hung out with became a huge sea of kids.  I only got to see the ones the girls would bring home.   Fortunately, our kids still talk to us and tell us what is going on.  It has often broken my heart to hear what they had to say.  One boy had picked up a habit of sticky fingers, another was experimenting with drugs.  A couple girls tried to escape the pain of life by cutting themselves and yet another started to boast of her sexual exploits.  She ended up switching schools, leaving behind a rumor that she was pregnant. 

 While we’re constantly aware and watching for things that could easily go array in our girls’ lives, one of my girlfriends was finding signs that something was wrong with her child.  This sweet little girl that I had known since first grade, that had been in my Girl Scout troop, that had one of KT’s best friends for years, was in serious trouble. 

 She had gotten involved with a different group of kids that completely accepted her.  They made it easy for her to lie to her parents.  She started experimenting with drugs and sneaking out at night to go to raves and hang out with her new friends.  When her parents found out what was going on and set boundaries, she simply ran away from home.

 Things were starting to get better.  She was doing her school work, attending AA/AN meetings…just working towards getting away from all that stuff.  Then she made a huge turn for the worse.  Her parents don’t know what to do.  They are strongly considering sending her to something like Sagewalk, a wilderness school. 

 My friend has asked me to see if anyone knows anything about this.  She would really like to find a blog from a parent view point.  Or just be able to communicate with someone that has gone though this.  So please, if you have had any experience in this, or know of someone that has, and are willing to help, please let me know.  You can email me at QueenSaraphina at gmail dot com (yeah, don’t ask…) or simply leave a comment.  Any little bit of help is more then welcome. 

 Thanks 

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15 Responses to Sometimes bad things happen…

  1. Peggy says:

    Sadly, I don’t have anything practical to say. I hope that this young woman survives this. Thank GOD it hasn’t happened to my family (that I know of). I’m sending a prayer for her recovery.

  2. Kristi says:

    About the only thing I can tell you is that I watched the reality TV show about Sagewalk and it seemed to work for most of the kids. I’d also like to say that I went thru a similar stage when I was growing up and I made it just fine. I do think I’d be better off money wise if I hadn’t done what I did but then I wouldn’t be here (in this life) today. As far as being happier, I’m not so sure because I’m pretty happy now. It think it’s something that every kids goes thru some just take it too far. We all thought our parents were wrong and didn’t understand anything when we were teens. I think when we get older we forget that.

    On a lighter note, every week on American Idol I think I’m going to stop voting for Sanjaya but he’s seems to be the only reason I watch. Last year was so much better with Chris and Elliott. I think this might be the year that AI jumps the shark!

  3. I don’t have any really good advice here…but I too went through a similar stage in my teenage life. I had a friend that was shipped off to wilderness camp and while there she actally hooked up with even *more* drug users/dealers and ended up really resenting her parents even more. So I don’t know if that’s a route I would go if it were my child. I really have no clue what I would do if Kyrin went that route…I would want to KILL HER but…well..that’s not really reasonable either now is it? I hope your friend finds her way with her daughter. It’s a rough time in anyone’s life. Being a teenager sucks on so many levels……as their parents we can just try to do the best we can. I hope things go well for them.

  4. Barb says:

    I don’t really have any great fixes, but I can tell you that I talked and talked and talked to Alyssa (now 17) about drugs and the bad effects and I was very much in her business and involved in her life, friends, school etc. She complained that I was always in her face, but she has never done a drug. She has many friends though who are heavy users. I tried to ask her not to associate with the users, but she told me I needed to trust her judgement. It is so scary being a step parent to a teenager.

  5. Annie says:

    Like all parents these are the stories one doesn’t want to have come true in ones own family.

    If I were faced with this I’d consider it all-out war and the war would be with the dangerous forces, not with my child. I would tell my child that I simply wouldn’t have these problems going on and that whatever it took to redirect her is what I was prepared to do. If that meant moving her to another school, going to school with her, going to family counseling with her and fully participating, moving to a new town, etc. I doubt anything short and sweet would work and so I’d be skeptical of the benefits of a wilderness camp (I think those often work better for marginally depressed rather than acting out kids). I’d do whatever. I’d fight to win her over, that’s for sure.

  6. Lynne says:

    Kids today have so many issue to deal with that we never had growing up. I was always the odd girl out because I never conformed to the “norm.” For that I was bullied but somehow managed to not give in. I would never go through my teen years again. Never.

    Susan, my answers to your interview are now up on my blog. I hope they were worth the wait. If not, well … too bad!

  7. Kell says:

    I wish I had something helpful to say besides I’ll be praying for your friends. It’s very easy to become overwhelmed to the point of no action at all. Thank goodness she has parents who care enough to do what they can to help her. I just hope she realizes and appreciates that some day soon.

  8. gawilli says:

    I do not know anything about the Wilderness route, however I do think that wilderness situations tend to be more conducive to introspection and growth on a personal level. In my own family I was much like you. I know I was the only one who made calls to parents to make sure they were in the house and aware of plans. My daugher, now married, has thanked me for being so vigilant. What works for one child does not necessarily work for the other, even in the same family. I have seen many children become so out of control that parents have used the tough love approach as a last resort. I also know that a night in the juvenile detention center can be one hell of a wake-up call for both the parent and the kid. I wish your friend success in what ever she tries and will keep her in my thoughts.

  9. Gracey says:

    I’m sorry, I don’t have any advice since I never went through that type of thing as a teenager. Susan, wanted to stop by and say “goodbye” for now. Will be off the computer for probably a couple of weeks due to the move, but wanted to let you know that I’ll be thinking of you and all my other blogger friends!

  10. Jocelyn says:

    Having been a female in those tough years, I have nothing but compassion for every one of those kids. I don’t know about Sagewalk, but I do know outdoor education can be transformative.

  11. Tink says:

    From the age of 16-20 I partied with people who were not good for me, doing things that weren’t good for me. Acid, pot, rolls (Ecstasy), Aderall, Loritab, Xanax… The list goes on. Eventually I realized how quickly my life was circling the toilet and stopped, moved away from those friends and pursued healthier hobbies. But it was a choice. I’m not sure I would have stopped if someone had approached me about it. I would have just gone into hiding with my addictions.

    An aunt of mine was sent to one of those rehab camps. They came in the middle of the night, wrapped her in a jacket, and carried her kicking and screaming body into the back of a van. It was traumatizing. She got out a year later and went right back to the life she’d been living before. I don’t believe that method works. But maybe if your friend’s daughter AGREES to the treatment and realizes this is a choice it will work.

  12. Aunt Mary says:

    I won`t say you are lucky Susan .Having raised six daughters I know how much work it takes to have an open line of communication with teenage girls.Our rebel turned out to be the most successful so you can`t pick em .It takes a lot of tongue biting and smooth talking to keep the line open and that starts when they are tiny.I have always admired the interaction you guys have and don`t think arriving at a certain age will change the “Bouncing off ” relationship you have .It may BOUNCE a little higher But in my opinion you`ve got the basics. I always get a laugh out of your blog and I think the best advice when things get Bouncy is to hang on and laugh. Love Ya Aunt Mary

  13. Aunt Mary says:

    Tink has it right .It`s a matter of being able to choose for yourself

  14. Susan says:

    Thank you all for your comments. My girlfriend has been reading them all. Hopefully some of them will help in this very difficult time.

  15. teri says:

    I can add a little perspective for your friend I think. Our 17 year old son just returned last week from a 60 stay at SageWalk. I don’t want to be the SageWalk poster family, but for him, it was the very best thing we EVER could have done. He went basically because he was unmotivated, disrespectful and horrible anger management. No drugs, no alcohol issues. He previously loved the outdoors, and we had always joked that he was an unhappy boy who would have been more peaceful if he had been raised by wolves. He is unbelievably proud of himself and how “self-reliant” he is now. This was a really harsh and very difficult reality for him to face, but I believe not only did we make the right decision…but that it potentially has saved him from a life of crime or worse. The reason that I chose SageWalk is because it’s NOT a boot camp. It was unbelievable the level of peacefulness and caring we saw from staff and the other kids when we went for his graduation. Amazing on many levels.

    Now the flip side of that entire story is that we also have a 16 year old daughter who has, like your friend’s daughter, left her wonderful life-long peer group to be absorbed by a “fun-family” that apparently understands her better than the rest of the world. We are sick with worry about how this will play out…but I don’t believe that SageWalk would ever be a positive option for her. She got waaayyy more self-confidence than our son, and I think she would spend the entire 2 months figuring out ways to torture us when she got home. If your friend wants specific information, have her email me.
    Teri