Worry

This weekend my daughter got fed up with hearing about her friend’s accounts of her mother verbally abusing and neglecting her and so my daughter sent an extremely nasty text to the mom. I won’t share what she said but it was bad. Reading it, I felt like I was punched in the gut.

My daughter then went on the Say Something app, which was created for kids to report concerning behavior and anoymously give a tip, and she shared her concerns of the things that her friend said about her mom, with text screenshots. There was also indication that her friend had recently self-harmed and had been talking “non-seriously” about taking a bottle of pills.

The tip was forwarded to the police who showed up her friend’s house to do a welfare check. The mom then called me, sharing the nasty text my daughter sent and the event # the police gave for the welfare check. She asked me if I knew it was illegal to give a false report and that CPS (child protective services) may get involved. I was in shock so all I could say was I’d be taking away my daughter’s phone and talking to her, and I’d call her back.

The mom had asked me to contact the police, but I saw no reason to do so. My daughter actually didn’t “call the cops,” it was a tip anonymously sent and I don’t want to get my daughter more involved. My daughter continued to have contact with her friend through Minecraft (unbeknownst to we, her parents), and the mom texted me to tell me that my daughter showed no remorse for her actions and if my daughter kept communicating with her she would proceed with legal action.

On top of this, my daughter had a night where I was worried she would harm herself. She said she couldn’t live without her friend (she was her only close friend), that her friend feels betrayed and wants nothing to do with her, that she always messes things up, and wanted to die. I spent the night in my daughter’s room to make sure she was safe. She’s doing better now, but that was scary and I’m still closely paying attention to her.

I can’t ever relax. My work is slow but because it’s new it causes me a lot of stress. I go home and there is even more stress. I don’t want to go into details but it’s not a place I can just take a deep breath and relax. My mind is constantly worried and anxious. My pulse rate is high. I wish I still had my betablockers. I’m not allowed any betablockers anymore or a short acting anti-anxiety (like Xanax) because of my history so I’m just going to have to muscle through it.

I do have some time right before I sleep where I’m watching shows that distract me for a bit. But that distraction only lasts so long.

I still don’t know if my housing lease will renew and what we are doing about health insurance. I’m worried about pills running out. And other health needs that need to be addressed.

Writing this has made me feel slightly better, but I still have the whole incident with my daughter’s friend hanging over me. Wondering if the mom will contact me again. Wondering if the police or CPS will call and what we’ll say. On top of everything else.

I’m trying to find moments to relax my brain and calm my heart. Distraction helps, when I can actually find things that distract me. There is just worry upon worry.

None of this is new. I’ve been concerned for the welfare of this kid and have been giving her mother the benefit of the doubt. There have been concerning signs but my friend’s daughter is really mentally ill and is getting treatment. My daughter didn’t go about things in the right way but I understand why she did what she did.

I’ve completely ghosted her mom because there is absolutely nothing I can say that would help in any way and could only harm.

So now I just try to focus on keeping my daughter away from contacting her friend and in general being in online social groups. I have to do so but I’ve been reading some of these teen groups and there is some extremely dark stuff that is not helping my daughter in any way.

I don’t want you to pray for me but please tell me everything will eventually be ok. Thanks friends.

~Q

9 thoughts on “Worry

  1. It will all work out. Maybe not quickly or easily… but it will work out okay.

    Although your daughter may not have gone about it the best way, at least she did something when she was concerned. I wish more people would take that risk.

    Good luck… I hope everyone turns out fine.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I had a similar thing happen to me when I was 10. My best friend’s father was a prominent surgeon at Mayo, and she shared some worrisome info with me about him physically abusing her. I sent a letter she wrote me to CPS. CPS barged into their house, and the dad called my mom and screamed at my mom until she was crying. I lost my best friend because I “betrayed her.” I don’t know if the stories of the abuse were true (CPS didn’t do anything to her parents), but looking back, I don’t know what else I could have done.

    These are complicated situations and your daughter was concerned…I dare say reporting the mom anonymously was the right thing to do. I do think the nasty letter to the girl’s mom was over the top and it put your daughter at risk of retaliation, however, your daughter is a CHILD who can’t be expected to have the best judgement at all times. I understand the other mom was shocked, but if it wasn’t true, then HER daughter is the one who needs to be talked to. Calling the police on your daughter is totally inappropriate. What on earth would the police do? Arrest a teenage girl for writing a nasty text? Your daughter did not make a false report…she had a genuine concern.

    These things do happen Quix, and parenthood holds all sorts of surprises for everyone. I know it seems bad to you, but trust me, many others have had this happen. You guys will survive and live to fight another day. ❤

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Everything will be okay. If the friend’s mother ever texts you any threats, make sure to hang onto them. The friend’s mother can’t actually follow through with anything she threatens because it will require her to air everything her daughter has told your daughter. In short, she can’t file a false report to CPS to cover her own ass for not talking to her own daughter.

    Most likely, the lady’s screaming at you because she needs someone other than her own daughter to scream at. She sounds like the kind of person that likes to shit on others whenever their inadequacies rear their ugly heads. It’s inappropriate behavior.

    Your daughter didn’t do anything wrong. She was given worrying information, and she did what adults told her to do: say something. It is irrelevant whether your daughter’s friend was being honest or not. Your daughter acted in good faith. What else was she supposed to do in that situation? All she can do is tell people what happened as she knows it.

    And to think, all of this pain and suffering could have been avoided if your daughter’s friend and her mother were able to have a conversation instead of getting third parties involved.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This is reminding me of an event that happened to me a few months back. Some lady followed me to my office parking lot, and screamed at me for carefully following the traffic laws, instead of just getting out of her way as fast as she wanted. She yelled and pitched a fit for about ten minutes. I didn’t react to her by yelling back, and I didn’t apologize either, and eventually she gave up and went away.

    I was pretty upset for awhile, and then I realized that this lady was the sort of person who would follow somebody just to chew them out. In other words, an asshole. Then I realized that all I had done was to make a shitty person’s day a little shittier. And I smiled and realized I was OK with that.

    It sounds like the woman you are dealing with is an abusive bully. And when your daughter tried to help her daughter, from a place of love and concern, she turned her abusive bullying on you and your daughter. You are right to distance yourself from this woman. And if she tries it again, don’t be a doormat, or apologize. But do document, document, document. Make sure that any bullying she tries on you ruins her day, not yours.

    The only talking-to that I would give your daughter is about the importance of making anonymous tips truly anonymous. I’m not sure you should keep her away from her friend entirely, it might be good if there’s a way kept open for your daughter’s friend to reach out to your daughter if she wants to reconcile, or needs help.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve been through a few of these kinds of “road rage” or other social rage incidents. I confess I haven’t always been able to be phlegmatic, but you know, generally my main reaction is one of pity that someone’s life could be so shitty that they would lash out like that.

      Quixie, I agree with what Ubi Dubium and others are saying about the importance of carefully documenting all the encounters and communications with this woman. Hopefully you won’t need them; I suspect the vast majority of people who threaten legal action are full of hot air and won’t even try… or the attorney will quickly set them straight if they do. But it’s probably wise to be prepared for that small chance.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow; that’s a tough situation even if you weren’t dealing with all the other stressors. I’m so sorry Quixie!

    When one of our daughters was a teenager, she started forming a relationship with a guy that was clearly going to lead her down a really bad path (like, drugs and criminal behavior kind of path). It came to mind because we also had to take her phone away and take some other measures, which she was absolutely furious about at the time. We were so worried, and I can remember that feeling of worrying all day, and then coming home from work to a place that should have been a peaceful sanctuary and having this huge thing hanging over us.

    In the end, we were able to draw the line and make it stick, and she gave up on this guy, and we got through it. If your daughter is unhappy with your restrictions or the way you’ve handled the situation, I would just encourage you to keep telling her that you love her more than she can know, and though she might not understand, you are doing your very best to make sure she’s safe, and your whole family is safe. My daughter wasn’t able to hear it at the time, but we kept saying it, and letting her rant at us when she needed to. And now many years later she remembers it as a hard time, but a time when it was clear that we loved her and were keeping her safe as best we knew how.

    I know your situation isn’t quite the same, but I share this in part to say, your situation is hard but you will get through it to the other side.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Have you had the talk with her about how addicting and misleading social media can be? These days even adults have to be particularly wise not to fall into traps out there. To have a big heart is good…but she can’t “fix everything”.

    Things will be okay. Just gotta be supportive during these impressionable and potentially dark teenage years… in a balance of neither smother nor spoil. As Brent pointed out, it helps to tell her the truth — that you love her more than she knows, and you’re keeping her safe the best you know how.

    Liked by 1 person

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About Quixie

Hi! I go by "Quixie." Quixie is a shortened version of "quixotic," which means: "exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical." It's how I described my evangelical Christian faith when I started blogging 5 years ago. Now I'm an agnostic atheist who is trying to find a balance between idealism and reality. I write primarily about my mental health journey (I have bipolar disorder), and I also discuss my deconversion, mindfulness, exercise, music, reading, and other cultural topics.