Weird situation with DD and friends(75 Posts)
DD is 19 and have some issues with anxiety and processing skills. She is also 2 years recovered from an Eating Disorder just to set the scene so I’d describe her as very naive and somewhat ‘behind’ developmentally for her age. Not massively but it is somewhat relevant to this situation.
She is working at her first job and has her first ‘proper’ boyfriend as of March this year. The last couple of months she and her BF have been hanging out with another couple - the friendship was between DD’s BF and the lad in this couple initially and a fairly new friendship between them also. So now they hang out as 2 couples. They don’t do much but the lad has a car whereas the others don’t and he also has a pool at home so they go out and eat, or chill out in his pool, etc. They’ve also been camping as a group recently.
The issue is that the other couple have started to massively control everything. They wait for my DD after work in the car outside our house, today they followed her back from work and INSIST Dd comes out with them virtually every night and if DD says she fancies a night in they barrage her with messages until she agrees, sometimes becoming quite aggressive.
DD has tried to set some boundaries as it’s getting a bit much (not her greatest skill as she’s very easily persuaded and a people pleaser) and she’s also feeling she never sees her BF just the two of them. The other couple have verbally laid into her - at ken point a week ago she was being made to apologise to them all for being moody and off with them. I was pretty irate about that ridiculous load of rubbish but left DD to sort it out her own way. We have her some words of advice but left her to decide how she’d like to work things out.
Yesterday DD was very distracted at home and it turned out the girl in the other couple was messaging her and berating her for not wanting to take a day off work to come out with them all. DD again tried to get them to back off and spend the evening at home but agin they pressured her into hanging out with them. They often pressure her to take days off work to suit them (she works a Saturday - they don’t) but so far she has resisted as her job means a lot to her as does her credibility as an employee. I am proud of her for this.
I am highly suspicious (with some evidence of this) that she pays for much of what they do as she is brilliant at saving and works hard whereas the others either don’t work, work less hours or have debt.
Today DD told me that they have told her she should work different days at work (daughter changed her days due to an issue at work and is happy with arrangements) and that the issue shouldn’t be an issue and she must rearrange her work schedule to suit them. Wtf?
They also told her to stop taking her antidepressants and that they are just sugar and don’t do anything. Again WTAF?!!
Am I being unreasonable to think something is quite sinister about all this. I realise daughter needs to woman up a bit and have better boundaries but that’s no excuse for this trio trying to constantly harass and gaslight her is it?!
You are right to be concerned.
I know she's an adult blah blah but I would be inclined to help her pull away. I've thrown myself into being That Parent on occasion, where the teen wants an "out" but can't quite manage it. So - sorry can't join you this weekend as dull old mummy wants: to visit aged relly/help chosing curtains at Dunelm or whatever so you get the 'blame'.
Wrt medications they can fuck right off. They're no friends. What does boyf think? He might need sacking off too, tbh.
Should also add that when DD was looking after DS during the day (he is autistic) while DP and I went to a meeting she agin was so pressured to meet with the group that she took DS with her. I agreed he could go at the time but said I wasn’t that happy about it as DD does not have transport and that would leave both her and her brother reliant on the friend for transport. DS is 15 so I agreed as mainly he just needs an eye kept on him not actual babysitting. Anyway, the weird friend decides he’s had enough of arrangements and announces they’re all going back to his house and that my DD is welcome but not DS. They call me, I am on my way back from meeting but cannot hey their in time for the guy’s requirements so DS is dropped unceremoniously back home (DP got back to greet him) and was apparently told by this lad that we are useless parents and should’ve paid for the petrol. DD meanwhile has been escorted off to hang out with them all. This upset autistic DS a great deal.
It’s hard to convey the sense of unease I have about this situation really. There are so many tiny red flags interspersed with larger red flags. I’m at a loss. I just know DD isn’t her own person and doesn’t seem to know how to handle this situation.
Thanks Fliberty for the phrase “help her pull away” as I’ve been veering between ‘leave her to it, she’s an adult’ and ‘this has to stop now, what are you doing about it DD??!!!’ Which is not very helpful.
These sound like horrible people, it's like an abusive relationship. They can't be doing much for her self esteem, imagine berating your DP like that. If you told her not to see them any more would she do it?
I agree with Flibberty, I know your daughter is an adult but she also sounds quite vulnerable, and maybe needs you to step in. It doesn't sound at all healthy to me.
Jesus that’s worrying. I think your DD needs to go NC, more than likely using her to pay their way. Who does that wee arse think he is talking to your DH like that?
She needs to break away, they sound potentially dangerous.
This is not right at all. Your daughter sounds vulnerable and they are taking advantage.
Does your daughter WANT to hang out with them or does she feel obligated? If she wants to pull away I would come up with a plan to help her. Like telling them she is going to stay with an Aunt for a few weeks and hoping they back off and find some other mug.
Your instincts are right.
They are taking advantage of your daughter probably using her for money.
I don’t know why you can do yourself though.
I would want a man to tell these two leeches to back off or else but I realise this might be difficult if you don’t know anyone of the ‘persuasive’ kind.
This sounds massively worrying! I think you need to listen to your gut instincts and help her get out of this situation.
I've got to go out now but you've got this,
Sorry fat thumbs.
You've got this, Ahardyfool. Mama Bear time.
Maybe have a look at resources on mate crime online, and see if you can find anything that would resonate with your daughter, that you could then look at together? And then work out a plan together about how she can get away from them, if that is what she wants to do? If she doesn't want to pull away completely but is struggling with boundaries maybe you need to help her impose them? E.g. by reducing the amount of money she has available to spend with them? You would find ideas about how to help by reading up on mate crime too.
It sounds like your DD may have some social communication issues of her own and is struggling to understand the nuances around friendships, loyalty, control, etc.
She is being used and abused by people she thinks are friends.
She needs to want to step away from them before you can help her. Don't criticise them. Ask questions that help her to think about friendship and what she should be able to expect from friends as well as what they can expect from her.
Maybe someone will come along with some online resources you could use to understand what makes a good friend. The only thing I can think of at the moment is the Freedom Course online.
Is the boyfriend complicit in this manipulation?
Has you daughter been assessed for ASD? They sound as if they are abusing her quite frankly but as another poster said you need to be careful how you approach this x
Have you heard of cuckooing? I’m not suggesting that this situation is anything to do with drugs but it does involve the exploitation of vulnerable adults. It certainly sounds like these people are using your daughter in some way - possibly for money It just doesn’t sound like they’re simply desperate to spend time with her. What is she getting out of these relationships? It doesn’t sound like fun at all! I agree that you need to help her pull away - most likely by being the ‘bad guy’ for her. Good luck!
Have you heard of cuckooing? I’m not suggesting that this situation is anything to do with drugs but it does involve the exploitation of vulnerable adults. It certainly sounds like these people are using your daughter in some way - possibly for money sad It just doesn’t sound like they’re simply desperate to spend time with her. What is she getting out of these relationships? It doesn’t sound like fun at all! I agree that you need to help her pull away - most likely by being the ‘bad guy’ for her. Good luck!
I was going to say this , there could be a possibility that her bf is involved in this , they seek out a vulnerable person ( although normally someone with their own place ) where they can move in and take control of everything , normally for the purposes of county lines drug running ...I only read your first post and I didn't see you make any reference to what her bf thinks of this
I am not sure if you could take your concerns to the police in case this couple are known to them
You are right to be concerned
Am I being unreasonable to think something is quite sinister about all this
YANBU about that at all.
There is a massive weird element of coercive control being exercised over your DD by this other couple that goes far beyond anything that could be called friendship.
I couldn't hazard a guess as to what their motives are, but it sets all my parent-of-a vulnerable-young-person alarm bells ringing loud and long.
I would go to your local police station and have a chat with a community officer in case the boyfriend and this couple are known to them.
They probably won’t tell you but they might make enquiries and possibly intervene if they think your daughter is at risk.
I would not be taking this lightly, they sound dangerous and your daughter is at risk.
I really appreciate the good advice. I mentioned to DD about the freedom programme (actually the FB group connected to the programme) as I felt this was quite relevant to her situation.
I’m unclear how the BF fits with all this. He could be being equally manipulated or he could be complicit along with the other 2 I’m not sure. What I do know is that DP and I had concerns about him some time ago and the way he was with us - calling both DP and I “sweetheart” for example. That was irksome but then he swore aggressively at DD who is 9 so we have disallowed him from coming here until he apologises. He hasn’t apologised and now I feel a bit backed into a corner as this has, admittedly, contributed to DD going out more with this group. That said, I have offered to drop her at BF’s house whenever needed but BF seems to ONLY want to spend time as a group and never with DD. This is upsetting her hugely as I know she is trying to say “BF you need to make some time for just me and you” but he’s managing (or they are managing) to manipulate the situation back to it being all 4 of them. It’s so weird.
Yes DD probably ASC - she’s in the process of getting a diagnosis as an adult. So, she clearly has great difficulty in assessing the situation for what it is. She’s so sweet natured that it has masked her challenges for a long time but she does have some history of friendships that have taken advantage of her and also a general lack of friendship group. There was a friend who would regularly tap her for money unbeknownst to me for quite some time. DD rarely admits these things as I think she feels it is HER fault rather than realising that the world is full of CFs and that she maybe just hasn’t quite got the skills to weed them out yet. Poor DD. The other thing is that I’m Mrs excellent in a crisis and I probably haven’t over the years helped matters greatly by not being wonderful at allowing my DC enough space to figure things out themselves. I’m not at all controlling but I do find it hard to not help them by over talking when there are problems. Sometimes silence on my part would have been better so DD probably can’t bear the thought of me analysing this situation and pointing out what utter morons these people are being. Unfortunately however, she is not fully recognising this for herself and so remains massively vulnerable. I’m worried whether they could financially, sexually or emotionally exploit her and to what degree and how the fuck I help without being overbearing. I’ve tried stepping back a lot and she just seems to get sucked in deeper with no clue how to get out of situations where people are taking the absolute piss (or worse). I’m stumped.
I’d also meet her from work saying you’re going to take her home for tea and a catch up, so if the couple are there you can size them up and they can see your daughter has someone in her life who is looking out for her.
They might back off if they think someone is on to them.
You need to hold your ground though and not look friendly or act friendly towards them. Be impassive and get your daughter away quickly.
to me this almost reads as grooming?? what for id guess money
yes she might be an adult but i think time to stepin an pull her away - sharpish
OP, I realise you want her to learn independently and confidently, but her lesson in this should be not to allow these people to keep spending her money, wasting her time, and controlling her personal and work life anymore.
19 or 49 - get rid of them all yourself with the back up of DP. Remove them from her life. This behaviour is disgusting and she does not need them, she clearly isn’t getting a thing out of it. This in itself is good life experience. If you allow this to go on, she’ll be picking up bad habits about how she’ll believe she is to be treated.
I find the not wanting to spend time alone quite troubling- like maybe he's not really her 'boyfriend' and so doesn't want to spend time alone with her? Could you at least make her spend more time at home- this may escalate their behaviour to the point that she can recognise it's negatively?
If you can, check DDs bank/savings balances, and change her pin.
Have any of her possessions disappeared that you know of?
(Speaking from bitter experience here )
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