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18 year old daughter gone AWOL(26 Posts)
My daughter has eecide to block us all out if her life, no reason no argument , her boyfriend of a couple of years whom she is the taxi and bank for is back on the scene and although we don't have a problem with him, he feels we do and has turned her against us. She's ignoring her two siblings and my parents, who she has always been close to I send her message after message just checking on her sending her live letting her know she can come home whenever.
She dropped out if college last month with 6 weeks of alevels to go, I was upset of course but supported her and have tried to support her on the next step.
She stole £40 last week from home and when I asked she blew up in my face, it was her but she denied it completely. ( No one else love at home her two sisters are both at college/ lives away)
Her dad flew home this weekend to see her and she met him for lunch (with the boyfriend) , had lunch, said she was going to the toilet and left, with her dad and sister waiting for her.
It's so awful, any advice? Do I give an ultimatum, it ride it out?
She is also only vaguely seeing her friends, who all have tried to make her see the boyfriend is controlling, it's a really tough situation
In this situation as she has stolen from you and probably will again if she needs to, I would change the locks. Send a final message explaining that you will be there for her when she is ready to talk to you like an adult, and stop contacting her. She’s 18 now. The ball is in her court — abusive relationship or not she has chosen to go along with it. Not much you can do. You should focus your energies on your other kids.
Well she won't get far on £40.
Are you or her Dad still giving her money?
Yes to change to locks. I would send her a chatty, friendly message once every week or so but don’t push for contact.
Do you suspect the boyfriend is abusive?
Christ I wouldn't change the locks. I'd tell her my door is always open. And have an envelope with £50 in it and her name on it always on the sideboard.
She being manipulted and used by an abuser. Essential channels of communucation stay open without judgement. Keep in tpuch and keep loving her. That is the best prptection you can give her.
Two things I would be worried about here are an abusive, controlling boyfriend and secondly, drug (change in behaviour, stealing money).
There isn’t a huge amount you can do about either as both require a change on your dd’s part. I would send her a text saying you love her and support her and she is welcome home any time. I would probably do that every week so that she knows you have her back.
It is good she agreed to meet your husband. If you do suspect drugs are involved I think the FRANK website might be helpful.
If you think the boyfriend is abusive and controlling (which sounds very probable) then I am not sure what to advice apart from the texts but hopefully other people can help with ideas.
Change the locks? What sort of advice is that? This is the OPs 18 year old daughter. She's in a relationship with a man who is manipulating her and using her. She needs to know the door is open and she can always come back.
I really feel for you OP, you must be going out of your mind with worry. Unfortunately I don't think there's much you can do except let her know you loved her and will always be there for her.
Thanks, I've sent her a message saying that 😀
Oh and I should have said at the end of that rather dispassionate post that am SO sorry that you are going through this, it must be so distressing for you, a real nightmare for any parent.
No, I stopped when she wasn't coming home, she does work which I think she is doing more hours now she has dropped out of college
Thanks everyone, it's just awful, it we had been arguing any problems then I could understand it, but basically she's hidden herself away and won't communicate. Great advice I'll just keep texts light and loving.
I'm getting remarried in July, ( there's no problem with my partner, the girls all really love him), and I feel like a cloud is hanging over us, very hard to get excited
Please don’t change the locks, she is going and in a vulnerable situation, I think you need to ride it out and let her know she can come home anytime, if needed no questions asked until she is ready.
Do you know where she might be staying? It's a very sad situation. Is she normally close to her siblings?
I won't be changing the locks, in a teacher so out all day, I know she had been coming in when I'm not here which is fine as at least I know she's safe, eating and washing etc. Part of me thinks I should change the locks but I want her to come home whenever she wants to, hoping that at some point she will see sense and come back. I don't leave money around,
Nobody chooses to be on a abusive relationship or decides to go along with it, it’s usually a slow drip, add in family and friends telling her the boyfriend is no good, even though it comes from good intentions can result in her feeling trapped and confused.
OP I hope she comes back to you, it’s likely she is being manipulated and if so it’s no reflection on you.
Gosh, I really feel for you. I too would worry that drugs were involved with such a behaviour change. I'd send texts saying you love her but maybe just once a day. I'd also be tempted to send a few saying do you-remember when and a family story just to keep reminding her of her past and who loves her
I'd worry about drugs too. Maybe not her, but the boyfriend. It would explain why money is going missing and why he wants to keep you away. That way he's been able to get her to drop out of college and work to support his habit.
Back off a bit.
Tell her you won't keep bothering her even though you are obviously worried about her. That you respect her decisions and the door is always open because you love her loads.
Then a light text once a week.
If drugs is an issue then you have the other kids’ safety to think about here. By not changing the locks, what would you do if her and the boyfriend decided to drop in one morning and one of your other kids was there? I have seen people get stabbed etc in these situations (even where drugs are not involved) so the advice isn’t coming from nowhere. I think you’re burying your head in the sand a bit. You need to treat her as an adult and keep comms channels open, but there is no need to introduce risk into your house.
Agree with everyone who says don’t change the locks, keep telling her she’s welcome back any time. Help her if she decides to go back to A levels. Let her know there’s a way back. Keep trying. I’m so sorry, this must be very hard to deal with.
I wouldn't leave money (because he'll have that) but I would leave food there in the fridge and I'd keep her room as it was and make it look homely.
I'd text her about ordinary things - eg just watching X on TV (something you know she'll like) - and thinking of you x
I'd send those messages every other day.
Do you think she has MH problems?
Thank you all for your advice, hollow talk thanks I've just spent the afternoon tidying her room, my fridge is always full, I'm hoping at some point she'll realise what's she's doing.