Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Strange times we live in

What a strange week.
I think Bina might be upset at me posting this but this blog is really here for me to express my feelings on things and I have very strong feelings on a range of levels about the events of the last few days. I hope..I really do hope, that one day in years to come we can look back at this and remember when things were bad before they got better.

I'm over in the UK helping Bina to pack up and get ready to move over to NL and Jodie my Step Daughter, is creating such hassle.

It really is getting beyond all reasonable limits. For various very serious reasons and intolorable behaviour the last several months, we've grounded Jodie big time during her last month here.
She's fallen in with a group of "friends" who to her are of course the most important people in the world.....pretty normal for a teen, but this is not normal, this is obsessive, this is seriously excessive.

These "friends" though with a very few exceptions, are not a good group of people, lads and lassies, all with attitude problems, when I was a kid we'd have called them the bad kids..these days they're probably the cool kids..but I suspect not.

During her time mixing with these "friends" Jodie's been smoking, drinking and lets say other things we're not comfortable with, which a 13yo should not be doing. All our attempts to prevent these things are fruitless. When a teen decides they are going to do something we are so rediculously hamstrung it makes me weep

There have been multiple very serious and distrbing rows as Jodie tries to wear her mother down to lift the grounding. A tactic that usually works very well when I'm not around to support Bina, but she's not managing to get her way this time and the rows keep coming.

During one exchange on Sunday, she refused point blank to take no for an answer from her mum and I, for over 30 mins..I mean that, over 30 mins demanding her confiscated laptop and repeating why why why at least 500 times, refusing to back down the whole time no matter what we said to her. Eventually she was told to go to her room...still refusing and more defience and refusal as the situation escalated the whole time.

I can't begin to tell you how unpleasent this all is, a 13yo(nearly 14) kid, standing 5.9in tall attempting to physically force her way past her 5'4" mother and me to get to her laptop to arrange to meet these precious friends which we've forbidden.
Abuse, Tears, Screams, gobby backchat..the works. All fairly normal for teens I know, but not quite on this level.

After repeatedly refusing to go to her room I had enough and I eventually pushed her out the door to the stairs, which she again resisted, resulting in a minor scuffle. She banged her shoulder on a radator as she sank to the floor while attempting to place a kick at me. I bellowed at her in no uncertain terms, doing my best angry dad, don't mess with me kid, routine but got no where. There was nothing there to put the brakes on this kid, no respect, no understanding of going too far, not even fear of a seriously angry adult.

Nice kid eh!

Well physical violence is never nice, and in truth despite the raised voices and anger levels, this was nothing more than a shoving match between a stroppy teen and a very pissed off parent, her kick glanced off my thigh and fortunatly no embarrasing old man doubling up in pain was evident. She did eventually go to her room. Finally some calm.

But she banged her shoulder!

And that...apparently is now considered assault...Well at least that the advice her "friends" are giving her who on hearing the shocking account of my violent psychpathic attack via sms (we read her phone I really don't want to meet that guy on a dark night!) actually called the police.

2 young lads (I am getting old) in uniform turned up an hour or so later, and rather sheepishly asked if we knew why they were there. You have to be kidding....police? Well we had a fair idea but didn't think she'd go this far.

Well the police of course realised there was nothing to see here, no bloody mess on the carpet, no upturned furniture or smashed TV's in evidence, just a gobby teen who swore at them insisting she'd done "fuck all" and they left after explaining the simple rules of family hierarchy to her and legal chastisment...didn't help much.

A family meeting with her dad and his partner the next day, underlined the boundries that had been set, she was grounded, and not going to school to mix with these friends during her last week, we genuinly don't feel she can be trusted to be out of our sight in case she has a last hurrah and god knows what and besides there's a mountain of packing and preperation to do for the move.

A move I hasten to add that will give her a whole new range of opportunities, a fantastic education and a much needed promise of a fresh start from all of us.

But she banged her shoulder

And now a day later, there's a nice little bruise, so now the "friends" are crying parental abuse and look there's we get a call from social services.

Why? Becuse the "friends" are so worried about Jodie living with a psycopathic maniac and his disinterested lying g/f (phone again)that Jodie clearly needs to be taken into care and have contacted social services to inform them of this danger to society and the poor innocent defenceless child at his mercy.

So, after explaining in depth the situation to the lady on the phone I explained I was more than happy to have them come round and assess the situation.

They did...and for over an hour 2 very pleasent ladies spoke 1st to Jodie, then to us. The bruise is apparently a cause for concern and yes it could be considered as assault. ...that is frankly idiotic in the extreme. Jodie has never in her life been struck by me and I've never been so stupid as to do so.

But she banged her shoulder! I have to be careful not to overstep the mark.


On the plus yes, they, like the police, could see there was no risk here, Jodie was being a typical teen and I am not thankfully a psycho axe murderer....yet. They recognised we've been coping with a horrible behaviour pattern and agreed the move to Holland was an entierly positive thing for her.

They left....sadly they didn't take her into care....hmmm oh well.

Jodie still refuses to take no for an answer, has been badgering her mother constantly to get her phone back, and we've literally had to lock the doors to prevent her running out. We're prisoners in our own home and yesterday even had some of the "friends" come to the door demanding...demanding!!! to see her, refusing to go when told she was grounded and not coming out. Jodie of course insisted on being allowed to see them..just for a bit...but we still refused..we have to stick to the boundries.

We're being subjected to torrents of psychological abuse, intimidation and stress.... and yet..she's the victim.
I can't do case she bangs other bits of herself. I'm reduced to a mute emasculated bystander.

Is this what the future of parenting is now? I can only thank whoever that I'm now unlikly to ever have to have any more kids and that soon this will be over.

I am so fucking sick of the way this country has removed the concept of consequence and responsiblity from our youth. We're trying to keep our kid away from some very bad influences, set safe and serious boundries and above all weathering a storm (hurricane) of abuse from a child who wants for nothing, but has no regard for the deep emotional damage she's doing to the people who care for her.

I know its easy to go on about when I was a kid...times have changed and for the better...but we've gone too far.

I hated my dad till the day he died, still do. But I always knew where the line was, in his own fairly odd way he cared for us enough to keep us safe and his rules were there to teach us that boundries were to be respected...or there were consequences.
Usually a thumping...not a bang on the shoulder mind....but a serious marks left for weeks, thumping.

Now I'm not my dad, I never want to be my dad. In many ways I used my dad as an anti-model when it's come to raising kids. But I do have one trait he instiled on me..I respect boundries, I know that there are limits to how far you can dispute a point with someone in charge, and you have to respect peoples decisions even if you don't agree with them. I have tried to do that with my kids..Danni it seemed to work..Jodie...not a chance.

Now when the law says we can't actually enfource these boundries in anyway beyond a stiff talking to...there are no consequneces. Not even an understanding that small trivial events can be built up and up to major life changing events.

We leave on Saturday, I've had all the excitement of that day sucked out of me by the last few days, I now am starting to dread the coming months, what are we going to have to endure with this unwilling abusive child sharing our new life and rejecting everything we are offering her..

We hope that the change in culture, attitude and social patterns in the netherlands will be a force of change in Jodie....but how much crap are we going to have to take before that change happens. Will it happen?

I am scared...I really am. I don't know what to do, how to do it or where to turn for help...we just have to move on and hope.



Colin McNulty said...

Erk! That's a sorry tale indeed Mr B. My daughter is 8 now, and for the most part, still asks how high when I tell her to jump. But I'm starting to see glimpses of the surely teenager already, the odd strop, the sulking, the cutting her nose off to spite her face etc. Fingers crossed, it never gets that bad.

Boring old Fart said...

NOBODY expects the Spanish inquisition.
Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise