I'm a single mother of a 15 year old daughter. She is very bright, poised, articulate and academically ambitious. She does chores around the house when asked, is engaged with things at school like her marketing class, volunteering to help with little kids, the school newspaper, student council, 6 summers in the local sailing program, junior counselor at a local arts camp, and last spring decided herself to be confirmed in the Catholic church (we are Protestant, but not active in a church. She went k--8 to a parochial school). All in all, things seemed good.
The problem turns out to be compulsive and extreme lying.
Two years ago, I decided to review the phone numbers on her cell phone bill. There was one number that was on there every night for 7 months. Sometimes 10pm, sometimes 11pm, and talking for upwards of an hour or more.
I asked her who's number that was and she quickly said Mary Conlon (one of her best friends).
However something didn't sit right with me. So I called the phone number. A boy answered and I said "Oh wrong number, who's this?" He said "Dan".
I confronted her with this and she said Mom, he's just a friend and we talk. She said he has a girlfriend anyway. I said Camilla, if you are going through a hard time and need to talk, I'm here. The calls stopped.
One year ago, she started public high school, after graduating from a K-8 parochial school.
I asked her one day, are you on Facebook? No, mom.
A month or two later I decided to troll on Facebook, turns out she indeed was on there.
I said to her Camilla, you lied to me, why? "I don't know".
I told her I was disappointed that she would lie to me. Then I made a deal with her. She could give me access to her Facebook page or she could delete it. She opted for the latter (I checked and it is deleted).
Last Labor Day I was out of town for 2 days and 2 nights. Usually she would go stay with her father, who lives a few miles away. I am not away often, maybe once a year for a few days. This time she said "mom, I think I can handle being home myself this time". I said you know, I think you can too. The rule has always been that no one is allowed in our home when I am not there. Furthermore, I told her that NO ONE was to know that I am away.
I thought I knew her friends - good kids - our home was always open to them and they knew they could have all the soda and pizza they could handle. I thought it was a good way for me to get to know what kind of kids she was friends with. And they were terrific. The boys and the girls, sometimes 10 of them, hanging out in the den, playing GameCube, board games, laughing, never foul language, always good humored fun.
Well, when I returned from my being out of town...I could tell the house had been trashed and then an attempt was made to clean it all up. She told me "these kids came down the lane in cars, I don't know how they knew I was alone. I told them there is no party here and they wouldn't leave so I told them to stay outside". Still I believed her, but when I saw a burn mark on my nightstand(!) and all of my sheets and bedspread had been washed, the den carpet was wet, the front door was broken, two Bacardi rum caps in the garbage (they thought they took all the garbage with them), I flipped out.
I slapped her face (wrong, I know), I told her she was grounded and how dare she trash the house that I had worked so hard to buy. I took away her cell phone and her computer access for 2 weeks.
Then a month after that incident, in early October, she was supposedly staying overnight at her friend Julia's house on a Saturday night. Dumb me, I should have called Julia's mom who I've know since Camilla was 4 and verified.
The Monday afternoon following the "sleepover", I get a phone call from the police asking if I knew what had happened on Saturday night. Evidently there was a rip-roaring rave at a local kid's house - parents out of town, 1/4 of the school was there. Police were called at 12:30 and found booze and drugs inside. Camilla insisted they call her father - not me. He picked her up, she stayed at HIS house and HE left it up to her to tell me about it(!) which she did not. Turns out one of the kids threw a rock through the back of the police cruiser, so it understandably escalated where Camilla, even though she wasn't holding a beer, and her Dad says she did not show signs of having been drinking, is being charged with a minor in possession of alcohol.
What a nightmare. She is grounded again, I cannot trust her. If her lips are moving she is lying.
Out of desperation, I read her journal. She alludes to promiscuity with boys, although I can't specifically tell if she has actually had sex. Last weekend, still grounded, she lied to me again and since she had been mumbling about maybe she should go live with her father for awhile (he lives alone), I said pack a bag and call your father because I can't take it anymore. I yelled and screamed at her (wrong, I know).
I have called her father every day, telling him not to let her out of his sight. She has not been anywhere and he seems to be doing a good job of it, but then if he hid the above from me, would he tell me about any more incidents?
We will have our first counseling session on Monday, the three of us, to satisfy the "Youth Diversion Program" because of the arrest. She has to go 8 times. I am willing to go to all sessions if necessary too. I picked the therapist on referral from a friend, who says this guy shares our conservative world view, and I already like the initial phone conversations we had.
I have always tried to keep a dialog going with her, that all of her things are privileges and can be easily taken away. That I will trust her until given reason not to. That most boys want one thing at this age from a girl and she should guard her innocence. To stay focused on school and do the best she can. That 40% of kids graduate from high-school with their virginity intact. That if she ever considered going on birth control (not that I condone her dating, I don't), would she come talk to me. That if she is ever anywhere that gets out of hand, to call me and I will come get her.
My problem now is, whether she stays with her father or comes back here, how do we let her out of the house again??? I read in her journal that last summer when I dropped her off at the local annual carnival, she and her friends had beers in the porta potty. When she went to see a play at school one night, she left during the intermission with a boy and made out on the field, missing most of the 2nd act.
I want to lock her in a closet till she's 18...
I cannot trust her. She is a compulsive and extreme liar. Even embellishing the lies:
While I was out of town during Labor Day, "I cleaned the house, you'd be so proud of me"
The morning after the rave party, I said
"how was Julia's?"
"Oh, ok, pretty boring, it would have been more fun if we had done something like gone to a movie. We just sat around and talked."
"Would you like some french toast for breakfast?"
"No thanks, Julia's mom made us pancakes"
I would like to move on to a "trust but verify" approach, i.e. Calling parents where she is going to make sure they are home. But in the case of the carnival or the play (see examples above), I can't verify anything. Get a breathalizer?
My Out-of-Control Daughter