I'm relieved and angry and all mixed up

@foxyfire33 (10009)
United States
April 3, 2007 9:45pm CST
Alright, I'm sorry if this gets really long but I don't have anyone else to discuss this with. My emotions are also all raw right now and I really don't know how to feel or what to do. Just before Christmas, my oldest daughter "finally admitted" that the neighbor boy at her father's house had assaulted her over the summer. It was horrible. We went to the state police, let her miss a bunch of school, hovered over her to help her healing process. Just the thought that this child had experienced something like that made us all sick. We completely cut off all contact with her father because based on her story the assault occurred wile her father had knowingly left her alone with this boy because he didn't want to be bothered with her. The past few months have been so stressful. We've all had so many sleepless nights thinking about all those little things we could have done to prevent it and how this experience would be something she would have to carry with her for her entire life. The boy was brought in for questioning and I'm sure his family has gone through a lot over this as well. Today, she had her final meeting with the state police so they could determine if there was enough evidence to go ahead with pressing charges. Besides what the boy was going to be charged with, they were also going to attempt to charge the boys mother and my daughter's father for being negligent among other things. IT WAS ALL A LIE!!! I don't know why she did it or what she was trying to accomplish but she lied, it never happened. I just don't understand what she was thinking. Of course I'm relieved and thankful that she didn't really have this traumatic experience but I'm also so angry with her. Everything we've been put through since she made this allegation and the whole time she knew she was lying. I almost RENAMED my baby because of this!. The name we'd given him was the same as the boy's that she was claiming did this. It upset me that much to have my son, her brother, share this name that we were going to change it thinking it would be better for everyone to not have this name as part of our lives. Naturally she's lost all of her privileges at home. The police officer told her she's lucky she didn't get taken to a juvenile detention center over this but one wrong move at any point in the next 7 years will definitely put her there. She's normally a really good kid which is why none of this makes sense. I know she needs much more punishment for what she's done but nothing seem severe enough. At the same time I just want to hug her and be so happy about it being a lie. I don't know what to do. I know it's a lot to ask and I doubt any of you have had to deal with this but...How would you handle it? What punishment would you use? Anything you can say to help me sort out my feelings?
10 people like this
20 responses
• United States
4 Apr 07
Did she tell you she lied? If so, I have to ask: Is it AT ALL possible that she is just scared of going through the whole court process, so said she lied to get out of it? Is it possible that she has been somehow threatened? I DO know about this sort of thing - from her point of view, if it did happen. I'd have to be very sure she wasn't just saying she lied about it to avoid having to face that boy again, or to avoid having others find out about it if it goes to court.
5 people like this
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
4 Apr 07
I thought about that too. She said she lied and the boy "passed" all the questioning and the lie detector test. Obviously, I'm not sure anymore if I can tell whether or not she's lying or telling the truth but I think she is being honest now when she says she lied and it never happened. But there will definitely be much more talking before I let it go for sure.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Apr 07
I recently had a young girl I work with do something similar. Don't punish her. She did this for a reason and I think that it is more important to get to the reason. She is being punished by the justice system and I think what she needs from you right now is some heart to heart conversation. Hug her and hug her a lot. Let her know that it was a big deal and a big mistake, but you love her. When she is ready, ask her, "WHY"...I think if you can get the answer to that, you can all move forward. I wish your entire family a speedy healing process from this experience !
• United States
4 Apr 07
Believe me, inner turmoil is eating her up more than extrinsic punishment. If you can see guilt written all over her face, then grounding her may possibly lead to resentment towards you... obviously she already has some severe resentment issues. I got into some trouble when I was like 15 and my mom stripped me of everything but the privacy of my room and a radio. I didn't feel like it was teaching me a lesson concerning what had happened AT ALL. Trying to understand is the best route. My ma put all that stuff on me and didn't even want to talk about the situation; she was set in her opinions of what was going on and if she did approach me it was to ask me if I saw the wrong in my actions yet. Also, when you go to counseling, you may or may not want to sit in... if she is comfortable talking around you then you definitely should but if the counselor comes to find that she is not comfortable try to limit that as best you can.. I know it's hard but I hated talking about shameful matters in front of my mom until I was ready. Anyway, just sharing some of my experiences; I know no two are the same, but insight is always helpful. Good luck with your daughter, I am sure some resolve will come soon :)
3 people like this
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
5 Apr 07
Now that I've had more time to think, I can completely agree with you. My mom was one to push and push until SHE was satisfied and yes, it only made me resentful of her. The feelings my mother caused are too complicated to get into her but I know I don't want to make that same mistake with my daughter. What I've decided is that she still has no "privileges" but a large part of that was over her recent poor schoolwork and has already been in effect for almost two weeks anyway. The rest of her "punishment" is going to be something positive. I'm going to have her do "acts of kindness" towards an as of yet undetermined number of people. As she performs them I want her to write a page or at least a good long paragraph about what kindness she did, why she did it, who it was for, and how it made her feel to do the RIGHT thing. I have to do a little more research to find out how many people I want her to do this for because I want the number to have some connection with children that actually ARE assaulted.
• United States
4 Apr 07
When my youngest daughter was 13.She pulled a few stunts of her own.She fell in with the wrong crowd and began acting foolishly.I had a 20 year old arrested.(He did do it)My daughter ran away but I searched for 16 hours and I found her, hugged her and grounded her for months.I am happy to say that it has been 4 years and she has acted as proper as a young lady should act. I am sorry you had to deal with this and I don't want to be rude but it sounds like your daughter wanted some added attention that she felt she wasn't getting beforehand. You really need to hug your daughter and tell her how much she is loved.And, at the same time you should call the Juvenile Judge and talk with him and ask him if he could speak with your daughter about her behavior and explain to her what could happen if she pulls another stunt such as this or anything else that might get her into trouble.It will help her. It took the judge here in our small town 30 minutes to convince my kid that she better straighten up and the right thing.I am glad that I took that approach.I am thankful that my daughter understood the consequences.It is only a suggestion but try it.
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
5 Apr 07
I'm glad your daughter has gotten her life back on track. That must be a huge relief to you. The state police officer that spoke with outlined exactly what could have happened to her as far as charges being filed against her, being sent to juvenile detention etc. I think she has a fairly good understanding of how lucky she is that she wasn't "arrested" and sent away last night. The only place she wasn't getting attention was at her father's. Visits with him stopped in August and she didn't make these accusations until December. She was still very anxious that he would try to regain visitation though and from what she said thought saying these things would guarantee she would not have to visit him ever again.
• United States
5 Apr 07
I see more clearly now now and I apologize if i came across so boldly.Your daughter misses her daddy and would try almost anyhting for attenetion.Been there did that.My prayers are with you and your family and I am almost positive that your daughter will grow out of this and ahe will respect you more in the long run.Good luck to all of you and hold your head high and keep smiling.IT IS GOING TO GET BETTER!!
@tinamwhite (3255)
• United States
4 Apr 07
My friend, I am sure that there are numerous emotions running through your entire being....take a breather for a second....she has been to see the state police more than once at this point and gosh....think of the number of people who know about this....SO there HAS to be something here...your job is going to have to be to find out what caused all of this from the beginning.... She did not just wake up one day and say " I think I will disrupt and destoy everyone I know lives today".... There are so many reasons that she could say this: You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. *it happened..now she is scared (possibly threatened or ashamed) *she is mad at either this boy, his family, friends, girlfriend OR her dad I think that your whole family would benefit from some structured family counseling...your daughter definiantely HAS issues of some kind....and it is affecting the whole family...your whole world.****big cry for help, there** In most areas, you can get assistance with the cost of this type of therapy, if cost is an issue. I have experienced similar issues and am sorry, my friend, that you are having to go through this as well...
2 people like this
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
4 Apr 07
I think a lot of it could be anger at her father. He was gone for a good part of her life and when he was around he wasn't good to her. We tried going through the court system so she wouldn't have to see him but they wouldn't listen to me and said she was too young to have a say in it. This past fall things finally got taken care of so he was only allowed limited contact but it was mostly because he said he didn't want to deal with her anymore. I think she was still afraid he could somehow make her visit him and she even said tonight that part of why she lied was because she thought it was a way to make sure she never had to see him again. It definitely was a cry for help of some kind. I'm going to look into counselling and hopefully that will help us all get through this. It's just so frustrating because of everyone that had to be informed, family, the school, cys, even some close friends just for moral support, and now it's like no one can trust her, and who knows how this will follow her or what the fall out of it is going to be. I know we just have to take it one day at a time so thank you so much for your prayers. We'll be alright again eventually!
2 people like this
• United States
4 Apr 07
That makes alot of sense to me....anger at her father...and at her age she knows that something of this nature could prevent visitation. It is a shame that the court system has failed you, her and countless others. I am sure it is difficult that so many people had to be made aware of this situation....please tell your daughter that if she lied....but then told the truth...she should be proud of stopping it before it got any worse....she should face it head-on (with your help) and walk with her head high because she is attempting to do the right thing. We all mske mistakes, unfortuanantely, it is human nature....all she can do now is move forward. I wish all of you the very best, and yes, you will all evenutally be back to "normal", even though it does not feel like it right now. Love and support of each other will always "win".
1 person likes this
4 Apr 07
What an awful situation to be in. I really feel for you and your daughter. It must have been heartbreaking to find out she was lying. I am sure she was unaware of the consequences of her actions at 11 years of age and she was just coping with an unhappy situation the only way she knew how. Children do not have the words to be able to express their feelings and will resort to the most unbelieveable tatics to find a way to cry out for help. I believe this is what your daughter has most probably done as a way to deal with her anger over her biological father, as by what you have said, he cannot be classed as a father who has been there for her. Punishing her would be the wrong thing to do, but you have to make her realise that this is not the way to deal with her feelings. There are many ways of helping kids become emotionally literate, so they have the self-awareness to deal with and understand their emotions. There is a brilliant book by Daniel Goleman "Emotional Intelligence" that talks about how to nurture and help children deal with their feeling and become resiliant to problems they face. Here are a few websites that may help. I wish you all the best in finding the right solution to help your child. You sound a very caring mum, so I am sure once your daughter has the confidence to tell you how she is feeling, you will be on your way to resolving this unfortunate incident. http://www.newhorizons.org/strategies/emotional/front_emotional.htm http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content4/emot.intel.html http://www.nexuseq.com/family.html
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
5 Apr 07
Thank you for the links, I will look into them. No her "father" isn't much of a father and really doesn't deserve the title. She didn't even like to call him dad. (I would like to point out that I never bad mouthed him to her. Once she got older she did ask some tricky questions that were impossible to answer without saying something negative so I answered them as gently and honestly as I could.)
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Apr 07
I am so sorry for what your daughter has put you and your family and this boy's family through. From what I gather from your post, I'm assuming that you and her father are divorced or separated. I don't know how old your daughter is, or how long you and her father have been separated, but it could be possible that she is still upset about the situation, and this may have been her way of dealing with it. I'm not excusing what she did, because that was just plain wrong. But maybe if she has some emotional issues that she needs to deal with, maybe some counseling or even family counseling would be most beneficial. I have young children so fortunately, I haven't had to go through an experience like this, so I really couldn't recommend the proper punishment. I wish you luck, and maybe some counseling may bring this to a somewhat happy ending. One thing I would do is march her over to that boy's house and make her apologize to him and his family for putting them through this.
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
4 Apr 07
She is 11 now. Her father left us when she was only a few months old. He'd come back into her life just a few years ago but the relationship was always strained, she didn't even like calling him "dad" and preferred using his first name. He filled her head with so many lies about me and what happened when she was a baby. He was never a good role model. I'm sure she does have emotional issues involving her father but not about us not being together. I'm going to look into counselling. I'm not sure if an in person apology would be good especially since it would mean taking her right next door to where her father lives.
1 person likes this
• Canada
4 Apr 07
I think I would have to say, please don't punish her too much. There has to be a reason she said and did this, and it may take some questioning to get the real reason out of her. Kids do the strangest things for the strangest reasons and while they need to realize that they did wrong, what they did may make perfect sense in their eyes. I wish you the very best of luck in getting past this and moving on.
2 people like this
@marlyse (1056)
• Switzerland
4 Apr 07
hi there foxyfire i can understand how you feel. but please try to understand your daughter. at first, did she really lie? or was she scared and didnt know what to do at the last appointment? why did she had to go alone? aren't you allowed to accompaign her? for me it seems that girl has a lot to deal with. dad who doesn't seem to love her and that is a big rock on her heart. please try to talk with her and dont be mad with her. i wish you the best and hope you can find inner peace again to help that poor girl through this hard time. my thoughts are with you
@jmathen (112)
• India
4 Apr 07
Punishment wont be answer in your situation..True that she did something wrong,but as we all know, every action has a reason to it. I believe you should get to the core of the problem. Find out what actually bothered her and what made her say such a lie ! For that you just have to sit with her and talk ! Its been a horrible experience for you too but priority has to been given to her. You have to listen to her completely before you say something...There might be words that might even iritate you and hard to digest but keep it calm and just listen..You have to make her feel that talking to you about a serious issue is not hard as she thinks !! you would find out after the first 5 minute talking, it would get easy for her to open up more !! By the way, for all this to happen...i think you should choose a place that is quiet and atmosphere is pleasant..Make her feel that she is just siting with her friend and talking... As soon as you get to that point, you will find out conversation moving smoothly and then you will be able to pick up things from there......
• United States
4 Apr 07
What a shame. You daughther wanted attention, and she got that poor boy into trouble. Just love her more and tell her she will learn from this!
2 people like this
@Polly1 (12649)
• United States
4 Apr 07
I am so sorry to all of you that this has affected. Its sad, your daughter must have something going on inside her head. Something is bothering her, good luck to all of you. I hope you get it figured out. Oh my I can't even imagine what you all have been going thru. My heart does go out to you. I wish I had some magic words for you. God Bless.
2 people like this
@dlkuku (1936)
• United States
4 Apr 07
Wow, this is a tough situation. I definately think counseling would be a good idea. My older and I went to counseling together and separately, we learned how to communicate better and it helped us have a better relationship. She maybe dealing with abandonment issues, and she is probably wondering why he even wanted her in his life for that short time if he didn't want her as a baby. That is probably why she doesn't want to see him. You do need to talk to her and make it clear that her actions have consequences, how it affected the boy and his family, how he could have gone to jail for no reason, and also how it affected your family. She is old enough to understand that her actions can and do affect others. I would also tell her that if she felt that strongly about seeing her dad, she should have came and talked to you instead of going to such extreme measures, this will open a line of trust and communication between you and your daughter.
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
5 Apr 07
Almost everything you said was perfect and I completely agreed. I just wanted to comment on the last part where you said she should have come to me and needing to open the lines of trust and communication. I knew all along how she felt about him and I felt the same way. Unfortunately we had to deal with a court system that wouldn't see our side. I'd been trying for the past several years (ever since he decided to come back) to strictly limit his visitation.
@NatureBoy (493)
• Singapore
4 Apr 07
I'm sorry to hear that. But from what i read, its like some similar cases of the kid calling out attention to the parents. No offense, but that what i feel. If she has been communicating with you I do not think such problems would have arised. I hope I'm wrong. Wish you and your family well.
1 person likes this
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
5 Apr 07
Yes, thankfully you are wrong. Our relationship is and always has been very close.
@missybal (4492)
• United States
4 Apr 07
What ever you do don't hug her and show happiness for it being a lie. You need to show her what she did was very wrong. Sense this was seen as so possible because she was not being supervised enough now her punishment is that she can never be left alone. She gets constant supervision no freedom. She doesn't deserve it. No extra stuff after school or anything like that. If she is ever really hurt you wouldn't be able to trust that she is telling you the truth. And I'm not talking about a week or even a month of punishment... I'm talking long term... If she could do that then she needs a stricter life. And her father needs to back you up. After all she almost got him in big trouble too.
1 person likes this
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
5 Apr 07
What I am happy about is the fact that this horrible thing DIDN'T happen to her. I think I am very right in feeling that way. She is never and has never been left alone while at him. It is her irresponsible father whom she no longer sees that did not supervise her properly. Asking her father to back me up is completely pointless since 1. he is not in her/our life now, 2. he would rather not supervise her because he didn't want to be bothered with her and 3.He never listening to me all the other times we had differing opinions on the type of care she needed. What do you mean by "If she could do that then she needs a stricter life?" If you're referring to the lie itself then I can somewhat understand your point. If you're referring to the alleged assault, I'm shocked that you would put the blame on the victim . That is like saying an adult rape victim should have dressed more modestly.
@Lindalinda (4112)
• Canada
4 Apr 07
I can't imagine what you are going through. My heart goes out to you. Please do not punish your daughter. I would strongly urge counselling for both of you. She must have some unresolved issues with her father and did this to gain attention. She feels there is something missing in her life. As you take counselling and talk more about this issue with your daughter think of the family of the boy also and ask her sometime down the road to make amends by sending a letter of apology to the boy and his mother. I hope the boy takes counselling too since it would be horrible to be accused in such a manner. My best wishes to all of you.
@emisle (3824)
• Ireland
4 Apr 07
That's a very tricky situation. I've heard of other girls making up allegations because they want to get attention. I think you need to sit down with your daughter and ask her why she would want to risk ruining someone else's reputation and future by making up such a nasty allegation. Than ask her how she would feel if someone made a false allegation against her.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
4 Apr 07
wow...why your daughter wanna make such a big lie just to get attention from her family??she didn't even think of the consequences that might cause others into trouble like the boy which wasn't guilty.i am sure the boy's parents would be so angry too.but luckily she told the truth before it is too late.or else the boy just gonna be charged in the court.she was lucky the police didn't send her to juvenile.the best way now is bring her for counselling & theraphy.she must been having emotion problem since her father left her very young time.usually it will cause emotion problems in kids.so better go for counselling fast before it cause something else.
1 person likes this
@pengqing (218)
• China
4 Apr 07
You can understand the feeling!I hope that such incidents but they could not break!
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Apr 07
I don't know how old the child is but it is obvious that she's craving attention she's not getting.Take her to therapy and try to fix this now while you still can