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I need a diection...I feel helpless!

My daughter is 20.She was a victim of an extremely violent crime. Her best friend throughout childhood was involved with her kidnapping, she was tortured for a day and a half then taken to a park and shot. She naturally has trust and betrayal issues. She is dating an older guy (early 30's), I know it's her choice in life; however, he cheats on her, emotionally abuses her, lies to her. I've even seen him pushing her (thats why he is banned from our home). I think she's afraid to leave him in fear of being alone. In June,she was close to a breaking point and she had an "accident" . I don't believe the story they are telling me and feel that he pushed her over the edge and she cut her wrist to show him the pain he is causing her. I see her behavior and feel she is close to breaking again...I know I can't tell her what to do, but, feel helpless sitting and doing nothing while he continues to toy with her. What would you do?

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Asked by Anonymous at 6:09 PM on Nov. 22, 2009 in Adult Children (18+)

Answers (14)
  • There is no way she should be with this man and you should do what you can to get her out of that relationship.

    You don't say where she is living - with you, with him, or on her own. It would be easiest for you to be involved if she lives with you. She needs to be in counseling because of the crime, this relationship, and her suicide attempt. Part of that counseling needs to include getting her out of the abusive relationship.

    If she lives with him that may mean she has to live with you. She may not be able to live on her own. Some young adults that were victims of violent crime can't do well living on their own and they should in no way be made to feel like they are a failure for not being able to be alone.

    She may need new direction - career, volunteer, college, something to occupy her time and mind.

    One of my sons was a victim of a crime and had a brain injury.

    Answer by Gailll at 6:21 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • Plant drugs or a fire arm in his car and call the cops....

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:21 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • I would tell her that I would help her in any way that I could to get out of that situation. If that meant helping her find a safe place to live or letting her move back in my home, I would do it. It is highly likely that she needs some emotional healing from the incident that happened earlier, and so I would offer to help her get that, too. I would repeat my offer every time I had the chance. Maybe if you can convince her that you are on her team to stay, she will call on you the next time she feels really endangered. I would give her names and phone numbers of anyone whom you think she might trust enough to call if she couldn't get hold of you. Women who have been emotionally wounded often turn to guys like she is involved with.

    Answer by NannyB. at 6:25 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • She does live at home and NO< she is not ready to live on her own, All of these suggestions I have tried...that is why I am feeling helpless! I Can't make her stop seeing him and I can't order her around. I certainly Can't kick her out. She has graduated school and is in the market for a job,,,but he CONSTANTLY texts and calls her. The whole ordeal is driving me nuts and my husband is getting to the point that he wants to kick her out if it's gonna effect my health. I have made it clear that if I were put in the position to choose...she wins (she's  not a regular young adult with regular probs).  He said he was sorry and it wouldn't get to that...I am not blind or stupid to realize it is a possibility. Where is Dr Phil when u need him? Thank u guys, if you have more ideas on appraoches let me know....and what anonymous was suggesting is highly unethical!!!


    Answer by Anonymous at 9:19 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • By cutting her wrist she has proven that she is a danger to herself. You can petition the court to have her committed to a psychiatric facility that will give her the help that she desperately needs.

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 9:55 AM on Nov. 24, 2009

  • I don't care how old my dd gets, if she is being abused I'm going after her. She wouldn't be alone, she'd be with me. Women stay with men like that bc they think they don't deserve anything better. It's a self esteem thing. You can build her self esteem so she can find a decent guy. God help the man who tries to stop me from getting my dd. Cutting herself isn't acceptable. It's not showing HIM anything bc he doesn't care. It should show you that the next time might result in her death. That's not something I'd be willing to wait for. I'd tell her to pack and I'd go after her. She's not capable of making good decisions on her own so you make them until she's healthy enough to make them.

    Answer by admckenzie at 3:21 PM on Nov. 24, 2009

  • It is very easy to say what she should or shouldn't do but the fact remains that you cannot force your adult child to leave this man if she chooses to stay. I wish I had some advice about what you CAN do but short of actually having her committed as being mentally unstable, for which she may end up hating you, I don't know either. I am in a similar situation, my daughter, also 20 lives with a man who I know has injured her at least once, but she has admitted that only to her little sister and has a cover story which she tells to anyone else about how the physical evidence came about.
    Well now my child is pregnant and all I can do is try to be vigilant in my observance and call CPS to protect her child if I can.
    I try to keep my daughter mindful that I am here and will do anything I can for her if she will let me but until she does there is not much you, or I can do.

    Answer by Red1967 at 4:52 PM on Nov. 24, 2009

  • I would see about getting into some kind of center, kind of like a rehab center for abuse victims. She sounds like she is in desperate need of guidance and maybe a break from the outside world.

    I'm sure it's heartbreaking to see your daughter fall into this spiraling hole. The best thing really is to confront her head on. If you are strong she will follow you. Don't ask, tell her what's going to happen. Tell her how this is going to help her and that you're driving her to where ever that help maybe be. Yes, you can order her around. Your daughter needs you to be that anarchy of a mother now. Let your husband help you be that person. Picture your daughter 5 years from now, or even 2 years.will she be in a worse situation? will she even be alive?
    Fight for your daughter, even if it means fighting with her. Do you want to be standing over her grave? I'm 22, I hope my mother would do this for me if I was in that situation.

    Answer by lilmommy0416 at 11:32 PM on Nov. 26, 2009

  • I have suffered horrible abuses in my life and have PTSD and have developed mental illnesses from it. I was a cutter and have even attempted suicide so I understand the trust and betrayal issues she is dealing with, she has deep emotional issues and needs psychiatric help. If she isn't willing to do it on her own I would agree with the mother who suggested petitioning the court to have her forced into care

    Answer by DianeMary at 2:31 AM on Nov. 27, 2009

  • Is there some sort of abuse/advocate program in your town? We have something called someplace safe. Or I'm wondering if you could contact a minister/priest (you don't even need to go there or be a member) just pick one, tell them what is going on and maybe they can give you a name of someone to contact who in turn can tell you what to do or how they can help. I know here if you contact the police they have names and numbers of people who can help. it is all done annonymously. There are people who can visit her or check in during a safe time. Maybe even meet her and see if she needs help getting out safely. Most communities have access to safe houses. I know it is a very touchy situation. A lot of background work needs to be done first but well worth it.

    Answer by Lifes-A-Dance at 5:26 PM on Nov. 28, 2009

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