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Sad :-( did i overstep my bounds? (long)

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I'm just down about something and thinking about it...our little neighbor girl down the street is the same age as my twins (11) and her mom deployed last Halloween.  Since then she has become very attached to me (our family) and us to her.  She is living with a man her mother had only been with for 5 months before she deployed (they got married 1 week before she left).  The man has a 16 year old son that lives there as well.  I briefly knew her mom before she left because this little girl was on the soccer team my dh coaches.  Anyway I take her with us everywhere (out to dinner, skating, soccer, church) she spends the night and is at our house a lot.  I bought her cmas gifts, Valentine gifts and just in general lil things like a nail polish I might pick up or whatever.  She comes down and I paint her nails.  I just feel so sorry for her because 11 can be a hard age...being in middle school and all and she has told me that she has nobody.  This man she lives with is very, very mean.  I have seen with my own eyes examples.  Anyway...she is not a good student and lately she has been moody and her grades are even worse.  I think something is wrong but he "grounded" her from everything yesterday.  She stopped by my house quickly yesterday after the school bus, in tears telling me this.  She can't go to youth group, soccer, or anything anymore. So I text her dad to see if he was not going to let her go on this overnight church trip that I offered ($30 per kid) to pay for her to go next month.  He said no.  So I said that I would be willing to tutor her a couple days a week (I homeschool my boys) to catch her up or I could try to talk to her teacher and see what is wrong and how to help her.  He said NO and that she needed to be punished and that she needed to figure her school work out on her own without anyone's help.  That she was a big girl and could solve her own problems.  (He also makes her cook dinner four nights a week and do all the laundry while his lazy teenage son does nothing).  How is a child who doesn't understand math supposed to "figure it out on her own"?  Also I had made her a big Easter basket and given it to her early and he got mad and said that the candy better not bring ants into his house.  I have treated her so long like I treat my boys that I'm just so upset.  Should I never have gotten involved?  Did I totally overstep?  He doesn't seem mad at me...just her.  He always puts her down and says she is really annoying.  My heart is breaking :-(

by on Apr. 5, 2012 at 3:18 PM
Replies (31-36):
by on Apr. 6, 2012 at 2:52 PM
1 mom liked this

Quoting Zamaria:

Not trying to be nosey, but could you update us on what happens with her when you can? I feel so bad for her! Been praying for you and her!

Yes I will.  I appreciate the advice and encouragement from all you ladies.  It helped me be more confident in trying to help her.  I am going to send the email to her mom and also call the school and talk to the counselor and tell her I would like to talk to her confidentially to just voice some concerns so they can be aware and maybe she will have some suggestions.  Maybe if its the "schools idea" she get some tutoring he would take me up on the free offer.  I will be diligent but careful.  I'm scared if he finds out he will take it out on her.  If he is cruel in public to her...what does he do in private you know?  Oh and thank you Zamaria for praying for us- thats more than I could ask for. 

by on Apr. 13, 2012 at 6:35 PM
1 mom liked this

I dont think you are overstepping.  I would actually go over to the house and see the living conditions.  I would ask why this girl was grounded.  Let this girl know that you will continue to be in her life.  She is headed down a dangerous path cuz her step father is treating her soo badly.  Does this girl have contact info for her mom, that she can give to you so that maybe you can write this girl's mom a letter?  I would also be afraid that maybe something sexual may be goin on to this girl.  There is no way this girl could defend her self against her step father or her step brother.  I know there are privacy laws and such, but I would even go to this girls school and speak your concerns to a counselor and let them take it from there.

by on Apr. 13, 2012 at 8:03 PM
Is there any update?
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by on Apr. 13, 2012 at 8:08 PM

it sounds to me like he could be abusing her in private at least mentally  but i could be way off i hope she is ok!

by on Apr. 13, 2012 at 8:10 PM
Quoting Zamaria:

Not overstepping at all. I suggest that you try to contact her mom. If she isn't reachable, try contacting her relatives. She must have grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. If that doesn't work, try contacting whatever branch of the military her mom is in and ask them what can be done. If you suspect abuse or neglect, contact social services and the counselor at her school. Poor kid! :-(

I'm glad some one else brought up the abuse.....I know my best friend of like forever was abused and that's exactly how her step dad treated her....
by on Apr. 15, 2012 at 4:51 AM

Do you have anyway of contacting the girls mother (by email, etc)?  If so, I would do that right away.  If not, you might consider finding out her unit and contacting the FRG for that unit.  The FRG (Family Readiness Group) is made up of spouses of soldiers and offer family support.  They should be a great resource to point you in the right direction.  You are not overstepping.  It sounds like this is a horribly tough situation for this little girl (her mom deployed and having to live with men she hardly knows).  Who knows what the situation was but it sounds like her mom really should have thought that out a little better!  It's great that she has someone watching out for her, please keep it up!

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