Avatar universal

What to do about potential abusive mom.

I have 2 teenage daughters (14 and 17).  Their mom and I have a shared week by week parenting arrangement in place for our daughters.  We have the usual challenges facing most parents of teenage daughters and often lock claws in many issues.

However I am uncertain as to how to handle this particular situation that recently happened. My oldest daughter has been going through some emotional issues lately and has always had difficulty sleeping.  She doesn't do drugs and is not involved with a boyfriend.

Like many teens, she is into music.  She has a favorite band that she followed religiously for quite some time.  We live in Canada.  She found out that this band was having a concert in NY and her mom agreed to pay for her ticket and take her and her younger sister to see this band.

My 17 year old spend hours waiting for the ticket sale to open online and was finally able to get tickets for the concert.  She was obviously elated that she would finally able to go see this band.  That was four months ago and that was all she talked about.

Several weeks back her Mon lost her job and informed them that she could not afford to buy the airline tickets to go to NY.  They were obviously very disappointed, especially my 17 year old.

A few weeks went by and I received a call from the mom who was historical because of a confrontation with our oldest daughter.  It started when the mom was attempting to get my daughter up because she wanted to go some place.  When my daughter refused to respond appropriate (long story short)  it escalated into mom pouring a jug of cold water over her and physically dragging her by the throat out of bed.  In her call to me she (mom) demanded that I come pick up my 17 year old because if I didn't she was going to call the cops and social services and have her removed from her house.  She said that she didn't want anything else to do with her.

Several days later she was using her sisters phone (her mom took hers) and found out that her mom was taking her younger sister to NY and to not tell anyone.  I talked to my youngest daughter who was tormented by all of this and would have preferred to be going with her sister because she was the the reason they were going in the first place..
I suspect that the mom got the money from her rich boyfriend to buy the airline tickets (that's story for another day).

I pleaded with the mom to reconsider this decision because any hope of reconciling the conflict with my 17 year old would that much more difficult if she went ahead with this.  Her response, in a nutshell and leaving out the profanity and abusive tone toward me, was simply she didn't care.  I even stated that she could not take our youngest daughter out of the country without a letter from me and that I would not sign this letter if she didn't reconsider.  Her response: "Go f*&^ing ahead, do what you gotta do!"

It's one thing to take away a cell phone or ground a teens for a short period of time but, to do this to her daughter, in my mind, is verging on cruelty and mental abuse.  My 17 year old cried to break her heart when she found out and has withdrawn into a shell over this.  I am also concerned about the affect it will have on her relationship with her sister after this.

I am considering contacting the airport authorities (boarder patrol) to prevent her from taking my youngest daughter out of the country because she doesn't have permission to do so but, am concerned about the affect it will have on my youngest daughter.  In my mind, NY will always be there.  She (mom) has to realize that she cannot do this to her children and the close relationship they had.  

Personally I'd like to report her to child services and have her arrested for child abuse but, that wouldn't solve anything at this point and it's my own anger coming out...sorry.

They are suppose to be leaving in a couple of days.  I am torn as to what to do here.  Stop the trip (if I can) or let the aftermath cards fall as they may afterwards.

Appreciate any help and thanks!

PS: I could go into more detail here but, wanted to simply highlight for simplicity.

3 Responses
134578 tn?1614729226
Talk to a lawyer.   Is the concert that began all of this coming right up?  Can you take your older daughter to the concert?  (Do the tickets still exist?)
Avatar universal
Hi Annie.  It's in 1 day and it is to late to arrange it now.
13167 tn?1327194124
Well,  obviously the time to resolve the specific concert issue has come and gone.  It does seem that if you have the money (maybe you don't) then offering to help out with plane tickets might have been the thing to do when there was still time to work this out.

But.  There are SO many issues here.  If the story ended with the mom saying sorry about the disappointment,  but I'm out of work and now the trip will have to be cancelled- that's something that teenagers can learn and grow from.  It's not like she took her dog to be euthanized while the girl was at summer camp.  A 17 year old - although she'd be disappointed - can be expected to learn and grow from a trip being cancelled due to lack of employment of the parent.

The rest of the story is more a concern.  I'm curious about the daughter who refused to get out of bed to go do whatever the thing was they were going to.  Was this really a nothing-ball errand,  or was this something the mother and daughter really needed to do together,  and the daughter was simply refusing to comply?  Because honestly, if it were something important that the child had to go to,  I wouldn't be opposed to pouring ice water on them if they refused to get out of bed.  That might be just the touch that was needed to draw a line in the sand.

You leave out a lot of details.  Is it possible for you to take more visitation of the 17 year old?  She's too big for her mother to physically horse around,  and is outright defying her mother.  

The way you tell it,  I have a great deal of empathy for the 17 year old,  but when I really picture what all is going on here,  maybe the mother is absolutely at her breaking point with her.  

Best wishes.  Can you step in and offer more time at your house?
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13167 tn?1327194124
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