I really need advice on a heart breaking situation


#1

Thank you for reading this… It is a little long…but I really need some ideas…

For the last 3 or 4 years I have been “big sister” to a girl who is now 16 years old. I am also fairly good friends with her family having socialized around a common interest. They are such good friends that they are trying to move to our area. This family is entirely secularized, don’t even like to talk about religion, and I am pretty sure their kids are not baptized… (been meaning to find out for sure).

In the last couple years, this girl and I have become very close. She has come to stay with us on vacation, for the summer, goes on trips with me, and we show horses together. We are classically big/little sister. She confides in me for everything, and I love her like she were my own. BTW - I have no children of my own.

I have always been very plain and open about my catholicity with her family. We will be socializing together, and I will drop everything on the weekend to go to Mass by myself. I wear my scapular, have crucifixes on the wall, Mary, rosarys everywhere. They KNOW where I stand in life, and they have still encouraged and blessed my friendship with their daughter. I don’t preach - but try to perfectly do as St. Francis said “Preach always, sometimes use words”.

Last summer while this girl was staying with us. I began to teach her about the virtues of chastity and purity, because the subject of boys was a recurrent theme. She told me then she was a virgin and I believe that was true. She said she was going to remain so till she was married. I shared Jason Evert’s books with her, and she read them and shared them with her friends.

Over the last several months (this school year) I noticed big changes in her. Angry, emotionally up and down, potty mouth, just acting stupid for a straight A and talented student. She has a new group of friends. I could see she was beginning to spiral out of control. She told me she was “going with” a boy from school. She became friends with HIS sister - and she began overnighters at their house. I felt something fishy was going on - and pointed it out to her mom who seemed uninterested.

The problem was and still is - That I know her parents are giving her REALLY bad advice. Actually, her mom has given up on raising her. Never talks to her about “boys”, and just says… "Well, I just have to trust her, there is nothing I can do!"
The girl knows her parents don’t value her virtue… And it hurts her.

Then this past weekend - I went to watch her show her horse and she was being a real stinker. I yanked her aside to have a serious talk. She began to cry, and told me that she was no longer a virgin. We wept together and it was horrible. She said the next week her boyfriend dumped her. The horrible thing is that the week before the incident, her FATHER was telling her how great sex is, and that some day she is really going to enjoy it!! AHHHHHH!!! :banghead:
Then her mom… IS JEALOUS of me and my friendship with her daughter because the girl talks to me and not her. She realized I talked to the girl at the horse show and found out the details. Later that night, she told the girl that if she was going to have sex that she would get her birth control pills. (This was about an hour after I told the girl to NEVER accept contraceptives if her parents try to push them on her.)

This poor kid has the worst parents when it comes to this subject. But they insist that she maintain straight A’s, clean room, and all that **** - but they are throwing her to the lions otherwise. I worry about her also that she is borderline anorexic…Size 1 and image obsessed. But more then anything it is driving me crazy that her parents don’t even care if boys are taking her for a test drive!

CONTINUED…


#2

I am SO ANGRY AT THEM… I drove home and I cried the entire 100 miles - and I continue to mourn for her innocence. I have prayed for years for this poor girl. I pray for her daily. I love her so much, she is such a good girl and she is beautiful and precious.

I am afraid her parents are going to try to cut off our relationship - because they know my influence is in direct opposition to theirs. I’m sure they think that I think I would be a better parent - and that I am trying to STEAL their kid. (She has talked about running away to my home).
Is it wrong for me to directly undermine their authority and parenting? I have always told this girl that I love and honor her parents… But I want to confront them on this SO BAD. They are abusing her as far as I am concerned.
They allow her to go to this home where the mom is seen by other kids as “the COOL mom” - because she lets kids drink, smoke, and turns her head to the underage sex thing that is going on in her house. It is disgusting.
I am just sick about this. I feel the whole thing slipping away, and my heart is broke in two.
I feel like I will loose these friendships if I butt in too far. But I have to say something to her parents about the last situation don’t I?
Please let me know your thoughts… I am sick about this and need help.


#3

First off, God bless you for caring about this girl and being such a good friend to her.

If you are going to tell her parents about the “incident”, I would notify the girl first. Tell her that it is your responsibility to tell her parents, and it really is. I’m sure you won’t get anywhere, but you need to tell them. Then, tell her that you pray for her. Let her know how much you love and care for her too, but she needs to know that you pray for her EVERY DAY, even if the parents cut you out of their lives. She is almost to the age where she can decide who she wants in her life. If she isn’t allowed to see you anymore at this time, I’ll bet she comes to you again.

Ask St. Monica for her intercession. Remember that St. Augustine lead such a terrible and immoral life, but turned it all around because of his mother’s prayers.

I will you keep you and this girl in my prayers as well.


#4

I feel for you - this is a very difficult situation and I can hear the pain in your post. You obviously love this girl very much and have no doubt been a very positive influence in her life… and hopefully will be able to continue with your relationship. Her parents sound like total idiots - I HATE the ones who want to be “cool” rather than parents.

Having said that - you really shouldn’t advise her to go against her parents. She is only 16 - and she must obey her parents. I think that if she is going to continue to have sex - she should use birth control - condoms to prevent (or at least lessen) the chance of her getting pregnant and to protect her (somewhat) from diseases. Of course the BEST thing would be if you could convince her NOT to have sex - but if she’s going to - a baby thrown into the mix would be terrible because maybe her parents would pressure her to abort?

In the meantime, continue to spend time with her - try to be a good influence in her life (as you have been) - PRAY PRAY PRAY for her - that she’ll get back on the right path.


#5

God bless you for taking the time to care. Whether or not your relationship can continue, this girl has the benefit and privilege of having you praying for her.

I’m making the assumption that you are not actually enrolled in the “Big Sisters” mentoring program, since you haven’t said anything about a case manager yet. If you are, then you have to play by their rules or withdraw from the program.

You’ve been a solid, consistent influence in this girl’s life for 3 or 4 years. That has not been in vain. She has watched the way you live your life. Countless seeds have been planted that you may or may not see come to life.

As much time as you spend together, she has a family. Don’t ask her to choose between you and her family, and don’t say that her family is amoral–she knows, trust me.

Be willing to lay boundaries that you can stick to. Be willing to calmly state that you believe differently than her family on whatever the issue happens to be.

You cannot solve this family’s problems, and you cannot “save” this girl from the people she wants to identify with.

It is heartbreaking, I’m sure, but some day she may reach a point when she really needs your stability.


#6

ridesawhitehors–Clearly, you are deeply concerned and care very much for this girl. But it sounds like you are over-involved emotionally in an unhelpful and unhealthy way. Your ability to help her is very much limited and it is frustrating to you. You may be setting yourself up to be the “bad guy” for her parents and perhaps her. When tensions get high, you will be the scapegoat and the target.

I think you need to put some emotional distance between you and this situation. You seem to recognize that her circumstances are beyond your control to fix. And don’t make the mistake of blaming her situation on her parents–even at her age, she has free will and is making bad choices. Pray for her, be there to encourage, but keep enough distance emotionally that you don’t get sucked in and blamed. Emotional distance will also help you see the personal interactions more clearly and give you strength to help the girl.

Practically speaking, my advice is: do not confront the parents. It will only make it worse. If they don’t already see what you would tell them, it is because they choose to blind themselves, they choose to be in denial. If you tell them these things, they will turn on you. Instead, withdraw, take a breather, pray. If you say anything to this girl, you might explain that you are so deeply troubled and deeply concerned about her that you need to stay away in order to pray.


#7

… you are all right about me not being confrontational. There is a part of me that just wants to blaze away and tell them all off!!! :mad:

I know that it would be selfish of me, and I would only be satisfying my own passions and righteous indignation. And would do more harm then good.

I have to tell you, I agree that** I am** overly involved and emotional about this - and I am just exhausted with worry.

But my only question is… Am I not still morally obligated to tell this girl’s Mom that the home they are letting her do sleep-overs at is notorius for teenage parties with booze, smoking, and sex? — even though they think there are responsible adults there?


#8

I wish there were more people like you in this world. I think that if you stay in this girls life, in the end, she will chose the right way. I would have to say that confronting her mom and dad could actually do more harm than good. Number one, this girl trusts you and by the way it sounds, you are the only one she can trust. If you take that trust and run to her mom and dad, it could be very harmful to your relationship with her. Number two, it sounds like this mom and dad are turning their heads the other way. Do you think that telling them will make a difference?

I am going to pray the Novena for you and this girl. I hope that everyone else will join me in doing this for you and the girl. God Bless you!


#9

Thank you betra2000, I am reassured that prayer is our greatest weapon.
Giannawannabee and Carol Marie ~ Yes, I have told her that I pray for her daily, which I do.
I tell her that I pray that her angel will help her. And I gave her a St. Christopher medal which she wears continually. In fact, she told me that on the night she lost her virginity - that she had forgotten to put it on. When she told me that, she began to sob. I am grateful that she showed so much sorrow for her sin and recognized the sacred connection to a holy item. At least it is something. I know there are seeds that have been sown.

Thank you for your prayers everyone. I have also asked for prayers from certain religious communities.


#10

Pray to St. Philomena


#11

Can you give us an update, ridseawhitehors?


#12

This 16 year old girl is at the point where she needs to choose how she wants to live her life. She needs to choose where she goes and who she chooses as her friends. She is responsible for having sex with that boy, though her parents are certainly a stumbling block to a virtuous life. Everything else aside, you should encourage this girl to see a doctor for a battery of STD tests. Might she be pregnant? Also, if you can give her a solid Catholic book on teen chastity, where the book would contain a lot of upbeat advice for sexually active teens who now want to abstain, it would be good for her soul.


#13

[quote=carol marie] I think that if she is going to continue to have sex - she should use birth control - condoms to prevent (or at least lessen) the chance of her getting pregnant and to protect her (somewhat) from diseases. Of course the BEST thing would be if you could convince her NOT to have sex - but if she’s going to - a baby thrown into the mix would be terrible because maybe her parents would pressure her to abort?

[/quote]

I don’t want to overwhelm you with conflicting advice, but I do think that the above suggestion to go ahead and give your blessing to birth control for her if she’s going to continue with the sex will probably confuse her more. It will be giving her a mixed message. Stay firm in your advice to avoid sex, and leave it there…give her at least one firm, virtuous role model she can depend on. She’ll be getting enough opportunities for birth control from her parents, it sounds like.

And, yes, I DO think you should prayerfully consider notifying her parents of the dangers that her friend’s “open house” poses. If they’re already jealous that she talks to you more than them, they might respond pretty coldly, but at least you’ve told them. And yes, tell your “little sister” first, making sure she knows you’re doing this because you love and care for her, not to betray her.

And I think we’re all in agreement that prayers will do the most to change hearts!! You and she have mine. St. Monica and St. Augustine are great intercessors, and also the Blessed Virgin! She will not leave her precious children without aid. Place your confidence in her, and she will inevitably lead you (and those you care for) to her Son.


#14

[quote=Consecrated]I don’t want to overwhelm you with conflicting advice, but I do think that the above suggestion to go ahead and give your blessing to birth control for her if she’s going to continue with the sex will probably confuse her more. It will be giving her a mixed message. Stay firm in your advice to avoid sex, and leave it there…give her at least one firm, virtuous role model she can depend on. She’ll be getting enough opportunities for birth control from her parents, it sounds like.

And, yes, I DO think you should prayerfully consider notifying her parents of the dangers that her friend’s “open house” poses. If they’re already jealous that she talks to you more than them, they might respond pretty coldly, but at least you’ve told them. And yes, tell your “little sister” first, making sure she knows you’re doing this because you love and care for her, not to betray her.

And I think we’re all in agreement that prayers will do the most to change hearts!! You and she have mine. St. Monica and St. Augustine are great intercessors, and also the Blessed Virgin! She will not leave her precious children without aid. Place your confidence in her, and she will inevitably lead you (and those you care for) to her Son.
[/quote]

I agree with staying firm with the advice against sex, and furthermore against contraceptives etc like you had mentioned before. Your example is obviously one of her biggest sources of values and any kind of weakening in that area will crumble the message. It not only weakens the message against contraceptives, but it weakens the message against sex too (if you are going to do it anyways ie you can’t control yourself, then use contraceptives ie they are not always bad).

Aside from that, I can’t give you much advice since it seems like a really difficult situation. In one hand her parents are responsible for her and she needs to be obedient to her parents, and regardless of how well or awful they are doing their job, those are the parents God chose for her and that needs to be respected. They seem to want the best for her in some areas (ie studies etc) but are confused in the moral areas. All I can think of is trying to help her as best you can, but always promoting a good relationship with her parents. Maybe you can get her somehow to talk with her mother on the subject of sex and actually tell her mother that she would like to be chaste etc (if you think she may be up to doing that) or at least open the communication, but letting her mother/father know she respects herself etc. She could evangelize her parents! Who knows! If she is not quite there yet, you can try to help her go in that direction, slowly, but steadily (I know, easier said than done). And above all, keep praying for them all :slight_smile:


#15

Keep your side of the relationship from being turned off and be disciplined yourself about control. You could suggest to the girl that she have a talk with Mom and ask her advice about going with these new friends to an “open house” with a party hostess Mother. That might give the Mom a chance to be nurturing.


#16

For all you meant well, you have become way, way too overly involved in this girl’s life. You are not her mother–not even a family member. I think it was inappropriate (although you had the best intentions) to set yourself up as a surrogate mother when you should just have been a friend to her. What this child and her family needs is professional counseling, which you are not qualified to give. It’s going to turn out with her parents telling their child to never see you again and the child confused and miserable. It never pays to get so involved in the life of a child not your own or of no relation to you for whom you are not responsible–it only leads to misunderstanding, heartbreak, and misery.


#17

I originally suggested she take birth control if she’s going to have sex. I re-read my post and I just wanted to clarify that I **don’t **advocate the Ridesawhitehorse encouraging her to take birth control ( I agree - terrible mixed message) but in the original post she said:

Then her mom… IS JEALOUS of me and my friendship with her daughter because the girl talks to me and not her. She realized I talked to the girl at the horse show and found out the details. Later that night, she told the girl that if she was going to have sex that she would get her birth control pills. (This was about an hour after I told the girl to NEVER accept contraceptives if her parents try to push them on her.)

My point was only that IF she is going to continue to have sex & her parents want her to take B.C. - Ridesawhitehorse should probably not advise her to ignore her parents. It’s not her daughter - and, IF she is going to have sex, I hate the thought of her aborting her baby, more than I hate the thought of her using condoms. Sort of the lesser of two evils.

This is such a tragic situation - it’s my hope that Ridesawhitehorse would be able to convince her that she shouldn’t be having sex.

Ridesawhitehorse, have you spoken to the girl since?


#18

Even if you are not in the “Big Brother/Big Sister” program, someone there might be able to give you some advice and support. This has to happen to them all the time. I’d like to tell you that only non-Catholic parents do this kind of thing, but you have to know that isn’t true. Your parish youth ministers also may be able to lend a shoulder… the Body of Christ “with skin on”, as they say.

Otherwise… you are someone she can talk to. Tell her that you are in a spot, worried about her but unwilling to betray her confidence if you don’t have to. But she has to know that her parents have also trusted you in letting you be with their daughter. They have welcomed you into their family. If you stay quiet about this indefinitely, you’ll be betraying their trust. Tell her she needs to tell her parents, because if she doesn’t, you’ll be forced to. Then give her a deadline and follow through.

Also, you may want to go at this and think about this in a bad/better/best manner. Her parents are doing their best. If their ignorance about that is invincible, you still have to give them credit for doing what they can with the cards they have been dealt. In other words, judge not, you can’t read minds or hearts. They gave you a gift by letting you into their family. That is not something to be angry about.

You might put it this way:
“Your parents want you to go on birth control because they do care about you. There are parents out there who just throw up their hands and don’t do a thing. They are doing the best they know how.”

“But you don’t want to be sexually active again. When the best is a choice, choose the best. There is no such thing as ‘safe sex’ for someone your age. There is only sex that is less likely to get you pregnant or give you diseases. Avoiding those hardly makes premarital sex healthy… and you know that. You learned it the hard way. Believe what you know! I’m Catholic, I see even more reasons to stay a million miles from this, but this isn’t just the Pope talking. Nobody, from your parents to Ann Landers, is going to tell you that being sexually active at 16 is the best for you.”

“Your best option, now that you’ve found the limits of your ability to say ‘no’, is to keep yourself out of situations where you are going to be tempted. This is about your purity, but it is more than that. It is about learning what you have to do to be true to yourself. You aren’t made of steel. You learned that the hard way. The lesson’s paid for… now learn it. Tell your parents, and stay away from friends that are going to keep you from the way you have chosen for yourself.”


#19

[quote=Giannawannabe]First off, God bless you for caring about this girl and being such a good friend to her.

If you are going to tell her parents about the “incident”, I would notify the girl first. Tell her that it is your responsibility to tell her parents, and it really is. I’m sure you won’t get anywhere, but you need to tell them. Then, tell her that you pray for her. Let her know how much you love and care for her too, but she needs to know that you pray for her EVERY DAY, even if the parents cut you out of their lives. She is almost to the age where she can decide who she wants in her life. If she isn’t allowed to see you anymore at this time, I’ll bet she comes to you again.

Ask St. Monica for her intercession. Remember that St. Augustine lead such a terrible and immoral life, but turned it all around because of his mother’s prayers.

I will you keep you and this girl in my prayers as well.
[/quote]

Yes by all means “TELL HER PARENTS AND TELL HER YOU ARE GOING TO” THIS WAY SHE WILL NEVER TELL YOU A THING AGAIN AS YOU ARE BREAKING AN unspoken TRUST.

NOW ON TO ANOTHER THING, op POSTED THAT SHE IS AFRAID THE GIRLS PARENTS WILL THINK SHE THINKS SHE IS BETTER AT “RAISING KIDS” THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THE op IS SHOWING, YOU HAVE NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER TO UNDERMINE THIS GIRLS PARENTS ON YOUR BELIEFS.
they have a right to how they believe and you have a right to how you believe,and shame on you for causing this girl even more confusion by trying to "brainwash her " against her parents.
If i was the parents i would not only stop you from seeing her i would seek legal damages against you,esspecillay if this girl ends up pregnant and somehow gets a complication from it.
you know nothing of this girls actuall background medically or religiously yet you are taking it upon yourself to tell her she shouldnt listen to hetr parents, what part of honor they parents do you not understand, you are causeing her to break one rule to follow another rule, you are leading her down a bad path of destruction as well and causing her much harm.

I think its awesome and great to care so much no doubt but what you are doing is wrong by undermining her parents.
sorry if i was so direct but this called for it.its fine to recommend her to go to church etc,
but to actually tell her to disobey her parents, thats so bad…
unbelievable actually,


#20

[quote=ridesawhitehors] .
They allow her to go to this home where the mom is seen by other kids as “the COOL mom” - because she lets kids drink, smoke, and turns her head to the underage sex thing that is going on in her house. It is disgusting.
.
[/quote]

THIS mom is the one you are obligated to report to the authorities. What she is doing is illegal. It’s called contributing to the deliquency of a minor also abuse and neglect of minors.

Call Child Services and report them, they will investigate


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.