Question: Dear Luise: My daughter now 13 will have no contact with me. She wanted to go live with her father over a year ago. He provides an unhealthy environment so I hired a lawyer to prevent this. After much loss of money and not being able to provide tangible evidence, I agreed to let both of my daughters learn the “hard way”. My youngest daughter stayed for nine months and is now back with me but suffers from nightmares and many emotional problems. My oldest, (it has been a year), has nothing to do with me. My other daughter told me how my ex-husband and his mother constantly filled their heads with outlandish lies. If they would contest that they weren’t true, they were punished, so my youngest said she just kept quiet. I don’t know what to do now. Do I leave her alone? I send her cards, texts, even sent Christmas presents no response. I raised her by myself before I remarried and it is hard not having her around. What is the wise path that I should be taking? S.
Answer: Dear S.: You certainly have tried, legally, to prevent the damage that has been done to your younger daughter and is still probably being done to her older sister.
Even though it appears that your 13 year-old chooses to stay, I can’t help but wonder if she is being bribed or is being intimidated. She may feel she has no choice or she may have been told that you have deserted her. How would you know if she has actually closed the door between you or if she has, how much choice she had regarding doing that? If she did decide, how world-wise is a13 year-old? The situation has lots of questions and very few answers.
You don’t know what kind of lies are being told to her or if your communications and gifts are being intercepted. You can only hope that she knows you are there for her. Lets also hope that she remembers that you did everything you could to prevent her from living with her father and that you love her, miss her and want her to come home.
Since the legal system has failed you, I think I would contact a child psychologist and ask what recourse you have. Is there a Child Protective Agency or something like that near you that could be petitioned to at least interview her? She may respond to a third-party advocate.
Don’t give up. You are her loving mom and she is at risk. If and when she comes to her senses or is returned home by some other means, welcome her home with open arms, provide her with counseling and do the best you can to help her heal. Blessings, Luise