Did losing his business cause his daughter’s problems, this dad worries.
On Friday 7 August, a day I will never forget, our world got turned upside down. My older daughter A, aged 13, cut herself on her arms about 22 cuts in total.
My wife and I were stumped. What had caused this? What had we done wrong?
We met with the school therapist who told us that my daughter was struggling to cope with our new lifestyle since my business failed
and we moved in with my mother-in-law. There was only money for necessities.
A felt that she was unable to do as well as she could at school because she did not have a quiet place and a desk and chair to sit at and do her homework. She was very depressed.
‘I’m taking drugs’
Then Friday night 21 August, another day I will not forget, A, came to us at 10:30pm and said she has been taking drugs for a few months.
She was sniffing drugs but she did not know what, she got it from a girl that hangs around outside the school. We were absolutely devastated. We contacted the school on Monday morning and had a meeting with them. After seeing the therapist we left the school.
About an hour later the school phoned us and said we must come back immediately and that the Police were also on the way. WHAT? In came the therapist and the headmaster and 2 counsellors, we were told that my daughter was dealing in drugs. She was being used to distribute to other children from the high school down the road, then she would get free drugs.
The police arrived from the Child Protection Unit and informed us that she is now regarded as a dealer and would be removed from us immediately.
The headmaster and therapist jumped straight in. (My wife and I were crying and could not say a word). They told the police that she was an excellent student and had made a mistake and needed a chance to prove herself.
The conditions of the school board and Police were laid down as follows:
Drug test once a week.
If positive she is gone.
Therapy once a week.
She lost her prefect’s badge.
One chance and one chance only.
We were later told that there were 4 other children who were caught sniffing headache powders in class. We think that that is also what my daughter sniffed, we are not sure but her drug tests are clear. We found out from the kids that they sniff these powders as they are freely available from any shop, are cheap and give a short high, about 25 min. The eyes do not glaze over and it is hard for teachers to detect.A new life
That night my wife and I decided to speak to a good friend of mine and ask him to give us the money so we could move and start a new life again. He agreed (Thank you).
On Friday we found a place to rent and moved in on Saturday. As if to kick us when we were down, there was a break in where our stuff was stored and 40 boxes were stolen. But we have a place of our own again. A had her own room again and a table to do her homework on. She was much happier.
Sunday night at 9:30pm my daughter said there was something she needed to tell us. Oh no.
Luckily she wanted to tell us that she needs to have her eyes tested as she cannot see the board, this has been for the entire year, I asked her why she had not told us before, her answer hurt… ‘I know that we do not have the money to buy glasses and I did not want to add any more pressure.’
We told her that we are starting a new life, and we need her to tell us about everything that is bugging her and boy did she tell us: glasses, a new calculator, maths set, clutch pencil, decent cell phone, go to church every Sunday, the list went on, the next day we went out and got everything she needed.
‘I’ve been molested’
Wednesday night, 23rd September, we thought that our lives were finally on track again. Then came those dreaded words: ’I need to tell you something.’
My wife, my daughter and I sat on the bed and my daughter started crying, then came those words that a parent never wants to hear... ‘Uncle XXX has been molesting me.’
We went to the police station and opened a case and he has been charged with ‘Statutory sexual assault’. You stand there holding your child as she has to recall what happened and what he did to her and what he made her do to him.
As I write this part I am crying, I am a man and we do not cry. Oh yeah? This can turn a man into a baby.
I wipe away the tears streaming down my face because I know that my family needs my strength to get through this and after all I am the Husband, Father and Daddy and that is what we do…
I am a changed man and not afraid to say what I feel. My wife and I are working hard on our marriage to bring us closer together again. The legal battle that will now follow is going to take all my strength.
The new business of mine is taking ages to get going because of our economy, but it will get there.
You hear about people committing suicide and a father killing his whole family and then himself. I will no longer judge a person’s decision as I have experienced it all first hand in only 2 months. I have only managed to cope thanks to a few very good friends (Robert, Amanda and Nicky) and my amazing, incredible, awesome wife ‘Poekie’.
Here come the tears again so I will end off here.
Forever a Husband, Father and Daddy.
*Surname withheld to protect daughter’s privacy.
What troubles has your teen had? How have you helped them?