Death of a parent...helping my teen..

Jessica - posted on 07/06/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )




Little background first: My daughter was 3 when her step-dad and I started dating, she also got a new sister who was 3 when we got together. (He had custody) When they were 4, they got a new brother (our son), and when she was 5, we married. Her real father stepped out of her life of his own free will when she was 5, he calls occasionally. She never looked at him as her Daddy, it was my husband who she looked at as her Daddy, she didn't call him that, but that's who he was to her.

In 2009 he died in a DUI accident, with his best friend, (who also died) Another friend was at the wheel (driver lived), he was supposed to be designated driver. They went out, the driver, who was in contact with me periodically throughout the night through text message never indicated that he couldn't drive and that they would need a ride home. My daughter who was 11, at the time, took it the hardest and still is. Shortly after the accident my step-daughters mother took her. I understand why. That is a whole other story. But our kids had lived together every single day, and I know this tore them apart. The girls know a lot concerning the accident. They know about court. I do not hide these things from them. They know what happened. This was discussed in depth with doctors and counselors before I went forward with doing this. But keeping them in the dark because they are old enough to understand, would be worse for them.

My daughter told me tonight, she blames me for the accident. If I had taken the keys her Dad would still be here. She wouldn't have had to learn to live without him. I explained to her that when they left, there was a designated driver. Why he made the choices he did, I don't know. There are a lot of things I don't know concerning the accident. We are still going to court for it almost 3 years later.

She is very angry with me all the time. I know part of that is her age. But I now know part of this is stemming from an accident I did not have any control over. She knows I blamed myself for a long time. Because of the same reason she gave me. The whole all I had to do was say no you're not going. She refuses to discuss it any further. I'm sure in time she will. But until I can get her to do that, how do I deal with her attitude, her anger towards me? How do I help her? She doesn't want any more counseling, she doesn't want to talk, not about that anyway. She stated tonight she can finally stand in the same room while we talk about her Dad and not want to run away so she doesn't want to talk about the blame she places on me. So any advice from anyone, people who have experienced this, people who haven't...I just don't know what to do.


Louise - posted on 07/07/2012




This man died 3 years ago and now she is acting out and blaming you? This is nothing to do with the accident it is just a reason to lash out and hurt you. After three years she would of processed what has happend and dealt with it, this is something new and I would say probably puberty related. Make sure you have time together just the pair of you to do something girlie and have time to chat about what is going on in her life. I think you will find there is a problem at school or a boy problem at the heart of this.

The anger is the way teenagers deal with situations they cant handle. Just keep the lines of communications open and if she brings up the subject of blame again, and wants to blame you then call her on it. Ask her point blank what she would of done differently. How would she of stopped a grown man from going out with his friends, he was not a child! Let her answer you, because once this conversation has been had she cant keep dragging it up again, she will be forced to deal with the real issue.

Teenagers have a really tough time these days and I think your daughter has latched on to a tragic event in her life which she is blaming for everything going wrong. Confront, support her and then move on.

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