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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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Exclamation Best Friend With Abusive Mom - August 16th 2014, 06:37 PM

Hi.
For a while now, my friend, Katie, has had a very controlling mother. Katie is fifteen years old, and her sister is eleven. Katie's parents are divorced, and her dad walked out on the family when she was ten. Her mom is unemployed, and her father works as a plumber for over twelve hours a day to support the entire family. Katie's mom is overweight, and has always blamed Katie for this, because she gave birth to her.

Recently, her mom has been abusive in regards of health and verbal abuse. Over the past two weeks, Katie's mom has called her a "selfish cow" because she forgot her phone at school. When Katie accidentally does something wrong, like leaving the door open, her mom would start screaming in her face and yelling, "I wish I had never had a daughter! I'm not a mom anymore." This puts Katie in a depressive state, and makes her feel extremely guilty.

For a couple of years, Katie has dealt with depression and anxiety. About a year ago, she consulted her doctor and told him how bad she had been feeling, so he gave her anti-depressants and anxiety pills. Over the past year that I have known Kaylee, she came to me many times, telling me that she felt suicidal. Last week she messaged me at 2 AM and told me that she was going to kill herself. I didn't receive the message until late in the morning. I was about to call 911, when she called me, in tears. Her mom had flushed her pills down the toilet, saying that "depression wasn't real" and she "just was looking for attention". I talked to her for a couple of hours, until she felt much happier and stable. Over the past week, she has been very emotional because of withdrawal symptoms and her mom's constant anger with her.

I have already talked to Katie about her and her sister living with her father, who lives not too far from where they go to school. She tells me that it is "impossible" because of his job, and her mother would try to get involved somehow.

I also talked to my best friend, who has parents that are lawyers. Katie's mom consulted her doctor after flushing the pills, who gave her permission to take them away. The consultation of the doctor makes this legal. I am not entirely sure about what is defined as abuse in this case, and whether I should call CPS or do something else. I am afraid of causing even more trouble in their family, but I am more afraid of Katie and her sister suffering from emotional trauma throughout the rest of their lives because they didn't receive help. Dr. C. Henry Kempe, a pioneer in the field of child abuse prevention, once said he would rather apologize to a parent because he made a mistake about reporting the abuse, than apologize to a brain-damaged child because he did not report.

I am completely unsure of what to do at this point. This issue is beyond just giving Katie advice. Sorry that this was long. I am very worried. I need to console Katie, and/or find a solution to this. Please help.
   
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Re: Best Friend With Abusive Mom - August 16th 2014, 07:09 PM

If your friends mother is treating her like that you need to tell someone. No one should have to go tgrough that. If you dont want to tell, reccomend to your friend to tell childline or get someone to contact social services for you. Hope this is sorted soon! Best of luck xx
   
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Re: Best Friend With Abusive Mom - August 16th 2014, 09:13 PM

I do think that you need to talk to someone. Even if it was just a matter of her being suicidal, I would say that you are out of your depth in dealing with that alone.

Her doctor must not know she is suicidal or he/she would never have said it was ok to have Katie go off the medications. And if he/she did that any how, knowing Katie is suicidal, I would seriously question the "legality" of that choice and would say that it is down right negligence unless lies were told by the mother.

I think, given the circumstances, it sounds abusive. Her moms treatment is directly affecting your friends mental health. Asking CPS to intervene would make it possibly worse, which is true. But really, your friend is at risk right now as it is - she'll either continue being abused by her mom until she is old enough to move out, and gods only knows what kind of permanent psychological damage that'll cause if that isn't already being caused, or she finally builds up to killing herself, which is obviously a terrible and sad out come to potentially have to face

To be honest I don't always like CPS (or which ever variation you have of it in your province or state) because they function in a really weird way sometimes, the bureaucracy sucks at times but the people really do mean well and want to work with the families to serve in the best interests of the children. If it is deemed best that your friends and her siblings be with their dad, CPS would be able to make sure it happens without the mom being able to make things worse. If the dad is not ideal because he cannot provide emotionally and physically with his work then other arrangements can be made. And children are not often removed into foster care unless there is no alternative - the mom might be asked to become educated about mental health and take some anger management classes or what ever else is needed and that could very well settle things




Feel free to PM me if you ever need to chat or have questions
   
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