I am so sad & upset about my niece. Unbelievable

Well, I just about exploded this morning coz I had no one to talk to but yesterday afternoon I found out my 15 year old niece has been put in a juvenile detention center.

It’s just shocking and amazing because no one in my family ever ever did anything like this.

And what’s crazy is it’s for a whole month, through Christmas and New Year’s. This is in Arizona. My sister and her husband divorced two years ago. Both of them spent years screaming at each other and fighting in front of my two nieces and this one just got worse and worse from it all. She ran her car into a house while text messaging. Ruined the car. Was put on probation. My former brotherin law is bipolar, won’t get help, and has hit and hurt my sister many times but she would never report it. My niece said he was choking her in the laundry room for not doing the laundry right, and a teacher has pictures of her bruises yet none of that came up in court.

Of course I think there is some stuff not being told me. Like why exactly he got custody and not my sister. They both did wrong things for a few years, but I don’t know, they met in 9th grade in high school and spent 20 years together… but they just haven’t behaved right in frnt of their kids that’s for sure and this girl is paying for it.

I feel so sorry for her, someone who should be learning things and having a good time. She was kicked out of one school when she was younger… ick. But a detention center when all she did was run to the neighbor lady who has 4 kids and that woman took her in. My brotherinlaw said she ran away period and the parole officer hates my sister… first she said my niece could go home with her mother the next day, then changed her mind. I don’t get it. My bil has a great ability to charm people, it’s amazing, but I’ve seen him change into a crazed thing, my mum used to call him Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde.

Ok. I probably should delete this. But maybe someone has had something like this happen.

Such a beautiful world, what a drag people can’t thank god each day and enjoy it.

I’m so sorry for what is happening in your family. It must be so difficult for you. It doesn’t sound like your neice is a bad kid, just has had a rough life, which doesn’t help. I can definitely relate to dysfunctional families, but what I try to remember is that I only have one- and I’ll always love them. I hope that everything works out for your neice. One good thing about kids is that they can recover quickly. If she gets to live somewhere that is stable and happy, she can snap back just like that. Stay strong, we’re all here for you whenever you need to vent.

I’m so sorry. It’s difficult to watch the ones we love go through difficult times.

Just remember that, as crazy as it might sound, this is part of God’s plan for your niece’s life. You never know…what she’s going through right now may be something she’ll be able to help someone else through in a few years. There is a purpose for everything…good AND bad. It sure isn’t easy going through the bad, but when you come out on the other side of it, you’re able to look back and see it.


It seems to me that your niece should have a lawyer. In CT where I practice there would be one assigned. It also seems very odd that she’s in a detention center for essentially non criminal activity. Where did your information come from?

Your niece sounds like any one of the students I see every day. As harsh as it may sound, sometimes an arrest can be a real wake-up call. Odds are there are things going on that you haven’t been told about, and it just came to a head now.

Probation, at least here in NY, tries to intervene and set kids on the right track long before they have them sent to detention. Hopefully, this will open her eyes, she’ll get some counselling, and maybe find a placement where she doesn’t have to deal with the dysfunction of her parents.:pray:

I hope she finds some love and care, it must be scary to feel like you’re spinning out of control. This may serve to highlight her case - maybe she’ll be placed with people who will treat her with respect and she’ll get some good role models. I hope it works out for her, what a horrible place to be over Christmas though :frowning:

Can you advocate for your niece? Help her find a guardian ad litum? It sounds like she is screaming for help and only getting hurt. Perhaps call and talk to her case worker and voice your concerns about her returning to an unhealthy environment? Would you be willing to take custody of her to get her out of a bad situation. Sometimes when we are young and troubled we don’t know how to ask for help. I had a troubling time as a teen and it didn’t go ver well for me. My parents expected a certain level from me and I never could achieve that high set bar. So rather than admit that I couldn’t be “all that” I acted out, got in trouble, ran away from home, got sent to a girl’s boarding school (in England no less) and was questioned in every decision I made. (Still am, which has strained mine and my parent’s relationship). Hopefully some good will come for your niece and she can get past this part of her life. :frowning:

I too come from a dysfunctional family. There are too many things to even discuss that I experienced/witnessed growing up. Thankfully two of my grandmothers stepped in to make sure that I was raised properly. I was never a problem child but I can only imagine where I would be in my life right now if they hadn’t stepped in to do the right thing by me.

I really hope that this pain will eventually subside and that you and your family can get back to a somewhat peaceful existence. It does seem that there is more to the story than what is being relayed to you. Only time will tell if you get the entire story. Just know that there are people here that you can talk to to help deal with the situation that you are going through. :hug: :hug: :hug:

Thank you all so much. Thanks Knitgal for telling me I can vent and you’re here for me. I really appreciate that.

Jeremy… she had a lawyer assigned to her, who I was told “didn’t do much”.

Well, I got a lot of infomation this morning from my other niece who I only started talking to again this week. We hadn’t spoke for over a year. I don’t want to reveal all the details here because it might hurt my other niece who is becoming interested in what I’m doing and has visited this site. Suffice it to say, I didn’t get all the info and there is a possibility (very strong) that my younger niece was lying about being attacked. She wouldn’t even bring it up in court and I just know if it was true, it’s something that you’d make sure somebody heard. It seems she has been trying to get attention and also doesn’t like her new mother-in-law at all and wants out of there.

Ingrid is so right too, maybe a wake up call is needed. I don’t know. It’s hard to judge and being a Libra myself, it’s something I start to do and that’s not good when you don’t have all the facts. I have A LOT more facts now and they sound awfully true, my sister hasn’t been much in control of her life and really didn’t know the meaning of discipline for her girls. Fortunately, one turned out brilliant and is getting excellent grades in her first year at college with a scholarship to boot

but the other one, just hasn’t been able to accept things. She had/has an amazing wild streak like I never saw, she is so pretty and could be a fantastic actress or something if she’d get concentrated. I just hope this doesn’t hurt her more, yes, a detention center for a month still sounds too harsh to me, but maybe her parole officer has a good reason to put her there. I am thinking about contacting her and talking about things…

Wow, boarding school in England. That must’ve been a tough one!
(I used to live in England) I’ve been thinking of reading
Girl Interupted, now there’s a girl who went through hell and came out strong and ok.

(I keep editing this as I reread things…) My mum died in 1999 and she was always around to talk to those girls. A grandmother is so important!
Our whole family fell apart when she departed. Not that we were that close but I think she would’ve made some difference.

Thanks again so much for taking the time to read this! Vic

:hug: hugs for you, Victoise. tough situation, I know, I’m dealing with something slightly related right now. I’m thinking of you. :heart: :hug:

You would be surprised what a child will do to protect a parent even when they don’t like that parent or that parent has done something horrible to them. I was involved in a custody battle a couple of years ago. My friend was trying to get custody of his daughter from his alcoholic drug addicted neglectful ex-wife. His daughter wanted to come live with him, but refused to say anything against her mother. Partly because she didn’t want to get her mother in trouble and partly because she didn’t want to deal with the guilt/abuse/retribution/etc in the future. Happens way too often. So you may want to give her the benefit of the doubt until you can get the whole story. Either way it sounds like she is crying for help!

Wow, boarding school in England. That must’ve been a tough one!
(I used to live in England) I’ve been thinking of reading
Girl Interupted, now there’s a girl who went through hell and came out strong and ok.

Actually it was fairly plush. May aunt’s mother owned it and it was one of these “upper crust finishing schools.” I went kicking and screaming all the way over there. Then two years later came kicking and screaming all the way back. My great aunt was wonderful and listened to me and didn’t have huge expectations of me being something that I wasn’t. She encouraged me to explore. She said she had seen far too often girls who were “expected of” so she loved that she didn’t have a girl who was expected to marry well. She was simply fantastic! But when I came home I had the same problems waiting for me that were there when I left. :frowning: Problems don’t go away because distance and time is put in the middle of them.

Although you mentioned that your brother-in-law is bipolar, there are many of the same child-protection issues discussed in the book [I]Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care about Has Borderline Personality Disorder[/I] by Paul T. Mason and Randi Kreger.

There are chapters on

  • “Developing a Safety Plan”
  • “Protecting Children from BPD Behavior”
  • “Lies, Rumors, and Accusations: Distortion Campaigns”

If you could check this book out from a library or even just read the reader reviews on Amazon or use Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature, it may give you some ideas for ways you can help your niece.

Our thoughts are with you and her!

Vic, I wish I had some helpful advice, but I don’t. However, you are always welcome to vent here! I will pray for your family, and hope that this will be a turning point for your niece.

Janettle, thank you for that info. But, I haven’t been in touch with my b-i-law for a few years now, he treated me rather badly 4 years ago and then they got divorced so… I could recommend this book to my sister but I think she’s just too out of it right now to even bother.
She tried to get him to go to counseling with her for years but he wouldn’t.

Well, on 2nd thought, it might help for when I talk with my niece.

I did find out a lot more to this story and I don’t think my niece is protecting her father. It’s pretty hard to know everything when you’re on the other side of the country (and they didn’t want much to do with me for quite some time now) My other niece who filled me in on a lot of the story I hadn’t heard (whew)
wants to come visit in New York so it is lovely we are having a reconciliation.

“Problems don’t go away because distance and time is put in the middle of them.”

That’s a good one. I enjoyed hearing about the boarding school. Sounds a bit Harry Potterish but without all the fun. :teehee: (glad it was plush!)

all for now, thanks guys

P.S. Michelle,

I am looking on your site, Imight contribute towards a goat! I love goats! Great charity.