The Thinker

An update on “B”

I guess people do read my blog, and not just people I know personally. Over the weekend I got an email from a lady who implored me to take in the girl “B” I referred to in this entry, and to get her away from the likely sexual abuse that was occurring in her home. She knows of wherefore she speaks, she informs me. From this I assume she was a victim of incest.

I don’t know whether her father has sexually abused the 14-year-old girl in question “B”. Her father is a drunk in denial, at least from the perspective of “C”, her mother. Anything is possible I suppose because B is a very attractive girl for her age. We know through her mother than B has been receiving sexually suggestive email from a teacher at her school. This particular teacher has apparently been put on administrative leave pending an investigation. And through our daughter we have learned that B claims to have been raped. B is somewhat fuzzy about who the person was, and it might well be a product of her imagination. It sounds like he was an older boy among her circle of friends.

But it gets stranger. Because as you may recall from this other entry, B has another friend, let’s call her M, that lives down the street and is just as messed up as she is, but in a different way. M tried to kill herself by ingesting a whole bottle of Tylenol. Now we get reports, again through our daughter, that M and B have engaged in promiscuous oral sex with other boys. Reputedly M has done it twice, and B has done it once.

All while both girls claim to be bisexual. In fact B is having a relationship with a girl about her age, let’s call her N, that is sexual. Whether B is a lesbian, a bisexual or a heterosexual using a relationship with a girl her own age as some way of expressing her feelings is unknown. My reports are all second hand.

So what has B been up to since she was caught cutting herself? She seems to be in the psychiatric hospital on an outpatient basis and she attends a special school for such emotionally disturbed youth. The academic demands must not be too hard. B sees it as third grade stuff. Have I mentioned that B is exceptionally bright and was in the Gifted and Talented program prior to all this starting?

B remains a presence in our life, but my daughter is finding she has to draw boundaries because between B and N she lives in a world increasingly inhabited by the seriously disturbed. The good news is that B often comes with my daughter to church (we attend a Unitarian church) where my daughter often sings in the choir. B then goes with Rosie to the religious education program. For those of you who don’t know much about Unitarian Universalism, it’s a very accepting religion full of people who don’t quite fit in conventional society. B feels a natural affinity for the place, perhaps because it seems wholesome while at the same time it is full of people from a different walk of life. I am glad to bring B to services as often as she wants to go, with or without my daughter. Last Sunday she came with us, and the cuttings she gave herself were there for all to see. She helped with the Mosaic project that was the theme of the particular service. She wanted to play with Rosie after the service, but apparently it was a bit more than Rosie could manage that particular weekend.

I don’t know if B was sexually abused by her father. I am sure I can rule her mother C out. I should also explain that C is a Wiccan, and a prominent member of a local coven, and has let B learn more about Wicca when she expressed an interest. My correspondent may be correct though that the behavior B has exhibited is an expression of one or more incidents of incest. It’s impossible to know, but certainly something like that would royally screw up any child.

B is being closely monitored by county social services, and probably a family judge. B sleeps at home every night now, gets lots and lots of therapy and continues to take lots of antidepressants. We are certainly willing to take her in for a while if it is needed. But we cannot do so unilaterally for the obvious reasons: we are not her parents and we have no permission to do so. And we would have to be mindful of how her 24/7 presence in our house would affect our daughter Rosie.

But it’s not like we haven’t been down this way before. In some future entry I will have to relate our experience as foster parents some 15 years ago, with a situation that had many parallels to this present situation.

Meanwhile we try to be as warm and accepting as we can. We offer our house as a refuge while she is here. We jokingly refer to her as “our other daughter” (since she spends so much of her time at our house, over the years) or “our emergency auxiliary daughter”. I think B feels that we care about her.

It will be interesting to see what happens to her over the years. B is so pretty and so incredibly bright and so full of spirit. She has the potential to soar very high indeed. The odds though are against her. But perhaps if we believe in her, and if all those of you out there in blog-land believe in her too, she will rise like that phoenix from the ashes. If anyone could I am sure she could.

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