Heartbroken Mom

celeste(zone 4 NH)October 27, 2007

I have never posted my personal issues here before, preferring to just talk about roses. But today I am so incredibly full of anguish for my oldest daughter that I am a wreck. I'm just looking for some reassurance from my friends here that I did the right thing.

I will try to make a long story short. DD is 21 yrs. old, a lovely & kindhearted girl. She met her boyfriend 2 1/2 yrs. ago and moved in with him. At first, it all seemed so wonderful and we welcomed him into our family. I was SO delighted to see my darling daughter so filled with happiness and I liked her boyfriend because of this. Seeing that beautiful smile on her face made me happy. Especially since she had just ended an emotionally abusive relationship with a loser. Some parents might be against the relationship, since the man is 32 yrs. old, newly divorced, with 2 young children. But I had an open mind, because he was so good to her. She moved into his apartment and they seemed so happy for a time. She was enjoying having her own little place and decorating it. Then troubling things started to happen. They always had financial problems, losing 2 cars and being evicted from 2 apartments. They lived with us for awhile, moved into another apartment, then couldn't make rent because the boyfriend lost his job. What concerned me was that this 32 yr. old man didn't have a vehicle, a job, owed child support, didn't have a bank account or even credit cards....he literally had nothing...

Nothing but my DD supporting him. When her car broke down one time, she saved up $800 to get it repaired, which wasn't easy considering she was supporting them both. During the time her car was broken down she walked to & from work everyday, sometimes leaving so early in the morning it was still dark out. Her job was quite a distance away and she was without a car for many weeks. She had kept the money hidden very well so she could get her car fixed....but when she went to get the money it was gone. This was the second time that hundreds of dollars that she had saved had mysteriously disappeared.

Only she and her boyfriend knew where the money was hidden.

They both claimed that an intruder had broken in (both times, 2 different apartments) and taken it, yet what bugged me was that nothing else was ever stolen, everything was in its place, and the doors were locked...no forced entry. I couldn't help but be suspicious, but kept it to myself...I had no proof of anything.

Fast forward to 7 1/2 weeks ago. After losing yet another apartment, DD begged me to allow him to move in with her here. I wasn't crazy about the idea but she pleaded with me, and I never could say NO to those big beautiful eyes of hers. She said it would only be for a week or two. The boyfriend hung out here in our home while we all went off to work every day. Weeks passed and he still wasn't working (he found a job but only worked for a week or two, then left). My husband tried to help them out by giving him a job at his hardware store...after all, the boyfriend owed back child support and we didn't want the children to suffer. Shortly after they moved in, my next door nighbor called to say that $700 had been stolen out of his house while he was away for the weekend. We had our suspicions, but no proof once again because none of us had been home. Then the boyfriend stole a 5-gal. can of gas from our shed to put in DD's car, even though DD gave him $20 gas money and DH had paid him that day. We know he stole it because DH found the empty gas can in the trunk. Then another can of gas was stolen from the hardware store...he put the can outside of the store while he was there working and must have gone back that night to get it. My daughter was planning a big birthday trip for the boyfriend's birthday, and asked to put the hotel & tickets to an event on my credit card. She promised to pay it off week by week. She told me she would give me $260 next paycheck. When I came home from work, I counted out $190 that she had left for me. Now the thing is, no one was home during the day but the boyfriend. Just to verify (because I didn't trust the boyfriend at this point), I confirmed with her that she gave me $190. When I told her she'd left $190 her face went ghostly white. She told me NO...she had left $260 there for me. She frantically started searching for the missing $70, at which point I finally HAD to say something. I pointed out that only "he" was here with the money. She went downstairs to confront him and he denied taking it. This is where I hope I did the right thing. I knocked on their bedroom door and demanded to talk to her alone. I needed to make her see what was going on, that "he" was stealing from her (and us) and it had been going on for a time. She was of course in denial, but finally I think it all started to come together in her head and she was crying and shaking so hard her teeth were chattering. I held her tight but it hurt me terribly to see her heart breaking...and it hurt so much to know that he even had the gall to steal from the fund she was paying for HIS birthday present! He still is denying ever taking anything, but my DD is finally sticking up for herself and told him she can't live with someone who lies and steals, even though she is, in spite of this, still madly in love with him.

Now he's leaving today on the bus to go to Florida to live with his mother, and my daughter is distraught. I know I did the right thing to protect my child, but it hurts me so much to see the agony she is going through. Her heart is breaking and so is mine, because I can't take the pain away for her.

Any words of comfort would be appreciated since I feel so miserable right now. I should be glad that he's not going to take advantage of her anymore, but he did have some nice qualities and he did make my daughter feel beautiful and loved for a time....so I can't feel any happiness now. Seeing her cry her heart out and knowing what she's going through (I've been through it myself), just makes me feel empty inside.


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Oh Celeste-------I am so sorry-----this is truly a very sad situation.
I'm sure your daughter is hurting but hopefully she will gradually realize that it was not a healthy situation for her.
I wish I had some wise words of comfort for you .

Our grandaughter is also involved with the wrong person and of course you know what our daugther is going through.

I know how painful these situations can be-----I guess we just have to hope that time will heal the wounds.

My heart is with you.

Fondly, Florence

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 4:48PM
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opheliathornvt zone 5

I'm so sorry about this - our daughter also got involved with a no-good guy. At first, like you, I liked him because he was crazy about our daughter and seemed like a good guy, but we later found out, slowly, that he was controlling her. It was the classic control story - he wanted her to be able to take his cell phone calls instantly, all the time, and if she went to take a shower and forgot to tell him she was doing that, she'd get multiple messages accusing her of fooling around. She quit activities and dropped people he didn't like, all to keep him happy. We were very lucky, and got her to break up with him, but she wasn't happy about it and wanted to get back together with him for weeks. I finally told her she had to go to counseling (she was over 18, but agreed to go) and we found a therapist who specialized in abusive relationships. As time passed away from him and with the therapist reinforcing everything I had told her, and adding more, she finally realized that she was better off without him, but it wasn't easy for any of us. It sounds like you have a good relationship with your daughter, and I know you've done the right thing. I suspect she knows he wasn't any good, and with time and distance, I think she'll see it just like our daughter did. I will pray for all of you, because I know that this stuff is really rough, but I'm willing to bet she and you will come through it in time.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 5:13PM
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Knowing now what I have been through with my grandson's mum, it sounds suspiciously like an addiction to me, but regardless, he has big problems and your poor DD has learned the hard way. It is so easy to be in denial when he has made her feel so good. I hope for her sake that he keeps his distance and does not come into her life again. I feel for you both, it is terribly sad for your daughter who seems to be a lovely young lady. It will feel like a fate worse than death to her right now, but Celeste, this really is the beginning of a better future for her. Now, she needs to grieve and you need to watch over her while she does. So sad now, but it will all work out.
Thinking of you both.
Pauline - Vancouver Island

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 5:27PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I am also so sorry that this happened, but maybe the tears will stop faster if she has a plan for her future. I would like to suggest that she get some counseling, and learn how to take care of herself. Possibly the man could do the same thing in a different place.

Possibly they both need to be trained for a job they would like. If they are apart, they could take courses, and learn a trade. College is a huge committment, but Beauty School, some nursing aides courses, a multitude of other training classes could get her out of the house, and keep her busy.

Frankly I don't know if many people would understand that it is stealing to take money from a husband or wife's cache unless they knew it was not acceptable.

I think in today's world people are more eager to discuss these things than in the past when the man ruled the house.

I think the man will return, and your daughter should see a pro, and figure out what to do, and how to handle the situation when he does return.

Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 6:26PM
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What a LOSER, good riddance!

Your daughter did the right thing in dumping his @$$. Although this is a tough emotional situation for your daughter to have to go through, it is the right road to freedom for her, and those who love her so much.

You stand strong girl, be a pillar of strength and love for her right now, even though your own heart may be breaking for her.

There is a man out there who will respect, cherish, and love her and hold her up on a pedestal forever, and this is the truth! I'll keep both of you in my prayers.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 6:38PM
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celeste(zone 4 NH)

I just checked in here and I THANK YOU ALL for your words of encouragement. It helps to know that you all are thinking of me and my dear daughter. I know we will get through this together. I love her so much. And she has many very good friends.

sammy....my daughter works in a nursing home and is so incredibly wonderful with the elderly. Maybe now that "he" is gone she can take night courses to pursue a nursing degree or even culinary arts (she loves to cook).
She has been talking about furthering her education for quite some time, so now is her chance.

Gracie is beautiful and loving, but I think she believes that because she gained weight and isn't a size 0 like her younger sister (who is blonde and petite) that she may feel as though she can never get another guy...which is SO untrue. She has the most generous heart, a fun personality, and everyone that meets her loves her. But the first boyfriend used to call her "fat" and when this guy came along he made her feel beautiful when her self-esteem was lacking. So I think it is hard for her to see the beauty in herself and the confidence that she can be whatever she wants to be, without him.

Here's a casual picture of Grace, just to show you all what a sweetheart she is....just the way she is. Isn't she lovely?


    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 8:16PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

Your daughter is both lovely and blessed to have folks who truly care for her. And she is blessed that she was not pulled down lower by his actions.
She has been on the brink of disaster (and probably knows this deep down in her heart).
She does need to know that alone and happy is possible. And that once she's happy, it's easier to find someone who will appreciate her and honor her.
I do know some women who have gone to nursing school and it's healed them as well as turning them into healers. Something about the very basic nature of care giving that cuts through the fluff of much of modern life.
She's so lucky to have you and your husband and to know that you both care for her.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 8:48PM
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She is beautiful Celeste and looks like you except for the dark hair. She will be happy again.
Hugs to you both.
Pauline -Vancouver Island

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 9:32PM
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Celeste...you did the right thing for your Grace. Truly, you did and Grace probably knew deep down that the boyfriend was stealing all along. I understand how the heart wants to say that he just could not be doing this.
I truly believe you did the right thing and saved Grace many long years of heartache. Don't fret another minute about "what ifs"!!

Oh my....Grace is a lovely young lady!! What a sweet smile she has.

Did I ever mention my darling daughter is 21 also? My Jessica has dark brown hair, cut in a pixie cut and big beautiful brown eyes also.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 10:17PM
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My heart aches for you both. We have been lucky with our soon-to-be-17-year-old, but even the small hurts she has had (in relation to yours) tore my heart out. Don't you just sometimes long for the days when she was 2 and a kiss and a hug from Mommy would fix everything? I'll be thinking of you as you deal with this with her. Keep loving her and keep her talking to you.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 11:55PM
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Celeste, you do know that this guy is an addict right? Does your daughter know? What you wrote could be written by every parent, SO, or sibling of a full blown addict. You so did the right thing. Your daughter may love him, but she can't "fix" him, until he decides he wants help he will always love the drugs more. He'll continue to steal, he'll only hold a job until he has money in hand, and he'll never own a thing that can be traded for drugs.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 6:10AM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

Isn't she lovely! I do hope she has some goals, and brings other activities into her life, so she won't feel desperate, and bring him back into her life.

I do not see the addiction in what you wrote, but those with more experience than I obviously do. He isn't that old, and may change his life. He may return, and that often happens, but if she has her own life, she may see him in a different perspective, and feel more secure with herself.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 6:30AM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

I'm so sorry Celeste. The first thing that came to mind was Betty's word, LOSER. You were very generous to take this man in. I would have never let that man in my house after hearing he was late on child support and had no job!!! To me, that is the lowest you can sink. He's lucky not to be in jail for child support. You being there for your daughter is the most important thing right now.Your daughter deserves someone who is a better person. I suggest you keep her close for a while, these matters of the heart are hard to get over.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 10:15AM
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I have the same problem with my niece. Her boyfriend is a DJ and is lucky if he works 20 hours a week for little pay. My niece has been supporting them both for some time and she is tightly strapped with student loans. In fact, we give her $$$ a month so she can pay on one of the loans. My niece's boyfriend is a charming cute guy with a sweet disposition but still a bum none-the-less. I have grown to hate him because of it.

This is the third time she has chosen a piece of human waste for a partner. My niece is a beautiful talented 24 year old girl who is responsible, hard working, and yet picks absolute losers for boyfriends. Her romantic choices make me think that she must have no sense of self worth.

Your daughter and my niece both need help.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 12:58PM
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paparoseman(z8 WA. PO.)

Sorry to hear of this but it is another in a long line of these stories. I really doubt that the boyfriend is going to be gone for long, perhaps 1 in a 1000 chance. My step daughter has been involved with one of these loser relationships for over seven years. He has taken checks from her check book and had others use them to get items to sell. Been accused and convicted of theft for which he did not pay the fines so the court is after him. Punched holes in the walls of her apartment when told she was not going to give him money. He is the sperm doaner of her two kids ( a father would take care of his kids not ask to borrow money from their mother for his support).

He lived with her for a time and got another ticket driving her car and never told her about it. Took money from out of a piggybank in his older daughters room and when caught later explained he had only borrowed the money.

It seems he is back in trouble with the law again. A lawyer called my daughter and knowing what the call was about he called her answering machine and deleted the messages in hopes she would not get the message. She is to give a deposition and he actually called her and asked her to lie. When she told him she would not lie he asked her why she wants him in prison.

Every single thing that happens in his life is always someone elses fault. The SO told me the other day that she thinks the daughter is pregnant again with what would be his third child with her. It is enough to make a person try to either slap some sense into her for not dropping the loser of the year or give him a one way ride out of town.

We did not find out for certain about the second baby until it was four months plus into the pregnancy. We have told her for years that he is not going to growup until he wants to and he does not look like he wants to. She does not tell us half of the things he has done because we are so mean and judgemental.

I hope the outcome of your daughters experience is better.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 2:15PM
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Celeste----Your Grace is so lovely----It is so sad that these lovely young women get into these relaionships---

I hope Grace gets her nursing degree and finds someone who will value her.

A bowl of Grace---for your Grace ( Ilove her name it is DH's mother's name

Best always,



    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 4:58PM
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Celeste, I think you are right to protect your daughter from this guy and I hope you won't let him in your house again unless some year down the road he has changed his ways greatly. I think you help your daughter by letting her know she deserves better, and must develop her baloney detector. It's always painful to love people only to find out later that they were not trustworthy. I feel for her, and for you. I hope she will not make excuses for him, and if you and your husband are firm about your perceptions of him she may develop her boundaries better too.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 5:46PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

Lance said it. If she loves him, he will return. In the meantime you will have time to help her redirect her life, and understand living together separately.

Have you ever read Suze Orman? Just because people live together or are married does not mean that their lives have merged. Your daughter can lock up her money in a checking account that he cannot touch, and he can do the same thing. So much changes in life when people mess up their lives, and then try to repair them.

Our society allows so much sexual freedom, and then all of a sudden there comes responsibility. Often the boys are in a duh mode. They simply haven't been taught.

I won't go on and on, but I do wish all of you the best.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 6:56PM
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Celeste, this man is an addict. The fact screams out, if you have an counseling or drug treatment background, which I do. I hope your daughter can get some counseling as soon as possible to help her figure out why she would fall for a man who has almost nothing to offer her. Madly in love with him? With what? This man is a real loser and somehow, she needs to find out why she was with him--or she will either take him back or replace him with someone else just like him.
I may sound harsh, but sometimes that is necessary in situations like this. I encourage you to support her, but in no way should you support her in being with a man like this. Good luck with this awful mess. Your daugher is very sweet and beautiful and so are you. Please, please encourage her to get the help she needs to find out why she is co-dependent to an addict. These things have a way of becoming a life pattern if not dealt with.
With much caring,

    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 9:35PM
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I echo Kathy's sentiments. My first thought too. He is an addict.
The best of luck Celeste in helping your daughter see the light, even with counselling.
I think one of the worst things about addicts, is that they blame everyone else for THEIR problems which makes, the co-dependent, feel very, very guilty and often they slip right back into the mold. Please help her know, that this is classic and what addicts do. It is his problem, and nothing she has to feel guilty about. I too believe that counselling for Grace, so that she really understands what is going on, will be the best thing for her. Then, hopefully, she can let go and start a fresh new life.
Hugs to you both.
Pauline - VI

    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 10:27PM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

A junkie for sure. I've known a few. They can't think beyond their immediate needs and never total up all the episodes. They can rationalize and lie to a point it becomes so obvious that it seems like a cartoon. Except, nobody is laughing.

People like this always manage to find someone to enable them. Liars can be so charming - for awhile. The enablers need tough love.

You did the right thing Celeste.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 7:47AM
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Celeste - ditto what everybody said. gracie is a beautiful person - she deserves much better then this.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 9:10AM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

Celeste, I think counseling is a great idea. The counselor can make Grace somehow feel better about herself and not so bad about the choice she made, I hope.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 10:19AM
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iowa_jade(C 5b H 6)

It is OK to be poor, but not to enable bad behavior.

When I was young and working handling bad accident claims we had a secretary who's boyfriend used to break her bones he beat her up so bad. She was beautiful but used to let that macho pig put her on crutches. She would still defend him, while she was bleeding.

We also insured (it seemed to me) every pimp in central Illinois. Very evil the way we do it in the states. Legalized prositution seems much more humane.

Now that I am older I have seen many women and men get help with the AA open meetings and Al-Anon. Often drugs or booze gets involved, by one party or the other or both.

DW would say give your daughter a heavy cast iron frying pan. He has to sleep sometime. DW is not bashful in telling me I need to go to a meeting. At the meeting Sunday, a drunk said his secretary had asked him when was the last time he had made it to a AA meeting. He thanked her. It was a good thing to do.

It is good to see hope where once there was despair. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: al-anon

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 12:48PM
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celeste(zone 4 NH)

I appreciate all your responses, concern and words of wisdom.

Just to update....
My girl is staying strong, although she still loves him, but does agree that his leaving is for the best. There have been tears, sadness in her eyes, and even doubt. I do think that he "got to her" and tried to convince her that he never stole or lied, and that we set him up. I expected that. Pathological liars are so good at lying that they not only convince those around them, but even themselves. So I think he confused her a little and that look in her eyes tells me that she's not 100% convinced she did the right thing by ending it. But he is gone and I hope he cleans up his act down there in Florida because if not he will be stealing from his mom next. I won't ever welcome him in my home, even if he changes, even if he comes back to see his children. I do not hate the man and feel some pity for him in his addiction, but I will never be part of enabling him again. I pray he changes his life around for HIS own sake, and the sake of his children. But I also pray that Gracie moves on and learns to love HERSELF, and puts her energy into taking care of HER for a change.

For those who suspect drug addiction, this has been my suspicion for a long time, but Grace denies knowing of it. When they were evicted for not keeping up with rent payments, Grace was always calling me upset at the landlords for not crediting them for money they had paid. They claimed the landlord didn't give receipts....who ever heard of that? And of course they paid in cash, so how could it be disputed. Now it is so clear that "he" pocketed the cash earmarked for rent to feed his addiction. The times they were credited were no doubt the times Grace herself paid them directly. It makes me SICK inside to know that my baby worked so hard just to feed
his drug habit. Apparently he was good at keeping it hidden from her, because I raised my 3 kids to be staunch anti-drug....although I suspect that even if she did know, she was so blinded by love that she may have chosen to stay in denial about it.

It is said that girls often pick men just like their fathers and in Gracie's case, it is sad but true. My ex-husband (her dad) was a pathological liar, who had not only fooled me for 18 years, but his family, my family, everyone. We went to church every Sunday and he took communion...everyone commented on what a lovely family we were. He bragged to everyone on what a beautiful wife he had and how much he loved his family. He conned everyone into believing he was an honorable family man. To this day he has never admitted to, nor apologized for the years of infidelity, drug use, and chronic lies he put us through. He likewise went from job to job, affair to affair, covering his lies with more lies, and to this day his family still blames ME for the divorce!! I hung in there all those years for the children, but the thing was, he was never there FOR the children. He moved away right after the divorce to Texas and basically forgot he had 3 children. He has always been delinquent with child support, never sends cards or presents for birthdays, Christmas, graduations, etc. and rarely calls the kids. I have had to chase him down for child support for 12 years. Do you see the similiarities? Grace chooses men who are just like her dad. You are right that she should seek counseling....but how to get her to realize she needs it? She doesn't yet admit that he is a loser. She still sticks up for him and makes excuses when I try to talk to her. I am proud of her that she had the strength to tell him to leave....however, I still have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that tells me that they will keep in contact.He still has an emotional hold on her.

Like I said, I do believe with my entire being that he is an addict. For all the money he has stolen he has NOTHING to show for it. Also, my new daughter-in-law works with his ex-wife and the ex claims that he stole thousands of dollars from her which is why they divorced.

So I have lots of work ahead of me to help Grace heal. There have been moments since he left that she has been "herself" and happy so I see hope....she is a diehard Red Sox fan and we have hooted and hollered for our team these past few nights as they won the World Series....we had so much fun in the past going to Fenway and yelling louder than anybody there. And that trip she booked for the boyfriend's birthday...? Well, she and I will be going together! It will be some quality "girl" time and I will have 4 days to have her all to myself. I am looking forward to it in November and hope she will too, once her heart starts to mend and her eyes are finally opened.

Love itself is a powerful drug....so she has her own addiction to recover from. Hopefully this smart girl of mine will come to her senses and rehabilitate her life.

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 1:47PM
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celeste(zone 4 NH)

....Just wanted to add this....

On Montel Williams Show today was the wife of the Green River Serial Killer. She was with him for 14 years and never suspected anything, claiming they were madly in love and happily married "soulmates". With her he was loving and never abusive, never even raising his voice, but was convicted of torturing and murdering 48 women (maybe more).
Not one of his frieds or co-workers suspected a thing either. She stood by him to the very end, believing that her gentle, loving husband could never hurt anyone....that is, until he admitted (to get out of a death sentence)to murdering 48 women and listing them by name.

This is scary stuff, because it proves in a very dramatic way how well some people can keep their demons a secret from those that love them.

Grace tends to recall all the loving things he did for her, because the break-up is so fresh & raw. After all, he never hit or physically hurt her, opened doors for her, told her she was beautiful, showered her with hugs and kisses, gave her cards expressing his love and enjoyed many fun times together. She doesn't yet understand that ABUSE comes in other forms, and that stealing and lying ARE abuse. She is having a hard time separating the loving, romantic man she fell in love with, from the selfish self-destructive man he has become. It will take time.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 2:31PM
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thinking of you and Grace-----I do hope you have a great time on your "girl" trip---
It will be good for both of you.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 2:50PM
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kathwhit(z8, West OR)

Celeste, I am so sorry for your daughter. It is so hard to be blinded by love, and then have to wake up and realize what the loved one is really like. Like Lance, I could go on and on with stories just like Grace's. But there really are some wonderful men out there, and Grace will find one if she lets herself. I am so glad she has you to help her, and please try to convince her to get into counseling. He will be back, as he is a user, and she has let herself be used before, and she will need help recognizing the sickness in the relationship. My thoughts are with you both.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 3:59PM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

In similar cases I have witnessed, the lady involved has been of the sweetest and most loving nature. In her heart, she believed she could "fix" the guy. It was important to her that she helped him.

He didn't want to be helped and usually showed his gratitude by breaking her heart and stealing her possessions.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 8:37AM
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dirt_yfingernails(z3-4 MN)

My ex SIL had a lot of the same symptoms. Didn't steal or use drugs, but simply wouldn't work. I supported my daughter's marriage until with her second pregnancy ended with eclampsia. They took the baby early to save his life and DD was not supposed to work for 6 months. She was very sick and has just one partially functioning kidney. That piece of slime was too lazy to work and DD had to work three jobs sick as a dog. I stopped supporting him then and told DD my full opinion of the jerk. She left him a year or two later.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 12:28PM
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veilchen(5b southern Maine)

This is the first time I've popped over to the conservation side in months, and what a story! Celeste, thank goodness you got the truth out about this loser before more damage was done--not just more money stolen, but if the relationship continued your daughter could have ended up being the mother of his child (and we saw how his first kids/ex-wife worked out), or even more emotionally involved.

Of course she's heartbroken. I just hope he stays away long enough for her to get over him. Time and reflection will make her stronger. Definitely encourage her to stay busy.

I went through a terrible relationship and breakup when I was 21. It was awful at the time, but it really made me a stronger person, and I learned what I wanted (and didn't want!) in a relationship.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 7:56AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

That guy leaving was the best thing that could have happened. You have a beautiful daughter, she deserves better than that bum.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 11:05AM
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celeste(zone 4 NH)

Here is an update on the situation as of today....

The loser keeps calling here, several times each night looking to speak to Grace. We have caller id and don't answer it; however when Grace is home she takes the cordless phone into her room, no doubt to receive his calls. Does anyone know if I can get that number blocked? I don't want him calling here! He is calling from his mother's Florida number and without a doubt is racking up huge long distance charges which he will never pay her for.

This sad saga just keeps getting worse.....I invited my 84 year old parents over for dinner and filled them in on the whole ordeal. (I had to explain why I haven't had them over in a couple of weeks, since it is customary for me to have them over every Sunday.) My poor sweet Dad then confided in us that he has been missing his camera since my youngest daughter's birthday in September when he took pictures of her w/ her cake. He had put it down in our living room and hasn't seen it since. He has searched high and low everywhere at his home, car, etc. thinking that maybe at his age he just forgot where he left it. But my Dad is as sharp as a tack and has a better memory than me! We have not seen it here, nor has he found it after weeks and weeks of searching. Now we all feel that the boyfriend stole it to pawn it. It was a very expensive professional camera that my Dad was very proud of and loved to take pictures of his family with. I am heartsick.....there are no words to describe how ill I feel. There is no other explanation and "he" was living here then.

My Dad says that if losing his beloved camera is what it takes for Gracie to open up her eyes finally and see the loser for what he is, then he didn't lose it in vain. I will be talking to her later tonight when she gets home and praying I get through to her.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 5:07PM
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I'll be thinking about you tonight as you speak to your daughter. May you have all the wisdom, patience and love required! A mother's admonition to her daughter is a wonderful thing! Stick to your guns and speak the truth to her lovingly, that's all you can do right now.

I had to have a "talk" w/ my 16 year old daughter not too long ago, I understand how it is...


    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 5:34PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

You can have a call block put on through the phone company that doesn't show. But you'll need to talk to someone in customer service (have a good book to read while your'e on hold.)
And contact the police about the theft of your Father's camera. In most states, pawn shops have to take a photo id of anything that is pawned. (and we can be pretty sure, if the camera went the way we all suspect it did, that the perp didn't get it out of hock.)
Get out a peace bond to keep him away from your property.

And maybe put a private eye on him or at least to search his history. His REAL history, not the fairy tale that's not all that it appears.

And make sure his calls aren't collect.

Boy, I'm cynical today. Sorry, but something can still go really wrong and I really wish we could do more to help you all.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 5:44PM
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Celeste----I feel so bad about your precious father's camera----Surely your daughter will realize what a loser this guy is.

I will be praying for you and Grace,

Life sure is tough at times.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 6:03PM
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Celeste, here is a very good website that might give your daughter some food for thought.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 7:51PM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

Block the telephone. These people are masters of deceit. Each time he talks to her is a life-threatening encounter. If you aren't convinced, I'll give you one more thing to think about. Most junkies try to get their friends hooked...

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 9:12AM
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celeste(zone 4 NH)

Things didn't go well the other night in telling Grace about my Dad's missing camera. She simply doesn't believe that Scott took it and is angry at me for saying he did. She left here angry and hasn't been home since. I called around and found her at one of her friends. Apparently she doesn't want to come home now and the boyfriend is calling her there. Now there's nothing more I can do. As long as she's still talking to HIM and not to me, she will only absorb what she hears from him. He sent me an email today and basically accused me of lying about him and in an attempt to hurt me further, said I treated Grace like a "scumbag" and that "if" I loved my daughter I would give my blessing for them to be together. So this is the junk he's been feeding her....telling her that I am the liar and that I'm a horrible mom to her.

But just when I felt I had sunk to my lowest point, her friend did call to tell me that she didn't take his call today.....
so there is still hope.

We still need your prayers....Thank you all.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 5:45PM
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Oh Celeste, Judging by your last sentence, maybe she is coming out of her denial after all. So sorry that things got worse. I believe that you sticking to your guns is the best thing you can do. Do not be threatened into believing you are driving your daughter away. You are doing the right thing. I pray that she will see the light very soon.
My prayers are with you. Take care of YOURSELF!
Pauline - VI

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 11:10PM
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paparoseman(z8 WA. PO.)

If things are the same as my daughter she is not even close to waking up. Tomorrow she will take his calls like nothing has ever happened. She found out he stole money from his own daughter because he needed the money. Another time he punched a hole through a wall and threatened to hit her while she was holding her youngest baby. We heard the tales from our daughter of how she was done with him forever and then had her six year old daughter tell us daddy was there last night. Now she is pregnant with baby number three. Too bad it is against the law to hold a gun to his head and tell him he is dead if he ever calls again from anywhere in the country.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 11:35PM
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celeste(zone 4 NH)

Hi Pauline....
I think your prayers are working. After spending the whole day crying and feeling hopeless I just left it all in God's hands. Gracie's friend called me again to say that when "he" called again, Gracie told him it was over, that she wanted to end it once and for all. Oh please, I hope she doesn't cave in and change her mind! She came by with her friend and gave me a huge hug, but said that she's too shaken up and confused right now to come home just yet. She needs time away to get everything clear in her head. I respect that, but of course I miss her.

I doubt he will give up that easily, so we will have to take it one day at a time.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 11:40PM
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I'm glad she's crossing the line into rejecting him.

Sometimes it takes time to see users for what they really are--proficient liars, specializing in the fine art of telling half truths which are usually far more plausible and believable.

It's the survival skill that they know best and they're proficient at it.

We don't like to think that there are people like that in the world; it makes us nervous and fearful so we just deny the reality.

The truth is, sadly, there's lots of 'em.

Somewhere in her there's a little voice that knows he's a liar and has known he's a liar since the first 24 hours she's known him--ok, maybe 48 hours.

Find a way to keep that little voice alive without alienating her and find a way to keep her from meeting another one just like him.

She's beautiful btw.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 12:45AM
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Celeste-----I'm praying for you and Grace---I know exactly how painful this is for you----My DD is going through something similar with her daughter----

It is very hurtful ---I can hear the pain in my daughter's voice as she tries to deal with this situation.

It is so sad that these lovely girls become attracted to these losers-----

I sure hope Grace has the strength to break away.

I've been thinking about you and praying.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 12:24PM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

Celeste, I can't imagine how difficult it is to let go. My heart goes out to you. Being a mother is the hardest thing, isn't it? Trying to hold back and let them make choices has to be the toughest thing yet. I keep Grace in my thoughts and hope she is doing better soon. Sounds like she is trying to sort things out in her mind.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 1:42PM
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I've been reading this since you posted. You have a beautiful daughter, reminds me of my daughter. I can imagine how heart broken you are...

You mentioned he was married. Is it possible for you to speak to his Ex wife? Maybe she can give you some insight. It's possible she was the same way as your daughter; must have been hard to end the marriage with 2 kids.

I'm sorry your dad's camera is gone. Checking pawn shops is a good idea, also do a search of Ebay. I would also call pawn shops by his mothers house. Possible he brought it with him. I also would file a police report, maybe insurance will cover it?

Did he use your computer while he was there? Maybe it isn't too late to view the history? You can also try going to ebay, click on the log in, possible his user name is saved. If not, find something to look at, then click on watch this item, if he watched something, his user name may be saved. You usually can look the name up also once you find it.

Our phone carrier is Verizon. They used to carry call block but don't appear to have it any more. Look your provider up online, search for call block. Usually you need to purchase it unless it is in your package. Do your research in case she comes home. If you talk to her friend again, see if the friend can get the phone number he is calling from.

It's hard having a child so blindly in love. My son has been "hooked" on one girl for almost 4 years. The same thing happens to him each time he's with her; I can tell when they are together without knowing...

All you can do is let her go. Tell her you love her and that if she ever needs you to call, you will be there.

Both of you will be in my thoughts...

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 7:01AM
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I have a family member who went through the same situation. She still loves him but realizes they can not live together or he will be taking advantage again. She just has to let him live his own life or she will never be able to realize her potential. The fellow has already found another girl to support his lying/stealing ways. Sweet loving and giving women get drawn into these sad traps. This guy won't change no matter how much love is between them. And how can there be true love without the respect that should go with it. There is someone else out there for her and I think it's wonderful that you love and support her so very much.

A friend once got me out of a terrible relationship when I was convinced that the guy was great and everyone was wrong about him. I believed all his lying and wouldn't listen to reason from others. He even had my parents fooled. I am so glad it was only money although when you have so little it seems like everything. Bless you all and when enough time goes by, I know she will see things clearly. Take care of yourself as well

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 10:00PM
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celeste(zone 4 NH)

Once again, I want to thank you all for your words of wisdom and encouragement, and for your concern. It helps to have your friendship here to turn to.

Grace is still staying at her friend's house, but did call me tonight to say she loves me. I have heard through her friend that the ex-boyfriend is still calling there trying to speak to Grace. So far she isn't talking to him. Two predictable things happened......he tried convincing her (the night before she finally broke things off when she was still talking to him on the phone) that already he has a condo, is working 2 jobs, has credit cards now, its beautiful down there and she would love it there. I knew that would be his strategy. I knew he'd try to fool her into moving down there. I know darn well that he's living with his Mom, leaching off her, and I'd be surprised if he even has A job. The other thing he's trying is to have his 11-yr. old daughter call Gracie, and in doing so ask her if she misses her dad. Gracie loves those 2 kids, and he's using the kids as a means to stir up feelings.

I don't really know what's going on in Grace's head, since she's not here with me, and isn't discussing things with me. I feel so isolated from her, but I don't want to pressure her and am letting her have her space. I wasn't even certain if she still wants to go on our little trip coming up in a week, because she seems to not want to be around me....but I asked tonight on the phone, and she said she did still want to go. I hope once its just the two of us without any outside interference, we can re-connect and find the closeness we once had before "he" got to her and convinced her that I am the villain in all of this. I miss my baby so much.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 11:11PM
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Hi, Celeste,

I hope I'm not imposing, but this is Eric's DW, Michelle. I know that this is very hard for you and for your lovely daughter right now, but in the long run, she will see that it is for the best. I know how it feels to be wrapped up in an abusive relationship - it seems like he will be the only one for you, mainly because the relationship has taken away so much of your own self-confidence. I was with a real jerk for a long time, and he was very good at making me feel like I couldn't find anyone else and keeping me from my supportive friends and family. When it ended, I thought I would never find anyone else, but when I wasn't even looking, I found my husband, Eric, who's wonderful. If I'd settled for the crap the other guy was offering me, I'd have never found my husband - I count my lucky stars that I worked through the tough times and I can see that guy for what he really is.

Good luck to your daugheter - I know she's feeling badly, but she will get through it. She's lucky to have you in her corner. This too shall pass!


    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 5:34PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation


I wanted to offer my support for your situation. Sadly, it is all too common :(

I think that you should try to go on the trip with your daughter... and ask for her opinion a lot, give her space in any differences and just have a good time. Surprisingly, a 'regular' good time with someone who values your individuality and opinions goes a long way towards highlighting what is wrong about someone like her boyfriend.

"Somewhere in her there's a little voice that knows he's a liar and has known he's a liar since the first 24 hours she's known him--ok, maybe 48 hours." Amen!

Another tip that may help... phrase it that YOU do think that it was probably him who stole everything, but that you aren't trying to convince her to think anything other than her own opinion. And that you can love HER without thinking that he is what he says he is.

My sister's Ex used the opportunity of my mom dying in the hospital to steal what he wanted from their house because he knew we'd all be at the hospital :(

And I have a private story that caused PTSD that I just never tell, but suffice it to say that the "Ted Bundy" phenomenon where someone can be so charming yet so hideous in action is alive and well, sadly. And they are very, very good at seeming like good people who just have a few bad habits. Very scary, but good too that she is learning so young...

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 7:15PM
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Your Grace is such a cutie. What a wonderful name -- Grace -- it's my youngest daughter's middle name. Your Grace looks a lot like my Stephanie Grace, and they're about the same age.

That got me feeling maternal, and angry at this piece of cosmic joke that we call a man.

This guy has found an easy target in your daughter. It's flattering to be showered with attention by an older "man", who has probably lived long enough to figure out how to schmooze a young lady. Let's be frank, it's not all that difficult to reel in the typical young lady.

While you're waiting for her to think clearly (God, it's tough at that age), there are some small measures you could take.

Personally, I'd do everything that Ann suggested. I'd file police reports regarding the thefts, and chronicle every attempt at contact; what was said and when it was said. Heck, I probably would have set up a trap for him. But I'm heartless when it comes to stuff like this; plus, there's the risk that it would backfire, which would not be good.

I know you have to walk a delicate line, and you are the best one to assess the possible fallout of whatever is done.

Talk to your daughter about how there's nothing noble or romantic about choosing a chaotic life; how it gets tiring to live with someone who has a personality disorder, and who, for no good reason, undermines family relationships and isolates her from those who can bring sanity to life.

Recruit someone she respects and admires, not a close family member who would be perceived as having an agenda, who can give her a reality check in the form of a good talking-to. Good cop, bad cop. You be the good cop who provides the hugs and sympathy, and let someone else be the rational, no-nonsense bad cop. Don't be around when the bad cop does their part of the job or it will look obvious.

This guy obviously has sociopathic tendencies, in that he is unable to care about how his actions affect others. He steals from those who are his benefactors. He steals from your daughter...a person he supposedly loves. These are crimes. They may be petty crimes, but they are still crimes, and there's a reason it is so. He will never admit to that, obviously. Worse yet, he will never care. He will not suddenly, magically change. You can't let her overlook these realities.

If she starts waxing romantic about this guy you might ask her some questions that may help her see the situation, such as:

1. What is the thing he is most proud of building and accomplishing? He's in his 30s; what have most people accomplished by this age? What do you plan to accomplish by the time you're in your 30s? What do you think is the reason he hasn't accomplished as much as the average person in their 30s?

2. He must have talked about what he wants to do with his life (life? what life?). What were his dreams? What steps did he take to achieve his goal? (We know the answer.)

3. If he's working now (yeah, right), who is his employer? What kind of benefits does he get? Would you call his employer and verify his work history? In 6 months? A year?

Questions like these, if phrased well and presented in a factual way, have straightforward answers. You'll have to pretend that you are sincere. You can only accept answers to the questions, not excuse-making. Point out the difference.

Although I wouldn't want to foist this buffoon on anyone else, hopefully he'll meet his match while attempting to find another source of revenue. This will distract him from your daughter and maybe get him into big trouble.

Or, ideally, maybe he'll steal from someone who will not be so forgiving and end up in jail. We can hope.

Good luck, Celeste. Many hugs and wishes for a positive outcome. Keep us posted.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 10:51PM
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I've just ventured over into conversations and have read this thread with dismay. As a counselor, I have to convey a warning to you. Celeste, would you consider finding a therapist who specializes in abusive relationships and addictive behavior and go to see them yourself? Grace has grown up in a family where boundaries weren't clear and is doing the best she can, as are you, of course! But you're the blind leading the blind. For all that you and Grace love each other, you're continuing to deny the constancy of this boyfriend's deceptions and behaviors. You have to ask yourself if you'd indulge anyone else in this situation if it were someone else's life. I'm certain you wouldn't have allowed things to go this far. It's a healthy and normal response to give someone a break when there's the likelihood of a misunderstanding, even to do so twice. After that, only the foolish continue to deny what everyone else sees.

She cannot fix this guy. He doesn't want to be fixed and he won't allow it. He thinks he's just fine. He has her scoped out and knows how to push her buttons with a compliment here and a hug there, a big-eyed shocked look of hurt when he's accused and using the children to tug at her heartstrings. She's learning how to accept abuse by continuing to speak with him. It has to be cold turkey and she needs to find out what she's doing that allows her to be vulnerable to men like this guy. You don't want her to repeat this again, all the heartache and trauma, and you can't allow her to bring this trauma into the family.

It will help you and Grace significantly if you begin to identify your own boundary issues and 'magical thinking.' And it takes all the pressure from you off Grace while still moving ahead constructively. Grace doesn't actually love this man - she loves pieces of him and what she wishes he would be, but not this man; no more than you love that ex-husband. There can be no love without trust. Flat out, plain and simple. You have an opportunity to be more than a soft-hearted mother in pain for her child here. Be a strong role model and show her the way out.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 3:36AM
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