Parent of a troubled teen? You are NOT ALONE!

Support for parents of troubled teen

I received a call from an acquaintance yesterday.  She asked where we sent our daughter for treatment.  
My heart immediately sank.  
Although we aren't close with this family, we have known them for a long time.  

I explained to her that we sent HB out of state for therapy because in Washington State, at 13 years of age, a child is responsible for their own medical/mental health choices {Are you serious?!}.  

What that means is that if you send your child to therapy in Washington, and they don't want to stay there, well, 
             they just leave.  

When we went through this whole process it was  years ago, but it seems like yesterday. 

Our daughter was just 14.  

She ended up going to the alternative school because she was struggling with her peers after making some poor choices.  Now...HB had always had a lot of "friends."  Not necessarily because she was so fun and kind, but because everyone wanted to be her friend rather than NOT be her friend....they were afraid of her.

At the alternative school she met some people that took her even further in the wrong direction.  The drugs started, the disappearing for days on end, the attitude that was even angrier and meaner than before.  

HB had been in counseling since her Dad died.  She has always struggled with depression and anxiety.  Counseling wasn't easy though, because she always felt like she was smarter than most of her therapists.  (Truth is.... in some ways, she was!)  
Remember what I mentioned here about HB being Mensa level gifted?  

Where was I again?  Oh yeah...

I shared where we had sent our daughter, and why we chose each place.  
I shared with her that  during that period of time I felt more alone than I ever had in my life.  
You don't go around telling people that your daughter is strung out and out of control.
People judge.  
People shouldn't.
I went into a depression during this time that lasted for years.  I wouldn't wish that on anyone.  I let this Mom know that I am here for her to talk to, and that she isn't alone.  

I am a good Mom.  It has taken me a long time to find peace with that.
Good parents CAN have troubled teens.  
Bad parents CAN have troubled teens.  

God gave each of us the gift of free will and the choices our teens make are their own.  Hopefully, somewhere deep inside they hear us whispering to them what is right.  

Do you have a struggling teen?  Do you feel like you are alone in this?  You aren't.  We need to unite- to encourage, to support, to pray.
Just like I shared with that mom, I'm here if you need someone to talk to.

(Oh...and if you happen to know where the photo above came from, please let me know.  I'd love to give credit where credit is due!)


  1. What a wonderful post and you are so right -- people should not judge! It is so good of you to reach out to that other Mom. Knowing you are there will help.

  2. I second all Kc said above. I know for a fact and from firsthand experience that good parents can indeed have troubled teens. I was fortunate that mine survived and eventually thrived.

    Thank you for sharing this important post on the GRAND Social.

  3. Very well said. Thank you for sharing. It really does help when a person realizes that they are not alone.


  4. There is no harder place than the pain caused by a child out of control. You feel like all is lost and can never be right again. But it can; I am glad you are there for your friend. No one should go through a time like this alone.


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