I am 17 and my girlfriend is 16. She lives in a horrible house where everyone but her 9 year old autistic sister yells at her, especially her mom. Today my my girlfriend woke up feeling sick and her mom told her to "Get her worthless ass out of bed and get ready or else I will drag you to school in your pajamas." I don't know what to do. Please help. And taking her from her home is not really an option.

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Ask your favorite adult at home, school, or church what to do. Especially at school or church, where they are trained to help in situations just like this. An adult at school or church will put your girlfriend's family in touch with people trained to look out for abused children and help their parents be better parents.

Well said.

I dated a girl in a dysfunctional and abusive household.  You need to know that you can't fix this no matter how much you might wish to.  Do tell an adult at school or at church if you go to church.  

My other suggestion is for the both of you to work on your grades as an exit strategy after high school for her.  If she can move away to college.  There she can get counseling and change her environment.  Between how an then, listen to her and find someone YOU can talk with to vent off the stress.

We both go to a private college prep school, so not going to college is not an option for either of us.

The college Prep school will have councilors that can help.

As to not going to college the prep school WILL have councilors that can help for this also.  Once one is 18 it is a simple matter of a bus ride across the country to college.  The parents have no say in this.  Debt to get out of a bad place and to get an education and a career is worth it.  There will be hardship loans available, depending on your circumstances and grades even scholarships.  Seriously not going to college is a choice you are both making given the loans and grants available.     

Very good point.

There's two sides to every story.  And I'd advise the OP not to play Sir Galahad.

I've seen a teenager turn into a royal pain because of plain old-fashioned sibling rivalry.  A favored teen tactic is to start and keep on doing stuff that is known to annoy the parents, trying to get the attention of being yelled at, if nothing else.  "I'm not feeling well, I don't want to get up" is a classic tactic.  (Been gamed by that one.) 

 

 

Good point. I doubt that if the mom said "sweetie it is time to wake up and get dressed for school" the girl would have gotten out of bed. The side the OP is getting is coming from a 16 year old girl and teenage girls tend to revel in drama, not listen to their parents and exaggerate every wrong that is done to them (actual or perceived). All of this girls actions will be left out of her side of the story. Did she stay up until 3am the night before and her parents kept telling her to go to bed?

She is highly bipolar and does get actually sick fairly often and every time, even if she is puking her brains out, her mom yells at her saying she is faking it. She is never dramatic in any sense and works on making sure she never is. Her parents usually both go to bed at 9 or so because that is when they put her little sister to bed. She goes to bed at about 10:30, but can't fall asleep for a few hours because her mind is racing because of being bipolar. I am also bipolar, but I take meds for it so I can control my thoughts more easily. Her mom truly is just crazy when it is just them at the house.

Has she been formally diagnosed by a mental healthcare professional? If so, you or she should tell the therapist about the abuse. If not, she should ask her mother to make her a doctor's appointment, even with a generalist (pediatrician, internist, general practitioner). If her mother refuses, someone should bring it to the attention of an adult at school.

Is there a counselor at your school?

She was unlucky to get stuck with crappy parents. Keep telling her that this is a temporary phase in life. People say these are the best years of your life but for a lot of people they are only good when you are able to look back on them and see what you had. It's may feel like an eternity when you are a teenager but it is only 2 or 3 years until she can go off to college and get away from all of this.

Native Son is right.  You're not getting the whole story ... you're getting one side from a melodramatic teenage girl.  Maybe she's right.  Then again, maybe her mom yelled at her because she was being a pain-in-the-ass -- as teenage girls are known to be -- and she just conveniently left out the part where she was being a pain.  Maybe mom didn't yell at all, and the girl is just making stuff up to win sympathy from a guy.  You don't know anything.


Teenagers don't make great witnesses, particularly girls recounting fights with their mothers.  They're hormonal, melodramatic, histrionic, self-involved, and generally oblivious to others.  And, they lie to make themselves look better than they actually are (particularly to people they want to impress ... like their boyfriend).

I'd have to see it for myself, or at least solid unbiased evidence, before I felt the need to ride in on a white horse.  Don't get involved.  You don't know the family.  You don't know the whole story.  And, its none of your business.

She's not in physical danger.  Worst case ... she gets yelled at unjustifiably.  More likely ... she gets yelled at overzealously, but she deserves some of it.


Mind your own business.  She's not your wife.  Absent a crime, her parents' parenting is not your concern.  Don't intrude on somebody else's family.  Let her handle it herself.  Hell ... if there was a dispute between my wife and her family, I'd let her handle it unless it got way out-of-hand.  Its her family.  Let her figure it out.

JB

You can be the one who helps her back to self-esteem simply by not getting why she's so down on herself.  Because having been verbally abused for 16 years, she is down on herself.

She will suffer.  You can help her, by not being part of it.

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