As a parent, myself, however, I made a conscious decision to break the cycle of abuse.But let me tell you about this one time...
Our daughter was about 14 or 15. My wife had had more than her fill of dealing with the kid, so she moved out and got a place of her own.
Selene had already been arrested for driving the car when she was 12. She had been on a juvenile probation detention prevention program. ("We work with children to raise their self-esteem," the social worker said. I burst out laughing. "You think her problem is a lack of self-esteem? Fine, she's yours for the weekend. Have a good time." Of course, a rational person might have suspected that she experimented with marijuana, but when the cops came to inspect her room, they took one look at the Martha Stewart Dream Castle and decided that our child was on the straight and narrow path. They only knew about devil worshipping headbangers and gangsta wannabes. What they were dealing with was right out of Heathers, so they did not see it. That was fine with me. I didn't need the police in my house. I'm a writer and a libertarian. In fact, when she was pulled over in our car at age 12, the cop inspected the vehicle and saw the LIBERTARIAN bumpersticker. "What is a Libertarian?" the cop asked. "An anarchist Republican," Selene replied. That went back to Star Wars, of course. When I always told the story, Princess Leia was the Republican Senator from Alderaan before she joined the Rebellion.)
Well, enough background....
So, Selene is 14 or 15 and a problem child. Laurel has moved out for her own peace of mind to let me deal with the consequences of my libertarian ideas and my anarchist Republican daughter. But Laurel has always had a deviated septum and finally, she got her healthcare plan to cover getting it fixed. She got a nose job. But she had no one to wait on her, so she moved back in for a few days for convalescence.
Selene decides she wants to go to a football game in another town. No... Yes... No... Drive me... No.... I'll take the car... No... Yes.... So she takes the keys and goes for the door. I caught her in the doorway and bodychecked her into the wall, just stepped right into her side to side, ooof!. She dropped the keys. I picked them up. She ran upstairs, grabbed the phone and hit 911. "My Dad is beating me," she said. Before she hung up, the cops were there.
They separate us to get our stories and I hear Selene spinning a pretty good yarn from the facts while avoiding the logical landmines. I just told it like it was. "Is your wife here, sir? Are you separated?" (Cops know everything in a small town; who doesn't?) So, Laurel comes into the kitchen from the living room and of course, she has two black eyes.
(to be continued)
(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 1/15, 6:08pm)