Teen son & 40+ female online relationshi

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Teen son & 40+ female online relationshi
24
Wed, 07-28-2010 - 12:15am

Hi everyone!


I am very new here and I come with a very heavy heart. My story is long and complicated but I will try and keep it short.


My son has been involved in a very inappropriate online relationship with a much older woman for several years. It started when he was only 15 and up until just last Christmas he was hiding the entire thing from us. He ran away with this woman last Christmas (he was only 16) and he was missing for two days until the police located them and brought my son back to us.


The woman was arrested charged for online solicitation, but recently the charges were dropped because there was no concrete evidence that she "knew" his age. She said she thought all along he was 20, and he said thats what he told her.


The last six months have been a living nightmare for my son, myself and our entire family. He was not allowed to contact her the entire time, nor was she permitted to contact him or any of his family. Naturally, my son blamed the entire thing, including her arrest on me... he said if I hadnt reported him missing, this would never have happened.


I have been doing everything in my power to try and repair the damage that this woman has done, trying to rebuild some kind of love and trust between my son and I.... but its a daily struggle.


Now that she is "off the hook"... she is back in touch with my son (now 17). My husband and I feel as if we are between a rock and a hard place. If we "put our foot down" and tell him no internet, no contact... we feel that he will just run... and end up miles away... in another country... with this sick woman. But on the other hand if we allow him to keep doing what he is doing (up all hours of the night chatting with her and neglecting all other aspects of his life, including school and higene) he will just continue to take full advantage of our kindness... all while stabbing us in the back and claiming that we are so "hard on him" and "he cant live with us"...


We are all in counselling.. but the problem we are encountering is... my son is over 16 and where we live.. that means he is protected by privacy laws... his counsellor cannot share anything with us... without my sons consent.

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Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 07-28-2010 - 8:26am

IF you live in the United States...
First, talk to the police AGAIN. Find out what the age of consent is in your state. If it is 18, it is still illegal for her to contact him, and you can have her arrested. If it is 17, and you have proof that she contacted him before his 17th birthday, you can have her arrested. ALSO, ask the police if she can be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor because she encouraged him to run away, and she hid him from the police and his family.

Put a keystroke recorder program on the computer, and check his chats and IMs to see if he admits to having sex with her before the age of consent. If he did, that's criminal sexual abuse, EVEN IF she claims she didn't know how old he was. not knowing the age is not a defense. If she had conversations of a sexual nature with him before the age of consent, it is ALSO criminal sexual abuse. See what proof you can find.

And no matter where you live, don't be a wimp. Be a parent. Don't give up on parenting because he THREATENS you. I would NEVER be a hostage to my CHILDREN, in my own home. There is NO reason you should be providing a CAR, computer, phone, internet service, or anything else to someone who is not contributing to the household. Take it away. Tell him to get a job, and WHEN he is 18 and can legally sign a contract, he can THEN buy whatever he wants. If you don't want him to have contact, make him stop. If he threatens to run away, tell him you will then report him as a delinquent runaway. And tell him that the day he turns 18, he is free to leave, and don't let the doorknob hit his backside. BUT if he stays, there will be rules, and he WILL follow them, or too bad, so sad.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Wed, 07-28-2010 - 8:46am

Ok, a few suggestions:

Either monitor and restrict (password lock computers) his online activity, or get the internet right out of the home. Were I in your shoes, after all this, I'd be getting rid of it.

Be uber-cautious about his use of YOUR phone (unless he's paying for the phone he uses, then it's yours, right). Know who he's calling and getting calls from. Be the gatekeeper!

Get a restraining order against her, if you can. Even if you can't get one barring contact with him (because he's over some magic age), you might get one barring contact with YOUR home (so your phone, your internet connection, no knocking at the door of your home)...like a restraining order for YOU, rather than DS.

Get him assessed for ASPERGER'S syndrome. The rules that apply to NT (neuro-typical) teens sometimes don't apply to teens with special needs (SN). He maybe old enough for her to have contact with as an NT teen, but possibly not if he's been diagnosed with a disorder (like Asperger's) that, basically, makes him SN.

Keep him on a uber-short leash until he's an adult, so that he doesn't have the ability to have contact with her, or run away.

<<>>

If you trust the counselor, then this should not be a problem. If you DON'T trust them, then find a new one for your DS.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 07-28-2010 - 9:44am
I also forgot to say, if you are in the US the counselor CAN and SHOULD share with you till your son is 18. If he says he can't, find a new counselor, ASAP.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2007
Wed, 07-28-2010 - 11:40am

Sabrtooth, is that true? When my daughter went to a counselor I was told she could only talk to me if my daughter gave permission because she was 16. It didn't matter because my daughter gave permission.

OP, I am so sorry. Some adults are so messed up.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 07-28-2010 - 12:56pm

If you are seriously trying to protect your DS from the predatory older woman, then how could you really think about kicking him out--where do you think he would go? I'm sure that's probably the frustration talking. I do think you should do everything in your power to stop this relationship. Even if he was 18 & legally could do whatever he wanted, I think there is something more than a little strange about a 40 yr old woman who wants to seduce a young teenager. I would really consider removing the internet completely for now. I know it won't totally prevent him from contacting her, but it will cut it down. You have to concentrate on him doing his responsibilities, which right now are going to school, which he can't do if he's up all night on the computer. No matter who he was talking to, I'd stop that right now. If for some reason, you need the internet, then there are ways to severely limit it--have it password protected so he can only log on when you are there, have it in a public space, get that key logger program and have a time limit so it can't be accessed after 10:00 p.m.--I'm no computer expert on how to do this, but I'm sure there are ways.

Secondly have him assessed to find out if he actually has Asperger's--there's a board on here devoted to that and I'm not totally familiar w/ it, so I can't really give you any advice there. If it's true that his personal counselor can't give you any info, get a 2nd counselor for "family counseling" to get around that. When my ex was having problems relating to his teen DD, they each had their own counselors but there was a 3rd counselor for the 2 of them together. It doesn't seem like this problem will be solved sending him to counseling on his own--I think the 3 of you need counseling together so you can all express your feelings and come up w/ a plan for how to manage this. Also, is he going to be a senior in high school next year? I know a lot of people will say to kick their kids out if they are 18 and not obeying the house rules. Frankly I don't know if I could do that. But even if your DS says that when he's 18 he'll leave home to go w/ the older woman, you somehow need to get the point across about what is his plan for the future? I assume that she could support him financially (at least until she gets tired of that) but does he have any career or college plans? Does he get the idea that he does have his future to think about?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2005
Wed, 07-28-2010 - 1:21pm

i have to agree with sabrtooth. do the program on the keyboard.

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Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 07-28-2010 - 3:02pm

Both my kids are ADD/ODD/OCD, and were in counseling starting at 14 or so. I had the RIGHT to sit in on the sessions, and ask the counselor what was going on, until they were 18--then they could refuse. Although parents have a RIGHT to all information about their child’s mental health treatment, it is usual for parents to agree that some information given to the therapist by the child will be kept private unless the young person agrees that it be shared. This is often necessary to make a child feel comfortable telling the counselor what is bothering him or her. However, the counselor cannot REFUSE to include you in the sessions, or REFUSE to tell you what is discussed, unless state law allows him to. What he CAN do, is refuse to continue treatment if you insist on inclusion. Which is fine and dandy.

Even the new HIPAA law states that parents have the right to health information for children under the age of 18. The law considers parents "personal representatives" for their minor children and allows parents access to their children's "protected health information", with certain exceptions.

HIPAA states that parents do NOT have access to their minor child's health information if state law does not require parental consent for a specific health procedure. For instance, if state law does not require parental consent for HIV testing for minors, then a parent would not have access to that child's HIV testing records. Also, if the doctor or counselor felt there was a situation of abuse or neglect, the doctor could refuse to reveal information the child gave him.

Since there was a SIGNIFICANT divergence in MY idea of the problems, vs my kids' idea of the problems, I needed to make sure the counselor was addressing relevant concerns, and that the story being told to the counselor was accurate, so I sat in on about 50% of the sessions. And AFTER they turned 18, I asked to sit in when we had problems we needed a referee for.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Wed, 07-28-2010 - 11:45pm

Hey all.. Thanks for your responses. Lots of food for thought and I really appreciate it.


After reading your posts, I realized that I needed to clarify a few things.


- I live in Canada where the age of consent is 16! I know it sucks, but that’s the law. This means that not only can a 16 year old have sex with whomever they please, the parents have no legal say.


- Once they reach the age of 16 they are also “protected” by the “privacy act” which essentially means that any “professional” relationship such as doctor, lawyer, police, counselor is strictly confidential. They are NOT ALLOWED to disclose ANYTHING to ANYONE without the patient’s consent., that is unless the professional believes that the person’s life or anothers is in danger. Sick, but it’s the law.


- The age of consent in Texas, where she lives is 17. So, its not a crime for her to be in contact with him, and because they have no proof that she knew his age in the past… when it WAS illegal for her to solicit him sexually… like I said, the charges had to be dropped.


I hope that it is ok to post these links, they tell the story much better than I can. The first a news clip from when he was first found and returned to us. The second is one from when the charges were dropped.


http://www.wltx.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=82811


http://www.globalnews.ca/scripts/charges+dropped+against+texas+accused+having+with+barrie+teen/3222193/story.html

 


 


 


Sabrtooth I hope this answers some of your questions. Please don’t take this the wrong way, but a wimp would not have survived the last six months with my son. We are very dedicated parents providing a very stable home environment with rules and responsibilities for all our three children. Our oldest daughter is in her third year university, living on her own and doing very very well. Our youngest daughter is still at home about to go high school and also doing very very well. They are all well disciplined children. This woman has poisoned my son, and believe me every parenting bone in my body wants to play “tough love” with him right now. But I refuse to stop being a parent which is exactly what I’d be doing by shutting him out. He IS working, we insist on that, he IS playing sports, we also INSIST on that. He IS participating in family outings. Like I said, its such a long story. But believe me, we’ve tried everything! And that’s why I’m here asking for help and support. No one is a perfect parent, I have made many mistakes, just like most other parents. Those mistakes I believe have made me a better parent. I am simply hoping to find some suggestions here that’s all. Also, it is the LAW in Canada that the doctor/counsellor is prohibited from disclosing any information to anyone (after the patient reaches the age of consent, which is 16 here)… unless of course there is a threat that the patient might cause physical harm themselves or someone else. So our hands really are tied on that one. Thanks so much for your comments and support.


Debbie - we have cut the internet off before, it landed him in the hospital. Not only is he addicted to this woman, he is addicted to this video game. The counselors and psychiatrists have suggested that we allow him back on, with monitoring. Sounds stupid, I know. But they are the professionals, and I have seen first hand what “cutting him off” can do to him, I wont do it. At least not now. I really and truly believe Debbie that the asbergers is playing a HUGE role in all of this. It has been a very long and frustrating road trying to find the “right” doctors, but I think we are on the right track now and I am very optimistic about the upcoming testing they are doing. They have scheduled a pyscho ed test for giftedness and have suggested “high functioning autism”. As for the short leash… I agree and that’s exactly what we are doing. As for trusting the counsellor, I do. But like I said, he is LEGALLY bound not to share any info with us, without my DS permission first. We are in FAMILY counseling however and hoping to keep making progress. Thanks again for your comments and suggestions.


Music lover - I would never kick my son out, but there are a lot of people encouraging me to do so. Frustration takes over at times indeed, but the bottom line for me is… this is a very sick woman we are talking about and there is absolutely no way I’ll sit here and “hand over” my son to her without a fight. We have taken every single step you have suggested. Every one! We only gave him back access because the professionals told us that we need to start rebuilding trust again, Its all so complicated. He quit school, and we have moved mountains to get him registered for online learning (to make it easier for him) again at the suggestion of his doctors. He is in baseball and is also a paid umpire. This takes up a lot of his time. He doesn’t have his license yet so we are driving him to and from the games. I believe that aspbergers played a huge role in all this and despite the slow moving, painful process here with our serious underfunded healthcare system I am not giving up on getting that diagnosis. Just to clarify, the 3 of us ARE in counseling together, but just at the beginning stages. Thanks for your comments and suggestions, I will take a look at that message board.


Gccandlemom - In Canada and apparently in tx too there has to proof of knowledge, and there simply isn’t. Lucky for her I guess. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers.


Thanks once again to each and all of you for your suggestions and kind support. I pray that no parent or child in this world will every have to go through the pain and suffering that this whole thing has caused our family. It has literally

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Thu, 07-29-2010 - 7:54am

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Sorry sabr, but not everywhere. In Wisconsin at least, mental health treatment and reproductive health treatment are considered confidential and may not be released to parents (even when they're paying the bill) from the age of 14 on. I'm not sure if that's a national ruling or if it's locally controlled, but in many places, there is a magical age when parents no longer have access to information regarding mental health and reproductive health care their teen receives, and it's younger than 18. Is it right? I see both sides of that one, but unless the laws are changed, that's the way it is.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Thu, 07-29-2010 - 8:05am

In Wisconsin at least, mental health treatment and reproductive health treatment are considered confidential and may not be released to parents (even when they're paying the bill) from the age of 14 on.


http://www.cico-il.org/legislation/childrens_health.html


http://www.wct-law.com/CM/Publications/Publications157.asp


In Illinois, it's difficult to get complete access to records if the child objects and is over the age of 12 (a court order is needed). The parent can learn basics, like diagnosis/treatment plan, prescriptions, etc, but not get carte blanche. In fact, the minor can request a number of sessions without *any* parent notification and parents are not responsible for payment.


I agree with sabrtooth that it's important for the counselor to get an accurate portrayal of the situation, but in our case, that was occasionally a one-way street. Most of our dd's counselors gave her a lot of privacy on week-to-week conversations, but would have us sit in for part of the session.


Theresa

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