You know… that Blog?

I’ve been snowed, and I don’t like it one bit

Written By: Jenn - Jul• 30•10

I’ve prided myself for being an excellent judge of character for a good long time, but I am sad and horrified to learn that just might not be the case.

Do you remember Amy? The sad friend of the Teen who was being neglected and mistreated by her divorced parents; neither of whom wanted her? Something in the back of my mind always flatly stated that there was more to it than that. Parents don’t just decide out of the blue they don’t want their kids, right? She is a very nice girl, well mannered and easy going, and easy to like. I’ve honestly never seen anything in her behavior that suggested otherwise. Until the phone call.

I’ll back up a bit, because the story more or less begins with a text message I got from the Teen while I was rehearsing with ShaMoo and Knarf on Wednesday. It said “Mom… I need to ask you a favour”. Well, you just know that when said favour will take some getting to and talking around that it’s not going to be good, right?

Turns out that Amy was having problems with her dad and step mother again, and she and the Teen were sitting in a park talking all afternoon. The favour, as it turned out, was to have Amy come and stay with us until she could find somewhere else to go. I have told her and the Teen on more than one occasion that our home is a safe place for her to go if something bad happened, and I was willing to stand behind my word. The only stipulation, which I texted to the Teen as I got into the van to go and pick them up, was that I wanted Amy’s father to know where she was going to be, so I didn’t have the police arriving on my doorstep in the middle of the night looking for her. Again. The Teen texted me back that it would be ok, but that I shouldn’t go in and talk to her father. That I should let Amy handle it when she went in to get her clothes, and that I shouldn’t speak to her father, step mother, or mother at all. Wait… is that an alarm bell going off in your head? Mine too. I wrote back and said that I was pretty sure she wouldn’t tell him the truth, and being sneaky was not the way to go with this. That I needed to be upfront about it, and that I couldn’t “just take her”, legally.

Amy was visibly upset, shaking, and close to hysterical when I arrived at the park. I can’t stand to see anyone in that state and not try to help. I just can’t do it. The alarm bell was momentarily muted. I’m a mom, and I cannot imagine not coming to the aid of a child who so very obviously was in dire need of help.

She couldn’t meet my eyes, though, and when I reiterated that we’d just go talk to her dad and get some things, she muttered something about going to another friend’s house as she turned away. No way was I going to let her walk alone in the rain, going who-knows-where, in her obviously messed up condition. I told them both to “Get. In. The. Van.” and she reluctantly turned around and climbed in. I asked her point-blank if she was being abused, and she shook her head and said no. They just “don’t like me”.

Things were just not adding up here. I asked several times if she wanted me to come in and speak to her father, or if she’d like me to get the authorities involved, and each time she vehemently shook her head “no”. Said she’d be fine, and that it would blow over in a few days. When we got to her father’s house, she sat there for a solid minute looking at the house before she opened the door and got out. I told her that if she wanted me to come in, just to come to the door and wave at me, and I’d be there in a heartbeat. And she went in. 10 minutes later she came out carrying a small bag with very little in it. She was quiet and withdrawn all the way to our house, and didn’t emerge from the Teen’s bedroom the entire night, even to have dinner with us. Alarm bells quietly chimed away in my head, but I couldn’t get anything out of her, and the Teen just looked bewildered and worried.

Her real mother called that evening, and was surprisingly pleasant on the phone when she asked to speak to Amy, but didn’t want to have a conversation with me. Fair enough; I knew this woman had some major issues and there wouldn’t be any point in stirring things up with her. She had called to tell Amy that she’d be there at 1pm the next day to pick her up.

I did my best the next day to get through to Amy, and let her know that I was willing to step in and get her some help if things were truly that bad at home, but she refused to let me help her at all. As we stood out in the driveway waiting for her mother I hugged her, and she stood straight and stiff in my arms, not returning it. I touched her face, and told her she always had a safe place to go, and that I’d come and get her if she needed me. Any time. I’ve said all of this before to her. Her face didn’t change expression, she didn’t acknowledge what I was saying, and she seemed to be willing me to go away. The Teen gave me the “just let it go, Mom” look. Alrighty. I told her I’d be in the kitchen window watching, and if she wanted me to come and speak to her mother, just to give me a wave, and then I left them alone.

Her mother came, she got in the car, and they were gone.

A few hours later, imagine my surprise when Amy’s father called me on the phone. I’ve never spoken to the man before, but given what I’d been told about him, I was expecting him to be a pretty nasty customer. He wasn’t. He was, however, a soft-spoken, kindly sounding man who said he was dreading speaking to ME, but couldn’t think of what else to do. After a minute of careful pleasantries, he sighed and said “I guess I just need you to know about this situation with Amy, and I think you should know what she’s been telling us about you.” Okayyy… that was unexpected. She was talking to them about me?

He proceeded to explain that Amy had some troubling emotional issues. I thought to myself “Well, yeah? Of course she does – no one wants her!” But only said “yes, I had figured that out and was quite worried about her and her mental state, given how badly she was shaking when I picked her up yesterday, and again when her mother picked her up today”. He went on to tell me about the lies that Amy told them, the vicious attitude she displayed at home, how she stole money and things from both he and his wife, and how she manipulated her little brother to run interference for her when she wanted something she was told she couldn’t have. And then… then folks, he told me that they were under the impression that I was a raging alcoholic, and that I beat my kids on a regular basis. Yes, really. He then went on to say that when Amy ran away in June (which had the police on my doorstep looking for her at 1am, but she was elsewhere) he told the police what she had told them, and that he was terrified that she was in my home and possibly in danger. From me. “Yeah, sorry about that, because now I’m sure it’s not true.” Well, gee, thanks. That makes it all better, doesn’t it?

The more he spoke, the more it made sense. Where I was certain in the beginning of the conversation that Amy was an innocent caught between truly awful parents, I soon came to realize that the alarm bells had been telling me something else was going on, and this clarification from her father started to ring true. Very true. She was shaking because she’d been caught in yet another lie, and she was so dug-in to her web of lies that there was no getting herself out of it. She didn’t want me speaking to her parents because they would figure out I wasn’t, in fact, a monster, and then I’d find out what she’d been telling them about me!

So I was snowed by a 15 year old with some pretty severe mental issues. Way to go, Jenn.

‘Where was the Teen in all this’, you ask? Well, she was sucked in too, folks. She too was lied to, but she didn’t have the life experience to figure it out the way I should have. She was so busy trying to fix Amy’s problems and carrying all the stress of her “abused friend” on her shoulders that she has been an emotional mess for a while too. Amy didn’t tell her what she’d told her parents (and I come to find out a good many other people as well) about me. She’s been busy contacting their mutual friends to let them know the truth, and – lucky me – I get to contact the police and see how much of this lie has been documented, if any, and try to get it cleared up. Fortunately the Teen is there to negate the rumours, and Amy’s father can be contacted too. But I am beyond pissed. I’m beyond hurt. I’m slapped-in-the-face shocked that someone I went out of my way to help could turn around and be so evil.

Past contacting the police, I really don’t know what else to do about this. I don’t think there’s anything that I can do. Obviously Amy won’t be welcome in our home again, and the Teen has cut all ties to her. We’ve had a long in-depth chat about toxic people, and the effect they have on our lives. Lessons learned the hard way.

The Teen was such a different person on our vacation; happy and vibrant… yet the second we got home she reverted to moody and quiet again. And Amy was the reason. She sees that now, and unless I miss my guess, is relieved that all of this is finally out in the open and she can get the poison out of her life.

I’m just hoping the repercussions of this aren’t too far-reaching, and we’ve heard the last of Amy.


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  1. ShaMoo says:

    OH. MY. GOD!!!!!!!!! I’m beyond shocked, Jenn!!! There are no words for ugly deceit like that!!! Jesus….

  2. Knarf says:

    …Well Jenn snowballed or not your heart was in the right place. Sounds like Amy has a serious problem…a very serious one. I find it a bit strange that the dad/family hadn’t or hasn’t as yet applied for some sort of ‘professional help’ for Amy.

    But the important person here in my eyes is you. Please don’t let the incident jade your perception on any similar situation in the future. The next one may be very true and in dire need of some intervention. You’ve got this wonderful disposition that I hope won’t be diluted by this ‘snowballed’ incident. Keep the faith …we love you

  3. Jenn says:

    Thanks you two – your support means the world to me.

  4. I’m so disappointed and angry to hear this. It is so unfair that she took advantage of you. It’s commendable that you tried to help and hopefully in the future when she manages to sort herself out she will look back and see where you were coming from.

    At least you know now and you can move on with her out of your life. Hope the teen is coping ok with it too.

  5. Betty says:

    I just hope your daughter will be ok. She sounds very compassionate and is probably just as hurt as you are. I hope she has the strength to stand up to Amy and cut all ties with her. Because it sounds like Amy had her pretty much in her control. I hope you can help your daughter with that.

  6. broot says:

    Yeah, I agree. Your heart was definitely in the right place and if she *had* been in big trouble, I have no doubt you would have done the right thing.

    Even still, yuck to finding out the hard way. That sucks. Hope your Teen is much happier from now on. I hate toxic people.

  7. trouble says:

    It’s sad when people abuse the trust of others, the worst part is with children/teens you can never really tell the truth of the situation unless you can get several sides of the story. In cases like this it’s safer to err on the side of caution I’m just sad that your good name got dragged in the mud by this “monster” you were only trying to help.

    Remember it’s the thought that is always the most important thing

  8. jazzbumpa says:


    I’m at a loss for words of wisdom. Amy has really serious problems. It’s hard to not take something personally, when you’ve been lied about – viciously and maliciously.

    But the hard truth is – it has nothing to do with you. Amy has her own set of demons, and it looks like they are controlling her life. Lying is her way of manipulating reality. Nobody else is of any importance.

    You did what any decent person would do – in fact, probably a lot more. In spite of the bad outcome, you can be proud of your own efforts.

    Hmmm – guess I had some wise words after all.


    • Jenn says:

      You always do :) She’s one seriously disturbed kid, yep. Frankly though, given what she’s put us through I have to say that whatever happens to her now is of no interest to me. She has done some major damage to my family… no one messes with my family and gets a second chance. If her father is smart, he’ll get her some help, pronto.

  9. carma says:

    so many people are not what they seem. Good thing you were able to find the truth out now before something happened to hurt you or your daughter…absolutely remove the poison.

  10. Bless your beautiful heart, Jenn. It makes me mad to know that there are sick people out there who always try to take advantage from somebody elses kindness.