Ok we've got a situation here( who can tell me what show (?hill street blues?) that is from? or is it my imagination?
Ok so here it is. I had a situation to begin with. any longtime readers of this blog might be aware of this. Ok so here it is, I've been married for 15 years and unhappily for most of them.

Fast forward to Xmas this year when my 20 yr. old step-daughter decides to move in here. She flunked out of college after a year, came back home (to her mother's- in the next town) and started working and attending college locally. Let's just say that didn't work out too well either. A few weeks before xmas she arrives here.

Things are a little (to put it mildly) difficult but we all persevere. She still is not working but has a job waitressing ( which her father pulled strings to get for her) starting soon.
Ok so now fast forward to my sons Video Ipod going missing/lost/stolen??? he got it last yr. for his 13th birthday with his money. Ok this kid loses everything (hats/jackets, etc.) so i interrogate him: did u take it out of the house? did one of yr. friends borrow it. he swears he last saw/left it in the sun rm. Some time passes and we give up on ever seeing it again. I give him back his old Ipod that he gave to me. Then... that one disappears. I don't want to hear it/ don't even tell me. But he tells me that he listened to it before school, placed it on the little table in the dining room and when he went to get it that nite to listen to in bed , that one too was Gone!. (Also a few wks. before the 1st Ipod went missing. I discovered that i was missing $180 from my secret hiding place).
But back to the Ipod, we searched/tore the place apart; asked/beseech ed - to no avail. Finally we gave up on every seeing/finding either one of them. And this past Sun. we went to Office Depot to buy(with his $$) a cheap-$30 MP3 player ( because he just couldn't live without his music anymore).

Then yesterday when i came home i saw that my step-daughter had left the lites and her computer on again, as usual. I went into her room to shutdown her computer. I hit start/shutdown but there were so many programs running (ie: AIM, etc) that i went to click out of AIM and as it closed another window/program popped up - ITunes and the window said "Luke's Ipod cannot synch because.....
Imagine my shock! I called Luke upstairs to read it/confirm it. I said how could this window pop up and he said my Ipod would've had to been connected. later i confirmed this with Apple.

I realize i'm rambling here and i do want to wrap this up. so to make a really long story shorter - my husband came home and under pressure from me confronted her. we called her downstairs and he told her what I had found on her computer earlier that day. Well, she denied it. After some histrionics we all went to bed. Today i called my husband at work and asked if he spoke with her again and he said that he did and told her we couldn't have "this" going on.

She is not four and " this" is not a barbie or a hissy fit with a girlfriend.
After thinking about it all day I've told him that I want him to confront her with it again and tell her we have this "proof" that whe stole it/ it had to be connected to her computer for that message to pop up, right? and that she can return it or at least own up to it if it is gone. But then what? what are the consequences??
If she owns up/all is forgiven and life goes on?
if she doesn't own up do we tell her to go back and live with her mother (if her step-father will have her)?
ok this is where you all come in.
1) is the evidence damning? beyond the shadow of a doubt? Yes/No
2) do i forgive and forget if she admits? and
3) if not do i show her the door?


Noelle said...

You're right that the name on the screen is evidence. However, the course of action is tricky, and I really have no advice. A messy situation could get much messier if you don't handle it properly.

ipanema said...

1. yes.
2. it's hard to say either. forgive yes. forget? no. take that as reference of whatever may or may not happen in the future.
3. you have to have a talk with your husband. whatever decision arrived at should be mutually agreed upon.

it's hard because on one hand you are balancing between your son and her without trying to make a mess about everything.


Sky said...

i would not live with an adult thief....period. she is old enough to figure it all out herself, even if it is a homeless shelter. she is grown. it would be very different if she were a child/teen.

i know this is not easy, and i hope my firm response doesn't imply that i think it is. but, since she is grown and has disrespected this family on all levels she can figure out her life by herself. maybe the figuring out process will help her learn to be responsible. i would offer to pay for her psychotherapy if she wanted help with her problem, but i would not negotiate the living arrangements.

Panaderos said...

1) I have an IPod and based on what you found, YES, the evidence is damning.
2) Like Ipanema, I say forgive but do not forget. Adopt a "Trust But Verify" approach with her.
3) Talk to your husband about strongly urging her to leave and move back with her mother.

It's a tough situation but I'm confident you'll work something out eventually.

rdl said...

Thank you all for your help. still trying to deal with it. mostly i am angry and don't want to have to deal with it/her. I'll keep u posted i'm sure.

caimariemo said...

aw rdl! hmm this is tough! I agree with many of the above/below? I would forgive but not forget...for what is next? I wish I could help but it really comes down to you and your husband setting some rules for her together..she is an adult living under your roof...the key is YOUR ROOF!

Lorna said...

that's such a hard one ---and I know this from personal experience with my son; we eventually (when he was 16) had to tell him that he would have to live up to 3 random rules for a month---one of them was not stealing from his family, and that if he couldn't he'd have to move out. At the end of the month, we parted ways when he agreed he hadn't kept any of the rules. It was horrid, and I needed counselling to deal with it, but after 2 months, when he knew he couldn't continue paying his room and board, he came back, attitude much improved.

It doesn't always work because each family is different but you really have to judge your ability to manage the fall-out. If I hadn't had help and if the whole family hadn't been in agreement, I could never have done it

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Well thought out answers.

Having been affected by circumstances involving step children (husband's kids and grandkids) that would try the patience of a Saint which I'm far from, by the way,my tolerance level is low.
It seems she only moved in to get away from her stepfather and it didn't work out because she's transgressed against the family and upset everyone.
The computer told the tale and I'd be even more upset about the money.
Send her packing back to her mother's.
Not your problem at her age.