Advice wanted-a family sadness(long)


It’s not THAT


Goodness, the hamsters must have been hungry. This is the first time I have had a post eaten. I’m going to go rewrite it and post again.

I have a dear cousin, call him “Joe”. He’s been married twice. The first marriage ended in divorce, with a young daughter, whom he raised on his own until he remarried. The second wife has a son with Joe, and is a wonderful woman who helped raise the daughter, “Jane” as her own.

Last May Jane graduated from high school, and in the fall started college. She was engaged to a fellow high school graduate, and although I suspect Joe did not approve, he went along with it, hoping for the best. Now the two of them have split up and Jane has dropped out of school, seeming to be in total meltdown.

I don’t think anyone, least of all Joe, imagined anything like this happening. Jane is currently living with her aunt “Jill” , Joe’s younger sister(also my cousin of course), and Jill is being driven crazy by Jane’s behavior, and won’t stand for much more either. Jane is being rude to her father and stepmother, has lied about her activities and whereabouts, and won’t try to arrange her abandoned classes so as to avoid a series of F’s on her transcript.

While nobody is perfect, Jane had not exhibited behavior like this before. Her mother’s family is mystified too. (Jane has known her mother’s family. Her mother is an invalid and not aware) Joe is beside himself at his daughter’s actions, and worried to death. It is also hurtful to her stepmother and little brother.

So what do I do? My cousin Joe is special to me for a service he rendered me many years ago, and now that I could give something back, I’m stymied. I can’t pretend nothing is happening, but if I write what can I say? I certainly don’t know how he feels, as I have no kids of my own. We are both religious, I could tell him I have been praying for the whole family I suppose. I could say he’s free to call and talk anytime, but would he? It’s times like these I wish I had studied more psychology.

Do any Dopers have advice to chime in with?

Sex might have something to do with this, and the child does not feel she can discuss this with her family.

I do tend to associate ‘religious’ with sexually conservative.

Maybe they had sex; maybe they didn’t have sex; maybe one of them had sex with someone else. Maybe this was either the cause or the result of the break-up.

Or maybe she is just an over-achiever who can handle her first ‘failure.’

Hamsters are strange tonight. It seems the thread went through twice, and this one was mangled. I’ll email the mods to have this one closed. I guess responses should go to the active thread. Thanks to all.