It’s all come to a head with Alice now. I had to actually call the police this morning, she wasn’t home when I got up this morning. I tried calling her, her friends, anyone I could think of. It turns out she hasn’t got many friends now, well the ones I knew of. She must me with M or whatever his name is.
I’ve just given a statement to police and they are looking for her, she’s got to be with him somewhere. How has it got to this? We used to talk, she’s my daughter… I just don’t know her anymore. I feel like it’s my fault, like I’ve done something wrong. How did this happen? I just don’t know?
Alice didn’t come home last night. I can’t begin to tell you how angry I am right now. How can she have no respect for me or her mum? Anything could have happened to her. Anything might have happened to her. My wife wants to talk to her to find out what’s happening, to understand but I think we should come down hard.
We called the police and they talked to us about this M bloke – it turns out that there’s been loads more going on than I knew about. I feel let down, let down by Alice, even let down by my wife: she knew – or suspected – a lot of it.
How can we have brought up a child to be like this? How do we get through to her? Alice came home looking like a shell of a person – who knows what happened, but she still seems set on seeing the lowlife again The police told us to keep a diary, to start logging what is happening and when. I asked them if we could put an electronic tag on my daughter, I think everyone thought I was joking.
I didn’t know where to start to be honest, apart from grounding her for the rest of her life. Apparently that won’t help. My wife is going to sort something out called a child protection conference, the police are going to come and a teacher from Alice’s school. Apparently we all get together and decide some practical actions for protecting Alice. We need to protect Alice because it’s like all sense is leaving her. What happened?
I keep telling my wife it’s just a phase. She’s a teenager, right, and she’s going to be sullen sometimes. But there is this boy and she’s really secretive about it all. I know Alice doesn’t want me to know about him – she says he’s just a friend – but if he was just a friend I’m sure she wouldn’t jump to attention like she does every time he sends a message. Not being funny, but I’d like to check him out and make sure he’s worthy of my baby girl. Give him a bit of advice on what happens to him if he messes things up – you know what I mean? But there’s no chance of that, she’ll barely let us near her when she’s texting him, let alone meet him.
Mind you the other day something weird happened. I went to give her a hug, we always hug: I’m her Dad! But she kind of jumped and pulled away as if she didn’t want me anywhere near her; like it was wrong to hug. It’s hard to believe this is my little girl – she always used to run up to me when I got home from a hard day at work.
So now I’m wondering if her mum is right, that something is wrong…