My 18 year old son "David" has had a girlfriend for almost 2 years. I'll call her Suzie. He met her at a youth group they both used to attend. For a good while, Suzie seemed like a very good influence and blessing in his life. We knew all along that Suzie had uber-religious parents, and that her mother (whom I'll call "Karla") showed signs of being crazy all along.
We had heard stories from David, and later from Suzie, about her parents' , especially Karla's, abusive behavior toward her. Suzie finally moved out of her parents' house and in with her grandparents early this year. It turned out that grandma was even crazier than Karla, so Suzie moved back in with her parents a few months later. We tried all along to be supportive to all sides and especially to Suzie.
This is when the real trouble started. Once Suzie moved back in with parents, she became a tyrant. Suzie immediately began dictating terms to her parents, threatening to run away again if she didn't get her way. Suzie's parents have gone from super-strict to allowing their daughter almost anything she wants so that she doesn't run away again. We were very concerned about the changes we were seeing in Suzie and began counseling David that this relationship had become very unhealthy. We could see it was tearing David apart. Suzie was constantly on the phone with David telling him we were ruining his life, trying to break them up, and that we didn't like her and thought she was no good.
Suzie's parents had apparently been telling her for years that she was trashy, called her nasty names, criticized her constantly, threatening her with condemnation, and so Suzie understandably has very low self esteem. For a long time we sympathized and tried to help her, but now those efforts have backfired.
We see now that Suzie concocted a scheme to have David move in with her and her family, since we had set some limits on their time together that had not been in place before, for several reasons. She talked David into going along with it. About 3 weeks ago, we sat down with Suzie and David at their request; they said they wanted to talk things over. We calmly explained that there are practical reasons why we set limitations on their time together, which there were. We also said we have some concerns about the direction their relationship is headed. After listening to Suzie speak very disrespectfully and rudely to us for a few minutes, we also said that we don't like their attitude at all.
Suzie became enraged, spoke very angrily and rudely to us, and stormed out to her car. It was scary that she sounded just like a recording of her religous, nutty mother. She didn't even sound like the girl I thought I used to know. I never knowingly would have given the OK for my son to go out with a girl this messed up. A few minutes later David went with her, packed bags in tow.
Now, David won't talk to us. The girl and her parents are filling him with lies about us. Her parents have contended all along that we are not "real Christians." We act flakey, we don't go to "real" church, and we even apparently smirked a couple of times during the sermons in their church the times we visited (I wasn't even aware of this, but apparently Karla has been keeping a tally sheet).
Karla has concocted a huge fabrication in her mind that I insulted her daughter and she is out to get me. She has harassed me to the point that I had to block everyone she knows from both my facebook account and all our family's phones.
We had gotten indication from David initially that he would keep in touch with us. However now it doesn't look like that's going to happen. Over the weekend, we got some ugly texts from David that I don't think he even wrote. But, he is letting these people do his thinking for him either way.
Meanwhile, these people are parading around at the church building every week, likely telling everyone they took David in because his parents are heathens and they're trying to straighten him out so he can marry their daughter. They "keep the Sabbath" the Old Covenant way, following a list of religious rules strictly and "gathering at the family alter" every single night to worship God come hell or high water.
Apparently they think encouraging a young man to quit school his senior year, move out of his parents' house without warning, cut off his friends, walk out on his football team, refuse to talk to his parents, and fill his head full of fantastic twisted lies about us - are all something they are doing in Jesus' name.
This is the Adventist church these people come from. I am not condeming it at large. We have met a number of good hearted folks in the community who go to that church. This particular family would be nuts no matter what denomination they came from.
We feel this is akin to David getting sucked into a cult. It's basically the same set of symptoms. But here's the crazy part - David doesn't believe this religious nonsense. He just thinks he is in love and being the knight in shining armor, standing by Suzie's side.
For a long time his girlfriend said she didn't buy into her parents' religion either. She went to our "flakey new age" church and said she liked it. Yet the things Suzie has said to us recently sound exactly like her mother talking, saying we hate her and we insulted her religion. I thought since when is this your religion?
It seems to me like this all traces back to Karla the crazy mother... like some evil spirit in her has taken over everyone around her.
I would love to hear from some parents who might relate to part or all of this story. I am unsure how to proceed here. I want my son to know I love him but feel the need to protect the rest of the family, including myself, from any more bad influence from this family.