Daughter Turned Into Trailer Park Trash
This has been a very difficult experience for my wife and myself.
Before our eyes our eldest daughter is quickly morphing into a classic
piece of Trailer Park Trash (TPT). We live a middle class
existence in a suburban neighbourhood in a very large Canadian
city. There are a couple of trailer parks in the area but they
are small and my daughter has not associated with any residents of
Every attempt was made to provide a liberal educated environment for
our three children. The eldest daughter participated in a
gymnastics program at an early age and progressed to a national
competitive level in which she was active until this sudden turn into
TPT. Until the last few years she was a good student with 'A's
and 'B's. She is a very bright girl and was able to pick things
She was in French emersion until grade five and handled both French and
English well. She completed a number of years of Chinese language
education with mainly 'A's and 'B's. She was sent on trips to SE
Asia on three occasions, one trip to Europe, a number of trips to the
USA with her gymnastics club plus a number of trips to various Canadian
locations as a gymnast with her team.
Racially I don't know if you can call her white trailer park trash as
her mother is Chinese and I am of Ukrainian / Romania descent.
When she was younger she appeared part Chinese but in recent years she
pretty much passes as a white person. She lightens her hair with
some sort of rinse which hides an apparent Asian trait in her
appearance. Her physical appearance is not Asian in any
way. She hates to be referred to as Chinese and prefers her
friends not meet her mother.
Spiritually she was raised as a Catholic, her mother's religion.
She was confirmed at 13 years of age and it seemed to be something she
wanted to complete. Her mother is pretty much a laid back
Catholic as she was raised in Singapore and the Catholic faith pushed
in that society is pretty mild compared to that pushed in North
America. Regular church services on Sunday were not part of the
household routine. Attending church services was pretty much
to Christmas Eve and Easter. I am not religious but I never spoke
of my beliefs to my children.
Some time around 13 years of age she decided she didn't have to listen
to her parents and we had no real control over her. Over the
years she pushed this idea further, after pushing to the edge of
complete rebellion she normally
would retreat and again accept some control. Her school grades
started to fall during this period and she decided that straight 'C's
were good enough for a pass and therefore were good enough for her.
In competitive gymnastics there are a lot of full university
scholarships available for girls/women as US universities must offer
each gender an equal number of scholarships. She had been scouted
and if she had carried on in gymnastics with even a reasonable effort
she could have received a full scholarship to a US university.
She had even worked out a plan to finish high school a year early to be
available in a year when there was a larger number of scholarships
We noticed she kept changing her friends. At one point a school
counsellor stated she was a floater between groups in her school and
she wasn't connecting with any group. The concern at that time
was the prospect of her joining a bad group. It took a few years
but she has managed to become a member of what may be considered a
group at the bottom of any status totem pole at school or even in
life. A number of members of her group have dropped out of school
already and she is about to be thrown out of her school only a few
months short of completing the school year.
While she likes to think of herself as white some of her friends are of
a visible racial minority. Her beliefs are so strong that she
recently advised her mother to get back on the boat and go back to
China. Of her current peer group the girls are her age or a year
younger. The boys tend to be a few years older and a number are
out of the school system without obtaining a diploma, in other words a
bunch of school drop-outs. One of her close boy friends is of
African descent so I guess her racism is limited to Asians.
In the last few years it has been a battle trying to enforce some sort
of reasonable control over her. Within her peer group many of the
parents of the girls let them run wild or don't check up on them to
confirm they are staying with specific friends and that they are under
any sort of parental supervision. Over the months since her
big breakaway we have had only two parents call to state Heather was
staying with them. She leaves for a week at a time, takes no
clothes, and manages to stay with friends most of the time wearing
borrowed clothes. Of the boys in the peer group most are beyond
parental supervision and a few might not even have anything they could
call a home.
Her appearance is distinctly TPT. She is a big well developed
girl so she has to try hard to look TPT. Her efforts have been
rewarded with a look which would probably win awards at a TPT beauty
contest. She uses way too much makeup, doesn't take it off at
night and thus we often have a Tammy Faye Bakker look-alike running
around the house. At this point in time the TPT look seems to be
statement most teenage girls strive to achieve so one can’t complain
too much over her appearance. To top off the appearance her
attitude and language mesh completely with the TPT persona.
The look, the attitude and the language I could tolerate and learn
to live with a piece of TPT in the house. What I can't manage is
two-bit con artist tricks which apparently are part of the TPT
persona. As a youth I had contact with almost every type of con
artist and drug addict and experienced their behaviour. I have
tried real hard
to get above it and live a life without resorting to lying and cheating
to get a few dollars ahead.
I worked as a car salesman selling junk, nothing but junk, they never
gave me anything good to sell. I worked for lawyers and was
trained to never tell the truth. Actually to never say anything
until you know what the other party wants to hear and then you don't
tell them as it may be of more value in the future. I worked for
a deeply religious
bunch who while advertising their Christian status never believed a
business deal had to be a mutually beneficial arrangement, they always
had to be on top and doing the screwing. I worked in the high
tech field for years and again there was a big issue in actually
telling the truth and advising the customer how well your solution
worked in the real world. I purchased in the asset disposal world
where no one
ever told the truth, you just ground them down until they were almost
giving it away.
After leading this type of life for many years one must decide if you
are a scumball or do you actually have a bit of humanity in you.
By the time I got around to the raising a family part of my life I had
decided to attempt to act like something other than pond scum and live
a life which didn't depend on lies and cheating. A life where
trust is a valuable commodity that must be earned on a continuous
basis, by telling the truth and living up to your word whatever the
cost. Admit mistakes and take responsibility for your actions and
try not to offend people. My kids have
never seen any of my past behaviour but only a person striving to do
the right thing in life by telling the truth and not cheating people.
One expects their teenagers to lie to them. From a teenager point
of view the lies are of the "Little White Lie" variety and generally
are harmless enough that one just ignores them or humourously advises
the teen that you don't believe that story. We expect teenagers
to lie to us in regards to where they are going and who they are hangin
with some if not most of the time. Going to the mall is usually
code for some other destination which changes frequently.
Most parents will accept some level of lying from their teenagers as
part of the growing up experience. When the stories start to
sound like the
script from Trailer Park Boys or the lyrics of a country and western
song you know you are dealing with a person whose goal seems to be
eventual residency in a trailer park. When you decline to believe
the stories and confront the teen and they insist they are telling you
the truth you know you are dealing with TPT.
Stealing is a subject on which I have a big problem accepting at any
level. I have been very consistent in this with the kids from the
very start and they should all know this by now. The problem
daughter, like many kids today, seems to think if you are not caught
red-handed you are free and clear. Even though all indications
point to them as the perpetrator they continue to deny all
A recent example, middle daughter gets a new pair of pants which she
buys slightly large for her as she is growing quickly right now.
She is almost the same size as the eldest daughter and she leaves the
pants in the dryer. The eldest daughter making one of her
occasional appearances at home and being short of clean clothes because
she is too lazy to so her own laundry decides to grab the pants and
disappear for a week. We search the house and the pants are no
where to be found. The eldest daughter is confronted on the issue
of the pants and denies any knowledge of the whereabouts of the said
pants. At this point I have no problem recognizing where the
pants have gone, the eldest daughter took them and probably left them
somewhere on the path of her travels or she traded them for some other
item. Stealing someone's clothes is already a pretty low
trick. Denying responsibility when confronted when you are
clearly responsible for the event is at best irresponsible and probably
more criminal in nature. Put these actions together and you have
A good example of bad behaviour is a recent incident where the TPT got
mad when I made her leave the house after trash talking to her
mother. I told her to take a walk and return when she was willing
to act in a reasonable manner to other residents of the house.
She stated she was going to injure herself and go to the police and
report she had been beaten by her father. A number of hours later
a social services representative called and asked what happened.
Talked tto them for a while and they stated her claims were not
credible and would we allow her in the house. A little later the
police called and I had to pick her up at the police station. She
was very subdued compared to the state in which she left the house.
Wanting to fulfill the persona of TPT she was heard stating to an
acquaintance at a party that her father comes home drunk every night
beats her and other family members. I almost never drink outside
of the home except for the occasional party of which we don't attend
many these days as we are afraid to leave the home unsupervised for any
length of time. On the same occasion she stated she had broken
into the house and stolen a number of items, we took her door key some
time ago. The reality was she took a spare key and sneaked into
the house and liberated a few food items.
Kids in this situation must get a lot of coaching from their peer
group. One day she came home and I was talking to her at the
front door wanting to get a promise of good behavior before letting her
in the house. She wanted to give no such promises and stated that
I was responsible for her until she was 18 years of age and she was
going to live in a foster home and I would have to pay for it.
She must have gained this idea from someone in her peer group.
Just enough knowledge to prove you are an idiot.
Trust is a commodity teenagers tend to squander with no concern to its
value in life. You tend to want to trust your kids so they see no
value in it as they have never had to earn it. Parents in some
circumstances give their children far more trust than deserved.
Just look at the number of kids who commit serious crimes whose parents
stand behind them in court stating they know their child and no
child of theirs could commit such a crime, even if they are caught
red-handed. You know your kid is TPT if the trust they are
expecting from you demands that you become delusional. When the
storylines and scenario they present to you seem like some weird "B"
grade science fiction movie plot you know your kid has gone TPT.
The most difficult part of having this piece of TPT around is the lying
and cheating she tries to lay on me. I have seen and experienced
a great deal of people trying to con me. On top of this I was in
management for years and experienced almost every type of scam an
employee tries to exert over management. Even if it is a new scam
I have never experienced before I can usually see through it
quickly. I find people trying to scam me very offensive and I am
willing to walk away from friendships no matter how minor the
scam. You don't scam your friends! The big problem
with con artists, scammers and grifters is they usually have no real
friends. Everyone is a potential mark! Most addicted
personalities exhibit the same behaviour, they will con anyone and
everyone to satisfy their itch.
It is very painful for me to admit to myself that my daughter has
turned into TPT. I tried very hard to instill a higher quality of
morality into my kids but I must admit failure in regards to my eldest
daughter. I grew up in what could be considered a lower middle
class neighbourhood and there was no shortage of juvenile delinquents
in elementary and junior high school (grades 1 to 9). By grade 9
most of them where gone already. Some had quit school and moved
on to the working world and some were in jail or locked up in what was
the juvenile justice system in the 60s. I tried very hard to get
past these people and even at the time I saw them for the losers that
they were at the time. To have a daughter turn into a lying thief
is a very painful experience and one for which I will have a very
difficult time ever forgiving her.
I feel so strongly on the subject of integrity I have devoted a web
exposing and attempting to make humour of what I consider inappropriate
behaviour in the corporate world and the high tech business
fields. Now to have a two-bit punk kid trying to pull her scams
me is just too much. You try to be a little forgiving with your
children and casually brush-off with a little humour their exploration
of human relationships and how far they can push things. But when
your daughter turns into a full-blown piece of TPT with all the
associated behaviour one must seriously question the relevance of
parent-child bonds and do what is right.
May 11, 2005