Outlaw went and they rang us and said he had settled in really well and Sharon was really pleased with him. Sheila was slowly getting over not having him, there was now a big void not having to go before and after school to care for the horses.
She seemed to be getting on alright in her new school, although she had made friends with a very rough element and I was very concerned with her choice. I hoped she would see through them. I had no idea the area we had moved to was so awful.
Sharon rang Sheila and asked her if she would like to go and stay with them for a few days on the next holidays. She could then check on Outlaw. Sharon said she would show her around Colchester. They were both almost 15 yrs old. I said she could so they just had to arrange a date, Sheila would travel by train and they would meet her at the station.
Sheila came home and said Outlaw was really happy and that she had had a really good time . She had changed , she seemed to have a new found confidence about her to the point of rudeness and a definite lack of respect for any of us. It didnt matter what I said to her it always ended up as an argument, she knew it all and that I should stop treating her like a child. It got so that everytime we met it turned into a slanging match. I must admit in retrospect I didnt handle it well I gave her more ammunition.
I received a letter from her school asking me why she hadnt been to school for two weeks, I was puzzled by this, as far as I was aware she had gone every day since the holidays. I rang the school and they confirmed she had not been at school. I apologised and said that I would get to the bottom of it. I now realised she had been going out in the morning as if to school but god knows what she had been up to.
She came in at the time she should have if she had been at school and I asked her if she had a good day, which she said she had. I then showed her the letter from school and she turned to me with such nasty look on her face and said so what, she would do as she pleased. I said no she would do as I say and that brought forth a string of abuse. She asked what I was going to do about it, I said if necessary I would escort her to school but she replied that she would walk out again. I was just about tearing my hair out I didnt know how to react. I wasnt used to this type of behaviour. I decided to leave it for the moment and let her calm down a bit then try again.
It didnt get any better, she then proceeded to argue with Steve and Lesley saying they were goodie goodies and hadnt got minds of their own. Luckily Ian came for Lesley and they went out. I was at a loss. I think she thought now that her Dad was out of the picture she could do as she pleased, well I would do my best to restore harmony but I was sceptical.
I was going to get the bus the next morning when I saw Sheila with a couple of friends walking to school and I couldnt be believe my eyes, they were all smoking. I went to ask her about it and they all ran off.
Things were getting worse she was going to school occasionally staying out to all hours. I spent so much time searching the streets for her at all hours. On one occasion it was 01.00am and I had been looking for her for hours when I decided to speak to the police. They said they would come to our house for some details. I told them that her Dad and I had just split up and about her having to give up her horses and that she had been skipping school, in the middle of this in she walked. The police woman asked me if I would like her to have a private word with Sheila. I said yes and we left them to it. After about half an hour the policewoman said they had spoken but Sheila was just rude to her. I was shocked at her behaviour.
The police said perhaps I should have a word with a childrens social worker to try and get some guidance as staying out at this hour was dangerous. I said I would think about it. I thanked them and off they went. Sheila by this time had gone to bed.