The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Ohio College Student Gets Restraining Order Against Her ‘Stalker’ Parents

Posted on | December 28, 2012 | 33 Comments

The “helicopter parent” syndrome carried to an absurd extreme:

A 21-year-old theatre student has obtained a civil stalking restraining order against her parents after convincing a judge that they attempt to control all aspects of her daily life.
Aubrey Ireland is a gifted theatre major at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, often winning major roles in her school’s musicals. . . . Earlier this month, Common Pleas Court Judge Jody Luebbers ruled in her favor, ordering that her parents must stay at least 500 feet from their only child until September 2013.
“They basically thought that [because] they were paying for my college tuition and living expenses that they could tell me what to do, who to hang out with … basically control all of my daily life,” Ireland told ABC News.

The Golden Rule: He who has the gold, makes the rules.

The dean’s list student’s complaints against her parents began when she realized they’d installed monitoring software on her computer and her phone. They paid unannounced visits, traveling 600 miles from their home in Kansas, to meet with Aubrey’s department head.
They also accused their daughter of promiscuity, doing drugs, and having mental issues to the point where they were considering going to court to order that she get treatment.

“We’re so proud of our slutty dopehead psycho daughter!”

“My mom has always been very overly involved,” Ireland said. “I would have to get on Skype all the time to show them that I was in my dorm room, or there were nights I had to leave my Skype on all night and my mom would watch me basically sleep.”
She claims her parents, David and Julie Ireland, have been diagnosed with co-dependency disorder. Her parents, however, say their daughter is just a good actor, and is lying. They said she is “an only child who has been catered to all her life.”

OK, and whose fault is that? I mean, you invest your entire biological destiny in exactly one child, it sort of naturally follows that you’re going to “cater” to her, so she becomes a spoiled brat who grows up to be a slutty dopehead psycho . . .

Because Aubrey has cut all ties with them in a very public way, they now want a refund of the $66,000 they’ve already paid toward her education.
“We’re not bothering her,” Julie Ireland said. “We’re not a problem.”

Sure, you’re not a problem, Mrs. Ireland. Your daughter just got a restraining order against you, so either (a) you’re a paranoid control freak or (b) you’re right, she’s a slutty dopehead psycho.

Neither alternative is especially flattering to you, Mrs. Ireland.

Good luck getting your $66,000 back.

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Comments

  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    As I replied to @samanthakonski ‘s “WTF?” tweet: White Trash Females Won’t Take Friendly Wisdom That’s Father’s.

  • http://profiles.google.com/dianna.deeley Dianna Deeley

    Er, Mom & Dad are paying the freight? She’s taking their money, she can bloody well follow their rules. Sorry, the judge is an idiot to have agreed with the girl.

    Or is he going to tell them they can’t refuse to pay for her theater major degree if she’s going to behave this way?

  • http://profiles.google.com/dianna.deeley Dianna Deeley

    The judge blew it. He ought to have said, “Miss, they are paying all your expenses. If you don’t want to obey them, you must go get a job and pay for your theater major yourself.”

    That would have been fun, actually.

  • Elena

    Well, they did stop paying for her education. Her last year is apparently on scholarship. I’m all for parental control – my own parents paid for my education, and if I’d been screwing around instead of going to class, the money would have dried up – but spyware? Really? There are lines…and then there are LINES. If you’re unhappy with the way your kid is living his or her life, cut off the money, don’t follow them around harassing them.

  • robertstacymccain

    Yes, a theater major — like I said, good luck getting your $66,000 back.
    One suspects a certain folie a deux factor is involved here: Mom’s crazy, daughter’s crazy, and they’re both high-maintenance, emotionally needy types.
    Over the course of my reckless youth, I encountered my fair share of crazy women, but when it came time to marry, I made sure I got one with good common sense and no “issues.”

  • http://profiles.google.com/dianna.deeley Dianna Deeley

    Well, what proof of spyware? Darling daughter’s assertion?

    Honestly, I’ve no idea if the parents were being too pushy or not because I don’t believe the daughter. But I know the solution, and it wasn’t court! That’s why I’m so appalled – the court ought to have simply said, “Not our problem” and moved right along.

  • http://profiles.google.com/dianna.deeley Dianna Deeley

    Er…I’m going to refrain from the quite obvious inquiry, there.

    But, seriously, everyone has “issues” in their twenties (I got over most of mine), and this girl just seems to be a bit more entitled than most. The curious thing is that it got to an actual court. That’s just mad, and never ought to have been allowed by a court with the sense given your average mother cat.

  • Badger Pundit

    Well, I hope your wife got someone “with good common sense and no ‘issues,'” too!

    On the daughter, I suspect Skype wasn’t to watch her sleep — it was to be sure she was in her bed, and the only one in it!

  • Elena

    Well, if it went to court, she’s going to have to show proof of some kind. If she hadn’t had the proof of spyware (or some other kind of stalking/harassment), the court would, indeed, have said “not our problem” and thrown it out.

    Alternatively, the Ohio court system doesn’t have enough work to do or it’s really easy to get a restraining order there. Not really sure which, as I have no familiarity with the state.

    Anyway, I guess I’m more sympathetic to the daughter in this case than the parents. I’ve known several cases like this (with both male and female children) and when your parents are neurotic messes, the only thing to do is escape. Most of the people in this situation enlisted.

    That this girl didn’t is a strike against her – if they were crazy, they were crazy all the way back, not just in college – but I do feel sorry for the people she knows, as her parents most likely involved her acquaintances in their attempts to control their daughter. I had a roommate who was just like this – control freak parents, nutcase party girl – the parents actually called me up once to find our where their kid was. I was NOT pleased: I told them I didn’t know, as she didn’t spend a lot of time in the dorm, and told them to never call me again. I eventually had to block their home and cell numbers. People like that can’t seem to keep their neurotic behavior to themselves, unfortunately…

  • Patrick Carroll

    The parents should immediately cut off the cash.

    Although, given the screwed up nature of American jurisprudence, she might then be able to find a judge who’d enforce payments through post-graduate studies.

  • Patrick Carroll

    Issues? Sure. Thing is, when my parents tried to control me in college, I cut them off, control, and money, and went my own way, and didn’t call back ’til I had a degree, had served in the military, had an honorable discharge, and was paying the note on a house.

    At that point, I felt free to go issue-to-issue, blood being thicker than puke, and all that….

  • Pingback: Dysfunctional Family Syndrome « The Daley Gator

  • http://www.leftbankofthecharles.com/ Charles

    Full scholarship for her senior year of college, and all her parents had to do was make a few unannounced visits to the theater department head. All that stalking paid off!

  • Nan

    I had a suitemate in college whose parents were like this. They lived a couple hours away and would show up at her workplace without notice and would call, expected whoever answered the phone would know where she was, and would get mad if someone was on the phone when she called. As though the rest of us had no right to use the phone. While she didn’t enlist, she married a guy who was in the military.

    Good that she got the restraining order; it doesn’t seem likely that they’d back off once she graduates since they paid for the education, they probably think they get to run the rest of her life.

    And seriously, what legal theory will they use to induce a court to enter judgment against her? Absent written documentation, the money they’ve spent on her education will be considered a gift; $66,000 is slightly less than what a couple could give jointly for three years without affecting their gift tax.

  • Nan

    This girl’s on the dean’s list which diminishes the prospect of nutcase party girl. She may have now been away from home long enough to realize her parents aren’t normal.

  • RichFader

    My understanding is that “Our money, our rules” normally only becomes an issue (and normally only should become an issue) when your little darling is screwing off. If she’s getting Dean’s List grades and landing big roles in school musicals (and both should be fairly easy to prove) that’s another story entirely. At some point, if you let your kid go 600 miles out of state to go to college, you have to trust her. And if she really is doing that well, you probably should.

  • Rob W

    I’m sorry, I’m supposed to assume that the daughter is a “slutty dopehead psycho” based only on her parents say-so? Parents who drive 600 miles to show up unannounced? If she’s such a screw-up, how it is she’s on the dean’s list? How is it that she gets the lead in productions? How is it that the school is giving her a full ride for her final year after her parents’ stopped paying, if she’s such a basket case?

    Good luck trying to force a 21 year-old into treatment against her will (for problems that only seem to exist in their heads). Good luck getting your money back, too, unless she agreed to pay you back if she didn’t do every single thing you told her to do. If they continue to make noise to the administration that their daughter is a druggie that sleeps around, you can almost guarantee three outcomes: 1) she will sue you for slander as you try to ruin her reputation at the school and possible future employment, 2) she will cut off any contact with you, 3) she will be popular with the kind of guys who hope that reputation is true, guys who would be a nightmare of a son in law (but most likely a deadbeat baby-daddy).

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Something’s wrong with this picture. This sort of attention might be admirable parenting if the young woman were suddenly barely passing or showing other signs of trouble, but she is doing well in school and in her major vocation.

    Keeping that sort of tabs on a 21 year old who isn’t showing overt signs of crisis seems obsessional. I blame Mom because she voted for Obama.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jacky.liu.758737 Jacky Liu

    Right on! Once the brats get to voting age. It is the politicians’ problem. If they want the brats’ votes, pay for the tuition. Don’t ever be duped into paying anything even if they earned straight A’s and went to Harvard or Yale. These schools will even teach them to look down on you once they graduate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jacky.liu.758737 Jacky Liu

    A theater major that’s on dean’s list? I wouldn’t rule out nutcase party girl. I am not saying she is. But theater major? That means something to the judge, doesn’t it? She can act like a well-mannered darling to the judge and dean; and a totally neurotic rag at home. I think these folks are yet another casualty of old-school altruistic parents who are screwed by the lies spun by the education industry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jacky.liu.758737 Jacky Liu

    Why? Shouldn’t cutting off the cash would just be effective? Stalking might even land you in jail if you are so unlucky to run into a even crazier judge.

    Why pay 66 grand to the schools system even when the brat puts on all her charm? Spend the money in Hawaii, Havana, and then bet the left over in Las Vegas. You have a much better odd of getting your money back.

  • http://www.leftbankofthecharles.com/ Charles

    True, if they had started stalking earlier, they might have saved even more tuition.

  • http://alanye.com/ Dai Alanye

    We have limited information, and therefore no idea of who’s right or wrong, but we can offer a few surmises. Narcissism is common among actors, either wanna-be or successful, and we haven’t heard one syllable about daughter refusing parental help.

    Sounds like the old story of child wanting her cake, and refusing to eat her vegetables first.

    But they’re probably all nuts, including the judge.

  • http://alanye.com/ Dai Alanye

    By the way, quit blaming Ohio. These people are from the heart of the western wilderness, the home of Kathleen Sebelius (no relation to Jan Sibelius), krazy Kansas.

    [Altho Sebelius (whose initials are KS) was born in Ohio, where her father was a much-deplored governor.]

  • Finrod Felagund

    I had parents like this. If I had been an only child and female, growing up with today’s tech, with parents more tech-enabled, my parents wouldn’t have had to be that much more obsessive to reach the level of the parents in this story.

    Instead, I was the youngest, which can be worse than being an only child– indeed, since both my brothers moved out before my 13th birthday (marriage and college respectively), I pretty much was an only child for my teenage years. I heard the line about repaying my college tuition plenty of times from my parents; I waited until I was in graduate school and paying my own way to make a break with them, so at least I didn’t have the immediate financial issues nor the need to make it a whole public thing. I was a good kid, graduated 6th in my class from college, didn’t even get a drivers license until after I was 21 because I could do all the driving I needed to on a learners permit and it saved my parents money not having a third driver on their car insurance. But for some parents, you can never be good enough for them, no matter what you do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jacky.liu.758737 Jacky Liu

    For animals like tigers in the wild, parenting ends when the cubs grow old enough to hunt. The only extra parents will do is to show without tell.

    Humans evolved. It used to be saving up college fund for children earns a pat on the shoulders for the parents. Life is tougher now and some kids expect help for post-graduate or professional degrees.

    This theater major probably just want some publicity for her acting career. Or if she is serious, she can stop asking for money and sign an IOU for the 66k. Then she can complain about all the attention from the loan shark.

  • erehwon

    Me too. left home at 16, did not re-establish contact for ten years. They even complained to my first sergeant who forced me to write letters to them. Way to get me feeling all warm and fuzzy, parents! The total irony was that I was forced to take care of my increasingly dotty mother for her last twelve years, with no respite from my brothers. I’m not real big on family feelings, you understand. The milk of human kindness curdled in my dugs very early on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001315158084 Rob Davis

    People come on as a father of two girls I know what its like to worry,but watch her sleep thru skype CREEPY!

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    We, indeed, do not know all of the facts in this case and we will probably never know them because we’ve all got more important things to do. However, I think the implications of what Stacy mentioned in this paragraph are well-worth considering:

    OK, and whose fault is that? I mean, you invest your entire biological destiny in exactly one child, it sort of naturally follows that you’re going to “cater” to her….

    Such a situation results in low-hovering helicopter parenting, which is neurotic behavior. Do such neuroses transfer to the only child? We know that such children are often Narcissistic. Add in neurosis and the fact that so many youths are only children and we are facing a future for American Society that does not look too promising.

  • SDN

    Your First Sgt sounds like he shouldn’t have been in charge of a school crossing. It is not his problem, and the fact that he wouldn’t tell them so is Exhibit A.

  • Quartermaster

    No need to inquire, just observe. It’s apparent the only “issue” Mrs. TOM has is Mr. TOM. It’s scary when you realize that he can write a drunken rant and be stone cold sober.

  • http://thevailspot.blogspot.com/ Rich Vail

    “they now want a refund of the $66,000 they’ve already paid toward her education.”
    Well, they could take her to court and have a lean placed against future earnings. But realiistically, as a musician, or as a teacher, she won’t make much. File a lawsuit for the “investment”…LOL