New Here...Teenage Skids Anyone?
Does anyone else out there feel like somewhere along your stepparent journey your life got swept up in a monsoon of other people's dysfunction? I was single for over 10 years and fiercely dedicated to raising my DS and living my best, most emotionally healthy, peaceful, and happy life. Then I fell in love with BF/SO and we have been living together and sharing our life for 6 years now. SO has 5 kids...SD22, SD20, SD16, SS15, and SS10...3 BMs. Yeah, I should've known better, right? I actually started this out with such hope and was positive that we would all bring great things to each other's lives. Ha! I was SO naive. I look back now and realize I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself and my DS into. But...now I feel like I've made it through the worst and although I have left a few times, I am trying to make it through this last SD without losing my SO and the life we've built together. So, at this point in time, telling me to leave is not helpful. I definitely feel like running away with my puppy and a duffle bag some days, but that's not what I'm trying to do at this stage in the game.
So there's a lot to unpack and I feel like StepTalk might be the place to do just that. Maybe my story can help someone else navigate the pitfalls I've experienced over the years or help someone avoid a toxic situation altogether. Mostly, I think I'm just writing to put it all down, get it out of my head, and find a way to make sense of it all so I can move on to making the most of each day. I'm committing to writing a little every day for the next month to see if this helps. I'll let you know!
The most frustrating part of my life right now is the current situation with SD16, the only one living at home with us full time. She is a nightmare. I see new SP here ask, "Can a child really take down a marriage/relationship?" OMG, YES! No, no...don't assume you are going to be the exception, because YES...they can totally devour your existence like a black hole! Much of the troubles began with her older sisters, but here is a short list of toxic and self-destructive behaviors from the YSD who once was secretly "My Favorite": Stole my personal vibrator, invited boys/men/strangers from the internet into our home while we were not there and let them "do the deed" (starting at 14 as far as I know for sure), shoplifting while alone/with friends/and while we grocery shop as a family, shoplifting while on family outtings/vacations, snooping through and stealing my and others things, drinking alcohol, taking alcohol to school, smoking cigarettes/vaping at home and school, smoking weed and hiding it in our home, "dating" grown men 20+, thought she was pregnant/didn't know who the father would be/told SO she "hates" him for not offering to pay for an abortion and refused to come home because SHE was "angry at" SO and didn't want to "hear it" from me, avoids grounding/punishment by leaving for days/weeks, lies daily about where she is/who she is with, refuses to do any chores or help in any way around the house, keeps her room filthy and refuses to follow the "no food in your room unless you immediately clean up after" rule...just piles it all up on/under/around her bed, continues to flush tampons down the toilet despite a previous HUGE effort and expense for me and BF to unclog tampon-clogged main pipes, posts inappropriate pics and comments (seductive/drugs/etc on social media, and on and on. Nightmare. It is beyond disengagement at this point with her. Honestly, I'm waiting for the day when she gets arrested and someone else actually holds this young lady accountable for her behavior. I'm so over it and it is exhausting living in a household with someone who consistently lies, steals, manipulates, and has no regard for other people.
Sorry, this is so long, but I'm clearing the air this morning! The worst has been this past couple of months. After the pregnancy scare, stuff just went downhill fast. SO gives her drug tests in exchange for the privilege of using a car purchased from her BG. She passed the last one, but I discovered she did so with synthetic urine. She was already grounded from staying out with the car for a week (RIDICULOUS!) and then SO was going to allow her to go to FL with her friends knowing she duped him (RIDICULOUS!). I couldn't hold my tongue and called her out on the drug test. As always, she flipped out and insisted she was leaving again. Told me to leave and that she doesn't want me here. Wow. Of course not...I call her on her $h!t like any responsible adult should IMHO. Anyway, after a lot of yelling back and forth and her not denying, but refusing to admit to her dad what she did, I was standing in the doorway of her room (SO there also) and she tried to push past me. I stayed my ground as she pushed me, he stepped in and held her back, and then she looked me straight in the face and said, "MOVE! I WILL hit you!" I regret not calling the police right then and there and when I later told her this, she laughed and said, "You should have." Much more to that story, but here's the kicker that is eating away at me. After ALL THAT...she is in FL right now. Pics are posted all over the internet that show she obviously lied again and is with 3 other girls, not with her friends and a dad, staying at her friend's aunt's house in FL, as she assured SO. I told him, and like always...he had basically no reaction other than, "I don't understand why you can't just leave things alone?" WTF? I admire SO for so many qualities, but his permissive parenting makes me resent him and honestly feel sorry for his self-destructive daughters. Oh yeah...BM just went back to jail. More on her another day.
Can anyone understand my frustration with this situation? I did not raise my DS like this. I was not raised like this. The level of disrespect, disobedience, permissive parenting, and general BS is BAFFLING! I would love and appreciate any connections I make here on ST. Thank you so much if you took the time to read this whole thing! That's more than anyone around this house would do. <3