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New Here...Teenage Skids Anyone?

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

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. 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! Wink

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


DHsfamilyfromhell's picture

I don’t think your partner knows where to begin parenting this girl as her behaviour has got so out of control. He possibly realises she may try and bully him into submission if he does try to discipline her, so for him at the moment it’s not worth the effort. I am guilty of that with my bio sons, but only in terms of things like washing and dishes. I overlook that sometimes as they have always stuck to the no friends around the house rule etc. Dh and I do not want our peace disturbed as we also have little ones so if my twenty year old bs wants a social life he can do it out of this house or move out. I feel sorry for you this girl truly has the upper hand. I am not sure what she has in terms of internet and phone access but I’m not sure she sounds responsible enough to have those privileges. Also I would give her zero money for anything except a decent pair of school shoes and a enough outfits for school. I wouldn’t give her coffee money for out of the house, I wouldn’t give her money for expensive make up, dresses etc. They are not needs they are ‘wants’. If that was my step daughter I would make a firm request to my partner that she move out of the house when she turns eighteen. My step sisters daughter bullies her, because she is soft she lets it happen. She made my step sister cry recently,  but I am absolutely positive the next time this young madam wanted coffee money, phone money and expensive make up money (she seems to get a few hundred pounds a month given to her) - that my step sister was daft enough to give it to her. - 

I honestly don’t know what to say to you if your partner won’t listen... I am sure other people will have better advice. Good luck.

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

Thank you for your input!  SD16 is younger than your 20yo, but I know SO feels similar about maintaining some peace when SS10 & SS15 are here visiting.  He knows she will definitely buck and bully her way out of any actual repercussions.  While she stayed away from home during the recent pregnancy scare, by the time Friday hit SO decided not to even try to insist she come home because he didn't want to ruin the weekend for the boys.  It's hard when there's a teen so in need of intervention and discipline, but younger ones that you want to protect from the toxicity.  Moving out at 18 is a point we do agree on.  She is trying to move out now but is obviously incapable of living independently.  I do feel an ounce of compassion for her as she tried to move in with BM last week and was told no.  She hasn't lived with BM or had regular visitation since she was 5.  She stayed with her a few days last week and then came back home when BM was arrested AGAIN!  Bad situation there.  It's like SD16 is begging for mothering from BM that she is incapable of giving and lashing out on everyone else in the process.  Here, she wants for nothing, has a nice home in a nice neighborhood, and other family members that love her.  She has a job and even access to a car of her own.  I just can't understand why she continues to wreak so much havoc.  Exhausting.

NoThanks's picture

Her behavior can put you and your husband in financial and legal trouble. She needs to be in some sort of bootcamp program since her Dad can’t or won’t handle her. So sorry you’re dealing with this level of crap. 

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

I totally agree!  Thank you for the sentiment. After this last episode, I told SO and SD16 that if he cannot or will not get her under control, then I am giving them the fair heads up I will be calling police immediately if I find stolen property in her possession, find her stealing from anyone in the house, find drugs and/or alcohol brought into this house by her, and if she ever physically threatens me again.  I also told them both that this school year I will be calling the school to report if I know for a fact she has drugs/alcohol in her possession at school.  At this point its beyond disengagement for me and more about protecting myself mentally, physically, and legally.  He knows that he is financially and legally responsible for damage and/or harm she may do to property and people in her shenanigans, but I think he is in serious denial of the very real damage she can cause.  Where we live, parents have to sign a waiver of financial responsibility for minors driving.  If she were my BD, she would not be driving PERIOD until she straightened up.  But...she is not my BD.  Bootcamp...I would love to see that happen, but I doubt it will.  Juvenile detention...very real possibility at this point.  She is supposed to be going to see her doctor at the end of this month about going to a therapist, but we'll see if that comes to fruition.  Ugh.

thinkthrice's picture

a Four Loko with a ketamine chaser.

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

Completely agree with all 7.  Thanks for the ideas  Current situation:

#5 - Decided about a year ago that she's not allowed shopping or in any public place where she could steal anything when I am present.  Works OK for me, but that has put me in the evil SM hotseat because others aren't on board.

#4 - She does work and pay for most of her personal items now, so there's that. When SO says, "what more can I do?" I do suggest he cut off her phone and tell her she cannot use the car until she pays her portion of car insurance and finishes paying him for the car she agreed to make payments on (SO bought it from GM, SD16 has paid 1/2 of what she owes him). He won't do that at this point, sooo... Oh, and I've asked him at the VERY LEAST to quit bailing her out when she overdraws her account or runs short on money after blowing it all on clothes and weed. Should be a no brainer, right?

#3 - BRILLIANT idea, and so simple.  She just cleaned it out FINALLY, but I'm saving that one for when she inevitably trashes it again! Thanks! Smile

#2 - Done... No door, but she basically has the whole upstairs to herself unless her brothers are visiting. SO had to put screws in the upstairs windows to keep her from smoking and I installed locks on the attic doors because we caught her stashing things behind the insulation. Upstairs is pretty locked down and I set up cameras in common areas when we're not home. I hate it that it's come to this, but here we are.

#1 - Since she buys her own tampons at this point, hard to control.