My first blog
I hoped maybe blogging would help me deal with what I’m going through. I never can admit what’s really happening to my sister or my mom or my friends. I want everyone to think I’m a great stepmom and my family is all doing great. But things are so messed up right now and I need to talk to someone.
My SD is 15. The list of mental illnesses she has been diagnosed with keeps growing. Anxiety, depression, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder. At one time Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS, AKA atypical autism) was being considered, but that something that doesn't get diagnosed as much now. She also has developmental delays, issues with fine motor skills, a reading level of about a 5th grader.
Her mom has been in and out of jail and drug rehab and doesn't have any contact right now. She has lived with us full-time since she was 12.
My DH and I have a 3.5 year old daughter.
My BFF from grade school through high school posts all the time on Facebook about her new hubby who she calls something like “The World’s Best Bonus Daddy”. She lives in a different state now, so maybe it’s all a facade, but she keeps asking me on Facebook where the photos of me and my 15 year old SD are. World’s Great Bonus Daddy takes stepkids to football games, teaches his stepson to golf, has princess parties for his stepdaughter and I can barely tolerate to be around my SD. I think she suspects we don’t get along, but wants to live in a fantasy land that all stepparents now are super special bonus parents that their stepkids adore and idolize.
There’s no possible way I’m posting on Facebook the current situation with SD. She is facing expulsion from a high school for the 2nd time in 14 months. The last time she was moved from a regular public school to an alternative school. She can’t be expelled for problems caused by her disability, so there will be meetings to determine revisions to the IEP and likely which school services and programs will fit her. Likely she ends up in a special needs program at a different school that isn’t college prep and mostly for non-verbal autistic kids and others with severe disabilities that prevent them from being able to function in a classroom.
My DH feels he will failed as a father if SD doesn’t graduate from high school, go to college, get a job and be a functional member of society. He has spent so much time and effort trying to help SD get her grades up and get back into her old high school. But her response to all that help has been to essentially spit in his face, refuse to do anything and now get kicked out of an alternative school.
The alternative school isn’t helping and getting her out of there would be the best thing for her. There are incredibly strict rules. Dress code is very strict and she has all sorts of issues finding clothes that are sensory friendly that will meet the dress code. Every little minor infraction is written up. It’s not uncommon for her to have 3 write-ups every day, at least 2 detentions per week (she’s refused to go to these, which is the cause of the expulsion). I’ve lost count of the in-school suspensions and 5 out of school suspension. We know she’s being bullied, but it’s a school full of trouble makers and she regularly has meltdowns and temper tantrums. There’s no way she’s not going to get bullied for acting the way she does at age 15.
There’s no way to control her behavior or hold her responsible for anything. She doesn’t act her age nor does she really care if she pisses us off. All of the rewards charts, behavior charts, chore lists and consequences haven’t worked. She refuses to do what she’s told. Once she learns you want her to do something, she refuses with all her might to do it. She is so stubborn.
She doesn’t appreciate anything I do and anything I do something for her, there’s always complaints or I waste my time. For example, SD has all of these problems with being itchy. She has tactile defensiveness (if there’s a tag on her shirt, all she can focus on is how much the tag is bugging her), and also hives and pins & needles feelings - which could be side effects of all the medication she’s on or just caused by stress or anxiety. A few months ago when she 1st complained constantly about being itchy, I went out and got her some rather expensive lotion. But she refused to even try it - she doesn’t like anything sticky on her skin. So, still constantly whining about the itchiness, but she won’t even consider using the lotion.
None of the medication she’s on seems to be helping at all, and the side effects just keep adding up. I’m not sure if they really are that bad, but she’s the type of kid who cannot focus on anything else if there’s some minor problem. She has very low frustration tolerance.
I know she’s sick and if she had cancer or some illness that was physical rather than mental, the situation at school would be far different. But her behavior problems cause you to have absolutely no sympathy for her or want to do anything for her. She treats everyone so terribly, especially my 3.5 year old. I worry what growing up in this type of environment is doing to my baby girl.
DH still thinks that he can somehow get SD to have some miraculous turnaround in school that will cause her to be sent back to the normal high school. He has been trying to get her to do homework for the past 4 hours. So far there's been 3 meltdowns & SD threw a tantrum so bad the whole house was shaking. Maybe once she's in the special ed program and there's no homework then maybe things will improve with less battles over homework. But DH doesn't want her ending up like her mom - a drug addict, in and out of jail, and with no ability to hold down a job. I just don't know if there's any way to avoid that. He's put in so much effort trying to help her with homework and all it results in is her stomping around, screaming and tantruming and getting expelled.