You are here

Awful situation with 16 year old SS

madstepmom's picture

I have been with my husband for 4.5 years, and married for 2. We live on the east coast, and he has two teenage step kids that live on the west coast. When I first met him this did not phase me at all - oh how naive I was! A little information on the BM - She is an ex-stripper, who now cleans houses naked for a living. She is a meth addict, and has done jail and prison time for both drug usage, and identity theft. Her many victims of ID theft include my husband, and her two kids.

We had the kids out for a visit the first summer we were together, they were 14 (SD) and 12 (SS) at the time, and they seemed like nice kids, although definitely troubled. They could be very rude and obnoxious, would not follow rules or do chores, and did bizarre things like lick ketchup bottles when we were out at restaurants. I thought that they just needed patience, love, and some rules. I was hoping that we would get custody since I knew the mother was such a nightmare, but they both wanted to go home at the end of the summer. Also, the SD gets along so poorly with her mother that she actually lives with the grandparents on the west coast.

The next year the mother was sent back to jail for 8 months, and we ended up with the SS, then 13, coming out to live with us. I was excited, and it all started out great, but then quickly fell apart. He was not used to having ANY rules or chores, and absolutely everything was a battle with him. He had been held back two grades in school already, and was still about two additional years behind in his knowledge. Homework was a huge ordeal, and I had to help him with it for hours every day. If you tried to get him to do a simple chore like unloading the dishwasher it would turn into an hour long argument. He would actually throw himself on the floor sometimes and have a temper tantrum like a 2 year old. He lied more than anyone else I have ever met, bullied other kids at school, had to sit out from recess every single day that he was there, got himself kicked out of the school play, and did not manage to make a single friend. He and my husband would fight constantly, and things just got worse and worse. I was so stressed out at the end of the 8 months that I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown. He decided to go back and live with his mother at that point, and I was so relieved. I told my husband (boyfriend at the time) that I didn't think I could ever stand to live with the SS again, which was such a hard thing to realize and tell him, putting my marriage on the line. He said that every single one of us, including the SS were miserable while he was here, so if there was anywhere else he could go he wouldn't take him back, but that he couldn't put him in foster care, which I completely understood.

The next year the BM ended up in prison, but the grandparents out there decided to keep the SS for the duration. They almost split up while he was living with them, because he caused so much stress in the house. At this point my husband and I get married, and then the following year have a baby. Two months after my son is born we get a phone call that the BM is in prison again. My husband was refusing to take the SS back, but the grandparents ended up getting him a plane ticket out, and only giving us this information the day before he came out. We were horrified. The SS was beside himself too, he's used to big cities, and we're in a town with 1200 people. He hates it here for many reasons. He tried to get his aunt in another part of the state to take him, and she did for a trial, but called me up in a panic the day after he arrived saying that she couldn't handle him. So, we were all stuck. This time things were even worse. The stepson at 15 had taken up smoking, which I refused to allow. I did not want it in the house, would not buy cigarettes for a minor, just was not okay with it at all. School started so badly that they put him in an "alternative school" for bad kids, and he still kept getting himself suspended, and almost lost bus privileges because he was bullying kids. The rules became an even bigger issue. I was his enemy (in his words a controlling b****) for setting up rules such as he couldn't eat outside of the kitchen because he would get a bowl of cereal and leave this trail of cereal all through the house on our rugs and everything. I would always start out just pointing out nicely to him what had happened and asking him to be more careful, but by the 3rd or 4th time things would happen I would put my foot down. He started trying to cause fights between my husband and I, telling my husband that he had to choose between me and him (my SS). He told me that he wanted his dad all to himself, but then ironically anytime that he had him to himself, they would fight and he would take off to my mother in law's house. He also told me that he wants his parents to get back together - every kids dream I'm sure, but definitely not happening. He couldn't make any friends here, if he'd manage to get himself invited over to someone's house he was so obnoxious that they would tell him he was no longer welcome after one or two trips. This included my mother in law's house. Everyone was able to kick him out of their house except for me. Things were so bad here that the SS and my husband actually got into a physical fight at one point, which is when I said that I would NEVER live with the SS again, I couldn't have that kind of stress around me or my baby. The stay couldn't be over soon enough for any of us. My husband says that he WILL NOT take the kid back again, they will just have to find somewhere else for him to go.

That was 5 months ago, now he's back on the west coast where his BM is buying him alcohol, pot, cigarettes, that new drug salvia, and he's posting all sorts of pictures like that on facebook. He's also posting things like "those motherf***ing japs deserved the tsunami", he's started dumpster fires, and all sorts of other horrifying things. Oh, also, this kid is on the FBI watch list because at about 12 years old he made a list of people that he wanted to kill at his school.

Now he's taken up calling my husband and trying everything he possibly can to get him to break up with me. The other day, after 4.5 years of dealing with all of this, and the constant worry of when some drama was going to happen with him next, I finally snapped and said to him how could he try to ruin our marriage like that, how could he be so mean to me and try to get me out of his family, and that if that were the case, I was just done with him, I'd handled all that I could. And also he will have no further contact with my son, his step-brother. He's only a little over a year old now, but I refuse to have that kind of person around my son. My husband is mad at me now, he says I just should have stayed quiet, that his SS is just a kid, and that I'm being ridiculous. At what age are you allowed to hold someone accountable for their actions? I'm at a complete loss now because I honestly don't feel like I can ever handle seeing the SS again, even for a visit, I understand that my husband will still need to seem him occasionally, but I might just leave while he's here. My husband is feeling pulled back and forth and he's upset. I start feeling like maybe I was being ridiculous, but just how much am I supposed to take? And how much am I supposed to subject myself and my son too? I'm just heartbroken about the whole thing.


madstepmom's picture

Thank you for your well thought out reply. I think you are right, and I did end up causing more trouble by saying something than I would have by just setting my own boundaries as I went. This has been such an awful and frustrating situation for all of us for so long. I am lucky that my DH usually is on the same page as me, but sometimes he will flip flop on me, as he really wishes things were different and wishes that he could have his son here where he knows he's safer. I can't blame him there, but I know that I can no longer put my own son or myself through it. I get upset everytime I see that one of them is calling, thinking that the BM might be going back to prison and worrying that my husband will cave in, and my marriage will have to be over... Hopefully that won't happen. Hopefully we also won't have to deal with any more visits for almost a year. Thank you for listening to me vent!

LizzieA's picture

Look, you are not wrong. Read what you wrote. That kid is going to end up in juvie or jail soon enough. He's basically like a feral cat and untrainable. I'd stop apologizing or trying to make up to your DH. I would never let a baby anywhere near that kid. You are not ridiculous at all. You can't say the truth to your SS but he can set fires, get kicked out of school, bully, etc.? Don't buy into it. Tell your DH tough shit, truth hurts. I'd leave when he comes, for sure. Let your DH have the full glory of his presence. Your DH doesn't need to be pulled back and forth. You and the baby are not available for SS's abuse. That's it.

madstepmom's picture

Thank you for validating what I'm going through! I always feel like my view on the situation makes sense until I talk to my DH, and then he makes me start second-guessing myself. He has such a terrible time with the SS when he's here, but when he's gone he starts forgetting all of the trouble and just making excuses for the kid. It's so frustrating.

Thanks so much for your comment, it was really good to read.

Disneyfan's picture

Wow that poor kid doesn't stand a chance unless someone steps up and help him. His mom is a joke. His dad will only take him if he can't pawn him off to someone else. His grandparents and aunt don't want him. My heart breaks for the kid but I don't blame you one bit for not wanting him around you and your son.

madstepmom's picture

I know, that's why I wanted so much to get custody of him originally. I've wished so many times that my husband and I had met, and managed to get custody of him, when he was 7 or 8, instead of a teenager. I feel like we could have done so much more at that point - trying to help a teenager who doesn't want help is borderline impossible. And now I just can't have my son growing up around someone like that...

Thank you for your comment!