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Something's Gotta Give

mrscMomto5's picture

I feel the need to remind myself daily that I am a very successful, fun, and helpful person that people like and care about.  All of these things are true.  I have an amazing job where I get to make good money and work from my home daily.  My laundry is always done, we have homecooked meals every night, and I get to work in my pajamas.  This is any working mother's dream! So why do I feel anxious and depressed all the time? My oldest son is 16. He is 6'4", athletic and kind. My oldest daughter is 14, smart and loving (with a sprinkle of sass). My youngest daughter is 13 beautful and smart.  She has anxiety of unkown sources and tries her best but we are working through it together along with her father and his wife.  My Step son is the oldest of our blended family. He will be 17 soon. I haven't seen him in about 3 years now. He doesn't speak to his father and he no longer lives with his mother either.  He used to be the major source of my stress due to his behavior, but that is no longer a factor other than I worry my husband has hurt feelings over his realtionship with him.  My step daughter is our youngest of the original "5" she is 12 almost 13 and has now taken the role of "maker of misery".  She lives with us full time b/c her mother is a piece of trash and visits mom every other weekend.  Due to many many many circumstance caused by her mother, she has major disorders. PTSD, anxiety, manipulative, she is a habitual liar and a sociopath.  She has been hospitalized mulitple times and kicked out of 5th grade.  I had to home school her last year and now I am her "Learning Coach" for her online school (Yay me).  She is the single most frustrating child I have ever, EVER, been around and i think my stress comes from the fact that I am around her (since she is homeschooled and I work from home) like 90% of the time.  The only break I get is when she visits her mother ever other weekend.  Finally my four year old son is smart and playful and the sweetest little guy you can imagine.  He our only child together. I am sort of stuck in this existance where I have all the tools to be happy, yet I am not.  I am miserable.  I have anxiety at0tacks, I feel I am on the verge of blowing up daily, and now to the point the every.little.thing. sets me off.  I am like a ticking time bomb and the issue is exploding is just going to take out innocent bystanders and not the source of the misery.  I feel so frustrated, lost and hopeless.  I love my husband.  He is kind, loving, and a great step father to my kids.  He is a wonderful and active father to our son and to all the kids.  Having been through a rough divorce 10 years ago, I don't want to go through another one and I don't want to break up the awesome family that he and I have with our son. I just don't know how much more I can take.  I feel like I am just sort of stuck with the situation with his daughter because I am a good person and want to help him out as his spouse and partner.  I feel like I do the heavy lifting when it comes to her and basically she is just a monster. I thought typing this out would make me feel better.  I need to start journaling my feelings b/c I feel if I don't they are going to make me overcome with hatred. I can feel my eye temple numbness triggering now :/

Comments

SteppedOut's picture

Is she is therapy? If so, at some point if the therapy isn't working, then something else should be tried - such as in patient therapy. SOMETHING has to be done or you will soon have a 23 yr old sociopath living with you because she is unable to function as an adult on her own.

My .02

Also, you really should discuss with your DH that it is getting to be too much for you to do the heavy lifting all the time. Are there no "alternative school" programs she can attend? 

mrscMomto5's picture

She is in weekly Therapy and also sees a psychiatrist montly to control her meds. She really isn't going to be able to function as an adult.  Her therapist says that she is trapped as a 4 or 5 year old mentally due to abuse she suffered when she was younger.  I have had her make a daily list of all the things she has to do each day...ie: brush teeth, get school stuff ready by 9am, break for lunch at 12, i mean literally a checklist and she still can't follow. It is maddening. All of the "alternative programs" really only cater to those with lower incomes or kids that have committed crimes and are in the system.  We tried for one and they wanted $18K a month....HA

SteppedOut's picture

The therapist thinks she will never recover? I guess I do not know what happened to the girl, but barring any physical damage.... really? No chance? Have you tried for a 2nd or 3rd opinion?

She will live with you forever??

mrscMomto5's picture

She was sexually abuse by her step father when she was 4-6 years old. Mother knew, never reported it, accused her of lying about it, etc.  Taken away from mom at 6 and lived with us since then with at first supervised visits with mom, and now that moom divorced the abuser, sees her 4 nights a month.  Fast forward to last fall, mom got evicted and also got divorced from husband #3....tells DH that she doesn't have a place for her to stay and proceeds to not call/visit/anything until SD ends up in hospital having a breakdown and hospital has to call her at work to let her know her daughter was in the hospital.  She has seen multiple councilors and they all have given us the same prognosis which no way in hell can i deal with this for the rest of her/my life.

SteppedOut's picture

You can't deal with it for the rest of your life.... so what happens when she turns 18...19...20? Have you discussed this with your DH?

mrscMomto5's picture

We keep hoping she will come around and get better through therapy. She is 12 so wanted to give it more time. I want her to her better. I care about her but the day to day stresses she adds make that hard to see sometimes.

tog redux's picture

I gotta say, I'm in the child mental health field, and that's BS.  I've never heard of anyone remaining a child forever because they were sexually abused. Yes, it's a trauma, but lots of people recover from it. Unless she has an intellectual disability, she's not going to stay a child forever, emotionally or mentally.

You guys need some better mental health care.  If she came into my facility, this is not what you would hear, nor would you be told there are no school programs or other supports for you. (Admittedly, I am in a high-services state, but unless you are in a seriously backwoods area, you can get better help.)

mrscMomto5's picture

I am not happy with her therapist. She was her therapist through a program at her public school. SD has explicitly told therapist that she "doesnt want me to ever be involved" with her therapy sessions or talk to the therapist about the situation  which is impossible as I am her primary caregiver for the most part. She is an odd lady, but she does call sd out on her manipulative moves and will have me clarify things when sd gives one of big dramatic stories or tries to make excuses for her behavior issues. Dh doesnt like her much either but we dont have a lot of alternatives close that specialize in children's therapy.

beebeel's picture

I'm no expert, but I have met a young lady who was repeatedly raped by her mom's boyfriend between the ages of 10-13. The trauma of the rape was revisited on her over and over again when her "mother" called her a liar and defended her rapist. When, years later, her "mother" married the man in prison while he was serving a 25 year sentence, the young lady had all of the trauma come right back up.

I can see how situations like this can leave permanent damage. I can only imagine the horror.

tog redux's picture

It does leave permanent damage, for sure. But not the kind, generally, where you remain an child forever. In the case you describe, the person never healed from the trauma and in fact had to continue experiencing it.

I would take her to another psychiatrist. If you are in a rural area, go to the nearest major metropolitan area and have her seen. You are getting very poor advice.

ESMOD's picture

I think you need to level with your DH about your ability to take on all of this extra responsibility.  Homeschooling her has got to be a great stressor.  I did it for my stepdaughter so that she could graduate early and work.. and it was a monumental pain in my lower seat.  and I LOVE my YSD... I can't imagine being ringmaster for a circus that isn't mine and that is causing all sorts of other stressors in your home.

She needs to be reintegrated into a school environment... this needs to be off your plate.

mrscMomto5's picture

The issue with integrating back to school is that there are other students there and she can't control herself. AT ALL. Example: she was grounded most of the summer.  Within the first hour of us letting her go off with a friend to play in a park, a young boys grandparents show up at our house to let us know that she had stolen their grandson's cell phone and called 9-1-1 and told the dispatcher that she was being raped.  She is 12....  I don't want to deal with the Embarassment/Consequences of her being around other people.  I think she needs to be hospitalized or something but I am apparently the only person that agrees.  Her dad agrees with me, but no programs will take her.

Cover1W's picture

If she has the mental ability of a 4-5 year old, why is she allowed to go off by herself or with a friend only?  Is it mental ability or is it emotional age?

mrscMomto5's picture

Its emotional age. She is very smart. To be clear it was at a campground and was about 100 yards from our summer site, just out of sight due to trees. 

tog redux's picture

I can guess that she's in online school because her school behavior is a nightmare - but aren't there any programs for kids with mental health needs around you? She needs to be in a therapeutic school program, not home with you. You can't be a treatment program and that's what she needs.

And your husband should be doing the "heavy lifting".  He's the parent, not you.  You are parent to 3 kids in this equation and your time should be spent with them.

mrscMomto5's picture

He has had to miss so much work b/c of her that he almost lost his job.  So now that I work from home, I am the one that has the time to take her to appointments and "supervise" her all the time.  I actually have 4 bio kids of my own, 3 that are mine to a previous marriage and one with my DH.  I wish there were school programs around like this.  the only ones we have found are after they are in the Juvenile system.

tog redux's picture

I don't know where you live, but there probably are such places for students with special needs. Contact your school district. I don't think it's fair for DH to leave the heavy lifting to you, and then oppose all of the options regarding special programs.  They are there, you just have to find them.

Siemprematahari's picture

Be open and honest to your H about how you feel and tell him that your health is in jeopardy, because it is. Whenever you start developing anxiety and stress and its not being addressed it will only get worse. How will you be able to function as a wife and mother to your other kids if SD is sucking the life out of you......

I know you want to help H as much as possible but if your health is on the line it's not worth risking.

Step-girlfriend's picture

This sounds terrible. Why do you not care about what you need to be mentally healthy though? There is no shame in saying something is too much and you need help. Your husband probably doesn't know you feel this way about SD, because it sounds like you are a caring person and don't want to make waves.

Please, tell your DH that you are struggling with this responsibility. You cannot be the ONLY option for this girl. This is too much for a birth parent, much less a SM, and this situation has the potential to destroy your family. This doesn't mean you don't care about her, it just means you care about yourself too. You can, and should, say no. Continuing to do this will ony hurt everyone. Life is too short to be this miserable, especially when there are other options.

mrscMomto5's picture

I am a database administrator so I don't have a normal 9-5 job which means I work from home and have a flexible schedule to take her to her appointments etc.  And I am here to supervise her b/c she can't be left alone. He knows I feel this way.  I tell him all the time.  I just don't know what else we are supposed to do for her.  She can't go live with her mother and we can't afford to private pay for her to be in a treatment program.  

Iamwoman's picture

You simply cannot homeschool your SD anymore. Period. End of story.

Is she an embarrassment? Sounds like it. However, I’m sure anyone who matters to you and DH knows you are good parents given your other kid’s behavior.

Stealing another boy’s phone and falsifying a rape call to 911 is outrageous. She should be in a juvenile detention center. This girl is why you are having your mental issues, and I think you know it. You’re not a failure if you send her away or even if you send her to school.

In my county, there are alternative schools and juvenile detention centers for such children. They are skilled in handling these types of kids. 

You need to get this girl out of your home - at least during the school hours - and reclaim your sanity.

I understand some of your situation, because I also work from home, and went through a phase where I had to push DD through her own virtual class. It was a nightmare. I can’t even imagine trying to do that full time with a mentally ill child, while also working full time and doing most of the household chores!!!

Give yourself a break woman! Your DH MUST understand that you simply can’t be your SD’s learning coach anymore.

mrscMomto5's picture

You try to do the right thing by keeping them out of the juvenile system.  I have told her personally if she takes one more thing of mine or my kids I will call the police on her.  She is a clepto.  It's not the first time she has taken expensive things either.  Stole an ipod from her babysitter's daughter two years ago, stole tables from our house, stole money from my purse and antibiotics from our medicine cabinet which she took to school and pretended like were "drugs" to her classmates.  I really wish she'd get in the system at this point.  It seems that is the only way we'd ever qualify for help which is BS. it seems if you are a good parent and make a good living, you are on your own to deal with these things.

SteppedOut's picture

Maybe in this situation "keeping her out of the juvenile system" isn't the best thing for her. Het behaviors and problems need to be addressed on a level you can't do. 

Siemprematahari's picture

If you weren't working from home and were doing the 9 to 5 grind, where would she be? If you weren't around she'd be some place else so lets focus on finding that place.............

Step-girlfriend's picture

This. Time to re-explore options. Talk to anyone and everyone you can think of. Google. Leave no stone unturned. There is a place for her, even if it means letting go of some of the ideals you both had (about not putting her in the system, etc). The current system is no longer working- time to find the new place for her.

tog redux's picture

Talk to her therapist and psychiatrist. I promise you there are more services available that don't cost 18K. 

ESMOD's picture

She has been allowed to continually escalate her behaviors with no consequences.  My husband's cousin has a son that is in his 20's... started the bad seed act early.. but mommy always swooped in and saved him.. hired lawyers etc.. now he actually occasoinally goes to jail but the addictions and behaviors are too well ingrained.

The longer she is sheltered from REAL consequences the less chance she will have to get the help she really needs.  There are kids that need that super structure if they are going to survive.

 

mrscMomto5's picture

Mommy is always the hero b/c mommy doesn't care and let's her do whatever her little heart desires.  Mom has no rules and consequences and no responsibilities.  DH and I are forced to be the "mean" parents that actually set limits and structure for her.  Mom meanwhile is put on a pedastool b/c she just has fun and is there to talk to her and give her advice.  Problem is mommy doesn't livein real world either b/c she just latches on to the next man that she can and leach off the government.  

Cover1W's picture

I agree.  I doubt she's got the mental ability of a 4-5 year old.  But she has no impulse control, that may be the case.  If she's getting away with stealing like described, she's not stupid.  And double that if she's learned how to play all the adults in her life to get to do what she wants.  THAT is a socio/psychopath.

mrscMomto5's picture

Yep. Manipulating is her game. She can dead eye lie right to my or DH's faces when we KNOW what happened and deny/lie etc.

ndc's picture

So your husband knows you feel this way and he's not coming up with any alternate solutions?  Does he understand that the alternative is that you will leave?  Perhaps he needs to know that.  Because if you don't leave you will likely fall apart from the stress, and that will not be good for your older children or your little one.

In our area, kids with issues who cannot be educated in the mainstream classrooms are sent to an alternative school.  It serves a wider area and various school districts pay for their kids to go there.  The alternative school specializes in troubled children with a  variety of mental health issues.  Have you pursued every avenue with your public school?  I don't think they just get to expel a 5th grader without providing an alternative.  Online school is an alternative, but they should also be providing a room at the school and school personnel to supervise.  If her behavior is so bad that neither the local public school nor an alternative school to which the public school has access will take her, then there is no way you should be trying to handle her in addition to the other 3 children under your roof.  This must be a nightmare for them, as well.  You are making it too easy for your husband, whose problem this is.  He needs to step up.

mrscMomto5's picture

I had yet another conversation with him about this tonight and it just never seems to get me anywhere. His answer is always "I'll just send her to her moms" which as we experienced with his son was no good as he was arrested within 2 months of living with mom. Now squats at a friends house and sells drugs and is 16 and dropped out of school. If it came to it 100% DH would choose me and my happiness over sd and her issues but I dont know if I could let him. What kind of parent would? I take all this on myself to the rest of the family has peace. It means more anxiety for me and more crying when no one is around. 

SteppedOut's picture

Seriously? So if you can't take doing the care for HIS daughter, he would dump her with her bm that let her be molested???

SMDH

This is not the kind of "man" I would want as a husband and father/father-figure to my kids.

That is terrible.

mrscMomto5's picture

No, no, no....the mother is not with that person and there is a restraining order in place against him etc. Mother has been married twice since and has 2 other kids in her care. It's not a dangerous situation by any means or we wouldn't allow her to go there to visit. The issue is mom has no structure and doesnt pay attention to anything other than whatever man she is in relationship with at the time. Kids have free reign and not best situation for someone with sd's needs.

My husband is very involved and also bends over backwards about the situation. When he says that it's not permanent, but to take her there to give me a break. Trust me if he was shitty dad/husband I would have been out in 2011 when we took them on full time after they were taken from their mother.  I would just feel guilty if he didn't do what is really best for daughter for my sake.

mrscMomto5's picture

It's not that I am the only one dealing with SD, he deals with the situation also. He is a good father to her and like me we are doing our best to tread water. He is stressed too. Neither of us really know what to do and we do communicate and discuss the situation. We both feel stuck. I just get the brunt of it all bc for one I am step mom, and also bc I work from home and am physically around her about 95% of the time and she hates me basically.