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Dh is thinking about moving about with ss12

BedazzledBlue's picture

I had a feeling this going to happen. Ss12 is having a real hard time being around Bs14 and Dd14. Whenever they enter a room, he gets very uncomfortable, and his eyes always fill with tears. Last night, I was making dinner, usually ss12 will offer to help-it's kind of our thing, so I decided to take one of the commenters advice about having them work together in order for them to bond. They second they walked into the kitchen, he started panicking. He did try to calm himself, his therapist taught him a coping technique, where he shuts his eyes, takes a few deep breaths, counts to 10 and opens them, then he reassess the situation, but this time he started started crying!

Dh made it clear since he found out that Bs14 and Dd 14 were bullying him at school, that he does not want them to be around ss12 alone, but he did agree to this. He hears ss crying from the living room, and takes him back to his room to try and calm him down. Even at dinner, ss moved his chair closer to dh. Dh kept is interactions with Bs and Dd as civil as possible (he has disenaged from them), but he was more open with ss12 and dd4. I think Bs and Dd noticed it. 

As for punishment for bullying ss12 (which lead to him trying to commit sucide), they lost their cellphones labtops, gaming consoles indefinitely, are no longer allowed to hang out with friends on the weekends, at school is fine, but that's it (after school they are to be out and waiting exactly 5 minutes after the bell rings). On Fridays after school, Saturdays, and Sundays, they are going to be volunteering at the local youth center, and I found a bullying seminar that I found out about, which I signed them up for. They did protest, and I told them protesting will only make this worse. They are only allowed to use the computer (in the family room), for homework purposes only(I will be moniotoring it). As for chores, their lists have been doubled (any protest or failure to complete, will only result in adding more to the list). I did have a conversation to with them about how what they did affected the whole family, and how dh is acting towards them is one of the consequences of their actions; they seemed to understand. 

After the whole incident in the kitchen, dh and I talked and he told me that he's thinking about renting a 2 bedroom apartment, for him and ss12.  His therapist advised dh, that based on some of their discussions, ss does not feel save in the house , and seeing Bs and Dd at home AND at school, is not in his best interest. Dh needs some distance from them too. What am I suppoosed to say to that?? I told him if he has to move out, I'll support it - Am I having troubles wrapping my mind around ? yes, but if it's for everyoone best interest, it should be okay, but I'm still worried. 

futurobrillante99's picture

It might be best for a while. But he should get a place that you and your child together can visit. 

Im a skeptic and I surely hope that SS12 isn’t trying to have DH all to himself. Like overplaying all this.

BedazzledBlue's picture

Ss12 has never been like that. He never tries to come between Dh and I, or Dh and dd4 or dh and Bs/Dd before all of this.. He actually waits for dh to put dd4 down, so he can pick her up. 

BedazzledBlue's picture

Beside just name calling (freak, loser. aloner), the actualy got physical with him too. Not beating him up or anything. They used to push him around. Not that i'm defending them or anything.

I'm feeling ashamed even writing this. Just as he was starting to get better, he reverted back to his old quiet and reserved self. 

MurphysLaw's picture

Yeah, your kids have zero respect for you, their stepdad (by your own words has been very good to them), your marriage or their stepbrother.

The fact that you are “shocked” that they have acted this way tells me either 

1. You don’t know your kids as well as you THINK you do.

or

2.Youre in complete denial of what complete sh!ts they are.

 I wouldn’t worry too much though, what goes around comes around …don’t be surprised when they come home one day with a couple dotted eyes & busted up lips for messing with the wrong kid.

MurphysLaw's picture

Hmmm

I bet a divorce is in your future.

fourbrats's picture

the bullying incident happened some time ago and they were punished for it. Are you punishing them a second time after their first punishment? 

I agree with the punishments as set forth as long as this isn't a "I punished you two months ago but I read on a forum you needed more punishment" issue. I would also recommend that you have set times for when punishments end. Endless punishments mean nothing and in the end, they are useless and create resentful kids. For example...no hanging out with friends on the weekends for six weeks is more effective than "you will never hang out with friends again."  You also need to watch out for piling punishments one on top of another. Pick a direction and go for that. I counted at least six punishments on top of time already served. 

Your kids were shits. That is not in question. Are they terrible awful people who deserve to be treated terribly until they move out? I doubt that. And I also have to agree with a PP, it seems like SS is playing this up a bit and enjoying your husband's "disengagement" which is really him deciding that he really didn't love two kids that he had planned to adopt until just recently. 

BedazzledBlue's picture

I went through their phones, their friends and them are taking trash about a bunch if other kids too. When i asked them what those messages were about, they told me that ss isn't the only kid they were picking on.

Probably should have mentioned that. Sorry about that.

BedazzledBlue's picture

Yes

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

So, he is planning on abandoning his 4 year old daughter? What a jerk.

still learning's picture

IMHO it's terrible advice for a family therapist to tell DH to break up his family to protect ss12 from being upset, there are two bio children involved here. How fair is it to DD4 to now be separated from her father and brother. I get that this is all to protect ss12 from an upsetting situation but I can guarantee that moving in alone with his father won't solve his issues, just like BM moving him out of her home and away from his other school did not prevent it from happening again.  Yes the step siblings were awful as kids often are but the situation is being dealt with. Teaching ss to keep running away from his problems will keep him in perpetual victim mode.  

Next it will be the school again or some kid being mean, then what? Switch ss again? Keep moving him around until there is some utopia of children who are always nice and never give the side eye? This therapists advice really grates on me, I went through years of hell with my own dd who was depressive and suicidal as a teen and the real problem was within her not everyone else. 

If you stay married this is going to be a long tough ride for your family.  ss's issues will be the driving factor behind every decision and everything will be about his comfort and wellbeing. Forgive yourself and your kids. Possibly get some counseling for yourself to deal with this.  

sunshinex's picture

I agree with this.

Look, kids are assholes. At some point, I think EVERY kid will be an asshole to another kid. That's just how kids are. Your kids were mean to SS, yes, but is it a good reason to tear apart a family with an "ours" kid? Heck no. That's going WAY too far, and quite frankly, I think you all need to chill a bit. SS is probably overplaying this whole thing, for sure. Have your kids apologized to SS? Are they remorseful? I would look at THAT first and foremost. 

DH needs to relax. He's being mean as hell to your kids by disengaging from them after planning to adopt them. You guys are a FAMILY. All of you. SS got bullied by his siblings... You know what? I got bullied by my older siblings too. My "half" brother put my sister and I in a big barrel and rolled us down a hill when we were young. It hurt. We got nosebleeds. We laughed and moved on. We still joke about it now. 

You and DH need to work together to instill a sense of "no one messes with my family" in your kids. My siblings and I hurt eachother all the time, but at the end of the day, we were raised to believe we stuck up for eachother no matter what. I can't tell you the amount of punches I took because my dumbass sister started fights she couldn't handle, but I took them, because she's family. 

Harry's picture

your bio must do community service as a way to see thing different.  You can do it as a family, community service is good for everybody.  Help in food pantry, Thanksgiving food drive. Christmas gift drive. Helping  Veterans. Anti bulling groups.  Helping the disabled 

tog redux's picture

I agree with still learning, above. This is terrible advice from the therapist. It sound like SS12 has genuine mental health issues but he will need to learn to cope with stress and life. He tried one deep breathing exercise, and when that didn't work, he cut his wrists?  That tells me he has not had the treatment he needs. Has he seen a psychiatrist? Is he on medication? It sounds like he could benefit from an inpatient hospitalization, or a day program if there is one in your area.  He may also need a smaller, special school program for kids with mental health needs.

I understand the terror of having a suicidal kid, but reinforcing SS's avoidance will backfire in the end.  What your kids did was wrong, but they are kids too, and it sounds like they are taking responsibility and being held accountable.  Your DH refusing to "forget" what they did and disengaging is unfair to them, IMO. Good thing he didn't adopt them!  One mistake and you have lost my love? 

SS needs a new mental health treatment team, and a family therapist that can work with everyone in this matter, including you and your kids. And if SS is unsafe, he should be in the hospital.

GrabitAndGo's picture

I think SS starting crying after the deep breathing exercise didn't work.  I don't think he tried to cut his wrists when the breathing didn't calm him down.  

tog redux's picture

Yes, but then DH was unable to help him get back on track and he ended up cutting himself. So he hasn't learned the skills yet to deal with his anxiety. 

justmakingthebest's picture

Can you kids go live with thier dad for a while? That way your marriage can stay intact and your kids would still be cared for by a parent. Maybe you can just do weekends with your kids and give SS the space he needs. 

amyburemt's picture

Can the therapist do a group session with the entire family? It might make ss more comfortable if it's with the therapist that he trusts in that neutral environment. Can the therapist recommend ways for the other kids to slowly approach ss and start winning back his trust? I think it will take some really long hard effort on the part of everyone to get over this. 

notasm3's picture

A better solution would be to get your children out of the house.  Have they yet expressed ANY remorse or compassion?

Rags's picture

Separating for any reason other than a precurser to a divorce isnt a good idea IMHO.  Since separation in the overwhelming majority of cases ends in divorce.

You may want to play a double edged sword strategy if DH and SS-12 move out.  Be ahead of the game in filing so that you can retain as much control for y our DD-4 as possible.  Have your attorney draw everything up and have it ready to submit with a click at the earliest inkling that it is over with DH.

Whatever happens, you need to stay on your toxic elder two  like stink on crap.  I like the escalated consequences you have developped.  Just be careful that once they show "remorse' that you don't lose touch with their past behavior.  Never forget that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.

I hope that you, DH and all of the kids can work through this.  Particularly for DD-4 and SS-12's sake.

Saint_Gus's picture

I feel for your stepson, but once again, kids do dumb stuff, doesn't make them terrible people. Unfortunately your ss was fragile amd mentally unstable, so his reaction to your kids wrongdoing was more dramatic than it may have been otherwise and being kids they wouldn't necessarily foresee that. Just remember consequences can't go on forever, you have to allow your kids the chance to redeem themselves. I question the type of person your husband is to write off 2 kids he supposedly loved enough to adopt. Families go thru crappy times and work thru them, that's family. Abandoning each other doesn't suggest very strong family values on his part either