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Dh wants noting to do with my two bios (they are the one's at fault though)

BedazzledBlue's picture

I'm a SM to a 12 year old boy, and a biomom to Bs14, Dd14(both from prevoius marriage), and dd4 (with dh). Ss12 was being bullied quiet severly at school last year and tried to take his own life as a result. Fortunately bm found ss before he could do anything, and bm sent ss12 to live with us in order to start afresh (bm dealt with the school. The four boys were expelled) 

Ss12 was diagnosed with depression and is taking anti-depressants, he's also been seeing a therapist weekly. For the most part ss12 is just a quiet kid. He doesn't really speak much. He only ever really talks when he's spoken too. I mean he's so quiet that we sometimes forget that he's in the same room. His grades though have always been at the top! He's in the advanced program at school and he's doing great!! Things were getting better for him. He was slowly starting to open up again. Like he would actually start a conversation with us, start smiling regularly, and even laughing . Dh was in tears when heard ss12 laugh- it's such a sweet sight, and  he was starting to make friends! 

However within the last few months, he slowly started to revert back into his old self. Becoming very quiet, and reserved. Dh caught ss trying to cut his wrists. Ss12 told dh that Bs14 and Dd14 were bully him at school. Them and their friends would pick on ss12. I don't think I've ever seen dh that mad before!! I was furious!! I yelled at the both of them for a good 20 minutes (each). They had to write an apology ESSAY (not a letter, an essay. I'm talking about an  introduction, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion) to ss12. They lost all of their eletronics for 2 weeks, weren't allowed to go anywhere except to school, work, and the house for a month.

They did apoligze to both ss12 and dh. Ss12 for the post part has been quiet when they walk in the room or he just leaves. I've seen  him go into the bathroom and just cry - i'm thinking he's having problems with this. Dh has been treating them differently too. He's not rude to them, he's poliet to them, ash them how there day has been going. He keeps his interactions with them short and sweet. They did ask me if dh was still angry with them (they love dh. There was even talk of dh adopting them). I did ask dh how he was treating them, and he said that he does forgive them, but he will NEVER forget it. Dh said that seeing ss12 in that much pain really got him and the has to face those reasons on the daily basis, and said that he doesn't consider them his kids anymore. That since walking in on ss12 trying to cut his wrists, the only thinks of them as his stepkids and his only two real kids are ss12 and dd4. I agreed that want they did is pretty horrific, but now the want to make amends. Dh said that he doesn't feel the same way about them anymore, and that his interactions will them will always be poliet.He will always be civil and treat them with respect (which he's doing), but they are not his kids, they're my kids. 

I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. 

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

They are your kids. What they did is absolutely horrible and I don’t blame your husband for disengaging from your prior spawn. He has EVERY right. 

futurobrillante99's picture

You are not actually stuck anywhere. You know your children did wrong and you know your husband has every right to feel the way he does.

Your children need to understand that even YOU won't forget what they did to that boy. And losing electronics for 2 weeks is a paltry punishment. They would be GROUNDED from any social activities for a couple of months. I would make my kids volunteer at a food kitchen or join an anti bullying club or something other meaningful way for them to demonstrate they are truly sorry. They also need to make amends and I think they should promote an anti bullying campaign in their school.

They must know that you and your husband are a unified team, and that you are DEEPLY disappointed in their behavior.

If you let on to them that you think he is being too harsh or you don't agree with him, you are creating a faction of your team against his team; you would be dividing the family and where does your shared child land?

What they did was SHAMEFUL, and the punishment should fit the crime.

BedazzledBlue's picture

When I heard what they did, I think I was in shock. Heck i'm still am.

I feel like I failed as a mother. I never thought they would do something like this. I've always taught them to respect EVERYONE, but i guess they didn't get the message. As a mother you want to believe you taught you're kids right from wrong, but hearing this shook me to the core.

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

If my kids bullied another kid I would go ballistic! I would also be horrified. 

futurobrillante99's picture

I can understand feeling like you failed. I think I would feel the same way.

However, middle school is hell, and the peer pressure is difficult to resist. If they were griping about SS to their friends, it could have been someone else pushing to bully him.

Even so, it's an important lesson for them to feel empathy, own their mistakes, make a sincere apology, make amends and change their behavior permanently.

I think you're a good mom and I think you want them to learn this, and will teach them.

And I think you will show your husband that you are commited to your children making it right and changing.

Validate his feelings and champion SS.

Counseling for your kids, and possibly family counseling might be something to consider.

BedazzledBlue's picture

going to be looking into it 

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

Family therapy might help but honestly I don't think it will be enough.

DH had his son come live with you guys because live got so bad there the kid wanted to give up. Just as he's getting his son back he finds him actively trying to commit suicide and the reason are the two children who called him dad. How can he look at them the same when they acted with such malice towards what would be their bother. They KNEW what was going on and still CHOSE to act the way they did. They aren't small children and their actions have real consquenses. Sadly these are them.

Don't discredit what you DH is feeling and only he should get over it in any way. Personally I don't think I'd be able to forgive them. 

Powerfamily's picture

I would also have a very honest conversation with, about how what they did has affected the whole family.  Yes and while DH is not angry with them he may not ever forgive them for their behaviour.  And they need to look at this from your DH and his son point of view.

They need to understand that this is a consequence of their actions and it will take a lot of time for things to get aware near what it used to be.

notasm3's picture

I see that you made them write an essay and apologize, but nowhere do I see any evidence of real remorse or acknowledgement by your children of how truly horrific their actions were.   They regret getting caught but don’t seem to understand how only a truly hideous person could do what they did. 

Your children are old enough to know better.  They are not 9 year olds.  You have serious problems ahead with these two budding sociopaths.  They basically tried to murder their stepbrother.  If your children had an ounce of human decency they would have protected your SS not tried to bully him into another suicide attempt  

Your poor stepson. Now he has to live with those utterly worthless aholes. 

Mrs Fireball's picture

Right. The poor kid has to live with the bulllies and go to school with them too. He has no escape. 

There's a fantastic documentary on bullying called "Mentor", you should check it out. 

elkclan's picture

You don't know these kids. I can't believe you're telling a mother that her kids are totally worthless assholes.

What we know is that these kids did pull an asshole move. They had an empathy fail on a big time scale with big time potential consequences. They are being punished and they have lost their 'father'. 

Perhaps this was driven from jealousy - they had this awesome stepdad who made time for them and then all of a sudden they have a moody, quiet, damaged kid living with them and sucking up the attention of mom and stepdad and generally killing the vibe. I don't know if you've lived with people with serious mental illness but even though it's not their fault, it's not a picnic either. And this kid was going to THEIR school and probably hanging around THEIR friends. As an adult I have every sympathy with the SS and would focus my attention on him, but at the same time those 14yos need attention, too. 

Now - this isn't to say that their behaviour didn't merit some serious punishment (and I like the person who suggested community service!) but they aren't necessarily budding psychopaths.   

These kids are going to have to carry on living together and so pure punishment and isolation of OP's kids is not going to magically turn them into supportive step-siblings. If anything the cold shoulder and constnt punishment will turn them into sneakier, subtler perpetrators. It's only by helping the whole family to heal and addressing their needs, too that they have a chance. You aren't going to make SS's mental health better by making OP's kids feel unloved and unfairly treated (even if they aren't being actually unfairly treated - teens are selfish creatures who have trouble seeing outside their own perspective). 

sunshinex's picture

I will be honest, if I found out SD was bullying my BS (who is only 11 months right now, but in the future) to the point where he was suicidal, I would want her SO FAR AWAY FROM US it's not even funny. I'd be moving out asap. It would break my heart because my marriage is important to me and I love my husband, but I wouldn't be able to look at ANY child who hurt my own that bad without feeling immense anger and rage. I definitely wouldn't be able to make my child continue living with their tormentor. 

still learning's picture

I'll look at this from an outsiders view rather than that of a SM. I've worked in schools and have seen kids who are depressed and have issues get bullied.  Even kids who are not the regular bullies will often join in, unfortunately it's a dark part of human nature that no one wants to acknowledge. I think your kids have been punished enough, they know what they did was wrong and are trying to make ammends. They obviously feel guilty and are suffering real consequences for their behavior, especially the loss of adoption by their stepfather.  

The thing to do now is to move forward. In sports teams they'll do teambuilding exercises, in your family you could do non-competitive activities with the older kids that will help them bond together.  Put your kids and ss in scenerios where they have to do a project, cook, and work together somehow.  This is a tough situation and it's hard when we see the halo's fall off of our own darling children's heads, and if we are honest they are all little demons at one time or another

SS has issues and will continue to have issues independent of his step siblings.  I hope that he can get personalized help and has a safe private space to retreat to in the home.  Twelve seems to be a common age when this behavior crops up. My dd23 became depressive and started cutting at that age as well. It was a rough ride all the way to 19.  She's better now but still has a depressive personality as the default.  Know that DH is in for a long hard ride with this kid. I hope that your kids have other family they can bond with and maybe retreat to if things get intense with ss.  

Saint_Gus's picture

I'm sorry. I really feel for you. Your kids were wrong, obviously, and I think you applied consequences as best you could. I like the suggestions about anti-bullying campaigns or volunteering so they can really understand the impact of bullying. That being said, they are kids, and they are YOUR kids so yes you need to apply appropriate consequences, but there has to be an end in sight for them. As their mom you also gotta be able to forgive them. Let them learn from their mistakes. I don't blame your husband because that's his kid. Tough situation. Family counseling is probably your best shot at working this mess out. But just remember that they are YOUR kids and what's best for them has to be your #1 priority. Good luck!

Thenewreeree's picture

What did your kids actually do? I am extremely anti bullying and have no tolerance and would be horrified also if I knew my sons were bullying a step sibling. However, if they were his own kids, would he just abandon them and not want anything to do with them because they picked on their younger sibling. Please don’t misunderstand. Punishment is required 100%. But Disowning your children will never create a better family environment. It will create more havoc and more misery long term. 

To be honest, I think you all need to see a counsellor together and get some sleep professional advice. I personally, would not be ok with my husband disowning my bio children. It is going to ruin each and every one of your relationships in the end. Good luck! 

Lavender88's picture

I don't blame DH. Your job is to protect and nurture your kids, his is to his own. Your children put his at risk.

I bet you feel utterly horrid though, I know I would. But as their BM it's easier for you to forgive them. If you weren't part of a blended family, some neighbourhood kids had done this to one of yours, how would you feel?

I hope these kids are punished and forced to make it up to this poor kid for a long time.

Rags's picture

A three paragraph essay with introduction and conclusion?  Really?  

If I was their StepDad,those toxic kids would have each been writing a 50  page fully footnoted research paper with full 50 reference  bibliography in APA style format all single spaced in #2 font doing 100 push-ups every hour while doing it.  One miss spelling, typo or grammatical error and they would be starting over  from scratch.  Once they successfully completed that assignment kthey would owe me 15,000 perfectly handwritten sentences with zero erasures, miss spellings or grammatical errors.

”I am a toxic evil shit who attempted to bully my younger step brother into killing himself.”

All at the pace of 150 sentences per hour with 50 push-ups per hour as a message statement.

One error or missed hourly sentence or push-up quota and the count resets to zero.  

And you need to be side by side with your DH enforcing the consequences of their toxic decisions.  Keep in mind that their torture of your SS-12went on for an extended period.

As for electronics... they would be communicating by jungle drums and smoke signals until they launch.

Grrrrr!

I know that they broke your heart as much as they broke DH’s but they really do need a crystal clear message and severe entirely tortuous consequences for an extended period.