Therapy Revelation by SD18
SD18, DH and I recently had our second family therapy session. In a happy surprise, SD18 is openly sharing her feelings, and DH is listening to this instead of changing the subject. SD18 made a revelation that she "definitely does NOT want to go to college." She also inquired about what will happen to her college fund.
My concern is that SD18 clearly has had a mood disorder/chemical imbalance since she was younger, and DH is terrified to confront this, because he has bipolar, and so did his mother and father. We both think SD18 has manic bipolar. This prevents her from planning ahead, being able to function or hold a job, and makes her rude, angry, and withdrawn for weeks at a time.
SD18's biomom has told her that when she graduates from high school this year (online school due to her anxiety) that she should move out. Well, we all know that means SD18 will want to move in full time with us. She was on antidepressants for clinical depression for a year when she was 16, but refused to take it regularly and eventually stopped, because she said it hurt her stomach. She hasn't been able to take her test to get her driver's license because she has too much anxiety, so she doesn't drive.
I don't want to be the evil stepmom here, because I care about SD18, but I also want my marriage to survive. Her dad's lack of willingness to face her illness has caused many fights between us. I am thinking of making a written contract so that I have some legal standing if things go south after she moves in. It will basically have rules on what is expected of her around the house, how much rent she will pay, and that she will get her driver license before moving in, so she is not dependent on us. I want her to be working full time if she is not going to school, and for her to have a plan to save up and move out by a certain date. Do you think it would be too much to ask that she be formally evaluated by a psychiatrist and be on medication for her illness if she continues to live with us. Living with her moods is not fun, and I will NOT be cleaning up after her for the rest of my life, or living in her mess.