SS scared my 5yo
Could use some differing opinions. I'm farely head strong in my parenting and in this instance.. I'm not sure what the best move is. The dynamic is this.. I have 2 SS's. One is almost 18, the other 14. They have, I think, a borderline personality mother. She is a yeller and belittler in private, and a fake super mom in public. She will beat any person in a debate by sheer persistance. She just talks and talks and knows everything, and is always right. I have long since checked out on that front and have no care at all about her. My DH deals with her. She used to bother me early on but no more.
Early on I read all the positive parenting books, invested in the skids when they were at our house. Did it all. Homework, playing with them, dinners, teaching, guidance.. but my DH, bless him, is a lazy parent. So anything I'd try implement, like a time out, he would only do with my extra encouragment.. otherwise he'd let things slide. Plug them in to devices or tv. He also has a short temper so he can speak with exasperation at their behaviors. They both have ADHD. The youngest an over energetic dare devil, who shines in a room, but goes overboard and causes disruptions. And the older SS who has always had social issues.. meaning.. isolation behavior, body issues, meanness, but super smart so he never had to work hard at anything. I always pushed my DH to not "save him" if he got a bad grade. Let him learn failure and consequence. But as they grew, I learned that both DH and BM were not interested in my approach. I came to a place where I accepted these where their kids, and its their chioce.
Now the problem.. I have my own child. DH and I have a 5yo. For the first year I pretty much did it all myself. It became very hard very fast. DH would still not be strong on house rules, and wasn't a bit helper. So disengagment grew. I contemplated leaving him but did not want to be separated from my child. And I love DH, just feel his short comings are tough on us.
For the most part, we all co-existed ok. The Skids minded my rules, but I always have to ask them to do this or that, or not do this or that.. every.. single.. time. They retained nothing. It bothered me a lot. And DH would not back it up. Lazy parent. As teens, they were never limited on their phones and now they pretty much have them glued to their faces like Aliens.
My son is now 5, and I work very hard to make sure he is happy, growing healthy, has activities, learning about equality, giving, learning, perseverence, kindness, joy.. its the most important job I have. He's a great kid. Super sweet, funny, and smart. He's also sensitive, and does not like loud sounds.
The past year has been hell for my DH. SS17 first declared he was trans. Which we are all fine with. Well my DH had a hard time but accepted it. We still dont know if that's real.. since he's a very masculan teen boy. But whatever, he doesn't need to know now, just be happy is all. Then.. SS17 declared he does not want to live. In panic'd desperate, weird hide his head in a couch behavior. Thank goodness that was all at BM's. But what it meant for us is my DH was gone a lot to the hospital. I had younger SS some times since DH and BM were busy with SS17. I just tried to make a good time for my son and SS14. And when my son was in bed I'd give SS a chance to talk it out. He's a good kid.
Things have ramped up and gotten worse. I warned DH that our son who is only 5, can not be exposed to suicidal behavior. We made a plan that if anything went down, Dh would remove SS17 immediately from the house. We had a long chat with SS17 and he thanked me for giving it a try. We had ground rules. But also spent a lot of time talking about him, his feelings, warning signs. etc. I found a great LGBTQ center he could go to and he loved it. Then.. he started drinking. Then pot. Admitted to "dark thoughts" but never explained more. Then put a belt around his neck in front of his cousins (thank god my son didn't see that). All these incidents resulted in hospital time, or more rules to shield my son, and save SS14 from the drama. Luckily my son was not exposed to any of it. But each time, DH and BM were very quick to grab any little kernel of "he's ok now" so they could go back to normal life. Any idea I had for DH to check in with the Drs etc was ignored. So I grew more and more ticked off. BM said nothing when SS17 went off his meds on his own. DH never checked in with the Dr on how he was doing. Then SS called from a bridge, wanted to jump off. Instead of sending him to inpatient, they decided to handle it themselves. Sigh..
Meanwhile SS14 is afraid to get in a car with him and I have been sleeping with my son with his door locked every time SS17 was at our house. Then a few weeks ago, once again I had to ask SS not to say gay or queer in front of my son. And its not for any bad reason.. my reasoning is this.. until SS17 is ready to be "out" we shouldn't tell my son. because I do not want my 5yo to have to lie in public. If SS is going to be a SD.. then that's great.. but my son should not have to remember.. its a SHE in the house and a HE at the store. Its too confusing for a 5yo. And I dont want my 5yo to accidentally "out" SS17 when he's not ready. DH agreed. But.. never truly explained to SS. Also remember DH never follows thru on rules.. so the skids never retain them. I have told SS17 not to use certain words around my 5yo. its not rocket science. But he did again, so I said please don't.. and SS17 FLIPPED THE SH*@ OUT!! in front of me, my 5yo, DH and SS14. He was screaming FU($* THIS FU*@# THAT, F&@(*, FU!$, FU#$ over and over banging walls. DH jumped up and ushered him outside. I brought 5yo upstairs. DH called BM. Neighbor came outside. They were out there for 20 minutes and he was screaming the whole time. I texted DH he needs to leave. (SS17 has a car). DH didn't respond. I then called him and DH said "He wants to leave, I dont want him to drive like this". I said "He leaves or I call the police". SS is BIG, not a small frail kid. He justifies all his antics, even when it was him hitting a girl on the bus when he was in middle school. I dont' trust DH can handle him. And I'm scared. My 5yo is saying he's scared and his heart is beating fast.
I am LIVID. All these years of me pressing DH to parent properly, and him not doing it. I totally called this. I said if you don't give him consequences he will never learn them! BM was a whack a do. They created this and now I have to deal with it?? NO WAY. Later that night DH said he thinks SS17 is crazy. Literally. He has a screw loose. He doesn't know how to help him. I didn't even bother asking if he's spoken to the Dr recently because I already know the answer. I told DH.. I just have an uneasy feeling. And as a female, and parent to a small child. I need to follow my gut. I can't have him around. Of course this puts DH in an awful position. He agrees in one breath and then gets mad in another. I told him I know people with mental illness and addictions. And I know what "being on the program" looks like. And I have seen zero effort from SS17. All I see is him snowing people and not taking responsibility over and over again. And you two saving him over and over.
Honestly I don't think they are caring for this problem correctly. Which means SS isn't being helped as best as he could be. And the side affect is my small child and myself are at risk. That's how I feel. But now.. its Christmas. So far things have worked out that the every other weekend visit hasn't been at our house. But usually we have them for a big chunk of time over the holidays. I feel myself waivering between giving it a try.. to saying NO, LISTEN TO YOUR GUT... its your job as a Mom to protect 5yo.
When every 5yo asks if SS14 is coming to visit, he never says SS17. He used to ask for them both, now he only asks for SS14. The past little while he's been acting out getting angry. I've been working on it and he's relaxing back to himself. We had a chat that night about what he witnessed. And again he brought it up how SS17 made him sad, and he doesn't like loud noises. We had a chat then too. I don't want to over do the talking and make it big in his mind. But honestly.. he has NEVER seen a human act like that.
What would you do?? Whats the right thing to do? Risk my 5yo being exposed to try create harmony, when I have no control over SS17's treatment or parenting? Or ask them to keep that work outside of our home to protect my 5yo.. putting my DH in an awful position and further straining our marriage.