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New to StepTalk & Struggling with ADHD SD12

AnxiousBonusMom's picture

I found this forum after desperately searching for answers about some very confusing feelings I’m having toward my SD12. I often feel rage and hatred toward her and it breaks my heart. A little background...

DH has 2 DDs from a previous relationship and had a VERY contentious divorce a few years before I met him. I am not the cause of the divorce. I didn’t even know the man existed when they were having their marital issues. His ex-wife is legit insane (was institutionalized after convincing herself that she was dying). I also have one DS from a previous relationship, but there are zero issues with co-parenting on our side. We’ve known each other since we were kids & we still treat each other with a lot of compassion and kindness, to the point that his new wife and I are close friends and she is always my strongest ally. The point of divulging that is that I know how to co-parent successfully. However, when it comes to my husband’s ex-wife, I am at a loss. And sadly, she is the cause of SO many problems because she cannot or will not step up to the plate and do what’s best for her children. My husband has 50/50 custody, pays CS, pays for private school, pays for ALL of their necessities, extracurriculars, etc. money is the least of our problems because we both work very hard and make a comfortable living, but it is a point of contention because their BM refuses to contribute to any of their basic needs. 

Last year, SD12 was diagnosed with ADHD. Her BM wanted nothing to do with the treatment plan, the IEP that came about because of the diasnosis, refused to even discuss medication, etc. She wanted to bury her head in the sand and pretend that her DD didn’t have a problem. DH and I took matters into our own hands and came up with a game plan which included non-medicated treatment options until/unless we thought that was necessary. Well, at the beginning of this school year, it became VERY apparent that our game plan needed to be tweaked. We got her on meds, hoping to help regulate some of the issues she’s had. She is SO freaking smart & goes to a very demanding and rigorous private school, which she did well at for many years. But something has changed and she is spiraling out of control. She is failing classes, being rude and disruptive to her teachers, being defiant and getting sent home with notes almost daily. At home she has started lying, stealing, backtalking, and being a complete PITA to deal with. My husband and I do not tolerate this behavior AT ALL. She has lost every single privilege she once had, has been punished in every way imaginable, short of tanning her hide. She goes from our very regimented, structured (but loving) environment, to her mother’s house, where there are no rules, no guidance, no structure, no discipline. Last week, her BM  called my DH in a panic because she is now sneaking out of the house to go visit boys while pretending to be home sick from school. She’s trying to get a 12 y.o. Boy to converse about anime porn, giving out her BM’s address over the internet & is COMPLETELY out of control. 

DH and I have a 7 month old, who I am fiercely protective of, and I don’t want her anywhere near him. Aside from her PITA tendencies, her ADHD causes her to be completely irresponsible and forgetful. We have a very large dog at home, and as responsible pet owners and parents, we NEVER leave the baby alone with him. He is not aggressive, but he is an animal, and it’s just a house rule that we have. ZERO exceptions. She cannot remember, no matter how many times we tell her, that the dog cannot be left alone with the baby. We also have an above ground pool, which is attached to our deck. I am TERRIFIED that she is going to leave the sliding door to the deck open and my child will find his way down to the swimming pool. The baby just started crawling. She leaves the door to the basement open no matter how many times we remind her that he can fall down and get seriously injured. She is a little shit when it comes to her treatment toward her younger sister (my SD8). She takes her things, hides them & taunts her. She is bossy, and cruel to her. She also has no social awareness and drives my DS14 insane because she SCREAMS when she talks, and has zero awareness of personal space, so she is constantly spitting in his face when she talks. She smells horrible & has greasy, yet she takes 30 minute “showers.” She’s had braces on for waaaay longer than necessary because she refuses to listen to the orthodontist and wear her rubber bands. Of course, we enforce this while she is with us but we have no say when she is with her BM. Sometimes I feel like this is typical kid stuff, but lately, with the lying and stealing and my baby’s safety issues at the forefront of my mind, I find myself hiding with the baby in my bedroom in MY home just so I won’t have to interact with her. At the beginning of the relationship, I truly loved her and I think I still do? But I am stuging big time with feelings of resentment and, sadly, hatred. It KILLS me, because I so badly want to be there for her and help her deal with her issues, but I am ready to snap. There are sooooo many other issues, especially surrounding her POS mother, that it makes me want to run for the hills. If my husband weren’t so supportive, I’d have been gone a long time ago. He’s just as devastated by all of this as me, and we have no idea how else to help her. 

This has been a long, rambling post. My apologies. I had so much to get off my chest, so I don’t even know if anything I said makes sense. Please tell me it gets better? HELP a tired Bonus momma out!!!

Rags's picture

As Sherlock has said "If all else has been eliminated, what remains, regardless of how improbable must be the answer"

So, you have done everything but "tanning her hide" and it does not work... so..... tan her hide!

ADHD and the plethora of related "syndromes of the month" are IMHO primarily just excuses for the results of poor parenting.  You and DH are definitely far from poor parents based on your original post.  Time to put this entirely on this young woman to figure out and let her know that if she cannot be trusted to be in your home unsupervised... she is not in the home unsupervised.  Give her the message, demonstrate that you care about her and support her but that she must make the decisions and make the effort to succeed.   

Protect your baby.  Her crap and dealing with it all is not worth the risk to your new baby.