Custodial Step Parenting -  An understanding ear? (47 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
 
From: TotallyBumme8/31/09 10:50 PM 
To: All  (1 of 2) 
 565.1 

My husband gained custody of my stepchildren (girl 14, boy 11) back in March of 2007.  This took years to obtain and came with false criminal charges against us, protective orders being filed against us to keep us from the kids because we were "abusive",  - just tons of stuff.  A total nightmare.  My husband gained custody finally when his ex wound up in jail after a year long crime spree in which she forged prescriptions for medication, wrote bad checks, stole identities including my husbands etc.  If defense was she was on drugs the whole time because her husband at the time was abusive.  Whatever.

So, we have had these children in our custody for two and a half years with their mother getting supervised 2 hour visits every week.  We stuck to that in the beginning but once she proved she was acting normal and her husband was in prison, we felt it was okay to allow more unsupervised time with them.

My stepdaughter is a nightmare right now.  She hasn't always been this way.  This started about a year ago (teen years I guess).  She won't follow any rules.  For example, if she spends the night with friends she'll sign up for a myspace account even though we forbid her to do so, when she tells us she's spending the night somewhere we find out later that she went to an all night skate or whatever which we don't approve of.  That kind of thing.  She was grounded from the internet one time and every morning before school she'd get on it and surf the internet even though she was grounded.  She texts all hours of the night even though her cut off time is her bed time.  Stuff like this all the time.  None of these things are huge things but she is breaking the rules and gets grounded every time.  Because we can't trust her when she's out of our sight we've started restricting who she can spend the night with, blocking texts for a while from her phone.  One time she asked if she could take a walk around the neighborhood and ended up at her boyfriends house (he lived in our neighborhood) and then they all went to the woods.  So, she was restricted to where she could walk in the neighborhood and she had to start checking in.    This kind of stuff

All of this I think is reasonable (maybe I'm wrong) as parents who care about her safety.   Well, a few weeks ago she was told she was going to be grounded because she came home late which was the millionth time it happened.  She got pissed.  Texted her mother, told her she hated it here and that she was running away.  Her mother decided to play hero, told her that she would protect her and then texted that she was on her way and for my stepdaughter to pack her things.  She actually came to the house.

I was livid.  Furious.  Offended.  Betrayed. Hurt.  All this stuff.  How dare her.  After all we've done for her and all the suffering we went through for her and her brother and for her to essentially throw it back in our faces and say screw you, it's not enough.  You suck.  I was furious.  So, be forewarned I handled this horribly which I have admitted to her and have apologized a thousand times over both to her and to her mother.  But, in the moment of all these feelings, I asked her (in a screaming fit) how her mother was going to protect her.  Did she protect her when she was strung out on drugs, did she protect her when she abandoned both of the kids for a month while she was running from the police, did she protect them when she refused to write them or call them for the first year that they lived with us?  Terrible, I know.  I shouldn't have talked trash about her mom.  This is when her mother sends the text "get your things together, I'm on my way" which let us know she planned on leaving.  Then I was even madder.  I told her she was a spoiled brat and right then I wanted to say *itch but I was able to keep it from flying out.  THe second time I went to tell her she was ungrateful and 8itch just flew out with it.   The second it did I wanted to take it back and there was nothing I could do.  I felt awful and still pissed and angry and so I didn't know what to do other than to retreat to a quiet spot and cry. 

There was a big stink over at our place about letting my stepdaughter go with her mom, my husband wouldn't let her. Yelling and carrying on.  I didn't say anything.  The following day, the same thing occured, my husband did let her go with her mom.  When she got back her mom wanted to talk to me (of course) and I apologized to her mother (i had already apologized to my step) My stepdaughter insisted she still wanted to move out.  She begged and pleaded with her mom to let her go and suddenly she hates me.  My husband wouldn't let her go.

As the week wore on we decided that if she is so miserable her we would let her go with her mom on a trial basis - 2 months - to see what it would be like to live over there with her stepsister and her moms new boyfriend - and then if she wanted to stay my husband would allow her to.  She decides that's what she wants to do and she goes. 

This was last friday.  So a week and 3 day ago.   Since then, in the care of her mother she has posted slutty photos of her and her friend on myspace, along with all the cuss words you can imagine, begged her mom for a belly button ring, left her friends house with a friend wearing short shorts and a tank top and walked a busy main road for about a mile and a half to hang out at walmart and target, etc themselves, and then today she skipped school.   My husband says that's enough.  You're out of control, her mother lets her do whatever she wants including yelling and screaming at her mom ( she does not do that here ever) So he says he's coming to pick her up to which her mother says no.  I'm not going to force her to go.  She doesn't want to go with him.  My stepdaughter says to my huband that she doesn't want to be here, that I'm emotionally abusive, that I won't allow him to talk to her except to yell at her and that she thinks he has to make secret any conversations with her.  And all this is my fault, she hates me.

For one thing I do not and would never try to keep my husband from his kids, I have never forced him to yell at her or make her do anything. My husband does not have to have secret conversations with her.  It's ludicrous!!  I have an opinion and if my husband asks me what I think I'll tell him.  Sometimes he agrees and sometimes he doesn't.  But he's not my freaking puppet as they are acting.  I don't control him or what he does. It's insane.  So now her mother is saying that she's going to file an emergency custody order for her if my husband forces her to come back on the basis that I abuse her.    I'm so upset.  And I don't know what to say or do.

I'm pissed that I'm being blamed for everything simply because I freaked out ONE TIME, and by the way that happened AFTER she had already said she wanted to move out.  The real reason is because she was going to be grounded. I've apologized a hundred times.  I feel bad about it, I do.  I can understand her being mad at me.  But hating me seems so unfair.  We have always had a close relationship.  We go shopping together all the time, we hang out talking and watching movies together.  She talks to me about boyfriends and friend drama.  We were buddies, friends and I thought we were close and this just totally came out of nowhere and I just don't get it.  I'm so mad at her right now that I just want to say to heck with her.  Forget it .  I give up.  Whatever.  What do I do? Say? What? I don't know.  

 
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From: Cinnamon (Pizzamama)9/12/09 3:42 PM 
To: TotallyBumme unread  (2 of 2) 
 565.2 in reply to 565.1 

I think your feelings and situation is the norm, so many things you shared sound so much like my story. I mean 2 teenaged SD, 18, 16 now and thankfully for the 18 yr old, that one has moved out. The 16 yr old has made it clear she prefers to live at a boarding school and despite my disagreement, DH has gone along with her wishes for the last 3 years mainly to have a somewhat normal life at home.

There used to be the closeness between us, as you spoke of, before they hit the teen years but also, BB has made it totally impossible for SK's to feel or express anything like love or friendship, especially considering I have done her job and then some for the last 6 years.

BB has shown her level of maturity with countless phone calls to me where she called me names, cussed and swore, then hung up. I felt it beneath me but there was the one time I called, called her a #### because she can't say none of it to my face and dared her to and of course she never did. In fact, the times she has come knocking, she had her sweetest smile and pathetic 'poor little me' body language when I answered.

BB is a master con at getting people to feel sorry for her, in fact, that is how she gets by in life, everybody feels so sorry for her, they take care of all her problems for her. She does not have to get a job, pay rent, nothing because she leeches off others.

REgarding SD, I'd look at it as my own kids hit a certain time where they decided they hated me (it was about 14 for them all) and then they reacted negatively to pretty much anything I said. So with my own kids, I raised them as a single mom and they still turned on me, of course they outgrew that phase and now, we are as close as ever.

I have seen SK's do same with DH, which has broken his heart but he pretends it doesn't, pretends to be made out of stone.

Here is the ironic thing, his ex - their mother ran off with another man, then proceeded to jump from one man to the next, pretty much bedhopping for the last 11 years and she is 'stunningly beautiful' as DH has said, so she can do that, despite her age.

So when SD, 13 ran away with a boy, DH acted with no feelings, no heart, and said simply, she's gone. I swear he acted as if that was his ex. I of course balled my eyes out, yet wondered where did these feelings come from? I am not her mom, yet it hurt as if I was.

Yet when they betray us, we are hurt and angry. Now, my SS, 15 is fairly decent with me, he was 4 when we first met, and his mom has been in and out of the picture haphazardly, more regularly when I am around, but it hurts when he whines to 'them' about me, his mother, his sisters, anyone of that side because I feel like I trated him like my son, but he is treating me like simply 'my dad's wife'. As their mother has brainwashed the 2 older ones to think.

All I can say is thicken your skin, do not put your heart and soul in them, because blood is thicker than water and they do not have the type of loyalty that comes with blood.

 

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