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very short comment i heard the other day - Page 2

post #21 of 36
I think what we do right here can help make some small difference in our communities. We are learning from each other, learning to see all the sides to this complicated equation.

Maybe if enough of us can work it out, we can keep sharing our knowledge in making our environments a more peaceful and happy place.

The negative stigma that surrounds blended families is there for obvious reasons... There was hurt at some point in time that caused a family to break... but over time anything can be healed... and often times positive can come from it. But it is up to each individual to see the positives and put those first.
post #22 of 36
I'm coming from a slightly different perspective not being a parent. But my partner is a stepdad to my daughter. I think it's a hard and from a certain vantage point unfair situation but I think a kid needs to know that their stepparent loves them like their own and cares for them and is unconditionally there for them. At the same time, the kid needs to be free to have a different kind of response to a stepparent than to his/her other parent. In my case, we tell our daughter that she's lucky to have 2 dads (no 2nd mom as of yet) and my partner refers to her as his daughter although she calls him by his name. They have a good, loving and developing relationship. I know it will never be quite the same for him as having our own kid would/will be but it's still a close and loving relationship. To my daughter, the security of that relationship (even if she sometimes rejects it or isn't as equally loving to him as to me) is very important.

Now that we are having a baby together, we are very careful not to call the baby his "first kid" and to try to sensitize all the grandparents. His mom is pretty great about this. To me, the importance of this was expressed when I told my parents we were going to have a baby and my dad said "I always figured Sean would want a kid of his own" - Sean and I were both about to say something but my very articulate and confident daughter piped up "Hey, he already has a kid of his own" - that's how she sees it. Between my partner and I it has been important to acknowledge that the experience is not the same for him and that his feelings are understandable. But him being able to provide unconditional love for my daughter is crucial to us being a family. I'm very lucky in that my family, his family and my ex and his family are all very supportive and eager to make this work - and to make my daughtere feel that she is surrounded by a huge family of love. It helps that I have so many adult friends who have close relationships with her - she is very used to the idea that you can love and be loved by many, many people both part of your "family" and not. I think that's important. I truly hope and believe that if and when my ex becomes seriously involved again, I will be part of supporting her relationship with that person as well.
post #23 of 36
You brought up a really good point bronxmom. We do that with my parents already... My Dad said something about when they have grandchildren, and I quickly corrected him and said you already have a grand-daughter.

They are really good about it and spoil DSD already.

I know it will be interesting when I finally do get pregnant. I think I will likely say this is my first pregnancy, but not my first child.
post #24 of 36
That point about grandparents is interesting--my parents have recently come around. They were never anything other than good with SD, but they were afraid of becoming attached to her (in case my partner and I broke up). Now, though, they're "Almost Grandma" and "Almost Grandpa" (SD's coinage...she's very insistent that they're not her grandparents YET--she's very particular--but will drop the "almost" once we marry).

Still, once my sister or I have a baby, I wonder if my parents will think of that child as their first grandchild. I sometimes say "one of my own" here (it's easy shorthand), but I don't really do that in real life--it's more often "we'll have one together." I think if I got pregnant, I'd probably say, similar to JSMa, "this is our first but we have a X-year-old from partner's first marriage."
post #25 of 36
It's a very touchy and tricky notation for sure. At first my parents were afraid of getting attached too. But they got over that pretty quick when they realized how serious DP and I were. Wedding is only 3 months away now!


I don't know how they would think of other children, and if they would think of them as their first or what... I know my Mom shows off her grand-daughter pics now. lol Which is really cute.

Somedays I think I'm on the fence... I don't want DSD to ever feel out of place in our family. And I consider her my daughter, blood or no... but I know I did not birth her. And I don't want to talk down the experience when I do get to have my first pregnancy either... It's a hard thing to communicate properly.
post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Somedays I think I'm on the fence... I don't want DSD to ever feel out of place in our family. And I consider her my daughter, blood or no... but I know I did not birth her. And I don't want to talk down the experience when I do get to have my first pregnancy either... It's a hard thing to communicate properly.
Yeah, that's a tough one. You have the child of your heart - your dsd, but haven't had the child of your body yet. This doesn't imply that your body child won't have a place in your heart... at least not to me.

My mom divorced her 1st when I was about 6 mos. My dad, who was a good friend of hers, sort of stepped in, having fallen in love with me as much as he did my mom. They were married when I was 1-1/2. Later when I was older and heard that he'd fallen in love with me as well as mom, I realized that's what I was to him... child of his heart. My little sister, his bio daughter with my mom and 3-1/2 yrs younger than me, used to try to taunt me with the fact that I wasn't his actual daughter (her words). I always responded with the fact that it was okay, cuz he chose me. That took the wind out her sails. When he legally adopted me (my bio dad didn't really want me any more, and signed over his rights), that forever quashed her ability to say I wasn't actually his.

Wow, I can't believe how off track I got. Anyway, maybe this can help you with your communication, or your thoughts...
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Somedays I think I'm on the fence... I don't want DSD to ever feel out of place in our family. And I consider her my daughter, blood or no... but I know I did not birth her. And I don't want to talk down the experience when I do get to have my first pregnancy either... It's a hard thing to communicate properly.
Yeah, that's a tough one. You have the child of your heart - your dsd, but haven't had the child of your body yet. This doesn't imply that your body child won't have a place in your heart... at least not to me.

My mom divorced her 1st when I was about 6 mos. My dad, who was a good friend of hers, sort of stepped in, having fallen in love with me as much as he did my mom. They were married when I was 1-1/2. Later when I was older and heard that he'd fallen in love with me as well as mom, I realized that's what I was to him... child of his heart. My little sister, his bio daughter with my mom and 3-1/2 yrs younger than me, used to try to taunt me with the fact that I wasn't his actual daughter (her words). I always responded with the fact that it was okay, cuz he chose me. That took the wind out her sails. When he legally adopted me (my bio dad didn't really want me any more, and signed over his rights), that forever quashed her ability to say I wasn't actually his.

Wow, I can't believe how off track I got. Anyway, maybe this can help you with your communication, or your thoughts...
post #28 of 36
Not sure why my message posted twice. Sorry about that. Tried to delete the second one, but the only option I have is to edit it.
post #29 of 36
On the day my DH and I married, I told my SS how lucky he was because he now had TWO mommies who love him so much and his eyes were just glowing with happiness as he nodded and hugged me.

Here we are 5 years later and he hates me with a passion (and the feeling is nearly mutual). His bio-mom hates me and has told him repeatedly, "You don't have to listen to her because she is NOT your mother" although DH has had full custody for almost 5 years, thus, I've been a full-time mommy to him (6 nights per week, sometimes more) for that whole time. I do every mommy thing for him (doctors visits, holding his hand during shots, giving meds, conferences at school, clipping toe nails, trimming hair, cleaning up vomit, etc., etc.). But, alas, I've seen that a toxic mother who is not interested in her child's well-being can destroy the step-mother/child relationship. I still call him my son. He still calls me mom. But we have been so at odds no matter how hard I've tried as she continues to fill his head with messages of hatred. I think this bothers him to know that I'm here, doing the best I can to care for him and all the other kids in our house and she's not - yet she's the one talking ugly and hateful.

I had an amazing step mother of my own when my bio-mom left me & my sister (I was 3). I thank God all the time that I had a good step-mother. Funny (sadly) enough, my own bio-mom was the one who was so immature and selfish that she constantly bad-mouthed my stepmom. I felt sad for my bio-mom but still grateful to my step-mom. And I realized that there is more than enough room in a child's heart for two moms!
post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by anitaj71 View Post
Simple:
When you adopt you are taking on complete care and responsibility of said child. You are the parent.

When you step parent the child still has two parents. The child is loyal to his/her parents. Add divorce, animosity/competition between spouses ( and that's just the tip of the ice berg ) the list goes on the dynamics of a blended family are complex. Navigating the emotions, of the stepchildren, exes etc. :
I married a man with two children. I took on the committment of this man in my life. His children have two parents that are committed to them already. I do the best I can but I am not Mom # 2. My 'commitment' is different than that of a parent.

If really serious love happens. (The kind that I feel for my own children) Great! If something in the middle happens. ( Akin to what I may feel for my good friends children) that will suffice.
That is so exactly what I needed to hear today. I was so unprepared for all the hostility I've had to deal with over the years since there were no exes to deal with. It's made me into someone who is just as hostile in return and I hate it. I hate the aunts and the other relatives who have lied to this child and warped her mind. I hate the dead woman who screwed her up. I get angry with my dh for his part in the whole mess and the drama that comes from dealing with dsd's RAD keeps me edgy all the time.

We are going through such a rough patch right now and I feel so guilty that I don't like my dsd much at the moment. We went from a good relationship to the point where I can't stand to be around her and I just don't know if we can get past it. Summer is coming and I cringe at the thought of having her home from school all day for several weeks nonstop.

I always felt like my own mother couldn't stand me, so this is a horrible feeling to have about my own child. I thought I'd do better.

I never hear anyone else admit to this. It makes me feel like I'm the worst mother in the world. I know other moms deal with emotional problems in their children without feeling this way. I don't understand why this is so hard.

So many women here make it sound so easy and every day I feel like throwing in the towel. I'm so tired of failing and I'm so tired of neglecting my 'normal' child because the troubled child takes up everyone's time with all her drama. I sometimes find myself wondering if I need a husband badly enough to keep dealing with this.

Are the rest of you really that perfect? : Or do you just make it sound that way? I feel like I'm drowning, and I wanted this child in my life at one time.
post #31 of 36
Bigeyes, you are NOT alone. Have you considered joining any message groups for those parenting RADs on Yahoo? One in particular I've found helpful is called RAD101.

Trust me, you are NOT alone and you are NOT a bad person.

What I've learned is that my relationship to my SS became worse when he realized I wasn't leaving. It also got worse the more his bio-mom flaked out on him. He takes every negative he feels for her out on me. And I'm here, physically present, to take it. And there is NO way a normal person without a whole lot of self-control, patience, knowledge and, most importantly, TRAINING can take being the target of such hostility for any period of time without responding in a normal, emotional manner. It's the nature of the beast (humans that is). When others around us exhibit extreme enthusiasm, it's contagious. When those around us are gloomy, depressed, miserable, we feel ourselves being dragged down. The goal is to put the brakes on our own responsiveness and NOT react to their negativity in a negative fashion. Soooooooo easy to type it, nearly impossible to implement - nearly, but not totally.

Have you read "Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control"? If not, I strongly encourage you to purchase it. Or even check out the website: http://www.beyondconsequences.com/

Join the RAD groups and you will learn that there are many of us on the front lines who are struggling with this. It's a place where you can feel very safe expressing the negativity you're feeling and I don't think you'll EVER doubt yourself as a person or parent again when reading how others feel in regards to their own RADdish kids.

Another site you may find helpful is called Rad Wars. It's very emotional, but it absolutely portrays one woman's pain of trying to raise two RAD kids. Here's the link to that site: http://www.radwars.org/index.html
post #32 of 36
Thank you! The first time I expressed what I was feeling about dealing with her here on MDC someone told me I should pack up my things and leave my family because I was a terrible abusive person who didn't deserve kids. It's so ironic that people think I'm a control freak when the thing that drives me nuts is the way she has to try to control everyone in this household.

I hate having to constantly question her behavior and see stealing, lying, and manipulation. I liked it much better when I had 1 'normal' child who did normal things and I didn't have to question everything. How lucky can I be that the things I dislike the most in people, lying, phoniness and manipulation, are what I got in a stepchild?

I've never felt so stuck. In my life I've never been in a situation that I couldn't walk out of, and now I've married someone with a devil-child I've promised to help raise, and all I want to do is leave. I honestly don't know if I would have committed to this if I had known all of this before now.
post #33 of 36
You are not alone. My Dss does not have RAD and sometimes I think he is a devil child, too. He takes everything out on Dh and me. It seems to me sometimes that the things I like least in people, I also got in a step child: lying, manipulation, disrespectfulness, violent threats and acts...But I remind myself that I am the adult and he is the child. That my being calm is the best thing for him and that Dh needs and adores him.

It feels harder to you because it is harder to be a stepmom than a mom. I am both, so I know. You didn't create the original problem but are left with the mess to clean up that others left behind. In this case a hurt and acting out child. I sometimes have resentment that Dh and I are dealing with situations, emotional and physical, that his ex created in/with his child. Don't feel so bad. Take care of yourself and have good boundaries with your dsd. Having negative feelings and thoughts is a human thing to do. don't beat yourself up about it.
post #34 of 36
Just had a meeting with a social worker connected to her LD testing who says we qualify for all kinds of services, yet to be explained to me. So I will be getting some kind of a break soon.

It's hard for me being both mom and stepmom, because I see the difference between how I feel about both of them and it's so easy to get along with 1 while it's so impossible to even have a conversation with the other without feeling like I would find it easier to not have anything to compare.
post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigeyes View Post
The first time I expressed what I was feeling about dealing with her here on MDC someone told me I should pack up my things and leave my family because I was a terrible abusive person who didn't deserve kids.
First, I am SO sorry that happened. Not shocked or amazed, just disgusted and sorry. Second, it's kind of a 'normal' reaction coming from someone who has never been dealt the hand of living with a RAD. Nobody can truly understand until they have been in the trenches and lived through the lies, stealing, manipulation, lack of common sense, etc. Six years ago, I'd have probably said the same thing to you because it's extraordinarily difficult to wrap your mind around the life we lead when living with the disorder our SKids have. I know you wish (as do I, as do all the families with RAD kids) that we could just deal with "normal" stuff - Normal kid stealing (once or twice with a consequence and they learn their lesson), normal kid lying (showing them that telling the truth is the FAR better choice and them believing it! and no "crazy" lying!), normal kid manipulations that EVERYONE can see through, etc. There is nothing normal about a RAD child. They very literally have brain damage. They are operating 100% out of their limbic system. They know exactly how to appear as the victim and create sympathy in strangers while showing the mom figure in their life all of their anger and hatred. It's a twisted place to live and we do it daily. There is nothing normal about the situation, so it cannot be judged as such.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigeyes View Post
I hate having to constantly question her behavior and see stealing, lying, and manipulation. I liked it much better when I had 1 'normal' child who did normal things and I didn't have to question everything. How lucky can I be that the things I dislike the most in people, lying, phoniness and manipulation, are what I got in a stepchild?
I have to second this with all my heart!!! Their traits are so undesireable, so hard to accept. I've realized my intense dislike of my step-son really comes from seeing these very things over and over and over and over. I spent years feeling so deeply ashamed and embarassed and humiliated for being associated with him because his behaviors were so terrible (my SS acts out in school settings unless he has 1-on-1 supervision the whole time). I felt like a child being shamed for something that was out of my control. Over time, I think there's only so much shame a person can take before they begin to feel hatred at the one who is 'causing' the shame if that makes sense. I guess I figure I could only feel so much embarassment before having to step back and say, "His choices are NOT a reflection on me" even though, as a parent, we very much view our kids' actions as a direct extension of ourselves. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that before the anger and hatred kicked in. I blamed him for the way I was feeling, for the way I believed I was being made to feel. Since then, I've found myself able to separate his choices and actions from me - unfortunately for him, in order to do that, i had to withdraw all the good, too - I cannot feel undying love & affection for someone while viewing their actions as a personal affront to me. Okay, I know I'm rambling, sorry

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigeyes View Post
I've never felt so stuck. In my life I've never been in a situation that I couldn't walk out of, and now I've married someone with a devil-child I've promised to help raise, and all I want to do is leave. I honestly don't know if I would have committed to this if I had known all of this before now.
I agree with this 100%, too. I love my husband. We have a child together whom we both love and adore. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to leave, to get away from the RAD child and go back to single parenthood where my home was filled with laughter, love and joy. But I'm not sure in any way that it would truly be best for our baby.

For now, I just live for the weekends when my RAD goes to his BM's house. Even though he cannot heal, he cannot form a genuine bond, he cannot hope to overcome the brain damage as long as he is still subjected to the un-bonded BM every single weekend, I realize there is nothing I can do about it unless we win the lottery and can afford to hire the best attorneys and the best specialists to not only testify to the damage she has done (is doing), but to also get him (and the whole family) into therapy. We need help. We are not getting it. We are barely surviving.

And, again, you are not alone!!
post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by capagrl View Post
Over time, I think there's only so much shame a person can take before they begin to feel hatred at the one who is 'causing' the shame if that makes sense. I guess I figure I could only feel so much embarassment before having to step back and say, "His choices are NOT a reflection on me" even though, as a parent, we very much view our kids' actions as a direct extension of ourselves. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that before the anger and hatred kicked in. I blamed him for the way I was feeling, for the way I believed I was being made to feel. Since then, I've found myself able to separate his choices and actions from me - unfortunately for him, in order to do that, i had to withdraw all the good, too - I cannot feel undying love & affection for someone while viewing their actions as a personal affront to me. Okay, I know I'm rambling, sorry
That is it exactly. You start to feel such disgust and dislike for them, and then all you feel is disgust with yourself for feeling that way about a 'helpless child.' It's a horrible place to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capagrl View Post
I agree with this 100%, too. I love my husband. We have a child together whom we both love and adore. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to leave, to get away from the RAD child and go back to single parenthood where my home was filled with laughter, love and joy. But I'm not sure in any way that it would truly be best for our baby.

For now, I just live for the weekends when my RAD goes to his BM's house. Even though he cannot heal, he cannot form a genuine bond, he cannot hope to overcome the brain damage as long as he is still subjected to the un-bonded BM every single weekend, I realize there is nothing I can do about it unless we win the lottery and can afford to hire the best attorneys and the best specialists to not only testify to the damage she has done (is doing), but to also get him (and the whole family) into therapy. We need help. We are not getting it. We are barely surviving.

And, again, you are not alone!!
Yeah. That sums it up perfectly. You don't know what is worse, staying while you feel like everyone is being destroyed, or giving up and just continuing the cycle of abandonment for them while you throw away your marriage. It's a terrible trap with no obvious solution.
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