I don't think I continue doing this anymore. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 02-21-2009, 12:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Things are just really bad. I love my dh more than I thought it possible to love someone else. I never thought that it would come to a point where my marriage is going to be destroyed because of a blended family. I know his dsd's had it rough. I do see where they're coming from. I can handle dealing with his oldest. It is difficult and she has a lot of problems, but I do not think that I can continue to live in the same home had dsd E.

I posted before about her trying to knock me down the stairs. She finally hit me a couple days ago. DD saw it and was very upset that someone hit her mommy. I took dsd out of school that day for an emergency counseling session. The counselor was able to help us come up with a plan for how to deal with the hitting.

The problem is that I am the full-time parent. Dh cannot be there to watch his girls. He cannot quit his job even if he wanted to. I wouldn't ask that of him anyway but if he quit he'd just be deployed immediately anyway and that would not help matters.

Anyway, although I moved past the hitting incident as far as dsd is concerned, I have not emotionally. I don't think I can continue to allow dd to witness things like this anymore. I also can't run the risk of dsd blowing up when I have the baby.

Things were better the day after counseling but each day after she has just been extremely rude to me about anything and anything I say or ask. I helped her on a big take home essay and all she did was throw tantrum after tantrum about doing it and then when I told her to do it on her own it was all my fault. I know she was frustrated, but she really has been treating me like dirt. If I remind her not to forget her school book as we are running out the door she screams at me that "she knows".

The final straw was this evening. DD and dsd wanted to play soccer. Their practice is on the same day at almost the same time. I had it arranged for dsd's coach to take her to his house if I could not make it in time to the end of her practice. I went to dd's practice to try and see if I could get help with one of the parents there to get dd to practice so that I could split time between the girls for watching their practice over the season. I told them this so that they knew that I wanted to watch both of them. DD's practice ended early so I was able to get to dsd's practice before it ended. When I got there she started screaming at me at the top of her lungs, jumping up in down tantruming that it wasn't fair and that she was going with the coach. She refused to get in the car. Everyone was watching. It was horrible. I didn't say a word. I waited for 10 minutes with a screaming baby in the car before she finally got in and stopped screaming at me.

I don't want to lose my family. I love my husband so much. I don't want my son to lose his father, but I cannot live like this anymore. I cannot live in a home with her anymore, and I cannot expect my dh to give up on dsd. I'm at a loss. All I know is that if I continue like this I am going to become depressed and my children are suffering now witnessing this. I feel sick to my stomach.

We can't afford to have someone watch her when he's not home because we are paying for a very expensive private school. I can't work because it would cost more to have someone watch all the kids than I would bring in. Plus, I don't want to leave my baby with someone. I would if I had to. I've done it before with dd. I don't need to be with dh to be provided for. I pretty much own everything and my family would provide whatever I needed. I just don't want to lose my dh. I love him.

I should add that I posted this under my old user name. I forgot the password a year ago and finally remembered it recently. Most of my postings have been under RN2Bmommy recently. Sorry about that!
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#2 of 35 Old 02-21-2009, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Here is my current user ID if you want to see my previous posts.
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#3 of 35 Old 02-21-2009, 10:44 AM
 
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Wow, that sounds very difficult. I understand the unavailability of the dad during the day. May I ask what happens when he is home? What happens when you tell him about your day? Does he understand the gravity of your feelings about the situation? If not, I definitely think this is the time to discuss and come up with a plan together. *hugs*

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#4 of 35 Old 02-21-2009, 01:01 PM
 
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Your dh probably does not want to lose you either. And you sure as HECK do not want a situation where the child you have together is doing visitation with dad and dsd is there, doing her violent thing, while you cannot be around to keep your child safe. Do not assume that your dh is unaware of all the unhappy consequences of a divorce. Talk to him, and explain that a change is coming, one way or the other.

What are your other options for placing dsd? It sounds like you have a lot of documentation of the violent incidents due to regular therapy visits. Is her mother totally unavailable/inappropriate/deceased? How about grandparents on either side? How about a therapeutic foster placement, with reunification as a possible goal? If you are already paying for an expensive private school, is a residential school a possibility?

There is nothing pretty about this situation - but it sounds like you are talking about 5 people here (you, dh, ds, dsd1, and dsd2), and I'm sorry but 1 violent person should not get to ruin 4 other lives. Even when it's a child we're talking about. Bioparents with a child whose violence is uncontrollable place them in residential facilities all. the. time., and a big reason for it is to protect younger siblings from the violence. It's a valid choice.

Can you consult with your family therapist about options? They may have resources to refer you to, and may have a more objective perspective on whether or not your dsd is likely to heal enough to be functional in your family in the near future. At the very least, you can get the ball rolling for a possible future placement.
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#5 of 35 Old 02-21-2009, 02:12 PM
 
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I don't know how much this will help but I has simular experiences w/my dds all of them! My dd15 still rages at me but its gotten sooo much better. DD 10 started doing this and I sat down and talked w/her (treated her like an adult but in words that were child friendly) and now she almost never has these rages. I call them rages because that's what it they are. DD 7 gets sassy but has never raged on me- yet.I don't know if she ever will but if she does, she does- hoping it won't ever happen. Part of me thinks its part of the age and part experiences (real life, tv, school).None of my children have been in counseling for it but I've gotten help to deal with my part. No I am not saying I've done anything to start this but how I react or not can affect her and what/how long/ how bad it can get. I have to separate myself from my feelings (anger, disappointment,fear, loss) and want- to control her and her feelings.

I am NOT saying not to control/stop their physical actions.But I let them have their temper tantrums (even in public) and try to remain calm and talk to them quietly or tell them I will not talk to them at all until they are ready to talk.As for a fit like she had at practice- my dd 10 did this quite a few times at different places I just walked away- if others tried to help her (by talking to her or getting her to do what she was sopposed to I let them try- most of the time they too were uneffective) I'd let them.

For my dds it took awhile for them to "grow out of this" as others have put it (to me). I just made sure I continued to set my boundaries well and be consistant with what is exceptable and not.I know it my be different w/a step child and where the lines are and what is acceptable for a step parent to door not do in this situation. But (and this is just my OP) you are her primary parent/caregiver and need to be able to act as such.A teacher or princepal at a school gets this right (w/in reason- say if one child in pounding another they can physically remove said child from the other and restrain said child if the violence continues or is redirected towards others). As an adult in a household you have that right too.

If you feel and DH feels that removing your dsd from the home is your only option left than what are your choices? In someways if that is an option for you you are luckier than most (I do not have that option and had to keep looking for solutions that worked for us- even when it meant going agianst my instincts and doing things that I wasn't always comfortable w/doing.)( An ex. of this is dd10 refused to get into the car was having a melt down and after 10 mins of her trying to control the situation I drove away- now I knew she was safe and that other adults were there to keep an eye on her but I did it.I drove around the block and parked up the street where I colud see her and waithed 5 mins then drove back and asked her if she was ready to coppoerate/follow directions she was still upset but got in the car and was quiet for awhile.She came to me at home crying saying I scared her. I apologized for leaving her there but told her that her behavior was completley unacceptable and I expected her to follow directions next time and that I wolud do it again if I had to. She apololgized for her actions and understood that I'd do it agian. I have never had to do it agian and have also never had more than just a "Ahh I don't want to go yet" from her.Please don't flame me on this- It was something I was suggested to try and did and it worked after just doing it once. If you don't like what I have suggested please don't do it .This is only my experience and don't claim to know how it'll work for anyone else.At the time I was desparate for a solution.

Ok so I just realized this is really long and will end now.Just hang in there and keeping looking for something new to try- have you thought about seeing someone for yourself? It'll all work out how its sopposed to!
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#6 of 35 Old 02-22-2009, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, that sounds very difficult. I understand the unavailability of the dad during the day. May I ask what happens when he is home? What happens when you tell him about your day? Does he understand the gravity of your feelings about the situation? If not, I definitely think this is the time to discuss and come up with a plan together. *hugs*
When dh is home dsd will have fits for him too. She does not hit him though. She use to when she was 6 and 7. She has always had anger issues. She's put many holes in walls. The reality is that he works 100+ hours a week, so when I say he's not home, he really isn't.

We had a good talk when he got home. Dh and I have been in counseling as well so that we have a clear plan for the girls. One of the things we established was that I was no longer going to call him with problems during the day. This was causing big problems for him at work and he felt helpless. I didn't want my dh not wanting to come home and he wanted to come home to take care of his kids but he couldn't.

When we talked he told me that he will not allow one child to ruin his marriage. He loves her very much and we will continue to work with the counselor but we have taken her out of soccer. When she has school projects to do I will help her as long as she is respectful. If not she can do them on her own.

Unfortunately, going back to her mom is not an option. The reason they are with us is that they found their mom unconscious after she OD'd on cocaine. She lives in another state and only has supervised visits until she completes rehab. She has not done this yet and it has been over a year. She seemed to be doing better but recently we've had concerns that she is back to her old ways.
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#7 of 35 Old 02-22-2009, 06:00 PM
 
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I am glad that you had a productive talk with your dh, and that preserving your marriage is so important to him. I have never found that it helps to call my dh with problems during the day. There is just nothing they can do from work besides get extraordinarily stressed out.

100+ hours a week, wow! You are the primary care provider, no doubt. I'm sorry that your dsd's mom is not able to care for her
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#8 of 35 Old 02-22-2009, 09:14 PM
 
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I've been following your story a bit and while it is a horribly difficult and sad situation, you seem to be doing a great thing by looking for answers and guidance for both yourself and your dsd.

I can't help but wonder, if you did leave, how would your DH care for his dd? 100+ hours per week comes to over 14 hours/day, 7 days/wk! Would your dsd be put into foster care or go live with a different family member?

As for the pp who mentioned your own child having visitation with dad if you left, I wouldn't worry about that so much with his work hours...
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#9 of 35 Old 02-23-2009, 01:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all the kind words. Dh is a wonderful man. His work hours are terrible but after a few years they shouldn't be as bad. He's a physician doing fellowship so he doesn't fall under the 80 hr work week restriction. Some weeks aren't as bad, but the majority of time the girls really only see him just before bed or not at all. A lot of times they listen for the garage to open at 4am to try and catch him before he heads to work.

Without me dh could afford a nanny but no school and no house. He'd have to make a choice. He would possibly be able to convince his mom to come take care of the girls. She had offered when he first got divorced. We've talked about it before but we'd have to pay for her apartment. It would be the same situation as a nanny.

We live in a horrible school district and the school we send the girls to is very expensive, but in comparison to some other schools it much less.
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#10 of 35 Old 03-08-2009, 01:46 PM
 
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Couldn't read without posting to you momma. Without excusing your DSD's behavior it sounds so sad for her too - her mother can't/won't take care of her and her father is gone so much. My DS isn't in nearly the same situation and he feels so abandoned and angry that we are worried for him. Sometimes it feels like there are holes I can't fill in him as much as I say I love you and try to be present for him. It is so hard to know what could help and how to move forward. It sounds like you have good support and you and your DH are on the same page. I worry that if I was to chose DS and leave DH that I wouldn't solve DS's problems and I would resent DS so. much. Is it possible your DSD is acting this way because part of her is expecting you to leave too so she is leaving you first to protect against the hurt of another loss? Just a thought I don't know you or your DSD but reading your story that is what occurred to me.

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#11 of 35 Old 03-08-2009, 01:57 PM
 
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Have you ever read the book "Parenting with Love and Logic?" It will give you some tools to make her feel like she is more in control of her life, while giving you more control in general of your household. I hope it helps some. That sounds like a really difficult situation to have to live in.

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#12 of 35 Old 03-09-2009, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Have you ever read the book "Parenting with Love and Logic?" It will give you some tools to make her feel like she is more in control of her life, while giving you more control in general of your household. I hope it helps some. That sounds like a really difficult situation to have to live in.
I haven't, but thanks for the suggestion. I placed an order for the book today!
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#13 of 35 Old 03-09-2009, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Couldn't read without posting to you momma. Without excusing your DSD's behavior it sounds so sad for her too - her mother can't/won't take care of her and her father is gone so much. My DS isn't in nearly the same situation and he feels so abandoned and angry that we are worried for him. Sometimes it feels like there are holes I can't fill in him as much as I say I love you and try to be present for him. It is so hard to know what could help and how to move forward. It sounds like you have good support and you and your DH are on the same page. I worry that if I was to chose DS and leave DH that I wouldn't solve DS's problems and I would resent DS so. much. Is it possible your DSD is acting this way because part of her is expecting you to leave too so she is leaving you first to protect against the hurt of another loss? Just a thought I don't know you or your DSD but reading your story that is what occurred to me.
I'm sorry your son is in a similar situation. I do see why she behaves the way she does. It is awful what the girls have had to go through. Erin was very much her mommy's girl. All she wants is mommy. She's the one that called us when her mom was unconscious and she's the one that sent us pictures of the empty fridge and cupboards when she was angry with her mom for not having food for them. All her money was going to cocaine. She has a lot of guilt and I really do feel for her. She has always had a very strong personality and it is what saved her and her sister when they were pretty much on their own.

Dh's mom came out for a week, and I think dsd's found that maybe I wasn't such a bad person...lol. MIL loves them to death, but she doesn't put up with much. The girls are going to start going to aftercare through the school. That way I will no longer be responsible for making sure they have their homework done. Hopefully that will help bring us back to enjoying our time together.
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#14 of 35 Old 03-12-2009, 02:15 AM
 
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It is a sad situation. Have you considered residential treatment? It can be as short or as long term as you like, and might be helpful to get over the hump with this child. It is a great load to care for even "normal" stepkids, but with this one being out of control, and starting to be violent, and you being pregnant, well...something has to give.
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#15 of 35 Old 03-12-2009, 03:40 PM
 
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Look into the Mt Bachelor academy. http://www.mtba.com/about.html

It is here in the NW. I can not remember how old she is, but another good program for the summer if she is a teen.

NYC..... http://www.nwyouthcorps.org/ I did the program my junior year of highschool.. it is not a "problem kid" place but a program that WORKS your butt off and gives you some great skills.


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#16 of 35 Old 03-12-2009, 05:12 PM
 
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Hugs mama!

I'm so sorry your going through this, it must be so hard.
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#17 of 35 Old 03-18-2009, 02:35 PM
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I'm so sorry.

OP, it does sound like something has to give, and I suspect it's your dh's career path. Parents with SN kids and careers often learn the hard way that sometimes life ain't fair, and the primary responsibility has to be to the family.

There are part-time fellowship programs, and if he can't work out a part-time arrangement at his current institution, maybe he should be looking into a move. I know it's awkward, and I don't know where he is in his fellowship, but this is obviously a situation that can't go on.

It sounds like your dsd has a lot of reason to be acting out. She's essentially been abandoned by both parents, left for a time to parent one of them, and has been left with someone she doesn't want but needs. I know it may be hard to hear someone say that your dh has abandoned her -- I'm sure he loves her madly, but if you're not there, you're not there.

Before you ship her off to a residential place -- and abandon her yet again -- I would have a serious talk with dh about a change in career plans. His daughter appears to need him, and if you've got children so primed to hear him leave that they wake when the garage door goes so they can sprint to see him, that's a real problem.

I'm sure you've both sacrificed much to get him to where he is now, and I'd expect there's tons of debt. But these children get one childhood, and something appears to have gone badly wrong. I would really recommend that your dh pay attention to this now.
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#18 of 35 Old 03-18-2009, 11:26 PM
 
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I'm so sorry.

OP, it does sound like something has to give, and I suspect it's your dh's career path. Parents with SN kids and careers often learn the hard way that sometimes life ain't fair, and the primary responsibility has to be to the family.

There are part-time fellowship programs, and if he can't work out a part-time arrangement at his current institution, maybe he should be looking into a move. I know it's awkward, and I don't know where he is in his fellowship, but this is obviously a situation that can't go on.

It sounds like your dsd has a lot of reason to be acting out. She's essentially been abandoned by both parents, left for a time to parent one of them, and has been left with someone she doesn't want but needs. I know it may be hard to hear someone say that your dh has abandoned her -- I'm sure he loves her madly, but if you're not there, you're not there.

Before you ship her off to a residential place -- and abandon her yet again -- I would have a serious talk with dh about a change in career plans. His daughter appears to need him, and if you've got children so primed to hear him leave that they wake when the garage door goes so they can sprint to see him, that's a real problem.

I'm sure you've both sacrificed much to get him to where he is now, and I'd expect there's tons of debt. But these children get one childhood, and something appears to have gone badly wrong. I would really recommend that your dh pay attention to this now.

I agree 100% with Ginger Rodgers.
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#19 of 35 Old 03-19-2009, 08:53 AM
 
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I don't know. Derailing the final years of medical training is a huge and ongoing financial sacrifice for a family to make for the sake of one of its members.

OTOH, my dh went from working 80 hours/week outside the home to working entirely from home with occasional business trips, without damaging his high-profile, high-stakes career, so it is true that these things are sometimes possible!

For sure, your dh's career beyond this current fellowship should take into account the need to be home more. I'm sure you guys are already thinking of that. But I'd have a hard time asking anybody to give up a fellowship in the middle of it. Medical careers are so incremental, screwing up the foundation of one seems like a really bad idea!
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#20 of 35 Old 03-19-2009, 01:38 PM
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smithie, I've worked with med students and docs for years, and count many of them among my friends, and I hear you. If everyone in this family were handling it, I'd agree with you.

However, the family is coming apart at the seams, and the issue is not just with one person. It's with at least three. There's the angry daughter who's expressing (quite effectively, apparently) rage, maybe at how she's been abandoned by her parents and put through scenes of adult addiction. There's the other daughter who's deprived enough of her father that hearing a sign of his leaving wakes her out of a sound sleep, and who must live with the other daughter's rage. And there's a wife who is at the end of her rope.

I've found that the hardcoreness of medicine varies greatly with location and specialty, and that some regions and specialties are much friendlier to accommodating the reality of family. There are places where it's not a badge of honor that your wife left you because of your devotion to medicine. And there are also many, many underserved places in the nation, where they are desperate for whatever docs they can get. Same goes for specialties -- we're facing a GP shortage. Is it the same kind of money as other specialties, no; does debt present a problem, probably. But we're still in the land of six figures.

It's very hard for a youngish man who's been trained to a sort of Top Gun way of thinking to climb down from that and accept a way of life he's been taught, in some regards, to scorn. But given the situation the OP describes, I think maybe he'd better take a hard look at it before it's too late.
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#21 of 35 Old 03-19-2009, 02:49 PM
 
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I agree that *ideally* the OP's DH needs to take a long hard look at his career path and his priorities. However, the world is not an ideal place. In her first post, the OP said that her husband would be *deployed* if he quit his job/training program. That suggests that he is affiliated with the military in some way and that he truly is not free to make major career changes at this time.
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#22 of 35 Old 03-19-2009, 03:26 PM
 
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I'm kinda (ok, really) surprised ppl are suggesting the OP's dh change his career because of one of the children.
I agree she (and the family) needs help, but I don't believe her husband should have to give up all that money and time they put into med school to stay home and deal with it.

Do you have any family or friends who could have her over or come watch her or take her out to do something she enjoys..plus so you can get a break from each other. Could someone watch your dd while *you* go out with dsd sometimes for one-on-one time. Maybe if she felt someone really was putting time aside just for her it would help?

I admit to not having a clue, but a break away might give you guys a fresh outlook to start over again.


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#23 of 35 Old 03-19-2009, 05:10 PM
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I agree that *ideally* the OP's DH needs to take a long hard look at his career path and his priorities. However, the world is not an ideal place. In her first post, the OP said that her husband would be *deployed* if he quit his job/training program. That suggests that he is affiliated with the military in some way and that he truly is not free to make major career changes at this time.
Is it that he'll be deployed if he quits, or that he'll be deployed if he switches programs? I'm saying that part-time programs do exist.

If he's going to go on being a doctor -- and I'm assuming he is, it's next to impossible to pay back the money otherwise -- he'll need to finish his fellowship or residency before he can go into practice anyway, no? But I'm saying that he may be able to mommy-track himself, finish his training at a slower pace, and give the family the attention it needs.

He may not wind up with the high-flying career he'd dreamt of that way, and in the long run their income might be lower. But there's at least one person with serious trouble in that family, and given the fact that she's got neither her mother nor her father available, something's gotta give. Her parents both chose, one way or another, to be unavailable to her. It doesn't seem right (or effective) to ship her off and hope that this will solve the problem.
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#24 of 35 Old 03-19-2009, 09:33 PM
 
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I
If he's going to go on being a doctor -- and I'm assuming he is, it's next to impossible to pay back the money otherwise -- he'll need to finish his fellowship or residency before he can go into practice anyway, no? But I'm saying that he may be able to mommy-track himself, finish his training at a slower pace, and give the family the attention it needs.

He may not wind up with the high-flying career he'd dreamt of that way, and in the long run their income might be lower. But there's at least one person with serious trouble in that family, and given the fact that she's got neither her mother nor her father available, something's gotta give. Her parents both chose, one way or another, to be unavailable to her. It doesn't seem right (or effective) to ship her off and hope that this will solve the problem.
If he's doing a fellowship, he's already finished a residency, so presumably he's board-eligible and could practice, just not in the super specialty for which he's currently training. A cardiology fellow, for instance, has already completed an internal medicine residency. So, a cardiology fellow already IS an internist.

If he's in a military program, his options may be seriously limited.
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#25 of 35 Old 03-20-2009, 11:47 AM
 
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If he's in a military program, his options may be seriously limited.
Limited, and the other options available to him might not be much better. The thing about being active duty military (from personal experience as a former officer's wife and cadet) is that it is a 24 hrs a day job. I don't think that my ex-H every worked a week under 60 hours, and he was deployed/in the field often.

There is also a pretty good chance the military contributed to the cost of his schooling, so he legally owes them a certain number of years for payback. When I was looking into it, the going rate was 4 years active plus 4 years reserve duty, but I have heard that the reserve duty is now served on active duty because it is wartime.

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#26 of 35 Old 03-20-2009, 12:13 PM
 
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OP, your posts made me wonder if the book Hold on to your Kids might be of help. Sounds like she's having a hard time attaching to you and obviously it's hard on any kid to have one parent gone so much. Anyway, just a thought.

Hope things get better soon. I think your idea about having her go to after school programs to help with homework should help relieve SOME of the pressure on your relationship (between you and dsd). Good luck!

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#27 of 35 Old 03-21-2009, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks you all for your input. Just to clarify, Yes, dh is military. He has completed a residency. If he were to quit he would be deployed immediately. He would be happy doing his original chosen training. We had discussed it before he decided to do the fellowship. We did not have the girls until after he was accepted for the fellowship. Quitting would mean gone for 16 months deployment plus owing an additional year for the year he just completed in fellowship. Dh already owes 6 years. We do not get much choice about where we go. By doing the fellowship dh has increased the chance that we would be sent back to where their mom lives. Not guaranteed but pretty good chance.

Even if dh did not do this fellowship his hours would be pretty horrible. It is something I married into and can accept. Unfortunately, his children are suffering. He is helpless right now as to what to do. We talked about quitting but both felt that it would be more detrimental to them right now not to see him at all.

We just had spring break and went and visited my family. The girls got to see their mom for 5 of the 7 days. Dh got to spend some time with them. We're back home now, and I spent the day with the girls while dh is at work. Having them go to after care for a week seemed to help. They had a good time and I got some one on one time with dd. When I picked them up I was able to spend time just chatting with them without dd feeling jealous. We'll see how it goes this week once school starts up again.

We do not plan to send the kids away. They are going to go to an overnight camp for 2 weeks. It is a fun camp and hopefully they will both enjoy it. The rest of the summer we will play by ear. I hope to be able to go to the pool with them most days and just have some much needed fun. If I need a break we will look into more camps. Dsd and I agreed that we would both make an effort to start over again. I want a good relationship with her. I do not want to have no contact with her when she is an adult. I don't want her to resent me.
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#28 of 35 Old 03-22-2009, 11:01 AM
 
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You are a really, truly good person, RN2B.

It's nice (and surprising!) to hear that the girls were able to spend time with their mom and that that was a positive experience. If you can move back to where she lives someday, and she's able to provide some of the parenting for the kids she helped create without making things even worse by exposing them to addiction or neglect, that would just be an awesome bonus for your family!
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#29 of 35 Old 03-22-2009, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is it that he'll be deployed if he quits, or that he'll be deployed if he switches programs? I'm saying that part-time programs do exist.

If he's going to go on being a doctor -- and I'm assuming he is, it's next to impossible to pay back the money otherwise -- he'll need to finish his fellowship or residency before he can go into practice anyway, no? But I'm saying that he may be able to mommy-track himself, finish his training at a slower pace, and give the family the attention it needs.

He may not wind up with the high-flying career he'd dreamt of that way, and in the long run their income might be lower. But there's at least one person with serious trouble in that family, and given the fact that she's got neither her mother nor her father available, something's gotta give. Her parents both chose, one way or another, to be unavailable to her. It doesn't seem right (or effective) to ship her off and hope that this will solve the problem.
It wouldn't matter if he switched or quit. He had to get approval to do the fellowship from the military. He is under contract. To switch he would have to get permission and to do that he would have to work under his original training for at least a year. This would mean immediate deployment since he would no longer be in a training program. It is very rare for military docs to get fellowship right out of residency. Usually they give them to those that have seniority (deployed). Dh was very lucky. He really is in a no win situation. He would gladly quit to save his family, but that is not an option.
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#30 of 35 Old 03-29-2009, 10:45 PM
 
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It sounds like a very frustrating situation. The only thing I can think is for you to treat the situation like you would if she were your biological child. After all, she is your husband's biological daughter. And giving up on your child isn't an option as a parent. So, what if this were your own biological daughter having these anger issues? Would you discipline her differently than you do your step-daughter?
I would lay down some rules right then and there that there was to be absolutely no hitting in your home, as there are other children in your house and you are expecting a child. That is unacceptable behavior, and (I think she is 11, based on your siggy, right?), I would enforce that with whatever disciplinary means necessary to get it to stop.
Another factor probably playing a role is your husband's ridiculous work schedule! How does he expect to have a family and work 100 hours a week!? That isn't realistic with so many kids... and just leaving you to raise his incredibly difficult daughter! I would sit down with him and tell him that he has to cut back his hours to a reasonable amount (like 60 hours a week to me is reasonable) or he's going to lose his family. He can't expect you to run the whole show, even though the majority of the problems are from a child that isn't yours biologically and who doesn't respect you as a parent.
I get a hint of fear in your post, that you might be a little intimidated by his daughter. If you don't put a stop to that at 11 years old, imagine where it will be by the time she is 16 and you tell her she can't take the car. She will bowl you over and take it anyway! You have to take control of that child or she is going to not only destroy your family, but destroy herself in the process.
I say keep up the counseling, get your husband to BE HOME, get everyone on a schedule, lay down some serious rules, and include your younger children. A family meeting is definitely in order! Sit them all down and say "We've had some behavior lately that is unacceptable and that is going to change." so that your younger kids know that what has been going on is NOT okay. They don't need to be afraid of their older step-sister. She's just a kid on a power trip. She'll do what she can get away with. Lay down the law.
Good luck, and I hope things turn out well for you.

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