Step-daughter lying and abusing DC, what should I do? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 37 Old 11-28-2007, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
MyCalling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Central NC
Posts: 281
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We met my step-daughter in August, with even my husband having never met her before and she has been with us full-time since. She has had a crappy childhood being passed around and not wanted. We were told by her second cousin who had her that she lies and my step-daughter told me, "their 6yo always told them I was hurting her but she was lying and no one ever believes me." That's why the cousin passed her around between three homes since none wanted to keep her for more than a week at a time. I wanted to believe her and trust her.

She probably has ADHD, she is controlling of the other kids often screaming at them, she lies constantly even forcing my children to lie or take the blame for her, and now I'm realizing all the times I've believed her over my children about how my kids keep getting hurt was wrong. She knocks them down saying they tripped, she punches them in the stomach, kicks them, and I'm pretty sure now she pushed one of my toddlers down the stairs but I believed her over my DD's broken toddler-talk that she fell when my DD told me she pushed her.

Last week she hurt my 5yo DS and I asked him what happened...instantly she started saying he hurt himself. The older boys are getting adamant now towards the truth where they have been going along with her, so my DS told me, no, she is lying, she hurt me. She got in my face screaming "he is the liar, he hurt himself" over and over. Today, she hurt him again upstairs with all the children around. I asked what happened and she told me he fell. I instantly asked my 6yo son what happened and didn't get a response. He snuck down the stairs not talking and came to me and whispered that she had hurt DS5 and told him to lie to me and say he hurt himself. What really happened was that she wrapped him up in a blanket and shoved him to the ground then punched him in the stomach while he was on the floor.

So I told her to go to my room and stay. DH called and she answered and when I talked to him he said he "talked with her" like she really told him what had happened and I said I'm sick of this (she does this daily) and want her to leave. He's never home and I am guilted into homeschooling her so she is my problem full-time with little help. He said she's not leaving and I was adamant about being done with all of this so he said he and her will move out!!: So, what should I do???

We welcomed our 3rd , 7th September 23, 2010!
MyCalling is offline  
#2 of 37 Old 11-28-2007, 04:30 PM
 
eclipse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Mexico
Posts: 7,862
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It sounds like you're going through a rough time. I feel bad for you, and especially your stepdaughter. I understand why you're feeling the way you do, but I also have to applaud your husband for standing up for his daughter. Are you guys in any sort of family counseling? You said she might have ADHD - have you had her formally evaluated so treatment can start? Have you looked into an attachment specialist? Based on what she's been through before coming to you, I wouldn't be surprised if she had an attachment disorder. Since neither you nor your husband knew this little girl before she came to your home, you might want to ask on the adoption board for advice from families who have fostered/adopted older children. Your situation seems closer to theirs than to a traditional blended family situation, you know?

I would also talk to your husband about reconsidering homeschooling her, at least for now. It sounds like you need a break and aren't in the mental space to cared for her 24/7, and your other kids might need a break, too. Also, it sounds like constant supervision is needed when she is in the home. If she's been bumped form home home, you have no idea what she might have experienced - and what she might be acting out on your other children. It doesn't sound like it's safe for anyone involved for her to be alone, even for a few minutes, with the other kids.
eclipse is offline  
#3 of 37 Old 11-28-2007, 04:53 PM
 
Spring Sun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Boulder/Atlanta
Posts: 2,354
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Remember that she is a child, and has been through more than you can probably imagine. Why are mdc moms so adament about attachment parenting? Bc we know how much that early attachment affects the well being and mental/emotional development of a human being.

I did my masters work on a therapy that works miracles with these types of issues. It is called Theraplay. If you can not find a practitioner in your area;
http://www.theraplay.org/8400.html
please consider getting her into some kind of play therapy.

Overall, just being very consistant with her, holding your rules very strictly,making sure she understand what will happen when she does something wrong, and then giving her lots of affection,even if it is unwelcome, will help. Please pm me and I can give you my number if you want more help in how to work with her.
Spring Sun is offline  
#4 of 37 Old 11-28-2007, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
MyCalling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Central NC
Posts: 281
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That's just it. I have been working on changing her constantly. I have a teething infant, toddler twins, an ADHD 5yo and a homeschooling 6yo...all of whom get shafted my time because she is an attention hog. If I'm talking with one child she'll just starting talking over them like they didn't exist. She demands the first, the best, the biggest, the easiest, etc. I DO EVERYTHING for this kid. Not her dad. Of course he can stand by her being a pain...he's not here! He actually doesn't really know her.

I cannot be the one to save this girl. That's the guilt-trip he gives me. She's had it so rough. She needs you. You can save her. If she goes to school, you'll have to get her up, make her lunch, and get her to school then pick her up and helping with her homework would be just as much work as you do homeschooling her.

Meanwhile I have 5 other kids getting screamed at, beat on, manipulated by her in many ways. She's years behind in school...it's my job to save her from educational and life failure. It's my job to fix her messed up behaviors and raise her, educate her, supervise her, etc, etc. I QUIT! I have 5 of my own who are getting royally screwed and it's time I stopped buying the "save the step-daughter, save the world" theory and help my own kids.

We welcomed our 3rd , 7th September 23, 2010!
MyCalling is offline  
#5 of 37 Old 11-28-2007, 06:08 PM
 
Spring Sun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Boulder/Atlanta
Posts: 2,354
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Is there any way to get her into counseling? She has been through a lot, there are reasons why she is acting this way. She is totally not beyond help. With therapy and a supportive family she could still come out right.
Spring Sun is offline  
#6 of 37 Old 11-28-2007, 06:13 PM
 
TinkerBelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 3,586
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Your other children should not be sacrificed for her. I would make sure she is with you at all times. Never let her out of your sight. Get her some counseling. Tell your DH that he needs to step up and parent this poor kid. That you are not her Savior. She is constantly harming her sibs. Is that okay with your DH? If so, then you have alot worse problems than the DSD.

I would absolutely refuse to homeschool her. If DH is so adamant, let him homeschool her.

I hate to say it, but I would take my own children and leave if she got any worse. How would your DH feel if she seriously harmed one of the younger kids or even worse?
TinkerBelle is offline  
#7 of 37 Old 11-28-2007, 06:22 PM
 
guestmama9904's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,458
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
im not trying to sound mean to your DH, but why did he not meet his daughter until she was 9 years old??? it sounds like she has major behavioral issues, and obviously abandonment issues, and is most likely a survovor of physical abuse. kids dont just up and decide to abuse other kids without having been abused themselves. homeschooling does not sound like the appropriate type of education for this child. I think she should be evaluated by special ed and you should see if you can get an individual education plan in effect with th public school, they can provide a one on one person to be with her throughout the day and maybe even a home care worker to come to your home and help her with daily activities. I think it is borderline abusive that your husband expects you to save this child and sacrifice the safety of your other kids and your own mental health.
guestmama9904 is offline  
#8 of 37 Old 11-28-2007, 06:24 PM
 
Halfasianmomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 3,732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
May I ask why your husband isn't "there" for you? Is he being an absentee dad with just his daughter or with all of your children?

I'm asking this as the stepmom of a very complex, LD/gifted 10 year old boy. When I met him, he was 6, and he was some serious abandonment issues, as well as a very big problem with anger. He doesn't know this yet (and we don't plan on telling him until he's an adult), but his mother abandoned him when he was an infant, leaving his dad alone to raise him for 2 yrs. She eventually returned, but the "damage" was done. My SS was very bonded with his father, but never quite trusted his mom. It didn't help that my DH was with 2 other women during SS's childhood, and that he tried to bond with them, and ended up being burned when the relationship went sour.

I'll tell you what worked for us, and perhaps it'll give you some ideas. SS was very violent towards other children, as well as towards himself; he'd even stabbed another boy with a pencil for taking his stapler. As soon as we could, we got him into martial arts lessons. I even took them with him for a while. Honestly, it made all the difference in the world. We got him a little punching bag and whenever he started to have a fit, we just told him to go exhaust himself by punching the bag. It didn't happen overnight and there were some serious setbacks (he managed to chop off his own finger by angrily slaming a door on it), but he's really coming around. He was in therapy for several years, and his father always had a very firm hand with him. As a result, he's adjusted very well to me and he's learned to keep his anger under control.

Maybe your SD needs some special attention from her father, along with some therapy. From your post, your DH seems adamant that YOU're the one to save this child...what about him? Where is he for his daughter? If he were to invest time and energy to get to know her, she'd start to feel as though this arrangements isn't just another temporary situation she's going to have to move on from. She probably only lashing out because she's REALLY angry, scared and frustrated that no one "wants" her.

A normal schedule and firm discipline also goes a long way with children; if she were in school, she'd be exposed to a daily routine that she could eventually learn to trust. It would also give you much needed relief from her attitude, thus giving you the energy to deal with her before/after school.

If you can hang on, make some changes, and get your DH on board, maybe you can turn things around with your SD.
Halfasianmomma is offline  
#9 of 37 Old 11-28-2007, 06:34 PM
 
eclipse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Mexico
Posts: 7,862
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It really, really sounds like you could use some family counseling. I would be firm with my dh that if I was the one doing most of the hands on parenting, that I would be the one making most of the decisions. Hoewever, I think you need to assure both your dh and your sdaughter that you won't be abandoning her.
eclipse is offline  
#10 of 37 Old 11-28-2007, 06:36 PM
 
Ginene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 84
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sorry you are going through this. I can see your side and your husband's side. He is probably hurt because, in his eyes, you are giving up on his flesh and blood and he knows you wouldn't turn your back on your child. But at the same time, he takes her in and leaves the responsibility mainly in your hands and that's not fair. Even though you love your husband, he can not make you love his daughter over night. That something that if it ever happens, will take time. Because he is your husband, I think you should give it another try but there must be some rules enforced and he needs to also understand where you are coming from and you need to understand his point of view as well.

He is the one that needs to step up to the plate and take responsibility and not put the blame on you.

Hope things get better.
Ginene is offline  
#11 of 37 Old 11-28-2007, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
MyCalling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Central NC
Posts: 281
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We didn't know about her until she was 5 1/2 (and years into our marriage) and then her mother disappeared and we searched for her for 4 years even hiring a private detective. The courts wouldn't help us without a custody order. Anyway, we found out where she was on a Friday, contacted the cousin Monday, and drove to Florida on Tuesday. There was Zero adjustment.

*Sigh* I'm feeling a little better. It's nice to hear someone doesn't think she should be my responsibility to fix. My DH works long hours and is out of town often. In his eyes, I guess it was like "We'll just add her in with the other kids and you'll do what you're doing with them." Homeschooling, discipline, teaching good behavior, etc. He does discipline and have talks with her when he's here, but he's hardly here all week and all the really "work" has to be done while he's gone and not 9 at night or something. ALSO, the other kids get shafted when during the short time he's home she's attention hogging or needing to be disciplined.

For a while it was going great. Before I realized my kids were telling the truth about being hurt, before she got comfortable and started being rude to me and the kids, before homeschooling and taking me 4 hours a day to get through 2 subjects, before my kids started to stand up for themselves and not let her boss them around and yell at them when I was out of the room, before a lot. I think my DH's problem is that he's still in the "It's going great" mentality and needs to be caught up completely especially about her hurting the kids.

I don't mind taking care of her, I am just bitter I have to fix her. Replace bad behaviors with good, catch her up for schooling, now, he says I need to start molding her into a young lady since again, that's my job. Mainly, I feel like my reward for all my efforts is that my kids are suffering.

We welcomed our 3rd , 7th September 23, 2010!
MyCalling is offline  
#12 of 37 Old 11-28-2007, 07:14 PM
 
attachedmamaof3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,656
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't think this should be yours and yours alone.

If my DP threatened to leave me and take SD with him, I would let him do so. In fact, I'd probably have their bags packed and ready to go when he got home. Ultimatums aren't fair and threatening to leave someone crosses the line.

I certianly would not be okay with continuing to allow someone to abuse my children until he "gets it".
attachedmamaof3 is offline  
#13 of 37 Old 11-28-2007, 07:34 PM
 
chaoticzenmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 4,957
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Why are you homeschooling her? As far as homeschooling, I think that spending 4 hours a day on homeschooling is unrealistic. She's got healing to do and adjustments to make and those are more important than catching up in Grammar and math. I'd forget about catching her up for the moment and worry about keeping everyone safe. I'd block off areas of the house and pay close attention to what's going on around you in the house. You'll have to be vigilent, so showering before everyone wakes up and keeping her in your sight at all times. I think that homeschooling can work for her, but you can't just expect for it to be what it is for your children. Even while homeschooling though, she needs some kind of professional help. You should consider her like a toddler in some aspects. Teach her how to use her words, teach her about how to read people and about how to calm her own emotions.

What would you do if this were your birth child with these issues? You have to not give yourself the option of not being her mom. You are her mom, there's nobody else. What's your dh going to do? Move out with her, pay child support while you put all your kids in childcare and go to work? It's got to be a team effort. He has to come home and let you get out of the house. He has to take her out by himself sometimes to bond with her. You have to realize that his job takes him out of the house. You guys don't seem to be working as a team.

I'm sorry that you're going through this This poor girl needs some attachment therapy and stability. I can't say what I'd do or feel in your situation.

Lisa

Our children make a study of us in a way no one else ever will.  If we don't act according to our values, they will know.~Starhawk Rainbow.gif  New  User Agreement! http://www.mothering.com/community/wiki/user-agreement

chaoticzenmom is offline  
#14 of 37 Old 11-28-2007, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
MyCalling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Central NC
Posts: 281
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa49 View Post
Why are you homeschooling her?

You should consider her like a toddler in some aspects. Teach her how to use her words, teach her about how to read people and about how to calm her own emotions.
I'm homeschooling because she's 10 and would be in 3rd grade and in my opinion, the bottom of the class. Also, we thought beyond being good for her to be able to learn at her own pace at home, she would feel more apart of the family since the other kids don't go to school. Plus she hates school and has always felt stupid and picked on. (By the way, the 4hrs was for writing 2 sentences and doing 12 double-digit subtraction problems.)

I have been thinking of her kind of like a toddler/preschooler. She does some very inappropriate things beyond what I've already mentioned. Like she's walked up to a woman we've met once and grabbed the necklace off her chest and later took the woman's arm and put it around her. She's also walked into a group of adults she met minutes earlier and started telling a story of her bio mom hitting her in the ears until they bled when she was 5 (which she doesn't remember but reiterates what others have told her to everyone she meets). She's climbed into a bin of stuffed animals at the store. She's also taken our then-4yo outside in the middle of the night while we were all sleeping to find frogs. She asked weird questions out of the blue like can we go to Hawaii tomorrow and why don't we live in the center of the earth and maybe we can pay someone to bury our house down there for us.

Also, as a mom of 6 you can imagine how often I hear "Mommy" during a day....but at least 50% of the time it's from her and about half of those times it's interrupting someone else. The rest of the time she is talking to herself or begging someone else to watch her dance or listen to a 20-minute story. She's very needy and exhausting.
Quote:
What would you do if this were your birth child with these issues?
That's another thing, I have birth children who do weird things....because they are toddlers and preschoolers! This is why I think of her as not only starting at toddlerhood training her in life skills, but reversing bad things she's already learned. Meanwhile, my husband sees her as my helper and tells her to mother the kids and be their leader since she's the oldest. She's not even capable of leading herself correctly. Ugh! I'm at a loss.

We welcomed our 3rd , 7th September 23, 2010!
MyCalling is offline  
#15 of 37 Old 11-28-2007, 10:10 PM
 
chaoticzenmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 4,957
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Our children make a study of us in a way no one else ever will.  If we don't act according to our values, they will know.~Starhawk Rainbow.gif  New  User Agreement! http://www.mothering.com/community/wiki/user-agreement

chaoticzenmom is offline  
#16 of 37 Old 11-28-2007, 11:51 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,742
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would have needed more of an adjustment period than you had before taking on a parenting-type role with a stepchild. Adding homeschooling with a child years below her grade level? Who has emotional issues as well?

This poor girl needs the help of some professionals. And it sounds like she really needs some attention from her father.

You can always bring her back into the homeschooling routine later, but I think for now professional help may be in order.

Your family needs to have some time to adjust to the change in the family, and your dsd needs time to adjust to living with a new family. I would put the homeschooling on the back burner for now.

love.gif

pinksprklybarefoot is offline  
#17 of 37 Old 11-29-2007, 01:15 PM
 
Halfasianmomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 3,732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
to you momma. You're doing amazingly well despite the lack of support from your DH and the very awkward situation with your stepchild. Keep on your DH; have an "intervention" with him if you feel it'll get through to him. Write down what you'd like to see happen and how both of you could concretely make that happen.

As for your SD, I'd be curious to know how *she* feels about all these changes in her life. Her vocabulary seems limited to "pay attention to me or else". It would be useful to help her find the words to express her feelings...Again, therapy would help a lot here. Can you find some kind of therapy that won't cost an arm and leg? Perhaps group therapy would be cheaper?

I hope you can find some solution that works for both you, your DH and your SD.
Halfasianmomma is offline  
#18 of 37 Old 11-29-2007, 01:23 PM
 
eloquence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: judgmental wench
Posts: 1,425
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyCalling View Post
We met my step-daughter in August, with even my husband having never met her before and she has been with us full-time since. She has had a crappy childhood being passed around and not wanted. We were told by her second cousin who had her that she lies and my step-daughter told me, "their 6yo always told them I was hurting her but she was lying and no one ever believes me." That's why the cousin passed her around between three homes since none wanted to keep her for more than a week at a time. I wanted to believe her and trust her.

She probably has ADHD, she is controlling of the other kids often screaming at them, she lies constantly even forcing my children to lie or take the blame for her, and now I'm realizing all the times I've believed her over my children about how my kids keep getting hurt was wrong. She knocks them down saying they tripped, she punches them in the stomach, kicks them, and I'm pretty sure now she pushed one of my toddlers down the stairs but I believed her over my DD's broken toddler-talk that she fell when my DD told me she pushed her.

Last week she hurt my 5yo DS and I asked him what happened...instantly she started saying he hurt himself. The older boys are getting adamant now towards the truth where they have been going along with her, so my DS told me, no, she is lying, she hurt me. She got in my face screaming "he is the liar, he hurt himself" over and over. Today, she hurt him again upstairs with all the children around. I asked what happened and she told me he fell. I instantly asked my 6yo son what happened and didn't get a response. He snuck down the stairs not talking and came to me and whispered that she had hurt DS5 and told him to lie to me and say he hurt himself. What really happened was that she wrapped him up in a blanket and shoved him to the ground then punched him in the stomach while he was on the floor.

So I told her to go to my room and stay. DH called and she answered and when I talked to him he said he "talked with her" like she really told him what had happened and I said I'm sick of this (she does this daily) and want her to leave. He's never home and I am guilted into homeschooling her so she is my problem full-time with little help. He said she's not leaving and I was adamant about being done with all of this so he said he and her will move out!!: So, what should I do???
Since you asked...I think you should love her. I think you should try to get counseling for her. And I think you should tell her how much you love her but how hard it is when she lies to you. This child needs love, unconditional love. You are going to be exhausted beyond measure as you can't leave your kids alone with her at all for a long while. But don't give up. Talk a lot with your husband about a plan to help her understand that you aren't going to hurt her or abandon her and she doesn't have to lie anymore to protect herself. I hurt for her. I think she has a lot of painful stories buried under those lies.
eloquence is offline  
#19 of 37 Old 11-29-2007, 01:28 PM
 
mysticmomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 6,184
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Is your dh eligible for FMLA? Even a day at a time could help if he were home. Everyone else has already given great advice. That's the only thing I have to add. And a :

hh2.gif

mysticmomma is online now  
#20 of 37 Old 11-29-2007, 01:46 PM
 
eloquence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: judgmental wench
Posts: 1,425
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
And in her homeschooling? I would do a lot of art, painting, clay, mosaics...things where she can express herself with her hands. I would also ask her to write stories. I bet she has a fantastic imagination. I would redirect her energies there too. Unless she is banging on your door for other subjects, I would give her time to create and play.
eloquence is offline  
#21 of 37 Old 11-29-2007, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
MyCalling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Central NC
Posts: 281
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My husband got home late last night and after an awkward hour this morning, things are back to normal...as in unresolved. I did have the boys tell him how she hurts them and specific lies and being coerced to lie for her. The lies and the hurting people are my main issues. She has a lot of difficult behavior but they're managable and she really is a sweetie in between. DH and I will have a one-on-one talk tonight and discuss what we will do. I know most of DH's guilt trip about helping her is meant for me to feel important in this little girl's life and not just her dad's wife and in a way to help us bond. Instead it's obviously causing me stress from the pressure.

He is self-employed and in the final stages of starting a project that will allow him to work from home full-time so hopefully going it alone is only for a few months longer. He does make an effort to have one-on-one time with her, but for her personality it is never enough. He even spent a three-day weekend just with her out of town last month and a week later it was whoa-is-me again.

I spend hours everyday searching fun history sites and animals online with her and reading science books to her and brushing her hair and talking and still it is never enough and she often complains that no one pays attention to her.

I've tried to get her into journaling but she refuses. I think it would be great for her in working through feelings and expressing her creative mind. I've been looking for another outlet and she has been doing a lot of crafts lately. In fact, this week we've spent three days, hours per day buying Christmas craft supplies, making things, and decorating the house just her and I. This is very difficult to accomplish with 5 other children needing attention, but I make special time for her every day and we enjoy it. DH (when home) and I also tuck her (and the others) in every night and give hugs, kisses, and "I love yous."

Thanks for all the encouragement and ideas!

We welcomed our 3rd , 7th September 23, 2010!
MyCalling is offline  
#22 of 37 Old 11-29-2007, 07:12 PM
 
guestmama9904's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,458
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
it sounds almost like you have adopted an older child rather than her being a stepchild. when a child has been tossed around like she has i really think she needs professional counceling with a child development expert. when children are adopted at an older age, lik 9 years old, there can be major issues of attachment, abandonment, ect. I personally wouldnt feel comfortable simply adopting a 9 year old and hoping my love and fun one on one attention would do the trick. Is your husband opposed to professional help from a psychologist or social worker? or at least a learning assesment from the public schools?
guestmama9904 is offline  
#23 of 37 Old 11-29-2007, 07:40 PM
 
Shenjall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Canada!
Posts: 3,852
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The biggest to you Jessi.

If therapy isnt an option for you due to $, what about putting her in the public school system - at least there you can tap into their resources ie: psychiatrist; social worker; etc.

In my home, its my ds thats violent and lies and coerces my other dc (bio and step) into lying after he hurts them. (not too mention all the time lost to the other kids as well). However, I dont think I'll be much help other than a shoulder - my ds now lives with my mother.

Please take care of yourself,
s
Shenjall is offline  
#24 of 37 Old 11-29-2007, 09:04 PM
 
UptownZoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: In the monkey cage...
Posts: 2,349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There's this awful dynamic that happens in many, many stepfamilies; it's certainly happened in mine. Bio-parent looks to step-parent, sees (or imagines) something amiss, and cries foul! guilty! you don't love my child! I have two responses to that. First, being "fair" (almost always a big deal in step-families, as in, how come you're willing to homeschool your kids but not mine?) is not about everybody getting the same thing; "fair" is about everybody getting their needs met as fully as possible. (BTW, "everybody" includes not just the kids, but the parents, too.)

Second, our primary job as parents is not to make sure that our children are happy, but to make sure that our children have the skills they need to make themselves happy. Guilty bio-parents have a harder-than-usual time with this concept. I imagine your DP has an even harder time than that. My DP was horribly guilty about SS when I met him, and it played havoc on our family. He felt terrible that he and SS's mom had divorced when SS was just a baby; actually, he felt sorry for SS and tried to compensate by keeping him happy 100% of the time. SS had zero tolerance for frustration, and his back teeth were all but rotted out of his head from this. I imagine your DP is feeling that there's lots about his DD's life to make up for. Trouble is, that's not possible. Even if she had the perfect family experience from this day forward, the first 9 years of her life will still have been what they were.

The fact that your DP threatened to move out of the house, tearing his family apart, causing MORE disruption in his DD's life, tells me that he's not approaching this from a place that even sort of resembles rational; he's reacting, strongly, to something internal. My guess is that something is profound, heart-rending guilt. You're more rational, because though this was a shocking for you (and egad do I understand; my ex-husband and I got a shocking phone call 14 years ago next month), there's no baggage. KWIM? You have no reason to believe you should have done something different.

I think you need professional help, and sooner rather than later. I've known kids like that, who are absolutely insatiable for attention. You're right; there is no amount of attention that will satisfy her. She needs help in healing her deep, deep wounds. I think your DD needs a therapist of her own, I think you and your DP need a therapist to work with the two of you (preferably with someone who has experience with older-child adoption since, as a PP said, that's more like this situation), and I think your DD needs to go to school. Not that I have any opinions or anything.

OK, but really, I have a SN kid and a stepfamily situation and each of those things is pretty hard. Put them together, and it can be a powder keg. I think you're in real danger of a major burnout. When your DP is working at home, he'll still have to be working, so I don't see that as a big relief coming your way. Also, public schools have resources. You could probably get her an IEP and an IBP, which will bring access to resource rooms, social workers, behavioral management specialists, and special ed teachers. In all likelihood, she'll get MORE attention, not less, because the student/teacher ratio in most special ed or behavioral management classrooms is lower than the one in your house right now. And how much easier would it be for you and your other kids to handle her interruptions if you all had a few hours a day when you didn't have to deal with it?

I wonder, how could you approach your DP and let him know that this is a crisis in the making and let him know that there needs to be some action, w/o tripping his internal panic buttons?

And people are making noises like they'd like dinner to hit the table soon. Good luck, and keep us updated. I'd like to hear how things go!

computergeek2.gif

UptownZoo is offline  
#25 of 37 Old 11-30-2007, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
MyCalling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Central NC
Posts: 281
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It is more like adopting an older child than having a blended family. I know DH does have bio-dad guilt, but I've been there from the beginning of knowing about her and he really did try. Meth addicts don't leave much of a trail to follow.

DH came up with the idea of putting DSD into counseling on his own last night. Not that I wouldn't have approached the topic myself, it's just so much better that he figured this out himself.

I will look into what the local school can offer her but we're rural and I doubt they have anything worth sending her there for. We really believe in the benefits of homeschooling and I'd hate to send her just for the break if I can get her counseling any other way. The problem is that our kids are on a low-cost insurance and they need birth certificates to enroll and we just finally found out what state she was born in, but not what county to apply for her birth certificate in. She was basically just handed to DH, the end.:

We welcomed our 3rd , 7th September 23, 2010!
MyCalling is offline  
#26 of 37 Old 12-01-2007, 05:14 PM
 
spring978's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 605
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
she needs therapy now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She needs constant supervision . She needs to be your shawdow all day every day intill she has had therapy if she cannot be your shawdow then get her in school and tested and on a IEP.
spring978 is offline  
#27 of 37 Old 12-01-2007, 05:16 PM
 
spring978's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 605
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Can you contact your local CPS and enllist there help in getting her paperwork and finding a sliding fee therapist?
spring978 is offline  
#28 of 37 Old 12-01-2007, 05:25 PM
 
~Megan~'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Oregon
Posts: 15,295
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
First of all never leave her in a room with the kids unless you or another adult are there.

Look into community resources for counselling.

I might even think about putting her in school, are there good charter, public, or private schools in your area? Schools have guidance counselors that might be able to help too.

It sounds like she has a lot of anger and needs a way of working through it. Your dh feels protective of her, probably because he wasn't there for her in the past. He still needs to protect all of his children.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
~Megan~ is offline  
#29 of 37 Old 12-01-2007, 05:36 PM
 
meowee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,013
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would definitely put her in school. I was in a similar but much less severe situation with my children, where two were being outright abusive of each other. And of course we were all together 24/7.

You have to realize that this kind of constant togetherness is not necessarily healthy. Especially if it is draining you and making you bitter and exhausted, and exposing your other children to violence and gaslighting (screwing with their heads about what is true and what isn't). There is NOTHING wrong with taking advantage of traditional school choices. So she'll be at the bottom of her class-- so what?-- schools are prepared to deal with that sort of thing. In fact the public school my DD was at had at least a 25% student population that didn't even speak english! Not every student in school is an amazing student and schools are built to deal with those kids-- one might even argue at the expense of the better ones. She will be able to get an IEP if she is ADHD, and might qualify for a number of services once she's evaluated through the school.

Asking for help is nothing to feel guilty about. Refusing to ask for help because you think you can be a savior, is something to feel guilty about. Some problems need to be outsourced, and there is nothing wrong with that fact!

Putting my girls in school was the best choice I've made in a long time. I still continue to homeschool one of my children.
meowee is offline  
#30 of 37 Old 12-06-2007, 05:16 PM
 
Oh the Irony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: grateful for truth
Posts: 3,670
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
you mention working on changing her and fixing her. i wonder if she senses that energy and is fighting it?

play therapy. attachment therapy. asap.

that's a whole lot of responsibility every day.

eta: cross posted
Oh the Irony is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off