Not sure what to do....(sorry little long)

Fallon - posted on 01/01/2011 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I usually just creep on here & answer or give advice when I can. But when it comes to my current situation, I'm at my wits end.
My SD is 12 & my husband & I have joint custody. Our visitation is every other weekend and 6 weeks in the summer. She lives with her BM which is about 40 min from us. BM lives with a guy & has 2 children with him. From what SD has told me in the past 7 years I've been in her life, things there have always been up & down to say the least. But here lately things have gotten worse, nothing as serious as drug use or anything like that.
BM's boyfriend has apparently never liked her, he treats her like she's not part of their family & even encourages the other kids to tell her about all of the 'fun' things they did while she was at her dad's. He also refuses to 'babysit' her so when her mom is at work & she's not at school she has to go to her grandparents because she is not welcome in her own home.
She also complains about her BM lying to her all the time about things. This poor girl knows more about her mother's personal life than any kid should. My husband & her divorced cause she was cheating, well it sounds as if she is still doing this cause SD is always talking bout 'new friend' of her mom's that they go over to his house & he comes over when boyfriend isn't there. Even told about a camping trip where boyfriend was there, then left for work, & BM slept in tent with other guy instead of tent with her kids! After that incident, SD said that this guy won't leave her mom alone because supposedly she said she was leaving boyfriend for him but she changed her mind.
I'm also worried about her in school. She goes to a quite large school, which is also the kinda 'overflow' school I guess you could call it. Her grades there aren't so bad but I'm worried she's one of those overlooked kids because she struggles reading books to my 1 year old. Like today I had to help her with the word goggles. She said she'd never seen it before, she's in the 7th grade!!
Well, she's said before that she really wants to come live with us but she worries about who will take care of her brother & sister because she gets up early everyday & gets them ready for school. Which breaks my heart that she has to do all this stuff, taking care of them, when her mother should be doing it. But here lately when she talks about things getting worse & how crappy the boyfriend makes her feel as soon as we tell her she can come here whenever, she shuts down. Don't know if her mother has been filling her head with crap again (she tried telling her she wants to come live with us & her mother convinced her that we were trying to take her away & that she would never be able to see any of them ever again) we explained to her we would just switch visitation. But I just feel like it could be sooo much better for her here but not sure how to make her see it before it's too late & all of this negativity towards her does a number on her self esteem. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated!

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11 Comments

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Karen - posted on 04/21/2011

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Hi Fallon. I have two stepchildren (now ages 19 and 20). I am going to just say this once....if you stepdaughter has expressed interest in living with her Dad and you, DO EVERYTHING IN YOUR POWER TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. My husband and I have had an uphill battle with our kids BM from the time they were 2 and 3 years old. My stepson expressed interest in living with us at age 11. We followed up immediately and a judge actually seperated him and his sister (my stepdaughter remained with BM, and my stepson came to live with us). BM is psychotic and narcissistic...she psychologically screwed with the two children all their lives; had boyfriends in and out of the house, hurt them purposely to hurt us. Needless to say, my stepdaughter is now 20, barely speaks to us, has held her mother up on a pedastal since she's always wanted a "mommy," had four suicde attempts prior to seventeen years old, was in and out of psychiatric units, and lives with some guy now. On the flipside, my stepson carried B's through school, volunteered for less fortunate people, got involved with stage crew for local theatre, and is now an Airmen with the US Air Force. Parenting is the only option!!!! As much as their will be pain and hurt feelings, in the long run, your stepdaughter will thank you for giving her normalcy in her life!

Rachael - posted on 04/20/2011

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Fallon,
Hey I am really sorry that you are going through all of this! It is really hard to deal with and I know it has to be taking a tole on you mentally, emotionally and psychically! I know it does all of that to me!!~ I have some advice, stories, reactions and other things though I would rather send them in a message because I do not know who reads some of the things that I respond to. So I will send you a message...
It is really hard to deal with especially when it begins effecting your house and family. It is really not right or fair. You would think parents would learn not to put their kids in it or use them as pawns. I hope you can stay strong and find a good coping mechanism to help you get over it or handle it differently!

Fallon - posted on 04/20/2011

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Well everything went to crap a month after this post & has only gotten worse =( BM got really "sick" all of sudden & now SD is worried about her because she won't go to the doctor & see what's wrong. I'm guessing it's because BM is making it up or inflicting something on herself. SD says that BM has to take pills before she eats so that she can hold food down. And SD has started not eating again because her mom told her that she has to stay thin for sports (she's already almost 15 lbs underweight as it is). Saw BM the other day at SD's track meet & she does look like hell. SD said BM wears a 0 now & I believe it after seeing her. She looks like a skeleton & her eyes are all sucken in & dark & her hair looks like it's going to fall out any minute. So not sure if she's got some eating disorder & is addicted to diet pills or if she's into drugs or has an STD from all the sleeping around she does. But now all SD does when she's here is talk about how bad her mom is & that she's worried about her & hates coming here & leaving her. She's also on the phone texting or talking to BM the whole time she's her. I have NO CLUE what to do now. Just want to give up but feel like the worst mom in the world for thinking that.

Michelyn - posted on 01/16/2011

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We are the only advovates for our children so please do what you know in your heart is the best decision and act as though it is your very own biological child you are making a decision for. I feel as a stepmom we sometimes worry too much of hurting others feelings or causing problems but we know that we would react differently if it were our bio child. Do your best and thats all you can do.

Frankie - posted on 01/06/2011

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I am very glad that you thought I was helpful...I learned the hard way that although we love to give our children choices, sometimes we have to be the parent and make the choices for them. My stepkids are happy here, and although there have had to be some major adjustments, for all of us, my stepkids, my biokids, my husband, and myself, we are all much happier now that we are all together...I wish you the best of luck and if you need help or just want to vent please contact me on here.

Rachael - posted on 01/05/2011

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Oh my goodness, I am so sorry for her and you guys. Giving advice on this is so hard. I think it is so sad that she has to feel like she needs to take care of her brother and sister. Fight for her it seems as though the best thing for her would be to live at your house. She has to worry about herself and being happy. She is to young to have to think the way she does. It is horrible that she has to see those things about her mother cheating and doing those things. Something needs to be done now to stop her from learning these behaviors. As for school, it is hard to say, I know that it is hard for you with every other weekend. Yes, that makes it hard to teach her anything. All you can do is try to do your best. of course the choice is up to her. As for her mother husband or boyfriend, how horrible that she allows such a thing. No mother should allow her boyfriend or whatever to be anything but wonderful to their children nor should his children. I would leave my fiance if he was mean to my son! Have a long talk with her also with her father together. That is all you can do explain all the benefits of living there. All the love and joy instead of mean things being said. Good luck please let me know updates. I will pray for ya!

Fallon - posted on 01/05/2011

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Thank you guys SOOOO much & Frankie BIG thanks to you, I keep wondering if she isn't waiting for us to just do something because she is always wanting to please her mother. So yes I think we will give that a try & see what happens.

Chrissy - posted on 01/05/2011

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Take it all to court. Depending on where you live, she may be old enough to talk to the judge and let them know her wishes and her worries. If she's not old enough, maybe talk to a lawyer and find out what you can do.

Frankie - posted on 01/05/2011

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My husband and I just went through this same thing. My stepkids constantly told us how they wanted to live here with us but when asked by their mother they would deny it and say that they had never said it. Their mother would make them promises about how things would be better and how she would change and make her boyfriend treat them better. However, of course she never did. Finally, my husband and I had had enough and one weekend when they were with us we asked them again and then confronted their mother before we took them back to her with the kids with us. They moved in with us for a "trial run" and once they were with us we filed for residential custody. Once we got the kids away from her and we were able to talk to them without them having to fear her response, they basically told us that they were waiting for us to make the decision since they didn't want to hurt their mother by telling her.

That being said, I think you should just file for custody, at least residential, so that your SD doesn't have to deal with her mothers boyfriend on a daily basis. My own SD, 13, had many issues with her mom's boyfriend, no abuse at least physically, but was constantly told she was ugly and fat and worth nothing and we are still dealing with that with the help of a therepist. A lot of times the kids are waiting for their parents to make the decision for them so that they don't feel like they have to choose. They don't want to hurt either parent even though they definitely have an opinion.

I wish you the best of luck and hope that everything works out for you.

Kimi - posted on 01/02/2011

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Poor girl. It sounds like she just wants extra attention from you by saying a lot of this stuff because if it was really this bad she would jump at the chance to stay with you guys.
My stepdaughter is 5 and does a really good job at playing each household against the other. She will say things like, "my mom and fa(bio-mom and stepfather) never do anything fun with me, they can't take care of me because of the babies"... We recently purchased a video phone for BM's house and talk to SD on it regularly and surprise! surprise! SD has a wonderful time at BM's house and is constantly showing us the latest crafts or cookies she has made. She just as spoiled over there as she is when she's with us.

Jenn - posted on 01/01/2011

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I would take it to court, but thats just me. If you feel that strongly that about her having a better life with you guys (as its obvious she would be better off with you) and she has expressed that she wants to live with you then I would do it. Make it known that she wants to leave but her concern for her younger siblings is what she is most worried about.

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