Step-Mom in need of help!

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by clements1977, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. clements1977

    clements1977 New Member

    Hi, I am new to this but I am at a complete loss. I have a 16-year-old step-daughter who is an addict. She has been on pot and pills since she was 12 and also crushes the pills to snort. She will take anything if it is given to her. She has pretty much ripped her father and I apart and I am at the point that I want to leave but I really do love my husband and want to be here to help him work his recovery. I have a 5-year-old son and I try to keep him away from her so that he doesn't have to see what she does and doesn't pick up on her lying and stealing. I now have dead-bolts on my doors so that she can't get into any rooms in the house because she would take anything! I tried locks and she just shimmed them so I moved on to heavy stuff. She lies about anything and everything! She finally came to us and said that she wanted to get clean and go the meetings. I thought GREAT! But now we have found out the only reason to go to meetings is because she has some boy there that she is having sex with and that is another problem, she cares about nothing but drugs and penis (that is her exact words). I am currently going to meeting and trying to recover. Wow, it is hard but I am working at it, the real problem is that now her father all the sudden thinks she is the golden child because she is going to meetings everyday. Whenever I say that she has lied, or taken something or stole he just says that I am being a witch and that she is doing her best to get better. I feel like I am fighting a battle with the family and it is 2 against one. I showed him proof of what was going on and he just said, can't change her. Fine I get that but he is always trying to put her on me. I have to do everthing (take her here, there, run things to school, buy her stuff, etc) and it is frustrating because she is constantly in my face and I am not able to start my recovery. Her mother and step-father want nothing to do with her and won't even talk to her and neither will her brother. Her whole family pushed her out because of all the turmoil she causes when she is around. Is there any advice on how I can get thru the next two years. (She already has it set up for a place to live when she is 18 since her father won't let her go now.) Any and all is greatly appreciated! I'll end here, I could babble on forever:sad:
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Wow, I just can't imagine living in a situation where my hub and I were on such separate pages, I am so sorry for you and your son. I understand you love him, I have never been married so I just can't speak to that. I just want you to know I hear you and I am glad you came to us. There will be many here who will come and be able to really give you ideas and thoughts. Take what works and leave the rest, knowing it all comes from love and support.

    Hugs to you, Buddy
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Are you sure you don't have a clone of my daughter from about ten years ago? She was EXACTLY like your stepdaughter, except for going to meetings...she did get clean, but she did it without help (don't ask me how).

    Back to your situation: I think you are the one who is grounded in reality. However, if you want to keep your marriage together, you need to somehow come together and have common goals for this adult child. in my opinion couples counseling would be helpful. He should not call you words like "witch." He should not be out of touch with reality and think his daughter is cured or even clean because she goes to groups. I know people who go to groups because you can always get drugs in the parking lot.

    You do have your son to worry about. I had two young kids to worry about too. I think that getting help from a marriage counselor who understands substance abuse is the best chance you have. As for stepdaughter, I would consider a drug rehab or an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) if she breaks the law. I feel that would be more affective than AA/NA meetings. At least that would get her off the street and out of the house. If you can't afford it, maybe you can get financial help from social services or the courts if she has ever been arrested...I am not sure how that works.

    Good luck and glad you found us (but sorry that you had to come here).
  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Hi and welcome,

    I think there is a process for parents who are dealing with kids who are drug addicts etc.... we have to get to the point where we have had enough of the enabling and being lied to, stole from etc. We have to get to the point where we are no longer will to let it ruin our own lives but want to move on....I think it is really hard when the child is still under 16.

    Sounds like your step daughters mother has reached that point and that is why daughter turned to her dad. He has not gotten there yet. You are there and it makes sense that you are there first because she is your step daughter rather than your daughter... and I think often women get there before men. That might not be true but was certainly true at my house.

    So I think you need to let your husband get there in his own way. However one thing you might be able to do to help him along... find a good parents alanon meeting and go. You will probably find it helpful and maybe if you find a good one your husband will go with you.

    I also think you need to figure out for you what you can stand and what you need to do to protect your son. You might need to be really clear with your husband about what those things are. You may need to impress upon him the imprortance to you of protecting your son. He might not like that and he may not feel you really understand the agony he is going through with his daughter. I would stay away from any critisism of his daughter, any pointing out of how he is enabling her etc... just focus on what you need and what your son needs.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.

  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    Welcome... I know only too well how this can feel. My stepdaughter is also 16, we had the issues with drugs and sex (and other things).

    The single biggest thing that got us to where we are now - that being, Onyxx is in residential treatment - was my husband finally, FINALLY caught up to the chapter I was reading... And now he's on the same page. Our marriage is doing much better, we're able to parent Jett more effectively, and we can handle Onyxx's issues before they arise instead of always being in crisis mode.

    One thing I had to do was STOP doing ANYTHING for Onyxx. I made husband take over. Both kids, actually, for a while, except in emergency... Her being arrested didn't hurt. I explained it to him - she and I don't get along, don't make us BE together. And she began treating him the way she'd treated me. The final straw was accusing her cousin of inappropriate touching (her story changed several times)... Then running away.

    Now all that said... There is NO reason for your husband to call you names. One thing my husband pointed out was I didn't seem to say anything positive about Onyxx (I couldn't find a darned thing positive to SAY, she kept stealing and destroying stuff). So every time she did ANYTHING nice I told him. (IOW, wow, she did her own laundry? Put a dish in the sink instead of hiding it? Yeah, like that.) Then HIS stuff started disappearing...

    :hugs: It's not so easy, but honestly, you are in the same boat I am - NO LEGAL RIGHTS. What it comes down to is, if you have to protect your son, DO IT.
  6. Zardo

    Zardo Member

    When my 15 year old son was knee deep in substance abuse - defiance - refusal of school work - in our face screaming at us every night over requests to turn the computer off and do homework - my husband and I were divided for a time and it only made the situation worse. At the time, my husband's approach was to get in my son's face and scream back which I felt justified my son's behavior in his mind. We learned over time not to react to him, to set grounds rules and remain unemotional (which can be impossible at times). Through counseling, we learned how to make agreements prior to talking to him and to calmly inform him of expectations and support each other in our effort to remain unemotional when dealing with him. It's not always perfect, but there are no longer repeated screaming matches, nothing being thrown in the house and we have not called the police in about 1 year. I suggest you start with a counselor who has a lot of experience dealing with this type of kid. We needed someone to "coach" us through the storm. It's your household and you have a younger sibling to protect. We had informed our son several times that his behavior was not acceptable, we did not want our 12 year old daughter living in a home with this type of choas, not to mention the drugs he was hiding in his room. In the end, we could not break through with him until we sent him away for 3 months to an intensive Wilderness program. The family work we did during that time helped us all to heal and to find common ground as parents. I have now also found programs in the local community for intensive outpatient substance abuse programs and anger management services for adolescents. You would be surprised what is available and how it helps. Good luck.