14-year old step-son, escalating actions toward me, help

stepmom Carolyn

New Member
My step-son is nearly 14, and he was diagnosed as severely ODD but now we believe he has conduct disorder. He has been seeing a psychiatrist for years, and is now also seeing a therapist. He and his mother couldn't live together so he came to live with us last summer. Also living with us is my 18-year old step-son, who is terrific.
His dad and I have been together 4 years, and living together for over 2 years now, and everything was great until the younger boy moved in with us. He likes to play violent online games, and yells loudly and profanely at the people he is playing with. He also makes weird noises and is a complete slob. He regularly leaves stuff all over the living room.
My 18-year old daughter came to live with me, and lasted about 4 months. His actions and ugly attitude drove her away. Then my 25-year old and her 4-year old son stayed with us, and he drove them away.
He has stolen cash from me, made online gaming purchases using my credit cards - one night he charged over $600! I bought a safe, and he ruined it with a crowbar and mallet. My expensive sunglasses disappeared. He is very different to me when his dad is not around - he is rude and doesn't respect my personal space.
Last week I came home from work to discover that over 2/3, about $4000 worth, of my clothes and shoes had been cut with scissors, most not repairable. I was devastated that he had done that; not that my clothes were ruined as much as that it was such a personal attack. I stayed with my older daughter for a week, then came home.
He is now trying a stronger medicine, and we aren't pushing things until we see how it works. That means that HE gets to hang out in the living room, while I get to hang out in our bedroom or the spare bedroom. His dad was in denial until the most recent incidents, and I think he is still struggling to accept how bad the son's issues are. However, I feel like I'm the one getting punished. His mother came to town while I was gone, and she and his dad told him that if he did anything else to me, he would be sent to school away from home.
I fear that his next action will be physical - my sister and older daughter are actually afraid for my life. I committed to his dad, and want to help the son, but I'm overwhelmed, fearful, and depressed.
Any help/suggestions/guidance would be appreciated.


Well-Known Member
I'm afraid for your life too. You aren't married, are you? Why do you stay? What does your boyfriend say about this? Why does he let this child live at home when he is dangerous? Have you thought about residential placement where he can get 24/7 treatment and supervision and you can feel safe?

The cutting up your clothing is frightening. Even if you married this bo's father, the father is showing a disregard for your well-being.

stepmom Carolyn

New Member
He has never physically harmed anyone, and we want to give the medicine and therapy a chance to work. My stepson knows this is his last chance, although he probably doesn't believe it. I stay because I love my fiance and he needs my support now. I just worry.


Well-Known Member
Cutting your clothing is a form of assault. This is very serious. His dad - and you - can still be involved in his life, but it really sounds like he needs residential treatment. If you can find it... i.e. not just a foster home, they won't be able to handle him either.


Active Member
Carolyn, I am so sorry that you are going through this. You do not deserve this. I am really afraid for your safety. There is no amount of love for a husband in the world that would make me stay and tolerate those kinds of assaults, threats....and the fact that your husband does little to nothing to stop it, is so bad.