A new comer desperate for advise

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by bam1399, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. bam1399

    bam1399 New Member

    Ok, so this may be a long thread. I'll try to be as brief as I can while including the most relevant information.
    I'm actually not a parent, but I have been dating my girlfiend for 15 months. She has 4 children ages 14, 9, 8, and 5. I do not have any of my own. My girlfriend is not officially divorsed as she is going through a nasty legal battles with her husband that is still going on 15 months later. He has supervised visitation with 3 of the kids. He sexually abused his 14 year old step daughter and is awaiting trial on several 1st degree felong counts. He also likely sexually abused his 8 year old daughter, whom I have ultimately come on here to discuss.
    My girlfriend and I were mainly focused on the legal matters for the first few months. She had and still has an incredible amount on her plate. She also has an extreemly difficult child who is now 8 years old that was taken in by my girlfrieds mother for the past year to ease the situation that was beyond manageable as she has assisted living and only 2 bedrooms for 5 people. Recently, her mother and step father were on the brink of divorce because they could no longer control her, and she was causing them to neglect their other children to care for her. The only thing to do was to give her back to her mother, (my girlfriend) and live in the 2 bedroom house. (She recently got approved 15 months later for section 8 housing that will enable them to get a larger house).
    In the last couple of months since she has been back into the home, our relationship has suffered immensly as my girlfriend is constantly in a battle with her 8 year old daughter. We cannot go out anymore because she cannot be baby sat. When I try to describe her behavior to others, I say, "have you ever seen Dr. Phil or Maury Provich where they have those children that are constantly throwing tantrums and cursing at everyone?" Well, she is that way. She constantly fights her brothers and sisters. She steals anything she can get her hands on and lies right to your face even if she is caught red handed. She is loud and cries for hours on end when disiplined or sent to her room. She throws stuff around the room and damages the home when she does not get her way. She has sexually and violently acted out against her mom and brothers and sisters. My girlfriend and I have tried everything. We are desperate for help but cannot get any.
    She has begun testing and her IQ was well above average with an IQ of over 140. She is very good at manipulating. Her case workers and evaluators minimize her symptoms and say that she just needs more attention and love. She is able to manipulate them and seems to only be on good behavior during these evaluations. She was skipped a grade to the 4th grade and still finds the work too easy. She does not have any friends as she is unable to get along with other kids. She fights often with them as she tries to control them as we see her try to control her brothers and sisters. The evaluation process seems to be taking forever as nobody seems to see the severity of the situation.
    There are biological factors and environmental factors to consider. Her dad was abusive emotionally, physically, verbally, and likely sexually (the 8 year old daughter made allegations that he would fondle her at night while she was sleeping). The dad, in my opinion from what i've been told by my girlfriend and her family is antisocial, narcisstic, and controlling. He is an alcoholic and drug abuser. (I worked at the same facility and heard from multiple sources that he dealt drugs). He is also very smart. He is currently in the process of getting a pre-law degree.
    My girlfreind has a brother with schizophrenia who has been in and out of the State Hospital. She also has a brother with fragile x autism and another brother struggling with conduct. The father also has a son from a previous marriage that is now about 13 or 14 who is in juvinile detention for sexually abusing their 8 year old daughter and her 9 year old brother. He sodimized them and forced them into sexual intercourse. He initially claimed that he learned the behavior by his dad, but my girlfreind was unaware of the abuse of her daughter and did not believe him.
    My girlfriend has done a phenomenal job of parenting the kids in the last 15 months with great family support. She has been taking them to therapy and providing a loving and supporting environment. Since the addition of the daughter though, the environment has become chaotic once again.
    Just writing this tragic story makes me cringe. What have I gotten myself into. I love my girlfriend and the kids, but sometimes I feel like I cannot deal with the situation. We struggle everyday now. I'm terrified to marry her and take on the responsibility of the 8 year old daughter and the other kids for the rest of my life. I do not feel like my girlfriend is getting the help that she desperately needs with the 8 year old. It's a terribly sad story and it would kill me to walk away from my girlfriend and the kids with all they have been through. She gets 600 dollars in food stamps, but her dad and I have to pay all her other expenses. She recieves little or no child support from the dad or the father of her oldest child. I don't know what to do anymore. Sorry for such a long story. If you made it this far, God bless you. I'm open for any advise or direction.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2008
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator


    Since you've listed your hometown, I'd recommend replacing the real names of your girlfriend and her children with psuedonyms or simply girlfriend (girlfriend), easy child (perfect child) and difficult child (gift from God, the challenging chidl who brought you here) to protect everyone's privacy.

    I also recommend creating a signature similar to mine below (go to UserCP at the top lefthand side of this page) so we can remember the details of your family every time you post.

    It tends to be slow on the weekends, but others will be along shortly. Again, welcome aboard.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. Wow.
    Well, first off, your girlfriend isn't even divorced yet. A few words on that. You are jumping into a red hot situation very early. That alone is problematic. The kids are traumatized and struggling and now there's a new man. I personally didn't introduce them to any boyfriends for three years AFTER my divorce because my kids were so shaky. And my ex did not abuse them. I'm not sure if you're living with her or not yet, but it's awfully early. Is she ready for a new relationship? You say you've never had kids. I can guarantee you that with this bunch you are going to have neverending chaos because of the abuse and because the kids sound like they may also have some inherited psychiatric problems that are not easy to sweep under the rug. Both are enourmous problems. Sexual abuse is devestating to kids, and can take years, even with INTENSIVE therapy, to get over. If something else is also wrong...well, to say the least, this is not going to be the Cleavers. Since you haven't ever had kids, I don't know how your staying power is with atypical children, possible mental illness, and a mom who won't get her child appropriate help. You sound like a great guy who maybe is in rescue mode. You have to remember...you didn't cause this problem and you will NOT be able to solve it. Since you have no rights to the kids, it's up to your girlfriend to get the help. If she is reluctant, consider that a huge red flag. It is also worrisome in my opinion that she is not able to support herself and is so dependent on others, including you.

    If your girlfriend wants to find help for these kids, and I hope she does, she needs to get them all in counseling with a somebody who specializes in sexual abuse. Not all therapists understand this sensitive issue. Then they should all have evaluations to see if they have any issues like childhood onset bipolar or high funcntioning autism or anything else.
    This family has a ton on it's plate. Right now, you don't. It's not going to get easier. One of the kids is 14. She may be way out of control by 16 considering her life experiences and possible disorders. I suggest going to a therapist of your own to discuss all this to see if this is what you want to really do. To be with these kids, then leave them later could hurt them even more.
    Anyway, welcome to the board. You may want to do a signature like I did below, to give us a family overview. I was kind of rambling, putting down my thoughts. Hope you get the feedback you need.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2008
  4. bam1399

    bam1399 New Member

    Thank you so much. I have such a difficult time telling the story to anyone, even my perents because it's so messed up. Anyway, I am not currently living with my girlfriend. The story is really complex because she confided in me about the sexual abuse as I was only an acuaintence with my girlfriend and her husband when she did. She told me that she found photos of her daughter in the nude on his cell phone. I was blown away that she had not reported this, but I took immediate action. I convinced her that this was not likely an isolated incidence. The next day, the daughter went to the CJC and unloaded the extent of the abuse. Using terrible judgement by me, and I am ashamed to admit, we got into a sexual relationship not long after. She come on to me extreemly hard, I resisted but eventually gave in. I have since learned that she has a dependent personality and emotional issues, probably PTSD from the abuse she suffered from this guy.
    Anyway, the 14 year old daughter is already having a difficult time. She has diabetes and has a difficult time regulating her blood sugar. The sexual abuse took place at night time, and she has trouble sleeping. She stays up very late on school nights and cannot get up in the morning. She misses at least 2-3 days of school a week. She's been through the truency court and nobody really knows what to do with her at this point.
    I've been considering seeing a therapist for a long time now, and I think I will make an appointment first thing Monday. It feels so good to be able to discuss this and really appreciate your feedback.
    I'm not sure about the signature stuff, but I will figure it out, but I'm running out of time and have to go to my part time job. Thanks.
  5. Jena

    Jena New Member


    It is obvious you care deeply for her (girlfriend) and the children otherwise you wouldn't of found us. So, with that being said welcome :)

    It is an involved story, yet many are so please don't feel ashamed in anyway, shape or form we are all very accepting here.

    It sounds as though the 8 year old you speak of is right now the issue at hand, and the child in which brought you to our site. You mentioned that she was being evaluated? What type of evaluation is being done?? Is she also in therapy, and what type of school is she in? Sorry, alot of questions yet i'd like more information.

    Your girlfriend does indeed have alot on her plate, and it sounds as if all the children will be experiencing alot of different ranges of emotion from time to time from the world that they lived in and the abuse of their father. Whenever a child is abused in anyway it is such an incredibly sad and disturbing thing. yet, luckily it was found out, and reported however that came about and the abuse is now ceased.

    Is this 8 year old currenly on any medications, has she recvd. any diagnosis as of yet??

    Ok i'll wait till you write more. Again, welcome :)
  6. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Wow.........first of all I want to say that you are a good, good guy. You seem to really care, and want to help this woman.

    I know it is really, really hard to share stories like this. It makes you feel sick to your stomach to really write down the truth. We all feel that way when we first come here.

    Truthfully, I would take the goal of marriage completely off of the table, and wipe it out of your mind for now. There is entirely too much going on, for that thought to even enter the equation. Everyone in this scenario needs to simply focus on themselves getting better first and foremost.

    A couple of thoughts/suggestions here...........

    -You could possibly be enabling the girlfriend. Take some giant steps backwards. Why isn't she supporting herself? She needs to be the one who steps up to the plate to care for her children, even if the Dad is a dead beat. It's hard, but it is what she needs, the children need to see, and what you need.

    -Evidently she was sexually abused? Which is why she was in such denial about her own children? She needs to get lots and lots of therapy for that in order to help her children, and in order to ever be part of a successful marriage.

    -The teenager sounds like she is about to go under. She is internally combusting. Who is helping her? She needs mentors, Big Sisters, counseling, programs. (But truthfully, not a new Dad - it only makes issues worse at this point.)

    -The 8 year old is externally combusting. She is acting out everything that happened to her, while her mom and older sister are holding it in. What help is she getting? Has she been tested by a Psychiatrist for mood disorders? Does she have a support system in place? Does she need to be hospitalized and evaluated?
    Many kids like her have both trauma as well as mood disorders that cause them to behave in such outlandish ways. She may need a lot more help than mom or sister, but all 3 are dealing with the same horrible issues. The 8 year old is just acting out everything she feels, rather than internalizing it - and if you combine that with some sort of chemical imbalance then you have a roaring fire.

    I hope you do not mind me being blunt and honest - but the best thing you can do for this family is become an objective friend. These kids do not need a new Dad or a new husband, or even mom's new boyfriend - it is only one more added trauma and stressor for these kids. I speak from experience. Believe me. The best thing for all is for them to see mom be strong, stand on her own 2 feet, support these kids both financially and emotionally, and for them to see her as their ally and defender. I cannot imagine the anger the girls have that their mom let their dad abuse them - actually I can - because it happened to me.

    Welcome, and forgive me if I have been too opinionated. We welcome you on this board, no matter what happens or what you decide. Bottom line is we love our children, and we want to help ALL children who suffer.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi and welcome. You really are a great guy. I have to say though, that this is one big mess you are in. PLEASE take a step back, as steely suggested.

    Not only are you in a relationship that you CAN'T fix, with children who have been so despicably damaged, and a girlfriend who has also probably been damaged long before she had kids, and was damaged in her relationship with the father of her kids. There is SO MUCH wrong with the situation that you are just not going to be able to realistically "fix" it.

    The 14yo needs HELP, not truancy court, or anything else. she is falling apart inside, probably hates herself (though it is NOT at ALL in any way HER fault!) and is at a very high risk for suicide. does the mom FULLY realize this? Is she at all willing to advocate for this child at school? She needs to go to the shcool and ask for an IEP based on the child's trauma and PTSD. She also needs to find therapists and psychiatrists to treat this child.

    The 8yo is in major combustion. She also needs help and a mom who will be strong enough to advocate for her at school and with doctors.

    The other kids are going to need this also. EACH and EVERY one.

    and your girlfriend is not in a position to be a full partner in a relationship. She jumped from one horrible relationship into a relationship with you, with-o taking time to deal at all with the issues that led her into that relationship, led her to stay, to not believe her children were being horribly abused, etc...

    PLEASE make that appointment with a therapist, and then KEEP it. If tis therapist isn't the right fit, work to find one who is. THen work to see what about this situation appeals to you. I know you don't want to abandon anyone. But you need to find out what in this totally dependent woman and this unbalanced relationship are appealing to you, what need it is fulfilling in YOU. Until you do this, you can't be a real partner in an equal relationship.

    And these kids will not survive if they have much more stress or trauma in their lives. And a parent's boyfriend/fiance/new husband IS a stressor to any kid. Esp ones this abused.

    You are also opening yourself up to some very damaged kids who may at some point falsely accuse YOU of abuse (NOT that the accusations up to this time are false!) because it is a way to exert some control over their lives, because they are so damaged they truly can't tell the difference between affection and sexual abuse, because they want to strike out at their mom or at you for some reason, or whatever. It is hard to face the possibility that these kids you want to help might do this, but it IS a possibility. Or their abusive father may say that YOU are the one abusing the kids, NOT him. It would be one way to get revenge on the mom, esp as you are the one who encouraged her to take the child to the authorities, thus ending or threatening his hold on them.

    And with this kind of accusation, once you are accused you are assumed guilty by MUCH of the community. It could REALLY tear apart every aspect of your life. One of the very best friends my father EVER had was a vice principal in a school. My dad taught there for many years. I KNOW this man, and he is ethical and moral in every way. A very GOOD man. But one junior high girl was angry with him for calling her mother after the girl did something wrong at school. The girl accused him of sexual misconduct and abuse.

    It DEVASTATED his life and his family. He was not fired, though he was suspended. He had to fight for his job, because he will not be able to be hired by anyone else. The ACCUSATION destroyed ANY chance that he would EVER be promoted. It put unbelievalbe strain on his decades-long marriage. HIS children were teased, bullied, harrassed and even ASSAULTED at school and in various group activities. He almost lost his HOME due to the cost of the legal fees and the suspension.

    He WAS exonerated, but that didn't even begin to repair his life, or the damage to his family. And I KNOW that the charges were totally false(our families were close, I spent time in his home, with his kids, etc....).

    PLEASE work with a therapist, face the huge issues in front of you, and then determine what you want to do. We will give you our knowledge, support, experiences, and advice. And we will NOT be offended when you take whatever helps you and leave the rest. Not everything is right for everyone. we KNOW that, better than many many people. So we will offer our support, period.

    I am sorry to be so negative about the relationship. I thought for quite a while before writing all of this.
  8. canthandleitanymore

    canthandleitanymore New Member

    Hi bam. Welcome to this board! I am very new to this myself, but I've found some support and guidance here. Sometimes when I'm desperate and lonely I just read the stories here. Some give me hope, others make me sad, but many of them I can relate to. There's something about knowing you're not alone in this that helps.

    I could have written your story, minus the sexual abuse. I am 100% in your same boat. I have no children. My boyfriend has three kids. Only one lives with him, but the one who does is a pretty disturbed child. He is almost 11 and quite frankly, makes life hell. Because I don't want to use his name, I call him Johnny on this board. He is oppositional, argues over everything, defies any authority, refuses to take "no" for answer, has no friends, cries, does poorly academically, never does as asked, is completely disrespectful...the list goes on. He also has abandonment issues from a mother who is an alcoholic and drug user who never bothers to see him. Although she does have another child who goes to Johnny's school and she manages to pick that child up daily. So Johnny sees her all the time spending time with his half-sister, but she never bothers to evn call him. Johnny recognizes that I'm someone good in his life but that's not enough for him to treat me with any respect or even be nice to me. He does have his "good" moments, but for the most part life with him is just miserable. My boyfriend isn't a bad parent, he just doesn't know what the h**l to do, so he has basically done nothing. He's written Johnny off as "just a boy" and gone on with the assumption that he'll grow out of it. When I came into the picture two years ago, I saw that there was way more going on with this kid. My boyfriend is finally realizing Johnny needs help although he relies heavily on me to do all the footwork.

    We went to the counselor this week and she thinks Johnny has bipolar. I'm not so convinced. With my boyfriend's permission, I scheduled Johnny for a neuropsychological evaluation. The intake is on Tuesday and the testing will be shortly after. I will be more comfortable with accepting any diagnosis once he's been thoroughly evaluated.

    I know exactly how you feel when you say you're terrified to commit your life to your girlfriend with a child who has so many issues. That's where I am right now. I love my boyfriend very much. We're perfect for each other. But it's a huge load to take on someone else's child's problems. It's not just now or until Johnny turns 18...I will be dealing with this for the REST OF MY LIFE. I feel guilty even saying that, like somehow I should be a saint and just accept it all. It's frustrating and scary. We want to get married but I'm the one who balks at it. I'm not sure I can do it. As much as I love my boyfriend, I'm not sure I WANT to do it.

    Wish I did, but I have no answers for you. Nothing that will make it easier. At the end of the day, we both have a decision to make. A really, really tough decision. If you want to message me, feel free. I'm not an expert and there are lots of people on this board with more experience and advice than I, but I know what you're going through. All I can offer is that I know what it's like to be faced with such an awful, heart-wrenching decision.

    Take care of yourself. I hope you find the decision that's right for YOU.
  9. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

  10. bam1399

    bam1399 New Member

    Wow, I'm basically speechless right now. I never expected this kind of support, and I'm amazed at the responses I've recieved and the generosity of you all. I feel like I have some direction and support that I've needed for a long time.
    It's late here, and I'm struggling to keep my eyes open, but tomorrow, I'd like to message you guys back and answer some questions you've asked. And Steely, don't worry about being too opinionated as your opinions are much appreciated. I see no reason to hold anything back when everyone seems so supportive and willing to help.
    Also, I want to figure out the acronym's you all use so well to provide more clarity about my girlfriend and her kids. I look forward to keeping the ball rolling on this as you have all been very helpful. Good night.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Bam,
    welcome. Here's a cup of tea and a comfy chair.
    You've gotten some great, honest replies here. All I can do is echo what others have said. This is not something you can "fix." You can be a support and a presence, but these issues are serious and lifelong and will take many yrs of therapy.
    I hope that your job provides some kind of distraction and comfort away from your girlfriend and family. Good idea to go into therapy, yourself.
    Take care.
  12. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    BAm; I definatly see that as a full plate right there.

    The high IQ is in what? Is that her adverag or is that in one area? Where are the low scores? With high IQ having an area that is not as capable can be extremly frustrating.

    Acting out is a normal effect of sexual abuse and the dynamics where in all these children were abused is not isolated to the worst assults. Think how you feel when someone insults you in realatively mild circumstances. Sure it WAS only a slight or a snob but we FEEL it. These are children in a family where FEELING hurt and being hurt were EXTREME.

    Who are you seeing for therapy? I would start there. Join a mens group where you can get the skivey and feed back from men who are fathers and husbands and dating women with children and work on you.

    Hey. God bless you. If you do marry this woman or just take the womans side as a
    buffer against this enormous set of circumstances you are on that plate, Mr. Good fellow and I applaud the men and women who care and take up to be human beings for the loveable people who are here .

    Divide the issues and take them on one at a time. Slow the process down. Acting out and reacting are learned behavor and so is making a list and checking it twice.
    Find the strengths and praise these children at every oppertunity where you see them doing good.

    I advocate for others by making calls and connections that give them optioons that they do not have to find time to do themselves and doing that for your freind if she wants the support is a time saver. Maybe take on a part of the puzzle. Establish a pro-active approach on "the list"...like, does she have one and can you start the notes while she is doing dishes or landry or soaking in a hot tub.

    I have in home therapy for my families issues and I highly recommend pursueing that for this family. The mother did not get in to this based on her excellant skills here. And none of us learn what we do need just because we are faced with a problem...it takes HELP HELP HELP.

    Getting the indivigual sessions that each child does need and the services for the 8 year old...which is a big busy age, by the way... all work.
    My difficult child is best one on one with adults. Having theraputic safe relationships is extremely fundimental for sexually violated children. As horrible as the sexual assault is, the fact is the neglect and abuse that created an environment where the family was under the privation and abuse caused by the role of the perp as a parent/husband is not insugnificant.
    If your actions support these people through this terrible time then every minute is
    more vital than anything you had in mind for your life.
    Do not forse yourself to think ALL or nothing. A father is a role of limits and friendship. Doing that without gratifying any sexual needs of your own maybe be the cool love that helps and de-stymulates a bad bad condition. TAke caare of yourself...and care. Being the selfish mans wreck room is what these people know.
    Good luck. Superdude.
  13. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    If you go to the FAQ board, you'll find a list of the acronyms.

    The most commonly used ones are:

    difficult child - Gift from God - the child that brought you here
    easy child - perfect child - your neuro-typical child(ren)
    psychiatrist - psychiatrist
    therapist - therapist
    neuropsychologist - neuropsychologist that does specialized testing/evaluations
    diagnosis - diagnosis
    sx - symptoms
    hx - history
    MDE - multi-disciplinary evaluation

    That's all I have off the top of my head.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Steely, I like your description of the kids internally combusting or externally combusting.

    Bam, welcome. You are one amazing bloke. You and your girlfriend have a lot on your plate and I really think you are heading for stormier seas despite all your best efforts. However, with time, effort and a lot of luck, this still could be turned around.

    You both need access to counselling and therapy. For yourselves, for the kids. Individually and collectively. You also both need to think about what you were looking for in your relationship with each other. She also needs to think about how she has ended up where she is in her life. At some stage, she has got herself into an emotional holding pattern (you may have also, in your own way) and this needs to be at least examined and assessed within herself, to make sure that any emotional bad habits are identified and broken, so she can grow and move on.

    Now for some suggestions that can help Now.

    1) Get your girlfriend to read the posts here as well, maybe post with you. I also firmly agree, you need to keep this confidential, the last thing you need is her ex using any of these posts in court - if there is nothing identifying, there is no way anyone can say this is you - it could be someone else with the same story.

    2) Get a copy of "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. Regardless of exactly what is wrong, it can help a great deal with difficult children (and organisations, and adults). This is a book which has helped many of us here. There are other books which will be recommended - nobody here makes a recommendation lightly. "Explosive Child" is also discussed on the Early Childhood forum if you want a free peek (frankly, I got it out of the library - also free).

    "Explosive Child" is NOT a cure, but it is a different way of discipline that I feel works especially well with very bright children - they can quickly pick up on the logic of it and also realise that you are trying to help them maintain control. When it's working, it is using the child's own stubbornness to help them develop self-control. I think these kids all need this - you can do this with PCs too and frankly given what has been happening, they probably all should be considered as having difficult child status, even if it's only honourable.

    It can be scary letting a child have some control, especially when parental instinct is to clamp down even harder on wayward children. But with kids like this, the more you clamp down and get strict, the worse they behave until you can no longer assert your authority.

    As a potential step-parent, it is even more difficult for you. You cannot expect to be able to assert authority without it being challenged. And especially with kids like this, you should never try to fight a battle of wills you cannot guarantee winning. It is better to not engage in battle, than to engage and lose.
    But there are ways of winning. And if you think about a parent's aim for their children, it is for them ultimately to be happy, independent, productive and occupied. How you get there can be very different, but the aim is to get there. Sometimes you can find yourself on a short-cut and if you try to step away from the short-cut to go back to the more widely known highway, you can find yourself in a real struggle. If a child is already wanting to make their own decisions, then rather than insist on the child making YOUR decisions, allow the child enough leeway and provide enough support so that the child's decisions are their own but are GOOD choices.

    The book helps.

    What is wrong with these kids? I don't know. It could have a hereditary component, or it could all come down to the history of abuse. Frankly, for the sake of discipline it doesn't matter. You have problems, you need help. If there has been ANY abuse (sexual or otherwise) and form what you say, there has been - then the children (and girlfriend) will feel a very strong need to control their own environment. And if mother wants control, and the child wants control, they will clash. For long-term success the children need to each learn good self-control and to make sound decisions. That requires support. For them to be willing to accept that support, they need the adults in their life to step back and let them make SOME decisions and to also be consistent about it - no changing your mind and suddenly insisting on things being done your way when what the child wants to do would be equally acceptable, if maybe take slightly longer.

    Read here. Lurk here. Get girlfriend to do the same. Take time. Step back a bit and make sure that girlfriend can stand on her own two feet emotionally, before she jumps into relying too much on you and not enough on herself. If you can both do this and your relationship survives, you will know it is because you find a connection between yourselves in a good way, and it won't be because she needs a strong man to hold her together. And for you, you will know it's not just because you've found someone who can only see you as Sir Galahad, but someone who really loves you independently of your shining armour and big white horse.

    Keep us posted on how you're getting on. Times are going to be rough, but if/when you all come through this well, you will know you can achieve anything.

  15. bam1399

    bam1399 New Member

    Thank you Marguerite,
    Thank you wyntersgrace,
    Thank you Rope- I still need to get back to you on some of your questions,
    Thank you Terru J2,
    Thank you canthandleitanymore
    Thank you Susistar
    Thank you Steely
    Thank you Jennifer,
    Thank you Midwesternmom.............All of your advise and guidance has been heart warming. I have realized many things I need to do to make this situation right. I know I cannot solve it all on my own. I have learned many things as you all are very wise and beyond generous. I'm amazed at the unbelievable people an this forum and thank God I found you guys. I've also learned that this can be very time consuming, so I will do my best to follow up with you all and let you know where everything leads. Until then, keep on doing great things as life can be very difficult at times but also full of wonder and joy. Good bye for now.
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Bam, you don't need to follow up with us individually. That should save you some time and effort. Simply post with your feedback in one message and we all can read it and find out how you're getting on.

    We want to help, not make your workload even heavier!

    Be gentle on yourself. You have a lot of thinking to do.

  17. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Bam welcome! I am coming in late to this but I just want to let you know that what you are trying to do is amazing.
    Do try and keep an open mind and heart when dealing with your girlfriend and her kids.
    I have to tell you that my Mom left us with her Second husband who adopted us. He tried so hard to help us. I look back know and realize now if he had had any resources he might have had a chance.
    We suffered through much of what those kids did as well.
    But I am OK now, as our my Brothers. We all have issues, but we are alive and I don't think we would have made it very far without the help of this man.
    He was far from perfect, I wont go into his mistakes! But it sounds like you are way ahead of him.
    So I praise you and admire what you have done already.
    Take it one day at a time.