Conversation with younger stepson

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by culturanta, May 15, 2017.

  1. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Before our Mother's Day weekend turned to ashes, I spent some time talking with my younger stepson and the topic of school came up. He is doing badly this semester, and one of our concerns is that he's envious that Difficult Stepson is going to school online after flaming out at traditional high school. So I had a frank conversation with him about Difficult Stepson's path not being as easy as it might seem, and that Difficult Stepson will be facing a most unwelcome surprise when he has to enter the real world as an adult. I was encouraging younger stepson to do better in school so he can graduate on time and have as many options as possible so his transition to adulthood will be smoother.

    Younger stepson listened and took my feedback well, but when I mentioned Difficult Stepson the first thing he said, quickly, was "(D.S.) is dangerous". He went on to say that Difficult Stepson will "fight anybody, his mom, his dad, anybody" and referred to him as a "mental health terrorist." I asked younger stepson if he felt safe in his house, since there have been some terrible times in recent memory when this was not the case. He said that he felt safe because Difficult Stepson now has a girlfriend so according to younger stepson, "he's OK". He also said that as long as Difficult Stepson is getting his way and is under no pressure he will not explode. Of course we all know it is impossible to avoid pressure forever and for things to always go our way. Difficult Stepson has never learned to cope with that. Now he is a very tall, very strong young man. He has a fixation with strangulation, he talks about it constantly, and he strangled my wife a couple of years ago. God only know what he might do - and to whom - when he is really tested. He may end up making the news locally or even nationally. I would not be surprised if he harms himself or his girlfriend, especially if she breaks up with him one day.

    I hope my younger stepson stays safe as ultimately there is nothing I can do about this situation. His parents are both in different degrees of denial and won't get Difficult Stepson out of the house. He has seemed better lately but I suspected, as younger stepson confirmed, that it is largely because a) he is getting his way, got to leave traditional school and enroll online and isn't being pressured to work and b) he has a girlfriend now. If either of these conditions changes, things could be very different and tragedy could result very quickly. I have no legal authority over these kids, so all I can do is just listen. I'm scared for the future and I really believe Difficult Stepson will end up dead and/or incarcerated before he is out of his twenties.
     
  2. JRC

    JRC Active Member

    What do the girlfriend's parents think of this relationship?
     
  3. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    We aren't sure. Her mom has described Difficult Stepson as being "a great kid," and as long as everything is going the way he wants, he IS a great kid.

    My wife has been thinking of approaching girlfriend's mom to ask about whether it's too intense of a relationship for a 16 year old (him) and 15 year old (her). We know they see each other every day. She is also attending online high school (he got the idea from her) and they share many of the same struggles, so they seem to understand each other, but we can't help but be concerned.

    I also believe we may have a duty to warn the girlfriend's parents that they need to protect her in the event she decides to break it off with him at some point.
     
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It is unlikelly your older stepson will maintain. As you said, life is not smooth and never with anyone goes as planned. Too bad you have no legal authority. You have so much common sense.

    Its scary that your older step is obsessed with strangulation. Who tries to strangle a parent or anybody? Thats over the top violence. I hope he stays away from your younger step and your wife. And you. Sounds like his problems are very severe, maybe he even lacks a conscience. I hope he gets serious help before he is too old legally for either parent to help at all.

    Wherever his road may turn, the rest of you should try to stay safe. I sincerely hope your wife finally gets it and tries to get him help, but not in your home.

    Wishing you the best. You are such a caring stepfather.
     
  5. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Thanks SOT! Stepmother, actually. We are a same sex couple. :)
     
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry you have to deal with this. As someone who has been on the periphery of someone like your difficult stepson, at least you have the urge to act with honor and warn the girl.

    My second college roommate had sort of broken up with her high school boyfriend. They had been together for years and as far as I could tell, still were except they cheated on each other sometimes. She was bulimic and didn't cope well without him. Her parents had a messed up relationship too. She honestly believed that every female was beaten a few times a year if her partner really cared for her.

    One day the sort of boyfriend, who always made those hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, called to talk to her. She wasn't on the floor, so I took a message. I woke up about an hour later with his hands around my neck. He decided I was lying about her not being there (I wasn't) and decided to kill me. He apparently had stolen her key a month or so before and she got a copy without telling me she lost her key. Or else she gave him a copy, I don't know. I moved out of the dorm due to this. I just couldn't stay there. His daddy pulled strings and the police refused to file charges.

    So you are right that he is dangerous. It might not be her, it could be someone around her that he goes after. I am sorry you are in this and are so powerless.

    Be careful.

    This boy did make headlines a few years later when he was caught after strangling and sexually assaulting a series of women in their homes. They could all have been alive if his dad had just let the charges stand because they wanted to press attempted murder charges that carried 20 years back when he attacked me.
     
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh ok :)

    You are a very caring and wise stepmother. And you have a healthy perspective, i think. I wish both parents eould listen to you (sigh).
     
  8. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Thanks. I do too, but I need a refresher dose of Al Anon to learn (and keep) my place. I can get overinvolved and I need to watch out for that. Nothing I can do....didn't cause it, cannot fix it and cannot control it.
     
  9. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member


    Wow Susiestar, I am so sorry to hear that you endured such a horrid ordeal. I do think my stepson will do something like what you describe one day. The tragedy is that so many opportunities to remove him to a secure environment when he was younger, and could possibly have been rehabilitated, were lost over the years. This also would have protected younger stepson from being brutalized by him. Unfortunately it was not to be.

    His father is completely hoodwinked and doesn't believe Difficult Stepson is as bad as he is, even after being attacked by him multiple times.

    I honestly think he lacks a conscience. He is capable of displaying tenderness and love, so he isn't 100% psychopathic but he does have certain tendencies and traits which are very frightening. I do know he is quite capable of murder or suicide, and this is sadly something I anticipate will happen.