New here problems with odd stepson

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Yem1971, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. Yem1971

    Yem1971 New Member

    I'm new here, I'm not sure where to begin, but I need some support and possible advice. I have been with my boyfriend for almost three years, he has three children. Previous upbringing involved no rules whatsoever and a alcoholic mom..lots of arguing between my boyfriend and the biomom. he now lives with me and his dad (for the past three years). Stepson has some very strange behaviors such as hoarding food and bread, doing things to irritate me like moving things around over and over, destruction of property( scratching walls). I even caught him last year with the toilet brush in his room, he's fifteen, after he was told not to touch the brush, he got again... At that point I just removed it from the bathroom. He's been told over and over again that he is not to have food in his room or be roaming the house waking us up when we are sleeping, but he continues to break the rules, regardless if there are consequences or not. He is seeing a therapist at school, but they are not cooperating at all. They will not even communicate with me or call me back on his progress. His latest thing is he moved the trash can in the bathroom, ten times, I moved it back, then he would move I just removed it this morning. I'm tired of his games. I meditate regularly, exercise, and read to relieve stress and I will be seeing a therapist again starting tomorrow. When I talk to my boyfriend, he totally minimizes his behaviors and says nooner perfect, he also says I'm letting small stuff bother me. I feel sad and alone with no support and I wonder what to do. Any advice from anyone who's been here? I don't understand why the young man does the things he does.
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Does he have any diagnosis's? Unless you're actually his stepmom (not just dad's girlfriend) school doesn't have to tell you anything. Is he in therapy outside of school? I'm sorry his dad isn't on board with you, he really does need to be, because something is going on, and has been for a long time I'm sure. Could be related simply to how he was raised (or not raised) and the divorce, or could be underlying mental health issues, but real help is certainly needed and so is a united front at home. Unfortunately, many fathers do this ostrich-like behavior and you're not alone in feeling this way.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome to the board, but sorry you had to come here.

    A few things. I'm not sure the school can tell you anything. You aren't related to him. I know that my son's X's boyfriend doesn't get any reports or info about my grandson and I feel that it's the correct thing to do as the boyfriend is just the boyfriend. My son has told the school he doesn't want this boyfriend to get information. So I think Dad would have better luck.

    Secondly, had this child EVER been evaluated by a neuropsychologist or even seen a psychiatrist? The things he does are so bizarre that I'm thinking he is either mentally ill or has a form of autism rather than being a "bad" boy. The things he is doing is not the way a "normal" teen would bug you, if that was his intention. I think this child badly needs a total evaulation. I think something is the matter with him. If his birthmother drank while she was pregnant, he could very well have brain damage as in fetal alcohol spectrum. Even drinking a small amount can cause this. If she is an alcoholic, my guess is that she drank a lot, pregnant or not. Also, the boy was tossed back and forth a lot in his early years which can cause attachment problems, but again his behavior is so bizarre, I'm guessing he has some sort of disorder or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Under those circumstances, he would require a totally different type of parenting than for other kids. Where is the father? Why is this child getting no help except to see a school therapist? Most school therapists are pretty useless anyway.

    I think you need to consider that maybe this kid is n't doing this to annoy you, but because something is wrong with him and he's not getting adequate help. Also, you need to decide if you want to live with this. This is one of your boyfriend's children and he's not going away. If both bio. mom and boyfriend don't want to get him help, and don't think he's that bad, then he isn't going to improve because nobody is helping him and you may even take the heat as the bad guy.

    I would strongly push boyfriend to get a neuropsychologist evaluation here. Clearly, repetition and consequences don't teach him anything. He needs more help than you and boyfriend and school therapist can give him.

    I wish you luck. The weekends can be slow. Others will check in though.
  4. Yem1971

    Yem1971 New Member

    What is a diagnosis? He is only in therapy in school, I had a heck off a time getting his dad to sign the papers to let the school give him therapy,but he had a temper tantrum about a month back because he didn't eat and wanted to eat after we had gone to bed, needless to say I told him after that that he saw a counselor or I was done living with them. I sure it is related to how he was raised. What can I do about the fathers ostrich behavior?
  5. Yem1971

    Yem1971 New Member

    He has never saw a neuropsychologist, this is the first person has ever saw. He was raised by his dad(my boyfriend) and bio mom and lived with them until he was around 12. There was a lot of drama and chaos in that home, arguing, filthy living conditions. After that at age 12, he moved in with me and his father. I was told she did not drink when she was pregnant with him, but i know she was drinking when his older brother was three and that would have been around the time he was maybe they are trying to cover it up? His mom sees him about once a month for a few hours, his older sibs have a few little quirks but everyone does, nothing like him though. It's extremely frustrating, I'm not entirely selfish, this isn't just about my comfort. I feel like I'm the only one that wants to get him help. No one else thinks anything is wrong with him. I am already taking the heat as the bad guy, if I bring anything up I'm a there any way to discipline a child like this? He is extremely intelligent. He can get straight a and b grades if he applies himself, could he get great grades and still have autism or fetal alcohol syndrome? What can I do for him if no one else cares? How does one handle discipline with this type of young man?
  6. Yem1971

    Yem1971 New Member

    What is a diagnosis? He isn't in therapy outside the school? Should I call the school and see if they can check him for odd? It is probably due to the way he was raised, what he saw and learned in the home. The mom shows signs of being borderline..and she's a alcoholic so he saw a lot at a very early age. I think he may have learned to hoard food young, so he didn't have to come out of his room...but these are just guesses...he takes loaves of plain bread to his room now( still) is there anything I can do for him? Is discipline moot? My last question is I to understand he's not doing this on purpose to hurt me? Or get back at me?
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    diagnosis is a diagnosis. And school will be pretty worthless in diagnosing him with anything - he needs a professional and lots of testing, that's a what a neurospych is for. ODD is also a pretty useless diagnosis, and generally when you find the *real* underlying conditions and get help for those, most of the ODD behaviors will start to go away. Also there is no help for ODD like there is for other diagnosis's.

    And I doubt he's really doing this specifically to annoy you - there's lot's going on here that he needs help for that he isn't getting, and since you're not his parent you have no legal way to get him the help he needs. You can find ways to try to understand and help at home, but that's about as much as you'll be able to do.

    Yes, autistic kids can bring home good grades. Mine is, in fact, highly intelligent, VERY verbal (at times too much so, lol). Does she always get good grades? Ummm... nope, doesn't always apply herself. Behavior? Varies - tends towards extremely violent outbursts at times, especially over baths/showers, which she absolutely HATES to partake in. Every kid is different and presents differently. There are many possibilities for what is going on with your stepson, and until he gets a professional evaluation and help, you simply don't know what is really wrong.

    There are many reasons kids hoard food. Mine doesn't do it, so I can't speak of it much, but others here have more experience with it. Could be he wants to stay in his room, or didn't get much to eat when he lived with them and learned to hoard in order to always have food, or an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) thing, or many other reasons. Again, you need professional help to find the underlying cause and get help with it and the other behaviors.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi! You sound very kind and I'm sorry his dad doesn't support your concerns. I worked in schools s long time and unless you're the legal guardian they'd get in huge trouble telling you anything unless dad signs a release of information.

    I agree with the others. I think this boy is not playing games. He probably has some kind of disorder where his mind kind of gets stuck on things. He could probably tell you the rule and still is compelled to do whatever....

    A neuropsychologist is specially trained to sort out how the brain is connected to behaviors and feelings. If you could talk his dad into that specific kind of evaluation it could be very useful. I doubt this boy is happy being this way.

    If a neuropsychologist is not available at least a PhD psychologist, or a developmental pediatrician or a child psychiatrist needs to be sought to try to figure out what's going on.

    Raising kids whose brains are different requires many different kinds of methods and typical things you do with other kids just don't work well as you have already found out, smile .

    It's much more a teaching type of parenting as well as structuring the environment to reduce the amount of stress and opportunities for problems. You're doing some of that already too!

    I hope dad will get on board but the others are right, this is likely life long. There's no shame in saying you are not up to it. You have to decide if you really want to be a part of a family like this.

    Hugs.....we get it! It's not easy.
  9. Yem1971

    Yem1971 New Member

    Well I just tried talking to his dad( my boyfriend)... He is absolute denial that there is anything wrong with his son. He said there are much worse kids out there. He will never get him any help. I told him I'm tired of arguing with him about it. I have threes years invested with this man and I love him, but I'm very concerned for his sons future and our future together as a couple. His egos too invested, if something is wrong with his son, then something is wrong with my boyfriend. Would it be better if they moved out or that may disturb the boy even more? I'm not sure what to do because I have no say with the boy, I'm obviously not a equal in this relationship.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Actually, Y, you sound like the most sensible of all of them! Seriously, you are the only one who seems to realize that this boy needs help. I do think the way he lived contributed to his behavior, but your boyfriend has three kids and this seems to be the only one so damaged, which is why I think that on top of having a horrible home life, this boy probably also has a disorder that has made him less resilient than the other two children.

    Do you know what I honestly think? Unfortunately, I always speak my mind :) I think you are better than both this boyfriend AND bio. mom. How could boyfriend live ALL THOSE YEARS in those conditions and NOT take his children out of there? How could he allow them to live for twelve years in such a horrible place? in my opinion he is as culpable as bio. mom and, yes, I think they are covering up that she drank during her pregnancy. It is unlikely that you, without having any legal rights, can help this boy and nobody else wants to do it. He may be on drugs for all you know.

    You sound kind and smart and could find a better more stable boyfriend. Do you really want to deal with all this denial from your boyfriend's mistakes PLUS his cluelessness that something is wrong with his son? What if his son hurts you? in my opinion if your boyfriend is not willing to go to couple's counseling with you to seriously address these issues, it is probably not going to end up a tolerable situation for you. I strongly, strongly, strongly recommend couple's counseling as well as a neuropsychologist for this boy. If boyfriend won't do both, he is not as committed to you and your well being and happiness as he should be (in my opinion). I still think YOU should go to therapy to talk about this relationship and help yourself decide if this is what you want and to help yourself. You count too!! Your boyfriend sounds intolerably arrogant and, sorry, too egotistical to change anything. Again, I feel you deserve better treatment. I don't think the boy is deliberately trying to hurt you, but boyfriend sure isn't trying to make a nice life for you or his kids.

    Hugs and good luck. Let us know what you decide to do.
  11. Yem1971

    Yem1971 New Member

    Thank you very much for your support...actually I start therapy again tomorrow.. So I will keep you posted. I was thinking earlier though, the only reason i need therapy is to deal with them and maybe my self esteem a little more, maybe i can actually break away from all this negativity. My boyfriend pretty much told me that I had a big ego and that I was the one who couldn't admit that I was wrong. He told me that he is just a normal teen and that I was making a big deal out of nothing... That it was just a trash can ( the one the boy moved ten times). I just walked away and I'm sitting in the other room, I'm stronger and healthier than I was three years ago when I came in. I would have stayed and argued
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  12. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    This site has some good info about food hoarding:

    "Often food hoarding is directly connected to significant neglect that the child has experienced in consistently having their basic needs for life sustaining food denied or inadequately met. As a result, the child is forced to become prematurely self-reliant in meeting their own basic needs. For example, in a situation where the parent is chemically dependent resulting in inconsistency in providing and having food available, it would be reasonable that when food is available that a child would view this as an opportunity. It would be logical that a “survival mentality” would be for the child to respond to the availability of food in self-reliant ways which could include over-eating and hoarding food in secretive ways. In neglectful situations, food hoarding is a wise alternative to ongoing food deprivation."
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I blniked hard when I read this. He says YOU have a big ego???? He thinks his son is just a normal teen???? Really????

    You are the sane one in a crazy environment with abnormal thinkers. YOU are their sanity, but that doesn't mean you have to stick around, take abuse, and prove it to them because your boyfriend won't allow you your excellent input. And you're probably right not to argue with him because he is going to stick to his guns even if that boy takes a frying pan and knocks him or you over the head with it.

    None of them sound too normal to me. You're the only one who does. And you can't help much if boyfriend is sitting on a big pile of Denial.

    Gentle hugs.
  14. Yem1971

    Yem1971 New Member

    Late last night, he told me that I am the one who causes all the problems in our relationship, he said there is always something wrong with him or his sons. That they don't need fixing, they are all going turn out fine. They are normal teenagers, with normal teenage behaviors. He said that I say I don't want drama, but that I am always creating drama, by nitpicking him and his sons...that his son moving the trash can is no big deal. He is trying to blame me for everything that goes wrong in our relationship. I admit I am codependent, but I started seeing a therapist today so that I might disconnect from this situation.
  15. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    It sounds like there are a lot of problems between you and your boyfriend and it has become a toxic relationship for you. Please consider whether this is the right situation for you. I was in a bad marriage and now I'm in a wonderful one with great guy who is considerate and respectful of my feelings and I him, and we never put the other down or make them feel bad. It took a long time for me to feel that I had a right to be treated well and with respect and love at all times. My partner is very supportive of me and makes me feel so good about myself. He tells me I'm beautiful every day and lifts me up, not puts me down.

    I wish that for you. You have a right to get that from your partner. You are worth it.

    If this relationship is going to work for you, he probably should go to counseling with you.

    Please update with your progress and let us know how you are doing. I wish the best for you.
  16. Yem1971

    Yem1971 New Member

    I just need to get strong enough, I plan on doing that with the help of my therapist. I feel weak right now :( I know I deserve better than what I am getting :) Thank you all for all your support and help. I appreciate it very much :)
  17. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    I about choked, my BS detector was going off so much. Oh honey... I know you've invested three years, but how many more do you really *want* to invest in this? Invest in you, dearie, because I don't think this will change.
  18. Yem1971

    Yem1971 New Member

    Why can't I see this clearly... when you all can? is it I'm blind with love or is it that I have been brainwashed over a period of time? As long as I am always agreeable, our relationship goes well. The second I have a problem with him or his sons, he gets extremely passive aggressive..almost as if he doesn't even care about me. If we split it would be the hardest thing I will ever do, I will continue to muster my strength. I told the therapist today, I want to start taking care of myself.
  19. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I'm proud of you for going to a therapist. Yes you need to be strong for you! Hugs
  20. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    It's never easy to see when you're the one on the inside, that's why people ask outside opinions - friends, family, therapists, etc. If it was easy to see, know, and do, there wouldn't be a need for therapists, a market for self-help books, you name it. This doesn't mean all of those have the right advice for YOU, you have to decide what's right for YOU. What do YOU want for YOU, and how do you get there? Who can help you get there, and who holds you back? Only you can answer that, and the right therapist is a great start to help you answer that and gather your strength again.