Preparing For the Future

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by BloodiedButUnbowed, May 2, 2018.

  1. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    My oldest stepson is now a young adult at nearly 18. His depression and anxiety have crippled him. He will not graduate high school on time. He may never graduate. He won't speak to us.

    My younger stepson, 16, is almost certainly bipolar. The psychiatrist will make a definitive diagnosis in a few weeks once he is sure the antidepressant levels in YS' body have leveled off to a point where he is not potentially experiencing a "rebound" effect. But he is obviously cycling and everyone from teachers to social worker to psychiatrist to psychologist believes he is likely bipolar. YS told his doctors he "likes" the feeling of mania and wants to experience it "all the time."

    What will their lives be like? How will their mental illness affect me and how will I establish boundaries, especially if my wife and I disagree? These questions are on my mind today. I will be easing myself into the "failure to thrive" section of the site as my stepchildren are growing older and our focus as a family will change from IEPs and 504s, to SSI, employment and living arrangements. And that's assuming we have any role in their lives as they mature and become legal adults. The way things are going, it's more likely that after they turn 21 we will never see or hear from them again.

    As long as their father is living I am 100% sure I needn't worry about either of them disrupting my home life with their presence. They see both my wife and myself as their enemies.

    I feel for my wife's pain. As for myself, I feel mostly relief that I do not have to deal with their havoc in my daily life.
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    It is a shame that everyone's lives unravel when there is mental illness in the family.
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  3. JRC

    JRC Active Member


    First, ((hugs)). Although I know that you feel some relief that you aren't caught up in the day to day drama of your step children, this is hard. Watching your wife's pain is hard. Knowing that these children will have really tough lives is hard. It sucks all around.

    YS's diagnosis: I'm sorry. It's a crappy diagnosis to have. The cycling disrupts the lives and aspirations of even the most motivated child or adult. We know about famous people who seem to have successful lives, but the fact is that it's a disabling diagnosis. Horrible stigma. And, as you well know, high suicide rate. It's the last part that is so hard for parents to manage. Some "find a place" for the pernicious unspoken threat of the disease. I'm not sure I ever will.

    You've been such a source of help here. I'm glad you're sticking around.
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