Scared of 21yo stepson

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by fedupvt, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. fedupvt

    fedupvt New Member

    I don't know if this is the right forum for my situation, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to try. My husband's son, now 21yo came to live with us 3 years ago after getting kicked out of his mother's home then living with his SB for a few months, bumming around and not working, mooching off us and whoever else he could. He always spent summers with us, but never liked me. His dad and I have been together 15 years. He would do little mean things to me, but just annoying, nothing too serious. Then in his soph. year in HS, he was sent to live with us after physically pushing his mother to the ground. That lasted a few months and he went back, then things just got worse, and the latest time he was kicked out, he tried to run her over with his car. We didn't find this out until after he was moved in with us. There was never any consequences to this behavior except he is not allowed back at his mom's.

    He moved in full of hatred towards me-for what reason I do not know, unless it was transferral of his hatred of his mom. He refused to work the first 6 months, but wanted just to snowboard, which his dad allowed. He did go to work for his dad in the spring, but was argumentative and lazy, and got into a lot of verbal fights with other people on the construction crew. He blew up at me a couple times, said mean things, and his dad did talk to him, but nothing has really changed. He leaves the room when I come in, he eaves drops on our conversations, phone calls, goes through our stuff, doesn't pay rent, works only part time since he quit working for his dad, never pays us back for things we have bought for him when he agreed he would pay us back, is a total slob, doesn't have to do anything to help around our house, including cleaning the bathroom that he uses, helps himself to our food, is on our car insurance policy, - that is the one thing he does pay for - and he gets angry if there is too much noise early in the morning - I'm talking about 7 am, not really early.

    The other day, I was vacuuming above his basement bedroom, @10 am, and he went into his bathroom and when he heard me putting the vacuum away in the closet across from the bathroom, he started talking to "himself" saying, "I hate you you, I wish you were dead". That scared me a lot, and I told his dad later that day and he had no response. A few months ago a similar thing happened when I reprimanded him about burning up my favorite cast iron skillet, and he started muttering to himself that he was going to shoot me. I also told his dad about that incident with no response. This stuff never happens when his dad is around.

    He is as sweet as pie - usually - to his dad, and I believe he is an expert at manipulation. He lies a lot, I have heard him with my own ears, and he is always in a bad mood. I have told his dad he needs counseling, but dad refuses to broach that subject with him. I have asked when he is moving out, or going to college, or what he plans on doing with his life, and I only get my husband angry at me for asking. Help, I don't feel safe here with him when I am alone here, which is a lot since I work at a home office, I sleep with my doors locked if my husband is out of town, and I don't think I should be the one to see a counselor because I'm not the sick one, yet. This young man is big, so if he lost it, he could do some damage.

    I don't know what I have to do to get my husband to realize what I am going through here. I have told him over and over, we have been in counseling about this issue, but the counselor was only sympathetic to what the kid grew up with (crazy controlling mother). I just don't know what to do. I think I need to start talking to other family members, my husband's sister, and our friends, but I don't want to start a big "issue" between me and my husband or make him look bad in the eyes of our friends and our family.
    Lasted edited by : Jul 19, 2009
  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Hi and welcome,

    Others who are steps or have been in your shoes will chime in shortly. I know that none of us tolerate violence in our homes so it might be that you will have to call the police if your stepson acts out. Since Dad seems to be such an enabler, I'd forewarn both of them if you decide to go that route. The trick to any disciplinary action is, if you say you are going to do something, you have to be willing to do it.

    I wanted to welcome you and suggest that you post a signature. There are so many of us that it really helps for each of us to have our signatures available and it also helps us from having to repeat our stories over and over.

    As a side note, we don't allow swearing, even if it's abbreviated, so I've cleaned up some of your post. :angel:

  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry that you feel like a prisoner in your own home. Truthfully I not only have not had that experience but I have become a strong personality in my adult life and I wouldn't live with it. :redface: Sometimes on the Board I sound anti-spouse but truthfully IF I felt scared (evidently with very good reason in your case) AND my husband let his parental guilt dominate his actions or lack of actions, I'd be saying "husband I love you but I love myself too. I have tried numerous times to discuss the issues with SS and you are not taking my fears seriously. I will be finding a place to stay until I feel it is safe to come home."

    Yes, I know many people would not do that or consider doing that. on the other hand personal safety is extremely important. Furthermore, the longer the young adult is in the "drivers seat" the more powerful the rush becomes.

    I hope some others come along and give their input. If your "gut" tells you that you are in my humble opinion, you are in danger. I'm sending caring thoughts your way. DDD
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Welcome, and I am sorry to hear that you are going through this. I feel that your fears are completely valid. I don't know that calling the police would help, as your stepson will deny everything you say.

    I hope that you will find the strength to clarify yourself to your husband. You are potentially in grave danger. If necessary, get yourself a motel room and tell your husband that you will be home when his son is gone or in order to hand him the divorce papers. This will create the necessary discussion between your husband and his son regarding your fears. I know that this seems drastic, but if your husband won't choose you now, he won't choose you later, either. Just my .02.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I totally think you need to tell husband that you feel that you are in danger. Both of you know he was physically violent with his mother. It is very logical that you are next. It seems like it is only a matter of time until he gets violent with you. If husband won't believe he says these things to you, and that they are serious, can you trust husband to believe that SS was physically violent with you when husband wasn't home?

    You have every right to feel safe in your own home. Period. No Exceptions.

    Today you must start to put together a kit with a few changes of clothing, pajamas, toiletries, copies of insurance stuff, bank stuff, marriage license, birth certificate, social security stuff, and as much cash as you can accumulate. Store this in the trunk of your car or in another place that only you can get into. Or at a good friend's house or a relatives home. Abusers are most dangerous when they think you are going to escape them. So don't let SS know you are doing this.

    Then go to a hotel or friend's home. Tell husband that as long as SS is there you will not be. His son is a man. husband is not letting son grow up, it is unhealthy for everyone concerned. I don't know why husband will not make his son take adult responsibilities, and I don't think it really matters.

    If SS is violent or threatening to you before you leave, call 911. File a report. Don't drop the charges.

    I personally would not WANT a relationship with a man who didn't believe me when I said that someone threatened me. No matter who that person was. Are you sure you want to stay in the relationship with your husband? If you do, then you will need to seek out therapy so that you and husband can work through all the feelings you both have regarding this situation.

    Trust those instincts that have you afraid. No matter what reasons husband gives you for his son's behavior, trust your instincts.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow. Well, he's 21, not 12, and I assume he's stronger than you. I'd be scared to live with him and, frankly, I'm just stubborn enough to leave until he did. But it's more than that. He could really hurt you, just like he did mom. I wouldn't put up with him. If husband can't see he's a danger to you, then I'd stay in another location until he did.
    I'm with Susie on this one. If husband doesn't believe his son does these things, I couldn't continue to love him. He knows what the kid is capable of doing.
    If you don't leave, if he ever lays a finger on you or threatens you, I'd call the cops.
    By the way, husband SHOULD and DESERVES look bad to his family and friends. Shame on him! I'm dead serious too.
    Do you have family you can stay with? Any friends who would let you stay until you got your bearings?
  7. cakewalk

    cakewalk Member

    I'm with susiestar 100% on this one.
  8. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Yep, I'm 100% in agreement with the others too. Susie gave you some excellent advice. You have to treat this like any other case of domestic violence, which it certainly is. In addition to what Susie said, I would also suggest that you get a small cell phone and keep it with you at all times, in your pocket, in case you need to use it in an emergency.

    It sounds like your husband is in complete denial about what is going on with his son, and I wouldn't count on him to protect you. He has chosen his son over you and you need to take your own steps to keep yourself safe. He may see it as 'protecting' his son, but he's really doing him as much of a disservice as he is you. If it takes moving out to finally wake him up, I'd seriously think of doing it! I don't like ultimatums, but in this case you don't seem to have much choice. Either way, you will have your answer. I'm sorry you have to go through all of this. Please stay safe and take care of yourself.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    If you are afraid, and have no money or not enough money and no friends who are in a position to let you stay with them for a while, go to a domestic violence shelter. Usually you go to an office and from there they will send you to the actual shelter.

    This IS domestic violence, even if he never lays a finger on you. Just the mumbled threats qualify.

    Even if you don't need resources from the DV place, go and get some counseling and advice from them. It is free. It is amazingly helpful and reassuring. They will also know your rights.

    If husband is afraid his family will see him in a bad light then he KNOWS what he is doing is wrong and chooses to do it anyway. I hope and pray that his family DOES find out what is going on. Go ahead and call the family members you are close to and let them know what is going on, if you feel that the reactions won't leave you open to more danger. If having his family learn about what is going on is enough to increase the danger you are in, RUN.


    RUN FAR.

    Maybe you can go and stay with one of the family members on his side if you are close to them.

    Just make sure you are SAFE. Worry about everything else after that.
  10. fedupvt

    fedupvt New Member

    Thank you everyone for your support and advice. I think it's a great idea to keep an emergency kit at a friend's house just in case. Unfortunately we don't have cell phone service in our town.

    I spoke with my brother last night who lives on the opposite coast from me, and he basically suggested the same thing to wake up husband. My situation is complicated by the fact that I work for husband, and I hold a very key position in the company. So, if I leave, I really create havoc, but on the other hand, if his son puts me in the hospital or worse, that would be worse in so many ways.

    I think my plan is to get husband to sit down when I am assured we are alone, and have a span of time to talk, and level with him. I am also going to contact a DV center in our area and make an appointment to talk to them. Thank you, I hadn't thought of that.

    Yes, it feels pretty bad to know that husband would rather play into his son's manipulation and allow me to be a potential victim rather than deal with it. It's pretty wimpy really.

    It helps to hear from others that I am not just overreacting.

  11. fedupvt

    fedupvt New Member

    So, I figured out how to add a signature, so here it is.
  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Are you checking in? Let us know what happens, if you are comfortable with that.
  13. Huff

    Huff Member

    I am not a professions by any means. Just a stepdad that is going through the same thing. Although my difficult child has never got physical he has threatened on numerous occasions and the look in his eyes is a very scary thing. I'm new here and posted my story last night. I am divorcing and have been seeing a counselor for myself the last couple of months. The main reason I went to him was to get help with the feelings of fear of the gig even though his mom and I are divorcing I still do not trust him. I feel safer but can't not be concerned for his therapist says that the verbal threats will turn physical at some point without intervention. We tried to get difficult child help but he is an adult and just screamed that we thought he was crazy. I know it's not much help and I have no solution to offer you . Just want you to know that you are not the only one going through this. And as far as your husband goes see if he will go to counseling alone because I know how numb and distant it made me not only to my ex, but to. Everyone. He may be like me just had no idea how to deal with the situation. I wish I had gone years sooner, but I always thought he would grow up and stop blaming me for all his problems. Your in my thoughts and god bless.
  14. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Huff, just so you know, you've replied to an old thread, dated in 2009. Check at the bottom of each post to determine the dates. The initial poster no longer posts.