This is really happening...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by greenrene, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    As of today, my difficult child is going to be living with my sister in law. This is, more than likely, going to be permanent, or at least if it doesn't work out there, there is a strong probability that difficult child will be sent to a therapeutic boarding school.

    sister in law is very determined, optimistic, and a little scared. difficult child will have to follow all the rules that sister in law's kids do, which are WAAAAY more strict and structured than we have.

    I'm tired of being her scapegoat - it's WAY past time that difficult child start taking responsibility for her own choices rather than blaming her "horrible stupid life" on me. She thinks that her life would be just awesome if her dad had never married me, that I'm a horrible, mean, awful person, blah blah ad nauseaum. I'm tired of the screaming, I'm tired of the disrespect, I'm tired of the lies, I'm just so, so tired.

    She was raging this morning - I think that she's realizing some of what she's about to get into. She doesn't want to go - she thinks that I'M the one who should leave. She absolutely hates me. She has all this anger and resentment towards me - it's hard to deal with and not take personally, and it's made our home life impossible. It doesn't matter what I do, all I get is hatefulness and disrespect.

    difficult child has a massive reality check awaiting her. And after her antics this morning, all I have to say is good luck, and good riddance.

    After today, I will be FREE. Time to take care of me.
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Congratulations! I hope it helps her too, sadly I imagine if it doesn't you'll still be the scape goat, but oh won't have the constant stress.

    I think most of us are blamed often... I get sick of it. But a step parent has the added stereotype, politics, and baggage I can't imagine the constant issues.

    I'm super happy for you and hope you'll be able to enjoy discovering yourself further!
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    It's hard to be "the evil one" - trust me, I know...

    I hope you can find some peace and relief - and thank goodness for your sister in law (and heaven help her!)
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is good news, I'm happy for you, you can now have a peaceful, calm life without all of that drama. Her actions created this result, and you are now off the hook. Enjoy!
  5. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    Yes, I'm the evil one, and it SUCKS because while I freely admit to having my own issues, and I know that I have made a lot of mistakes and haven't been the perfect stepmom, she is still an EXTREMELY DIFFICULT child and always has been. Apparently my husband's dad is furious that it's come to this and blew up at husband yesterday. My mother in law is really sad about everything, to the point that she could hardly talk about it yesterday (according to sister in law). My husband is apparently extremely upset about the whole situation (wouldn't know, he's so stoic around me and has been so busy that we have barely had a chance to talk about any of it). Everyone is talking to everyone else, but my sister in law is the only one who is talking to ME.

    This is far from over, but at least I can breathe. She's gone now, and most likely won't be living with me again. It's heartbreaking, and I can't help but feel like a colossal failure - back when we first got custody of her, I had these high hopes for helping her because she truly had it rough living with her biomom. I know that she was very definitely better off with us, but it still wasn't enough. It hurts SO much to feel like people blame me - I've got to hold my head high and know that they haven't walked in my shoes, not even CLOSE.

    It's a long, complicated story - if it's okay, I might feel the need to decompress sometimes by sharing more of it here. I'm going to stick around because there are so many of you whose stories I've been following, whom I've come to care about.

    I'm hoping that now that the stress of day-to-day living with difficult child is gone, I can make some positive changes in my life to make things better. I've been living in survival mode for SO long, I don't think I even know what "normal" is supposed to feel like. difficult child came to live with us 13 years ago when husband and I had only been DATING for 7 months. We were living together with the intention of getting married, but it was very sudden and unexpected the day that biomom brought her over to stay for good. sister in law has told me that she doesn't know if she would have even stayed around if it were her in my situation. She does at least give me credit for trying, she just says that I was pretty much set up to fail from the beginning.

    Anyway. Now I can focus on me, my husband, and my boys. It's going to be strange around here.
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Geez, I so feel for you. It really sucks to be the bad guy, I have some experience with that too, in the strange world of my daughter's in-laws, they have made my daughter and then by proxy, me, the reason for all bad things happening to that family. It's tough to be that guy I empathize with you.

    Wounded children lash out at the one person whom they feel safest with, that's you. All that rage and hurt from her bio mom went to you. Not fair, but the way it often goes. You did a really heroic thing for a very long time and don't let that get lost in the shuffle here, you took in a very difficult, already very wounded child and did your very best, that's all any of us can do. The fact that you can't turn it around for her does not say anything about your parenting skills, it simply is the way it is. Sometimes we do the very best we can and we don't get the results we hoped for, but instead of beating yourself up and feeling like a failure, I think you should give yourself a huge pat on the back, tell yourself you did your very best and of course you made mistakes, you are human, but you gave it your best shot. And, now it's time to let go and let someone else have a hand at it. It's just time for everyone to move on.

    We parents often forget how much it takes out of us to raise a difficult child, and you did that with a child who wasn't yours and was thrust upon you after 7 months. Yikes. You really tried hard for a very long time under impossible circumstances. Take a huge deep breath and let it go and go enjoy your family and your freedom from the tyranny of a wounded child who used you as a whipping post. I can only imagine how different this will be for you after such a long time, but, I say, ENJOY every minute of it because you deserve it! HUGS!!!
  7. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Let's see what sister in law has to say in a week or two!

    Listen, everybody makes parenting mistakes. I think you now have a new chapter in your life to look forward to, make positive changes, and maybe even speak with a therapist, because these feelings will affect you, for sure. Even if difficult child is not there, you will turn this stuff from the past over and over in your head, and it will be like she won't even be gone. Truthfully, I don't know how long she will even last with your sister in law. Your time is precious...don't waste any more of it.
  8. Methuselah

    Methuselah New Member

    I'm sorry you and your family are going through this.

    Do not despair when your sister in law says after a week or two...or even longer..."She has been an angel for me!" difficult children have honeymoon phases where they can keep it together for awhile, and your difficult child may have a long one, like mine. But their true selves eventually come out.
  9. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    What RE and everyone else said. The deck was stacked against you from the beginning. I hope that difficult child gets the help she needs.
  10. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    It sounds like you did everything that you could to love her when she came to live with you and husband. This is not your fault in any way, shape, or form. What made your sister in law agree to take her in? I would like it if you could stick around so that we can hear how she does there. If her rules are more restrictive than the rules at your house she is going to be in for RUDE awakening!

    Take a deep breath. Know in your heart that you have done your best with her. Enjoy the freedom.
  11. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    It is YOUR time now. I think the suggestion of therapy for you is a great idea. It will give you a safe place/ person to work through the last 12 years of trauma that YOU have experienced and give you the tools you might need to deal with any future backlash.
  12. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    double post
  13. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    sister in law decided to take her in because she loves difficult child and us, and she wanted to try to help before it got to the point that we had to send difficult child off to boarding school. She said that she has to at least try, because she knows what the ramifications would be if we did have to send her to boarding school. My inlaws would pay for it, but there would definitely be some unpleasant strings attached.

    husband is not doing well. He is very much not wanting to face this reality, but I think it is much needed because he just tries to pretend everything is ok, and has for years. I mean, he knows that things are hard with difficult child, but I don't think he's really realizing or acknowledging how much all of us have been suffering. This morning he told me that he doesn't agree with any of this at all, but that he's basically being forced into it by his family. I (gently) reminded him that things have gotten so bad with difficult child that she's at the point of being sent off, which of course he knows, but... I think he was hoping that the new therapist would be able to turn things around, but she's only been seeing difficult child for a few sessions.

    difficult child is apparently having a hard time. I still say good riddance - maybe she'll come to understand that our home isn't as horrible as she thought it was. I'm still reeling from the raging yesterday, her screaming at me that she doesn't have to listen to me, that I have no authority over her, that I'm not her mom, that she can't wait to get out of this house, etc. Apparently she's having trouble at sister in law's. She just wants to do whatever she wants, whenever she wants, and not have to have anybody tell her what to do. Tough noogies - life isn't like that. Time for a massive reality check!
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Whew, what a relief! I am so sorry about husband's denial and feelings, but you have to do this.
    I just hope your sister in law survives. I think it's great that she has really strict rules and a strict schedule!
    Yes, a reality check, indeed. I forsee therapeautic boarding school in difficult child's future very soon ...

    Many hugs. I agree, it's time to get your life back. I know how it feels to have to recover from a rage like that. It can take more than a cpl of days so give yourself some time. I think I'm going to get right back to painting and writing, and end up looking through magazines or doing Sudoku or vacuuming because I can't concentrate on anything.

    Many hugs.
  15. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    Will difficult child continue to see the new therapist while she is living with your sister in law? That could help. IF she thinks that he's going to sister in law's house and will not have to abide by the rules there, I see her having the same troubles there as she is having living at home with you and her father. I think she will end up at boarding school (which will make you the evil step mother who shipped her off to school), but it might be what is best for everyone. I'm really sorry that it's come to this.
  16. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I'm glad that sister in law stepped up and took her. That took courage for her to back you like that against her brother. If difficult child is already giving sister in law a hard time, I would keep those Residential Treatment Center (RTC)/TBS applications going. Have you found any that would be good matches for her?
  17. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    sister in law says that difficult child is upset and doesn't want to be there, which is interesting because I know difficult child doesn't want to be HERE, either. She has this fantasy world that she wants to live in where her dad and her biomom live happily after where difficult child's life will be all roses and butterflies, but that's NOT gonna happen. I've been telling difficult child for a long time now that one day, reality is going to kick her really hard in the butt. Now is the time.

    If she doesn't make an ENORMOUS turn-around with her grades and effort at school, she's not going to be accepted back into her school next year. She is in her second year of 8th grade, and despite all we've tried with her, she is still WAY behind grade level. She tests at an "average" intelligence level, but her attention issues really get in the way of learning. She gets frustrated very easily.

    We're looking into boarding schools. There is one in the Tampa area that we're considering, but we're still in the very beginning phases. If anyone wants to PM me with any ideas, that would be great.

    As to the therapist, I don't know if we're going to stick with this one. This is the 6th therapist we've tried (long story there, none of it was my decision), and she is part of an organization that we have been told is really not good. We started off with a great therapist when we first moved here, but when our insurance changed, that therapist wasn't in our network any longer. My mother in law was unwilling to pay the exorbitant rates that this therapist charged, and there was NO WAY that husband and I could afford it, so on we went. This first therapist told us to avoid the organization that the current therapist is part of at all costs, that in her opinion they were terrible. Current therapist seems nice enough, but we haven't been with her long enough to know if it's a good match.
  18. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    It sounds like she isn't going to be happy anywhere because what she is looking for just doesn't exist: one big, happy family with dad and bio mom. Until she is willing to try to be happy in the circumstances that she is in it's going to be a very hard road for her.

    Remind me again, does she have any contact with bio mom?
  19. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Of course she's not happy. Now it's not going to be your word against hers among all of the other issues.....just breathe.....
  20. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    She has limited, sporadic phone contact with biomom depending on how stable she (biomom) is. She has not seen biomom in a couple of years. Biomom has lost custody of her other child, a little boy who is around 6 - she confessed to her caseworker that she couldn't handle being a mom and tried to drown her son (difficult child knows about the lost custody but not the gory details). Also at one point not long ago, biomom was whoring herself out to god only knows who down at the local bus station where she lives in NC (difficult child also is completely unaware of this, thank goodness). She is in no state whatsoever to even have difficult child come visit her.