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Adult Stepchildren.......AAARRRGGGHHH!

13 years ago

Hi all. This is my first post and I see a lot of the drama going on in my life going on in you guys lives. I think I have found the right place. There does seem to be one difference between me and others here, though. I didn't get mine until he was 23, though I had been with his dad for 14 years and had 2 children of my own.

When my husband and his ex divorced, the boy was 2 yrs old. She maintained that the boy wasn't his, and through pressure from his father, hubby signed away rights. The Ex re-married and the new husband adopted the boy. My husband has always regretted being pressured into signing rights away and always hoped the boy would make contact with him.

Well, he did, about 1-1/2 yrs ago. He was a flaming drug addict in a world of trouble. Through contact with his dad, he went into rehab, then a half-way house for 9 months. He was unwelcome back into his mother's house so we opened our doors to him. The deal was: he work, go to college, put 1/2 of his earnings into an account for the day he decided to leave. Sounds good, right? I thought it was very fair considering our lives were going upside down to have him here and we (all of us, even my 9 yr old son who had to sacrifice toys and possessions in order to make room to share a room with the step-son) all made huge sacrifices to have him here. I got stranded at home daily because he used my car to go to work, school, where-ever else he went.

His mom & adopted dad bought a motorcycle for him, allowed him to make payments, but wouldn't give it to him until it was paid in full. I helped him clean up past bad credit, then co-signed for the loan to get him his bike. I got a thank you, but then the whining about the difficulties of only having a bike as transportation started.

Lots of stuff in between, but where we are now is he threw a tantrum Fri and left work and had a friend with a truck bring him to collect his stuff. He has always been rude and disrespectful to me, but he actually told me that now he wouldn't have a relationship with his dad or siblings and it is: "All Your Fault!!!!". I told him he needed to grow up and quit blaming life not going his way on everyone else.

But, honestly, his comment has hurt me more than I can tell you. I am now the "step-monster" when I tried and tried to do my best to help him. Of course, there is a lot more to this story, but I am not out to write a novel! LOL!

So, for now, how do you deal with the "If everything sucks then it is just your fault!" accusations? I keep trying to consider the source (and I know I haven't given you details on that, but you have all been through the same thing: user, doesn't clean up, isn't responsible, is disrespectful, yadda, yadda, yadda).

My heart is broken because I was so prepared to love and help this boy. He was so prepared to get his own way and hate me. How do you even remotely try to deal with a future relationship between the PITA step-kid and their father & siblings? Do you make yourself scarce or do you make him deal with your presence and position in the household?

Comments (8)

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Edit: I just realized that when I said "two children of my own", I did not say that those children were with dh. I have a boy and a girl (ages 9 and 5 respectively) with dh. DH does not have to deal with step-children, just a long lost child that demands "what you owe me". We tried to help him and apparently, "helping" in his book is giving him whatever he wants, along with allowing him to neglect and abuse his 2 half siblings. Ask him to pick up some weight around the house and you are using and abusing, a veritable she-devil!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Sadly, the answer is just so simple ---

    You're the StepParent.
    Therefore, it's all your fault.

    Whatever you did -- it was wrong.
    Whatever you did not do -- that was wrong.
    If you did something nice, it's proof that you're manipulative. (or rarely, just stupid)
    If what you did was 'blunt' or 'tough love', it's proof you're a flaming witch.
    Whatever someone else did that was bad -- YOU made them do it.
    Whatever someone else did that was good was done IN SPITE of your objections.

    Your job as StepParent is to be the fall guy. The doormat. The whipping boy. The scapegoat.
    That's your job.

    So how can you 'take this job and shove it'? and trade it in for a better job?
    Sadly - YOU can't. It's the StepKid that determines the job description.
    The best you can do is refuse to play his game...

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Well, if it puts it in perspective, my 11yo SS recently pitched a big tantrum over the computer and after a few minutes of rage and sobbing, blamed me (his SM) for that his mom has a 15 month old.
    LOL, yeah, I was stumped on that one too.

    As for how to deal, you consider the source, and tell yourself that you need to just keep on keepin' on. Keep trying to show him a positive blended family model. Keep making choices that will protect yourself and your children while still showing him that he is a loved and wanted family member.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Mykidsmom, in your case I wonder if it the SM role or just the addict personality that was behind this statement. Have you all been to whatever group it is for families of alcoholics/drug addicts? Not to go into too many details but we had an alcoholic family member; as kids we'd sit there while this person would play eenie meenie miney mo with us before they decided which one of our "faults" it would be that particular day. And it was that obvious; most of the time the "fault" would be some minor "infraction" that we'd never heard of before, and that occurred weeks or months prior. But when the mood hit, it would always be because one of us kids had allegedly done something wrong.

    How do you cope? Find a support group for families of addicts who will help you determine how much is helping and how much is enabling (sounds like you are in the helping corner). SS is trying to make you feel guilty and sad in hopes that you will become an enabler, I'd suspect. Don't buy into it. Good luck.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thank you guys for the replies. According to his mom, he has always been this way. The perpetual "victim" and refuses to take responsibility for his own actions. I don't know if the addiction has added to it or not, but I know he won't attend any kind of counseling with me. He's pretending I don't exist right now. Honestly, for the moment, that is fine with me because I've had about all of the stress from this kid I can take. With him gone, I no longer feel like an unwelcome intruder in my own home. :)

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    mykidsmom, just to clarify, I meant for you and DH to go to a group. Not you, not DH, not BM, not anyone but your SS can change his behavior at this point - but you can change how you react and how you let it affect you.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "Your job as StepParent is to be the fall guy. The doormat. The whipping boy. The scapegoat.
    That's your job. "

    Yup. Detach. No win situation. And do ANYTHING to keep him from moving back into your home. Even if you have to help pay his rent.


  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    At 23 he is an adult and is responsible for his own life. I agree I would not let him move back into my home. You have 2 young children and are exposed to a potentially dangerous situation. A counselor will tell you and DH the same thing.
    I had a situation where I met with a counselor specializing with drugs and I learned a lot. They are very manipulative people and are only concerned with getting their next high. They are also 'me' people, they only think of themselves. If he doesn't have money to get drugs he will start stealing and you are the easiest target and the least likely to report him to the police. You can NOT force him into rehab and if you find a way (I did!!) he will not cooperate so it's a huge waste of time and money. I was also blamed as the reason he took drugs. It hurts, but don't fall to their level by playing the game. Sounds like DH feels much guilt and is to close to the problem, so you need to find a person you can trust that is objective and will give you good advice. Most successful rehabs take years, and many relapses in between. My friend's 16 yo nephew died this past weekend. He was a good student and just starting his senior year. He came over to her house Saturday night and did not wake up the next day. Very sad and such a waste of a young life that showed so much promise. Our newspaper had front page statistics of drug overdoses Sunday. The drug of choice now is prescription pain killers and they are very addictive and take too many and you just go to sleep and don't wake up.
    It is a very stressful situation and I wish you and yours the best. Remember he will only change when he wants too, you can't make him.

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