personal counseling

wild_thingFebruary 18, 2009

How many of you have gone to personal counseling for your step family issues?

I have been considering it. Because I don't think that I can deal with the intensity of the emotions that I am having. Lately I am super resentful of even being a step parent. I did not used to feel this way. There was a time when I actually thought that I was helping my step kids. but not so much anymore.

I just can't stand either one of them now. I feel like they have robbed me of time. Even though I chose to spend that time, I now feel like I was robbed of it. I feel like I wasted my time. Time that could have been spent elsewhere on something I enjoy.

I am sick of our time being spent on the issues of my sd, and the other kids getting the short end of the stick. It is hard to try and find enough hours in the day to properly spend with each child. So sd ends up with the lions share. As did her brother when he lived here.

I have been leaving most of it to dh so that I can spend the time with the other kids....but now I am finding that I am pissed off that dh is not spending enough time with the other kids. It's all just ridiculous. I find myself putting the blame on sd. Thinking....well if she wasn't so messed up the we wouldn't be in this predicament. I feel so angry lately. I don't like it.

It gets to the point where I don't even want to be in the same room as her because I won't be able to say anything nice to her. Like all of my effort and restraint, and adult behavior is suspended and all I feel is this anger and resentment towards her and her dad.

I wonder if the ss getting his g/f preggo didn't spark this in me, as it sparked a need in dh to put even more effort into sd so she won't turn out like her brother and her mom. I started feeling this way after we heard that news. It has been growing each day. I try to get it under control and tell myself to just chill out, it will all work out and pass. But dammit if I am not having a difficult time doing it.

Wait!! Maybe I know......I don't know....I think maybe, that it is that we put so much time and parenting into ss, to help him with all his troubles when he was younger and even up till 8 months ago,...and he has gone and done what we always feared is where he would end up. Even when he was young, with all his problems and the counseling....we could see by his behavior then, ...he will drop out of school and do nothing with himself if he didn't help himself and start changing.

You can see it in some kids. I saw it in him. There was no motivation there, no goals, no nothing, even as hard as we tried to get him to understand and take an active role in his own life...he wouldn't do it.

Now, as his dad is disappointed in him.....his determination to "fix" his daughter is ramped up and that is pissing me off. Because I see the same thing in her. No motivation. No willingness to change anything about herself or take on any responsibility for herself and her own life. She just wants everyone around her to adapt so she doesn't have to. It was the same way with her brother.

Do I want dh to just give up??? No. I don't know. I just don't know.

I don't know how you help someone that doesn't want to be helped.

Dh is doing all the work, and sd is doing nothing...same way it was with ss.

Dh is on the same path. He is stressed out and full of anxiety.

He is fearful that his daughter will turn out to be the same way. That if she goes back to her moms she will drop out of school and end up pregnant. Because they don't know how to function without someone telling them exactly what needs to be done.

Teaching them responsibility is damn near impossible.

Dh thinks he has been teaching his daughter responsibility by giving her a "schedule" but all he did was put himself on a schedule.

You know?

He takes her to work on weekends....but...he wakes her up so she won't be late. Same with school....he wakes her up for school so she won't be late.

He went to the school counselor and has her bring a signed slip home every week from all her teachers, because she isn't responsible enough to make sure she does the work in all of her classes, so she won't flunk. Lots of hand holding going on with her.

I am tired. Very tired. I need a break.

Thanks for letting me rave on like some kind of lunatic. Cuz I sure feel like one today.

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You aren't a lunatic at all. I think there is only good to be gained by seeking help from someone trained to give it. We may be good here, but we aren't THAT good! :-) I said many times I was going to go but never did. DH and I each went and talked to SD's counselor on our own once just to get a grip on things, and it was truly helpful. Perhaps even couple's counseling would be beneficial?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 4:49PM
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I can relate!! I also considered counseling at one stage because I had a hard time. The feelings you describe are like mine at the time, and I'm sure I'll have them again in future. I remember bursting into tears and telling my FDH that maybe I need the counseling for myself, to deal with the awful feelings of not wanting to try anymore.

Becuase it's not as if you really can't be bothered anymore, you wouldn't feel so bad about it if you were truly over it right?

As I was still toying with the idea we got an introductory interview with the skids counselor and we talked to her for an hour. This really helped me, and I think I'll see her again after the skids have been going for a while. Sort of similar to JNM. Otherwise counseling together with your DH might be a good start. For me those bad feelings have gone again for now (and surprisingly quick too) but if they do come back I would consider counseling for sure. You don't have to struggle on your own and you are not a bad person for feeling that way!! Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 6:33PM
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I am currently in personal counseling for my step family issues. I have so many that if I don't go every week, I feel so angry. If I could go multiple times a week, I would - it's that bad. I have all the same feelings as you - anger, resentment, sadness...the works! My kids and skids are much younger than yours (ages 2-6) so I'm not dealing with the same things as you but the feelings are just the same. The counselor has made me realize that I'm not the problem - that while I do have issues of my own to work out, that many of the problems stem from DH and his own issues. It's so hard to deal with these things on your own. Sometimes just having someone else listen to you and validate your feelings does such a world of good.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 7:14PM
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I haven't gone, but I may in the future.

And I thought I'd commiserate on part of how you appear to be feeling:
My SS9 gets the short end of the stick from his BM quite a lot (ie: On Tuesday, "I had KD for supper because my mom made something quick because she said she wanted to get rid if me as quick as she could.")
Which means that we have a lot of slack to pick up, and I get frustrated with BM when her version of parenting makes my life more difficult. I have no way to let this frustration out at its source, so I sometimes find it misdirected at my SS.

Then, since DH knows that I'm not going to let SS be unparented when he is with us, he often lets his lazy side take over and I wind up doing all the parenting. Of course, I'm p1ssed that DH is sitting on his butt while I do everything and sometimes find myself mad at SS for that. Then I have to stop, and redirect it where it should be - aimed right at DH's lazy butt, LOL!

I think it's normal to be upset with a situation and misdirect how you feel. They key, that you and I both seem to have, is to know that where your feelings are pointed is not necessarily the actual cause and you may need to stop and take a breath.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 10:27PM
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I can definitely relate to how you're feeling. Yes, I have been in counseling for step-family issues and need to get back in it on a regular basis.

i'm having lots of issues/feelings right now and can empathize with you.

" Of course, I'm p1ssed that DH is sitting on his butt while I do everything and sometimes find myself mad at SS for that. Then I have to stop, and redirect it where it should be - aimed right at DH's lazy butt, LOL!"

Ceph said this really well. A lot of times I get irritated with BM or SS but then I have to remind myself---we can't control what BM does or doesn't do, but DH CAN control how HE handles it.

For example, tonight, SS came over with 4 pages of homework: 2 from last night that BM had not bothered to do with him and then 2 for tonight.

Well, DH had to work until 8:30 tonight so guess who had to help SS with his homework? Homework time is a struggle for my SS. He gets really frustrated and angry and will throw his pencil down, crumple the papers, storm out of the room, etc. He struggles academically so what takes an average 7 year old 5 minutes to do takes him 10. We labored and fought over his homework for over an hour tonight. All the while, I was getting frustrated and thinking "If BM had just done with him the 2 papers he was supposed to do LAST NIGHT, that would make MY job tonight a heck of a lot easier!" And then I found myself getting frustrated and irritable with SS.

But it's not really his fault that BM didn't do it with him last night, and it's also not his fault that my DH is working so much and I'm the "parent" in charge most of the time here.


It's a learning process, I think! At least you recognize your feelings---acknowledging them is the first step!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 10:39PM
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Ladies, thank you all for the replies. It makes me feel so much better to know I am not alone in my feelings with some of the issues step families face.
I do need breaks from it...a lot lol. Sometimes I just go to my room and shut the door and read, or veg out on some television program, just something for me, do my nails, etc. It does help some.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 2:06PM
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I applaud you for saying the things that most SMs don't want to admit! I believe we are often applauded by others (friends/family) for the patience, nurturing and selflessness it sometimes takes to be a SM. But we then feel the need to live up to this standard. The truth is we are human too!

I've had days when I've experienced the feelings you described, and have considered going to counseling just to vent. I need to follow through with it.

justnotmartha- you mentioned you saw SD's counselor on your own. I've wanted to do this with my SS's counselor, but have been under the impression that I am not a Bio so the counselor can not discuss SS with me. Is this incorrect?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 3:17PM
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Without consent of the bio's, you are likely correct. My DH has custody and BM (sometimes grudgingly) count me as a 'real' parent so there wasn't ever a question to my involvement. The dr. has discussed everything with me without issue.

When I went to see him I went more for myself - to get my vents off my chest because I could see them affecting my dealings with DH, SD and, well, life. BEcause he knew our situation and the BM I was dealing with it was very theraputic, for lack of a better word!!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 7:39PM
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