At the end of my rope...

tholbrook79April 15, 2009

My sd is 15, shes been with us or over 5 yrs aftr bm abandoneed her for the 3rd time. BM is back in the childs life now. Most recent thing that has come up is bio mom called social services on us saying we beat all of the kids, we let ferret poop rot on the floor, and we do drugs. none of this was true and it was all unfounded but the reason bm called social services is cuz of what sd told her. I feel soooo betrayed cuz I have been in sd's life since she was 1.5 and I was her mom until bm decided to come back. THere is way more drama than this and I cant take it any more. I have been married to my dh for 11yrs and i dont want to divorce but I cannot even stand the thought of my sd anymore. what would any of you do?? Any advice??

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I have dealt with a similar situation, didn't have to go through being accused of unsanitary conditions or child abuse, but my 18 yr. old SD had been with us the last 10 years because her bio mom decided she was too high maintenance! When bm wasn't involved, it was easy, now that SD is 18, bm all of a sudden has an interest, and OF COURSE, SD has played this up for all it's worth!

Invite social services to come in and find nothing wrong. I know it's a hassle, but those people are professionals and I'm sure they can tell the difference between true or fabricated neglect/abuse situations. Then you can 1.) Talk to your SD about what she's saying to bm 2.) You or hubby speak with bm (if possible) about how SD is fabricating stories to get attention. 15 year old girls are ALL about the drama, they WILL do anything they can to be the center of attention. It doesn't get any better in the later teen years, the drama just gets more intense... I certainly feel for you!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 9:48AM
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socail services did come by, inspected our house and everything was unfounded. there is no talking to bm, she will believe whatever sd tells her, her whole family is like this even though sd has been proven a huge liar to all of them. She does feed off the attention and it makes me sick that its very, very negative attention.

I really havent spoke to sd since this happened in January. i didnt say Happy b-day and I refuse to do anything for her. i am done being used and being made out to be the bad guy when alls I have done is make sure sd is doing great in school,(she was 3 grade levels behind when bm had her,now she is on honor roll)has a stable consistent place to live and I was the one that was taking care of her, like she was my own. I am done now, I wash my hands of her and her sick side of the family.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 1:12PM
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Just out of curiosity, how is this affecting your relationship with hubby? Does he seem concerned about you separating yourself from sd, or is he fine with it? I know it sounds krass, but there are times that I have to remind my DH that I will (if God wills it) be the one that is there long after his kids are grown and gone, so he needs to think carefully about the decisions he makes now. I'm praying for you...

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 1:49PM
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It sounds to me like your 15 year old sd is looking for her moms attention. Her mom is finally back around and she is doing anything she can to get her mom to want to see her and be around her...even making up things about you. When she tells these lies her mom probably pays lots of attention to her and seems happy so sd continues.

I know it is rough...but please try to remember this is the action of a 15 year old girl trying to connect to her mom.

What did you or dh say to her after this all began with social services??

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 1:59PM
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Who knows what the child, emphasis child said to bm?

15 is pretty young. Kids really don't know what they are doing. I know it's hard what she put you through, but not speaking to her for months on end - I assume she's still living with you? - is not healthy for either of you.

You are the adult, it's easy to give in to giving a kid a taste of their own medicine, but we should take the high road. What's going on *COULD* be construed as a form of abuse.

If you lead by example, then you can hold your head high, and perhaps the girl will learn.

My daughter hasn't spoken to me since 2002 but I have never forgotten her, skipped her birthday or stopped letting her know I care, in any way that I can, because it's the right thing to do and I know I can't blame her totally for anything - besides, having a parent means it's supposed to be unconditional (ok it's not a license to behave badly either) and you are, for all intents and purposes, the girl's mother.

Teens are messed-up at the best of times. Consider also this must be very bad for your own peace and state of mind. I think you will be bringing bad things upon yourself if you don't rethink this - I'm not saying you deserve bad things, or deserve to be treated badly, far from it, but such negativity brings its own poisons, as it were.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 2:03PM
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Ok, so you say the most recent thing to happen was in January and it is now April. And you are now at the end of your rope. So like Pjb was saying, I don't really think the cold shoulder is working for you or your family.

Maybe it's time to seek a professional to help sort out your feelings and see if this situation is good for you. I do think that it is a form of abuse to completely ignore a child and if it has come to that, then you should probably think about leaving. This is not good for you, the child or your husband. If you do want to work it out, then I think you need to come up with a plan of how you are going to co-exist and become a family again.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 5:53PM
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I dont completely ignore her, I dont seek out talking to her. This is taking a toll on me mentally. My Dh freaked out on her with the whole dhs thing but I dont htink he gets exactly how much this last incident has affected me.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 9:12PM
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Tholbrook i think you need to sit down with your DH and seriously explain your feelings now and how you feel. And tell him exactly how you feel and that you've washed your hands of her. Because if your husband does not take care of talking with SD and maybe even some counciling.....your marriage will suffer in the long run.
I think group counciling should be your first step. To let everything out and see ifyou can come together to co-exist.
If that first step is met, and sd continues to be such a disruptive force, then i personally would take it to the next step.....thinkof alternative living arrangements for her or yourself....
Sd here is obviously doing this to catch her mothers attention and its a cry for help. I think you SD should go for counciling , along with many family sessions to try to resolve this lying and attention seeking to show Sd its a destructive path that only hurts all.
Now in the end, like i've said before, if you take this route and doens't help and she only gets worse...then BM should step up to the plate as a parent and take her! She wants her mother. Why is her mother not there for her.
Ifyour place is sooooo bad, then why didn't mom come and swoop her out of there.? This is what Sd is doing...she's testing...and sure bm called services...but did she go for custody of her daughter??? no???
Hang in there.
1. Tell your husband how you feel.
2. Seek some family counciling.
3. Seek extra things for SD to involve herself in and to increase her self esteem.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 2:58PM
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organic maria, thanks for the very sound advice. There was a custody thing going about 5-6 yrs ago and she lost custody after having it since she was 2. That should yell you something about what type of parent she was cuz a judge wouldnt have removed her from her mom without good reasons. This woman is very unstable and refuses to grow up. The other sad thing is that she had another child by a different guy and unfotunately that guy was a dead beat so now she has custody of her other child, i feel sooo bad for what his childs future is going to hold due to the bm.
My dh has said I have had it in for her since day one but I kow thas not the case, i was the one that came up with the money for the custody and did all the leg work, i was the one taking her to counceling for being molested by her step-grandfather and from the stuff her mom had put her through. I have treated her like she was my own cuz like I said before, I was taking care of her since she was 1.5.
Again thanks everyone for your advice. its nice to know that I am not alone. I just really hate feeling like this. I get anxiety when she comes home from school or when she asks to go do stuff with her mom. I just want for things to be the way they used to be.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 4:11PM
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That sheds more light on your situ...i think first your husband should be straightened out that you did not have it in from day one because if you did you wouldnt' not have given the money or time for his daughter and he should appreciate all the energy and money you have invested in her.
That being said, i think you are in a rare position most SM here are not in. That is, you yourself can confront your SD because you have raised her from 1.5 . You've been her serrogate mother since her mother abondonned her. She definitely needs counciling because this is a cry for attention. BUt you yourself can sit her down with her dad and tell her to stop lying .
Now if neither of them respects you, does notlisten etc..etc..and counciling doesnt' work. Then you have no choice but to cut her off. She can do her own laundry etc..etc...Shift the responsibility over to yoru if she has to be driven somewhere or go shoppign for clothes..its his money she will use and most important, his time.
At age 16, she can get a job. ...let me refrase...she has to get a job.
Other than lying, is she good at school?, does she do drugs or alcohol? If its just lying than its pure attention and she just really needs good counciling. Bm will not change and the damage is already done to your sd.
What you are doing is right to disengage from her and let her father know that he needs to pick up his end and give more time now to his daughter and handle her and you are stepping back foryou own sanity.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 3:39AM
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well, me and dh talked last night,well, I cried and he listened. All in all, my sd is going t be living back with her mom. I told him how I felt betrayed and that its like she not devoted to this family, but to her mom who has hurt her over and over again. We have done nothing to her but we get treated like we are the bad guys. and its like i have a spy living in my house. My boys dont get along with her either, she is soo rude to them and I do not tolreate that. Hopefully if all goes well, shw will be gone by tonight. I told my dh that i was leaving cuz I wasnt going to make him choose but he still went and told her that hse is going with her mom. Thanks again for all the advice.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 12:34PM
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I hope things calm down for you and make it clear to your husband that his daughter wants her mother, has lied as a cry for attention but in the mean time has burnt her bridges with you.
That being said, she goes to her mother, but make it clear mom cannot dump her again. I think your dh should speak to his ex and make it clear that since she has called social services with regards to her daughter ( any mother would hearing things like this regardless if they are fiction...) and her daughter obviously is not happy where she is that she will now have full responsibility for her and that your house will not take her in again if she decides not to have her. She'll have to make other an aunt or grandparent..etc..etc...
A child cannot be taught that she or he can bounce from one house mothers house, then dad's house cause things get rough or they dont get their way. Once they leave one place they must realize , its a one way route...out..This way the decision is final and they have to think about what they are doing.
I had a cousin who was bounced around between his parents. Well, he was finally sent to an aunt and was told...last stop. Deal with the situation. Alot of details i wont get into but basically the divorce did the damage on this kids and both parents didn't help.
I really hope you can heal in the coming days and breath . Refocus on your family and focus on positive things.
I went through a rough week myself and i'm taking a deep breath.:)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 2:06AM
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Maria, I think that your advice is great. Bravo! heart goes out to you. A tough road you are on...even still I might add.
I have been in your shoes. In fact it was months ago that I wrote here practically the same thing. I couldn't stand my SD who is now 16 since then.
My SD was doing terrible things to us, and always threatening to move back with her mom blah blah blah....I just couldn't take it any more. I talked to Dh and told him that I just wanted to leave. Because, like you, I didn't want him to feel like he had to choose, but the problem was, that my saying that, alone caused him to choose too. Do you understand?? You say it thinking that you don't want them to have to choose between the two of you, and you say it so that they won't have to make that decision.....but that isn't fair, and they do end up having to choose. Maybe it is a way to force them to say, I don't want you to leave, so she will leave....I don't know. My Dh had said that he didn't want me to leave either, and that SD would go live with her BM......but that decision actually didn't sit well with me either (explanation at the end). I was in the no win situation really.
Broken hearts were going to happen either way.
So I stuck it out....with the condition that SD must go to counseling. I talk with DH a lot. We discuss everything, and I mean everything. It is the only way that I can cope.
Today, SD has realized that her mom is a sack of sh** that could honestly care less about her. Her mom is more interested in herself and her own feelings, and it took counseling and writing a letter to her mom for her to realize that. She put her mom on this pedestal, hoping she would become this great mom, and she kept that fantasy of her mom for a long time. It took someone else besides us (counselor) talking to her about things to get her to see and open her eyes.
Things are not perfect here, but they are better. My SD came home from counseling the other day and came right in and gave me a hug and told me "thank you for always being here for me'....I was just stunned. I asked Dh why she did that, thinking they had discussed something in counseling, and he just shrugged, with wide eyes, and said, no she did that on her own.
So miracles can happen!
I think that you may have jumped the gun here tholbrook, but I do understand where you are and why the decision was made.
I feel sadness for you sd however, because she is young, and while not completely irresponsible, she is still young, and will probably regret her choices and actions.
My fear if I left, or if I forced that decision onto my dh to have his daughter leave and go back to live with her mom, was that he would in the end resent me for it. Because it was not a decision that he was making willingly at all. I knew he wouldn't want me to leave. In my heart I knew that., and I knew that wasn't fair for me to use that card. That fear is what kept me looking for other answers. I tied a knot in the end of my rope, and I HUNG ON for dear life! I am still here today, and in a better place.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 3:50PM
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wild thing, I do think i jumped the gun and I feel horrible but there is not much i can do now. You are vry luck in that , yur sd sees that her mom is a piece of crap. My sd refuses to belive anything but good things about her mom. Many times sd has said, my mom is turning over a new leaf. Her mom has this way of twisting things and sd ALWAYS belives her even if there is proof to shgow otherwise. I am sure she will be asking to come back here when her mom wants to up root her again when her current bf dumps her and wont pay her way, or maybe bm will end up taking off again for the 6th time. I was just sick of being made to be he bad guy and do good for sd, only to have her put her mom on this pedastal and act like i was the one that abandonded her and moved her around all the time. We did have her in counseling for two things, being molested by her moms,mom husband and because of her mom ditching her again and that didnt help. She also has her aunt and g-ma feeding her crap that she takes as the gospel for some reason. I am jsut done with all of them, they have ruined enough years of my life with my kids.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 8:58PM
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Tholbrook, make your stand with your dh that now that his daughter has left, if mom decides to uproot that grandma and her aunt can take care of her since they see fit to feed her BS.
You've helped her enough, she's disrupted the family enough and its the last straw. I hope your husband sees that.
I hope that he sees she can't go running back and forth to your house and not show an ounce of appreciation for what you and your family has done for her. But sh'es young and will not realize this until older. But in the meantime, Sd wanted to go with mom, its mom's responsibility , and if she waves in the near future, let mom's side of the family take care of sd.
What does you hubby say if sd wants to return? does he know you want that door closed ? I know you spoke with him but people tend to change their minds after the wind has died down. I think soem rehashing to your dh should be made and make it clear to him the door is not open for his daughter again. He will have to make other living arrangements.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 8:47AM
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She has lived with g-ma before. Grandma takes better care of sd than she did her own daughter and thats why a 14 yr old ended up becoming a dead beat mom. I am the same age as bm but I am way more responsible, I guess I grew up and she didnt. As for what dh thinks about her ever coming back, we havent talked about that but I am sure what ever I say will go. I am thinking I am going to need to get into counseling because for some reason, this has hit me hard. i cant let what she has put us through go and I dont know why.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 3:03PM
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Its because it was a betrayal and it really hurt you. Some council session wouldn't hurt at all and maybe get your dh involved if he wants. If he doens't that is fine..but go for your own piece of mind if you really feel you need to go ...go for it.
I went for counciling and found it really wasnt' helping me..but one thing it proved was that i am a strong person , i do not tolerate cr*p from anyone and i learned that i had to let go and just leave it be and stop banging my head on a bring wall. Which i knew before going in..just had to confirm it.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 3:38PM
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tholbrook. what is done is done. You need to just let it go and move on. You need to try and heal now. That alone takes time. I wasn't trying to make you feel bad for what has already taken place...I just wanted you to know that there are others out here who know exactly what you are going through. Don't feel bad.
It is a painful thing to constantly put yourself out there and open yourself up to these skids, and have them dump all over you because of their own messed up issues.
You can't let it go because it is like Post Traumatic Stress. You went through something extremely stressful and painful and now you have to deal with it and heal from it.
We did that the first time with my ss when he was 12. He terrorized our household for years and when I got preggo with our dd who is 6 now, he went back to live with his mom because we were afraid of her safety after she was born. We had to learn how to live, pretty much, all over again. Just hearing a child throwing a trantrum would send us into stress mode like that. It was PTSD.
Foolishly, we took him back into our house when he was 16 because his mom was going to sign away her rights to someplace...without even talking to dh about it. We took him...all be it...skeptically. He proved to be the same manipulating, troublesome kid, he just had more sneakiness about it. So it was no big surprise that he decided to take off once he turned 18. He hated having rules. I am perfectly happy not ever speaking with him. Dh can't change how he is, so he has to just deal with how his son has turned out, and it is extremely disappointing to him. But it is what it is.
I won't do that again with his daughter. She either get s her sh** together or she goes. Plain and simple. She is working on it. Things are slow. But they are working for now.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 12:05PM
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i know i need to let it go but I am sooo afraid that this is gonna bite us in the as* very soon. Alot of things haved changed in the last few months ie. my sd moving out and my dh is now no longer able to work from a disability. Bm will freak when she learns ther is no health insurance. He is going to get disability payments through a private insurance company through his work and i am afraid she will eventually take a ton of that money in cs. We went from having over 4 grand a month and now are on foodstamps. Im just under way too much stress right now and I know that this isnt over, with her, its never over.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 4:16PM
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Cs is based on income of your husband. Since he is not working, no money , no cs. AND since yo usay you are on food stamps, then no, the court will take that into account.
You shoudl see a lawyer about CS...i honestly believe bm will not get anything since your dh is not working.
I know in canada, its based on the salary of the non custodial parent and the earnings of the custodial parent. Its a formula they use. And now since 2006 or 2007, there is a law stating that if the first family is causing detrimental damage to the second, it will be adjusted accordingly.
I'm not sure how it works inthe states.
But when my friend lost her job, she didn't pay cs payments until she got a new one and the garnished it directly from her boss.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 6:08PM
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In the US, if a parent isnt working, the court will evaluate what the parent should be making. Is he on disabiltiy?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 7:15PM
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that is partially true kkny. They will impute earnings if there is no reason for not working. (and if it can be proved he stopped working or took a lower paying job to avoid paying more in support, then they can impute his earning capacity... at the least, they will impute minimum wage) If he is on disability, they will require him to apply for any benefits he may be entitled to and then calculate that... and it's also possible that if he is disabled, the kids would get benefits under SSD.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 7:27PM
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I think it's a very bad idea to tell your DH that SD can never come back to his home. What if something happens to BM? SD is still a minor and her parents should be responsible for her ultimately. Not GM or an aunt. How would that look to the rest of DH's family? DH can't parent his child because his wife won't let his child live with him? Crazy. Parents are supposed to be there for their kids, not the other way around.

Yes, I think it stinks that she "chose" her BM over you. But she always will. No matter what you do, no matter how great you are and how lousy BM is. If you truly did have her best interests in mind, why in the world would you tell your DH that his daughter can never live in his home again? It sounds very prideful and vindicitive honestly.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 9:04PM
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Nivea, obviously you have never lived with the sort of skid that targets you as the enemy and seeks out to destroy you.
Prideful and vindictive? Whatever.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 11:56AM
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I have to agree with Wild Thing. It's pretty hardcoe serious stuff when the child is lying to Government agencies. People could lose jobs over this. I would if the girls lied like this about me! I work with children. It would only take one false allegation and I'd be gone and LIVID to say the least.

This isn't your average Thurman b*tchery about how the kid won't talk to the step parent or isn't nice....this is a little more serious and potentially life ruining. I would want to throttle this kid if I was the step parent no less ban her from my home.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 12:15PM
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agreed doodleboo. My ss did this to us when he lived with us. He was around 12. In grade school. We were already having MAJOR issues with him and in the process of getting him a therapist that would work. He used the school in the worst way against us all the time. They filed a complaint with CPS based on what he was telling them.
We had to go down to their offices and talk with them.
Now, you want to hear something horrifying? We went in there with our binder (3 inches thick!) full of nothing but documentation of his behavior, dr reports, etc....I start to say something, and this woman behind her desk, looks at me and tell me, I don't want to hear from you, you have nothing to say in regards to this child because you are only his step mom. !!!!**##!! Yeah! I kid you not.
Well, I burst into tears. My dh is absolutely livid, and he just lites into this woman. Telling her whats what. I have NEVER seen someone backpedal so fast in my life!
Well, in the end the allegations were unfounded. That woman also lost her job.
I have been through hell and back again with my dh and his kids. I am still here with his last one. We keep trying to raise them with some sense and a little responsibility. It didn't do a damn bit of good with his oldest, and it would seem it is having little impact on the sd, but we are still trying. For now.
I must be a glutton for punishment or something, because I can't for the life of me figure out why I keep letting his kids come and live with us lol. No, really, I have a college degree and spent much time working with kids just like them, so it is probably the "helper" in me that makes me a glutton. But I do know this....there are some kids that you just can not help.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 12:47PM
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So the solution is to send the kid to Gm or Aunt where she could call on them too? Lol no. It's the parents responsibility. If the stepparent doesn't want to be involved, then don't.

Really think about why the child told the lie in the first place? (well actually we have no idea if she lied at all, mom could've just said it and which it seems even more ludicrous to punish the child) Is the child "testing" who is going to be there for her? It sounds like she has lived with different members of her family for different periods of time. She doesn't sound like she feels safe or secure, basic rights for a child. And it was both of her parents doing.

But the solution is now she can't live with her dad, pretty harsh.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 1:27PM
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I would agre with you in most cases but in this particular case the kid is targeting one person....the step parent. If she had some kindof consequence she might think twice about pulling a stunt like that down the road. If she just gets a little pop on the hand it may be much worse next time.

You can't expect someone to throw away a marriage to save their character from being smeared by a child. That isn't right. The line would have to be drawn at some point. They could always put her on a restriction for the house for a few weeks and try again.

If my job or character was threatened by someone, adult or child, I wouold distance myself from that person. In this case the victim LIVES with the father. It wouldn't be fair to boot her out because the SD was being a lying vindictive brat. It would actually FEAD the behavior since that is probably exactly what SD wants. To stop the behavior she needs to experience the OPPOSITE of what she wants. That would mean her getting the boot for awhile.

The result will be SD thinking "Damn, I didn't see THAT coming" and she'll probably never do it again.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 2:23PM
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Ima, I said "evaluate" -- I didnt say they would impute anything or the amount.


If she is a minor and dad has custody, booting her out -- I would hope CPS would nail Dad for that.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 3:47PM
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let me clear up a few things, dh chose to have sd go and live with bm, I told him I was leaving, I DID NOT tell him that he had to choose and that she had to leave, I was ready to leave with our two kids and walk away form a marriage of 11 yrs because of all the crap and bull sh*t sd and her family have put me and my kids through. I am standing up and protecting what is/was in the best interest for MY children and being around a manipulative, lying, deceitful teenager and all the drama she has brought in to my home.
Also kkny, he you say "boot out" as if he kicked her out on the street. Bm came and picked her up and in the end, she wants to be with her mom, they have a very sick relationship in that the roles a reversed and sd has to parent bm, pretty pathetic.
For the people that are slamming me(nivea and kkny), you obviously havent been in my situation and have NO idea how this kind of situation sucks the life out of you. And either way, yes she was lying to either bm or child services cause all of the allegations were found to be unfounded. I made a decision to protect my sanity and my two kids. I hope that those that are bashing me dont ever have to deal with a bm, bm's family and a sd like I have. I have been in her life since she was 1.5, its not like i am a new wife trying to come in a get sd out of dads life.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 4:11PM
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Tholbrook, I do feel for you. I think it is crappy. But you are an adult.

SD is a minor

I think the duties and responsibilities to a child outweigh those to their spouse. It is a different view point and I'm not bashing you. You do deserve better. But the problems this child has come from BOTH of her parents and BOTH parents are responsible for her.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 4:15PM
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I dont agree that its both the parents fault. We have only had custody of her for 4-5 yrs and beforethat her bm had numerous guys in and out of her life that were her "new" daddy. bm liked to play games with visitation IE witholding. bm constantly would pawn sd off on anyone that would take her, sd was molested by her step grandfather (yet another winner that gma picked) bm constantly moved and even moved to az to be with some guy she met on the internet. she took sd out of school and screwed up her whole school year. bm has abandoned sd multiple times and attempted suicide. sh is now on "medicinal" marijuana for depression. I have to say the majority of the problems are from her mother and her side of the family.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 4:29PM
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I didn't read the responses so I apologize if I am repeating or if there was additional information, I am only writing regarding the OP.

If SD has abandonment issues, she will tell her mom whatever she feels will make mom 'care' about her... she wants mom to jump in to protect her & show she loves her. I've wrestled with it when my SD tells BM every little detail to get BM to react and it does make me feel betrayed and leaves me walking on eggshells around SD over what I say or do around her. It is NOT fun. But, it is easier to handle when I think of the turmoil it must cause her. When we get along, we have lots of fun... but she feels she has to go say bad things about me to her mom because it's what gets her mom's attention or it's what her mom wants to hear. I'm sure it makes her feel guilty to be two faced to me. It would only add to her stress to blame her for it... but then again, maybe she secretly hates me and only pretends to like me so she can do fun things at my house. Then she can't wait to go tell her mom every bad thing she can think of....

But, I choose the first scenario, even if I'm wrong. I KNOW she has abandonment issues and if she didn't, I might buy the second scenario more. and it makes it easier to deal with too.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 2:31PM
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Nivea, you have no clue.
Sorry, but that is just the way it is hon.
Until you have walked a mile in someone elses shoes, then don't even try to pretend you have been there!
When these kids TARGET you as the enemy, then you better watch the fu** out because they will not stop.
I see so many similarities in tholbrook's sd, that my own skids have. I have been where she is. On more than one occasion.
I think my background with working with kids like this has been THEIR only saving grace.
Yes, absolutely you can have a child that CAN NOT function in the home. Therefore the best thing is to have them out of the home. When you are dealing with teens, it does get a bit more sketchy, because they can have more say in how things go etc.
This would be the reason why there are Residential treatment homes for kids like this all over the country!!!!
Some kids need a uber structured environment to help them process there issues.
Oh , btw, tholbrook that may be something you can look into.
Sometimes the abandonment issues are far deeper than that, and sometimes the bioparent(s) did not do the job they should have raising these children and you get attachment issues. If you are dealing with that, then you have serious problems.
In young children, it is called attachment issues, but when they become teens and adults the dx becomes bipolar disorder.
Yeah....not fun to deal with at all.
Just saying....

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 3:06AM
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wild thing, have you ever been a stepchild?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 8:35AM
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Referring back to the original post, I do think that what tholbrook's SD did ---lying to authorities about her Dad & SM in a potentially very damaging way--- was terrible. It absolutely must be made clear to her that such behavior is unacceptable and that there will be serious consequences when it happens.

But I think where you're hearing some divide is over what exactly those consequences should be. Some think it means SD should be banished from the house forever. I and a few others disagree with that. At least at this point. Yes, what SD did was extreme... but it must be properly understood and dealt with for what it was. Everyone on this board I think can more or less agree that she did it for negative attention. Some see that in itself as an offense, the needing of attention. Others see it as a call for help or some other means of resolving the situation. Here's what I think could be appropriate consequences for what she did:

-make her write a formal apology letter to the authorities, admitting she lied and apologizing for wasting their time. (If she lies again to them in the future, have her next apology published in the local newspaper.)

-make her volunteer every single weekend in a battered women's shelter for a while so she sees what abuse actually looks like and that it's not a thing to lie about. make her tell the employees at the shelter why she's there volunteering so they can help educate her.

-make her do her own documentation every day that abuse is not taking place. have her photograph her arms, legs, face and neck every day with the absence of bruises and maintain a folder on the computer with these photos. have her conduct her own daily search of the house, corner to corner and write down every detail in a notebook.

-buy her a big fat textbook on abuse and neglect and have her read it cover to cover and quiz her on it. Make the questions as picky as you wish. Until she gets 100% answers correct she will have to re-read the book and be re-quizzed on it every week.

-make her go to counseling. make her keep a journal about what she's learning about herself and her feelings and why she felt a need to lie. Don't read it, but set aside an alloted hour each week that she is to do nothing else but write in her journal. You can sit on one side of a big room like the living room while she sits and writes on the other side, or in an adjoining dining room or whatever (so you're not on top of her but you can see if she's writing or not.) Whatever she wants, as long as she's writing something. even if it's total vitriol about you, it will at least be venting and purging it out of her. Then, later she can look at it and see how much anger she has inside and how upset it's making HER as well.

-in the meantime, continue to treat her as you had in the past, without making any to-do or guilt trip over it, so that she can see how good she has it and how much of a hassle she caused for herself by lying about mistreatment.

Teens will and do lie. Teens do crave attention. Many teens go through phases where they feel as though they absolutely despise their parents, even in the best of situations. Again, what tholbrook's SD did was beyond what the "average" teen might do. If I was in tholbrook's shoes, I'd be livid and deeply hurt myself. But again, the question is what truly is the most appropriate and effective way of dealing with what has been done. In my opinion, simply washing hands of her and shipping her off somewhere else is not going to solve the problem. And even if the thinking is it will at least get her out of your own hair, there is no guarantee that she won't continue to slander you from afar.

I won't debate whether some people truly are just bad to the bone... I'm sure some are. (Hitler comes to mind.) But with a minor especially, it's more often the case that such extremes of behavior like this sort of lie is coming from a place of extreme fear, pain, desperation or emptiness. It may not even have anything to do with her parents, but something in her life is causing her to feel that such a lie was the only way to get some need of hers met. If you can try to see beyond your own hurt to see that and address it with SD, you may be able to have a positive impact on who she becomes as an adult, because she is very much still being formed... Basically she just needs to be shown that lying is no way to deal with your problems, and that there are consequences as well as alternatives.

On the other hand, if OVER TIME and DESPITE YOUR BEST EFFORTS to talk to her and despite all warnings you give her of a specific appropriate consequence of her doing such a thing again she continues to do it, at that point the idea of switching houses might be in order. But it should be an absolutely last resort, and I think at least her dad (if not you too) should try and maintain some amount of neutral contact with her throughout.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 9:28AM
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Tholbrook, well said, you did the right thing for yourself and most importantly for the sake of your children.

I am a stepchild and i have never placed my father in such a position as to falsely accuse them of something and get the police involved.
AND DROP THE NOTION OF MINOR CR*P FOR THIS INDIVIDUAL SD. She's old enough to know what is right and wrong and to fully understand and be responsible for her actions as a human being. At her age i had a full time job, an apartment , bills to pay because i chose to walk out of my fathers house because i didnt' like his rules.
NO ONE KICKED THIS GIRL OUT. SHE LEFT BY HER OWN ACCORD TO HER MOM. GOOD LUCK and from her past behaviour i would never allow such a person into my household again unless she has proven to me she has turned a full 180 degrees and changed her ways and even then the damage is done.
Tholbrook you did the right thing to stand your ground and tell your husband you were leaving. It was his choice to tell his daugther he is letting her go to bm. She wanted to go and she went. SO, in light of the 'childs' wants. SHE GOT WHAT SHE WANTED! SHE WENT TO MOM AND GOOD LUCK.
So please stop witht he bashing of members who have been through h*ll and back for children that are not their own, that they have loved, spent time and then were backstabbed and thrown out liek trash....people talk about feelings??? well every human being has feelings here and just because a child comes out of divorce they are not to be treated special. THey are not a part of a pitty party. They are children being raised by people who love them whether bio or not or adopted and in the end they must act like responsible human beings. And this does nto entail lying and getting people in trouble withthe law.
This young lady is 15 going on 16??? to me is not a minor in my eyes. She is a young person in between the age groups. A chidl that is 10 is a minor and doens't know any better...she's old enough and new what she was doing and it was atttention and a cry for help for her mom. She acted selfishly for her own needs to get what she wanted. Even to destroy a loving family that has raised her since she was 1.5 years of age. She is human , and acted as many humans have done before. She is now with her mom, good luck.
THolbrook take care of your family and do not allow anyone...doens't matter who, to destroy it.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 10:37AM
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Organic, I was going with the definition of "minor" under U.S. law, which is anyone under the age of 18.

I also wasn't bashing. I think if you re-read my comments you will see my personal opinion on what specific actions may be more or less helpful to tholbrook's situation. (Primarily for tholbook's sake, as surely her SD would not like what I have suggested.) I don't think you will find any bashing of anyone. The mere fact that I have a different opinion on consequences doesn't mean I'm bashing.

I am also curious, when you say "from her past behaviour i would never allow such a person into my household again unless she has proven to me she has turned a full 180 degrees and changed her ways and even then the damage is done"... what would be your criteria for assessing whether the child has turned 180 degrees? would it be sufficient to have an absence of lying behavior for a certain length of time or would something else be required? If she apologized to you, would you accept it? What if she didn't apologize to you but went on to found a shelter for battered women, a family counselor or a teacher who was known for how she effectively handles kids who lie? Would that be sufficient evidence of a change? I'm not asking this to be sarcastic, I really am curious to know what the child would have to do to prove her worthiness to re-enter the doorstep.

By the way, I commend you on your highly unusual independence at age 15. I don't think it is in any way the norm, but it sounds like quite an accomplishment and you have every right to be proud of it.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 10:52AM
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I completely understand the context the word minor was used in. As for bashing, i personally used it loosely to describe several people on board tell 'accusing' tholbrook of 'throwing her sd out'. And she did clearify that in her last post.
As for my 'accomplishment' it was survival. Nothing more and nothing less. Stating i'm proud of it is your perspective. and yes, the last line of your post i found sarcastic towards me. BUt its ok...we really do not know one another.
I'm basically stating that her sd at her age fully knows what she is doing, and her being a 'minor' does not in any way excuse her behaviour.
My criteria, would be listening to others and also seeing for myself if she has changed through her actions. An apology is a first step but only time will tell if this child changes her attitude. Which i'm sure it will because she still has alot to learn.
To prove her small steps. Very small step as i did when i left my fathers house. I called, reformed bounds again with my sm and father...this took 3 1/2 years. then a casual short coffee visit.....several visits like this for several months....
It takes time to get back the confidence and the trust of a loved one. I didn't see my father for 7 years when i took me almost 4 years after initial contact to reestablish this relationship.
So , yes, i'm talking through experience.
It will take this sd years to reestablish and redefine her relationship iwth tholbrook and her father. As it did for me.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 12:51PM
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I tend to agree with serenity that you cannot simply throw your minor children out. she needs to face serious consequences such as ones serenity suggested like sending letters to authorities (good one!) or volunteer etc. But you cannot ban children from their home because they do bad things. Adults yes, but she is not an adult yet.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 1:17PM
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I TRULY didn't mean my compliment as sarcastic. I did want to make the point that it's a bit of an extreme yardstick to apply to all 15-year-olds, but I really did mean it when I said you should be proud of yourself for making it work.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 1:24PM
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Here! here! organic! Great post!
Again, until y'all walk a mile in someone elses shoes, don't try to PRETEND that you know exactly what you would do. That is a load of BS! Just be thankful you don't have to deal with extremes like that or worse.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 3:23PM
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Sorry, limitation of wasn't the most pleasant of times for me. Yah looking back i guess i should be proud but i think if given a different option i would have tried it. It made me strong but i can't say it was them most happiest years. With my peers it was fun, taught me alot of responsibility. BUT the problems with my dad did not go away. I still had to deal with them. Problem was my dad was not much of one to begin with and would not take blame for anything..dealing with a brick wall only takes you so far:)

I agree not to lock young teens out but what can you do when someone is so distructive and you have 2 other children to consider? From my perspective this young daughter is disruptive , she wants her mom, nothing wrong with that and tholbrook wants peace. She was even willing for leave her husband alone with daughter to save herself and the children she has with this man. So that says alot.
In the end, i think it would be best for this sd to stay with family members such as bm or grandma. There is no point in her going back to be miserable and also make everyone else miserable.
Finedreams, oh yes you can ban children out of your home! I have a neighbour down the street who confided in me a while back and told me how she kicked her own daughter out at 14 years of age because she was disruptive ot the rest of the famliy. Drugs, sex , you name it! The cops showing up at the door. So mommy had enough and booted her out. and yes she went ot a home for teenage kids with booted out of there eventually.
There are just some kids out there that you can't help. Sorry, it does happen. Whether its your kids or not. some jsut cannot be helped and for the sake of the other children , you oust them! im not saying she wasnt' it any pain ...she was in torture pain to do that to her own daugther..but she had to. She even went ot court to legally let her go.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 3:26PM
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