New Update - SS with us for 6 weeks

cephMay 16, 2011

I'm crazy busy, but I might need you ladies in the next few weeks.

Things between SS12 and BM came to a very heated head last week and he's staying with us until school is out.

He went to a friend's place without calling after school. Sure, this isn't good behavior, but pretty much every 12yo does it a couple of times. IMO, it's part of growing up and gaining independence to screw that up at least once.

BM flipped her lid when she tracked him down, yelled at him in front of his friends, told him he wasn't allowed to have friends anymore, she didn't want him, and that he should live with us now... Seems a bit extreme, hey?

DH and I had talked a lot about the toxicity level at BM's and that SS seemed to really be struggling. We'd discussed that we would have him more if it seemed like it would be of benefit to him, but didn't want to just give BM an easy way out of parenting.

But when she said she didn't want him anymore because he forgot to call home, we decided that enough was enough. She dropped him off here (as scheduled) right afterwards, in complete fight-or-flight mode, hurt, angry, and terrified of being shouted at some more.

We all talked and agreed to discuss things with BM.

So DH called her a day or two later. She said "I didn't think you guys would ever actually want him. I was just saying you should take him because I never thought you would." Um... WTH?

But she came around to the idea. So DH and I had a meeting with BM and her DH. We agreed that he will be here until the end of school, seeing them sometimes on weekends and a couple days a week after school.

SS has been incredibly well-behaved here so far and seems like he's had a chance to exhale for the first time in months. He spent the day with BM yesterday, and they were all HAPPY and laughing together when we picked him up! We haven't seen them enjoying each other's company in months, so that was really good to see.

We know it's still "the honeymoon" and he is going to behave like an obnoxious snot at some point over the next five weeks... He's 12, it happens ;)... But it seems to be going well.

We're in tight quarters, because we live in a small apartment condo with two adults, two cats, our 7mo DD and 12yo SS... But it's going well.

Wish us luck.

(Quick background for those who don't remember our story:

DH met BM a few weeks after SS was born and they dated for almost three years.

SS is not DH's bioson; but DH is the closest thing he has to a dad.

SS, 12yo, has bipolar disorder and severe ADHD. He takes meds.

BM got married last year. Her DH is a nice guy and is a stabilizing presence in SS's life.)

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You guys are great! SS is so lucky to have you both in his life. I wish you all good luck.

BM sounds like she's gone off the deep end. A break from each other has got to be good for both of them.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 9:16AM
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You're such a smart cookie Ceph!
Sounds like a nice break for SS and BM --
Yeah, the 'honeymoon' won't last forever... But no reason not to enjoy it while it does ;-)

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 2:19PM
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Glad to hear...

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 2:50PM
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sounds good, hopefully it is something that helps SS to get on track

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 3:34PM
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You are a very, very good person Ceph, SS is so lucky to have you in his life. I feel so sad for him that his mother should say something so cruel as "I don't want you" to him. Hope the honeymoon period lasts a long time and when it does the 12 year old boyness is easy :-)
Does he like his half-sister? I have found that boys that age are often quite caring and protective towards baby siblings, could be good for him to have such an interaction.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 11:28PM
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I will be sending good thoughts to you over the computer connection!!! Sounds like SS needs a break.

Sometimes I get fed up with 12yo boy stuff, too, and lose my cool. I'm not proud of it, at all, and I am afraid that one day X will want custody because of that.

In my defense, out of the 4 of us "parents," I am the only one who actually does any parenting. X gives lectures, but they hold no weight with DS. And I rarely go to X for help (unless it's serious) because then he accuses me of not being able to handle DS. GF and DH....well, they are just bonus parents, I guess. Not willing to help in any real way, but more than happy to nit-pick my parenting skills, or hand down orders to DS.

I hope this break helps SS and BM have a better and more functional relationship. It sounds like, to me, they both are under a lot of stress.

Ceph, you are a wonderful SM!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 3:31PM
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I'm glad you guys are able to give him a break from what sounds like a rough situation with BM. Maybe some cooling off for both of them will be a good thing.

You are so good to do this! I know it's a huuuuge stress and adjustment for you guys. (((HUGS)))

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 5:13PM
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Well, SS had his first big freakout of his stay here... He didn't want to study for a math test for 30 minutes. His snit about it involved sobbing, faking puking on his supper, breaking a pencil, trying to hide in his room, saying that his teacher hates him, door slamming and damaging a book. We didn't react as well as we could have either.
Problematically, he didn't tell us why he was so upset until afterwards! Had we known that he didn't want to study for math at the moment, we could have worked out a "15 minutes now, 15 later" or "OK, after supper" or something.

But we talked afterwards about it, and resolved it. I reminded him that we expect him to discuss his problems with us. Running away, breaking things, shouting and so on are not how we deal with things in our family. We say what's wrong and we look for solutions together, so that's what he needs to do too.

He's been terrific otherwise though :)

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 5:24PM
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When my ss first came to live with us permanently he threw a few fits like that. He and I had it out one night. I have low blood sugar and flip out when it's low. Once I figured it out I went in to talk to him and explained that I thought his problem with me was that he thought I would leave him like his mom and former step dad did. He got really quiet and calm. I explained to him that I would NOT be leaving to go anywhere. That sometimes his dad and I have arguments and such but we are both very stubborn and we loved each other. That I would be there for him. Eventually if he does it again, maybe that would help your ss. Sometimes they don't want to talk about what's really bothering them. I didn't make ss talk but what I said helped a ton!!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 5:43PM
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