Losing my mind as a step mom

allyssaMay 24, 2010

Hello everyone, I am new to this and I keep going back and forth about going to counseling, but I get embarassed thinking about sharing in front of people so I would rather ask for your advice on here. So please if you have anything negative to say, I would rather not hear it. I am hard enough on myself about this that I don't need anymore negativity. I would just like to see if anyone else can relate and help me get through this without feeling like the worse person in the worldd.

I will give you a little background informatin then my problem.

My sistuation is a little special.I have been married to my husband for a little over a year now, but we have been together for 7. He has a son that is 9yrs and it has been a fight to see him all 9 of these years. His mom was a piece of work. She is a person who lies, has cried on the court stand, doesn't call back, makes him say mean things to his dad, likes to go out and party and fills his my his head with all kinds of stuff about his dad, me and our daughter. He's spent his whole life over by his brothers father's house instead of by his actual father b/c of the jealousy she had for me and my husband being together and her out of the picture. She has used him against my husband for so long. My husband has been fighting for him for many years. The court dragged up every single thing that has happened btwn them and made my husband out to be this horrible person. she sat on the stand and cried each time so it was a never ending battle. He was at one point out of money (thousands later) and didn't know what else to do so he started to give up everything until he was a little older and could understand. I didn't agree with it 100% at all, but I could see the hurt in his eyes losing each and every time and it was his decision. The court wouldn't let him get visitation, anything he said on the stands didn't matter and she won each time there was a court date b/c she looked like this poor helpless woman and all she did was minipulate everyone. She had an old man as her boyfriend so money wasn't an issue. I didn't care for her at all. I do not like people who use their kids against other people. I didn't like anything she did. She was not a nice person and all she did was ruin her son's opportunity to have a relationship with his dad. She had the old man and the other kids father being called dad.

A year ago she called us saying that my husbands son wants to see him and get to know him and as long as it was on her terms. So he agreed. They spent a little time each weekend together and then it would stop and then she wouldn't answer for their agreed timeslots and then she played games again. So this kept on going for close to a year. Then her old man boyfriend dies. Now her money train is gone and she is very depressed. So 5 months later she kills herself. Now his son lives with us (my husband, myself and our daughter).

So now that you have a little background information on to the problem. This poor boy has had a tough time this past year. Seeing 2 people die and one was the most important, his mother. Not a very good mother, but she was still his mother non the less and I am sure she loved him. Now he lives with us, the people who his mother used against him his whole life basically. My husband is so happy. I thought this would be a great thing for him not realizing how miserable it would be for me. Since his mother sent him out by himself all the time he is used to doing things on his own. She went out partying a ton, spent all her time with the old man and just would rather do her own thing then do the right thing and be there for her kids.

We have been helping him with his homework and doing things with him. He's not a bad kid overall. He is mean to his sister b/c he has it in his mind that she is the reason he hasn't been around all these years. He breaks her toys and tells her he hates her and things like that. She is 6. I'm sure that has a lot to do with his mom feeding him this information, but kids make their own observations anyway so he could just think that too.

My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for about a year now. No luck. The 1st one we had was no problem, this time a little harder. I feel like in some way his son coming to live with us is the reason why. God doesn't give us more than we can handle and having a baby would probably be a bad thing right now especially b/c his son is here and he needs us. What I feel bad about is it's like I am a person who loves kids and I keep seeing everyone around me pregnant or having babies and we can't have one. I only gave myself a timeframe of 2 more years and then I would just give up and not want anymore kids totally. It's been a year and now it's us having to fix all the bad things he is used to doing. I feel like I am going crazy in my mind. I want my other family back, the one without him in it and the one where I see another baby or so by now. I have to help him and constatnly help him change his mind about us not being what his mom said and on and on and on and on.......... It's like a neverending saga. It sounds so mean in my mind when I think this stuff. The poor kid loses his mom and is sad and still grieving and here I am just wanting my family back without him in it. I miss how it used to be. I get so mad at him breaking my daughters stuff. He knows it's wrong and does it anyway and then deny's it. I think sometimes that she made him the way he is and then she kills herself, Why do we have to pick up the pieces? we have to b/c my husband is his dad and he has to step up to the plate now. It's time for him to show that we are not bad people and to care for him. She screws with his head for 9 years and now we have to teach him that homework and veggies important and we have to teach him that he can't run the streets and do whatever he wants. All in the meantime I want another baby so bad it makes me sad and cry. I know he needs us, but sometimes I would rather let my husband deal with everything b/c I resent him being there thinking he is the reason we don't have another kid by now. I feel so selfish and horrible to have these thoughts but they will not leave my head. I feel like I am not happy with him at our house and I can't help it. I don't show it, it's just all in my mind. I would never want him to feel like he doesn't belong there, I just have conflicting thoughts in my head. I feel horrible, but it feels good to get it off my back. This poor kid just needs a hug and a shoulder to cry on I can't even do that. I feel like I don't wanna step over the mom boundaries and I just can't bring myself to do it either. If this was another kid I could do it in a heartbeat, since it's him, I just can't do it. He needs help and all I can think of is me. It's selfish and I know this and I can't help it. This is stuck in my mind and I am not a selfish person AT ALL. I feel like I don't wanna do this anymore. I see myself being mad at my husband too. I don't show that either, but it's in my mind and I don't know why. I love my husband and want to grow old with him so divorce is not an option, but I need some advice. so any advice you can offer is appreciated---BIG TIME. Thanks for listening to my long saga.


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Well, I don't think when you post on a public forum that is monitored by others that you'll get the option to delete what does not suit you (unless rules are broken of course, then some deleting is done and 'friendly reminders' sent out), but you always do have he option of scrolling away from anything you do not want to read.

I think your answer to begin help and sorting through what all is going on in your family's life is within your first couple sentences.

What's to be embarassed about? You've just openly and honestly poured your feeling out to us. Now make an appointment and do the same to a proffesional who can help you. Counseling what do the stepson a world of good too. He's going to major adjustments just like you all.

Reach out, Allyssa. It's an okay thing to do. While your selected therapist may not always agree with you and may point out different ways of looking at things than you do presently, he/she is not going to sit in high judgement of you of you starting out nor beat you up. He/she will be listening and seeking to assist you in finding answers and sorting it all out. Their goal is to help you.

Is the hardest part right now for you to tell your husband that you feel counseling is something you feel you need to do? I don't think you need to be as open about the reasons of wanting to go as you have been here with us...I would think the basic 'you all are having major adjustments in your life and you think you could find help for everybody in assuring you all are dealing with it in a postive manner with the best interest of all being the main focus'.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 1:50PM
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I agree with justmetoo. Definitely counseling for the SS is in order, and I really think that it could help you too. I don't think you should beat yourself up over sometimes feeling resentful. I think it's understandable; you and DH spent years and thousands of dollars trying to do the right thing, to no avail, and now you are stuck in a situation which could have and should have never happened, and which you both tried to NOT have happen (I mean the estranged relationship part).

Is there any way that you can go and spend a weekend with friends or your mom or alone? You sound overwhelmed and exhausted and I think that a little short break from it all might be a good start. If you get a bit of distance it might help too; a year has not really been that long and if he's not a bad kid, things might soon start to get better.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 2:04PM
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Well, I don't know this for a fact, but whenever I read about a saintly person, I suspect that there must be SOME place they can go complain about their washing lepers' bandages, giving everything to the poor, ha! And Allyssa, you are in a very challenging situation fraught with emotion that will indeed call upon you to be a bit saintly - but the results down the road could be very rewarding.

This little guy is probably going to go through harder times before things get better. To your great credit, you sound very wise in understanding that he's been through some awful stuff and he's going to have some acting out. I agree with the other posters - counseling for him and maybe the whole family would be a great start.

About your baby-to-be, I don't think there is any supernatural reason why that isn't happening, but stress can supposedly make it harder to conceive. Whatever you can do to take care of yourself and to feel more at peace couldn't hurt, both in getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy. And whatever it takes to feel like your daughter isn't getting the short end of the stick in any way. And how are you and your DH doing? Is there a strain between you at all?

One other thing strikes me about your post - your sense that you don't want to overstep the mom boundaries. That is very sensitive and perceptive. I would say that your basic stance with SS right now could be "I know I can't replace your mom, but I am a mom, and I'm here for you." And down the road, the mother-son bond may well grow.

Bottom line, don't beat yourself up. You sound like you have a lot of wisdom and understanding about what your SS is going through, and the challenges to your family. Having someone to talk to is so important! Hope you get some help here. Best wishes.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 6:12PM
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agree with justmetoo, you would benefit for talking to a professional, you have a lot on your plate. And SS needs therapy big time, he lost his mother, he is only 9, I was always terrified of dying young and leaving my daughter motherless, cannot imagine how tough that would be...good luck

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 7:17PM
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Allyssa -

You know that little weight that lifted off your shoulders when you typed up your post and hit submit? When you go to a professional therapist you will feel that x100. Trust me, this is something worth doing for yourself and your stepson. You have all been experiencing some intense emotions and while time may improve the situation, bottling up your emotions will not.

I was married when I was young to an abusive partner and when I left I felt so much relief. Initially I talked to some friends and colleagues about the experience and it helped. What I didn't realize is that 5 years later I would start experiencing symptoms of PTSD. I had no idea and my symptoms greatly improved by regularly seeing a therapist. It's so sad that with so many people out there suffering from depression and psychological ailments that therapy still carries such a stigma.

For your stepson, please, please, please get him some professional help. Experiencing a parent's death at such a young age would be bad enough but he is likely also feeling shame and abandonment due to the fact that she committed suicide. If he does not get help he may fall victim as well - suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in young adults and is of course closely tied to depression.

You owe it to yourself and you family to find the professional assistance you need. It may also be helpful to not only attend individual counseling sessions but perhaps family counseling somewhere down the road once both of you get comfortable with seeing a therapist in order to help your husband and daughter better understand what you are going though since there will undoubtedly be tough times.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 2:51AM
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If you love your husband then the SS is also part of the equation, now especially since the BM is deceased. His dad is all he has now. His behaviors toward your joined D is common for boys (aggressiveness ...), but the severity is increased because of the hidden fear from losing a mother. Definitely, children in his case needs grief counseling.

Your biological clock has caused you to feel an strong anxiety, which is not healthy for you and your marriage. Relax a little bit. cultivate a belief that the universe is perfect and everything happens for a reason. Be thankful for what you have , and don't fret over what you don't have. You might never conceive a boy or you might, let that be up to God. In the mean time, enjoy the intimacy between you and your husband. You are married for each other and children are only the by products.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 10:20AM
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Even Mother Teresa complained in her last book on how overwhelming it all was.

I don't know what to advise. I had a very hard time having my only child, DS7. Having a second just wasn't a consideration.

SS lost his mother. Huge. AGree with everyone in that the boy needs counseling. A bereavement counseler or at least a school psychologist who works with kids who have lost a parent. Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 9:41PM
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