Today is my Anniversary
I posted on this board some time back regarding the behavioral problems with my partner's son. I don't have children and before we became seriously involved, he had been living with his father for five years prior to that. Because I knew I would be adverse to living with such a child I let her know that I'd never be able to live with him and if there was any possibility of him ever coming to live with you barring his father's death to let me know now.
He moved in with us unexpectedly when he was 13 in 2006 because he failed school twice living with his father. I didn't like it, but was willing to give it a chance. My instincts about this kid have been soberingly correct.
Since that time it's been a living nightmare. Of this experience, I've learned many, many things. One of the things I've learned is that anyone with children who gets involved with another adult either with or without children better **trust** that person you've involved yourself with VERY well because that person should be the priority and the primary relationship and not the children; especially not a child who destroys an entire household and is allowed to continue to live within that household, otherwise it won't work. It's just that simple.
So here it is, the 7th of June 2009 and it's what would be my 5th anniversary. This should be a happy day; a day to celebrate, a milestone of sorts, but instead its a day of separation; a day which material items are being separated and boxed and furniture is being loaded on a truck. It's also a day that ends the never-ending stream of chaos, disrespect and constant subjection of a boy, who at 16 years of age is an out of control, drama driven behavioral nightmare.
An anniversary marks a special beginning but in this case it's ironically marking an ending.
It marks the day that punctuates the end of my relationship I have to his mother, as I know it. I am happily free of this nightmare, but sadly the nightmare caused the severing of my relationship to his mother; a woman I still love, but at the same time harbor much resentment toward.
I've posted about this situation on the Family support board here on numerous occassions.
Since March, this boy has managed to receive 12 disciplinary actions from school. No, that wasn't a typo. These include six suspensions, five all day detentions which means he sits in a Behavioral intervention room all by himself all day long. And this was just what he was doing at school.
He's been charged for simple assault and has to go before Family Court because he opted out of the school peer jury trial school program. This is a program where a kid's peers are the jury and it takes place at city hall and mimics a real trial, but removes the burden from the amount of cases that go before Family court. He told the director at the pretrial meeting that he's not interested even though it was explained to him that if he opts out, it'll go to a real court hearing in front of a Family Court judge.
And, he's failed school. Again. This makes three times.
His chance of graduating high school is gone. They will not keep him in 8th grade again. He's too old. They are simply "placing" him in 9th.
He'll be 17 in November and in South Carolina considered an adult.
At home he's upped the ante to staying out all night long on the weekends he's here not visiting his father, defying curfew, being hand-cuffed and brought home by police for being reported as a runaway, being totally disrespectful, on and on ad nauseum. Because he's totally curfew defiant, his mother was advised by the peer jury program director to call the police each and every time he refuses to come home.
I cannot even begin to describe the stress and strain this has caused, nor can I describe the utter nightmare of the arguments we went through on how to solve this problem. We have been diametrically opposed to each other on each and every front concerning him. While I believe he should go back to his father, she feels that sending him there only provides a false bottom for him, delays the inevitable and believes whole-heartedly that the best thing to do is to keep him, let him either fall flat on his face and go to jail, or straighten up. The problem with any of this of course is that it doesn't account for her 13 year old daughter; a girl whose done nothing wrong; who's never been any trouble and who does not deserve to have to pay for her brother's problems.
It's been all consuming and it's destroying our relationship.
And so it goes. My choices were to live with it or separate. Her choices were to send him back to his father's or separate. We both made choices. As much as I couldn't live or put up with him, was only matched by her inability and inflexability to send him packing to his fathers; and in order for me to keep from being subjected to this non stop teen age terrorism, I've been forced to choose separating from my partner.
I have to admit, that although I feel hurt and still love my soon to be ex partner, I am incredibly resentful. I feel used, I feel disrespected, and I feel like I've been a nanny for 3 years. I feel my role for her had become less and less defined as two adults in a relationship with each other and more and more defined by her children, specifically her son and his problems and I came to resent and loathe it. Not being a biological parent to any children rendered me to feel this way, I suppose.
I've talked to a few of my friends who do have children and yet, agree with me that she's making a bad decision in her choices regarding this boy. If I could give her voice to this post, I'd tell you that her argument is that this kid hasn't caused all our problems and that she refuses to allow a 16 year old to destroy our relationship, but at the same time sending him to his dad's is like sending him to a boat that's already sailed. His father and wife couldn't handle him and it's the reason why he ended up at our house.
I'm not at all certain what the future holds. She's not moving far at all in order to keep the kids in the same school district. And while I get peace finally, she gets a 13 year old and a 16 year old who will be home alone at night with no supervision three days a week because she works at a hospital nearby. And no, I have no intention of checking on them either.
My days of babysitting are done.
Perhaps this is the wakeup call she needs. Perhaps without me buffering everything and keeping track of things that she normally doesn't she'll be forced to see the reality of this choice, but who knows. If I could say anything to her at all, it would be that:
"I'd like to say that I tried my best but I find that writing these words or sounding them out seems woefully inadequate. What we've gone through has been extraordinarily complex and I don't blame you or me. As much as I didn't know what it would be like to be with someone with children, neither did you know what it would be like to be with someone who never had children.
I truly believe that you never thought that your son would ever come back to live with you, since he'd been living with his father for 5 years at the time we began to get serious with each other, but I never made it any secret concerning the fact that I could never live with him. When I agreed to allow him to move in, it was to provide him opportunities that he didn't have at his dads. But as time would reveal, he would never bothered to make the most of what was offered to him. Rather, he only did the bare minimum to get by.
He has no ambition, no drive, and no desire to be challenged. He doesn't take direction and his performance in school has been abysmal; despite all our efforts to help him; despite all the meetings with therapists and teachers, he continued to refuse the advice of adults and instead chose and still chooses a path of his own making.
He is intellectually and physically lazy beyond belief. His behavior at home has been rude and deplorable. When you gave him a cell phone last month and he refused to hand it over one week after giving it to him when I asked to see it, I'm sure it occurred to you that ever giving him a set of car keys would result in the same thing.
In three years, he hasn't been able to rise up to any increased level of responsibility and yet wants all the privileges that are afforded to a responsible adult.
Much the way you can lead a horse to water, you can't make him drink and so it goes with your son. How can one expect to live under these circumstances and have a relationship between the adults survive let alone thrive? I never dreamed that I would purchase a quarter million dollar home and have him thrust upon us only to have you tell me you'd leave me before sending him back to his fathers which is costing us both thousands and thousands of dollars. And for what?
This has gone far beyond anything imaginable and I have stretched myself emotionally beyond anything that I could ever have imagined. I keep asking myself how much more of my personality can I turn inside out to save what we have. I'm emotionally bankrupt. I don't get any emotional support or intimacy from you and haven't in months because he drains your emotional resources. ThereÂs nothing left for anyone else because he sucks the life out of everything. I can imagine that some, if not many would have ended a relationship like this months, perhaps years before. That's how much I loved you. But, perhaps we stayed together far too long. Look at what this has done to us..
Maybe we'll both see things differently one day. Maybe one day I'll see things beyond what he's done, and maybe one day you'll see that perhaps you should done more to remind me less that you're a mom and more that you're a woman.
Happy 5th anniversary.."