Need some help!

peaceinthehouseNovember 13, 2012

My stepson (age 24) moved in with us in May '12. He lived in Bermuda with his BM and comes from a privileged background. His father and I have twin girls (17). He spent most of his summers with his father up until he was around 15 years old. He grew up with no parental supervision. He barely made it through H.S. and attended college in Canada for one year and flunked out. His yearly visits to our home resumed when he was 20 and I was comfortable with the man he was becoming. I spent hours talking with him on Skype (before moving here) and we spent a lot of time discussing the importance of education. He wanted to return to school, so we made him an offer. Come here, pay $200/mo. for everything and go to college. Two months after arriving, he made some friends. One night they partied here until 5am! I woke to strangers passed out in my house. Found out later that he had a threesome (him, guy & girl) and one of my girls almost walked in on them in the ACT. Mortified, I reprimanded him and he got very angry. That was the beginning of the end. He's had two different jobs, smokes pot, had a drug dealer over here, has manipulated his father and both of my girls in convincing them that I am the problem. He's blown through $4200 of student loan refund money. He bought a car ($1500) and is driving it right now (as I write this) with no insurance, no legal plate, not registered and he never got a U.S. Driver's License. I've warned him and his father that if pulled over, he will go to jail and we do not have the money to bail him out. He said that he doesn't like to think negatively like that and I worry too much. He has told me to shut my f*cking mouth, he has screamed at me and called me names. I reached out to his mother early in the game and she said that he is a very troubled young man. She blames his father for not taking a more proactive role in his child raising and her son has a lot of animosity towards his father for not being around. He has decided not to continue with his education and willbe leaving in one month. (YAY!!!!!!). However, he told his father that he is leaving because I make it too uncomfortable for him here. He listed that as his first reason, but wanted to also put out there that he misses his friends, misses the Island and doesn't like making only $8.00 and hates the Midwest. He's above the mentality of the people living here. The kids say it's my fault he's leaving (very likable and good looking young man with a carefree spirit and funny - a hippy type - the girls adore him)....his father told me that it's my fault - wanted a divorce then said, he doesn't blame me. For the past three days, this kid has avoided everyone in the house, stayed in his room or gone. I truly believe that since his father and I decided to work on our marriage rather than throw it all away, he became disappointed. Am I wrong in thinking that this was his motive? I truly feel that he would be happy if he broke up my marriage. Is there anyone else out there that has had or is having an older stepchild issue?

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This kid is a psychopath and you were wrong with putting up with him for two minutes. Of course, you are the scapegoat. With this kid (who is an adult), it's never going to be his fault. He will never take responsibility for his behavior. Your husband is despicable for blaming you and not facing the horror that is his son. This is not your husbands fault either though. This is your stepsons fault and no one else. How you choose to handle this is your responsibility. Do not enable him. Make him responsible for himself (e.g. do not support him). It was incredibly irresponsible for you to tolerate this behavior in your own home. Do not tolerate abuse from him. If he can't treat you with respect, that is his choice. You can't force him to have a relationship with you. I know this is hard.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 6:25PM
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Thank you for responding. Your words ring true. I SHOULD NOT have put up with any of the above mentioned. Preservation of the family got in the way. Unfortunately, with that way of thinking, the family has been torn apart with me as the villain. I did figure out "why" he has been hiding from all of us. I did say to him Saturday night, that I was tired of it being the "Alex Show" 24/7 around here. He manipulates every conversation. When he talks, he has to stand up like he's in front of an audience. If someone says that they went here or there and saw this or that, he has to top that story with his own. He doesn't allow the other kids to "shine" in the house. I do know that this is not over....before he leaves he will do something to wreak havoc again. I do know this....he must leave! IF he decides to stay (because he's been on this rollercoaster for several months now), I'm going to insist that he MUST GO and it MUST BE within 30 days. If that destroys my marriage, then so be it. I'm ready. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 7:49AM
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Sorry you are going thru this...just gonna say two things here. First, this spoiled little boy needs to leave...not in a month, but now. You graciously opened your home to him, and he betrays your trust and treats you like this? That just cannot happen....sorry if he feels like like mid-western people are not his cup of tea and he is too good to make 8 bucks and hour...but that's real life...let him go leach off someone else.

Second, a bigger issue here I think is your husband. If my kid ever treated my girlfriend with 2% of the disrespect that this kid has shown you, I would have instantly stepped in dealt with the situation. This kid will be out of your daily life soon, one way of another...whether it's in a week or a month or a few months...but you still have to deal with the fact that your husband let this kid treat you like this...

Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 9:57AM
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I'm so sorry.

Protect yourself & protect your girls.

Guys like that, charming, "exotic", bad boy type, etc are very seductive to girls, & they know it & use it.

This guy is a troublemaker;
he'll get one (or both) of them pregnant, or give them an STD, or get them on dope, or sell them to somebody...
just 'cause he can.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 10:08AM
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Oh Sylvia...once again making mountains out of molehills. We go from a dealing with a spoiled ill-mannered brat, to someone who will impregnate his daughters and sell them into slavery.

Please come back to earth....

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 10:56AM
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This is our daughters half brother. My husbands son from another marriage. Incest is NOT an issue nor will it ever be. Although, I do worry that he has glamorized smoking pot. Personally, I think it should be decriminalized. They are TOO young to be told that it's NOT A PROBLEM. If they're ever caught, there goes their financial aide in college. I am very upset with my husband. I love him and want our marriage to work. If I can get this kid out of my house, we stand a chance. If I can't......then the marriage is over.
Thanks everyone - I'm feeling stronger just by coming on to here and reading the posts!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 3:13PM
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Manipulative people use a variety of strategies to divert attention from the issues. You never win with people like that by attempting to justify or explain yourself.

So, the way to deal with this is only to focus on the facts.

1. He smoked dope in your house and brought in a dealer.

2. He threw a party that included a threesome your daughter almost walked in on.

3. He screamed at you and told you to "shut your f*cking mouth".

4. He squandered his college loan money.

5. He is driving a car illegally.

In short, he is abusive, irresponsible and a terrible example for your children.

Do not make excuses or get sidetracked by any other issues. When your husband or daughters attempt to let him off the hook, return to "the list" and repeat it as often as necessary.

"The list" is the only thing that matters. That and his leaving ASAP. If your husband can't get with the program then you have decide which is more important - him or the example you set for your girls.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 3:56PM
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peaceinthehouse, mckroopy seems to think that when I counsel caution/being safe/*not risking your precious children*, I'm attacking all men in general or maybe him in particular, but I'm doing no such thing.

I wish I had a nickel, no just a penny, for every parent who's confidently said something like "Incest is NOT an issue nor will it ever be" only to get the shock of his/her life when the truth emerges.

You just don't know.
You can't know.
You won't know until the damage has been done.

You already know this guy's character, as enumerated by readinglady.

Knowing his character, why would you insist that he wouldn't do *anything* else?
Why would you not take precautions?

Take no chances with your girls.
Protect those girls.

(& you can't simply say, "I asked them, & I know they'd tell me; we have a *wonderful* relationship". Victims almost always deny that they're being abused or mistreated.)

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 5:11PM
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Sylvia your ability to project evil on every stranger is amazing.

If I lived like you I wouldn't allow my 15 year old daughter to walk from school into the village occasionally on nice days to hang out at the cafe's the kids hang out at, because of course there could be a rapist/murderer behind the next bush. Or let my 12 year old son hang out at the skateboard park in town because of course all the older kids are drug addicts and he will be shooting heroine by the time he is 13.

Now, I am all for taking reasonable precautions in life to protect my kids (and myself for that reason), I like to think I am a very responsible parent and person. But you take it to a level I have never heard of in my life. There's an evil abusing man around every corner with you. I want my kids to have a somewhat normal upbringing...with that, unfortunately, comes some risk. Of course, if my kids never left my side when not in school, the odds that they would be abducted/raped/whatever would be less. But is that anyway to live? I don't think so.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 9:02AM
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I would just like to stick to the subject at hand and not add unnecessary paranoia's to my ALREADY stressful situation. To "ReadingLady" - thank you. It's hard not to stick to the facts when emotions are involved. I've known this young man since he was 5 years old and I see the genuine love he has for his father and vice versa. I don't want to see anyone suffer emotionally and both of them are suffering a great deal right now. I watched my oldest daughter (age 31 from another marriage) go through the same thing. Unable to grasp the reality of being a self sufficient adult and making one mistake after another and NEVER, EVER sticking to anything. Her father and I had to stop the madness by saying to her, "you're on own." You get no more chances with us until we see that you are functioning as a responsible adult. She is now a college graduate working as a Paramedic, married, and just financed her first car on her own and is preparing to buy a house. Kicking her to the curb was the most heart wrenching thing I have ever done and I spent many a night crying.
I went into this whole thing with the fantasy that we could all be this happy blended family, but he came with a TON of baggage. His mother is a recovering alcoholic (majority of his childhood was watching her drink), his father was only there for the summer months so there was never any parenting being done by either one! He's got this "The World Owes Me Something" attitude and the "United States is Stupid - The Rules Are Stupid". I tried telling him very early in the game that if he is caught with marijuana and convicted of possession, financial aid STOPS. You'll never be able to attend any university in the U.S. unless you pay for it out of your own pocket. His response? "That's just ridiculous." Now, he wants to attend a university in England because he does have dual citizenship. He believes that all he has to do is write a "KILLER" essay and Oxford will accept him just based on life experiences. His only long term job was in Bermuda as a personal trainer for 18 mos. He's one of those kids that if you're telling a story about something you've seen or somewhere you've been or something you've done, he'll top it with his on tale and will outshine anything you said. If we're watching T.V., he'll come in the room with his guitar and start playing. If he tells a story and everyone is sitting, he'll stand and become loud and animated while speaking. Always has to be the center of attention. He seems relatively smart, but it's just b.s. that he's read off the internet. No education. MANY, MANY opportunities to achieve higher education, but has blown each and every one - including the opportunity here. The LIST is what I will stick to and no other thing. It's simple and true. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 1:23PM
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I am very sorry. It is always hard to see someone talented and promising throwing away opportunities.

As you know, no matter how difficult, kicking your daughter to the curb (i.e. "tough love") turned out to be the best thing you could have done for her.

Of course it's not 100% guaranteed, but this young man - not a boy - has an unrealistic and self-destructive sense of entitlement that will become less and less positive for him as he ages. Charming behaviors at 24 at the age of 40 are just tiresome.

So entirely aside from your concern for your family, your concern for him makes it necessary to "evict him from the nest". If he wants to apply to Oxford, let him do it. That may be a reality dose he needs.

I am sorry he was burdened with an alcoholic mother and less-than-stellar upbringing, but at some point we have to be held accountable for our choices. It seems he's not just at that point but past it.

I hope your husband can get with the program because enabling his son's behaviors just compounds the issues and delays the inevitable. On his current path he could be homeless at 50. If you can get your husband to see that, he might begin to demonstrate true love for his son by doing the difficut things needed.

Good luck. I feel for your dilemma.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 5:36PM
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Your SS sounds like my brother, sans the alcoholic mother. But he had/s all the same attitudes. Now he's 49 and has no assets except for a half-paid for car, no qualifications, two failed marriages and that same sense of entitlement. (He petitioned to get more than the half of her estate our mother left "because my sister already has her own house" (that my husband and I _worked for and paid for ourselves_)). He spent everything he made on alcohol and free-market pharmaceuticals. He had already borrowed (and never repaid) $40,000 from my mother and stepfather when they were alive.
Don't let your SS turn out like this.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 10:36PM
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As I said in my very first post, he comes from a privileged background....his mother's side of the family has money. Once the matriarch of the family passes (great grandmother)there will be an enormous inheritance. Not sure where he stands in the line of people with their hand out, but I'm sure that is what he is counting on. He doesn't even use his fathers last name, or for that matter the full name that his father gave him. I take that back - he had to here in the states when he arrived for selective service & student loans. When he returns to the island, he won't use any of those names.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 6:09AM
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I always thought my brother was relying on his expectation from Mom's estate, not that it was terribly big. But, I will bet you serious money none of it will be left in five years' time. And if he continues with his current attitude I bet your SS will end up running through any inheritance he gets in short order and be back to square one after a few years.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:06AM
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Those are huge IFs. It's never a good idea to predicate your choices on someone's prospective death. Unless he's seen great-grandma's will, there's just no telling.

Even so, a great-grandchild is way down the line. Alcoholic mom may spend it all before it gets to him. Or he does inherit and dissipates it all in short order. More than one person has lost every penny of a vast inheritance.

But I do understand given his fixed beliefs about himself and his prospects, you have little leverage. Still, for the sake of his character and for your own well-being, it's important to do what you can.

Who knows, if you refuse to allow yourself or your family to be used and disrespected, at some future point it may resonate with him.

More than one young person has done that kind of turn-around. Redemption is always possible.

In the meantime, though, you have to get your stepson out of the home. He's doing no one (including himself) any good acting as he is.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 1:26PM
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To: ReadingLady. Thank you again. Your words have been a tremendous help. You're right! He's NOT doing anyone any good by being here.....including himself.
In an act of manipulation, he has resorted to ignoring his father, staying locked in his room and being very stand-offish when he has to emerge. He's leaving little clues all over the house to show me that he has zero respect for me and everyone else. Dirty dishes, dirty laundry, messy bathroom, ect. His reign of terror is far from over. I have a feeling he is "storing up" for a final showdown. I will refuse to participate.
As for what his future holds, that will be up to him. He ran from his home to here and he'll run again. Facing your demons is a huge challenge and I hope he has the strength to do so. I do worry for him. A little over a year ago, he lost his best friend and his girlfriend of 2 years dumped him for another guy, two weeks after attending his best friends funeral. These tragedy's have become his crutch and no amount of sympathy, understanding and words of wisdom can pull him out of it. When he spent his summers with his father as a child, he was the center of the universe. He returns as an adult to a household where his father works everyday and has a responsibility to his family. He also used that as an excuse for leaving. "You work all the time and I don't get to spend any time with you." His father works 4 days a week and is always home by 5PM. His level of immaturity is disheartening. I guess it takes some folks a lot longer to grow up than it does others. So be it.....his flight is booked for mid December. My husband and daughters are very sad. I hope and pray that the writing on the wall becomes clearer as time passes.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 7:55AM
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Let's hope he takes that flight.

In the interim, I would do as little as possible. The bathroom, of course, has to be cleaned, but at the least he might end up packing a lot of dirty laundry. No reason for you to do it.

I am sorry he lost his friend and his girlfriend dumped him (though she may have been wise to do so). But his response to grief is utterly unproductive and self-defeating. All you can do is wait and hope he figures things out - on his own and somewhere else.

It doesn't mean you don't care about him. Unfortunately, so far all your and your husband's love has done is make you targets for exploitation.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 8:06PM
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Now that the flight has been booked, let the healing begin. No he can not have sex or drugs in your home, but if he choses to do these things outsude of your home 'his life, his choice, his problem'.

Your husband loves this young man. No, adjusting to American life was not possible for the two of them this go-round, but the love and bond between the two of them can survive. Different worlds, different generations, diffferent cultures...the young man has to find himself, discover who he is as an adult and decide for himself what it is he wants to do with the rest of his life. Husband can't do that for him, and the trying to is detrimental to husband/you/your children.

Let him go with nothing but the best of wishes. Spend the next few weeks until his flight in a 'truce' scenario. Let him sing his songs, tell his stories, have some pleasant family evening dinners together. Let go of the dealings of the last six months. It does not matter if 'rules here are stupid' or that son thinks Americans work too hard and don't know how to 'enjoy' life....there's nothing to fight about anymore. The flight has been booked. Enjoy what good and loving qualities the man does have, take him to his flight and sincerly wish him all the best. Now that he has decided America is not for him (at least for him now in this stage of his life)focus on just getting through the next few weeks and sending him off on the next leg of his journey of discovering who he is and who he whats to be. You nor Dad can't live his life for him. He's going to hopefully make some good decisions as well as the mistaken ones, learn from them and survive his bumpy ride into true adulthood. But he will have got on that flight knowing, you all love him, wish and want nothing but the best for him and that your prayers and hearts are traveling with him.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 6:30AM
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You need to learn to set limits without feeling guilty, and then train your daughters to do the same thing. They badly need these tools to protect themselves from their half brother in the future. You can be sure that he will be back, trying to charm his way into free housing and easy money. When your daughters move out, they will be vulnerable.

Make a list for your daughters of rules to follow with this guy, and stick to it. Here is a start:

1. Never accept a collect call
2. Never lend him money, or guarantee a loan for him
3. Never let him sleep in your house, or be in your house when you are not there.
4. Never lend him your car, your cellphone, your computer or any other valuable assets.
5. Never buy him a ticket on a plane, train or bus
6. Never respond to communications from anyone who says they are his friend or business associate.
7. Do not friend him on Facebook or link him on Linkedin

If he asks for any of these things, just say "I'm sorry" with no further explanation or argument.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 12:19PM
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