Phoenix Rising's picture
Phoenix Rising

Monster Step son, Bad cercumstances ...Am I a Jerk?

I really don't know where to start just that I feel awful about what happening and I have no real friends or family to turn to. The few friends I have are ether two close to the situation to give an objective opinion and the family that I do have are all very jaded on the issue. A year ago my husband and I took Custody of his 6 year old son from his ex wife. The state took the boy and his half brother from their home and placed the half brother in state care. In short the boy was being abused by her new husband and neglected by her. When I say neglected I do not mean under feed or not taken care of just that she turned a blind eye to what her husband was doing and never spent time with the boy or bonded with him. Since he was born she has always had others to care for him. Room mates, personal nannies, day care and lastly her new husband.

A little back story just so you can understand everything...I know its a lot but I feel its the only way for you, the reader to understand.
My husband and her had been split up for quite some time and he had tried many times to get a divorce from her but she refused. As an extreme measure she called his CO (he was in the Air force at the time) and complained that he had abandoned her in New Mexico, that he was not sending her any money and that she was homeless. He had to prove to them that it was all lies. That she had a Job that paid twice what he was making, Owned a home and had a room mate as well as the fact that she was going to school. After quite a battle with his COs they dropped the charges and removed the request to place him in the brig. Its a HUGE offence to not take care of your family when military and claiming married and receiving funds for it. After speaking to the Co and the Chaplin He was convinced that it was his responsibility as a good christian to forgive her and try and make his marriage work. He fly down to visit with her and try and work things out and she became pregnant. He moved her Up north where he was stationed, sold the home and they lived together for the benefit of the child he tried. By the time the boy was 4 to 5 months old My husband moved out he could no longer deal with her. She would call him at work daily screaming crying and tossing fits. One time she called and screamed at the top of her lungs that if he did not come home to her right now that she would throw the boy down the stairs. She finally tried to kill her self and failed.

After that she moved to the South about 3000 miles away. My husband resigned form the Air force so that he could follow her to be near his son. They had an odd split custody for about a year and a half or so. She would have him for a week then he would but most of the time she would not give him to him and would only allow the boy to come for the weekends. The boy had many issues, acted out, hit other children in day care. Bite others and even tried to drown a child. Needless to say he jumped form day care to day care as no one would care for him for very long. His Ex wife deiced that she was going to take a Job in Korea and took the boy with her. She was to have sent him back for summers but never did. My husband got an email one day asking him to send the divorce papers as she was pregnant and wanted to marry her new man. (mind you this whole time he had been begging her to sign the papers and she refused. he was also working three jobs just to be able and pay her inflated child support because sheplayed the system and insisted on having a personal Nanny and the state that they had their case in billed him the full monthly cost of the nanny. )

That summer the three of them returned to the USA and they left the boy with my husbands Brother and sister in law. We found out by talking to my husbands mother that he was there. He called his brother and said that he would come and pick the boy up and keep him till his m other wanted him back. My husbands sister in law called the boys mother and she tossed a fit. Told her no way that he could not come and get him that it was unacceptable for him to come stay with us as she did not know the woman that he was living with (me). He was very up set and really wanted to see his son. He called his ex wife and talked to her and after quite the fight she agreed to let us see him for 4 hours as he had to be in bed no later then 7:30pm and it was un acceptable for us to have him any loner then that. (it was BS if you ask me shes just a control freak)

In about two months she showed up at our door with the boy in tow and one small bag and told us that she needed us to take him for the summer that she had her hands full with moving from GA (where they went when they came back from Korea) to FL and she left. She promised to cove at least some of the cost of his care for that summer but we have never seen a dime and YES we paid her Child support that whole summer. In all we ended up having him for almost 6 months. We had to buy him all new clothes because she would not give us any as well. During this time it became very apparent to me that the boy was not... well normal. He interacted with my three children every day. At the time my Eldest son was turning ten, my girl was 2 and my little boy turned one. He was a constant issue with them. He fought with the young children and attacked my oldest. Bloodied his noise and beat him up because my son did not want to fight back and hurt an younger child. I talked to his mother about it and she would just say to spank him with the paddle that she sent with him and that he just needed to be put in his place. I do not believe in spanking children save for extreme cases. In total I think I have spanked my kids maybe three times between all of them. As bad as it sounds I was relived when he went home. I packed up the boys things and KEPT the paddle that his mother sent with him as I did not want her to use it on him.

We saw him on and off again for Holidays and weekends but never more then a few days at a time. That Spring after the boys 6th birthday we received a call that his mother and step father had been arrest for child abuse. It turned out that the police picked her up for an un paid ticket but arrested her to get her away from the children. They never got to charge her husband as he fled the country and they ended up only saying that she was guilty of neglect in the end. They returned her baby back to her after about 8 months and closed her case file about two months back. In the past year we have not seen a dime in support from her and she was making over 100K a year. Last month she moved to Germany and took a job that on paper shows that she makes half of what she was making here just so that she would not have to pay as much in child support.

Now here's the issues...The boy came to us as with many issues. He wet him self at least three times a day would beat up on all the children and refused to listed to any one. He would toss fits and throw him self around on the ground some times till he bled him self. He would scream for hours on end for not getting his way and worse. I think you get the point. I have loved him and tried to be his mother, friend and parent. My kids have tried to make him feel at home and love him as a brother. What have we received in return? Abuse. He has no remorse for anything he does. He enjoys hurting people and fighting. He has pushed, my at the time 3 year old, little girl down a flight of stairs, almost threw her out a window on a 2nd floor (I caught her before she went out) beat up my then 2 year old son and fights with my eldest son all the time. He has bit them all more times then I can count and over all acts at least two to three years younger then he is. My kids are now 3, 4 and 11...my eldest son has been run out of his room he would rather sleep with the baby's then the boy. He takes my childrens toys all the time and is over all really mean to them. As for me in the past year he has bitten me, bloodied my noise, broken my toe, cracked my collar bone as well as many other things that I have forgotten. Most recently He threw a book at my head from the top of the stairs. It really hurt BTW. We have had him in Therapy, group therapy and have tried every form of positive reinforcement known to man. I am at a loss and fed up with him. He has taught awful things to my babies and they have picked up all sorts of Negative behavior that I work to break all the time. We cant even have a break from him as NO ONE will take him or baby sit him. None of his grandparent no one. Even the baby sitters that we have hired wont come back because of him. He has even kicked my dog for no reason other then she was near him at the time. We have seen him Smile when he does things to hurt others and to be honest he scares me a lot.

I want to send him to his mother. My husband wants to keep him as he feels the boy will get better with time and that he needs a good home. This has gotten so bad that I am considering taking the other three kids and leaving. I just don't know what to do . I feel like a Jerk for asking him to send his son away but other then leaving my self I don't know what to do.

Am I a Jerk for wanting him to go back to his mother?
Any advice?



2xstepmom's picture
2xstepmom

No, you are not a jerk, but this is a very disturbing situation. Would this child's mother even be able to take him back if she wanted to do so?

This child should not be allowed to continue to abuse your children or you. Being abused by him will scar them for life and they may end up with worse issues than he obviously has. Your first priority needs to be your children and their well-being and safety, not allowing them to continue to be this child's physical and emotional punching bags.

It seems your husband is is denial about the situation and his son's issues and extreme actions. DFS or your local mental health agency needs to be called in before something even more serious happens.

Phoenix Rising's picture
Phoenix Rising

To answer your question yes she can take him back and she does want to. She never wanted to give him up in the first place. I wanted to help and felt bad for the boy.....it turns out that he was part of the issues in the home.

DCF is who gave him to us. They have done an Evaluation on him and found him to have a great number of issues. We have also had four other therapist / mental health professional evaluate him and he has been in Therapy since the second week we had him.

We intervene all the time as I refuse to allow him to mis-treat my children but literately you got to the bath room and all hell breaks out.

and Yes my husband has issues accepting this. I think he feels responsible and like hes the only one who can fix it.

I felt bad and wanted to help as well but I have been thru hell and back with him now and I am no longer open to dealing with him.

SnglDad's picture
SnglDad

This young boy has been sent from one household to another, been neglected by his mother and stepfather, is demonstrating disturbing behavior, and the only answer to this problem is to send him back to his neglectful mother? If this were one of your other three kids acting out, would you consider sending them to a neglectful parent? Let’s be completely honest here; it is much easier to send away a child that is not yours. As a father, I could not imagine sending either of my children away. As a mother, how can you even suggest to this father that he turn his son back over to this obviously toxic mother?
This child has lived with the same woman that the father left because he could no longer deal with her. This is the same woman who threatened to throw him down the stairs, and also attempted suicide. Having lived in this environment is there any wonder why he acts the way he does? In order to shift him from this destructive path he is on he will need strong role models, consistency, stability, professional help, and unconditional support from everyone in the home. Sending him back to his mother will make your life easier, but what will it do for this child?

Phoenix Rising's picture
Phoenix Rising

Hence me feeling like a Jerk...

But you try and put your self in the same place and tell me that you could just stand by and watch your children that you have birth to be abused and hurt as well as your self? What would you do?

I have spent the last year and a half working with him.. and the last year with him in my home. His behavior does not get any better even with the professional help, meds and strong support. In fact with some things I think its made it worse. He tosses it our faces that we don't love im as he his and that we want him to change (brian washing from his mother sadly) And before any one asks YES we have to let her speak to him. We have a court order that says she gets to talk on the phone with him twice a week and when she was here get him on the weekends.

Yes I feel awful.. and its why I am seriously considering leaving my husband. I LOVE him with all my heart and so do my children...but I dont know what else to do.

And you ask what sending him back to his mother will do.. Nothing the same that's happening her. One reason my husband does not want to send him back is becasue she will just put him is after care and get a nanny as she has in the past. YET he and the Therapist say that's what we should do so that the rest of the family gets a break. Theres a court order in place that has him required to have professional metal health services so that would not change ether..

I feel bad becasue yes its his son..BUT this is our family. Theres a saying sacrifice the good of the one for the good of the many.

BY you I should sacrifice the well being of THREE children and my self for this boy who hates me and screams in my face how much he wishes I would die and that he wants his mother back.

I am sorry but I have to disagree with you. It would be one thing if he wanted to be here and he was tring to work with us. When in fact he fights us at every chance even on dumb little stuff. Like one day wanting Ketchup on a burger and the next spitting it on me and screaming at me that he hates it.

SnglDad - thanks for making me feel even more like crap about this.

SnglDad's picture
SnglDad

First of all I was not trying to make you feel like crap, I merely asked questions based on the information that you gave. If the truth makes you feel like crap, then maybe you need to explore the reasons why.
You make statements like “I have spent the last year and a half working with him... And the last year with him in my home.” And “I feel bad because yes it’s his son..BUT this is our family.”. Just from how you speak about this child it seems as if you view him as an outsider, someone who has invaded your space.
There may be sayings about sacrificing this for that, but as parents we sacrifice ourselves for the sake of our children. I don’t think you are on here looking for opinions as much as you are hoping to receive support for your position on this. It is obvious that you have made up your mind, and I won’t try to change it. The double standard is obvious to me, and I’m sure obvious to him as well. I just hope that your husband is cognizant of it before he sacrifices his own son.

Phoenix Rising's picture
Phoenix Rising

Sorry but there is a difference between sighting an opinion and bantering someone.

I / we have made every attempt to make him part of the family. He is the one who has made him self the outsider. Its hard to make someone part of the family when every time they are with the family they hurt someone or are totally chaotic. Even something as easy as sitting down to dinner is a nightmare. He has thrown plats of food. dumped his drink in my lap and screamed at the top on his lungs that he wont eat the food becasue he does not like the color and its ugly.

and no I was not looking for support on my position...I am looking for more ideas...HENCE me asking for IDEAS..

I PREY you never have to be where I am now as I can see how close minded you are and I fear for the safety of your children in that case.

Phoenix Rising's picture
Phoenix Rising

AND BTW its not my self I am worried about its my children... I can not sacrifice them. So your comment is not correct. Stop being so angery and look at the situation.

Just how would you feel if suddenlly there was a child in your life that was mean, cruel and hurtful to you and your children? From what you have said you would just sit there and let it happen and "try" your best...

Just at what point does it become too much or do you let that child kill one of your own because you want to save them?

2xstepmom's picture
2xstepmom

Having lived through a similar situation to yours , and being on the receiving end of much negative judgement, let me assure you that unless someone has lived it, they cannot possibly understand what you are going through. You are living in a nightmare.

My 3 ex-step-daughters put my family and children through turmoil for over 3 years. We tried everything, therapy, medication, unconditional love, and they tore my family apart. My now adult children still bear the scars. The oldest girl physially and emotionally abused us all, the final straw being when she accused my son of touching her inappropriately. She recanted after being removed from our home but the experiance was crushing to my son and us all.

These girls were returned to the custody of their mother (who was a clone to the mother you describe) and made her life miserable until they were adults. At around 18, each girl did call me and apologised for what they put us through, but the damage was already done. My ex-husband and I had already divorced, unable to deal with the trauma our relationship had been through at the hands of these severely emotionally disturbed children. For self-protection, the choice has been made not to have any relationship with these girls, who are all severely bipolar. The oldest refuses to take meds, has had multiple children out of wedlock and choses to be homeless, the next is blatently bi-sexual and an alcoholic and the youngest is a drug addict and alcoholic. All this after YEARS of therapy, multiple hospitalizations, thousands of dollars spent and at least 3 years of living in a loving and stable home with my ex and myself.

As adults, both of my children have shared with me if they could change one thing about their childhoods, it would be to never have had these girls living in our home. My advice is for some major action to be taken before your marriage and your other children are made to suffer furthur. I do not claim to have the answer, but do have empathy for your situation.

tamz's picture
tamz

I would not say your a jerk for WANTING to send him back to his abusive mother, but your a jerk if you do it.

My son was aweful throughout most of his life and started fires, hit ppl, pottied himself and that when he was young .. later he stole my car, did drugs and broke up my house.

SO, I know how you feel and I still think your a jerk if you send him to his neglectful mother. Get another doctor, start another school, find another babysitter... keep doing this until you help him. His father OWES it to him.. If you wanna get your kids and leave then do so, but this father should do all he can to save his son.

2xstepmom's picture
2xstepmom

Yes, this father should do all he can do to help his son. But, realistically, not all children can be "saved". If that were true, I'd still be happily with my ex as we were for our first 4 years together.

When my stepchildren came to live with us, 2 years into our marriage, I felt as you do, Tamz. We did all of the things you suggested and many, many, many more, to no avail. Meanwhile, my children and I were being terribly abused by the children my husband and I were doing all we could to "save". We thought they were so much better off with us in our loving family than with the suicidal, abusive mother. In reality, they just got worse and worse, while we hung in there and my children were emotionally damaged by all the chaos.

After they were returned to their mother, all 3 admitted at family therapy that part of why they were so abusive to us was that deep down they missed their mother so much and wanted to be with her. We did not just happily allow them to be returned to their mother, it was one of the most difficult decisions of my life and I still wish we had been able to turn those girl's lives around. Some children just need more than just a loving family to be "saved".