She's been living with us going on 3 years. In a nut shell, she has gotten away with every negative action without consequence. My husband leaves me to deal with every issue that she has presented us with, and believe me, it's probably worse than you know. Just found out that she is cutting herself and after searching her room and finding, yet, another journal about how unhappy she is in our home (with chores and rules). She was taken away from her bio mom because mom was using meth and had an undesirable boyfriend. Biomom calls every few months to stir things up(negative) which we've learned to handle very well. However, I am so scared about the road that is ahead of us now. I feel terrible for just wanting to leave, this will indeed ruin us financially and I am thinking of ending our marriage, honestly. I am getting her the serious help she needs but feel it will be a losing battle for us. As horrible and selfish as this sounds...at this point, I don't want to do this!! This is affecting my physical and mental health at this point....
Cutting and self mutilation are cries for help. It often represents the ability to physically release the pain and hurt she is feeling internally but can't fix. She needs counseling and love. She needs to be shown she has worth and is loved. Self mutilation usually carries a component of a self esteem issue, that she in some way is lacking or is unlovable. I understand it is frustrating but taking your feelings out on her, pushing her away, or making her feel unworthy will make it worse. Depression isn't the end of the world and it can be overcome. Jmo I would also check into a yoga class in addition to psycotherapy.
It's good that youre getting HER the help she needs but maybe you should look also into couple's therapy or family therapy before ending your relationship. It's a lot on your plate to deal with and if you had a mediator helping communicate between you and your husband maybe he could tale on some of the burden addwell
by STVUstudentMarch 4, 2013 at 1:04 PM
I agree, cutting is a cry for help, it is a sensitizing thing. Many previous cutters will tell you that they did it to remind themselves that they COULD feel. Therapy, lots of it, and maybe some for you and hubby as well to help you parent HER more effectively. It's very sad, but if her BM is that much of a mess, you are the one she will learn how to be a mom from...
by OvrMyHeadMarch 4, 2013 at 1:41 PM
Why is all of the responsilbilty for your SD on your shoulders? Is there more her father can do? Are you not feeling supported by DH?
I know how you feel. Until Dad steps up nothing will be solved. My SO (of 8 years) and I have been going to counceling. I was the main diciplinarian for his kids. The emotional abuse you go threw from the SK's and from their Father is horrible. My SO distanced himself from his kids and from me. With counceling everything is starting to get back on track and there has been improvement with how his kids treat me. If BD isn't involved in every aspect then you will be fighting a loosing battle. And if BD doesn't want to be involved then I would run.
I see this as a BD issue. Maybe SD is cutting because she feels rejected by her Father especially if your DH is leaving everything up to you. The poor girl has been rejected by BM and now by BD.
by EmilyJ604March 4, 2013 at 4:43 PM
It sounds like she needs you more now than ever I would consider family therapy
Hon, breathe. It's not a war. She is a teenager.
Your husband needs to care enough to do something. You.... Take a break. It doesn't have to be solved now. And it doesn't have to be solved by you alone. There is time and she is your husband's child.
Suggestion: read "reviving Ophelia". It's a bit on the psychologist babble side, but it will remind you of how horrible those things can feel to a teen.
Don't run. Not yet. Maybe this isn't the life for you. But take your time making that decision. Don't make it while you are overwhelmed.
Take a weekend break. :)
by Hatred4noneMarch 4, 2013 at 7:03 PM
I'm sure you didn't sign up for this, but one if this was your daughter would you just give up on her and leave? Second her dad needs to chime in. He's the one she's looking for. Careless bio mom, dad who's handed her off to a stranger (you), who only thinks of straightening out her whining ways. When dealing with a child in an unstable environment you have to give unconditional love and expect nothing in return. Once you gain her then you can consider discipline. My brother was neglected by both my brother and I, there was a 6 year age difference and we were idiots, so until a certain age my mother basically babied him (13-15) and still does to a certain degree. But if she hadn't he would've been suicidal. He told me once that he felt like we didn't care if he lived or died. Yes partly 10%, he was to blame because he isolated himself in his room or the computer room and didn't talk to us unless it was an out burst, but he was a kid. I remember my feelings that I thought my mother didn't discipline him enough, so it was my job. But what I didn't see was that she treated him the same as she treated us as we were growing up, only difference was there were more adults to side track her more peaceable ways of getting her child to behave. We were behaved for the most part and if we'd been more kind and understanding and left the discipline to his/our parents, this wouldn't have been such a difficult time for everyone. So whether child is physically, mentally or emotionally disabled due to genetics or their environment they need your kindness and sympathy and their parent(s) need to step up and be there for them.
i tend to ramble so if point wasn't clear. Be kind. Be loving. Do an intervention on her dad with her diary and cutting. Force him to realize that his daughter needs him, verbally and emotionally. Chanel your frustration towards a better life. Be positive.
by MezzoDragonMarch 4, 2013 at 8:21 PM
I agree, not only does she need counseling, but all three of you should be going to some form of it. You could use the stress relief, SO should be stepping up and participating in this, and she just needs help in finding a less destructive way in dealing with things. (did I say JUST?!) Cutting is always a cry for help, but you shouldn't have to deal with it alone.