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Old 04-16-2013, 07:43 AM   #21
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We do this. I take the oldest out and we have our girl time. On the surface everything is fine and I'm working really hard but it's not enough. I am a step daughter and it took 29years for her to accept me which is why I hide my feelings from them and don't let it reflect in my actions. Also, he takes them out not just to give me space but also so I can get my work done. I also have PTSD from my childhood and the commotion of all the kids, tv, dogs, him, the baby it all makes me very anxious and panicky. Typically I keep the house quiet with very little competing noise. When they are here that's all there is.
I've dealt with PTSD from an abusive childhood, so I know exactly what you're talking about. The kids/noise are a trigger. I know you say you can't afford counseling, but you and your SO need to take this seriously and at least see a psychiatrist or doctor who is familiar with PTSD and can help you address these strong feelings. It's likely the strength of them is due to the stress reaction your body is having which is triggered by the kids, but most definitely not actually caused by them at the root. Take comfort in knowing its not that you hate the kids, it's that for some reason thurs triggering some deep pain for you and you're reacting to that.

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Old 04-16-2013, 07:46 AM   #22
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Re: Step kids

Mama--many churches have free or low cost counseling available to help people just like you. I would check out the websites for the larger churches in your area and see if any of them offer counseling. Both of our local mega-churches have counseling centers in them.

Also--do the kids have Medicaid? We get get family therapy through DS's Medicaid. It is billed to him, but billed as family therapy.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:10 AM   #23
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I just went to a seminar on PTSD. You can not cure it yourself. It will never heal without help. It's been proven.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:12 AM   #24
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Re: Step kids

I haven't really spoken but 2 words to DH's ex. I love the kids but they are 14 and 10 and unfortunately the rules are very different at their Mom's than here, but she won't work with us. She thinks D's in school are acceptable, they don't have to do any chores at home, and she constantly tells them to ask their Dad for money for everything (even though he pays his support). It is difficult to say the least to always feel like the bad guy, but I feel if I ignored it all that I wouldn't be fulfilling the role that I took on the day I married their Dad. I feel I have a responsibility to help them to learn skills that will help them be successful in life. So when we put a block on any non family phone numbers on the 14 yr old's phone till she starts studying more and brings her grades up, it's frustrating when she doesn't do it and blames her worsening grades on the fact that us taking her phone away has put too much pressure on her and is making her do badly (refusing to accept the responsibility for her own actions).

At the end of the day I want what is best for my step daughters, but do I sometimes wish I didn't have to deal with it all? Yes. Sometimes I dread when they will be here because I know that I am likely going to have to enforce something that they don't like, it's likely to cause a fight of some sort, and I am likely to be left feeling like the bad guy. For me, it's just the added stress and feeling sick of being the bad guy. I don't want to upset them, but I also don't think it's ok to break the rules or to be flat out lazy and act like spoiled brats.

My point is, I understand where you are coming from, it's a hard role to take on. Is it maybe a behavior thing that makes you wish they weren't around sometimes? Perhaps it's because you feel like they ruin your perfect family? Whatever the reason, I think the only way it will get better is if you push yourself to spend one on one time with them and really build a relationship. Take them to the park to play, or to some sort of activity. Try to look at them for the beautiful children that they are that just don't always know better. And most of all, try not to think of them as HIS kids. If you are going to be with this man then you need to learn to accept that he is a package deal. Loving him comes with loving those kids, so you are going to have to work at breaking through your anger and develop a true relationship with them.

At the end of the day for me, I just want what's best for my step kids. I want the oldest to go to Vet school like she wants, but I know her dream will be shattered if she doesn't get her grades up and start learning some independence. It's a difficult role to step in as a parental figure, but maybe part of your issue is you aren't accepting your role in their lives and instead are pushing them away as the "problem" in your relationship. They aren't the problem, they didn't cause what their Mom does, and they don't have any clue about the drama that has happened. It can be hard to not blame them, but it certainly isn't their fault. Good luck in resolving this, hopefully you can change your perspective. I know I am still working on it here, so don't worry you are not alone.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:03 AM   #25
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Re: Step kids

Since they are so little, you will be paying child support for a very long time. No end in sight. Then after child support is over, you will still chip in for college, for their first homes, for cars, insurance, weddings, bail money..whatever. There will always be a need for them to have money from you guys. So, you need to try to change your attitude about any money issues. YOU have three kids, you will always have at least three kids.

You even need to try to take the high road with their mom. That's hard and it takes a very, very long time. But, it's best in the long run.


But, your feelings are so normal. I completely understand your feelings. I have felt the same way. It's a consuming feeling that follows you around all the time. Part of you wants full custody, but then that means you'd have them there all the time. Every vacation, every weekend... it would be a huge sacrifice for you.

Every time they leave, you think of how you could have handled it better... you plan to handle it better next time. You look forward to the opportunity to try again, but then they get there, and you just can't stop feeling that way.

As your own baby grows older your child will ADORE his siblings. Once you see that relationship blossom (you can help it blossom) Your own feelings will begin to change.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:41 PM   #26
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Wow, first, thank you for all your support and understanding. I was really worried about getting a response that my family gives me and that is to yell at me and tell me that they are my kids and to get over it. I hope I don't miss anything:
Vatblack, I will look into those books, I love reading and I think it will really help
Myclan: I am an atheist so no help from the church (I don't share my opinion w the step kids incase you were wondering. Their mother think its deplorable yet I'm the one who has morals, go figure).
Suzi: they love each other, they love the baby and her them. I was taking 5mg of Zoloft then stopped BC I was afraid of negative repercussions during pregnancy and I'm breast feeding now. I never thought of support groups, thanks!!
UVA: I hope I get over it BC I hate every interaction they have w the baby but I never stop them from, just no hands or face.
Becca: thank you, I have dealt w PTSD forever and it never gets better, just different.
Luvs: the baby has Medicaid not me. My dh tells me I need to get on it BC I have abnormal paps and need to get regular check ups.
Keen: what free options? Please tell me.
Kitty: I agree, I do whatever I can to encourage them and build their interests and confidence. Before me dh let them do whatever they wanted and I have had to introduce structure and discipline (he didnt want to spend the entire weekend yelling at them BC they were acting up and he barely ever saw them). He has actually confided in me that he is extremely upset at how they behave but that I have added a lot of discipline and for the better not because I'm a hard ***. Lol. But I'm sick of being the one who yells at them or discipline them. I'm sick of being the one who tells them to stop running in the house, stop standing on the couch, eat your dinner (we eat healthy and she feeds them McDonald. We know this BC they can tell us which restaurant has the best playground and which are dirty. We don't believe in fast food). I also have a problem BC they are vaccinated (I know some dont agree w it but I do) and they go to daycare and are sick ALL the time and never go to the dr (their mother constantly goes for mental issues and a case of hypochondria, but never takes the kids). I do what's best for them which is why, on the surface, I'm awesome, now if I can make the insides match how I act. I also have problems with them behaving like monsters till its time for us to give them back and we have molded them back into sweet kids. We also thnk their mom is telling them to lie to us. In addition, the oldest is starting to want to dress like a slut (she wants small skin revealing clothes and makes the duck face when we take her pic and sings stuff like "shake like a girl is supposed to") she is also severely depressed she is SIX. She tells us she doesn't feel happy until she spends some time w us and she is back to normal happy self. She is also getting an attitude. I feel horrible for her so i do really sweet things to make her feel special, I buy her clothes and take her out, I explain my work and watch cartoons with her and actually get involved and talk about them. I can relate most with her but her mother and attitude hinders a great relationship. When we are in public I call them my step kids even though their mother had drilled it in their brain that I'm not, she even went so far as to tell the oldest that her and daddy are still together just don't live together. Who the frig says that??!!!!
Escape: you hit the nail on the head. I don't mind supporting THEM but I can't tolerate supporting her!! I know they aren't being supported so i hate giving her money.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:16 PM   #27
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Re: Step kids

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Vatblack, I will look into those books, I love reading and I think it will really help

Keen: what free options? Please tell me.

But I'm sick of being the one who yells at them or discipline them. I'm sick of being the one who tells them to stop running in the house, stop standing on the couch, eat your dinner (we eat healthy and she feeds them McDonald.

Escape: you hit the nail on the head. I don't mind supporting THEM but I can't tolerate supporting her!! I know they aren't being supported so i hate giving her money.
Glad to help.

Keen: I'm also interested.

It was like that here too but we drilled into their heads: Mom's house, mom's rules. Dad's house, dad's rules. It took time but they got it eventually and finally got into a pattern of learning how to act where. When they are older, it gets easier. I think when kids are young, it is too hard to remember how to act where. Hang in there though.

That last issue was a huge sore point for me too, I did not believe she spent all the money on the kids. I still don't. However, I had to make peace with something I could not change. I changed my attitude because the situation could not change. Being angry about how she spends money, or raise the kids, or teach them or whatever, only makes me and my family miserable. Accepting I have no control over them and what happens there made me a happier person. Nothing but my attitude changed.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:29 PM   #28
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From what they told us: you start at your local hospitals and ask for PTSD resources. Then you start cling each place. There are also online support groups that focus on PTSD. I wish I had asked more info- but it wasn't something I needed :/ I can try to contact the speaker for more info
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Old 04-16-2013, 04:12 PM   #29
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Re: Step kids

Does your fiances work have therapy options? Many employers offer at least 3 free sessions
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:44 PM   #30
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Does your fiances work have therapy options? Many employers offer at least 3 free sessions
Full time student with disability and GI bill. He's my sahd and I love him that way. We have a great schedule worked out so a parent is w the baby at all times, no babysitters or daycare. I'm very fortunate.
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