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When Children Abuse Their Parents


DesertBob
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Okay ... I find myself in Bizarro World again tonight and I have to get this off my chest.

 

I regard my fiancee as a terrific Momma Bear. Just a good mother. Very present for her kids, very loving and kind, pushes them to be their personal best, but not in an uptight stage-Mom kind of way. She's made a LOT of costly personal sacrifices for them, not the least of which has been living in a place she hates so they could remain close to their biological father. Frankly I see no major mis-steps in that department.

 

She has a son, 19, and a daughter, 17. They couldn't be more different. The son is just a good, kindly soul who is respectful and supportive of his Mom. The daughter is a Type A bitchlet on wheels, and in the past year and a half she has decided that her Mom is weak, terminally lame, unstable, forgetful, and generally gross, immoral and fattening. Yes, I know that attitude could describe a lot of teenage girls, but I'm talking about an astoundingly hurtful level of vitriol, bile, venom and dismissiveness. Kicking someone when they're down. I'm talking about levels of rage appropriate (or at least comprehensible) for someone who has been abused or neglected, but not at all appropriate to the situation.

 

We have talked this to death. Mom is no more perfect than the next person; she has had some mis-steps and regrets, but it's very minor stuff. Truly there is nothing for this self-absorbed little shit to have her knickers in a twist about. Recently she provoked me to loose my cool, something that almost never happens, and now I've gone from being an object of indifference to joining Mom on her personal shit list as well. We've both tried to talk to her about this but she shuts down all conversation, either by putting on a little hyperventilation act, or just by doing her usual take-no-prisoners, scorched-earth technique of putting us down with lots of words like "always", "never" and "liar".

 

I am out of town for a few days and today she managed to reduce her Mom to tears with a particularly cruel tirade, and the unthinkable has now happened. Mom has told her daughter to stay at her Dad's tomorrow, the day she would normally come over to our place (she's on a weekly alternating schedule). What precipitated this is that I left town to deal with a health crisis with her brother at university and she found out about it through the grapevine, and she was pissed that she wasn't told. Frankly, there wasn't time -- events have moved quickly. She also assumed that her Mom went with me -- she was unable to do so in this particular instance -- and that she basically missed an opportunity to go with us (as if this was a vacation she was left out of and there wasn't the minor detail that she's in school). Oh and by the way, why do I have more access to her brother than she, and she hates our stupid dog and everything about our house and she can't concentrate here and we always take sides together against her in everything and we love her brother more than her and ... well, you get the picture. Her technique is basically to push buttons because she knows how to and because she can. Jab, jab, jab and then when she finally gets through your reserve and you raise your voice a bit or show any exasperation at all or even just maintain your cool and tell her to knock it off, you're persecuting her yet again.

 

Look, I know that we aren't the first parents to have an impossible teen, but something more is going on here. I'm fairly certain the ex is manipulating the situation in hopes of driving a wedge between mother and daughter. Regardless of the reasons for this behavior, I support my fiancee's decision, devastating as it is for her. You cannot accept this level of abuse, not even from a child. If this weren't a split living situation, or she were younger, we'd probably institutionalize her in self defense. She's that over the top.

 

So at this point there's a good chance her daughter moves out for good.

 

I'm just wondering if any of you parents out there have ever had this particular kind of clusterfuck. Right now all will to live has been leached out of me. I'm up here trying to do the Right Thing and my fiancee's stress levels are through the roof due to other stuff going on that she's coping with and neither of us need this shit right now. I can't go back until Monday and even then I can't really do anything to make it better for her. It's just devastating that things have come to this crossroads.

 

In my Christian daze I would have prayed about it, "committed it to the lord" and perhaps consulted my pastor, and then would have told myself that Better Days Are Ahead. These days I'm taking the more rational tack of reaching out for the perspective and experience of others.

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How do you guys discipline her when she acts up? I recall going through something like this with my father when I was about that age. My dad is a good man, but wouldn't take shit from me. We had a big blowup when I was 18 and moved out. From there our relationship became good once again.

 

But sounds like your step daughter needs a dog whisperer:

http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s10e07-tsst

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How do you guys discipline her when she acts up? I recall going through something like this with my father when I was about that age. My dad is a good man, but wouldn't take shit from me. We had a big blowup when I was 18 and moved out. From there our relationship became good once again.

 

But sounds like your step daughter needs a dog whisperer:

http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s10e07-tsst

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Yep. I have had two of these types of daughters.

 

There seems to be a phase at the end of the teens when they have to confront some hard facts about the world. ie that they need to earn a living for themselves unless they are being supported by the parents while they do some heavy duty study.

 

So they become angry when they asked to do normal adult things like clean up after themselves, wash their clothes and pay some board. And they direct the anger to mum and dad rather than realising that this is just how life is.

 

Having to move out,pay their own rent and utilities and come up with their own car soon sobers them up.

 

But if you're not ready to have her move out yet, you just quietly withdraw all the additional kindnesses that you offer and stay out their way. I wouldn't worry about little missy going to live with her dad - she will soon become a little shite to him as well.

 

They rapidly swap between parents if the parents are separated at this age - always looking of r the easier life. And they swap between dreams of going to school and working for a living - again in search of the easy way out of life's realities and hardships. Of course they haven't really encountered any SERIOUS hardships yet in most cases.

 

So, just try and chill. Don't bite to the provocation and don't offer to do very much at all. They want you to lose your rag so that that they can blame you and have you fall over yourself to make it up to you!

 

Now do I sound bitter and twisted or what????

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Okay ... I find myself in Bizarro World again tonight and I have to get this off my chest.

 

Right now all will to live has been leached out of me.

 

 

Bob, I can't tell you what to do, but I can share my experience with you. I was a very spoiled girl. My mom and dad divorced when I was really young and both of them were so guilty (because of my sister and I not having a normal up bringing) that we used their guilt to our advantage. I'm not proud of this. Now I realize I was a normal human brat who learned to 'con'. So I was a bit like your fiancé's girl. I have had to live with this in my older years because when I look at how I treated my own mom sometimes - it makes me want to die inside, I am so ashamed. I wish my poor, weak mom would have kicked my ass and told me to get the fuck out out!!

 

I didn't have any children myself, but when my beautiful, only sister died, my husband and I took her children to bring up. 8 and 14 they were, when we took them in. These kids were grieving their mom and now living with two people they didn't want to be with. M y boy was gay - that came with it's own set of problems as you might have read from my posts.

Now I felt guilty because their mommy died and they 'conned' me!! I was going to be their 'savior'. Didn't work............These 2 had a mind of their own........

 

You name it - I went through it....... including these two, little brats (who I do love today) reporting us several time to social services..........I wouldn't go back to those days if you paid me a million dollars. It took less than 5 years for my marriage to fall apart..............

 

Now. present time........ I have 2 children and my spouse has 2 children. I can't share all the details because I am such a slow typer. I would be here all day, but let's just say it's come close to breaking up this relationship. My kids have their share of human dysfunction,(and so does his). My two are doing a little better as adults......... They are 22 and 29 now.

 

But I do watch as they are now creating very stressful lives for themselves in some of the choices they are making and won't really listen to me.... like I didn't listen to my own mother.

 

I sit back now and just watch from the sidelines. I try not to open my mouth at all. If they ask me - I will share what I think. If they are loving to me, they may come to my house for a visit and stay awhile. If they abuse me in any way - I stay away from them and they are not welcome at my house. They know and respect this today. I am getting treated pretty nicely now.

 

I's been a wild ride................

 

I would suggest that you take your hands off, put duct tape over your mouth, put up your white flag and surrender and let the girl learn here own 'lessons'....Somehow - you need to find a way to detach...........Tell your spouse why you must do this for awhile....surley, she sees what this is doing to you?

 

Be careful - finances and children are the two main reasons why 2nd and 3rd marriages fall apart. This is why you may have heard me say recently, that the perfect relationship would be that two people would live a few streets over from each other, stay in their separate apartments and have their love affair like that!

 

Stay as peaceful as you can today. Keep us up-dated. A hug for you today Bob..........

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This is all I can offer.The Economist’s Guide to Parenting

 

My kids are 1 and 3. I'm not looking forward to the teenage years, but they are fun now. Currently I'm taking photos and videos of them eating boogers and other things, so I can blackmail them during their teenage years.

 

Good luck Bob.

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Bob, I can't tell you what to do, but I can share my experience with you. I was a very spoiled girl. My mom and dad divorced when I was really young and both of them were so guilty (because of my sister and I not having a normal up bringing) that we used their guilt to our advantage. I'm not proud of this. Now I realize I was a normal human brat who learned to 'con'. So I was a bit like your fiancé's girl. I have had to live with this in my older years because when I look at how I treated my own mom sometimes - it makes me want to die inside, I am so ashamed. I wish my poor, weak mom would have kicked my ass and told me to get the fuck out out!!

My fiancee is not weak, but she is vulnerable right now. She has, however, in effect, kicked her ass out. Or at least she has told her not to come over Sunday, but if it's what she wants, she can come over Monday with her Dad, when Mom is at work, and move her stuff out. This has produced an effect on her. She was texting last night, all casual and asking what Mom's up to. This is her way, she is incapable of uttering the magic words "I'm sorry" so she just turns on the charm. Mom hasn't responded. She's protecting herself. Good for her. At the drop of a hat, daughter will just be a witch again.

Now I felt guilty because their mommy died and they 'conned' me!![/b] I was going to be their 'savior'. Didn't work............These 2 had a mind of their own........

 

You name it - I went through it....... including these two, little brats (who I do love today) reporting us several time to social services..........I wouldn't go back to those days if you paid me a million dollars. It took less than 5 years for my marriage to fall apart..............

 

Now. present time........ I have 2 children and my spouse has 2 children. I can't share all the details because I am such a slow typer. I would be here all day, but let's just say it's come close to breaking up this relationship. My kids have their share of human dysfunction,(and so does his). My two are doing a little better as adults......... They are 22 and 29 now.

 

But I do watch as they are now creating very stressful lives for themselves in some of the choices they are making and won't really listen to me.... like I didn't listen to my own mother.

I have always said that nature trumps nurture every time and this is exactly what I am talking about. I love my 26 and 32 year old, but if I had it to do over again, I would not have children. It is too much of a shit-for-thanks enterprise and at the end of the day all a parent really does is provide room and board and education which, as my fiancee's daughter has outright said many times, is just what you're supposed to do and not something to expect thanks or gratitude or respect for. Thanks, in her mind, is for exceptional performance, I guess, as if she's equipped to judge it. Fuck her.

I sit back now and just watch from the sidelines. I try not to open my mouth at all. If they ask me - I will share what I think. If they are loving to me, they may come to my house for a visit and stay awhile. If they abuse me in any way - I stay away from them and they are not welcome at my house. They know and respect this today. I am getting treated pretty nicely now.

Some form of this is probably what will happen here. Mom is fed up. She can't take any more. But she's going to be conflicted about it. Although she told me last night that if it were anyone but her daughter she would be permanently and instantly out of her life, she is obligated to her as a mother. I tend to feel that the people closest to us, we should actually be more able than anyone to trust, to be safe with, and this kind of betrayal is all the more monstrous for that.

 

Of course, I wasn't born yesterday. I understand that her daughter is a very insecure person who covers it up with aggressive bluster -- is this not the definition of a bully? -- and she may well work her way out of it eventually. But putting up with this is enabling. I told my fiancee that her daughter needs to stew in her own juices for awhile. This can't be another situation where she acts like a total ass and then there are no consequences.

I would suggest that you take your hands off, put duct tape over your mouth, put up your white flag and surrender and let the girl learn here own 'lessons'....Somehow - you need to find a way to detach...........Tell your spouse why you must do this for awhile....surley, she sees what this is doing to you?

Yes, basically this is what I've done of late. The girl knows I'm on to her and so now she's on a campaign of snarky comments to Mom about me. Without saying so, she wants me out of the house. Regrettably I think my fiancee has some guilt about that ... she has the idea that we met too soon and got together too soon -- whatever "too soon" is -- a bullshit concept as far as I'm concerned; it happened when it happened. I could say the same thing about the kids, gee, they're always around, no private moments, etc. But I don't because the whole idea is to make loving compromises and make it work.

Be careful - finances and children are the two main reasons why 2nd and 3rd marriages fall apart. This is why you may have heard me say recently, that the perfect relationship would be that two people would live a few streets over from each other, stay in their separate apartments and have their love affair like that!

That is an alien fantasy to me. Romance is a contrived and unsustainable state of affairs. Once the novelty wears off, simply living alone and having a fuck buddy on the side is hardly different to me than hiring a prostitute, although arguably it may be more sanitary. If that is what relationships come to then it's not worth the bother for me, it's too empty and pathetic. To me, sharing a life and building a life together is what it's about. What I'm coming to realize though is that many people need too much space, it's incompatible with a committed relationship. Also, most people lack the loyalty and devotion and commitment. Also, at our age, most people are too damaged and are, as you point out, barnacled with kids and personal scars and whatnot. I am a package deal with my kids, and even with them out of the nest and thousands of miles away, it has an impact. I am damaged goods now too, I'm part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

 

There are fault lines in our relationship. I'm changing the dynamic with her kids -- inevitably -- so I can be second guessed as to what would have happened if I hadn't been in the mix. I telecommute, so I'm around too much and she doesn't get her space. I doubt she'll ever miss me or be glad to see me in the way that I experience those things. Her mind doesn't function that way. For all that she values in me, I'm also at the same time, something of a fungible commodity, just one more man in her life. Sometimes I wonder WTF I'm here for. I contribute to this family, but it has so many problems. Her son has OCD and GAD and resistant to following through with therapy and instructions and so on, barely able to function, and I'd say there's about a 40% chance he'll fail academically or just have a complete implosion, as early as end of first semester. That means he comes back to live with us and is in a terminal funk about it. God only knows how that will change everyone's lives, and God's not talking, on account of him not existing.

 

I, too, could go on for paragraphs about all the drama and uncertainty in our lives. Some days it seems insurmountable, other days it seems like we may be progressing towards something reasonable, but I'm fundamentally too old and tired for this. If the alternative weren't living alone with yet more regrets, in all honesty today I'd be tempted to bag it.

 

So I'm making the best of this that I know how to. It may turn out that I've just been pissing into the wind these past three years yet again, but it was my last hurrah and I intend to walk away, if that's what I'm forced to do in the end, knowing that I did everything I could to make it work.

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Some people are just worthless.

 

Its the age old questions of what their family should do with them. Do you make the rest of your lives hell by having to deal with someone who is spoiled, lazy, and fucking stupid? Or do you ostracize and make them GTFO until they stop being such a piece of shit.

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Some people are just worthless.

 

Its the age old questions of what their family should do with them. Do you make the rest of your lives hell by having to deal with someone who is spoiled, lazy, and fucking stupid? Or do you ostracize and make them GTFO until they stop being such a piece of shit.

I think part of the problem is ego investment by the parents. There is an old meme that's still abroad in the world that if you do a good job of parenting your kids will not be maladjusted, self-absorbed little fucks. There's actually not that much of a relationship between effort and outcomes in parenting. What people forget is that kids have responsibilities too, and this is truer the older they get. And the nasty thing about responsibilities is that you can fail to live up to them. Kids also have choice, which means they can make bad choices. We can loosely influence all this but we can't much control it.

 

But we WANT our kids to be good and do well, and if they fuck up we tend to assume it's something we did wrong. I learned long ago never to judge people by their children. Some of the finest people I know have kids from the pit of hell; some of the most lackadaisical and just plain inept parents have kids that I would like to kidnap and pass off as my own.

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That is an alien fantasy to me. Romance is a contrived and unsustainable state of affairs. Once the novelty wears off, simply living alone and having a fuck buddy on the side is hardly different to me than hiring a prostitute, although arguably it may be more sanitary. If that is what relationships come to then it's not worth the bother for me, it's too empty and pathetic. To me, sharing a life and building a life together is what it's about. What I'm coming to realize though is that many people need too much space, it's incompatible with a committed relationship. Also, most people lack the loyalty and devotion and commitment. Also, at our age, most people are too damaged........

 

Some days it seems insurmountable, other days it seems like we may be progressing towards something reasonable, but I'm fundamentally too old and tired for this. If the alternative weren't living alone with yet more regrets, in all honesty today I'd be tempted to bag it.

 

So I'm making the best of this that I know how to.

 

Hey again Bob. I give you 5 stars for having enough energy to make all this work. I really do. I'm almost 3 years older than you - maybe in those last 3 years, I lost all the 'fight' I need to 'make nice things happen'. Right now - I do need a lot of space. I'm burnt out. I'm just content to sit here and write you guys. Happiest time of the day for me!

 

Companionship is what I've been wanting - Nice, peaceful companionship. I don't think I would necessarily want just a fuck buddy (but that would be part of the 'companionship!:grin: ) When I mentioned living a few streets over - I am talking more about one taking care of their own business from their own house and I would take care of mine. Meanwhile - My 'companion' and I would get together a few times a week for, movies, walks, hugs, and lots of nice talks. Now that I'm older - that's what I would do.........Just my wishful thinking...... For now - just like you - I will make the very best I can, from the life that I find myself in.

 

Good luck my friend.....

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\Companionship is what I've been wanting - Nice, peaceful companionship. I don't think I would necessarily want just a fuck buddy (but that would be part of the 'companionship!:grin: ) When I mentioned living a few streets over - I am talking more about one taking care of their own business from their own house and I would take care of mine. Meanwhile - My 'companion' and I would get together a few times a week...

Oh yes, I was hyperbolizing of course. It's just that if there's something so fundamentally wrong with the other person that you find them annoying to have around for some arbitrary value of time known as "too much", what sort of companionship is that? I realize that the early relationship phase where you can never get "enough", never mind have "too much", isn't sustainable. But living separately seems a bit much.

 

When my wife was alive, for a time I worked away from home. She didn't like it. She missed having me around. A couple years later I started working at home again and she was annoyed to have me underfoot. But she adjusted both times. It's simply an adjustment. It's surmountable. If someone wouldn't want to surmount that for me then I'd have to question their commitment to me. I'm not asking for anything I wouldn't be doing for them.

 

When my fiancee is away I love it -- for about an hour and a half -- and then it's neither here nor there, and I look forward to her return. For her, the hour and a half of "gee it's nice to have the place to myself" stretches to 3 or 4 days before it seems to even register that I'm gone enough to miss me or feel happy that I'm coming back.

 

The irony is that her late husband used to work from home and then he started doing the traveling salesman thing and never knew when he'd be back. She didn't like that. Now she misses it.

 

I don't know what it is about women that they get to change their minds like laundry about stuff like this ;-) One thing I've noticed is that the ladies like to try ideas on for size more than men do, they inhabit the idea as if they've made a decision, then they try out alternatives one by one. The problem is that they get so used to it that they can sometimes just change a settled decision in midstream like it's no big deal, or they can take a position that's completely inconsistent with a totally different position that they took in the past and which they would have been angered to be forced into their current position. If that makes any sense. This stuff drives us guys batshit.

 

But I digress. In fairness to you, I have to say that if things don't work out with this relationship, I would probably not be able to handle anything more than what you're talking about, despite everything I've just said. It's not that I wouldn't want more, but I would despair of the workability of more, and I would need to be separate from the drama and churn and have some peace. I think that's probably what you're talking about. The only difference between us is that from where you sit that looks like a good thing, and from where I sit I would merely be resigned to it, as something far less than I would wish for. As such, I probably wouldn't bother at all.

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I don't know what it is about women that they get to change their minds like laundry about stuff like this ;-) One thing I've noticed is that the ladies like to try ideas on for size more than men do, they inhabit the idea as if they've made a decision, then they try out alternatives one by one. The problem is that they get so used to it that they can sometimes just change a settled decision in midstream like it's no big deal, or they can take a position that's completely inconsistent with a totally different position that they took in the past and which they would have been angered to be forced into their current position. If that makes any sense. This stuff drives us guys batshit.

 

But I digress. In fairness to you, I have to say that if things don't work out with this relationship, I would probably not be able to handle anything more than what you're talking about, despite everything I've just said. It's not that I wouldn't want more, but I would despair of the workability of more, and I would need to be separate from the drama and churn and have some peace. I think that's probably what you're talking about. The only difference between us is that from where you sit that looks like a good thing, and from where I sit I would merely be resigned to it, as something far less than I would wish for. As such, I probably wouldn't bother at all.

 

Bob, I did many, many years of 'total devotion'. I even stayed very dedicated to an abusive man for 11 years!! That's how much I wanted relationships!! The last red sentence that I highlighted is exactely where I am today. My dream was always 'full time' 24 hours a day,7 days a week.............:shrug: Just like god - I've changed my mind over the years........

 

Today, I do feel different - just too tired for all the drama it takes to make it all nice........ But, I do, do my best, even now, to make as much 'nice' as I can.

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I don't know what it is about women that they get to change their minds like laundry about stuff like this ;-) One thing I've noticed is that the ladies like to try ideas on for size more than men do, they inhabit the idea as if they've made a decision, then they try out alternatives one by one. The problem is that they get so used to it that they can sometimes just change a settled decision in midstream like it's no big deal, or they can take a position that's completely inconsistent with a totally different position that they took in the past and which they would have been angered to be forced into their current position. If that makes any sense. This stuff drives us guys batshit.

 

But I digress. In fairness to you, I have to say that if things don't work out with this relationship, I would probably not be able to handle anything more than what you're talking about, despite everything I've just said. It's not that I wouldn't want more, but I would despair of the workability of more, and I would need to be separate from the drama and churn and have some peace. I think that's probably what you're talking about. The only difference between us is that from where you sit that looks like a good thing, and from where I sit I would merely be resigned to it, as something far less than I would wish for. As such, I probably wouldn't bother at all.

 

Bob, I did many, many years of 'total devotion'. I even stayed very dedicated to an abusive man for 11 years!! That's how much I wanted relationships!! The last red sentence that I highlighted is exactely where i am today. My dream was always 'full time' 24 hours a day.............:shrug:

 

Today, I do feel different - just too tired for all the drama it takes to make it all nice........ But, I do, do my best, even now, to make as much 'nice' as I can.

 

If you find a man that is dedicated and not a dickwipe, then relationships work. Your experience may be bad, but there are men out there. We're usually the ones that are too shy to talk to you, though.

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Treat people how you want to be treated. If I was a nasty, spoiled little brat I'd want someone (preferably a parent) to knock some sense into me. I'd want someone to teach me respect.

In the ordinary course of events, yes, and I've done this. But this is one of those kids that came out of the womb a little spitfire. She's done actual emotional damage to people.

 

I could easily win The World's Most Laid Back Guy prize, but one thing I have zero tolerance for is bullies. I nearly killed 2 or 3 of them in my middle school days, who made the mistake of thinking me an easy mark. It frightened me as well as them. She senses the coiled anger in me and avoids me. She's no fool. I would just as soon wring her neck as look at her right now. She's a despicable excuse for a human being, and given what a disappointment humanity in general is, that's quite an insult.

 

Mom is shunning her for now. I think she should continue to do so until there is an actual apology. That could be quite a Mexican stand-off, though. WTF would we do if we were not a blended household and she had no place else to go? I think I'd have her locked up as a juvenile delinquent or something.

 

Of course the ex has an agenda of his own, he's loving this. He'd love to have her full time. He should be careful what he asks for.

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If you really don't like her. Introduce her to religion.

LOL -- actually she's the one person in the family who ever goes to church. She dabbles, though, and doesn't take it literally, so I can't blame her thought process on religion. She's just a natural asswipe, like some people are natural blondes.

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She sounds like a perfect candidate for a 'scared straight' program. The teenagers go in treating their parents like dirt, cursing and hitting them, calling their mother a fucking bitch, then come out crying for mommy and saying I love you.

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She sounds like a perfect candidate for a 'scared straight' program. The teenagers go in treating their parents like dirt, cursing and hitting them, calling their mother a fucking bitch, then come out crying for mommy and saying I love you. None of them are tough anymore when they come out.

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She sounds like a perfect candidate for a 'scared straight' program. The teenagers go in treating their parents like dirt, cursing and hitting them, calling their mother a fucking bitch, then come out crying for mommy and saying I love you. None of them are tough anymore when they come out.

 

Those cost money. Why spend money on someone who doesn't even like you?

 

I'd kick her out of her house so she can go live with her boyfriend that she oh-so-probably loves WAY more than her mother. Because he understands her. Then after she gets knocked up and beaten by her boyfriend, maybe she will be less of a bitch. I've always been a fan of not sheltering shitty people and letting life teach them what they refused to learn from their parents.

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She sounds like a perfect candidate for a 'scared straight' program. The teenagers go in treating their parents like dirt, cursing and hitting them, calling their mother a fucking bitch, then come out crying for mommy and saying I love you. None of them are tough anymore when they come out.

 

Those cost money. Why spend money on someone who doesn't even like you?

 

I'd kick her out of her house so she can go live with her boyfriend that she oh-so-probably loves WAY more than her mother. Because he understands her. Then after she gets knocked up and beaten by her boyfriend, maybe she will be less of a bitch. I've always been a fan of not sheltering shitty people and letting life teach them what they refused to learn from their parents.

She's a straight A student with a nice BF -- an appropriate non-serious relationship -- and the amazing thing is that she knows how badly she's behaving because when there are other people around the house, even her own friends, she is a model of charm and poise and grace. Which also proves she's capable of self control. It's only when she is behind closed doors with us that she turns into an abuser. A couple of times she's forgotten herself just a little around her friends and left them with raised eyebrows.

 

Most people try to treat their immediate family particularly well. She's got this turned on its ear; she openly says she ONLY acts this way toward her parents. And yes, she abuses her Dad, too, he's just too much of a limp-dick to stand up to it. His technique is to ignore it. I saw her being a little harpie with him once too. Nearly made me pity the asshole.

 

Sometimes she abuses her brother too. Tells him that his problems are imaginary, that he's lazy and childish and just wants attention. They are only a year and half apart and her mother has always told them to value the relationship because eventually they'll have only each other. But the trajectory she has that on, I can see her flushing that down the toilet too.

 

It's hard to deal effectively with stuff like this when people are not dealing in reality. Her father would never allow a "scared straight" program, so it's just not on the table. Anyway, I think that's more for kids who are into criminal and drug activity, is it not?

 

Another aspect to all this is that, like many kids before their mid-twenties and certainly in their teens, I don't think the wiring is all there for her to connect actions with consequences. She heavily discounts risk, lacks emotional control, etc. She tends to work herself into a froth and ask questions later.

 

What's probably more appropriate for her is talk therapy but for that to work she'd have to acknowledge that she has a problem and she'd have to care about fixing it.

 

If I can avoid throwing her out of the car somewhere in south Chicago I am going to try to take her Tuesday night to a family therapy session at the place her mother has been going the past few weeks to try to get a grip on this and related things. At least there, she can see how fucking lucky she is. So many of the kids there have parents that abuse them, neglect them, micromanage them, are not present, etc. etc. Parents who are addicts or can't hold down a job. I think she needs a little sense of perspective.

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How do you guys discipline her when she acts up? I recall going through something like this with my father when I was about that age. My dad is a good man, but wouldn't take shit from me. We had a big blowup when I was 18 and moved out. From there our relationship became good once again.

 

But sounds like your step daughter needs a dog whisperer:

http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s10e07-tsst

Hey Vigile, I somehow missed this post. Odd stuff is happening to this thread, some posts coming in twice and others showing up out of time sequence. Or maybe I'm just too cross eyed to see straight.

 

I am something of a latecomer to this party. I've lived in this household for just under two years and with kids this old I am not trying to be a step-Dad. There are enough chefs in the kitchen. I'm more like kind, avuncular uncle. She has, until very recently, avoided crossing me. Early on, her mother didn't want me intervening on her behalf as it makes her seem, she thinks, weak. Whatever. I have been content to stay the hell out of it. But I snapped a couple of weeks ago. We were all getting ready to leave to visit her brother at university and as usual the daughter was procrastinating. She hadn't done her laundry. Her Mom offered to move it to the dryer for her and she said yes. In her rush, Mom didn't notice that a couple of shrinkables got in there and they were ruined. This put daughter in a shitty mood and she began to badger and sulk and pitch snits. About two blocks from the house her Mom snapped and had me turn the car around and drop her off at the house. She refused to get out of the car. I snapped and bodily removed her. She was so astounded that she almost shit her pants.

 

Mom then thought better of what was going on, there was more involved than just the three of us, her brother wanted to see his sister, etc., so we coaxed her back into the car and went on our way. But she has stayed the hell away from me ever since, and that's just fine with me. I don't think she dares mess with me at this point. I saw her in the corner of my eye, watching my barely-contained rage as I drove us across state. Good. Let her think I'm on the verge of murder. She knows I'm not an anger-prone person so when I get pissed it really means something.

 

And her mother is giving her pause now, no more walking on eggshells around the daughter; she's inviting her to leave if she can't be civil. It's got her thinking. This morning Mom texted daughter a lovely message that was both loving and firm. The way it is now, daughter is coming to our house after school Monday, to "talk about things". She may stay, she may move out, or anything in between. I'm beyond caring, but I hope for Mom's sake there can be actual meeting of the minds and some ground rules set in place.

 

In the meantime Mom has a peaceful day alone at home to collect her thoughts and soothe her ragged nerves. A little distance is a good thing right now.

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She doesn't deserve your patience.

No, and it's pretty much at an end anyway, but i'm not stupid enough to precipitate something that her mother can blame me for later, or even be tempted to blame me for. It's between the two of them and whatever happens I can't be the fall guy for it. I'll show good faith to the end, but seriously, this could take her mother down and that impacts me and I will hold the daughter to blame for it and she will know it.

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Teens all need to be on meds and should spend their summers at a mental health clinic instead of summer camps. I have an 18 year old prima donna that believes the world owes him everything for little or no work, including us. This has lead to lengthy discussions about work ethics and it's like having a discussion with a blue jay. No matter what you say to a blue jay, all they are thinking about is food. Teenagers are like that too. They are absorbed by themselves. Mine is bipolar and that makes dealing with him more challenging and our talks are generally loud and to the point. I don't know of an easy way to deal with teenagers, it's all on a personal level on how they choose to be treated. If they want respect, I want respect in return. There is a pecking order in the relationships between children and adults that the US, and perhaps the rest of the world too, no longer follows. And, that pecking order keeps children in their place. Children are not my equal, I don't care what kind of cell phone they have or if they maintain a Twitter account or not. When I say 'keeps children in their place,' I am not referring to an attitude of slavery. I am referring to how children talk to adults. I don't allow mine to talk disrespectful to other adults and I frown on children calling adults by their first names. Children no longer call adults Mr. or Mrs. so-and-so. I really think that is wrong because it gives children an idea they are entitled to behave and do as adults do and this leads to sexual advances by adults towards children or encourages children to pursue sexual activity with adults. It also leads to children behaving like complete asses towards their parents. That's why I say a child is not my equal. When they are older such as 17 and 18, I treat them as young adults and give them more privileges, but they are still on a leash I can reign in at any time they lose focus on their place in life. I give my 18 year old a lot of leash so he can learn how to be an adult but I do not take any crap from him at all and when he gets into trouble at school or downtown, I real in the leash, called 'being grounded until Hell freezes over', or he gets it into his head he is going to behave and at least act like he's growing up. I've got a thick hide and all the tears and boo-hooing just don't have an effect on me. Results do, which means 'do it my way cuz you're a kid and not responsible for yourself--yet.' In my state the age of majority is 19.

 

Children respond to divorce and separation of parents differently than adults. They often take out their hostilities on the parent that is given custody. I've seen this in action many times. Kids do not like having their world turned upside down and often, the only way they have to express themselves is by acting like a raving lunatic towards their parents. Sometimes they feel betrayed their mother or father has taken up with someone other than their biological parents whom they love. They feel threatened that when their own father or mother takes up with someone else, there is no more chance their parents will get back together and some kids just cannot handle the facts of life in adult terms. And, that's why I pointed out how I feel about a pecking order for children. They want to be adults but do not have skills required to behave as adults, which in return some of us adults have problems acting like adults in all situations. Swapping the 'terrible twos' for 'terrible tweens' doesn't mean conflict will be avoided, it just means you are dealing with an older child who wants to be an adult but refuses to leave their childish temper tantrums behind. When it is a step-child that has to be dealt with, it works better when the parent who 'owns' the child is on your side. A family is a family when everyone works to make a family work. A divided family is not a family but a half-way house of bitterness and disappointment. How to deal with teenagers has no solutions for a quick fix. They don't exist. Your girlfriend's daughter is just going to have to get her own head together and deal with the fact mommy is not going back to her daddy and for now, your girlfriend enjoys your company. Teenagers cannot cope with the idea their mother or father needs companionship that does not include the person they divorced. Teenagers want to have sex but the idea their parents also enjoy sex and want a relationship, is way over the top of most of their heads. If the girl is unreasonable towards you and your girlfriend, then it would be best if she does move out and start her own life.

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