Torn Between What to Do
I am a private person. I rarely try to post my problems, but I am torn at what to do. I love my husband and enjoy having a family with him. My step-daughter has been living with us since October. I take care of her as well but her behavior has escalated. She has been violently shoving the infant walker while my son is in it. We keep telling her to stop, both lecturing, punishment, and even rewarding for good behavior has failed. She despises authority and even gives teachers a difficult time. She will be twelve as is getting bigger. I fear no one will be able to control her. Thursday night was the final straw. My hubby was helping me move Jonah's crib. I heard him scream and cry like he does when he gets hurt. I thought something fell on him or he tumbled so I rushed to the living room. I find my son face first on the floor, crying in pain and my step-daughter covering herself up. (She does this when she is guilty). I picked him and and he was shaking and hysterical. It took me about five minutes to calm him down, more than usual. We asked her what happened. She made the motion of moving her foot, pushing him down. I said, "You kicked him or pushed him?": She said, "I did nothing!" So, her dad asked and she confessed. She pushed him down, forcing him to hit his eye on the corner of my hubby's lunch box, which she was using as a foot stool. It is a hard plastic, heavy duty one. My son now has a small dot-sized bruise in the corner of his eye. I feared it would escalate to this. My hubby is upset over it too, but still makes excuses for her. I am tired of the excuses. She is rude, mean, bullyish, and now is hurting her baby brother. She wants to live with her mom, which isn't the best for her right now so she is taking it out on me and her brother. She also wants her father to herself and does whatever she can to overt the attention away from me or Jonah, whomever he is giving it to at the moment. She gets more attention than Jonah and myself but still wants it all. I have tried almost three years, relentlessly, to treat her as my own, only for her to reject me and treat me worse than dirt.
The final straw was her hurting my son bad enough to cause a bruise. He is my son. I am his mother; it is my job to protect him. I have no relationship with her anymore. I feel bad but I know I tried, more than what I should have. I love my husband and do not want to leave but my son factors in and I refuse to allow him to grow up in a household where he is being hurt. My step-daughter shows zero remorse for her actions and grants me evil, cold-blooded stares. When I catch her, she grins at me. Whenever she is here, I can feel a lot of tension and stress. Whenever she is near, something about her makes my skin crawl and I cannot pinpoint what. I am not comfortable around her anymore and cannot leave my son alone with her, which creates a problem because I watch her when my husband is at work.
I do not want to leave, but I fear it may come down to it. I have to and will protect my son.
I do not want him to end up hospitalized or worse next time. I tell my husband this but he just says, "We have to endure it," or "We need to stop this." The thing is, we have been trying. She also sees a therapist in the home, twice a week and has another therapist. Therapy isn't working.
I've been hearing the 'well daddy/grandma lets me do it!'... I respond with 'this is NOT grandma's house! The rules are different.' There are still some weeks here Adrianna feels like Cinderella because her discipline is chores. And when she gets in a mood, she's doing a lot of chores. A LOT.
For awhile, it did help Adrianna to get some one on one time-but it hasn't helped much. I do let Adrianna call somebody to get her frustrations out, or she gets a journal to do it. Either of her choice.
I'm sorry you are in this position. It's a bad place to be in. I agree with the ladies that you need to do what you can to protect Jonah, but it's hard for me to give advice such as telling your husband 'it's me or your daughter'.... That's a hard place to be put in.
She seems fine today and yesterday. She has been pleasant and doing as she is told without problems. It is like out of nowhere someone flips a switch and she becomes a completely different child. I am thinking even more know that there is more than just anger issues, maybe a chemical imbalance or bipolar disorder. Her father thinks she may be bipolar.
You may be already doing this, but are you guys reinforcing this good behavior, telling her how much you appreciate the helping out? I know if it's bipolar she really can't control it, but if it is something she can-maybe that would help? I don't know. Hugs and prayers.
We praise her for good behavior but she does not do it long enough--hope I made sense. For instance, we say "That was really great of you that you did_______. You did such an awesome job." And she gets happy but then stops it. We had done a star chart but it backfired and she began abusing it. She would say, I did this so I get a star. Her father and I agreed she could earn stars back, and that did not work. So we did the balance things where if she had more stars than bad, she would get rewarded. I should have saw that coming. She would check how many stars she had and realized she had room to be naughty. Her father was the main part in that. He would give her stars for about anything.
I have not heard of Ashwaganda root. I am going to Google that. Thank you for the suggestions. As I stated, I prefer natural remedies--if I can.
I, honestly, do not want out family torn apart. I am a Christian, so I fear that if I leave, I am breaking God's commandment about marriage.
Yeah, Jaina wants to have her way and not be told what to do so she gets mad.
Some people may think I sound cruel. I am not trying to give my husband a choice but I do have to think about my son's safety. He doesn't think it will escalate to where Jonah is seriously hurt, but months ago, he did not think it would come to a point where she was hurting him. It is like he has blinders on.
He tells me I need compassion, which makes me upset and mad. Compassion after how she has treated me and has become a bully to our son? I just do not understand how he could say that.
She even gives the bus driver and teacher a difficult time. She hates authority.
She gets these violent mood swings, so I think something more is going on inside her mind and body.