Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Step Parents and Reactive Attachment Disorder

I don’t want to hurt anybody, of that much I am certain. But I did, and this I know. And yes, I hate myself for it. But I didn’t know what else to do. When I figure it out I will let you know.

At this time home is not a happy place. We have a happy marriage. We have a happy family. But our home life has been hijacked by the baby-momma. She is a Dementor.

No matter how hard I try to keep my marriage and my family on keel there is this big dark force just sucking the life right out of us. There are literally times when I am afraid to do or say anything. We just have to try talking some more. Smile and hope it goes away. If we discipline, mommy just makes it all better. Smoothes it over. And makes sure it keeps right on happening.

Or accuses us in court.

A kid gets caught stealing your bras and panties, you should be able to do something. Goes through your private things. Tries to pit one person against another. Lies. Steals. 

My step-daughter has a lot of symptoms of Reactive Attachment Disorder but shes never received treatment for anything specific. She sees a general counselor that she likes, but there is no diagnosis that gives us a sign. All I know is that it is an ongoing battle with many of the symptoms on the list. We’ve caught her holding pets by the throat. She is seductive with boys, including my son.

I can’t keep smiling and saying don’t wipe boogers on the bathroom wall anymore. You are 12. We know better. I can’t keep ignoring the things that go missing. She has pulled chairs out from behind me, smashed my children's toys to pieces, stolen my private notebooks.

And I don’t want to share my most private spaces and things with anybody but my husband. Come on man, my bras, underwear and socks? And it isn’t because she doesn’t have clothes. She has piles of them and her mother sends trash bags of more clothes every few months. It is that they are not hers. So she wants them. And she admits it.

She eats all of my gluten free food too. I have to keep food in the house that she doesn’t like just so I can eat. Whole gallons of ice cream disappear. Boxes of cookies. And sometimes... we find those half full boxes crammed in the trash. Sandwiches with two bites missing. Apples barely touched. And the stuff we find in her room....

And her mother offers nothing. No money. No discipline. No support. Just grief. She  is just there to make sure we can do nothing about anything. We made her miserable by taking her child and she is bound and determined to make us the same.

And maybe she wins... I don’t know.

I don’t want to be to my breaking point. But the joy and life is being sucked out of my home by someone who doesn’t even live there. All of the things we valued as a family are being sucked out of us. My husband is my best friend. My soul mate. But we just flat from one crisis to another and it never stops. Ed is as lost as I am. Nothing we have tried has really worked.
My kids all moved out. They no longer want to live at home. That kills me. It kills me every single day that I can’t provide a home for my kids that they want to live in. They want to be with mommy, they want to be with Ed, they want to be a family again but everyone just got to their breaking point.

My family is falling apart and all I can do is watch it.

I feel really, really alone in this. And so does he.

And we shouldn’t, we have worked hard to build a strong marriage over the last ten years. It should be Dementor proof, but I’m not so sure anymore. We are all just so tired.

She rewards what we try to punish and punishes what we try to reward.

It is his daughter and if he asked me to choose between him and my children he knows which choice I would make. But he loves me and he would never ask. And I love him so much I can’t ask him to make that choice. He has to choose his child.

So I sent one of my children away, and then another, and finally my little Mystery. They were being exposed to things they didn’t need to be exposed to. Thanks to an older sister with no boundaries, such lovely details as what oral sex tastes like and detailed explanations of sexual abuse have been shared with my children.

I worked hard to raise my children without those influence in their lives and someone else's carelessness as a parent is taking it away from me. I had no choice but to let my kids go. I have no way of bringing them back. I have always, always, always tried to do what is best for my kids and I have to admit that what is best for them is not being with me right now. And now I have sent myself away too.

It kills me every single day.

No more rock star fridays. No more dressing up together at Halloween. My reasons for being have gone somewhere else to live better lives and I can’t do anything about it. Because it’s true. And if I had been the one who was putting them in danger it would be one thing. But it was someone else. And she is putting a huge strain on my marriage too.

My husband, I don’t know where he is. He wasn’t like this before the Dementor took over either. It has just drained the life out of all of us. I know where he is physically, but emotionally? My husband is the love of my life. But I don’t know what to do anymore.

We can’t send his daughter back, we love her too much for that. We all do. She has already seen and experienced way too much. We all have a responsibility to protect her. To keep her safe. And that responsibility is going to last at least another six years.

I don’t know what to do... I have failed. 


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