Help with my 13 year old step daughter.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Sami12088, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. Sami12088

    Sami12088 New Member

    Sorry this may be a long story. So my husband and I are a mixed family he has 2 girls from a previous marriage M 11 and N 13, and I have a son E 6. We have been living together almost 4 years. We both have full legal and physical custody of our children as both our our ex s are addicts. Although thanks to Utah custody laws that do not want to "bastardize" children they both see the other parents every other weekend as long as their drug tests are negative. The girls mom used drugs while pregnant with both kids, they were not however born on drugs due to her being placed in a half way house during the end of both pregnancies.

    When we were dating and more so once the girls moved in I noticed N was very different. She just always gave me a weird vibe. Even my mom who love children, and has taken many into her home over the years has struggled to be around N.

    She was really clingy almost lingering on inappropriate with anyone whether she knew them or not. She would sit next to her dad an rub his arm or leg, and her would move away. I had to talk to her several times about how many times to hug and kiss my 2 year old at a time was appropriate. We would hear him yell from another room N stop I don't want another kiss, or no don't hug me anymore. She even proceeded to try to sit on my 20 year old brother's lap the first time she met him. Another instance we caught her, after dropping her off to go ice skating, holding hands with a complete stranger. I pulled the woman aside and asked her WTF, and she said she just kept doing it and didn't know what else to do. We had many discussions on touching and what was socially acceptable or not. She no longer "hangs" on people around me or her dad. But we have received phone calls from school, or her sister has relayed she does it at her mom's or grandma's house.

    She frequently "accidentally" hurts animals and other people. She will pull my hair when standing behind me and when I say ouch, she says oops sorry. We have had lots of fingers slammed in doors, toes stepped on, objects dropped on people, and dogs coming up crying from being near her. One instance about 4 months ago our 115lb Golden Retriever was with her in the bedroom and we heard him yipe and run upstairs. This dog you must realize could be hit with a truck and shake it off without crying. When confronted she said that she stepped on his tail.

    Socially she struggles to keep friends and has complained of being bullied by neighbor kids and school kids. We moved to a new county with a new small town school about 4 months ago. She has a tablet that she can use for texting us and friends. After the second week of school she said she loved it and had lots of friends and all was happy. One night we were looking over her tablet and found 5 different girls from school she was texting incessantly 15-20 texts in a row until the responded. Many accusing her of lying about such things as self harm and saying her sister was dead. She would try to skype them and they would tell her to stop and you would see that she would continue to try 5-6 times after being told to stop. We also found pictures of a boy at schools she had been secretly taking pictures of saying that she wanted him and was in love with him. She also was texting her sister at weird hours in the night who was also asking her to stop. She also texted and voice messaged weird chants.

    At this time she had been seeing a therapist for almost a year. We went to her with this information and they began to work on social skills and what is socially acceptable and what is not. About 1 week later our daughter M came to us and asked us to change the password on her tablet. When we looked through it, we found that she had been texting M friends as well as her own pretending to be M, saying crazy not nice stuff.

    She also eats non-stop and hides food in her backpack and room. I have found maggot infested french toast under her mattress. She will eat an entire box of cheerios in one sitting when getting home from school, followed by 1/2 a gallon of juice and the block of cheese. We have contemplated getting a lock on our pantry and fridge.

    She is stealing, she has taken everything but pennies from her 6 year old brothers piggy bank, broken into my car to steal $20 from my wallet (she actually half admitted to it saying "I only took a dollar, there was just a dollar left". Our whole family notice money missing frequently but no way to prove who took it. She also has been caught with Mp3 players, pocket knifes, and loads of candy and energy drinks we did not purchase for her, or her other family members.

    Her temper tantrums are intense, my son frequently leaves the house or sits in his room with his ears covered because she just screams. Last week after she came asking where the Mp3 player was, saying it was her friends and she needed it back, I told to have her friends mom call and I'll run it to their house (small town, reasonable offer I believe). She flipped accusing me of accusing her of lying, which i wasn't but had my suspicions. She then admitted to lying saying she bought it and goes places we don't know about. Mind you the nearest grocery store is 6 miles and the nearest electronic store is 12 miles away. She then went to her room where she flipped out we heard crashing and banging, then her pet bunny scream. So her dad went down there to find the bunny caged flipped over and proceeded to remove poor Harriet from the situation. She further melted down screaming " what are you going to do with her" (mind you we do animal rescue and have a fully functioning farm, we are not eating bunnies here). She then physically attacked her dad (first time ever this bad). He picked her up and tossed her onto her bed and shut her bedroom door holding it closed. 1 hour later she walked upstairs like nothing ever happened, she always does this no remorse over what she did, we have punished her in every way we can think, she never cares.

    Obviously she lies all the time. Even in normal conversation she will just blurt out something so ridiculous. I want to believe her but it is really getting hard to know fact from fiction. The therapist told us to call her on all lies and praise the truth, but we can't tell them apart anymore.

    So she has been grounded to her room with no electronics for 3 days, this morning I caught her at 6am (which is when I go to wake her for school) fully dressed in my hallway. She has no reason to be up by the master bedroom as there is nothing she needs up here. I obviously startled her as much as I was startled, she said she was going to school early and out the door she went. I went back to bed, when I got up several hours later to wake the other two kids for school, I noticed 6inches!!! of my hair was missing.

    It was really the straw that broke the camels back. She has been saying she wants to live with her mom for around a year now. And well that where she went, her dad pulled her from school drove her 30 miles to her mom's house and said here you go. I know this sound so horrible. But It scares me to think what if she used the pocket knife in the night that i found and confiscated from her dresser drawer the week before, what if she hurts my son or her sister. What if an "accident" goes too far.

    So on top of counseling she has seen a psychologist and had a full psychiatric evaluation. They diagnosed her with a compulsion disorder and ADHD. They did not believe she needed medicating at this time. We took her to the doctor where they did every type of blood test for hormones and pituitary gland function along with drug test, all negative. She picks large holes in her face and arms, they started an anxiety medication that her sister said she vomits up at school... She also started behavior modification therapy and we went to parenting classes, but she just keeps worsening.

    Help I am at a loss, what do I do with her. With all the testing and moving we are out of money and can not afford a in treatment program. Her dad said he has lost his bond to her and no longer can love her, we want to love her but she literally scares us. Do we just let her stay at her moms? She is a drug addict and has 2 other very small children at her house.

    I have called the court to see if they could help with child in need of supervision. But they said she has to have done something that involves the state and is documented like truancy, running away, getting caught stealing from the store, or physically hurting someone.

    We have a Disney land trip planned in the spring. I do not want to bring her, is that evil of me. I feel like I am going crazy... Do you or can you just write off a child?
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Two guesses, and I havent even read the ehole thing, but I am very familiar with children who have been damaged in utero by a motjers drug use while pregnant and abused early in life too. We adopted and did foster care and N acts exactly as if she were abused as a young infant/toddler (mom or otjer men friends maybe?) And Mom probably drank and dix drugs ehile pregnant before being put in a halfway house. It is dangerous to even have one drinking binge in the earliest stages of pregnancy. This can lead to brain damage referred to as fetal alcohol affects, and it is irreversible and the petson is never able to be normal.

    Tje sexual overtones are really scary and although her conscious mind may havr forgotten it, my best guess is tjat sometime, in Moms care, she was sexually abused and is acting on it. Or she saw Mom having sex snd is mimicking what she saw. Never ever leave her alone with your baby. Not even if you have to take Baby in bathroom with you or slerp with him.

    Rehome your pets. It is not fair she hurts them. Sheay kill them. See, we adopted an 11 year old boy who had a tough early life, his birthmom did drugs and drank, and somewhere before he met us he was sexually abused. And he had no conscience due to his early years. What behaviors dod he have?

    1. He hurt our pets and finally killed two.

    2. He molested our babies and they were too afraid of him to tell us because he threatened to kill us all if they told. Said he would set the house on fire. He would strile matches and set little fires...again my 3 and 5 year old were too afraid to tell on him.

    3. He lied like he breathed.

    4. He acted like a little angrl toward adults so nobpdy knew what wad going on until he killed pur dog. That was the point when we realized our "good" little boy...the one who smiled at us snd said he loved us...was a child sociopath. That day a friend of ours got him to dpill it all, we called CPS to take him and it turned out that my babies neededtherspy for years and that this boy had been slowly trying to destroy the babies for three years and we hadnt known.

    We are strong. We came thrpugh. The bsbies are now strong adults. We never wanted the boy to come back. Je clearly could npt be safe in a family with kids snd pets.

    Do I thonk N is like him, fooling even doctors? She could be. She sounds dangerous. So I repeat: never let her near that baby again unless you are close enough to grab her, and rehpme your precious pets or they could suddrnly die. Our boy killed twopets. The first time we thought it had tp be a sick neighbor becsuse Boy always acted as if he loved our dogs....around us. We felt guilty and stupid when we found out the whole thing.

    Dont be us.

    Since N is your husbands daughter he may be unwilling tp see her behavior as potentially dangerous. I hope he does see. Yhos kid is acting like our boy, a child psychpath. Hurting animals is extremely sick and unusual and her sexual acting out and undertones are red flags. N is not right, but most professionals, even counsrlors, miss alcohol affects and antisocial behavior in kids caused by early trauma. We lived it. So glad its over. So glad we survived.

    I do not think N is safe. I hope you can convince your husband to never leave N alone for a second with youngest...ever.... and I hope you both agree to rehome the pets or else never ever alloe her slone eith them either. This is so hard, which os why I said to rehome tje pets before there is an "accident "

    Your story screamed to me. This is so abnormal and scary. Is husband worried??? This is not innocent kid stuff.

    Hugs and love! Ok, I just finished reading your whole story. Keep her with Mom. She is not going to get better at home. There is nothing you can do other yhsn put her into 24/7 residrential treatment, hope it hrlps her, and be safe...dont let her visit. I read that you have a farm and many animals. NEVER CAN SHE LIVE WITH YOU. SHE MAY NOT JUST KILL THE PETS BUT WHAT SHE DID TO YOUR HAIR IS APPALLING AND SCARY.

    She needs mental healthcare in a facility that can alwsys watch her. If you cant do that, at least let her stay with Mom. Your house is too wrong for her...a baby and animals. She cant be there
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  3. Sami12088

    Sami12088 New Member

    He is concerned! It took me however 3 years to convince him she needed help. He has said that he thought she was "0ff" since she was 5 years old. But his mom and his ex both said that she was acting like a normal child. Then for 3 years I was thinking that I was just the crazy step mom and I never had a kid that age before. She and I are only 16 years apart in age.
    He agrees now, he is the one who pulled her from school and took her to her moms. We have not left her alone with the other kids in a long time. I fear the same thing you do. I make her stay after school till I get off work and can pick her up. She has stated to us in therapy that she hates the animals and only loves her bunny. But I fear for it as well, so she has been taken away from her.
    The dogs leave with me to daycare every day we have a farm like I said 6 dogs, 2 indoor cats, and 4 outdoor cats, along with chickens and goats. I run an animal rescue to rid our lives of these animals would be detrimental to not only my mental well being but the other two children who seek comfort in the pets.
    She is currently not aloud back at our house as I fear she may kill me or my son in our sleep. We found video of my son and her sister sleeping on her tablet (freaking creepy). I just don't know if sending her to her addict mom's house is the best place. As cruel of me as it sounds husband and I are kind of saying good reddens to her. But are we just giving up, is it right to throw in the towel and make it someone else problem? My son is my top priority, husband and I have talked about living separately if we end up having to take her back, me keeping the other two kids and pets, but I fear for his safety as well...
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Live seperately if he takes her back in. And have HIM leave the farm. N may not be in the best place, but your son, your first priority, is safe from her. Do not give her a chance to hurt your son.
    Some kids are so damaged that they are safer for all, themselves included, if they get help in a lock up residential facility. N is heading for trouble and, if she was brain damaged because Mom took drugs during her pregnancy, even if she stopped using in the latter part of her pregnancy (sorry, that is too late) then she may not ever be able to learn to behave more appropriately. Alcohol in utero can damage the ability to know about AND care about right from wrong. It is organic brain damage, irreversible. Also she sounds like she was neglected as an infant/toddler and sexually abused. Her sister may have been too, but all kids are affected differently. The same damage done to N may not have caused M to act as disturbed/dangerous as N. Yet problems may yet surface, even if they are learning issues or drug use...who knows?

    If you did not have a child you would have perhaps more options, but your little boy needs you to protect him.

    Maybe approach your husband with working on getting N into residential treatment. But dont ever let your son live with her again. He should not fear in his own house. Nor should you. And some kids, especially as they get older and bigger, are dangerous. N has already gone too far, cutting your hair while you slept...and so quitly, you didnt wake! Put your well being and your son before N, even if you feel bad. I loved the child who hurt us, but I knew he could never live with us again. He went to residential treatment and we never saw him again. I am not sorry. It was best for all, him too.

    Prayers and keep posting. We care. I care a lot!
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  5. Sami12088

    Sami12088 New Member

    Thank you. I just feel like there is some wrong is shunning a little girl, I don't want to but have to. We have looked into residential treatment but again she is so manipulative we have yet to get a psychiatrist or doctor to sign off so insurance wont pay. They said until she does something proven and way wrong that we cant get financial help.
  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I get it. Not until he confessed the molestation did they take hom away to residential.

    Actually, the county, with NO prodding from us, charged him with sexual assault of a minor and found him guilty! HE was a minor, 13, but if a child molests a kid six years younger it is considered sexual assault at least in our state. They had his face on the sexual predaors list! He was 13. He is no longer on it at 27. I dont know if there is a time limit or if he just didnt register and has not been caught. He has four little children with a wife and pictures on FB of him cuddling the babies and I pray he is not still know what.

    My adult kids, whom he touched, refer to him as "psycho kid." They are glad he was not allowed back. Both are doing great is close to graduating from the police academy...I think they would not have healed as well if we had let him come back, no matter how closely we watched him. CPS paid for extensive, excellent therapy to heal us...they were amazing.

    Eventually, the state dissolved the adoption. He still goes by our last name but from spying on FB I am relieved he found his birth family. So he FBs a little with out of state birthmom who almost killed him as sn infant by only giving him water until he had a seizure and brain swelling and who abandoned him over and over again and took drugs while pregnant. But now he can take care of himself. He is well over six feet tall, or so he lists himself as 6'4. And he also is in touch with sisters and cousins. So he isnt alone at all.

    Alleviates any existing guilt, but I had three other kids...I had to protect them first. I never wavered nor did husband.

    Hard decisions sometimes.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry you have had to go through all of this. Sorrier still that your children have had to. I am willing to bet that as soon as the other children truly believe she isn't going to come back to live with them, they will tell you other things she has done to them. Things that will upset you even more. This won't be the first time she wandered in the night.

    I would bet that you are looking at a combination of fetal alcohol effects and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Reactive Attachment disorder is incredibly hard to diagnose. Almost every psychiatrist and psychologist will get it wrong, largely because people with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) are so manipulative. The fetal alcohol probably interferes with that, so people get a sense that something is wrong with her, but they don't know what or how to deal with it. The way she grabs on to just any old person and is overly affectionate with them is Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) happens when major trauma happens to a child before the age of 3. That can be abuse, especially sexual abuse, or neglect. Neglect really seems to break something in children. Given her mother's problems, she probably had a combination of traumas that your husband couldn't do anything about. Now he can only keep her away from the rest of the kids so that she doesn't damage them irreparably.

    He can help her get into residential help if she becomes a danger, but that is just incredibly hard to do. Keeping her in an inpatient setting is pretty much impossible a lot of the time. She will probably do something to someone and get caught though. It is sad, but it is also reality. She seems to like to hurt animals, and that is a precursor to hurting people. You simply must keep her away from the other children and the animals. You have a duty to protect them, even from her.

    No, it is not wrong to want to take a vacation without her. You know you cannot keep everyone safe from her if you are staying in a hotel. Not even if she is in a separate hotel room can you keep everyone safe. It would be the PERFECT opportunity for her to find a little alone time with one of the other kids and hurt them or sexually abuse them. The main reason a child sexually abuses another child is that they were sexually abused. Given that she most likely was sexually abused at some point at her mothers, given her behavior, she just cannot have alone time with the other kids. So she cannot go on the vacation. It is that simple. Go on the trip without her. Tell her that because of her behavior, you don't feel it is safe to take her. None of you want to sleep in a room with her, and you won't take the risk that she will harm one of you in your sleep. She assaulted you in your sleep. That is what cutting your hair that way is, an ASSAULT! It wasn't some childish trick. She meant it to be threatening and it was. How could you even think of taking her to Disney with you? Who would sit on her in those dark rides? Who knows where her hands would be? I am sorry to be so blunt, but yuck!

    You are a great mom. You have great instincts and you are listening to them. Continue to do that. They tell you that she is a huge danger and that something is seriously wrong with her. You have protected your children, because you knew you needed to. Keep up the good work!

    At some point CPS is going to throw a fit about N being back in her mother's house if her mother is using drugs or suspected of it. You need to document the hair cutting as an assault. See if you can still file charges against her, even if the cops don't want you to file them. Insist that it is an assault. (It actually it, she severed part of your body!). This is the first step to making CPS rehome her rather than forcing you to take her back into your home. Whatever CPS does, protect your son above all.

    Keep posting and reading here. We truly understand. We have been there and we won't judge you, no matter what. When my oldest was 14, I had to make him leave our home and live with my parents. He kept trying to kill his little sister, he had been trying for years. I have health problems and Wiz was finally big enough that I couldn't stop him. It was so bad that someone was going to end up dead or maimed and someone was going to end up in prison if my son didn't move to my parents. My parents spoiled him rotten, but they also somehow managed to civilize him. And to socialize him. Wiz has a type of autism and pretty much hated me. Now? I have my son back. He has a good relationship with his siblings and family gatherings are fun.

    I don't know if you will have that outcome with N though. Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) doesn't really go away and doesn't tend to have great outcomes. Plus animal abuse can be a sign of really nasty things to come. Does she start fires or play with fire? Has she ever? Does she wet the bed? Did she ever wet the bed after age 6 or 7? Ask her dad.
  8. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel


    This is very sad and terrifying!
    This made me catch my breath of absolute fear. This is assault and she will not stop at hair. I agree register the assault charge her if you have to. Protect your family.

    Broken is broken. Sometimes you can’t fix what is wrong. You have to protect your family. There is absolutely no way you can take her on a vacation. She needs to be institutionalized.

    So there is your answer my dear woman. If tou dear she may kill one of you Disney World or any other vacation is our if the question. Our heats play tricks on our minds. That is because we are loving caring parents. You know what she is capable of never doubt that instinct.

    I agree 100%.

    So again this is your heart playing tricks on your mind. Re read your own post. This is no “little girl” she is psychologically unfit and a danger to all of you. You are not shunning her you are protecting everyone else.

    Why would you consider dismantling the family and destroying 4 lives to support her. There is no logic in this. I could see if that was a temporary solution but it certainly isn’t a permanent solution.

    My heart is heavy for you I can see the conflict in your post. You are clearly a living and caring person. Your instincts are right go with your bed and your gut.

    There is defiantly more going on here than her therapist are picking up on.

    SWOT is spot on with her advice. She has been through this. Take the advice and protect your family.
  9. Sami12088

    Sami12088 New Member

    She has not set fires, although the only place we have matches is in our locked camper. She only wet the bed once or twice when potty training. That being said the kids lived with grandparents from the age of 2 and 3, and dad worked 2 jobs trying to get back on his feet after the ex put him in serous debt. Grandma protects N and denies anything is wrong, so she may have and Grandma is just not saying. Thank you for understanding my fears, sometimes I think I am crazy. N's dad has been very supportive of me and the decisions we have made.
  10. Sami12088

    Sami12088 New Member

    Thank You!
  11. No, that is not evil of you. You have a 6 year old child to think about. The poor girl has problems that are going to be ongoing. I think you can offer support by insisting that she continues in her mental health therapy. I think you should allow her to visit you all in the day time, but no overnight visits....and no being alone with the other children. You didn't sign on to a lifetime of stress and problems. Take care of yourself and your family. Prepare for her to decide she wants to come back and live with you. I'd suggest saying NO. But definitely prepare for that conversation. If you don't want to take her to Disneyland, then don't. You are not going crazy, you have a teenager in your midst that has mental problems that you did not cause. Rescue yourself and your other children.