My Stepson... :(

My stepson has lived with us since October of 2011, his mom is in prison so he is with us 24/7. My daughter and son are from a previous marriage of mine they are 3 and 13. My stepson is 5. I honestly can say I can't stand to look at my stepson. I want so much to love that child, to hold that child, and to call that child my own, but everytime I look at him I see his disfunctional mother. He needs help but no one can see it that is in his immediate family, they think I am just the evil step mom. I caught him this past weekend touching my daughter sexually. My daughter just knew it felt good for him to rub her that way, I have no clue where he got that from. I am scared he is tainting my daughter with his behaviors, and am needing to protect my daughter from him. My husband thinks they are too young to know what they are doing, but I know that when I saw that happening I wanted to hurt the child. I didn't though, I just picked up the phone and cried hysterically to my husband, to only be told that its okay, I will take care of it when I get home. I told him the child has to have help, he already hits my daughter constantly, talks to my daughter about me, and my 13 yr old can't stand to be around my step son, for he breaks his presents he got for Christmas, and will try to jump on him. If the child doesn't get the help he needs, I am forseeing another divorce in my future, and that is sad because I know I love my husband and don't want to put my children through yet another broken home. Their real dad isn't in the picture so my current husband is the only dad they have ever known.
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4 Responses Jan 22, 2013

Ah, that's a terrible bind to be caught in - it certainly sounds like you're right on the money, your stepson has deepseated issues and needs assistance desparately: and of course you have to protect your daughter first and foremost. Can you talk to your husband and really push him on this, because it sounds like he's dismissive because he doesn't want to confront the possibility, rather than having actually given it thought?

Complicated stuff, you should be able to win him with love. 5 year old can be molded. I was 7 when my neighbor's daughter (7 too) wanted to see each others pee pee place. I turned out just fine. If that's any hope.

you may want to couch it that perhaps he ( the child) was sexually molested. Your first priority is to see to the health and wellness of your own children first.

I am sorry to hear this.
I can imagine that you often hear the evil-stepmom-story... When I read your story it's easy to come to those conclusions: kids do "play doctor", and some kids are just ruder and more impulsive than others, and you refer to his ex as "dysfunctional" which is not exactly a compliment...
But you post a story here, even contemplating divorce just to get away from that kid, so I think you're not overreacting. Can't you get help for the kid under the guise of helping him through possible divorce problems, or another innocent kid problem that might take him to a shrink's office? If your husband refuses to believe something is wrong then a bit of white lying may be your only option...

As a person with a whole list of dysfunctions (schizophrenia, malignant narcissism, DID, anger management difficulties) I can't help but wonder what would have become of me if my parents would have acted as they often threaten; leave me to my own devices, cut all ties,... because I'm such a difficult character. I am of course a lot older than your stepson, but I know that the only reason I'm relatively functional (I'm studying, I have a partner,...) is because despite their hatred of me my parents never abandoned me. I can see this is hard for you, as you say you are not his real mother and technically you don't have any real unavoidable responsibility towards him... But for his sake -and I think I can speak here for a whole lot of people with mental illness- don't give up on him just yet. He may never be a "normal" person, if what you say is right and the problems are really that terrible already at this age, but he sure will become a better person if there's someone who gives a damn out there.
You protect what's yours, and you have the instinctual idea that he poses a danger to your biological children, and your reaction is not abnormal at all, but think... he may be young, and maybe a bit disturbed or backwards, but never think a child doesn't know when it isn't wanted. I'm not saying you should love him, just... don't give up. I hope you aren't abhorred by my little plea. I just can't help but feel for people who can't speak for themselves, because they are too young or too troubled or both.