Frustrated W/ Stepdaughter

Hi everyone. I am new here, but feel like I need to share with someone. I don't know what to do. I have 2 step children, 10 yr and 14 yrs. My husband and I also have 2 children together (1 and 2 yrs). My step children recently had to come live with us due to their mother's poor care and mental health problems. My oldest stepdaughter has been through a lot. She has already been in a foster home due to her mother's neglect and has had to change schools frequently due to this. Needless to say, she's not happy about living with her father and I for many reasons, but mostly because we have rules and structure in our home and she's not used to that.

So, I found out this morning that besides generally bad mouthing us (which I expected), she has lied to other kids and said that I hit my 1 yr old daughter. This lie made it's way to an adult. Luckily this adult knows my husband and myself well and has spent many hours with our children and us. She told me this this morning and I wanted to cry. I have done so much to help my step kids and now my step daughter is putting my other children in jeopardy by lashing out and lying. I am so worried that she will continue this lying and a teacher or other adult who doesn't know the situation will call the police. I don't know what to do. I don't want to send her back to a bad home (with her mother and mother's family), but how can I let her stay in my home?

I don't know if anyone has been through this or has advice, but I need it. My husband has an appointment with our family therapist, so I'm hoping that she'll have some feedback. Thanks for listening.

CrystalIda CrystalIda
26-30, F
4 Responses Feb 10, 2009

I was married to a man with a 7 year old daughter. Of course I realized that she had had a difficult life, but I never thought that it would destroy our marriage. Her mother who died at the age of 45 of a heart attack was a heavy drinker and had neglected her daughter from birth. She even took her to bars and exposed her. When I saw that I was stuck in a hopeless marriage and a difficult situation I tried to make the best of it, but it was impossible to live with them. We were divorced after almost 5 years of marriage and I thought myself lucky to get out. I took what I could get and I ran. It wasn't much, but it had to be enough. Now I realize that things would have turned out differently if I had my ex husbands support. His family supported him and his daughter only and they even turned my own family against me. I have been extremely upset about this and I wanted to tell everyone to mind their own business or else they would have to stay away from me. Nevertheless I have contact with my relatives and I lost all contact with my ex and his daughter. Actually I don't care anymore as she lied about me and so did he. He even said that I had threatened her life, but she was the one who threatened me in the first place. I never even did such a thing. I told him some things about her, but he said that it was all a lie. <br />
She wanted to cut herself, because obviously she was in so much pain, especially afther her mothers death.

Thanks for the feedback. This has been the hardest few months of my life. It just gets worse and worse. I am hoping that at some point she will get better. Just recently I found out she stole all the money from my 8 yr olds piggy bank. Or course my 8 yr old loves her and looks up to her, so she just forgave her. I making my step-daughter work to 'pay' back the money by doing extra chores around the house. I am just so mad though, it's one thing to talk bad about me, but to steal from her little sister. I asked her if she's doing drugs, and she said no, she used the money to buy cookies from the snack bar at school. What's next though - maybe she will start stealing to buy drugs. I really wish there was somewhere else for her to be. Our whole lives are about her it seems. It's not fair to the other 4 kids.

I live with my boyfriend and his 10 and 13 year olds because their mom has other kids to deal with. Last year the 10 year old (girl) said something in school that made child protective services show up. Something about being thrown against a wall. Also, she leaves little notebooks lying around with wild accusations in it; it's really strange because we all live here and I'm not sure who she thinks will believe her. For example, my boyfriend (future husband) wrestles with his son for fun, and the girl will jump on his pack and try to give him a wedgie, so he'll grab her and bite her arm/give her a wet willie/and i'll join in and tickle, normal stuff, and then we'll read "my dad licked my ear again today... i'm not his f**ing girlfriend. if he pinches my butt one more time i'll f**ing kill him"<br />
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It's bizzare, and disturbing. I don't know if it's a cry for attention or if she's just watching too much TV. <br />
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I guess my 'advice' to you is, do the right thing, do the best you can do, don't let her run your life or change what you know is the structure that she needs. <br />
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You don't owe her anything; you did not wrong her in any way. She is still a child and your only job is to prepare her to be out there on her own in the world pretty soon; I don't believe that her attempts to draw attention or stir up trouble are anything but immaturity and proof that she needs an adult to look up to and respect. You will never get respect by letting her antics consume your life;<br />
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of course, it's impossible to give good advice; you do what's right for your situation; it sounds like you've enlisted the help of some professionals and that's good. Just be a good role model, sounds like she needs it. Also don't take any crap from her.

I am a stepmother too. I have not had the problems you've had but I have raised my three stepsons since they were 3, 7 and 11. I also had 2 daughters age 5 and 13 when we blended our families. They are now 18, 20,22 and 26 almost 28 and are all doing pretty well. <br />
The boys have a mother who didn't want them and wanted to party instead of raising her precious little boys. I always thought they were a gift to me and love them with all my heart as if they were my own. Although there were several bumps along the way and our life was not a fairy tale, we made it through ok. We even had to have counseling at a few points in time. This is why I'm writing to you. I know you must be going through hell but I believe that young lady has been through her own hell and you and her father should get her into some kind of counseling. I bet she is resenting the structure you provide. We had that problem when the boys would come home from a weekend of total anarchy. It used to take some patience to get everything back on track. I really think it must be really hard on a kid to realize that your mother doesn't want you. I wish you the best. My oldest daughter has had quite a mess in her life and my husband and I are raising her 6 year old daughter. She has her own set of problems from neglect while loving and missing her mother. We have her in counseling and it seems to be going well. I wish you all the best. If you need to talk, please don't hesitate to message me. I'm here for you.<br />
Jojo