Post # 1
If anyone has step kids I would totally love some advice. I’m so upset I’ve been crying my eyes out and I’m at a loss.
My FH’s son and I alway sgot along. We have hung out alone, I’ve taken him out, we’ve talked. He’s not really able to open up to his grandparents (who help his father in raising him). Well he’s 17 now and boy is he. He goes to the best school and seems to be a really great kid. Every now n then he causes some trouble, he ran away before but all was resolved. Through it all him n I were always okay and he knew I would be upset n worried. (I don’t live with them just to b clear…so I don’t really have the step mom title yet)
So on Thanksgiving morning, he flipped on hisfather because he didn’t wanna go to dinner. I don’t feel like getting into it all but at the end of that argument, my FH found out some really bad things that his son has been doing. We are all pretty upset about it. I sent him an email saying that he’s better than that and is a smart kid and should get himself back on the right track for himself. (his father said I should tell him how I feel). Well he mailed me back saying he never liked me and I was never welcome in his house. Now today I see he posted on fb calling me a bitch.
I know you don’t have all the info but I assure you, I never did or said anything hurtful to hi (unless my email REALLY bothered him?). I’m sitting here crying my eyes out. FH is at work and is feeling aawful about it. I told a good friend who said she’s shocked because she knows how we have always gotten along. ANy advice on how to take this? Handle this? I’mm so hurt and I don’t even know how to handle it. 🙁
Thanks for listening and any advice.
Post # 3
He may just be lashing out at you. I was a lot of trouble at that age and I knew I was in over my head about a lot of things, but when somebody called me on it, I would turn it on them. It was a way of avoiding responsibility and avoiding taking a good hard look at how I was screwing up my life.
I think it is very possible that he doesn’t mean the things he said/is saying about you. I’ve no advice for handling the situation, but I would take my lead from his dad if I were you.
Post # 4
@StarIzInkd: HUGS I’m so sorry you are upset. I have two stepsons, 11 and 14 and can relate to a degree. Being a stepparent (and on your way to being one) is one of the toughest positions one can ever be in. Hang in there.
It sounds like your stepson is going through some major bumps and life changing decisions now and it isn’t pretty. He is lashing out and trying to make sense of it all, now that he’s been caught doing things that are unacceptable. Your email to him, though loving and meaningful, was unfortunately received poorly — he’s just not ready to hear it from you or anybody.
Did he always dislike you? Does he really think you’re a b*tch? I doubt it. He is just angry and getting it out of his system. Let the dust settle. Relax. And the hardest thing of all? Keep being there for him, a quiet, strong, positive presence in his life.
I highly, highly recommend a book called The Smart Stepmom (Practical Steps to Help You Thrive!) by Ron L. Deal and Laura Petherbridge. This has been my lifeline time and time again. It includes a bit of a religious overtone with a short prayer at the end of each chapter but if that is not your thing, please please do not be turned off by it as the main content is absolutely invaluable. I hope you find it as great a resource as I have.
Best wishes you.
EDIT: There’s an entire chapter devoted to stepchildren and their grieving process over divorce in the family or the death of a parent. It is developmental grieving; that is to say, that circumstances in his own life trigger memories that will make him relive the initial grief again. It may well be that, beyond him being “just a teenager”, that the very event of Thanksgiving dinner triggered for him the memory that his family is no longer together, and so he lashed out at not wanting to be a part of it. It’s about looking more deeply at the situation, not to drive yourself crazy trying to figure it all out, but lending some perspective and understanding.
Post # 5
im not a step parent but i just wanted to pipe up and say hes 17 – teenagers do really dumb hurtful things, yes hes nearly an adult but nearly doesnt cut it in the maturity stakes – hopefully he will realize what a putz he is being *hugs*
Post # 6
@StarIzInkd: he’s being a typical teenager. He’s lashing out at anyone that tries to talk to him. I doubt he really means any of it, even if he posted it on facebook.
Even though it is hurtful ( i dont blame you for being upset) I would encourage you to take what he said when he was upset not personally. He was mad, he’s a teenager and he was lashing out. Try your best to remain calm and i’m sure he’ll come around. 🙂
Post # 7
@Cornflakegirl: I completely agree, you worded it great.
OP, please don’t beat yourself up over this or take his words to heart – I know that is hard because they were hurtful, but it’s really unlikely he means it. He’s just angry and you’re a ‘safe’ person to take it out on. Ashamed to admit it but I know I did this to my own mother a couple of times as a teenager – of course I didn’t really hate her or wish she wasn’t my mother or any of the other awfult hings I know I said in a heated moment that I now regret, but it’s pretty common for teens to just let the hormones/rage take over.
For now just give him his space. Once he has calmed down I bet he apologized on his own, but if he doesn’t his father should insist on it. Now isn’t the time though.
Post # 8
REALLY appreciating everyone’s comments. FH txted me he’s upset and doesn’t understand why his son is taking it out on me for all of a sudden. He n I alway shad a nice relationship. I dealt with him getting to be “that age” where he doesn’t care to spend as much time with me or us. 2 weeks ago out of the blue though he was all excited to show me the new clothes he had bought (with his own $) and then hugged me for no apparent reason. I keep trying to remind myself of that hug.. it’s the thing reassuring me he is just using words to hurt but doesn’t mean them. If he really didn’t like me or thought I was a bitch why would he hug me right? Ugh. This is miserable. I was a bit of a horror to my parents too but mostly out of it by 17.
Tomorrow is me & FH’s 9 year anniversary… I reallly don’t feel like celebrating now :*(
@Cornflakegirl: Thank you very much for the info. I will look for it. And thank you for the warning because it would have tuned me off but knowing there’s more to teh book will get me to read it. Very thoughtful of you to recommend.
Post # 9
@StarIzInkd: I’m so glad to hear you shared that hug and excitement of his new clothes that day. There’s promise. Good of you to remember that hug now. Hold onto that and don’t let go! You are an easy target because you are so great to him. Stay strong when he seems to flip out for no reason.
You’re welcome regarding the book. Yeah, I’m not super religious myself, but the structure of the book is such that it is written in a noninvasive way, and the vast majority of the content is focused on the stepmom and her world so you are getting what you need.
Celebrate your 9 yrs. anniversary fully! That is a wonderful thing. Congratulations!
Post # 10
Honestly, a stepchild lashing out is in some ways a good sign. Teens do it when they feel safe in doing it–knowing that you will still love them in spite of it.
Post # 11
Just wanted to say, I was a major bitch to my mom while I was a teen, so I wouldn’t put it past him to just being going through some teenage angst. I would honestly just write him back and say simply, “I’m sorry you feel that way but regardless, I’m here for you if you need me.”
I wouldn’t take it personally, as others have said. I know it hurts, but I don’t believe he actually means it
Post # 12
Thank you all so much for your helpful words. It’s reallly difficult because this is a bit beyond normal teenage angst or moodiness. I mean him saying what he said to me/about me was just teenage stupidity but he is involved in some serious stuff that if he gets cuaght it will scar him for life and there seems to be little any of us can do to discipline him on this or to have any control over the situation. it’s horrible. I feel so helpless as does his father n grandparents. Moreso in some ways me because I know what I would do if I was in charge but I’m not and my advice or ideas aren’t put to use so its frustrating. Ugh…
Had a wonderful anniversary dinner where we looked at each other while holding hands and said that we would get through this. ANd hopefully we shall… and hopefully QUICKLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!