Has anyone given up and left? And not regretted it?

(23 Posts)
absopugginglutely Sat 28-Sep-19 06:12:55

DSD (12) has always been a difficult child to build a rapport with, now she is 12 it is worse than ever. ( I’ve been With DH nearly 9 years)
We have a nearly 3 year old together (who I’m scared to leave in a room with DSD)
And I live my life in fear that DSD is going to seriously hurt herself or one of us. (She has some mental issues which cause her to threaten her parents with kitchen knives, self harm, school refuse, steal knives and take to school, collect blood in a jar and drink it) obviously Cahms involved and other mental health professionals.
Has anyone left a lovely partner just to be away from their SC once and for all?
I just can’t see a happy future living in fear like this all the time.

OP’s posts: |
swingofthings Sat 28-Sep-19 07:20:55

This is dreadful and indeed, it isn't fair you should live a life of fear.

She does clearly appear to have serious mental health/personality issues and they are unlikely to be resolved in the short time if ever.

How does your partner handle the situation?

Witchydearest Sat 28-Sep-19 08:36:10

I’ve considered leaving a number of times. But we changed things up and now I’m happy in my own home again. I have my life back. Your circumstances are really extreme and must be very stressful. You must do the best for your child and your own mental health. Good luck

Novembersbean Sat 28-Sep-19 09:41:27

That sounds really tough. How often do you have your SD?

absopugginglutely Sat 28-Sep-19 09:51:35

We have her Wednesday, Friday and every other saturday. Since she has been refusing school/ excluded she has been here more and husband has to work from home to cover her care.

OP’s posts: |
Novembersbean Sat 28-Sep-19 09:59:22

I ask because in your position, given that she has threatened people before, I would be questioning whether I am comfortable having her around my three year old (or myself), too. But if you love your partner and are otherwise happy it would be a shame to have to split and separate your childs parents due to what could be a temporary phase. Would it be possible for either you and your child or your partner and SD to be elsewhere on those contact days, to keep things separate? I don't know what support network you have but if either of you could stay with family or take up a hobby of some kind on those days it might give him the time to support her through this time without your LO being put at risk.

Curlyhair40 Sat 28-Sep-19 10:07:45

I did. SD was a troublemaker from around age 5-6, made her more than welcome, she had her own bedroom, included with everything and never ever made to feel uncomfortable.
She came to live with us at age 12, her mother decided she wanted to be a part time weekend parent.
As much as this shocked me beyond words, I never made a big thing of it, just welcomed her all the more, felt terribly sorry for her situation (mother was heartless).
As the years went on the behaviour got worse and worse, rude to other children, excluded from school, no manners, generally turned out lived upside down.
As DH felt sorry for her, she was never allowed to be chastised or punished, so the bad behaviour continued.
It got to the point that I knew I couldn't continue, and although I wasn't responsible for her, my Dh was, and we decided to divorce.
Ten years on.... other 2 children (one I had before DH and I had the youngest) have completed university, and are respectful, genuinely nice people, kind, and loving.
SD drifted in and out of college, fell out with everyone due to how horribly she treated people, has no job and no prospects.
I feel guilty even now for not sticking it out, but I honestly couldn't do it.
ExH and I are still good friends, and he now accepts he shouldn't have been so lenient, and doesn't hold it against me.
So yes, I threw in the towel on an otherwise good marriage because I refused to be dictated to by a SC.


absopugginglutely Sat 28-Sep-19 10:39:29

@Novembersbean thanks for your reply, I already have a pretty separate weekend to DSD and DH while she’s here because DSD refuses to leave the house so I take DD out and about. I have also put a slide lock on my DD’s bedroom so that when DSD is here she can’t get through to that part of the house.
All feels rather sad but I’d rather be safe than sorry.
I needed a wee from 3am- 6pm but was genuinely too scared to walk past DSD’s room to get to the bathroom so ended up weeing in the back garden! I know that sounds crazy but DSD is so dark at the moment and appears to completely lack empathy, she draws violent things, watched violent things and talks of violent things.
If I was rich Id just stay in Air BnBs every other weekend but that’s very disruptive/expensive.

OP’s posts: |
absopugginglutely Sat 28-Sep-19 10:43:01

@Curlyhair40 thanks for taking time to tell me that.
I’m sorry you had such an awful time of it but you have given me hope that things might work out okay, my own DD is lovely but I pull her up on bad behaviour (something DH and DSD’s mum never did with DSD) I won’t allow my daughter to be horrible.
I was saying to DH years ago that if he didn’t get on top of her behaviour now she was going to be a nightmare as a teenager and here we are.
I know it not her fault that she has mental health issues but I know many lovely people with Mh issues it shouldn’t be an excuse to be cruel or unfriendly.

OP’s posts: |
Novembersbean Sat 28-Sep-19 10:53:57

I think you just need to ask yourself whether your husband is worth it.

It sounds miserable having to be afraid for your daughter's safety for three days a week and to have to wee in the garden in your own house, but I know I'd be the same.

In your shoes I'd want to keep things as separate as possible but that's a big sacrifice to have to make, do you feel you'd be happier avoiding your DSD until either she grows out of this stage or reaches an age where she stops visiting, or going it alone without your husband? Where is he in all this, how does he feel about the behaviour and how does be deal with it? You mentioned that he didn't discipline her when she was younger, is this a symptom of wider issues?

I think it's entirely possible that it might be an easier life bowing out, especially if you are not on the same page with your husband. It's obvious that something has to give and if he isn't taking enough steps to make the situation bearable and safe for him then I would be thinking of leaving him. On the other hand, only you can decide if your relationship is worth fighting for.

SamsMumsCateracts Sat 28-Sep-19 11:21:35

I think you also need to bear in mind that if you do leave, your DD will presumably be spending time alone with ExH and DSD. I think you need a very frank conversation with your DH about your and your DD's safety and he needs to be having one with his ExW. No one should feel frightened in their own home. What effect will this be having on your poor DD? If you are scared, you can bet she is too.

It's a very tough situation, I feel for you 💐

Pinkybutterfly Sun 29-Sep-19 17:33:30

I wouldn't like my kids to grow around that type of behaviour. They learn and copy everything they see... And for what you say it isn't good. She is not your daughter. I'm sorry but in here you need to be selfish

absopugginglutely Wed 02-Oct-19 12:32:21

Thanks all. It has crossed my mind that if we split up and i move elsewhere DD will be alone with DSD anyway when she visits her dad so it is tricky.
The psychiatrist has said she has ASD with PDA and has insisted she go to school to learn how to cope with difficulty whilst on anti anxiety medication.
I still have a nagging feeling that she is not going to be able to cope with this as this weekend she went to a family gathering with her mum, found a screwdriver in the host's house and ran into a nearby forest with it. They had to send out s search party and the day was spoilt.
Daily there is a drama like this. She kicked her mum in the breast the other day and trashed her bedroom because her mum wanted to take her iPad off her at bed time.
Such appalling behaviour.
I know it's coming from a suffering place but she is so unable to control herself that it makes her pretty scary/ unpredictable to be around.

OP’s posts: |
BellyButton85 Wed 02-Oct-19 20:40:25

Fuck that! I'd run for the hills and take my child with me. And as for your daughter still being around her if you split when she spend time at her dad's...it wouldn't happen. He'd have to have her days when the girl isn't around and just one sniff of her anywhere near then he wouldn't be seeing my child at all. You said if they didn't put their foot down years ago this would happen. Doing that could have prevented some of this behaviour so it's on her own parents for their failings of her. Leave for the sake of your daughter, she's your one and only priority here

IdiotInDisguise Wed 02-Oct-19 23:54:36

I would put the safety of my child first, whatever her problems, if she has the potential to hurt your kid badly or at least make her entire life miserable, you need to put your child first and leave.

Climbmountains911 Sat 05-Oct-19 14:49:06

I'm not exactly a step parent I don't know what to class myself as at the moment (just the new girl on the scene I guess). Me and my partner have 7 month old together and he has 2 kids with the ex girlfriend. She has a partner. She won't let me be around the kids and uses my mental health and our unstable past (that she partly caused) against us. We are very happy and very stable now. I'm at the point where now she's threatening 50/50 access with the two kids which will affect my child and I'm having to get legal advise (she also wants him to quit or change his job so he can do the 50/50. I'm at the point where I feel like I'm coming between him and the kids and I never want to do that and my partner keeps reassuring me I am not and he will fight this. I just feel it would be best all round if I just leave the situation. So I guess I'm coming to that point.

Windydaysuponus Sat 05-Oct-19 14:56:00

Write a timeline of events and her behaviour. And sadly you need to use it to keep her away from your dd when you and dh split up. She is a danger to others. If she is a danger to herself then let dh deal with that. Your priority is you and your dd.
Run op.

Witchydearest Sat 05-Oct-19 15:58:45

Weird no one has said the usual old chestnut “ you knew he had children” etc etc. It’s quite interesting really, so the line is you need to be in fear of your life from your SC to get any real genuine advice or empathy from BMs.

Coffeeandchocolate9 Sat 05-Oct-19 18:12:19

Can you and your husband afford to run two properties? Is the any combination of getting or being a lodger in the other property that would work? That way you and DD could live in the other property those 3 days and come back the other 4.

Coffeeandchocolate9 Sat 05-Oct-19 18:14:57

The other thing you could do is contact one of the air B&Bs you use and propose that you have their room 3 days a week on a long term basis - some might be tempted by a known regular resident and the regular income and trade-off of less frequent laundry/room cleaning.

VondaVomin Sat 05-Oct-19 18:23:09

Does your H acknowledge the level of difficulty? I'd be moving out and telling H that, whilst I was not necessarily splitting with him, for DDs and my safety, DD and I would be living separately and he could come and stay on the days he does not have SD.

absopugginglutely Sat 05-Oct-19 20:23:46

All of these ideas have run through my head but I am constrained by being poor and really loving my husband so leaving him would be hard and destabilising for my toddler.
I have 5 different friends who have offered DD and I their spare rooms should it ever “kick off”.

DSD went to the psychiatrist on Tuesday who basically told DSD off and called her out on her behaviour.

DSD now has an official diagnosis of PDA ASD but nothing more.

DSD’s behaviour is much much much worse when she is with her mum. I think her mum (as lovely as she is) lacks boundaries but also seems to really really struggle to understand that demand avoidant children need to have the demands in their environment reduced radically in order to function and not be in a state of intense anxiety (hence self harm, fight, flight, freeze responses)

School have agreed to take DSD back on a part time basis (every day for 2 lessons) so we will see how that goes.

DSD has been very nice today, playing beautifully with DD (always with one of us parents present)

But she has done all sorts of lovely things like set up a treasure hunt for DD, player with her on a trip out to the farm park, been jovial and almost sociable!

This^ is the DSD I remember pre-puberty. Maybe her hormones are making her worse.

But most of the very very hairy times with DSD have happened at her mum’s house. She needs boundaries (very consistent) but also a low demand environment.

I had it out with DH last night about how all the trauma lately has been making me feel and he empathised, apologised and was lovely.

I will always protect my DD to the Max (hence why there are locks on everything including to the door that leads to DD’s room and the other side of the house. DSD can’t get to sharps, chemicals, tools, matches, belts, cords etc because they’re all padlocked away.

For now I’m still very very vigilant around her but a bit calmer than before.

Thanks for all of your advice.

OP’s posts: |
Annaminna Fri 11-Oct-19 16:06:25

Dear absopugginglutely
It is a very difficult situation to be in.
Sometimes it helps if you re-name things for yourself.
What if it's your DHs mum who is mentally ill (same symptoms) and has to stay with your family every now and again. What would you do then?

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