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Should I leave?(16 Posts)
Hi I'm new to the site and am in desperate need of advice. My partner and I have been together coming up to 4 years, I am currently 6 months pregnant and we have 3 other children between us. My daughter aged 7 and my stepsons aged 7 and 10. My partner has shared custody with his ex and we have my daughter the majority of the time. My eldest stepson has significant behaviour issues, he has always been a fairly difficult child since I have known him but I put that down to his parents getting a divorce and worked hard to develop a bond with him. Everything seemed to be going well until the behaviour continued to escalate despite him having a very good support network and the other children doing well. We began to suspect there maybe deeper issues as he finds sleeping difficult and has some sensory problems, we asked for professional help but kept getting told we didn't meet the criteria. Things got so bad he was permanently excluded from school. His mum and dad found him a new school to which he seemed to adapt and we had a really good period of 3-4 months, then I got pregnant, all the children seemed really happy by the news but a week later my stepson was suspended for being violent towards his teachers, something which seemed to snowball and repeatedly reoccur. He had been violent before to his dad and brother but the behaviour became really dangerous at school also. His dad sometimes has to physically restrain him which my stepson then accused him of physical abuse, so now social services are also involved. I have never seen a child act like this and we have honestly tried everything, nothing seems to work. I am now considering moving out of the family home as I have to safeguard the baby and my daughter but my partner and the other children don't want that. I love my family and I really want my stepson to get the help he needs and to have a good relationship with his dad but I just can't handle it anymore. I don't feel safe around him, I'm constantly on edge and currently take antidepressants to cope and I don't think it's fair for me to put his dad in a difficult position so I thought leaving would be the best option but my partner is heavily against that. Please help!
What is your partner's alternative?
Has he ever attacked you physically?
He does sound really out of hand... has he had any counselling to try and get to the bottom of his anger?
He hasn't attacked me personally however my daughter and myself are the only ones left he hasn't attacked yet. I had to call the police a couple of nights ago because the outburst lasted over 5 hours and became violent towards his mum. The police warned him but in order to remove him from the house would have resulted in overnight Foster care so instead my daughter went to stay at my partners exs house with her other stepbrother for the night. He has an assessment booked with CAMHS next week but we are all so exhausted at this point because of how long it has taken for them to take on his case. My partner doesn't think it's right to split the family in two because of his behaviour but at present he is at his mums and social services won't allow him to come here incase he hurts me while I am pregnant, I don't really see that as a long term solution though.
If you move out your baby, when it is a toddler, would likely spend overnights with your partner. This means your older step-son would very likely be there, as he is the baby's half-sibling, and there would be no other adult to restrain him if his behaviour kicks off.
If you stay - you, your partner and your partner's ex can continue to work together around your older step-son to safeguard your daughter, your younger step-son and your baby.
Yea that's a good point I hadn't thought about that, I think I am so anxious atm and feeling guilty on all of the children in a situation I currently feel I have no control over 😒
Sorry but I would be strongly against my child spend overnights with a sibling who was known to be violent to this extent, I'd try to ensure the contact was different days to when he was there.
If your husband is so against it OP, then what else has he put forward? You shouldn't be made to feel like you have to put your baby at risk.
Sounds like your husband wants you to stay but hasn't put forward any other kind of strategy. I would be very frank with him about the fact that you can't stay if things don't improve.
This probably won't be a popular opinion on here but... you are part of a happily integrated blended family that works for all parties except this one child. The other children (who are also facing the brunt of his violence) would also lose out if you separated. You are also now pregnant with a child whose parents are otherwise in a happy relationship and could stay that way. Surely your husband would rather either take drastic measures to tackle his son's behaviour, or come up with a solution that involves him seeking him separately to you and your two, rather than have to live separately from his wife and newborn baby?
His point of view atm is that his son's behaviour is the problem so he should be the one to leave but I wouldn't feel fair that his mum would then have to cope alone and also that my ss would miss out on time with his dad. Its an awful choice but it's almost like we have to choose between the children and how do you do that without causing pain to at least one child? His behaviour is completely unacceptable but I don't want his dad to give up on him. I'm hoping that the authorities will step in and help but so far all they have done is suggest methods that we have already tried.
I know what you mean, all the children deserve to be supported but if it comes to one person losing out or another, surely it has to be the person that's actually done wrong? Your husband could still see him elsewhere, and come up with other ways of working together with his mum to improve his behaviour.
I would try and aim for that it just feels we've gone around in circles for a while now, we eventually forgive and forget things are good for a while and then the outbursts start again but worse than the previous time. I think he needs a lot of hands on work and help from medical professionals also.
Has anyone considered a third option? That, while his son is getting assessed and support being put in place, your DP spends time with his son in a different location? Can your DP take him to another family members home (e.g grandparents) for a night or two a week? You, along with your children, could visit for some of the time so to maintain the contact and reinforce that you and DP are a family with all the children. I dont think excluding one child is the answer - it will almost definitely cause the behaviour to escalate.
I can understand that you wouldn't want your children to be put in a position where they're in danger, likewise your DP's younger son also needs to be protected but your eldest DS is still a child. He's only 10 and a lot of professionals in the field of special educational needs would agree that a childs behaviour is always a form of communication - it's up to those around them to try and figure out what they're trying to say as the child themselves usually doesn't understand nor cannot express it.
I do hope that you are able to start getting some support to help you all make the right decisions for everyone involved in this situation - living with/supporting a child with behavioural difficulties is never easy but with time, patience and understanding it can get better.
That could possibly be an option depending on how he reacted. We've done a lot of research over the years and I'm convinced he has Opositional defiant disorder but that's my opinion as a parent, we need a professional diagnosis. I think the main issue has been that it has taken the authorities so long to help us, we have been asking for a few years now, left untreated his behaviour has become worse and also we are all on antidepressants also purely to cope with the stress of it all, I mean literally we can't do the simple things in life without a war. I'm hoping that now the ball is finally rolling we will have a better idea on how to proceed. I do thank you all for the advice, we will definitely be trying the ideas given. Fingers crossed we can find a solution.
How is everything going now @SM82? Have you got any help off CAMHS?
My SS is at his mums now but we have made plans for him to stay with us once a week. Unfortunately we are still waiting on CAMHS 🙄 thank you for asking will update the thread when we finally get news x
Thanks. Do update and I’m glad to hear that you have gotten a break as it must be hard on everybody.x
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