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My stepson is 13, he is the onlychild in our house, his mom is a drug addict and lost custody years ago along with her other kids. He has no other family besides my husband, who is mentally ill and takes meds that don't always help. He and his son are always at odds and my husband makes him feel like shit. Half the time he is a great dad and they are best friends, the other half he is verbally abusive. I have no rights to this child, but I try to make life for him as easy as possible. I would've left my husband a while ago if it was not for this child. For the last few months his dad has kept him away from his friends and homeschooled him, keeping away from people he considers to be toxic. I have told him he needs friends but he won't listen Last night I read my stepson's journal (I know it was wrong) and he said he's depressed and wants to kill himself. My husband WON'T LISTEN TO ME REGARDING HIS SON! I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:09 PM on Mar. 17, 2010 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (10)
  • I would have the son checked out. Some mental illnesses are genetic. I don't think letting him hang out with toxic friends is the answer though either.

    Answer by BlooBird at 8:12 PM on Mar. 17, 2010

  • I cannot imagine what you are going through. Thank God you chose to stay in this kids life. At the age of 13 you are right this boy needs friends. It seems his father is totally trying to isolate this boy and that is unfair. This boy desperately needs help, and it seems you are the only one who can help him. Is it possible to get your stepson into counseling? Some place where he can feel it is okay to open up with his emotions. Does he open up to you or feel that he can? His journal is his only way it seems to open up and express himself. Depression and thoughts of suicide need immediate attention. Please get him the help he needs. If possible take him to see a professional/hospital right away. I am praying for him. I hope things will be ok.

    Answer by Kellyjude1 at 8:33 PM on Mar. 17, 2010

  • I wish I had a good answer for you. I just want you to know that I read your question and my heart goes out to you and your stepson. It must be so hard emotionally to deal with. You are a good person to stick by this boy and recognizing that he needs help and being there for him.
    If I were to put myself in your shoes,I'm not quite sure what I would do. I don't know how much rights you have in having treatment conducting on him,and thats what makes this situation seem so hard.
    Gosh, I really just don't know. I'm sorry.

    Answer by kimberlyinberea at 8:47 PM on Mar. 17, 2010

  • I just want to commend you for sticking around for this child. At this point it seems you are all he has. I also have a 13 yr old son and your story just broke my heart. Thank god he has you. I wish I had some advise. Keep assuring him your there for him and letting him know how much you love him. Is there anyway you could take him for counseling, even if his father doesnt know about it? From what it sounds like, his father is the toxic one here. I pray for you and this child.

    Answer by auntvic at 12:29 AM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • Poor kid. I would take him to the doctor and have the doctor talk to him about what is going on with him. Or speak to his school's counsellor. You may not have parental rights but no professional is going to ignore someone saying a child is suicidal. This is a terrible situation for everyone involved.... I hope things improve for you both.

    Answer by Allergic2Stupid at 11:50 AM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • Thank you so much for the support, it means a lot. I made an appt. for him at his pediatrician, and i'm going to ask for a referral for a counselor. In the meantime I'm going to try and find excuses to take him to my mom's house, where his best friend lives right around the corner and it probably wouldn't be a big deal to have him come over to my mom's and visit. I also had a talk with him this morning outside and told him just to try and hang in there, that I know he needs friends (it's an ongoing battle in this house, so he wouldn't know I read his journal) and that I'll do the best I can if he can try to work with me, reminded him again that his dad has a mental illness, that whatever he does or says, he still loves him very much, that everything he does is out of love in his twisted logic. I don't know if that was the right thing to say. I wish I had known how bad he felt, he does a good job at hiding it. But I know now.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:16 PM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • Any chance of adoption...then walking out the door with him?

    I would walk out the door with him anyways, honestly I wouldn't care what risk there are to me, but someone needs to give dad a wake up call, and maybe that would be it. While I understand dad has a mental issue and it is not completely his fault the child is the most important thing.

    You are amazing for hanging in there for this little boy, a lot of woman would throw up their hands and leave...good for you for seeing past everything else and putting this boy first.

    Answer by luckysevenwow at 2:52 PM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • Talk to the son's school counselor, tell him/her you feel the boy needs help & you would like to help him find it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:20 PM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • I have thought about just taking him away, I wouldn't care what happened to me but once they found me, he wouldn't be in my life at all. His mom won't sever her rights to him even though she never calls and has never sent money or birthday cards or anything, and as far as I know I can't legally adopt until she willingly gives up her rights to him. The system is so screwed up. If he was taken away from his dad, he would go to foster care. I've been his mom for all intents and purposes for years, but I have no legal rights to him. That's what his social worker told me, so if anyone knows any different, please tell me.
    Thanks again for the support, I appreciate it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:39 PM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • That is a really rough spot, I was hoping mom's rights had been terminated. I have 2 "step" children who's mom will not turn them over to me either, stupid cause she has had no contact with them for well over ten years.

    I wished I had some fabulous advice, it's a situation I can not fathom, try talking to a lawyer and see what they say, I know some states recognize the emotional parent as much as they do the bio parent...just a thought.

    Answer by luckysevenwow at 5:47 PM on Mar. 19, 2010

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