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My 17yr old Stepson was killed

Starstudit's picture

So the last time I was on here I was venting about the issues that we were dealing with our then 15yr old. Needless to say things kept getting worse, he was in a gang,  stole a car, dealing drugs, & armed robbery which unfortunately is what caused his demise. This happened last year in December and it has been such a rough road for my wife and the two additional stepson. I've pretty much manned down the house so that she was able to process her grief , get counseling etc, and I was handling any and everything involving the upkeep of the house,  and anything related to the boys.  Our 14yr old began acting out after his brother died but we just loved on him as much as he allowed to help him with his grief. Fast forward the 14yr old began doing better, A B honor roll student, played junior varsity and varsity football and overall doing good. The only issue that I had with him was him doing his chores. He would do them, then sometimes he wouldn’t do them or sometimes he would half ass do them. I tried talking to him, I tried explaining the importance of making sure he is doing his part in the house, hell I even stopped him from having to do chores m-f and he only had to do chores on the weekends. Talking wasn't working so I explained to him that if I keep having to talk about his responsibilities at home then I was going to shut off his electronics (phone, ps5 etc) until things were completed.  That appeared to be the ONLY thing that began working consistently. Well on 11/2 something wasn't completed so I remotely turned his phone off, he asked what did he do and I explained what chore had not been completed,  and he said it wasn't fair, and I replied with EVERYTHING I felt was not fair. My reply " Well your mom said that she DID NOT tell Jordan that he could eat in your room & furthermore I also told Jordan he could not eat in your room so instead of complaining about what's not fair maybe you need to make it CLEAR to your friends what OUR rules are. You know what else isn't fair? The last time Noah wad here he had food in your room & you were here & you not one time told him to take it out, and I didn't say shit to you about it. You know what else isn't fair? You getting a damn attitude when you can't do something because YOU chose to disregard our SIMPLE request.  You know what else isn't fair? The fact that you get an attitude INSTEAD of taking responsibility for the action that YOU choose to take. You know what else isn't fair? The fact that I have ASKED & TOLD you not to go in my stuff in the garage yet you STILL go in there and then have the nerve to blame it on your mom instead of telling the whole damn story, & all I said ONCE AGAIN was stay out of my stuff.  You know what else isn't fair? The fact that you complain & have a jacked up attitude when you have to do your part in the house (a.k.a chores) EVEN though we completely changed the chores schedule and put 100% of the chores on your brother during the week just so that you could focus on your studies and recover from all of you hard work on the field.  You know what else isn't fair? The fact that you have the audacity to get an attitude when your electronics are shut off because you CHOOSE to half ass do your chores or CHOOSE to not do them all. Man your mom and I try our GOD DAMN hardest to do any and EVERYTHING to make you happy and put a friggin smile on your face just for you to walk around with a fucked up attitude because we call you out on the things we consistently ASK you to do or not do.  You want respect given to you well the shit works BOTH WAYS!!! 

Just a little background. I've been in this kids life a little before he turned 5 CONSISTENTLY. Any and everything a parent is suppose to do I did and then some. I've never missed anything in his life such as school conferences,  activities,  doctors appointments,  quality time etc. Now before sending him this message I've been talking to him about the same things for a longgggggg time, but as soon as I sent him this message he completely stopped talking to me. He will walk by me and won't speak but will only speak if his mom is present. I sent the message to my wife that I sent him and I got the opposite response then what I thought I was going to get and after listening to her it made me feel as though everything I've been doing with these boys has been wrong even though she hasn't been present until recently.  I've seen this behavior before with the son that was killed and I'll be damned if I go thru it again so I told her since you have a issue with how I discipline them and that's all you are focused on forgetting everything that I've tried prior to discipline then YOU be in the forefront and handle the kids how you see fit.  I feel like the 14yr old is continuing to not talk because by talking to me means that my rules would be implemented but with his mom he can half ass it. Our house has been looking horrible ever since she took over, trash not taken out, kids not doing chores, kids eating in there rooms and leaving food that turned into a gnat infestation. I refuse to be a uber driver for the 14yr old so my wife got mad at ME because she had to stay up to pick her son up at damn near 130am from a sporting event. I can't say that I have completely disengaged from him but I've disengaged from speaking to him (just giving the same energy that's given to me) but involved in other aspects like med refills, doctor appointments etc. But it feels so cold in this house. I feel alone now that I have taken this stance consistently. Sorry for the long post but I needed to get this out.

AlmostGone834's picture

You know what? If your wife would have just backed you up, none of this would have had to happen. Your requests weren't unreasonable IMO. It's not a crime to expect 1. Decent grades based on the ability of the child 2. Staying out of serious trouble and 3. Learning some life-long skills by helping out around the house some. These were commonplace not that long ago.

Football is IMO a pastime, not a job. He plays varsity football? Great and I'm sure he enjoys it but it does not come before school and chores (you know, the things that are actually going to help him survive when he becomes an adult). I simply do not understand parents who equate sports to a part-time job. Unless he is seriously being scouted by a college for his athletic abilities and being offered scholarships, I view it as a hobby - same as playing PS5.

One or two small things on an application is all that is really needed to be accepted into college. Heck he could volunteer once a month somewhere and the colleges would be happy. They care far more about grades (which he seems to have in the bag) and are even then pretty lenient as they just want your $$$. The hard work on the field isn't necessarily IMO. 

Second of all, yes he should stay out of your stuff. That isn't unreasonable either. My dad rightfully would not let me rummage through his tools because I'd make a mess of his organized nuts and screws looking for what I needed for a dumb project. Then I wouldn't put the tools back where they were and he couldn't find them. If I needed something I would ask him and he would get it for me. Again, not unreasonable. 

Your wife wants you to do all the grunt work of discipline but then have the power to undermine you. As the old saying goes, if you don't like the way I am doing something then you can do it yourself. Tell your wife that since she doesn't want his total highnesses taking out the trash or cleaning up then she can carry the load for them OR she can get on them and make them do it. Her choice but you will not be the unpaid maid carrying the load and you will not life in a gnat/roach/rat infested house. 

I'd be tempted to go out and buy some roach spray, mouse traps, and a mold respirator mask and leave them sit on the counter. Maybe print out and tape a condemned sign to your front door. And LOUDLY complain about the mess and the filth every single day. 

Aside from that, you need to sit and really think about what you're willing to accept and afterwards have a serious discussion about the state of affairs between you and your wife. 

EveryoneLies's picture

Similar thing in our house. I understand kids this age is not the most pleasant, my DD11 sometimes acts up too (not yet a teen but already getting there with the attitude sometimes). SS always takes advantages because dad mostly believe what SS said (eyeroll). My most recent arguement with DH was related this issue with me not trusting him, and I told him he's right, because every time DH told me SS did a good job, and I started just living my day, I would end up finding out all the half assed crap SS left a trail of. 

And how funny of the "not fair" comments! As if we live in a fair world lol

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Condolences to you for YOUR loss as well. I can relate to your experience of having a skid pass away.  It's a weird and lonely subset to be in, expected to be the glue that keeps everything together while everything is falling apart.

You and your wife need marital counseling. I'm sure you know about the high percentage of couples whose marriages don't survive the loss of a child, and these "aftershocks" are what undermine relationships.

You wife likely had issues with her parenting BEFORE her older son died, and now she probably has added guilt and fear on her back. You need a neutral third party to remind her that your marriage deserves her focus and you are NOT the enemy.

I see you, and truly feel for you. DM me if you need support from someone who's been in your shoes.

Starstudit's picture

Thank you for your reply. She has mentioned marriage Counseling,  and it's not that I'm against it but I feel if I can respect her enough to sit quietly and listen to her complaints/concerns that when it my turn to speak that I should be allowed to without interruption. But that never happens. I get one or two words in and then she is shooting me down telling me how wrong I am and I'm like damn you didn't even take the time to hear me out. So I feel if you can't be respectful enough to hear my views or my side of things why go to a marriage Counselor.  Ultimately she wants me to do things her way and I've taken the stance that I'm not budging. 30days from now will mark one year that our son has been dead so I try to keep as much conflict down as possible but I refuse to be a punching bag and also go out of my way for a kid that I have devoted so much time and effort into just to be ignored.  And now my wife is also not talking to me along with her son. It just feels very lonely hear 

CLove's picture

You took on the huge load of parenting and holding things together so others could process their grief. Im sure you had your moments of sorrow to shoulder, and Im so sorry.

Your wife is the issue. She wants you to have responsibility without authority, and that is not sustainable. She cannot cherry pick what you care about.

Id say have a huge discussion with her. Tell her firstly that you love and care about skids and you want the best for them, and the best for THEM is having you and your wife on a TEAM, a UNITED team working together for the best interests of the children. Shes likely parenting out of guilt from the elder SS, and now that SS16 is testing the boundaries (what they do...) he NEEDS both his parents to be strong in enforcing boundaries.

From what you posted it sounds like its a her and SS vs you. She needs to prioritise her marriage and marriage partner. Because this isnt creating a postive environment.

When SD16 Snotty Mc Pouter Sulk doesnt get her way, or is asked to do something, or is in trouble, the entire energy of the household changes. I do not accept people giving silent treatment. The bare minimum even when angry is to greet and say goodbye. Silent treatment and toxic passivity are abusive.

Starstudit's picture

You hit the nail on the head. And yes it does feel like her and her son against me especially with her now also giving me the silent treatment. And yes all is good as long as I'm doing things for them or with them but at the moment I implement any sort of discipline it's an issue. I'm so over this. I've devoted this entire year to mainly her and the boys giving her the ability to just move at her pace and deal with her grief even though she secluded herself from the family for approximately 10months. I ran the household, took care of thr boys,  made sure they had transportation to get to wherever they needed to be, doctors appointments, school events, hanging with friends etc while also tending to my wife's needs, just for her tell me that I'm not.focused on her grief. Half the time I just want to scream because if there are so many issues that she has with me then the only person that can do better than me in my opinion is Jesus smh

Rags's picture

Keep the message forward that she decided she did not like how you parent and discipline so now she has no choice but to step up and get it done. Since she isn't getting it done, make sure to keep that pointed out to her.

My DW and I had a period of misalignment in parenting why my SS-30 was 14-15.  She expressed that she did not agree with my parenting and disciplining the son that my wife and I had raised together from the time we married the week before he turned 2yo.  My message at that time was "If you do not like how I parent and discipline then step up and get it done before I have to.  Until then, have my back and any discussion will happen when the two of us are in private and not in front of the kid."

For the next 4-ish years she stepped up.  Much to the Skid's chagrin.  He would regularly ask for me to resume the primary disciplinarian parent. He appreciated how I would address the issue, apply the consequence, expect him to correct that behavior going forward, then apply another dose of parenting/discipline.

His mom's disciplinarian parenting style was an extended number of days, or even weeks depending on the issue, of review and lecture.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

We figured it out.  As he got older, as the BioParent she assumed an increasing balance of the parenting.

His mom and I met when he was 15mos old. So SS had no memories without me.  That and that he is an only child in our family is likely in large part why the three of us were able to have a near normal family experience while he was growing up.  

Though none of his three younger also out of wedlock Spermidiot spawned half sibs have been killed, #2 is on the dole, #3 is in prison, and #4 is not far behind #3.  #2 detests the Spermidiot. #2 & #3 worship him and are making every effort to live the Spermidiot's ganbanger wannabe dreams.  Hense why Spawn #3 is a convicted felon.

My condolences to you and your family on the loss of your SS.  I would not be surprised by a similar call regarding one or both of my SS's brothers.  I do not want that for my son.  I truly hope it doesn't happen.  

A bit of clarification, my SS-30 asked me to adopt him when he was 22yo. We made that happen.  I was fortunate in not having the silent issues, "your not my dad" issues, etc...

Good luck with all of this.

Take care of you.




Starstudit's picture

And that's the thing,  ultimately she really doesn't want the responsibility of the boys and has verbally told me that but wants to dictate how I handle the boys and run the house which is why I was just like you know what, do things how you see fit