- March 20, 2017 at 2:10 pm #678734
From a LW:
For 10 years my partner and I have had a wonderful relationship and he raised my daughter who is now 14 when she was 4. My partner was abused and his grandmother and grandfather got custody of him when he was 10 and ever since that day they haven’t spent one day apart. He then took care of her after his grandfather passed. I also took care of her and loved her more than anything. Granny recently passed away December 12 2016 and it’s now almost been 3 months. At first he couldn’t cry and was numb. Then he cried for hours a day and this past month he’s been mean towards me and my daughter. He told my well our daughter that if she keeps acting the way she does that he will leave. My daughter is a typical moody teen who’s now getting hurt over his actions. She is seeing a counselor for she has anger issues for past sexual abuse so she sometimes can be hard to deal with. Then my partner said he didn’t remember saying that now fast forward almost a month my daughter did not do anything wrong but get frustrated at moving her furniture in her room to organize and he again said the same thing that if this outburst happens again he’s packing up and leaving. My daughter is so hurt but also knows that granny was his whole purpose for living and her stepdad and his grandmother were so close but she is smart and says crying to me if he didn’t want to be a dad in the first place why did he because i have looked up to him my whole life. He even told me he loved me but wasn’t in love with me and says he don’t know what he wants and then the same day after crying he apologized and said he is in love with me. He is angry very angry now and feels lost without his grandmother who basically was his mom. I have been very understanding never raise my voice and even forgiving for things he had said recently. We have read all about grief and he will talk about her. But honestly i am scared to say anything to him and so is our daughter for fear of him leaving. He already had PTSD, depression and anxiety from the abuse he went through as a child and he’s on medication. We both are disabled I have Ms and he had lost all his independence from his eyesight and he had Mitochondrial Disease and Trigeminal neuralgia which he is in severe pain daily where the pain meds don’t help. So the past 3 years we have been home all day together but we never fight ever, until he lost granny. I took him out yesterday to get out of the house and he yelled at the loud motorcycle because he can’t take any noise at all. He had yelled at my daughter and i for laughing and watching television and blamed us for moving on and not loving granny. Granny passed at home at age 83. I was up 48 hours giving her meds to make her comfortable and the loss of her is deep for me as well for she was also my everything. We don’t have friends or family now. My family was small and are all gone and my partners family was never close to him because granny’s 9 kids were jealous of his and hers relationship and how she stayed with him instead of moving with one of her children. I am just scared and don’t know what to do. He finally made a appointment with a counselor he was close to a long time ago. He tried raising his effexor but he says it made him feel worse. I am just hurt for my daughter because my partner now avoids her because she can be loud and he don’t want to leave. He told me he does all the punishing and I baby her and it’s good cop verses bad cop him being the bad cop.Which is true I always let her mean words go because I knew of the trauma she went through and so now i feel if I start punishing her she will feel unloved. She is also grieving for granny for she was the only one she had but hers also comes in anger so I am pretty much surrounded by 2 angry family members constantly. I don’t know what to do? Please helpMarch 20, 2017 at 3:01 pm #678747
Wow there is so much going on here I honestly don’t feel remotely qualified to answer this. Your daughter needs you to be her parent though and that means both protecting her when your partner says shitty things and not allowing her to get away with being rude or cruel. Past abuse is terrible but you can’t allow that to define her or your relationship with her. I hope she is involved in positive activities at school, if not it’s time for her to join some things. Your house sounds tense, sad, and hard to be in right now–she needs constructive, positive outlets.March 20, 2017 at 3:02 pm #678749
It is unacceptable for your boyfriend to use the possibility of leaving as a weapon against your daughter. He needs to see that counselor RIGHT AWAY because he is not handling his grief responsibly. (I certainly hope your daughter is in counseling as well for the sexual abuse as well as the death of her Granny, if they were close.) And honestly, if your boyfriend continues to threaten you and your daughter with abandonment unless you behave a certain way, you need to think about leaving him. Put your daughter first. You cannot allow her to be hurt by your boyfriend. She was already hurt by SOMEONE in your life, and you need to step up and protect her with everything you have now. PERIOD.March 20, 2017 at 3:06 pm #678751
I think there’s more help needed here than an advice site can provide. I’m concerned that you and your partner are both pretty seriously disabled and trying to raise a child without friends or family to help, and both your partner and your daughter are trying to navigate some serious emotional challenges at the same time.
Family counseling sounds like a good place to start. Talk to the doctor who’s treating your MS and ask for a recommendation.
DW peeps, I’m not up on what help social services agencies can provide to families dealing with disabilities and past abuse. Any suggestions?March 20, 2017 at 3:08 pm #678752
Oh, yes, and as everyone else has said, as much as your partner as struggling with his grief, he can’t be allowed to hurt your daughter. End of story. She needs your protection, and it’s on you to tell your partner that he’s not going to take his grief out on her. No excuses, no questions. Vent it someplace else. Not at her.March 20, 2017 at 3:37 pm #678755
Your husband is pushing away the people closest to him so that when you leave he can turn inward and say “See everyone leaves me, because I’m awful, unlovable, etc.”
He’s in pain and he’s trying to prevent more pain later on. It doesn’t excuse his behavior – but it might explain it. Your husband’s grief is deep and it will take months to recover, but he will start to emerge. He can’t see that far ahead yet. When he does, he’s going to regret being such an ass and threatening to leave. You need to figure out how to communicate and allow each of you (the three of you) to deal with your grief in your own way.
Your primary concern has to be for your daughter, second yourself, third your husband. I recommend family counseling or if you have a spiritual adviser, talk to that person.March 21, 2017 at 11:05 am #678827
I agree with Essie. This is beyond the depths of an advice site, and it sounds like your household needs intervention in more than one way. I do know it is completely unacceptable for your husband to threaten to leave unless you act a certain way (which, apparently, includes never laughing again). That is emotional abuse, period. It’s also not acceptable for you to avoid parenting your daughter. You are doing her no favors by teaching her she can be hateful and say cruel things, and that she can lean on her trauma as an excuse to get away with it. If she starts pulling that with her friends, her teachers, or in the future her romantic partners or bosses at work she is in for a really rough and lonely future. It is your responsibility to parent her, and setting reasonable rules and punishments will not harm her (even though every 14 year old on the planet screams that her life is ruined and she hates you as you enforce those reasonable rules and punishments).
Your husband needs to get counselling asap, and joining a grief support group would help too. Your daughter also needs counselling if she isnt getting it. She needs to be in after school activities she enjoys as well. You both need to give each other some space since you’re together 24/7. If you dont have transportation or resources to do those things try contacting your local United Way or the social worker associated with your disability claims. Talk with your daughter’s school about carpools etc. If there are classes or outings available for the disabled in your community (again United Way may be able to say) start taking some to help you get out of the house. If your husband continues to threaten to leave or claim he doesnt love you, it’s time to talk frankly about him moving out. You cannot keep you and your daughter hostage to his threats.March 25, 2017 at 3:19 pm #679496
I think there is a lot to be said about how you let your child disrespect you because of abuse she suffered. You said that you allow her to have these outburst and she treats you terribly. Now I am not a psychologist but I do not think that she is allowed to do that. I am not trying to demean or discount the things she went through but she needs help if she is still effected by it to the point she cannot control herself. Within that help is an understanding that she doesn’t get to treat you like crap because she went through some stuff. No one gets to do that.
Let me ask you this, if she had an outburst at a job do you think her employer would just excuse it because she was abused. They would not. She needs to conduct herself in a manner that doesn’t piss off or annoy the people around her. We all have to act that way. It’s what being a social human being is all about. Guess what? Your husband doesn’t get to act that way as well. Maybe you need to set some of your own boundaries. Actually, let’s not call it your boundaries. Let’s call it “I don’t deserve your sh*t anymore” rules. If they need professional help, get it for them. If they need a punching bag, they need not look at you.
I had an uncle who had a stroke that pretty much left him hobbled and unable to work. He grew upset and angry. He grew so angry that he took it out on everyone around him till one day my aunt had enough and gave him the ultimatum. She told him that his behavior was untenable and it was impossible for anyone to be around him. She told him that he needed to make a decision. Either let go of the anger or he would be all alone for the rest of his days. He was very angry at that but that anger was necessary. If he didn’t get angry then he didn’t care. His anger in that moment made him realize what he was potentially giving up. It’s really good to have my good-natured fun loving uncle back again.
I hope you can have similar results.March 25, 2017 at 3:32 pm #679498
Mike, she’s a 14 year old girl, who was sexually abused at some point by someone her mom let into her life. Teenage girls are full of hormones and changes, and it’s pretty typical for them to lash out at their moms. And if mom feels guilt for something that happened to the kid, it makes it harder to push back.
It’s not realistic to expect a teenager to be under control like an adult all the time, and how a teenager lashes out at her mom is not indicative of how she’ll act at work.
You can see this is not a normal situation. The household has a lot of challenges and it sounds pretty intense. I agree with others that there needs to be some kind of family counseling pronto. This is really unhealthy with the women walking on eggshells and the grieving guy kind of holding them emotionally hostage. They all need to feel safe expressing themselves, but need some help managing emotions. The solution here is not to just tell the daughter to behave herself.
ETA I think there does need to be more boundary setting, but the guy is only 3 months out from losing his mom, essentially, is disabled, and on meds for mental health issues. It’s going to need a professional’s intervention.March 25, 2017 at 3:46 pm #679503
I would agree that if she’s lashing out, then it’s a sign that she needs more help. But I don’t think putting one’s foot down is going to solve it. One of the big reason’s people have outbursts over stuff like this is difficulty channeling and processing their emotions. To just say “stop” or issue some sort of ultimatum is going probably make it worse, or just not do anything.March 25, 2017 at 3:47 pm #679504
Wow, Mike. I didn’t know there were people so out of touch in addition to your totally unrealistic expectations of children. Your little anecdote about your uncle is great…but he was a fully grown adult male who hadn’t been sexually assaulted recently.