5.14.2009

Whoever said life would be easy....

....lied. Don't believe that for a moment.

It IS what you make it. It IS good. But easy? It's not.

Especially when you are nine years old and have more on your plate than most adults can handle.

My stepson, Andrew, has ADHD (phsycian-diagnosed). He also has anxiety (me-diagnosed). He also has many yet-undiagnosed issues.

He also has a "mother" who has serious mental issues, and has deserted him completely at this point. He has only seen her once since October, and that was for 10 minutes. On the rare occasions that she calls, he refuses to talk to her. He's terrified of the thought of seeing her. The one brief time of his life that he lived with her full-time was horrible. He tells us things about that period that fill us with a combination of rage and utter sadness. He told us that her name is the worst curse word in the world. This is totally unprompted by us, we don't even bring her up. But occasionally he remembers something that he feels the need to tell us about. The most recent was a story about her making Andrew walk their husky. He was a very large and strong-willed dog, and he got away from Andrew. His punishment? "C" took one of Andrew's favorite possessions, a Build-a-Bear that he'd made with us, and ripped it to shreds.

If you wonder how I know that Andrew has anxiety....the two biggest clues are his non-existant fingernails which he has chewed away, and the bald spot on his head from where he was literally pulling his hair out. He's also terrified of being away from his family, except for at school. Twice he's been invited to join friends in very fun activites. Twice they've left, only to have to turn around and bring him home, because he was close to having a panic attack.

He has told us that he never wants to see his "Mother" again (he refers to her by her first name, "C"). He wants to go back in time and change biology and for me to have given birth to him. His feelings towards her caused my friend, a nurse with extensive psych knowledge, to say "What in the HELL did she do to him??"

He needs counseling, and we're working on that. My insurance company failed to add him to my policy as I requested, so now we're jumping through hoops while paying out of pocket for the very expensive medications he requires. We're doing our best; we have a lot on our plates. But it doesn't compare to the burden that this small child is carrying.

His issues are not easy for us to deal with either. Even though we know it's not his fault, and know what he's been through, we are only human and it's hard not to get frustrated at times. He also needs discipline, in fact he craves discipline; the normal, healthy kind.

My Mother-in-law recently called Andrew's "mother" about some paperwork that we need. "C" casually said to my MIL, "Well, I guess I'll never see Andrew again." MIL explained to her that Andrew is doing well, that he is healing from all of the things that SHE put him through, and the best thing she can do is let him continue to heal. But by this time, "C" was on to a different topic already.

So, I received the Mother's Day presents. When my in-laws took him shopping, he shopped for me. When he made cards and crafts at school, they were for me. He very proudly presented them to ME.

And when "C" took time out of her busy life to call on Mother's Day, which was also her birthday...he refused to talk to her.

You reap what you sow.

His life will never be easy. We worry about his future. But at least he has us to help him along the way.

32 comments:

ElizabethSheryl said...

Poor guy. I wish him all the best and I hope counseling helps him. I'm sure it will.

My cousin T, who is 16 months younger than me, has somewhat similar issues. When he was 2 years old, his dad found out that his mom was sleeping around, with multiple men and even bringing the baby with her. He started to investigate even more and found that she is a pathological liar. Soon after, when I was maybe 6 she started to tell people she had cancer. My uncle had majority custody, but she was able to have T 2 nights and 3 days. She eventually remarried but constantly had men in and out of her life even bringing them to softball games and things. All of them thinking her so brave with her "cancer"...even convincing her workplace! She eventually moved from nevada to wisconsin, when T was 16 and he went with her. He was already starting to lie. We were NEVER allowed to talk about his mother, or that she lied etc, and he even had some counseling. When he was 9 years old he once told my mom that he just wanted to "wrap the telephone cord" around his neck. It was really hard to watch and be around, but I think that having our side of the family there and showing him what is possible, rather than just lies and secrecy--that he'll be a happier/healthier person than his mom.

ElizabethSheryl said...

*somewhat similar issues as in a crazy mother. Not saying any of T's issues are like your step-sons. haha, need to edit before I submit the comment!

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

You might think about having him work with an NLP counselor. They are great at soothing the trauma from emotionally charged issues like that. I took Blake to one after his bullying problems and we've seen a lot of improvement - he has ADHD too. I'm also working with her on some of my issues and I think it's helped a lot.

♥ Becky ♥ said...

I so feel for him. My kids experience with their Dad isn't anywhere near what that woman is doing to your step-son. But my ex finally just walked away. Hasn't spoke or seen either of the kids since the beginning of February.
And although both of my kids are extremely glad that they don't have to see or talk to him again, it's starting to slowly affect my son. He's happy he doesn't have to see him but he knows deep down his dad wants nothing to do with him. Even when I told him it was my fault just to try and make it better.
But I know my kids will be better off without him even if I have to do everything myself.
Hang in there, you are doing an AWESOME job as his AMAZING step-mom!!!

SweetPeaSurry said...

Aww I'm sure things will all work out in the end. I'm supposing that all the trauma is still relatively new in his head, time will help.

brightest blessings and best of luck!

April said...

So very sorry for everything your stepson has gone through at the hands of his "mother"...and I use that term lightly. Just continue to be there for him and reassure him of how much you love him. Wishing you all the best!

AngelNicki said...

Some people should not be allowed to have kids. Obviously, its good that she did have a kid, because otherwise Andrew would not exist... but seriously, some people should not be allowed to have kids.

Sue said...

(((HUGS))) to Andrew. I'm glad you're the mom now.

Jennifer said...

Oh that poor baby! I'm just glad he's with you now!

Karen in Texas said...

I'm so glad he's with you and his Dad full time now Cyndy. Ya'll are the best things for him. I hope he'll be able to overcome the early years of his life. My niece and nephews had a terrible Mom and then my brother wasn't so great with them once they got to be teens but that's a whole other story. Anyway, having a good mother and father figure is very important in a childs life and I'm glad ya'll are there for Andrew. I can't think of anyone better than you for his Mom role model Cyndy.

Twisted Fencepost said...

Time, patience and love will perservere. And it sounds like you guys have what it takes to help him. Good luck to you all!

pb&j in a bowl said...

Poor guy! He is so fortunate to be living with the people who care most about him. I'll be praying for all of you.

Aubrey said...

He is very fortunate to have you in his life now! Such a sad story but one that I see, having a very happy ending!

Casey's trio said...

What a horrible situation to have to deal with at such a young age (bio mom). It sounds like you are providing the stable, loving family life that he deserves!

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

I'm glad Andrew is now with the MOM who really cares about him. My heart goes out to him. It seems unfair that some kids are born into disadvantaged and hurtful circumstances. But I think that's why angels like you were created. It can't be easy doing the work of an angel but I know you will be blessed.

Tara R. said...

I can empathize with the ADHD and the panic attacks, it can be tough to not get frustrated sometimes. I hope he continues to heal and work through his past issues.

Tinabean said...

Such a sad story.
Thank goodness he has you though.
Keep loving him & supporting him & he will get better.
You are an amazing woman to take him in & love him.

♥ bfs~"Mimi" ♥ said...

You are giving him a beautiful life. Not easy. Just beautiful, day-at-a-time living. You are giving him a sense of belonging.

Does he know what he is giving you? Make sure he does! He fills you with joy. He is where he is supposed to be.

david mcmahon said...

He is so fortunate to have you. He is in the place where HE is important, not the condition.

No child could ask for more.

Christine said...

Poor guy He reminds me of our William.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

You dont have to give birth to a child to be his real mom.

Sounds like you are both lucky to have each other.

Hallie

Momo Fali said...

Poor him. Poor you.

You are so right about reaping what you sow. I hope that karma starts treating him right very, very soon.

Shannon said...

BLESS YOU for standin gup for and caring for a child you did not give birth to, but love as your own, none the less....the world would be a much better place if everyone just loved and took care of their kids like normal people should.

Kim said...

Thank God for you! His life can change because you are there. I've seen it happen.

Congratulations on the POTD. Well deserved!

Momisodes said...

I am so sorry Andrew is going through so much, but I am so glad he has you. His past sounds awful, and from what he's described and exhibited in behavior, it is a blessing that his life is different now.
I hope that somehow the medical costs and coverage will work out for you as his caregiver. I'm crossing my fingers.

Ashley said...

He obviously appreciates you. I hate he has to go through so much but I'm glad he has you to look up to.

Cheffie-Mom said...

Hi, I came over from David's blog. Congrats on the Post of the Day Award. Andrew is very blessed to have you in his life.

Bad Momma said...

It breaks my heart to hear stories like this. At least I know this one will have a happy ending.

Mrs4444 said...

Thank God he has you. I'll say a prayer for him tonight. As you know, I am all too familiar with kids like him; it's such a shame....

Huckdoll said...

This just broke my heart. But you know what? He's so lucky to have you...and to have a family.

Rhonda said...

I'm so glad he has you guys. What a whack job that mother is!!! I hope and pray that he never, ever has to see her again!

Mrs4444 said...

No kidding. What would that poor kid do without your love and support?!