01-16-2022 05:38 PM - last edited on 01-21-2022 01:33 PM by Bre-RO
My 10yo stepson has autism. When I got together with his father, he was not in the picture as the bio mother was withholding the two sons for legal advantages in a nasty, traumatic divorce. Whilst I knew about his disability, I feel as though my partner underplayed many aspects of the severity and I’m sure I really couldn’t conceive the reality of dealing w autism. Before the boys came back in to our lives, contraception failed and my partner and I decided to have our daughter whom I adore. I did try to have frank discussions regarding how having baby would work with the boys at that point, however my partner would get upset and without experience, I didn’t have a vision of how the boy was. I wanted her and figured I’d be prepared to single parent a second daughter if necessary. Right before the birth of our daughter, the mother handed over the boys to come to our home (she essentially weaponised the autistic child towards me as the birth of my daughter came, shocking me with the stress of it). every weekend we’ve had them for the pAst 2 years now has been horrible and stressful. Their visits reduced to every second weekend after they’d had plenty of catch up time with their dad. I am fortunate because it’s just every second weekend but I just dread the visits so much now that I find myself in an unhealthy low and resentful mood, partially I feel just because of the countless ordeals we’ve endured just to have the boys, their nasty narcissistic mother’s games towards us and with the autism needs and pressure that creates. We don’t have time as a complete blended family as I started sending my 5yo daughter away to her father during the boys’ visit because of autistic son hitting and hurting her. The autistic stepson in many ways has a sweet nature, his aggression comes out of expressing frustration over simple things (he is non verbal, low IQ). He constantly runs away as a way of fun and I have to call the police to help find him, screams and bangs in the house, won’t sleep, urinates everywhere including in the house and in front of people in public, breaks all my now 1.5yo daughters toys, empties bottles of liquids, things just get broken and destroyed. NOTHING occupies or interests him, so if he isn’t melting down, toileting, running or breaking things he is wrapped in a blanket rocking. It’s clear the other son has untended developmental issues also and can be oppositional and is spoilt without boundaries by both parents, I have recently found myself feeling unsure about him though he is the far lesser of my worries and a lot easier! I’m a lower energy, more serious and less fun person as a result of the strains, and feel that I have aged significantly due to it all whereas previously I was young looking And carefree for my age.
Here’s the dilemma. I’ve grown so much resent, been so traumatised by this poor child (he can’t help himself) that really I cannot go back from this point and just HATE his visits. My partner does do everything to alleviate and I don’t do any hands on work with the autistic boy just the peripheral cleaning up etc, but just the fear I have that he’ll cause a serious accident to my toddler (nearly happened several times), the exhaustion from being on high alert with him and the disheartenment I hold over the boring, restricted family activities we have to do to suit him, just has me so over dealing with the whole situation. I fantasise about escaping it all on the weekends he comes.
I am engaged to my partner but I just don’t want his son anywhere near me or my home, too much resentment has built up. I do care about the boy and his needs, I just can’t stand the impact to my life, it’s selfish I know. I hate that I feel this way and my feelings aren’t fair to him at all, given the high pressure demands It doesn’t make me a great person I know but I’ve just been through too much with it. I also know it’s unfair to ever put my partner in a situation of choosing his sons or us / our child. Should I end this all now and call off the engagement? I know if it were the reverse and I was the parent of the autistic child, I’d only want someone truly vested or I’d walk the lonely path. I can’t even fully hide my low tone on the weekends with the boys anymore.
One more thing, I don’t even know what I’d say to my partner to end it. He’d be angry but even prepared to stop his son visiting for our relationship.. the problem I have with this is that I’d be responsible for the boys loss of time with their father, and really as the adult I just can’t be a part of that! Also, resent would then build towards me.
I should also add that although we only have the boys every second weekend now, this is likely to swiftly change as their long drawn out property settlement ends (she is using the austistic son to advantage her settlement). We have had a few tastes where she refuses to take the boys back, recently we had them for a week and it broke me energetically.. it took me a week to recover from the stress of the son. I’m absolutely fearful of what could happen when the legal case no longer incentivises her to collect them.
I’ve suggested we remain together but live separately so he can parent the boys, but it’s a plan that probably wouldn’t work and my partner hates the idea.
Creative ideas, advice, opinions, experiences all welcome thank you
01-16-2022 08:51 PM
07-25-2022 03:20 AM
10-04-2022 03:52 PM
10-08-2022 12:00 PM - last edited on 10-10-2022 11:47 AM by Iona_RO
Oh honey, I feel for you! I have two stepsons who are both autistic, non-verbal. They are 25 year old twins that have been in my life for 10 years. One is bipolar and aggressive. I married my husband and knew he didn’t want anymore kids because of the struggles with his twins so I gave up having children to marry and spend my life with him. I loved having his boys around at first but as time went one, we have them every other weekend and it became annoying. I feel absolutely awful but I have so much resentment. I love my husband but I gave up my chance to have my own child so I wanted a life for the two of us to be alone but then we have his boys every other weekend. It’s the worst. I want nothing to do with them. All they do is sit and stare at their computers all day. The have fits when they don’t get what they want and all they do is eat junk find. I am so resentful and I feel awful.
10-08-2022 01:03 PM
10-10-2022 12:00 PM
Feelings of resentment can be really difficult to deal with, so I'm glad you've reached out for some support - thanks @Magnolia76 for providing yours
Autism is complex and autistic people can have a range of different needs. For those based in Australia, Autism Connect provides support via phone, webchat and email for autistic people and their families. They may be able to suggest some strategies to help you and your family work together to ensure everyone is getting the care & support they need. Autism Awareness Australia also has a whole range of resource links to books, videos and articles that might be helpful to check out too.
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