Here at The Band, we believe in kicking stigmas to the curb, flinging glitter, and shining a light into the dark. And now? Your bandmate needs a sounding board.
It's time to Ask The Band!
Is it me? Am I the problem? That's what I'm wondering today, in tears for the second time this week.
We've opened our home to my husband's sons. Two teenage boys I had no hand in raising during their formative years. Two boys who have severe problems due to the neglect and abuse they suffered at the hands of their mother and stepfather over the years.
I also have a special needs daughter, and our younger child to care for.
I battle with the kids daily - it's leaving me exhausted and fed-up. I feel like I'm doing it alone, since my husband, their father, refuses to change his work schedule, so that he's home before the kids go to bed.
I am diabetic and I have dietary needs that aren't being met, to ensure we have enough food for these two growing boys. I used my own money to make sure they had proper-fitting clothing for school, instead of using it to take care of myself, like I usually do.
These sacrifices of nutrition and self-care mean I'm extra cranky, extra tired, and feeling more like dog poop than normal.
I feel like my husband isn't backing me up when it comes to disciplining the boys, especially when it comes to retaliation. I don't think anyone should be hitting anyone, no matter what, and I worry that the boys are taking their anger out on our special needs daughter. He thinks it’s okay for the boys to hit my daughter back, if she hits them first.
CPS told me that we couldn't use physical discipline with my daughter - not even a hand swat to her butt, because it is detrimental to her mental health. Yet these boys use her as a punching bag, or crushing her very fragile self-esteem by telling her she's stupid, and bullying her when she doesn't do what they want.
I worry that this is going to cause her to go backwards, instead of making progress with her issues.
I totally get that the boys are dealing with big changes. But so is my daughter. So am I. It's a huge adjustment for everyone.
I'm struggling with the lack of respect that I was already getting from my daughter, and now from these two boys, too.
I feel like my husband isn't giving me any respect, either.
When I ask my husband to come home, because sometimes it just gets to be too much for me, he plays the victim card. He tries to make me feel guilty, saying he can't come home, because then the bills won't be paid. He tells me that I can't have it both ways.
I asked him to work a regular schedule, one that has him home to interact with the kids and give me a break. This means he needs to get up in the morning and work and earlier shift. He'd have to give up sleeping in until 10, and only getting a half shift in before I need him home.
He won't do it.
I need to feel appreciated. I need to know that all my sacrifices on behalf of this family are being noticed by someone.
I'm not asking for much, I think. A simple gesture, like remembering to put the car seat back in my van so I can get out of the house when I need to, or picking up after himself, would be enough.
I want to know that I'm important enough to drop everything for - without the guilt trip. I need to know that we are important enough for him to commit to a schedule and stick to it.
Maybe I really am as invisible as I feel I am. Last night, after working late, my husband picked up his co-worker and spent nearly three hours with her - instead of coming home to me. Shouldn't I be upset at this?
Am I being too sensitive, the Band? Do I have an unrealistic idea of what a marriage should be like? Are my expectations too high? Should I just get over it?
Tell me, the Band, I can handle the truth.
Is it me?20 Comments