Depressed/ overwhelmed/ lonely

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2014
Depressed/ overwhelmed/ lonely
6
Thu, 02-06-2014 - 5:04pm

Hi, I'm new to iVillage. My friend recommended I join because I've been dealing with depression. Im 28, a stepmom to 3 kids: boy 12, boy 10, and girl 7. Ive been with them for 4 years, married a year and a half. My husband has sole legal and physical custody; their BM has supervised standard visitation at her parents house. Other things: he was19 when oldest was born, middle is not his biological child and appears to be another ethnicity. Middle son doesn't know, or hasn't been told. 

Im so overwhelmed. Im a high school teacher, so I work full time but my schedule is such that I am the primary caretaker of the kids. I'm with them after school every day and all summer. Obviously BM hates me, she blames me for everything wrong in her life. Honestly, I hate her too. 

The depression is new. I cry all the time. I'm disconnected from the kids. I don't want to play with them or even be around them. Other things have happened, most recently my husbands mother taking BM to lunch and the dog I've had since I was 15 dying from cancer. 

I don't know how to get better. I feel alone. My husband is very supportive but he's all I have. 

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Thu, 02-06-2014 - 6:16pm

I am so sorry.  You sound overwhelmed, and it's no surprise.  Having three kids of your own can be overwhelming, even when you are the one who gave birth to them and they arrived incrementally.  You married into a full-fledged family that came with a whole bunch of issues, including a birth mother who isn't fit to be alone with them, and you have to deal with them all at once.  It's not at all surprising that you feel this way!

Personally I think you need to see a therapist so you have someone to help you develop strategies to cope with the things in your life.  And your DH should be invited to some of those sessions so you and he can work together on improving the situation.  When you say he is supportive, what does that mean?  Does he say, "Yes I understand, honey?" or does he work with you to change things for the better? This situation calls for full, 100% commitment to each other and that means *meaningful* action, not just words or temporarily doing something to make you feel better.

A therapist can also help you figure out how much of your feeling is sadness (your dog dying), stress, or clinical depression.  If it's the last one, medication can help.

I'll let others weigh in on the things particular to step-parenting, since I'm not a SP, but I just wanted you to know there is help, and hope.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 02-10-2014 - 11:55am

I agree that it's time for counseling for you.  That is really an overwhelming situation to find yourself in at a young age.  I acquired a 12 yr old DSD when I was in my 40's and had 2 kids of my own and just one stepchild was a lot to deal with since she came with a bunch of issues that my kids didn't have.

I can see why, when you are a teacher and get out of work early, and maybe their dad works late that you would be with them after school, but you should also not be in a situation where you are always the one taking care of them.  In the summer, maybe you could look for some programs that they could be involved in or some kind of day camp.  I know our town has a recreation program that's not that expensive.--it doesn't have to be for the whole summer but you should get a break.  After all, if your DH wasn't married to you or was married to someone who wasn't a teacher and worked all year around, he would have to figure something else out.  Maybe they could do some activities after school also or you could take turns sending them to friends' houses to play.  I just have this feeling that your DH dumped everything on you and doesn't realize how much work this is?  Has he had sole custody since you met him or is this a new thing?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2014
Mon, 02-10-2014 - 8:38pm
Thanks for your reply. Yes, my husband has always had custody. BM left them with him. I think my personality type is an over-achiever. I feel guilty sending them somewhere after school- even though I realize me being miserable isn't an ideal situation for them to be in. I've tried to solicit help from my MIL (she's a teacher too) but she is always too busy. I'm going to look into summer camps and things, that's a good idea. Thank you.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 02-11-2014 - 11:13am

Believe me, there are very few parents who want to be with their own kids constantly--it's just that people don't feel comfortable admitting it.  I was really happy to hear from another mother when our DDs were taking gymnastics together that she was glad she had 2 girls close in age because she hated playing.  lol  If they are doing something fun with friends after school they will be enjoying it too--plus it's good for their development to do some activities besides just going to school--art, dance, sports, scouting are all things that will enrich their lives and help them to make new friends too.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-2014
Wed, 02-12-2014 - 2:49pm

i'm sorry to hear your sadness with dealing with all this. I have been with my husband for 11 years and step mom to his now 14 year old daughter for that same amount of time. I have 2 other kids with my husband /her father. he has had sole custody for 4 years about with no visits due to mom moving away and mom and daughter having an extremely toxic relationship. partly and also mostly due to daughter telling mom she has had enough of her crap.

i have recently started back to school for n ursing and it has been super difficult and feel where you are coming from. i cry at the drop of a needle most days due to all the stress. the bio mom does not pay child support, never calls, texts or anything unless it is to start a fight with someone. she cant stand me and i cant stand her. daughter used to love me, im sure she still does but i am definitely her targeted surrogate for any displaced anger. she is mad at her mom and i get it but it gets fired at me because mom isnt around for her to fire it at her. I recently just got blamed for ripping a stuffed animal, hiding a family photo (fell behind a shelf in her room) stealing money (she travels back and forth with it in her jacket) and stealing bobby pins from her room (which were in her room) i am so tired of being in this house, she ignores me but i still make her dinner, and remind her to do her laundry, and take a shower, and drive her to do her stupid paper route (all three kids, otherwise i would not do it)

she has blamed me for the breakdown in hers and her moms relationship, she is constantly trying to pin hubby and me against eachother. i absoluetly refuse to have anything to do with her while he is not around because if and when something goes down, her version is completely different from mine. thank god she has a history of being a pathological liar so hubby is mostly and usually on my side. she had even gone as far as contacting her mom about a year ago and saying that i was doing stuff (neither of them told me what was said but i wrote something on fb about teenegers not accepting responsibility and somehow mom found this and called and stirred the pot and texted my husband saying she was concerned about daughters well being because of the things she told her about what i was doing to her!!)

mother in law is a bitch. she is french and hates me, for why i dont know and at this point i dont care. when the bio mom stepped out of the picture all mother in law could do was drag bio moms name through the mud, she had nothing good to say about her and wished any ill harm on her. i dont know what happened or how it happened but i have tried to add my mother in law on fb but she wont accept my request... i did however see that she had recently become friends with the bio mom on facebook and has wasted no time liking all her stupid photos (even solo photos of the other kids who are not biological to my mother in law) years back when my first born arrived (the ex has a son about 4-5 months prior) and my mother in law knew that babies weight, length, time of birth, place of birth and everything... to this day still doesnt know any of that for my son. years went by and the only photos on her wall were of my step daughter... albums full of photos... she still had my husbands wedding photos up for a long while after hubby and i got together.. its a crazy life... you either have tough skin or you don't... i grew up in a very abusive home so i guess i have tough skin... also i love my husband to death and he sticks by my decisions as a wife, mother, step mother, partner or what have you... so i guess i stick around because i couldnt bare to let my pther two kids have a split home when i still love the man.. i dont know, some days i just pop some migraine medication and wait for the next day... im surprised sometimes that i managed through the week... we do it for love i guess, i also love the daughter because i know she is hurting and doesnt know how to cope any better (doesnt mean its okay but i kinda understand) i see a broken me in her that i want to help fix... i just wait for the day that she sees the beauty around her instead of focusing on all the hurt... i wish you luck in your life and in your marriage and in raising those kids... maybe take pride that your presence may be of some sort of normalcy that they may not otherwise have if you werent around...

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 02-13-2014 - 11:14am

Courtney, is this girl in counseling?  If not, it seems like she should be--no relationship w/ mom, taking out her anger on you, pathological liar--this is not a good way to grow up.  Plus the counseling should involve you & your DH--this is no way to continue to live for at least the next 4 yrs and I'm sure it's not good for the younger kids either.