Raised my step-daughter

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Raised my step-daughter
Thu, 08-30-2012 - 3:00pm

When I met my husband Abigail was 8 years old. This child was living in poor conditions - she was morbidly obese, she didn't have proper clothing (she wore her mother's clothes & panties), she wouldn't shower for days, her grades in school were all failing F's, she missed more than half the school year because her mother didn't care enough to take her to school. That's just a minute idea of what this child was going through. Everytime we picked her up which was every 2 weeks, she was in these poor conditions, we bought her clothes, girl panties, new shoes just to see the mom wearing these clothes the following weekend we would pick her up. So, we got smart and bought her new clothes, girl panties, shoes, etc.. and kept them at our home so, everytime we would pick her up we'd have her clean clothes ready for her to wear.
One time I clearly remember the mother calling my husband sounding excited she told him that she had transformed into a young lady because she had gotten her period, she must've been about 9 or 10 yrs old. It was summer time and I must add that it seemed that she never wanted Abigail around...For example if it was the last day of school she would call us to go get her from school so we can keep her the entire summer. During summer she never called her to see how she was doing or visited her even though she was in town or passed by here to go on vacation with her new husband and other child. Anyway, so it was time to go pick her up for the summer so, I bought pads because according to her mom she had gotten her "period". Little did we know that it wasn't her period she had a vaginal disorder.. my poor step-daughter had blisters with pus and blood coming out of her blisters.. this is what her mom 'thought' was her period. I immediately phoned Child Protective Services so that they can see the condition in which she had her in. After many doctor visits & reports CPS determined that Abigail was being neglected by her mother. We also found out that her step-father didn't want her around (her mom's husband) he wouldn't even acknowledge that she was around, talk to her or try to interact with her in anyway. They did so much more for their biological child often leaving my step-daughter crying because they wouldn't get her something so small like a snowcone when they would get her son one. Just other examples of what these people would do to this poor child.
We had enough of this! By the time Abigail was 12 years old, we had saved up enough money to fight for full custody and we won!! Yay!!!!! This child's life improved so much everyone saw it, she lost weight not to look great but, to be healthy. I remember cooking healthy meals, no soda pop or junk food. Three times she fainted because she was lacking all the junkfood, McDonalds, BurgerKing crap her mother would feed her. Her grades went from F's to Straight A's, She looked so healthy & beautiful well manered little girl. Of course I knew we were taking in a pre-teen but, she was always very respectful and loving with us. From the age of 12 - 18 her mom must've called her a handful of times basically just to gossip about her church people and tell her so and so was pregnant and just stupid things instead of asking her "how are you, do you need anything" You know things a normal mother would ask her child. She saw her a total of 2 times in 5 years. 1 time she passed through our town and saw her for 10-15 minutes the time it took to pump gas in her vehicle and she left after the 10 minutes and she never saw her again up until it was time for graduation. Abigail asked me if I would send her mom and invitiation in which we did. So she showed up for her high school graduation on May 30th of this year. We allowed her to get a phone and facebook so naturally she felt that tiny connection with her and added her to her fb. The mom had been brainwashing her since May telling her she would give her the life she wasn't able to give her, buy her things, clothes, etc.. let her have a bf and do whatever she wants to do. Abigail had confided in me right before she moved in w/us she was roaming around the apartments they lived in and she was making out with some little boys she would also skip school and do things that I never thought she would do. Her dad & I were a little strict because she was a young woman. We would let her go out with her friends but, she had to be home at 10-10:30 pm. One day I remember she left to the mall and left her computer open to fb, I read her msgs to her friends. To my utter shock this little girl who we thought wasn't like the rest of the kids was smoking weed letting people in our home late at night if we were at work and talking really dirty with badwords which is one thing I never did to her, I never yelled or cussed at her we were always very respectful. She was interested in 2 bf's that were horrible for her. One of them had family members in a mexican cartel gang related that we were not gonna let her get involved. The other was very jealous with her so she broke it off with him. After we found out about her sneaking people into our home we had a small argument about it, she because a real rebel talking bad to us, the choice of friends she had weren't helping either I'm sure they had a huge role play in this. She changed so much from the time she saw her mom in May to beginning of Aug when she decided to run away to go live with her. She left a letter saying "I guess this is it, goodbye thanks for everything"! (SIGH) I love this little girl with all my heart but, I just know that by her going back to her mom she's going to ruin her life, her career. She has only been there for 3 or 4 weeks and already has a bf (which is fine) she's 18 but, this guy is much older than her, he has no future goals, she's still a virgin (we talked alot about this) and it just scared me because I know what guys want. We wanted good things in life for her, college, a car, a clean boyfriend with future goals. Instead she flew the coop to go back to what we took her away from. Like I said before her mom never even showed intrest in her or called her or especially visit her. I know she wanted her FULL freedom and that's the reason she left. It just hurts us my husband has been really depressed about this. if we try to talk to her she's rude to us. She's playing victim. I told him just let her learn her own lessons and hopefully one day when she gets older she will realize that all we wanted were good positive things for her. Even though her mom gave birth to her doesnt make her a real mother in my opinion. I was the one involved in her life for 10 yrs, I wish I could post before and after pictures of her so ya'll can see the improvement. I feel so confused. What do you guys think? Has anyone been through a simliar situation???

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Thu, 08-30-2012 - 9:37pm

I have no BTDT advice as a parent.

I’ve seen good parents with rotten children, I’ve seen rotten parents with good children, and lots of in-between situations.  At some point the kid is responsible for their own choices.

Your words tell me that you and hubby love this girl and want the very best for her and this is hurting you both.  Hurting is what parents do when things are not going well and bad choices are being made.    

I think I would take the position that she has complete control over her life and when she needs help:  We will be here to help you pick up the pieces and rebuild your life.  We love you and always will love you.

FWIW, I was twenty-one before I somewhat wised up and realized that I was being a stupid $itch.  And I was one of the lucky ones because I began to realize it that early.  Once you go down that path it is a long way back. I never doubted my parent’s unquestioned and unqualified love.

Hope this ramble helps in some way