First off, the child NEEDS to see a psychologist. She is a minor and you can force her to go. If she will not go willingly, you may have to have her commited to a place like Holly Hill. She has expressed threats of bodily harm, has had fits of violence, and hurt others. This alone can bring criminal charges. I know you don’t want to put that on her, so this may be a way of helping her without giving her a record. If this anger erupts on one of the other children or adults in her life (siblings, classmates, teachers, etc) she may be charged crimminaly and you may be held liable monetarily for damages. If she is sleeping with the stepfather, this is inapprpriate, be it innocent or not. She is too old to have this action, even if she were his biological child. If I remember correctly, there is little communication between the two families; has this improved? Can you now talk to the step-father about the situation with her anger? If you cannot communicate about the behavior, do you really feel secure in sending the children over there? Then taking into account the alleged behavior of the stepfather/minor, a line of communication is vital. The other daughter may be mistaken or maliciously trying to get her sister in trouble, so the allegations should be investigated before accusations are made. In either case, the verified actions of the 14yo are cause to seek help. Do not delay. At 14, the girl’s personality is pretty much set, she will never be meek, but if she and you find a way to get through her anger, you may be able to protect her from self distruction. A 14yo girl has so many paths in front of her, drugs, promiscuity, crime, pregnancy… these can all disrupt her future. But there is also hope. She may not have the tools to identify why she is angry ( death of her momma, disruption in her home life, the possible abuse, anger at you for being married to her daddy, anger at being alive while her momma is dead). I am sorry for the long post, but I have seen to many girls take the wrong path and the results of those choices.
In the area that I live in, the hospital that I work at, the psychiatric section is separate from the rest of the hospital. There is an entire unit there for youths. I would say ages 7-18. They go to school, they have group therapies and one on one therapy with a psychologist. They are admitted for many different reasons, attempted suicide, anger issues, depression, “behavioral issues”, abuse. They are admitted involuntarily.
I suggest that you check around and get her into a program someplace where she can be counseled and looked after immediately. She needs to get this under control and quick before she really hurts herself or someone else.
If there are suggestions of inappropriate behavior or sexual abuse by the stepfather then all visitations must stop! Don’t be afraid to make a big deal out of this. It may be nothing and if so you can apologize later but until you seek professional help for her and get to the truth, it is your job as her parents/stepparent to take care of her and protect her.
I hope things calm down for you guys soon…I realize it’s been tough but we’re all pulling for you.
It sounds to me like the help your step daughter needs is in the mental health area. Have you considered taking her to see a psychologist or other mental health professional?
Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm
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Well, we got an appointment for Friday with a THERAPIST. We called every number in the phone book for psychiatrists, psychologists, etc-explaining the situation. NOT ONE of them could fit her in for another 3 weeks, and we can’t wait that long. 2 of them told me to file charges against her for assault and have her brought before the courts who would then send her to a court appointed psychologist–but my husband doesn’t want to bring the police in on the situation. They also told me that if she told me she was going to kill someone or herself ever again, I should call them and they would file the appropriate paperwork to have her hospitalized for her own safety. Of course, my husband isn’t happy about that. So, we got a therapist. We’ve already talked to her and based on the situation, she has her doubts that she can deal with it and has already said that she can “diagnose, but not medicate”, so she may just be referring us on to someone else—which may mean still mean it may be 3 or 4 weeks before she can see someone who can truly help. Thanks for your reply.
I’m so sorry to hear about this situation, especially after everything your family has already been through. One of the most important things right now is for her to know that you two are there for her. If it comes to having her committed to a facility then that may be necessary, don’t discount it because it sounds harsh. Sometimes that is what it takes. You are doing this because you love her though and want her healthy and happy.
Her mother’s death is probably the real issue. When did she begin sleeping in the stepfather’s room? Is she trying to take her mother’s place? Possibly that while her mother was sick, she was the “woman” of the house and now that she’s with her father and you, she feels she has no place. She doesn’t want to go back to being a kid and she has to compete with you for her father’s attention. It’s not surprising that your stepdaughter has anger issues. She’s 14, emotional even without all the drama that has gone on.
Is she talking with you two at all?
It may be that there should be some family counseling even after you get this situation under control.
I will keep you in my thoughts and please keep us posted.
Medication may not even be needed. With all that is going on in her life, I doubt there is a chemical reason for her anger. She has had a tramatic six months to a year. She may just need to get her own thoughts in order and learn how to channel her anger in an appropriate way. There really isn’t anything you can do about her feeling angry. It is a natural emotion that you can’t “stop” feeling. Maybe with guidance you can help with giving her less distructive, even positive outlets for her anger. From the posts, I think you two are going about this the right way. A criminal history, even as a juvinille, can haunt her for the rest of her life.
Trbotina makes an excellent point about the medication and the “criminal” record. Calling the police on a 15 year old that steals your car for the third time because you wouldn’t take them somewhere is different to me than a 14 year old who has had a parent pass away and is “striking out” at the world.
I had trouble dealing with all the emotions I had as a teenager and I didn’t have something this traumatic to deal with.
If it’s possible, keep a close eye on her until you get her in to speak to someone so that she doesn’t hurt herself. If this therapist is already doubting her ability to deal with the situation, then maybe a referral isn’t such a bad thing. There are therapists who specialize in child and teen therapy and others that specialize in grief counseling. What’s important is to get her the help that you know she needs, regardless of whether or not she wants it.
if this is can be answered her or not, but here goes. I’ve posted in the past. My two SDs mother passed on July 20. Since then, we have had custody. It’s rough, obviously. The 14 y/o is not adjust well…she turns all her emotions to anger-uncontrollable anger. She has attacked her dad before, but it was a “minor” scuffle in which she merely slapped and then kicked him. Considering what was going on, we let it pass. Last night, however, she attacked again. She managed to bust my nose, leave a nasty bruise on my arm from kicking and she dug her nails into the skin of my face and left 5 nasty scars. (We did take pics of all this) She also scratched and hit her dad, who tried to intervene. I’ve never seen someone so uncontrollably angry. She was like a rabid animal. It took my husband and I both to hold her down. She refuses help, doesn’t want to talk to us, refuses to go to a therapist, but admits that if she can’t stop herself, she will “murder someone” She said she just feels like killing someone, whether it be someone else or herself. I hate to admit that here, but I’m at my wits end. We don’t know what to do. There are 4 other kids in the house and I can’t have her hurting them. What can/should be done in a case like this? On another note, we are also now questioning her relationship with her SF. Since they have a brother there, we have allowed the girls visitation during the week and every other weekend. I told my husband that something seemed a little weird. The SF is spending a lot of time with the 14 y/o–it may be nothing, but then again, I don’t know. It made it worse that the 10 y/o just informed her dad/my husband that her 14 y/o sister has been SLEEPING WITH the stepfather. I’m sorry, I don’t think that’s right. We have a lot to deal with and I need advise on what avenue to take.