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To make a long story short, I have a teenager in the autistic spectrum, pervasive developmental disorder, to be exact. She is also mentally retarded and has psychotic disorder, nos. Years ago we had to have her placed residentially because she was a danger to herself and others. She will live in a group home for the rest of her life. I've made my peace with it a long time ago.

Fast forward to now. I have six other children. My oldest is almost 20. Then there are a 12 year old and a 10 year old. My three youngest are 5,4 and 18 months. Recently, the 12 year old decided to go live with her father since she doesn't get along with her stepdad. I am now living with my husband and three youngest children.

What kind of mother am I to let my two girls go? I feel horrible and I miss them so much. I basically feel like I chose my husband over my kids. Maybe I should have kicked him out instead.

I can't stop crying, and it's definitely kicking me into a depression. I just want to die. I won't kill myself but I wish I could. I want to make the pain go away.

It was hard enough getting used to Rachel having a disability and having to send her to live elsewhere. Now I have to get used to two of my other girls living somewhere else. I don't think I can take this. I really, reallly want to end this pain but I don't know how. I am having a stupid beer right now at noon just because it is the only thing that dulls the pain. I know I shouldn't but I don't know what else to do.

Thanks for listening...I feel like such a whiner.


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I don't think you did anything wrong. If the oldest was a danger to herself and others, and you're not in a position to constantly keep her from getting into trouble, then it's not wrong for you to put her in a position where said help is available.

And really, I don't think your daughter moving in with her father is so bad. You married him, so he must have some redeeming features, and he IS her father. Perhaps she'll decide to come back to you at a later time, when she's more mature and better able to deal with stepdad. You didn't mention what the problem was, but 12 year old girl, man who isn't biologically related, what needs to happen ;)

Either way, I think you're not in a good position to seriously think about these things, if you're falling into a depression. It's so easy to see everything so badly when you're down, that you begin to mistake it for reality. Focus on feeling better, know that you're not half as bad as you believe you are.

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I don't think you've done anything wrong, either. Your daughters weren't thriving where they were, so you put them in an environment where they can. If it turns out that living with Dad isn't the best place for your 12 year old, she can move back. You're a good mom to give them the opportunity to get what they need, and not just what makes you feel comfortable.

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Here's an interesting story:

I was 11 years old, of course with BP1 and PTSD. I was living with my father because I had been physically abused by my mother and sexually abused by her live-in boyfriend. My stepmother was jealous of my good relationship with my dad, and was always punishing me for things she claimed I did that I really didn't do. My dad was too hung up on self-medicating (drugs) and on her that he let her rule him.

It so happened that one day I wrote in my journal that she (stepmom) was a bitch.

She was reading my private thoughts, my journal, and decided that she had to kick me out of the house. I was 11 and kicked out. I had to live with/take care of my grandparents because of her.

SO: it depends on why she wasn't getting along with your husband. Are her reasons valid, or is she just being a willful teen? I mean, I got the real shaft. My father chose my stepmother over me. It took years to repair that relationship once he got clean. Even the day before his suicide, we were still talking about it.

FAST FORWARD: I was "allowed" to go "home" to my dad's. So I did (stupid girl). I wrote in my journal all the depressive/mixed episode emotions I was feeling. There was some dark stuff. My stepbitch took my journal to the minister of my church (at that time I was Christian and have become Wiccan). I actually got kicked out of my church for my bipolar disorder, and she (stepbitch) made me go live with my g'rents again. Still, more years between me and dad.

If there is anyone in this world I hate, it is her. I'm not a teen going on some random emotional whim, I'm an adult with a long history with this woman.

So think carefully just what is going on and why she is gone. Really look to see what is going on, and don't let your daughter be abused like I was.


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I feel for you. I am so sorry you had to go through what you went through. No one deserves any of that.

With Heather, the 12 year old, she has had problems with her step dad. The got into a shouting match and she punched him in the sternum.. He reatected by pushing her away. She ended up flying across the room and falling down. There have been other more minor incidence since then. She insists that she will never live with him again. Katie, the 10 year old, went with her to their dad's house.

Theiri dad, my ex, has been known to be verbally abusive and have anger issues. I don't think he will abuse them, but I am not comfortable either. I am basically not comfortable with any of it, either way.

I feel a little better now. I ate something and that always helps. And I talked to ex and he was understanding. I will have them every Wednesday night and on the weekends. So it's not like I won't see them.

It just triggers me because my mother left when I was six. My parent's got divorced and she was threatened by my grandparents, so I ended up staying with them.. I had a really good relationship with them, especially Grampa, but it wasn't my mother. So I guess I am extra sensitve tp mother issues.

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Sometimes, you can't make the best decision--you have to make the least worse decision. I've been there with my son--he had to live with his dad, cause I was working nights , no one to watch him--no choice. His dad is basically 14 years old mentally, and they had a blast--but they lived in a trailer with no utilities, no water, and he never learned all the life skills that you should learn at around 12-14 years old.

But I had no choice. Guilty? Yes, which turned me into the enabler of the world with this child as he became an adult. I took an ADD Bipolar kid with no survival skills, and further enabled him to live off/use/con other people for a living. Great mom, huh? I didn't even know he was Bipolar or ADD.

Bottom line--he is 27, and he has turned himself around. I still deal with guilt but I'm making it.

Honey, cut yourself some slack--be very alert, as Loon said--watch and listen, and most of all, be open for your kids to talk to you, and BELIEVE them, incase something. some abuse is happening. But don't spend all your energy on guilt, or what might have been. You sound like a wonderful caring mom--your first child has issues that you could not give her the care she needed. Sometimes the best care is knowing it can't be us who povides that care.

You can do what needs to be done--take things in baby steps, don't globalize your shit--it will completely overcome you.

I know you'll be OK--and we're here==

love, china

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The daughter and stepdad thing can be tricky. I know a three kid family where two of the kids really got to like their stepdad, who apparently was a very pleasant person. (I would have liked to know him, as he is described glowingly, but he has Alzheimer's now.) The other kid, a daughter, is a real drama queen and to this day resents him. However, she is successful in her career, especially lately, has a pretty nice daughter, and maybe she's even happy on occasion. (Not to mention being more athletic than any other 50 year old I know. I believe she can do chin ups.)

Sounds like you are doing what you can to stay in close touch with your daughters. If they know you care about them, that counts for a lot. You sound like you are far from the worst mother in the world.

The above is from someone who instinctively sides with kids.

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Maybe one will come back. Maybe both. Give it time for the honeymoon period to be over with. They might realize they miss being in your home with you. The novelty of being with their Dad might wear off. Don't feel guilty. Be open to their feelings and concerns. Tell the one that you can understand her anger at her step Dad (if you do). That you know she should not have been thrown away from him physically in a fight... try to empathize with her.

Loss is difficult. They are your children. I know you miss them. At first it is very difficult to adjust with them not being there all the time. I hope things change back in your favor.

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