The last straw...
My head is pounding as I write this. I'm not sure if it's the dismay talking, or the utter anger and disappointment that I'm feeling. For anyone that has stumbled across the few things that I've written here or any of the replies to others, but my situation is like many of the souls that frequent these pages. While I’m not married, I have been with my SO for not quite four years. The last 18 months or so have been not great and today, I think that final straw has dropped.
The biggest source of angst here (there are others but incrementally less so) is the behavior of SS9. He is hard. Very hard. I’ve been struggling with his behavior for months and months, but in the last nine weeks during the COVID lockdown, I’ve added to my daily fulltime job and majority domestic tasks, the role of being his instructor for homeschooling. My SO is in Social Work and is constantly on the phone, or Zoom meetings and his BD is an ‘essential’ construction worker, so little help during the day. My SO works with SD5 because she has an IEP and mild spectrum autism, and her BA in Early Childhood Ed leaves her better equipped for that role. We tried to split up tasks as evenly as possible, but in all honesty, I feel like I got the short end of the stick by default.
Instructing this child is a daily battle over virtually every assignment. He screams, yells and throws a fit over literally every assignment, especially if it requires effort. Nothing that comes out of my mouth is met with a calm, unargued response. Today was the end for me. In between assignments, I hopped onto his iPad (purchased by BD for remote learning and used on Xfinity internet that I supply) to find a couple pages for his upcoming task. I opened Safari and typed ‘P’ into the search bar only to have it auto-fill with PornHub… At first, I thought that I was hallucinating. Then followed up by doing the math about when the device was back at BD’s house, only to arrive at the fact that it could only have been him. Searching through the History, I found that Monday afternoon, he had been searching for Porn and then watching over thirty pages of hardcore porn. To say that I was dumbfounded would be an understatement, followed by angry with myself because I didn’t check the permissions on the device, as I didn’t buy it.
After her Zoom meeting, I pulled SO aside and said, “We have a problem.”, walking her through the process of how it was discovered and the browser history. Her response floored me, “I can’t wrap my head around this. Can you talk to him because I don’t even know where to start and if (BD) does it, it will be horrible (BD has a short fuse and a temper at times).” – Really? You want me to tackle this?
I decided to take SS for a ride and during the drive discuss what had been searched for, where he learned about it, why he was searching for it, and then why, after realizing what it was, continued to do it. His claim was that he heard the term on a YouTube video. As a side note to this, I objected to YouTube months ago, and argued in favor of the kid's version, but was overruled in the end. The conversation was clear and firm, that it was unacceptable. I made it clear that he had really screwed up, especially in continuing to watch when he knew it wasn’t what he should be looking for (not to mention that I’m not completely buying that he heard about it on a YT video). I also made it abundantly clear that videos like that didn’t represent real life, real women, how a woman should be treated, nor how a real woman would act, and finally nailing down my biggest point: he is nine damn years old.
When we got back, we sat down with my SO and declares that his iPad and Xbox are gone indefinitely, among other stuff and that we are going to ‘handle this internally and not tell his BD’ – What, I never agreed to that!! He proceeds to throw a fit and asks why he is losing stuff then he proceeds to declare that because we didn’t say that the television was gone, that he would still have that. The only color I could see at that point was red but took a deep breath and just walked away. Even this morning, he yelled at me, arguing that he could have his Xbox today, because ‘Mom only said yesterday.”
At the moment of this writing, there has been no apology given, no acknowledgment, and no remorse. The only response that I’ve been met with how unfairly that he’s been treated.
This is the final straw. I can’t seem to rationalize an objective reason to stay. I’m angry with him, and my SO. Clearly, I’m only here for the heavy lifting and doing the work that no one else wants to do; to have the hard conversations, but no have a say on tactics and outcome. Last night, after they left for BDs, I tried to have a conversation with SO about the whole situation and was met with the 'nothing to see here, glass half full, not a big deal' response. “It isn’t going to be the last time that he does something wrong.”, she said.
I’m concerned about the boy. His inability to admit his mistakes, to no be able to stop constantly blaming others over his mistakes or be accountable scares the hell out of me. Furthermore, to not express any feelings of guilt, regret, or to apologize, but instead lash out about how unfairly and unequally he is treated, screams of a bigger issue. And for my SO to not see what we are dealing with, when it’s happening right in front of her, leaves me feeling sad, frustrated, and alone.