I think my step-daughter has anxiety and depression: Advice?

My husband and I are dealing with a situation with my stepdaughter. She is 12, and we believe she has depression and anxiety. She has a history of cutting herself. When she was a few months old, her biological mom walked out on her and my husband suddenly. Recently the biological mom got in touch with my husband because she would like to meet my stepdaughter and get to know her. We are leaving it up to my stepdaughter. However, some other information came to light from the biological mom. A friend of the biological mom dated my husband after the biological mom walked out, and this woman is now known by my stepdaughter as “mom.” We found out that the “mom” actually pushed the biological mom out of the picture by lying to her about my husband. Then when the biological mom tried to come back into the image to be a mom to my stepdaughter, the “mom” told her no telling the biological mom that my husband would take my stepdaughter away from her and that he didn’t want her to be around him or my stepdaughter. This was not true at all. All my husband has ever wanted was for the biological mom to step up and be a parent to their daughter. He assumed she didn’t want to because the “mom” never told him the biological mom was trying to come back. My stepdaughter is 12, and she has put the “mom” on a pedestal, and according to her, the “mom” can do no wrong. We have no idea how to handle this situation. My husband has full custody of my stepdaughter. The biological mom had her rights taken away when my stepdaughter was little, and the “mom” has never had rights to her. My husband feels that the “mom” has manipulated everyone, including my stepdaughter, and he feels that my stepdaughter deserves better than to have someone around who is willing to manipulate everyone to get what they want. The hard part is that with my stepdaughter putting the “mom” on a pedestal, we know that she will not handle this well, and she will see us as the bad guys, but he feels it’s what is best for her. We need some advice on how to handle this, and please, no rude comments. We are doing our best to do what’s right here and protect an innocent child.

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The whole family needs counseling. Seriously.

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Get her and you guys into counseling and family counseling to help with the situation.

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Try planning lots of fun things to do after school and weekends. Zoo’s, Museums, travel, the parks, lakes, hikes. Ask her straight out what she would like to do and give her advice if she wants to take it. Help her out weigh her options.

I’m not sure if a twelve year old is mature enough to handle this situation by choice. I definitely would look into counseling.

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How often does “mom” see her? Has this information that came to light been discussed with “mom”? If she has no rights, He should put her in her place and still leave this up to the stepdaughter. She should not be put in a situation where “mom” can taint her anymore that she apparently already has and poison the well even more against her biological mom.

If she isn’t ready or is never ready, then that should be up to her. But “mom” needs to start stepping back. Or you need to start stepping back from her.

Counseling for baby girl should be the first thing done.

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This was very confusing to read

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Huh?? Therapists all around.

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First step, she needs counseling; entire family may benefit from some family counseling as well down the road; as hard as it may be, do not speak bad about ‘mom’… maybe slowly introduce ‘bio mom’ into the picture (if counselor agrees)… maybe have her over for dinner? Family game nights eventually… to get them to know each other… don’t push. Don’t rush. Will need to be slow and steady… assuming she’s open to it… ‘mom’ needs to be phased out of the picture IMO… at least all supervised so she can no longer fill the young girls head with lies…

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This was really hard to understand. So you’re stepmom, currently married to dad, theres another stepmom she calls mom, then her mom who left when she was a baby? I’m so lost. How did other step mom make mom leave? Why didnt mom ever contact dad? This is just an odd situation

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If your husband only dated the “mom,” how is she has stayed around, and, is still around? Its a mess. Your husband allowed a woman, kinda nutty, to be around his daughter after her biological mother abandoned her. She attached to “mom,” because her Dad did not set clear oundaries. So your daughter is aytavhed to a manipulator and is rejecting her biological mother out of anger and confusion. She needs therapy, and eill for wuite some time, but the adults all need to be in individual therepy to strsogjten out the mess they have created. Do not tske the daughtet into family therapy until the adults have all rdtablished transpsrent and healthy boundsries. Good luck.

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Do what’s right no matter how hard it is. Go to family counseling and individual counseling. “Mom” needs to go and her mother needs to step up and be there. If any of what you heard is true, you can’t ever tell these days. I’m sorry but no one is going to force me out of my child’s life without taking a bullet to the head, I don’t believe you are getting the truth from bio mom.

Sorry for all the electronic typos.

Cut the fake mom out of the picture. Because really she is and should be nothing to her. :woman_shrugging:t3:
But SD probably needs to see someone due to clearly what this fakemommy did to her.

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I cant understand this so what chance does a 12 year old have of understanding.

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I’m sorry, how does the biological mother allow some “friend” to push her out of her own child’s life. Cut her out of the picture bc she’s obviously toxic, she’s nothing to the child and has no legal rights. The child needs therapy ASAP, actually the whole family needs therapy.

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Someone needs to edit these questions. How bizarre. Father needs to do what’s right because he really dropped the ball.

Find a good therapist, all of this is alot I can only imagine what kind of s+^× is going through your 12yrs daughter head. As for “mom” all contact should be cut off (block her on all social media, email, text & phone calls). Slowly introduce bio mom. Like dad sets up an accidental bump in (mall, library, coffee shop) just an introduction if it isn’t completely awkward maybe a short conversation. Let daughter process it, talk it over with her therapist & be open for her to come to either of you. If she wants to see bio again great if not she can contact her when she is ready.

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I don’t think any if us on here are qualified to give you any advice, unless one is a child psychologist. This is a sticky situation. Definitely see someone to advise you. Good luck.

Sorry she’s 12. She shouldn’t be left to make these types of decisions. That’s too much for an adult to handle. Get her into to counseling now. Mom walked out to begin with she doesn’t get the right to have that relationship. But that’s just my opinion

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