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Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: 12 year old stepson stealing womens intimate items


 whoanelly - Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:30 pm

Hello

I'm really hoping someone can help me with a situation that has recently popped up. I have a 12 year old stepson. He does not live with us, but he comes every other weekend. He lives with his Mother. About 2 months ago, I discovered that my vibrator was missing. I searched all over the house and just could not find it. Now about 2 months have passed and I still have not found it. About a week ago, 2 of my bras went missing. Again, I tore the house apart and just could not find them.
I mentioned it to a friend and she asked me if I looked in my stepson's room. I was a little surprised at the suggestion and acknowledged that I did not look there. 2 nights ago, I went in there after my 6 year old daughter was sleeping to search his room in private. I did not find the other items, but I did find a pair of my underwear under his bed! I was incredibly horrified and embarrassed to discover this!
I told my husband about it and he said he would call his ex the next day and see if my bras were at her house. Turns out that they were, along with other intimate items of her sister's and hers as well!! When she sent the stuff back here, he not only had my 2 bras and the vibrator (how embarrassing!), but he also had a slip and 5 more pairs of my underwear!!!
The birth mother also mentioned to my husband that her brother wears women's clothes in private.
I am very uncomfortable with this situation. I feel very embarrassed and violated. I can't "act" normal around my stepson. It all feels very creepy! I realize that I am not blood related, but I have been in his life since he was 2 years old, so it feels very incestuous or something.
Is this type of behavior normal? What does this mean? Does he have a problem? Should I be worried about him being around my 6 year old daughter?
I am so sorry that this is so long winded, but I'm sure you can imagine my horror! How do I get over this situation? What should we do?
 Tim W Latsko - Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:19 pm

Your stepson's actions/behaviors can not be characterized as "normal", despite some perspectives not to be concerned. His behavior may suggest simple fascination with women's intimates; however this can only be ruled out by a clinician skilled in treating sexdual disorders.

Your concern regarding your 6-year old daughter is just, clear boundaries musst be defined for him regarding her. As well, she should be informed not to let any touch her privates unless it is a doctors with you or her father present.

Your concern will diminish with your stepson's evaluation by a skilled clinician and you may wish to consult with a professional to process your concerns in person.

keep up posted////tim
 whoanelly - Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:46 pm

Thank you for your response. Is this very rare then? I have taken your advice and had "the talk" with my daughter. I made it more about people in general, as I didn't want to single out her brother and make her fearful of him specifically. Was that the right thing to do? Geez...what a mess!
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:58 pm

Hello Whoanelly,

Your stepson's behavior is unusual, but may not be abnormal. There is a strong developmental aspect to his activities. He is at the age that many children of both sexes become aware of their sexuality and experiment in different ways. It is not unusual for a boy to use women's underwear as stimulation, but it is not usual for the person to "steal" the items; they know they are likely to be caught. It's good that you have talked with your daughter, but has anyone had a discussion with your stepson regarding sex and appropriate expression of his urges? If not, it is overdue. There are many books available for adolescents that give such information in non-threatening ways. It's important that while his activities must be appropriately expressed, he is not shamed or informed that sex itself is bad. You must monitor the situation, but using the items you describe does not automatically mean that your stepson is deviant or that he will definitely experiment with your daughter. Ideally, your husband would purchase a book or books that he finds appropriate, and then have the discussion with his son, stressing that he can talk with his father about sex whenever he needs to.

I wish you luck with your situation.

Faye L., RN, MSW

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