To be pi**ed off at feeling so excluded??(23 Posts)
A bit of background.. my parents split when i was 4, my mum remarried 3 years later, my dad got with someone else around the same time and although has'nt married is still with this woman, and im now 31.
This woman my supposedly "stepmother" ill call her K, has made me feel so excluded from the word go, her previous husband died years before she met my dad and has 3 kids of her own. Im never invited around at Christmas, if i do she "politely" puts my coat over my lap after half an hour of me being there to signal its time for me to leave, my birthday i share with my dad and we always go out for a few drinks/meal etc. i can tell she does'nt want to be there, Im hardly ever allowed to talk to my dad on my own and she maneuvers herself to be in the middle of us making it so she hears everything.
Ive only recently got my own house before then i lived with my stepdad still so my dad felt arkward visiting me there which i understood but never once did he invite me around to see him, or for tea etc. Our relationship has now been reduced to a phone call each week, Ive mentioned to him that when i move in my house i would give him a set of keys incase anything happens to mine (i actually did this as a gesture to let him know how much i think of him and trust him and want him to be able to feel he can come round whenever) K then rang me back and asked didnt i have a friend who lived closer so i didnt have to bother them asking for the keys to get in if the occassion should ever arise.
Ive now just had my weekly call off him and more and more i feel so depressed talking to him, he never answers me, just rather listens to me giving him an update, then i say have you been up to anything - No just working the usual, then i say ok ill let you go then as im sick of trying to make conversation with someone who doesnt want to know, Tonight though he mentioned they had gone out for a meal for K's daughter who was 40, i sent her a card and never even got a text to say thanks, ive invited her to every party ive had, sent her cards for b'days and xmas and nothing, so this just feels like a huge slap in the face. Im actually ready to give up with the lot of them. Ive never actually done anything apart from existing which i think she resents!
I get on with my stepdad really well and im glad i have him in my life as my mum can be very flakey and is not someone id go to for help and advice, i dont feel its fair to be made to feel like this by my own dad. He did come round a few months ago to help me decorate but even then it was in silence, he just never wants to talk to me for some reason....
Oh poor poor you. Your dad is under the sway of this horrid woman and I don't know that you can do anything.
Your dad sounds incredibly unhappy and maybe feels he has no one to talk to.
He is controlled by his wife and has been for years, so much so he is now conditioned that she does the talking for him because he has just let it be like this.
If I were you I would feel incredibly sorry for your dad.
Seems like he is very much under your stepmum's influence. He doesn't want to get too close to you because he knows he would be in trouble with her. I think some men can be quite lazy in this respect - they will just take the path that leads to a quiet life.
Doesn't excuse him not making an effort on the phone or when he was round decorating, but he probably doesn't want to find out too much about you because then you would become more "real" and he would start to feel guilty for ignoring you.
There probably isn't a lot you can do to change it - just keep the channels of communication open and fill our life with the company of other people. Do you have any aunts or uncles you could confide in?
What a horrible situation for you.
I would be inclined to pull away completely from them. I would rather have no relationship at all than be treated like shit.
And I'd let them know as much.
Concentrate on those people in your life who love and respect you and are interested in you. You didn't decide to bring this woman and her kids into your life - your dad did. You have tried your best. They sound like a total waste of space frankly and it is a shame your dad has shacked up with a grade A bitch.
Can you not initiate a conversation when you next see him to let him know how you feel?
It's fairly obvious K is jealous & does not want you to have a relationship & he's kowtowing to her for an easy life.
It seems he does want a relationship with you but is being somewhat cowardly & it may be that guilt is also inhibiting his ability to communicate honestly.
You don't have to launch into a huge spiel, just a nudge may open up a line of communication.
She sounds utterly vile - you have much more patience & grace than I would.
I feel so bad actually saying it out loud that im sick of my dad being so boring with me, Ive just had a call from my step-dad and havent stopped laughing all the way through even if it was to tell me some bad news about his arteries, thats the kind of relationship i want with my dad. I used to hate my stepdad with a passion (i saw him as the person who had split my mum and dad up, even though he wasnt at all, i said some awful things about him and now i dont know what id do without him) hes been there for me through everything.
I dont really see my dads side of the family, there only really an aunt who i used to call often but never got a call back so i gave up in the end, im friends with my 2 cousins on facebook but we dont really talk to each other on it, there all really pally with K and her Daughter, the 3 of them went to Australia a few years ago and they always take K up to visit my aunt with them. I have never been invited once. Its K im upset at, she really doesnt want me around at all, at 16 she put job adverts through my door in the house i shared with my mum, my mum went mad and stuck up for me that time but K could see no wrong in what she was doing....
I wish it was someone else writing this and me just giving some sort of advice, i really dont want this to be my life, Ive tried and tried before tonight i hadnt spoken to him in 3 weeks, in that time he never once tried to call, Tonight may have been the last time i spoke to my dad and i feel so crappy that i cant do anything else about it..
The hardest thing I have had to come to terms with as an adult is the realisation that my parents will never be exactly what I would want. I love them both, and am happier now I have stopped wishing for something that will not be. It's taken a long time though.
You sound like a lovely person who is trying really hard with your dad. He doesn't sound happy, but it may not be something he can change.
Vix, what a horrible situation.
I would want to kill the woman. I understand completely how you feel - almost as though she has won (& you can hear her cackling inwardly).
Maybe the best thing to do is be joyful you have a great relationship with your step-dad, don't persevere with the relationship with your father at the moment if he seems unable to give you anything. Let him, ultimately, come to you. He may not, or he may come to his senses as he grows older or she (fingers crossed) dies.
Read some classic fairy tales - wicked step-mothers rarely fare well in the end.....
Oh dear. I think I am related to some people who are heading down the same road as your father/stepmother. He has allowed his relationship with his children from his first marriage to slide to the point of almost non-existence as his second wife doesn't want them around. The rest of the family is fairly aghast about what is happening.
I hope his daughter isn't on this site in 20 years telling the same story.
Sorry things are so difficult, OP. I can't really think of anything else you can do except to keep making it clear you are there and open to a relationship if he wants one.
I think you need to tell your dad how upset you are, and how she has shut you out of his life. Think hard about how you want to say it.
What is the worst that can happen? If you are feeling like you want to withdraw from the relationship, then at least have your say first.
She is a cunt. Your dad is a pathetic piece of shit who, frankly, (in your shoes) I wouldnt piss on if he was on fire. Cut 'em both our of your life. You will be much happier.
She sounds dreadful. What would happen if you gave her a taste of her own medicine e.g. if she gives you your coat act surprised and say 'oh did you want me to put this somewhere? Is over the stairs ok?' or pick your Dad up to go to the pub and say 'I'd like to have some time with just Dad, you understand, don't you' and put yourself between her and her Dad. If she makes any comment just say 'I'm here to spend time with my Dad rather than you'. You have nothing to loose?
Why is everyone blaming K for this? She sounds like an horrific excuse for a human being, but it's the OP's dad at fault, here. It was and is incumbent on him to keep their relationship going and to tell his wife he will not be stopped from spending time with his daughter. Presumably, K doesn't keep him under lock and key? Or hypnotise him?
K will never change, OP, she has no interest in you, so has no vested interest in changing to accommodate your relationship. Your dad, on the other hand, should have a vested interest in your relationship with both him and K/his family. You need to tell your Dad he is hurting you and that he needs to change his behaviour if he wants any kind of relationship with you. If he is not prepared to do this, then I'm afraid you need to accept that he has no will to have anything other than a superficial relationship with you.
Thank your lucky stars for your step-dad. There are plenty of people out there (including me) who have no relationship at all with their parents. I'd kill to have someone love me like your stepdad clearly loves you. That says a lot about you as a person, that this man has come into your life and thinks you are so special that he treats you like his own biological daughter. That's one very good reason to feel good about yourself.
That last message really made me sob, thank you! I know your right, i know he can say no to her, although its more an urban legend tbh, but yes he is to blame.
Half of me wants to give up and feel better about myself away from the situation but half of me thinks why should i give up my dad, i came as a prize with him so don't try and separate us. i do like the idea of giving her a taste of her own medicine though, i will definitely try that 1 if i ever get the chance again, thank you all for helping me see its not me thats the problem, ts his whole situation he has gotten himself in with his rottweiler bodyguard xx
Wow that is so sad I haven't got any advise better than the lovely people that have posted here just wanted to acknowledge how horrible this must be for you I hope some resolution comes
I know exactly how you feel!
I don't have any real relationship with my father.
He and my mum divorced when I was very young, I vaguely remember seeing him until I was 5 or so. Next time I remember seeing him was when my mum pointed him out in a shop when I was about 12. He came to my 18th birthday party.
When DS was born 10 years ago I made contact and would travel to see him as I thought it would be better for DS to know his grandfather. He never came here.
Over the last 5-6 years we speak at christmas or birthdays on the phone. I last saw him at his mum's funeral a good few months ago.
His latest partner is very friendly and always seems happy to see me and DS or to chat etc
All I can think is he just doesn't care. He has 2 other daughters from his second relationship and one of them had a child a few years ago so my son and I are superfluous.
I don't bother making contact, he is just a person to me not family. If I think about it, like now typing this I am sad but hey I am worth more than this.
I don't have any advice but feel so for you and want to give you a big hug even if it is unmumsnetty.
I haven't spoken to my dad in over 2 years and he has never met my ds (his only gc). I was in a similar situation to you, evil bitch stepmother hated me from the start and he didn't care enough to stand up to her. If I didn't contact him we wouldn't speak at all and in the end I got sick of chasing him, the last time we spoke I'd just told him I was pg and I said that I wasn't going to call anymore if he wanted to speak to me he could make the effort. I'm still waiting for that phone call.
Its sad and sometimes I think I miss him but really theres not much to miss, just the idea of the relationship we should have had iyswim?
Ultimately its a choice between accepting your relationship as it is or stepping back and knowing you deserve better. He may come to his senses but tbh I wouldn't get my hopes up
I'm so sorry you are going through this
He needs to know exactly what he is doing to you so please tell him, at least you can say you did all you can then x
That sounds really horrible, tbh id have it out with them, doesnt seem like you will have anything to loose by giving them a piece of your mind
Cutelittlecatlover You have hit the nail on the head...i think its the idea of the relationship we could/should of had that i feel so incredibly sad about rather than how he has conducted himself. Im trying my hardest to let this image go and replace it with a new one of him just being a distant relative - even if it just allows me to detach emotionally would be a great help right now.
I just keep going over and over the things K has done/said to me... I went to university and straight from leaving school i was told to get a job by K more than my dad (he kept quiet). I didnt anyway, went to college then uni and had a problems, 1 of which me having to take a couple of years out to care for my mum who had cancer, so ended up repeating 2 years as i struggled and failed to pass they thought it best to repeat, K has never let me forget this though and takes every opportunity to rub it in my face that i was useless at uni and shouldn't of wasted my time, ive finished 3 years ago and have since set up my own dressmaking business, she doesnt see this as a real job though and will still tell me of other careers. When i told my dad about it he seemed genuinely pleased for me and said how good it was that id created my own job rather than relying on everyone else for work. I can just imagine her though at her family parties telling everyone how fab her niece the accountant is while im painted as a useless waster who couldnt pass uni first time round!
Your dad is allowing K to undermine you, though, OP. That's the point, he should be defending you and standing up for you and he is not. I'm assuming he has witnessed all the behaviours on K's part you describe so why does he sit back and do nothing? He clearly doesn't agree with K's opinion of you, so why doesn't he tell her to stop her abusive behaviour towards you?
One thing I found out when I started trying to figure out my parents is that, even if there is one abuser parent and one "good" parent, the "good" parent can be just as culpable in the abuse meted out by the bad one, because they enable it to happen. The good parent tells the child to forget it, not rock the boat, keep the peace etc. or they just sweep it under the carpet and treat it like it doesn't exist and you wonder whether you were dreaming it. Being told to not feel upset about abuse, or having it downgraded, is a second round of abuse, because your feelings are invalidated. The enabler is just as much of an abuser, just in a more subtle - and frankly more heartbreaking - way. Because they just sit back and let it happen. When a child's natural wish from their parent is for the parent to defend and protect them.
The standard advice on the Relationships board is to read Toxic Parents, by Susan Forward. I found it helped me to clarify my feelings about my father (the enabler) which were always confused (whereas my feelings for my mother, the abuser, were much more straightforward).
Its time for talking. I think your Dad needs telling what you have told us.
I dont think its too late with your Dad.
I do think its too late with K and her daughter though - I would cut those two right out of your life, right out, no more cards and invites for K's daughter for a start!
If you are able, get your Dad on his own again, maybe a DIY question to get him round to see you? Then sit him down and tell him you need to talk.
Write it all out and read it to him.
In the conclusion of your statement you can say, "Dad, our relationship needs to get back on track. To do this we have to see one another without K as she has rejected me time and time again and I am finished with that. I would like to see you for lunch/a walk/a sporting event/the pub/ once a month and we can get to know one another again"
Maybe your Dad is a quiet man, and not one for talking, he might not be an outgoing type and thats why he is bad on the phone? I say give your Dad another chance after you have told him what you have told us, and then if he cant keep to your plan then you will know what to do next.
You sound great VIX, I totally admire your courage in everything you have gone through. I have been very touched by your problem I really hope it works out for you and your Dad. I am very impressed by your dressmaking buisness, I would love a good dressmaker!
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