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Support thread for stepchildren

(162 Posts)
flippinada Tue 08-Mar-16 22:11:13

A place for step children, young and not so young to chat about our experiences, let off steam, and offer/give support.

mycatsloveeachother Tue 08-Mar-16 22:11:57


In some ways this is fraudulent as I'm no longer a stepchild, but subbing as I was with you on the thread that led to this one.

flippinada Tue 08-Mar-16 22:19:37

Good to see you mycats

I'm actually a stepchild twice over - both my parents remarried. I'm lucky to have a good relationship with my DM and SD but it's a very different story the other way round - and I know I'm not the only one. It's a real source of sadness.

OTheHugeManatee Tue 08-Mar-16 22:24:08

Checking in. NFI to my dad's wedding aged 21 and it's been downhill ever since sad

Marilynsbigsister Tue 08-Mar-16 22:28:12

I'm a step daughter AND a step mother. Am I allowed in the club ?

flippinada Tue 08-Mar-16 22:31:00

Just adding things as I think of them - one thing that struck me on the other thread, when people were talking about their own experiences is that there seem to be the same kind of thing happening, like - "surprise" weddings, taking on ready made "new" family while ignoring your existing one, being treated almost like an OW by the step - parent and unpleasant behaviour by step parent being tolerated /colluded with /ignored for an easy life.

If I've missed anything, let me know.

flippinada Tue 08-Mar-16 22:32:08

Of course Marilyns.

FaFoutis Tue 08-Mar-16 22:34:54

Stepchild with two hideous step parents here.

flippinada Tue 08-Mar-16 22:35:32

Manatee same here. My Dad's wedding took place when I was a kid - nearly 30 years ago now.

mycatsloveeachother Tue 08-Mar-16 22:36:09

Being invisible.

When my dad lived with his partner, there were photos of her son all over the house (which they jointly owned by the way) and not one of me or my brother.

flippinada Tue 08-Mar-16 22:38:12

Thanks for posting Fa. I'm really sorry to hear that. I at least got some respite because I only saw my D and SM at weekends. If you don't /didn't have that it must be really tough.

flippinada Tue 08-Mar-16 22:44:40

Yes, invisibility. It's as if they are literally trying to erase you sad

I've remembered another feature (which I think I've posted about before). We swapped Christmases, one year with mum and one with Dad. At Dads we would have to watch step sibs open piles of lovely, thoughtful gifts while we were given pound shop tat. And having to plaster on a smile otherwise we were ungrateful and spoilt.

ShutYerCakeHole Tue 08-Mar-16 22:57:21

Thanks so much for this thread, so well timed for me as I've nearly started one myself many times lately and chickened out!

Awful SM.
Sadly also an awful ex-SD who at least is out of the picture, although I'm still dealing with the fallout 2 decades later!

SM banished me from her life for a long time, but in the last few years I've had contact with her again ...and we have all behaved like nothing ever happened.

Now I have 1yo DS, she's suddenly up to her old tricks again, and I'm also feeling so much more hurt and angry now I'm a parent myself.

ShutYerCakeHole Tue 08-Mar-16 23:02:58

Manatee that must have really hurt sad
ada it is unbelievable that any parent could sit by and allow that. I dunno, I think they're so in denial that anything goes

Kingfisherfree Wed 09-Mar-16 00:49:38

Checking in Flippinada. Thank you for this thread.

SM no 1 - after my DM died went to live with DF, yy to huge piles of presents for DSC not allowed to say anything about the inequality as would appear greedy.

Yy to sleeping on floor whilst DSD had her own bedroom.

School skiing trips ect for DSC none for me ...I could go on.
It really was a modern day Cinderalla story.

Yes to school photos of DSC none of me.

There really does seem to be a distinct pattern of abuse.

I have really struggled with confidence all my life.

Again sorry and flowers to everyone on this thread.

OTheHugeManatee Wed 09-Mar-16 07:02:49

CakeHole It didn't just hurt. It prompted the first time she went batshit at me. Apparently I wasn't sufficiently pleased for them and the fact that I hadn't asked to see the photos of the wedding she had with my father, that they hadn't invited me to meant I was a hateful person who just wanted them to split up confused

Sadly that was the first of many of my 'offences'. Others have included speaking to her, not speaking to her, phoning my dad, not phoning my dad and sometimes things I did several years previously when she hasn't seen me recently enough to have something new to hang her hatred from.

Roseberrry Wed 09-Mar-16 07:09:34

Where is the other thread?
My SM was a fucking nightmare when I was young but now that I'm older she's easier to deal with. I think her problem was not wanting to share my dad, at all, not even with a 12 year old who only saw her dad twice a month. Thank god they didn't have any children together!

Now that I'm an adult and don't need him we get along ok. She still pisses me off but it's easier to bite your tongue these days.

flippinada Wed 09-Mar-16 07:17:20

sad Kingfisher

Me and my sib went to stay with SM for a time when our Mum was very ill (she recovered eventually and we went home).

She was OK to start with but turned on us pretty quickly.

Mine used to tell me regularly I was useless, stupid, lazy etc.

I've blocked a lot of it out but as a young teen and child I was terrified of her and she made mine and my sibs life a misery.

mycatsloveeachother Wed 09-Mar-16 07:20:04

For those of you who's mothers are still alive, how have they reacted to it?

My mother's family were just completely shocked, but respected my dad so didn't say anything for years. As a result it made me think the way I'd been treated was normal.

flippinada Wed 09-Mar-16 07:20:54

Shut I know. Being a parent myself I can't imagine allowing anyone to treat my DC like that. Yet my Dad turned a blind eye because it suited him to do so.

austengirl Wed 09-Mar-16 07:23:08

Both parents remarried when I was 11-12. SD was someone DM had known for years and while we didn't have a great relationship initially, we're quite close now.

DF decided to spring the news of his surprise wedding to SM on my sister and I the day after we met her for the first time. The shock of it has never fully left me and years later I told him this was not the way he should have given us the news. He seemed surprised but apologised. Anyway, SM proceeded to ignore us for most of the next decade except when kicking off if he came to see us at Christmas or spent time with us during school holidays (one week DS and I spent at their house the atmosphere was so horrendous we never spent another day in her company until we were adults). No photos of DS and I at home -- perhaps he was only allowed to keep them at work. All apparently because DF wouldn't have children with her (she has a son from a previous relationship). I've seen her speak to DF like a toddler and he's spoken of her in unflattering terms (only when she's not around of course).

While SM has improved somewhat over time, she still has a host of personal problems and often seems a deeply anxious and unhappy woman. My sister hates her and has been NC with DF in the past due to her. I feel sorry for my dad that he'd rather be in an unfulfilling marriage than be alone but also angry with him for sacrificing the relationships with his children. He still hasn't met his new grandson (due to illness and distance, to be fair) and is probably going to be the grandparent my son knows the least. Which also makes me sad.

flowers for everyone here. It's sad but also a relief to know my experience isn't an isolated one.

mycatsloveeachother Wed 09-Mar-16 07:23:43

I said this on the other thread, but I think it's because men prioritise their relationship, while women prioritise the children. I know there are numerous exceptions but honestly my mums grave was still freshly dug practically when my dad found a new woman!

Roseberrry Wed 09-Mar-16 07:25:43

mycat same in my family, everyone just accepted it and never challenged her behaviour or my dad for allowing it.

What could you actually do about it though? If it was my child with a SM like that I'd be furious but I'm unsure what you could do about it apart from support your dc.

mycatsloveeachother Wed 09-Mar-16 07:29:19

I know - it's so hard. It's really put me off having children, and I would like a child but I just can't put that trust into another person.

flippinada Wed 09-Mar-16 07:32:18

mycat I've talked to my mum about it a lot. She asked me once why I kept in contact with them. I have to admit, I don't actually know the answer to that one to be honest. I'm very low contact with my Dad and SM and that suits me fine.

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