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not such a big deal

(15 Posts)
isithometimeyet Fri 09-Sep-11 11:08:40

This isn't such a big deal when I think about what some of my friends and loved ones have to deal with, but I'm finding it hard to come to terms with, and would be grateful if anyone else who's been there too can offer some views.

After trying for a long time, I've had to admit to myself that things between me and my SD will never be good.

She's not a bad kid. She's just very, very angry - at her Mum and Dad (though she would never see it), but most of all at me. I wasn't involved in the break up but that doesn't make any difference. I can't ever break through that barrier.

I'm not able to have children myself, so it hurts more, but that's not her problem. It looks fine on the surface but it's really not.

Her Dad tells me she's just a teenager and every teenager hates their parents from time to time. I get that, but I am aware of deeper things.

There is loads of great advice on here about ow to handle particular situations. But this isn't really about situations. We've been through enough of them to know I can survive them without throwing myself or her out of the window.

This is just about having to admit the reality of the situation, and finding that very hard.

I really envy my friends with their 'real' families (yes, I know a blended family is also real, but it doesn't feel like that when you don't get on). I know that no family is perfect, but there is (unless something has gone very wrong) that unconditional love there.

Sorry, I hope this makes sense and thanks for reading.

chelen Fri 09-Sep-11 14:40:11

Hi, read your post and yes, it does make sense. I think it is so tough being a stepmum (its been the toughest thing I've ever done) especially when facing the anger and upset of the children.

It must be doubly hard dealing with your SD at same time as getting head round not having your own children. I hear what you're saying about it not being her fault but its only natural that it affects how you feel.

Does her dad talk to your SD about the anger and how she is directing this at you? My SS had a phase of this so my OH sat him down and said 'this is nothing to do with chelen'. I think it helped - my OH said my SS was entitled to be cross with his parents if he wanted to but that it was no-one else's fault (my OH pragmatically avoided getting into the fact that it probably was a little bit the fault of the bloke the ex went off with...!).

My only advice is if your SD is angry then find a way (her parents should do this, not you) for her to express it. If she knows the facts about teh sequence of events then she is not really angry with you but rather misdirecting the anger towards you. If she has a safe outlet to express the anger she really feels then she shouldn't need to use you?

I hope things get better for you x

isithometimeyet Fri 09-Sep-11 17:39:29

Thanks chelen. You talk a lot of wisdom. My warm wishes to you, as it sounds as if things have been tough for you too.

I think the problem is that the anger is expressed very subtly - in ways that could be missed, but because I was a teenage girl once, I'm very aware of.

E.g. texts not answered; phone messages forgotten; pointed comments that look innocent on the surface but aren't; hanging on the corner with her mates and giving me The Look

It's the kind of thing that's difficult to tackle without seeming loopy.

Still I will take comfort that it's not just me. Thanks chelen

LaDolcheRyvita Tue 13-Sep-11 09:48:06

You make perfect sense and you're not alone.

Try, if you can, to back away from this emotionally. I have been with dh since 2005. He has three kids. The eldest is a delight and always has been. The middle one is hugely protective of his mum (who broke up her marriage with an affair long before he met me, years later) and the youngest resents me and is currently not speaking to her dad because he supported me in a request to tell her to clean her room. Once in two years, I should add! I was tired of looking at her dirty undies left on the floor where she'd stepped out of them. Dh told her, I am his wife.....not the maid / room service!

I'm so tired of her stroppy sulkishness and her resentment that I'm here at all, that frankly, I have backed away from her emotionally. She's at college now, so yes I accept she's not yet an adult but she's not a little girl either and I have spent years trying to be friendly and welcoming. I don't think she will change as I think it's her basic default personality and I'm past caring.

For my husband's sake I will continue to welcome her and I won't be rude to her but enough is enough and I'm sick of her looking at me like I just crawled out from under a stone.

Just back away, for your own peace of mind.

isithometimeyet Fri 16-Sep-11 12:40:21

Lady D (great name by the way) - yes, everything you say hits the nail on the head. You can feel so alone in this - it's such a relief to be able to talk to someone else in the same position. I often think about setting up a local Reluctant Stepmum group, but we'd have to go in disguise!

Backing off is exactly the key. I didn't start as a Reluctant Stepmum, but the relentlessness of the task (and now, it does feel like a task) wears you down. And like your SD, my husband's daughter is old enough to know exactly what she's doing.

I think it will hit them one day, but it will take a long time - at the moment, they get too much attention from friends and no doubt unhelpful exes about Evil Stepmothers.

The sad thing is that I have really wanted to be a positive influence in her life. But she doesn't know anything about the fragility of life and the importance of taking what love you can, yet. She's too young.

LaDolcheRyvita Fri 16-Sep-11 20:14:34

Isittime.... Do you mean me? Good name?

I agree with you. Either the young or those who've led a charmed life feel they do not need need to pick up on good will/love that comes their way.

I had a quite traumatic childhood in lots of ways and never really had a dad. I was and still am touched when people genuinely "care" about me. I am supported by my DH, her dad and we have a strong relationship. I think ultimately SD feels he's chosen me over her in this instance and for that reason he will be punished by her choice not to visit or be in touch. It's a cruelty on her part that just tells me she does not warrant any further emotional input from me.

We've recently had a devastating family experience involving his eldest daughter (who is just lovely and who has shown nothing but kindness toward me). I am shocked to say that the youngest SD has chosen to not be in touch with her dad when he is at a very low ebb, as we all are over this recent trauma.

She is unkind and I don't lime that unkindness in anyone.

LaDolcheRyvita Fri 16-Sep-11 20:17:31

Don't LIKE unkindness....sodding iPad!

LaDolcheRyvita Mon 26-Sep-11 10:05:55

Bumping this

How's it going?

isithometimeyet Mon 26-Sep-11 23:14:21

Hi Dolche, sorry for the gap. Life rubbish has taken over and I haven't been able to get back to my laptop.

I really feel for you. All I can say is what good friends have said to me - that your youngest SD doesn't know what the heck she's doing. She thinks she does, but she doesn't have any idea of the impact of her actions.

I'm really glad for you that your DH is supportive - this is the most important thing. As I try to remind myself, many people with 'usual' families don't have a supportive partner.

Your decency will be freaking her out - so don't let go of it. Be true to yourself.

I'm going to set up a new thread about local support groups...if I get anywhere will let you know...


kaluki Thu 29-Sep-11 12:54:59

I am a stepchild. When my mum met my step dad I was a teenager and I resented him for years. I hated him so much and did my best to cause trouble between them. He didn't split my parents up but I blamed him for them not getting back together.
25 years later, I am proud to call him my stepdad. Once I grew up and saw things clearly I realised that he is a good man. He put up with no end of crap from me over the early years and was always there for me regardless. He never pushed himself on me though, he just seemed to shrug and let me get on with it.
There have been times over the years when he has bailed me out and helped me and he now refers to me as his daughter.
What I'm trying to say is that children do grow up and when they see things from an adults perspective they often see things very differently.
It will all come right in the end.

LaDolcheRyvita Thu 29-Sep-11 13:36:17

Isithometimeyet..... Support groups's are a good idea but we are ALL OVER THE PLACE! I'll watch out for the thread smile

I think my sd has found it hard and I do know that she'd hoped her parents would reunite one day. But it's been 7 yrs and if I weren't here, he would never under any circumstances go back to the woman who blew apart their family with her long running affair. They tried to put things right at the time but his ex continued to see her lover, unbeknown to him. When he realised he'd been betrayed again he walked away from her. He's been a fantastic dad to his three. But it was well over by the time I came along.

I do think I'm sd's whipping post for the fact they're not together now.

isithometimeyet Fri 30-Sep-11 08:56:59

Kaluki - thanks for this. This should give LaDolche and myself hope.
I wonder how common it is - you sound like a very reflective, thoughtful person - I think some step children get too much out of being unkind (the exe's and friends' attention; not having to face the truth about the 'angel' parent) to let it go. But you obviously have, this is a credit to you. Thanks for sharing.

LaDolcheRyvita Fri 30-Sep-11 11:25:40

Wise words there isithometimeyet. You see, I feel really bad when I think that actually, maybe, with a few years experience of her, I have come to see that I just don't like her much. She IS unkind. And thoughtless. And manipulative. And I don't think it's teenagerism....I think it's just how she is.

I can imagine that if I'd been at school with her in some weird time travel scenario, she and I would have given each other a very wide berth. I'd have found her habit of ridiculing others or blanking them reason enough to want to be no where near her. Thank God I so very much like and care for her sister or I'd think it was me. I should say, I treated DH's 3 kids the same, from day one but the youngest is just for me, not nice.

kaluki Fri 30-Sep-11 11:58:21

isithometimeyet - thank you for saying that. Its nice to know my waffle post will give hope to someone!
It really is something that you can only see clearly with the benefit of hindsight. My stepdad was just trying to fit in and get on with everyone and I resented him for something that he hadn't done.
LaDolcheRyvita - my DP's youngest dd is very very manipulative too (a lot like her Mum). I can see straight through her and she knows it. I mostly ignore it though, unless it affects me or my dc, I don't see it as my problem as she isn't my dd.
Not all children are likeable, same as not all adults are.

isithometimeyet Fri 30-Sep-11 15:00:50

...and it's a huge relief to be able to admit that.

My partner's daughter and I - when it comes down to it - we don't like each other. She looks down on me and I look up through her.*

*I wish those were my own words but unfortunately they are from one of my favourite novels instead

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