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Upset and confused by 15 YO DSD's ungrateful response

(28 Posts)
taxiforme Sat 30-Mar-13 16:04:17

Potted history, DH has three DC. 12 15 and 17.

His exW left MH 7 years ago and set up home with her new bf (who is 13 years younger and with whom she had been having an affair for about 18 months) the marriage limped on until 2006, she sleeping down stairs, she then moved out taking the kids, but only down the road.

DH kept the MH and bought ExW out.

Kids spend two nights a week including every sat night with us.

I meet DH 1n 2008 and we are now married. Both in late 40's and I have no kids. We still live in the ExMH. Kids still have their own rooms.

Rooms were a bit of a mash of stuff and ExW took everything when she moved out, leaving DH with a few bits which he supplemented with old stuff and some bits from Ikea. Slowly I have been turning this around and trying to make it a bit more homely, modern and practical for the kids who are growing up.

To now... DSD2 (15) has been a bit of a handful. She can be lovely, she can be kind and considerate. She can also be hugely difficult, demanding and prone to tantrums over the smallest things (this has always been the case, not just teens).

Anyway, I have spent the past few months planning her room. It is a very difficult space dominated by very sloping celings which compromises everything. She had no storage and a silly old wardrobe (full of DH's junk) which blocked out the lovely window. The only option was bespoke. So we saved up. She saw the plans and we involved her in every step. We finally finsihed yesterday.

She has been peculiar all week (when the carpenter was there). She has refused to engage and look in the room, not shown any interest. Last night with the big reveal she literally just shrugged her shoulders at me- she didn't want to see the room (which is stunning by the way). This morning I hear a commotion in the kitchen and before I can get to the door (which is closed) I hear her sobbing and shouting at DH.

She hates the room, wants it decorated (we left the colour as it was as there was no damage and the paint was still fine and a lovely colour) she has no where to put her clothes (she only ever had about a drawer full as they are kept at her mums as they should be for practical reasons, nothing we have said or done) there are now lovely new wardrobes - my DH has filled up one but there are three others. There is a beautiful window seat with four huge drawers for her, a bedside cabinet with two drawers in..we have put up some lovely funky pictures that we have had framed especially for her. The whole thing has cost us a fortune in time and money.

I am really lump in throat. I have not made a big thing about this, its all been done with her being consulted (she saw a copy of the plans twice) and with her views taken on board as she hated the old wardrobe and wanted a double bed (which she now has!!).

boo hoo. I am so angry I can't engage with her at the moment. She is otherwise fine, completely ok.

spottyparrot Sat 30-Mar-13 16:19:34

Is the issue that dh has out some of his stuff in there already? I personally think it would be best not to out his stuff in there.

I would find out what exactly the problem is before upsetting yourself too much. If you dh cannot fully explain, then (gently) ask dsd. Perhaps she was upset at the carpenter/tools in her room? Perhaps she was upset about the change to her childhood room?

spottyparrot Sat 30-Mar-13 16:20:34

Oh, and teenagers are often very ungrateful indeed.

taxiforme Sat 30-Mar-13 16:20:45

Me again, I didn't explain, but the reasons behind the potted history at the start of my post (which could be seen by some as just needless salacious detail) MAY have some bearing on how DSD2 responds to change, no matter whether its for good or bad.

I understand that she was the most (outwardly) affected by the split 7 years ago.

cocolocopoco Sat 30-Mar-13 16:24:13

How odd.

Does she react badly to change generally?

500internalerror Sat 30-Mar-13 16:25:01

Maybe the 'silly old wardrobe' was put in there by her mum, has nostalgic attachment?

Maybe she thought she wouldnt have to have her dads stuff in her room now?

Maybe something totally different has upset her, but thus is how it is manifesting?

taxiforme Sat 30-Mar-13 16:25:14

Hi Spotty,

thanks for your help.

DH has always had stuff in there, in fact it filled the only wonky old wardrobe in there, in the past!! DH says that the wardrobe isssue is just a red herring for something else. She has three now (she keeps her stuff at her mum's in any event- which is absolutely her decision and sensible as I said she lives there 5/7 of the week).

pompompom Sat 30-Mar-13 16:25:30

Why does she need so much storage if she's only there 2 days a week - maybe to her the room is still the sane colour and you've filled it up with wardrobes that have her Dads stuff in?

I'm sure the wardrobes are lovely but is it decorated to how she'd like it?

500internalerror Sat 30-Mar-13 16:26:35

@I have spent the last few months planning her room' - well, its her space; maybe she wanted to just have total control over it?

indahouse Sat 30-Mar-13 16:29:03

This reminds me of when I was 15 and parents sent me on a very expensive trip abroad. I burst into tears soon after coming back complaining that I didn't have enough spending money! It wasn't even true, I bought lots of souvenirs and had a great time. I think I was just tired and overwhelmed by emotion.

Maybe she's upset that you've done more for her than her mom would or there could be thousands of other reasons. Don't take it personally and let her come to you (as they say).

Catbiscuit Sat 30-Mar-13 16:30:22

What exactly was her reaction when you showed her the plans twice? Was she enthusiastic or quiet? Seems as though she could have not wanted this at all and felt rail roaded into it with your plans already drawn up and all the upset is coming out now?

taxiforme Sat 30-Mar-13 16:33:35

Thanks 500, the old wardrobe was put in there way after her mum left. In fact it was originally in DSS's room.

I suspect it is a reaction to change. She is astonishingly immature- which my bestie (who has her own teenage daughter) has just pointed out to me. Almost to the extent that she is refusing to grow up. This new room is a grown up room (not a child's room which it always looked like).

She also still has a very deep attatchment to her teddy (which looks like and smells like road kill but has to go everywhere with us).

taxiforme Sat 30-Mar-13 16:37:24

Hi cat,

Yes, it was her who drove the change as she wanted things in her room (like a double bed and some storage, TV, space for a desk, full length mirror ect ect).

I have constantly tried to make her feel included. Maybe that its right that you often dont want what you get..

LaurieFairyCake Sat 30-Mar-13 16:41:35

It'll be her response to change, any change and she will be overwhelmed by her feelings (and probably doesn't know what they are)

Ignore (please try really hard to do this), don't mention the room at all. And offer her hot chocolate and get your dh to hug her.

Ignore all bollocks she talks about the room. And get your dh to ignore it too.

LaurieFairyCake Sat 30-Mar-13 16:43:48

By the way, I'm a foster carer and I spend my whole life doing completely unappreciated stuff for teenagers so {{{hugs}}} to you I know exactly how that feels.

I have very low expectations now grin. And I spoil myself a lot as no fucker else is going to.

eslteacher Sat 30-Mar-13 16:54:02

I've always thought that it's quite a strange feeling seeing a room that you previously knew inside out completely changed and redone. Obviously it can be great, but it also makes me very sad and nostalgic on some level regardless of how lovely the new version is. It's hard to explain actually! Maybe something about knowing all the memories you have of that old room are in the past, and it will never be the way it was again...even if you actively wanted to change it before, it was horrible and you actively wanted to change it! It's like a mini version of moving house, perhaps.

I guess all of the above might be especially true for your DSD if this was the room she has had since she was born, and the room she had when her parents were still together. Lots of memories attached.

Thinking about it, I really hate rearranging furniture also, I remember once I rearranged my bedroom completely and then felt a day feeling so weird and uncomfortable, I changed it all back to how it all was less than 24 hours later.

So I guess I can somehow understand that your DSD has had quite a strong reaction to this. Obviously it's very unreasonable that she translated this into shouting and complaining, but I wonder if in a few days she might just get used to it after the initial shock and forget all about wanting it painted etc.

Must be gutting for you though, I can imagine I'd feel exactly the same way if I was you and had done all that work and been excited to show it to her...only for her to have the opposite reaction to the one you had hoped for.

taxiforme Sat 30-Mar-13 18:07:42

She also keeps the blinds closed all the time (tho this maybe laziness) and the room is also in total darkness, always. Hmmm..odd??!!

Thanks for all your kind and insightful messages. I have a very difficult and stressful job and I work shifts (all easter for me). I am not seeing my own family as they live a long way away and i think i am a bit angry.

I am going to let it all come out, I am sure that it will.

Thisisaeuphemism Sat 30-Mar-13 18:15:55

My ds 12 was completely underwhelmed when we did up his room - with his consultation all along too.
He also can't be arsed with drawing the curtains and would rather just switch on the light - sigh
I don't know if its indicative of anything else but I suspect it's just meh being a teenager- and kind of expecting the perfect room, not really caring if it is, but then expertly finding fault when it isn't.
Agree with Lauries advice...

Weaselicious Sun 31-Mar-13 09:57:48

Hi - I agree with riverboat re things getting overwhelming. She's 15, with all that brings, it sounds like the break up was very hard on her plus conflicting loyalties (possibly). Yes, she's not dealing with it well, and her apparent ungratefulness isn't on, but having all those feelings and not knowing what to do with then can be terrifying. Hugs to all of you x

taxiforme Sun 21-Apr-13 10:37:16

Hi me again,

This is still rumbling on. Three weeks down the line we have been to ikea and she has chosen some bits. A tv stand and mirrors and lights magnet board ect.

Dh putting it all up with her yesterday afternoon, all going as fine as it can with putting up ikea thing she won't come down for her supper. Having a meltdown about the room again. Pulled pictures off the walls, hates it. Won't let my dh take away an old broken wooden tv stand when she had chosen and they have made a new one..

I am back to sq 1 her. I just don't know what to do! We have provided a beautiful room which we have involved her in. We have allowed her to choose all the funky bits (within reason as its a small room). I have tried yo get the balance right but it's like she wants her old room back, like she wants her "old life back". I am desperate to plan moving from this house, it's his ex wife's, it's never felt like mine! Will I face dsd2 clinging to the doors screaming she doesn't want to leave?

mumandboys123 Sun 21-Apr-13 11:50:38

I think there are two things that need to happen:
a) your partner needs to make it clear to her that being ungrateful and nasty and unpleasant is unacceptable, particularly after good money has been spent and she's been involved in decision making.
b) you need to have some empathy as to how difficult it must be for a child to be in a home that was once her family home now with her dad and another woman.

Kaluki Mon 22-Apr-13 14:39:58

Firstly I think she is behaving like a brat and you and DH should stop pandering to her now. The room is done now and she will have to live with it.
This is the reason I wouldn't move into DPs house whence got together. I could see that the dc saw it as their house (it was the MH too) and I would have always felt like the intruder.

Celticcat Mon 22-Apr-13 15:02:36

OP, need to agree with mumandboys on the issue that she is probably not happy with your setup, maybe never got over the divorce and maybe never will.
Dh and I moved into a new house when we got together and although dsd has a really nice room (when here eow) bigger than the boys' rooms, she spends next to no time in it(has tv and DVD, PC) She prefers lolling on the couch in our tiny living room, all day if possible (and stopping anybody else using Telly or Xbox), just to show how little this rooms means to her, I.e. our home, and making things awkward for the rest of us.
Us being dh and I, ds living here, and dss who has moved in 50:50.
Even if you move out I doubt things will improve.
Dh and I have resigned ourselves to the fact that only one of his dc accepts he new life.
Maybe there is a relative who sympathizes with your situation, who could talk to her, someone she trusts and accepts, who could point out that she is hurting herself most with this attitude?

Jan45 Mon 22-Apr-13 15:11:08

I really don't think her behaviour is down to just wanting to be nasty and offensive, and, I bet she feels she wasn't consulted enough throughout the process - there will be a reason for this attitude she has and the only way you will find out is by sitting down and having a really frank discussion where you can both put your views across. You might think the room `beautiful`, she clearly does not. You want to change the house, understandable, she doesn't, that was where she was brought up and where her mum was.

taxiforme Tue 23-Apr-13 01:21:56

Yep, as I thought.. Big mistake moving in.. But we are married now (3 years ago) as is her mum. I was childless and err clueless too.

Goes deeper than her room too I fear she tries to dictate what we do as a family and even what we eat! She has planned a take away next week as my other dsc had one when she was in France and thus it wasn't fair on her!!

I suspect also that she was angry that i had vetoed A sleepover and this is her punishing me. It would have been her third in a row on their weekend time with us so I said no, it's not fair on the others and us. She has even (I kid you not) found my diary ascertained if I am working one particular weekend and presented me with a fait accompli more or less of having friends round again. There are five of us in the family.

Ok I think I am just going to accept what I can't change. Some of her behaviour is rather disturbing in her need to control and I can fully understand and empathise why. I have had a long chat with dh about it and he has spoken to his ex wife who also has been struggling with her. to be frank he is used to her tantrums. I have confided in her aunt who tells me she had always been like this and her parents either pandered to it (dh) or took a very hard line (her mum). Her mums advice is that I brook no argument with her. She is nearly six foot tall and probably weighs 15 stone. Her mum is physically intimidated by her too and I am getting this way.

The hardest thing is that we had a great relationship and I feel I was making progress with her. She sounds like a horror and yes she can be awful but she is, by the same token a very sad vulnerable girl. After the event, it's as if nothing has happened. She seems fine.

Urgh I am so crap at this. I have such a difficult stressful job, too which keeps me awake at night.

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