New feelings toward adult skids

lamomFebruary 21, 2009

Hi, I've shared here before about my adult skids, SS29 with two kids, SGS8 and SGS2, and SD35. DH and I have DS6 is has cancer and I was very upset that my adult skids, particularly SS29, weren't taking an interest in him.

It was explained to me that many "first family" kids don't feel close or even really related to "second family" kids especially with large age differences.

My son was hospitalized again last week. And once again, my adult skids didn't visit the hospital and SS29 didn't even call. No surprise giving their track record and the advice I've gotten here.

The question now for me is, what real relationship, if any should I have with these people? Before this I felt related to them, that they were family. I now feel VERY detached from SS29 and his two kids. SD is still on my emotional radar because at least she expresses interest. But after spending over 10 years trying to create a blended family with them, I don't want that anymore. DS6 asked DH about having SGS8 come to visit and play. In the past I would have gotten on the phone, worked out the logistics and pulled together the playdate. Now I feel like I don't want to be bothered with that kid at all, his dad or babymama. For years I thought it was important to create this sense of family if for no one else's sake, for DH and DS. I let my feelings be hurt over and over by them. Now I feel like, we are better off without them in our lives at all since they care so little about our lives.

Has anyone else experienced this, a complete change of heart toward their skids? If so, what did you do or not do about it?

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"I wonder too if your SS thinks that you and DH are cheating his kids (*the grandchildren*) out whatever (attention, gifts, financial help..) because the two of you decided to have a child together. Maybe he thinks it's his dad's time to be grandpa and not dad again. It's just a thought, but you know what I mean. It sounds like he must really feel that he is always on the short end of the stick." Gerina

I asked my DH whether he thought that this might be part of his 29 year old son's problem with DS6 and he said he thought it was a real possibility. Claimed he hadn't given it a lot of thought other than noting SS29's lack of involvement but I could tell he has thought about it. As I've posted before DH's feelings towards SS29 and his two kids SGS8 and SGS2 are complicated by his feelings on how his adult son does not live up to his standards of an adult male. Plus, those are not the easiest kids to be around, SGS8 has serious emotional and behavioral problems.

SS29 probably thinks his kids should be receiving unconditional love from the "pa pa" and it's not there. Instead looking at themselves, they are pointing the finger to DS6. His illness doesn't stop their jealousy.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 10:37PM
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I'll probably get slammed for saying what I want to relay. And I want to say it with kindness in my heart for you, please try to read it in that light.
I've dealt with cancer for the past 12 years of my life. At first I was a bit pollyanna about it, wanting the normal that I knew. That was the first go round.
Second go round I was dumbfounded that life just went on for everyone around me. I wasn't gracious about it. And for that I'm embarrassed.
Third go round my expectations of others and my view about life softened.
If I wanted grace and forgiveness, well then I'd best step up to the plate myself. I had to walk the talk.
Let go of the bitterness you've assigned. Just dang let it's taking up energy best spent elsewhere.
People get sick and tired of us being sick and tired no matter the situation. I'm living proof.
Stop assigning intent to your step're not them.
Give grace to get grace.
In friendship,

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 11:47PM
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Deborah, not going to slam, I can use personal perspective. Don't know what you mean by assigning intent. I am looking at behavior. Yes, I know that people get tired of people being sick and tired, except, I'm not the sick one, DS6, their brother is. It hasn't been long enough, and they haven't been involved enough to get tired.

How do you get tired if you've never suited up?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 12:03AM
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Oh believe me, some feel they've "suited up" by just hearing about the illness.
I'm trying to say that the reasons people don't act like we'd like them to are often not the reasons we assign them.
My own father didn't acknowledge me during my last bout, nor did my son whom I know loves me to the ends of the earth. I surmised that what they didn't acknowledge didn't exist? Or that if I didn't make it then it wouldn't hurt as much because they'd distanced themselves from me? Who knows why we do the things we do?
Did it bother me? Yes.
Would I "cut" them out because of their behavior? Not on your life. Because I haven't finished out my life, and I don't know the future. I can only hope that I learned from their ignorance.
And you know what? I'm glad I kept my trap shut, which is highly unusual for me, because both of them are my biggest advocates today.
It breaks my heart that a child has to go thru cancer treatments...they're hard enough on an adult. And I'm so very sorry that your family has to endure the ugliness of this nasty disease.
Cancer...don't let the SK's behavior create a different kind of cancer within your heart.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 1:52AM
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Sorry about your son. Hope he will feel better. I don't think you should worry about SKs at this point in your life. It is not worth it. Let it go. And let your DH deal wiht it. You have other problems to deal wiht. Detach wiht love, don't hate them, just detach and don't expect too much. That's who SS is, you can't change that. Do not let it be so important to you that it would make you stressed.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 9:17AM
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I still think it is wrong to punish SGC for acts of adult stepchildren.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 9:36AM
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I'm not stressing anymore about my skids. That phase has passed. As I said before, my detachment is moving toward distaste for them altogether and that's why I posted on this subject.

"I surmised that what they didn't acknowledge didn't exist? Or that if I didn't make it then it wouldn't hurt as much because they'd distanced themselves from me?" Deborah

I think you hit the nail on the head. If they don't acknowledge his illness then it's not real or it's not really serious. If DS6 doesn't make it (a real possibility) then it won't hurt them too much if at all. He'll be out of their way. Maybe later I'll see that they care, I just don't see that at all now. MY SD35 recently bought a house and is talking about a housewarming party for a lot of relatives. I'm up for a party but I don't know if I can be around SS29 or his crew. They are so...I just don't know how to say my feelings about them now.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 9:48AM
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So, what about DS6 being punished by SS29's for his very existence, rocking SS's boat? Isn't that the gist of every BM's issue? Why do you only care about the bio grandkids versus a 6 year old son? You elevate bio anyone, kids, grandkids but don't seem to consider the "2nd"family at all. My son, yes my son, deserves as much love, attention, gifts as those grandkids you are so worried about. He's not responsible for the divorce, the aftermath, neither am I or most of the SM's on this board. Those first kids are NOT MORE IMPORTANT. The more they think they are or should be the more problems are created. That's what most of these posts are about.

I look at three first cousins who are divorced, ex-husbands are remarried and have more kids. If you talk to them you wouldn't know those other kids even exist! They don't refer to them as their kids brothers or sisters. The only time they are mentioned is when they are perceived as draining time and resources from their kids. I am close to these cousins and their kids and I have to remind myself that they have other siblings. I love my cousins but see how petty and narrow minded they are about these other children who they have reduced to just being threats to their own.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 11:01AM
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I agree with you lamom that i find even the courts put emphasis on the first family and treat the second like a rag dolll.....well times are changing and i'm seeing a very slow change. A new law was introduced to canada clearly stating that if the first family is detrimental to the second then action can take place. Like cutting CS completely etc..etc..depends on the situation.
BUt yes there are some people who will side onthe biokids immediately and the stepkids are treated special.
I was stepchild but not from divorce. Im a stepmom by titel but not by responsibility. ANd i'm a BM to my own child.
I think , yes that feelings do change over the years with stepchildren.
And in this case its Stepadults...not children. They are adult with emotional issues and i would not give a damn aobut anyone who doesn't show any ounce of concern for a sick child. Be it adopted, half sibling or cousin. If they cannot put aside their jealousy and personal problems for their half brother they are not worth wasting your breath and emotion.
LEt go of any concern of SS29. Stop concerning yourself over a selfish turd like this. Focus on your son and his health.
As for GK...mmm..ss29 kids are his concern..he can take care of his own kids and focus on his family which he is doing. Its obvious that you will not change his why are you racking your brain...i know you are angry, hurt betrayed..but stop losing energy where its not worth it.
Detach...and feel nothing..not even hate because its just not worth the energy.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 1:42PM
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I was taught a hard lesson way back when...I'd worked as a hair stylist in a salon for over 12 years. We all leased our "stations", so that basically I was self-employed and felt I was well liked.
The salon was purchased by a co-worker and "friend" who didn't have clear managerial skills, co-workers would sometimes look to me for guidance.
One day, I'm left a note stating that my lease contract was not to be renewed. I was floored and hurt on many levels. My "friend" didn't have the decency to look me in the face and talk to me about her challenges with me,(I still believe she was threatened) she'd left a note at the front desk instead.
I had to continue working amongst 15 other people for another month until I could find a new home for my clients and myself. That was the one of the hardest months I'd ever had to endure.
And the only thing that got me thru that month was a mantra I repeated to myself over and again. Watching how my "friend" responded to me was priceless and most satisfying :)

"Indifference is the worst insult, forgiveness the best revenge".

Bring on the party Lamom, you'll have a wonderful time :)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 1:58PM
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imamom I am so sorry you are having to deal with the situation you are dealing with. I can so relate to what you are saying.

We found out almost 2yrs ago that my DH has kidney cancer. There is no cure for this cancer. I have never had to deal with an illness like this in my life, and when it happens I think or thought that my DH grown kids would step up and be the kids they should be. They have yet to do that, if anything they have been more upsetting to me. I just like you have distanced myself from them. My own mother has distanced herself from me because she dosent know what to do or say. That has hurt me more then anything. I don't think that is the way you treat people you love. Cancer is hard to deal with and the more support you have the easier it is to deal with. I could not dream of never being there to help someone I loved through something like cancer. If a person can not deal with issue called "life" they need to see someone who can help, and show them how to be there for someone they love.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 2:16PM
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Lamom, I'm sorry that your little boy is still so ill. I'm not even sure what to say about the your specific situation. I've read all of your posts and it honestly sounds like there always were two separate families and not an ideal blending, so I am sure that this is part of the problem. That being said, you are only one person and you cannot change the well rooted dynamics of your family.

Right now your priority is your son. I know that it hurts you to see him as not being an important and valued family member by his siblings. He probably doesn't see it entirely that way because he is too young. Let's just say that your SK's are doing the best that can. It might not be up to your standards, but maybe that's the extent of their emotional capacities. I'm not trying to make excuses for them, but you're going to make yourself sick over this situation and you can't afford to do that.

I can't remember if you go to one, but I think a support group for parents who have children with life threatening illness would benefit you. I suffered numerous losses over a very brief period a few years ago and as a result I ended up being the soul caregiver to my terminally ill mother. It was HE77 and I will spare you the details. My friends had great ears, but they never cared for an ill family member. I ended up in a support group and it helped so much to meet people who were in a similar situation.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 6:14PM
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I come to this forum and post from time to time as my grandson has a stepfather.
I've followed your posts lamom and am so sorry for what your little boy is going through. It is more than a difficult situation when someone you love has a life threatening disease and as a mother you can't fix it. My heart goes out to you.
In looking at your posts, you refer to babymoma. Is that his wife? You refer to his family as a "crew". You also say you now have distaste for them. You don't have time for them or their dad.
Have you always disliked him? Has his dad been there for him when the divorce happened and after?
You said "SGS8 has serious emotional and behavioral problems". What brought that about or does he have health issues. Did the son receive any support with his son -- ever?
Children are not responsible for how their parents act. I suspect the son did not get the support he needed. He resents the fact that his child did not get help or caring from PaPa and he sees no need to give it to your son. He put up a wall as it hurt too much.
I do not think you can fix it by yourself. I think perhaps the SD could explain some of it about the relationship with the dad. Is their mother still alive and is there a relationship there? It just seems as if a lot happened before you married and it has gone downhill as to relationships since then.
I think once you have all the facts, then you can make a decision you can live with and not let this eat at you. You certainly have enough to deal with concerning your little boy.
Take care

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 9:49PM
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phth, "babymama" is SS's SO, they have never married but live in a family situation.

Yes, I once liked my SS a great deal. I've known him since he was 14. For many years, I defended him to DH saying he would grow out of this, helped him with things like money, tried to help him find a job, when his first son was born I babysat, took him places etc.

The 8 year old has had many emotional problems since he began to talk at around 2. He has been diagnosed with ODD, was kicked out of headstart programs, pre-schools and suspended several times from his elementary school. He is an angry child and very hard to handle. He bullies, is defiant with adults, destructive, I could go on and on. He once deliberately stepped out in oncoming traffic to force me to step out there with him to "save" him. The same day he broke a clock and ran DS's bike in to a wall because he couldn't ride it. I "saved him" but that was the last time I ever kept him by myself.

Yes, my skids mother is still alive. I don't know what role she has in all of this now, years ago she accused me of being a homewrecker, told skids this as well as her family. This was untrue, I met DH 2 years after they separated. He confronted her publicly about this when we found out and she recanted publicly in front of her kids. They did not come to our wedding 11 years ago in solidarity with her.

Yes, I think SS resents not getting the support and involvement he feels he needs from DH. But, as I have said before, the situation is complex, DS is only part of it. DH disapproves of how SS29 is living, not working, incomplete education, 2 kids, public assistance, etc etc. He loves his first son but there is a lot to it. DH is a doctor, SD35 a JD with a masters degree and SS29 is a freshman college drop out. The first child was accepted as an accident, not the second. DH paid for him to complete a great trade school program, he completed the course then did not pursue the jobs laid out for him.

I believe SS29 has distanced himself due to his jealousy combined with a general lack of maturity about DS6. I know that many people, parents, sibs and close friends distance themselves from very sick people due to fear, lack of understanding, lack of commitment and so on. It still hurts a lot.

I have done a lot for SS29 and his kids, especially the 8 year old, over these many years. I used to genuinely like him. For him to turn away like this now is inexcusable. Maybe not unforgivable, time will tell.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 10:42AM
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" I know that many people, parents, sibs and close friends distance themselves from very sick people due to fear, lack of understanding, lack of commitment and so on. It still hurts a lot."

Of course it does. I can understand why you are hurt and angry. Even if your head is telling you one thing (ie---SS is immature and selfish, his actions shouldn't bother you, etc.), your heart is telling you another. I think you are understandably in protective mom overdrive right now. Your son's condition and prognosis is very SERIOUS and it hurts that other people don't view it in the same way.

I'm sorry. :( I wish your SS would grow up and be a more responsible adult all around, not only for your family's sake, but for the sake of his two innocent children. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like that's going to happen anytime soon.

I don't really have anything else to say. I don't think there is a magic answer as far as how to relate to SS and his kids. I wish I could give you a big hug! Hang in is your son doing?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 11:04AM
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pflh, also, DH was very much "there" for SS after the divorce. Since DH and BM divorced while SS was an early teenager, they agreed that he needed to live with DH to get through high school feeling that he needed a man's influence, be with his father as a young man. He was getting unruly with his mother, typical teenage stuff. DH stepped in and SS lived with him through high school years. We were dating during that time.

When SS dropped out of college in his first freshman semester, BM and DH agreed that he needed to go to the military to grow up. He was rejected by the branches he wanted, Air Force and Navy, so BM used a contact of hers to get him in to the Army. Believe it or not, SS was sent home during Boot Camp as "unfit for military life!" Did not follow directions or commands. None of us had ever heard of this before. I rode with DH, then BF, to pick SS from bus station as Army had given him a one way bus ticket back home. DH cried some in the car on the way. Could not believe that his son didn't cut it at Boot Camp. SS lived with DH for a while but when DH insisted he get some kind of job, they clashed. SS spent a few nights in the park then moved in with his grandmother.

Still for years, DH gave SS handouts. Lectured him about school and work so SS stopped speaking to him for almost a year! In those days, I advocated for SS, advised DH to drop the subjects of work and school since it was alienating him from his son and not working anyway. BM would call DH on SS's behalf for money. It was surreal.

There is a lot of history. From reading on this board, a lot of skids have these types of problems it seems.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 12:32PM
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raek sounds like your SS is not much of a role model for your son anyway. Maybe it's best for him that he is not around. Don't look at it as if he is being "punished". Look at it as it really is, that SS is a selfish and self centered person and your son is better off not being around him anyway. Who knows, he may react the same way if it was his full-blood Sister of 35 who were going through this. I think you should think of him less like a brother to your son and more like a distant uncle or something. That way you won't feel like it's such a personal thing to you or your son when he behaves the way he does.

As for setting up play dates, if it's important for him to have his son play with yours, he will set it up, or he will do what it takes to get your hubby to set it up. Don't go out of your way to make things easy for him, but don't do anything to make things difficult either.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 3:51PM
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SD sent me a text yesterday inviting my DS6 to her new home for a sleepover tomorrow with StepGrandSon8, her nephew. This is the grandson with the many emotional problems. I told her that it would be ok ONLY if SGS8 was completely healthy, down to the sniffles since DS is immune system compromised.

She promised to check him out herself since SS29 often lies about his kids health, sending them to people's homes with colds, flu, stomach problems etc. In a way, hearing that made me feel a little less hostile toward SS29 since he is basically inconsiderate towards everyone.

I hope that she does check him out plus I will check this kid out myself when it's time to drop DS off. I'm sure that if I had communicated that to SS29 or his babymama/SO they would have "taken it the wrong way." I'm glad that SD35 has a little more common sense and some empathy.

DH remarked this morning "It's all about __SGS8" because the only time SD35 invites DS6 is when he is around or involved. Even DH has begun to see the light about how his other kids treat his youngest child.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 8:50PM
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After being married to her husband for a couple of years my sis stopped seeing her steps who were all grown. She didn't snub them when she saw them, just didn't mix socially. She found some place to go when they came over which was not often. When he was dying she opened her house to his kids and his ex to say their good byes.

In my case I didn't cut off the steps because I loved my husband to much to hurt him that way. He said he wouldn't visit them if I didn't. I think my sis had an easier marriage than I did. None were openly hostile like some I have read about in here. It's a situation I would never get in again. The day my husband died I had no more steps. I only saw two of them once after his death to take them some keepsakes I thought they might like. I don't miss them at all.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 10:37PM
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Thank for sharing this with me. I have a friend who has adult skids, they were teens when she married. She has never tried to blend with them. They live in another state which helped but she has never been interested. They made a bad impression on her near the beginning of the relationship and so she has blown them off with no regrets. Doesn't worry about them at all.

I have felt that I have tried way too hard with them for years. With young son now, they are his closest relatives for whatever that is worth. Sometimes I think we should move out of state, not to leave them behind but because it would save money, make sense in other ways.Don't think we would see them at all then. Hmmm....

Still, letting go completely doesn't feel right either.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 9:02AM
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Lam, when I married my second husband, I followed in my family traditions with Sunday dinners, watermelon feeds, home made ice cream, badminton, etc., but we were never invited to their homes. Later on the other father's and family's seem to take priority over their own Dad. Years later the ex wife rented one of our rental properties and I got to know and like her. We discussed their kids and I told her I worried that they weren't coming to see him because of me. She said, that's not true, she said they don't come see her either unless they need money. It was a long 33 years.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 10:00AM
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Yes, SS29 mostly calls DH when he wants money. Mostly calls his sister, SD35 when he wants something for his kids. They are disappointing at best. Feel very detached now, especially from SS29. Last night, SD35 offered to keep DS6 and SGS8 for sleepover so DH and I could go out. Asked 3 times, "is he healthy" as DS is immune suppresed. surprise,surprise, the kid is coughing, DS can't go over, we go nowhere. 3rd time this has happened.

No trust for them at all anymore. They don't/won't get it because they don't care. So self-centered. SD35 less so but still not really there.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 10:04AM
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Sounds familiar.......LOL

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 3:15PM
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