Dad's cancer, a sick child & a stepmother.

DownAboutDadJune 7, 2013

This is my 1st post. It will be a long story! Thank you ahead of time for allowing me to vent but i am at a loss. i am 41 years old my dad is 66 & has been married to his wife since 1988. She's never been very loving to me,my sister or my brother. I am now the only one out of my dads 3 children that speak to him. Although he has a stepson (her son) who he has taken care of since he was about 14. It all started when my stepmother was caring for my grandmother (she is an RN) doing home-care, that is how she met my father. My parents were not divorced but having problems. My uncle informed me of the fact she was my GM's nurse b4 he died & when I confronted my dad he didn't deny it but looked like the cat that swallowed the canary! I had many problems with myself drugs, getting in trouble etc...but went out on my own @18 with no choice because no one wanted me so I grew up fast & straightened myself out. During that time, my mom moved away & I did not speak to any of my family. But, reconnected with my dad a year or 2 later. He & his wife were living in my grandparents house with her son. it was left to my dad when they passed away. I grew up in that house having dinners with grandma & just spending time on Sundays once in a while. Well, from then on I never felt welcomed. They eventually sold the house & moved to another state 2 1/2 hours away. Smart woman selling my family home, new home was put under her name so I'm sure I don't have to elaborate on what that means. They bought a big house & she made a bedroom for her son & another for her mother, neither lived there. but no special place for me or my daughter.Fast forward....I was married had a daughter, got divorced when she was 6 my dad took care of her when he commuted to take care of his own business for me so I could go to work. He would sleep over once a week so he didn't have to drive home & back. He has had liver disease for many years & never feeling well. He eventually sold his business & retired so it wasnt very often i saw him anymore. I love my dad, he has been a father figure to my daughter a lot of years. I started into a new relationship with a man my father thought not to be the best for me, but I love him as well so we moved in together 5 years ago. We have a 3 year old together. My daughter is 17 & a good kid. 2 years ago my dad was diagnose with lymphoma & I was devastated but knew deep down he would fight it. During the same time my son then 14 months was diagnosed with a blood disorder that makes him unable to fight infections & get sick very easily. I was consumed with guilt of not being able to be by my dads side, but offered to drive to his chemo appt. to sit with him, offered to have him sleep here so his wife didn't have to travel and save her at least one drive into the city. I wanted to go to their home with my daughter on a Saturday morn. But was told by his wife, she would not be home & he couldn't cater to me & my daughter! Really? I was 40 years old with 2 children I wasn't aware I got catered to by anyone! Anyway everything I offered to do or anytime I wanted to come I was told no by his wife. I guess it's not acceptable to her that I have a sick baby & visit hospitals & emergency room more then I would like. I called every day to chk on my dad & ask how he was feeling. I remember so many convos with his wife, one time I had told her that my daughter was upset & she in turn said really? Well have u ever buried a husband? She said I didn't bury them I divorce them, & she went on to say how she wasn't ready to bury her husband. I had no words just cried myself to sleep thinking, I wish I had the option she did...but he's my dad always and forever no choice to divorce or bury right? Another time it was New Year's Day & I was finally able to take my children to see him, she informed me while on my drive there that if me or my daughter dare cry or get upset when we see him she will throw us both out of her house! If she would have told me that b4 I was an hour into the drive I would have stayed home. It was a painful visit for me & my daughter, dad slept most of the time & looked like a sheet of paper no hair or color. My strong,handsome, unbreakable dad. Anyway, we waited till we got in the car & we both broke down in sobs. But once again I respected a woman's wishes the same as I have done so many times to keep the peace for my dads sake & make his life less stressful. My stepmother & I no longer speak because of all the mean things she has said to me. She sends cards from "my dad" or to my daughter "love grandpa" but no longer acknowledges my children. Dad is still trying to overcome the chemo & radiation but overcame the cancer! A few days ago he had to go into the hospital for surgery they needed to remove all of his teeth because of the radiation. He told me what hospital & called me when he was there with his room #. He said the 1st day was for testing & the next day was surgery. I came home from work, changed, took my daughter & went to the city to see him. I wasn't asking or begging I just went! When I got there he was in recovery I ran into his wife in the hall who confronted me with "what are u doing here"? He isn't out of surgery so u WASTED ur time & money u probably won't be able to see him, i said he is my FATHER & was not a waste of on & so on. Her son came walking down the hall & I guess it was alright he was there! She told me to take my CHILD to eat cause it could be a long time b4 he was out. I went although I didn't want to she called me & said he was upset I was there n didn't want to see anyone the way he was (he's very vane) & I only had 5 mins to see him. My daughter & I went in & he said to me can u stay a while? I didn't think you were going to come. I kissed his head & told him I loved him. I helped him with his ice chips in his mouth & covered his hand with mine. The nurse came over & said I can only give u a little while she needed to help him with his recovery. It was the best WASTE of time I ever had! I kissed him again on his head my daughter did same & I told him I will see u tomorrow cause I'm not listening anymore I'm just doing! He called me the next morning & said they were releasing him & he was on his way home. His wife is the classic EVIL STEPMOTHER. I am a stepmother myself & would never dream of my husband not being in contact with his children. I don't know how to continue my fight for a relationship with my dad. I feel like I've fought my whole adult life just to hold on to him. What do I do now?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Very sad. I only have one thing to say, forget about selling the family home. When she married him it was half hers and even if her name was not on it, you probably would not have been able to evict her. It's her home. It may vary with different states, in my state and the neighboring states you cannot get anyone out of their home, wife, child, sister, etc.. I know of a daughter who lived with her mother for years. When the mother died, the daughter's sister wanted her share of the home, she tried to get her out and she couldn't.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 3:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your post is heartbreaking. I am so sorry you're going through this. Your stepmother sounds like a very bitter person.

While I'm sure her life has been hard with dealing with your father's illness and the bulk of the caretaking, it seems so cold to shut you and the granddaughter out as she is.

Hospitals are big places. I'm sure there is room for all of you there without having to do much socializing. I'd think she could allow you a bit of time (his letting you know he was going and his room number shows he did want you to know and if possible come).

I think the most you can do currently is continue to keep trying. For you and for your father. Stepmom and you don't have to be buddies...just be civil and polite when near each other.

I'd keep calling and trying to visit. Sure it's frustrating when she says 'no' or when your drives are longer than your allowed visit. Just keep in mind that yes, those ten and fifteen minutes are precious.

I lost my father when he was 55 and I almost 30. I was crushed. I can tell you, if I had been in your current situation, I'd have walked over coals and allowed some bitter lady to dislike me all she pleases just to get my 15 minutes.

As long as your father does indeed want you there, try to do the best you can of ignoring mean cold words flowing from your stepmom's mouth. Be civil and polite and as much as it may suck, realize that you can't stop her from banning do do all you can to keep the visits on a positive note (even if you have a bite your tongue).

I'm so sorry that it is this way for you.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 6:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you for your responses. Emma, I can't help but remember that the home my grandparents built in probably the 1930's was sold for the sake of his new wife. But, I in no way harp on the fact of the home it's way in the past. I just brought it up in the post as part of the things that have gone on since he met his wife. It probably bothers me more that she has many of my grandmothers belongings displayed throughout her house & never has bothered to ask me if I would like anything that belonged to my family! The room that she once made her mothers room (she has since passed away) consisted of an antique wood bedroom set that belonged to my father & his brother as children. Justmetoo, I have always given her respect for her continued care of my dad. It's probably one of the main reasons for never disrespecting her besides keeping peace & being able to see my dad. If I had fought with her all these years I would have never been able to build any memories for my daughter. My daughter told me recently that the times I sent her for a few days to stay with my dad when she was younger,he would take her home with him to give me a break i worked full time & was a single mom. his wife would treat her like she was a grow up instead of a little girl. They took her to a water park & told her (at 8 years old) that she didnt need sunblock she was too pale n needed some color! My daughter is an auburn-redhead! very fair skinned. The kids here get summer reading & his wife told my daughter that she always winds up with all the cr*p no one wants to do because she had to write a summary of the books & I would send her with her book to read & if she finished it she would have to write the report. My son is only 3 & will more then likely never know him or remember anything about him. He has only seen him maybe 5 or 6 times since he has been born. I think my dad forgets he exists at times. We call his forgetfulness Chemo-brain as a jest but since the cancer he has never been the same. Aside from his body slowly giving way he is constantly depressed. I spoke to him yesterday a quick call to see how he was doing. I told him I'm just calling to see how you're feeling cause I don't want you talking too much. I would love to go see him next week for Father's Day but I know my daughter will look to see her dad & it's her grandmothers bday as well. I hate to go see him without her so I guess I will make another day to celebrate with him. I'm sure his stepson will be there & it's hard for me to be in the house with his wife. Last time I saw him I drove up & took him to lunch with my kids & drove home again. It was a nice afternoon, just wish I had more time with him. Your right, I would walk over hot coals to be there for him & will continue to do so as much as I can. I'm lucky I still have a tongue I've bitten it or years! Lol. My baby's blood disorder makes it very difficult to go anywhere without fear of him getting sick, he's like the boy in the plastic bubble just not as severe. I know my dad doesn't have many years left & I hope I can hang on to our relationship that i thought was once an unbreakable bond. Thanks again for listening & letting me vent. I don't confide in people or go on like this to anyone I feel it may annoy them & I speak to my daughter as much as I can but don't really get into things that will upset her. She is on to college in sept & need her to focus on getting her career together. The last thing I need is her being more upset then she already is at everything that goes on.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 12:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

sorry, I haven't had time to read everything, but a spouse is not automatically entitled to a half interest, or indeed any interest, in the family home.

In Texas (which *is* a community property state), for instance, when a person who owns a home marries, the spouse is entitled to half the amount by which the mortgage has been reduced during the term of the marriage, unless (s)he has paid for capital improvements out of her/his separate funds;
in that case, the person may have to be reimbursed.

& the amount by which the mortgage has been reduced may surprise you by its teeny amount.
Most of a monthly mortgage payment is interest & tax & insurance escrows.

See a lawyer *right away*;
your local bar association may have a lawyer referral service, in which the initial consultation is very very cheap.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 5:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Texas laws sounds more fair. In my state, the day I marry my spouse will be half owner. On my death the kids will be entitled to half, He would get to live in the home until he dies.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 8:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Have you investigated this with an attorney?

Legal matters are so complicated.

The right to live in a home doesn't mean you own the home & doesn't mean you can sell the home.

Here in Texas, a surviving spouse (one who married the owner after the owner already had the house) can remain in the family home for life, but the children aren't obligated to pay payments, taxes, insurance, or maintenance.

(S)he doesn't actually have an ownership other than the right to live in it *& cannot sell it*.

The only instance I know of personally in which this happened was one involving a friend whose stepmother didn't want the house, it was too old & too much work needed to be done, etc,

She was pretty young, forties maybe, & wanted to move on, so she offered the children 50% of whatever she could net from selling the house, if they'd agree to take the money now rather than later.

They took it.

I hope things work out.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 5:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you all for your words of support. But, the family home is gone a long time. They sold my grandparents house & bought a new house 2 states away. The home is under my SM name & the day anything happens to him I suppose it will belong to her & her son (my stepbrother). Unless otherwise stated in a written will by dad & her. I know he told me he has a will but never wanted to pry, I am at the point where it really doesn't make a difference to me one way or the other. I realize there is no fight considering they bought the home after they got married. I can't lie & say it doesn't bother me that I am on the bottom of the totem pole so to speak, because it does. I recently told my father some of what his wife had said & doneto me during
his illness, but not about the most recent outburst by her! Anyway, it stinks that I was never able to have a decent relationship with her but I guess that's just the way it goes. I've tried & even told her that I cared for her one time which was a mistake on my part. Sad that after dad is gone I will prob never see or speak to her again. Thanks again for listening to my venting.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 10:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm so sorry.

Be good to your dad if you get the chance, & be good to yourself.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 5:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In some community property states, there is a carve out for children from previous marriage. Texas does do this. Of course, a will may give everything to SM

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 8:57AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
husband has new found 21 year old daughter
I am having a lot of trouble coping. Please dont beat...
grown adult stepchildren
I married my husband 2 years ago, his wife had died...
adult step son and his girlfriend lives with us
i just want my privacy. we have never had any. met...
Choosing Cats over Friends
Sorry, I'm posting this here because I don't know where...
How to Prevent Adult Children Living with You
If you and your spouse are of retirement age, move...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™