I don't even know where to begin . . .

justnotmarthaAugust 9, 2009

The last few weeks have been so utterly ridiculous and frightening and unbelievable that I am left a angry, frustrated and helpless mess.

Where to begin? About two months ago SD14's mom moved out of the house with DH #2 and their 2 year old daughter into an apartment to 'work on their marriage.' That didn't go so well so two weeks ago she decided to give up and get divorced. She told SD that there would be 'no more men' and she was going to focus on her girls as they were all she needed. Friday morning she took the girls (SD is with her for a weeks visitation) to her attorney's office to sign the divorce papers. Friday night she went out with a new guy she met (again) on the internet. In order to do this she has to get rid of SD, and since SD couldn't find a girlfriend to spend the night with she went over to her boyfriend's house.

*Side note - we aren't really big on this guy - he's controlling and psychical so we limit the time they spend together and have it all be in our supervision. If he doesn't like the answer we give on something he tries to get on the phone and 'tell us what the deal is' so we will change our minds. We have told BM this. But that's another story.*

So anyway, SD is totally torked at her mom because of the dating thing. Calls her a liar and such. But then gets to go to her boyfriends. BM picks her up after 10:00 and tells her about her date; going to his house for dinner (yes, first date with someone she's never met) and then making out with him. Best part is she told SD before leaving "I still love ~current husband~ and I'm still married, but oh well." NICE FREAKING ROLE MODEL. SD related all this to me via text, calling her mom a slut and a whore. I was so blown away I didn't even scold her.

So the following day, BM is on the phone with the new guy, SD is watching TV and the 2 year old is no where to be found. SD goes to fin her in SD's room, eating her Dramamine she had in a nightstand. Off the the ER they go, BM yelling at SD because it's 'all her fault.' Few hours later they are out, and I ask SD if her sister's dad - the soon to be ex - made it up there. He didn't - because BM didn't call him and has no intention of telling him about the ER trip. She tells SD and the little one to keep it a secret. Why? Because she knows she could lose custody of yet another daughter of course! So then because SD is so pi$$ed at her mom BM asks if she wants to go to her BF's house, and off she goes for another 5 hour stay.

Now to this morning, when I get a text from SD early because her sister just peed on her carpet. Why? Because she couldn't find her mommy as she was, you guessed it, on the phone with the new man! SD was steaming mad and once again going off about her mom's screwed up priorities. But, all was well in a few hours because BM announced they were all going to the river with her new BF, and SD could bring her BF too! How special - a double date!! Oh, and of course SD doesn't have a swim suit at her mom's house, so here SD - wear my string bikini! This girl as a size C chest and the body of a 20 year old. Really??

I am so frustrated I can't even see straight. It doesn't matter what I do, what positive behaviors I try to role model, what lessons I try to teach about the message you send with your clothing and actions, what priorities I try to help SD set . . . as long as her mom lets her get away with anything she wants so that she doesn't pi$$ and moan about mom's choices and actions what I do is pointless. It's a lot more fun to wear skimpy clothes and get (the wrong kind of) attention and spend every moment of your 14 YR OLD life with a guy then it is to dress appropriately, draw positive attention or hang with your girlfriends or family.

I can feel a tyrade about her mom boiling over and I fear I won't be able to contain myself. She comes home tomorrow morning and I just don't even want to see her. I know my anger is really directed at her mother, but I guess I just get so mad because she buys into it. She see's the error in her moms ways. . . and then turns around and follows her down the same path. I understand that path is gratifying and 'fun' and she's 14, but how do you tell her that isn't behavior that will serve her well in the future when her mom is doing that and worse?! Add in to that I really want to alert her soon to be ex about the issues surrounding his daughter, but I know SD would get punished as it would be obvious how the word got to him.

I feel so angry helpless right now, and it's the same feelings I had before BM married this guy and was on her string of men. The choices she makes so negatively impact now TWO children, and I get so worked up over it because it so obvious, yet so out of my control. I don't want to go back to the bottled up person I was three years ago but I see it all happening again. I almost feel like it's pointless - maybe we should just send SD to live with her mom and they can run around half dressed with their guys and I don't have to be witness to it. Hell, maybe they can BOTH be pregnant together this time???


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I can see why you'd be upset JNM... Clearly, that BM is no role model.

But SD knows this, right? It sounds like she does, and to the extent that's true, please know that it's your doing, and that your good influence DOES make a difference.

Sounds to me like it's time for some long mother-daughter talks -- or more specifically, step-mother -step-daughter talks. About boys, sex, independence, personal choices and responsibility. If it's SD with the body of a 20-year old and not BM (it wasn't clear), then you'll need to have some very honest and serious discussions about sex and relationships with her anyway -- that kind of temptation is an awful lot for a 14 year old to handle. By temptation, I mean what she's giving off more than what she's feeling, though the power of having that much influence is also intoxicating...

No doubt about it, you've had a set-back. But you've done so much good with this girl that you can't simply throw up your hands and give up without a fight. Look at how far you've already come.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 8:13PM
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"Clearly, that BM is no role model.
But SD knows this, right? It sounds like she does, and to the extent that's true, please know that it's your doing, and that your good influence DOES make a difference."

I agree with this. I know you're frustrated and worried about how far the backslide, after a week with BM, might be--but DON'T discount your positive influence. I think it means a lot more to SD than you might even realize.

I also agree with Sweeby that now might be a good time to take SD to lunch, do some back to school shopping for "age appropriate" trendy clothes that do not include string bikinis, and just have some girl time together. Maybe steeer the conversation in the general direction of relationships, sex, boys, and how to deal.

It sounds like SD is a very sweet and caring big sister to her little sibling. Are you concerned about that child's safety at all? It certainly doesn't sound like a good environment and it also doesn't sound like dad is around much? Have you thought about reporting it to CPS? I say this b/c I have toyed around with that idea with my SS's BM. SS has a little sister (19 months now) at BM's, and I worry about her, wonder who is looking out for her...I don't know BM's DH well, but I *think* he drinks in a similar manner to BM. I just feel that at least SS has us looking out for him as best we can---but no one is keeping tabs on BM and her baby daughter. :(

Anyway--back on track---I know you're frustrated but I really think your influence on SD is stronger than you think!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 10:49PM
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Sweeby had some great advice! And I totally sympathize with you! My older sd is almost 15 and looks much older too. I really help her pick out modest clothes that are still stylish and luckily *knock on wood* she has not been into dating yet. I think it is because she is too into sports and hanging out with the girls from her team. But we have had some talks about boys and all the kinds of things sweeby mentioned.

I think that the fact that sd picks up on her mothers wrongs says a lot about your great influence. Hang in there and know that you are making a difference!!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 11:17PM
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Hey it's Liesbeth here, I changed my name recently to Yabber.

It's a bad situation and I'm really sorry to hear about all of this. I figured you were cruising because you haven't posted much :-(

I can totally understand that you feel like throwing in the towel, it's soooo frustrating and all your efforts seem soooo pointless at times. But Sweeby is right and you know that you've already done so much good, don't give up! You have to hang in there. And we know that you will. You get to that moment where you feel desperate, and then you get through it, you will. It's not like you to give up on something.

And it's so understandable to feel angry about it all, how can you not? SD14 is being undermined by her own BM and because of her age she is just not able to resist the few perks that come with all this chaos at BM's. At least she sees the bad sides and does not cover them up/deny them. But of course it's a worry that she might get into trouble.

I've been at the point of loosing it at SD's where I was really angry with BM, not them. It's not great if it happens, but it's not the end of the world either. If it doesn't happen a lot it might even have an impact that is not so bad.

And did I read it correctly that SD is spending a week at BM's again? I remember you said it might be on the cards, so is this the new arrangement or is it just a one-off?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 11:41PM
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so sorry...

why is SD spending weeks there? because of summer break? BM has no custody right?

i wonder if that could be modified (no week long visits) or SD could simply refuse to go.

as about the little one...do you know BM's X? is he any good? I think if he is a decent man time for BM to lose this custody too. If you have proof of BM neglecting a 2-year-old I think it is time to call CPS.

I hope you are not angry at SD, it is not her fault, she is only 14, it is all BM's fault. and to add she should not have sleepovers at BF's house. it is a sign of neglect if parents allow that. way too early.

and why BM introducing BFs to her DD so early. I used to date guys like forever before introducing them to DD. no way.

what is your DH saying? what could be done here?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 9:09AM
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How's it all going JNM? Are things going ok with SD? And how are you??

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 11:46PM
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Sorry guys - we went on a camping trip for the week. It was SOOO nice to be away from cell phones, texting and drama for a while!

So lets see . . . SD and I have deep talks about boys, sex, responsibility, pressure, priorities - you name it - ALL the time! It's pretty much a nightly standard - we both look forward to it. It's difficult though - she knows all the 'right' things and can talk and agree with me on all the 'right' things, but when it comes down to it I don't really believe that she will do the 'right' things. The 'wrong' things can be so much more fun and so much more in sync with what everyone else is doing, and at the end of the day I don't know that all my talking and explaining will keep her from going down the path of her mom. I guess this is a standard concern every parent has, but it's so much more in my face because of her mom's example.

With regard to SD's sister - yes, we are very worried. We're trying to come up with a way to alert her father as to what is happening without throwing SD under the bus at the same time. More to hopefully come on that.

Yes, SD is there for a week at a time for summer break. She is already talking about not wanting to be there for extended weekends once school starts, but mom isn't so thrilled about that. We could attempt to go back to court for it, but I'm hoping once BM gets tired of the driving and SD's complaining things will work out that way naturally.

SOOOO - fast forward to today.

DH and I met with BM to talk about SD's abundance of time with her (SD's) boyfriend and share our concerns about things we've learned/noticed about him. That part went okay - BM didn't really 'get it' until we started talking, but I think we made our points. Then DH broached BM's dating and pulling SD (and her sister) into it so early on. BM totally doesn't get it. She thought it would be best to let SD decide when she wanted to meet the new men. DH said no - this isn't a choice for her to make. It's not safe, it's not setting a good example. etc. I explained further than SD will look to her mom on dating since I am not, so we want to make sure she has a good picture of appropriate for age 14 dating. BM kind of laughed that she could be the what not to do role model, and I replied maybe SD doesn't need to meet all the 'misses' and just meet the 'hit' when you KNOW that he is - then she wouldn't have an idea that BM was doing something 'not to do.' BM thoughtfully seemed to agree with that.
OH - I forgot to mention. Since last Monday - 7 days ago - BM dumped the guy from the weekend, met a new guy online and has seen him three times already - already took her other daughter to the zoo with his kids. Her theory, as she told us, is that her daughters are her world so she wants a potential BF to meet them right away. GOOD FREAKIN' GRIEF - seriously?? How about sheltering them from your need to get your hump on?

Though the talk ended on a good note, she was understandably a bit put off. It wasn't easy to bring up her dating life, and we treaded very lightly. What left DH and I shaking our heads is how clueless and self centered she is . . . and the fact that she will NEVER see that. Just to listen to her is mind blowing. Me Me ME!

I guess I feel a little better, but I know BM won't change. At least now we can tell a judge we tried if it comes to it. I just worry every day about what SD will pick up from her, and what I don't even know about that I can't counter-attack. Teen age girls are hard enough - teen age girls with a suddenly trampy, self centered mom are hell!! :)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 1:53AM
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she already dumped the guy and dating someone else and kids already met that guy too? nice....very nice, what a role model...she already saw new guy 3 times since last week? i am impressed that she actually listened to you and DH, at least participated ina discussion...but there is no result...it is OK dating but why bringing them all to your kids???? it is not even safe!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 9:05AM
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My mom's motto: "Do as I say, not as I do" She's lived her life as the model of what not to do.... Guess what? It doesn't work! Kids model the behavior of the adults in their life, usually their parents. The good news is that you are also modeling good, appropriate behavior. You are teaching her how to have a good relationship. All you can do is pray and keep talking to her... hope she wants better in her life. Remind her that she has her own choices and she gets the consequences of her choices, good or bad. Ask her how she feels about what she sees and play the "if it were me, I'd...." game. I used to do that with my kids as they were growing up and they'd see a friend or someone do something, so they could put themselves in the situation and think of an outcome they'd want, and how to get it. It sounds like you already have a good talking relationship with her... that's already a step ahead of some parents with teens.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 10:16AM
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Just keep on breathing and doing what you're doing...
Talking to SD is great - So important!

But you're also wise to realize that if she's pretty, has a killer figure and a bad mom example, she's likely to want to 'get some milage out of her assets...'
All you can really do is try to steer her into making smart choices. Identifying which guys want her for the wrong reasons. How to value herself so she doesn't 'give it all away' to anyone with a compliment. How she doesn't need some guy to 'complete her' or validate her as a worthy or attractive person. Hoe she should never settle for a guy that makes her feel unworthy or unhappy.

You'll figure it out JNM --

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 4:35PM
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I'm so amazed that you guys can talk to BM, that is a real plus. I can't imagine it, I really can't. So surprising that a BM who displays that kind of irresponsible behavior is willing to talk about it with you guys. My experience (my own, but also from seeing other people and reading here) is that people like her prefer to be in denial about their own behavior, and would feel very threatened by a confrontation. Who knows some of the things you said may actually take hold, at least she acknowledged that her own behavior is not ok.

But most importantly SD is confiding in you and that makes all the difference. So good that you have that bond, and it will only get stronger. I love the girl-talks, I always feel a bit 'honored' when SD's confide in me, after all I'm not their mom.

Keep doing what you're doing :-)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 8:09PM
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