I posted recently about my stepmother and Christmas. She and I don't have much of a relationship. We see eachother maybe 2 or 3 times a year despite living about 10 minutes from eachother. I can be cordial and friendly towards her, but there's a lot of bad history between us cause of her badmouthing my mom when I was younger. It was quite clear she wanted my dad to step up and be a stepdad to her daughter, but she had no interest in being a stepmom to me. True I had a mom I lived with who is a wonderful mother, but my stepmother acted annoyed just by my precence. When I'd visit my dad would always tell me not to "bother" his wife and a big deal about me showing Stepmom I loved her always telling me "make sure you hug her before you leave". Everything was about not bothering her and making her feel loved. And then there was my stepsister who lived there who wouldn't say a word to me when I'd visit, and not much has changed. She barely speaks to anyone. I could've used another loving adult (stepmom) in my life, but instead she caused a lot of pain, and I've even been to therapy because of her. She even sent me emails about what a horrible stepdaughter I was and how lucky I was to even have a stepmother cause some people aren't lucky enough to have stepparents in their life. Everything is always about her, her ego, and her importance in the family. She's always wanting to take "credit" for having a part in raising me, although she never did. In fact if my dad ever helped me out financially(like when i was in college) he'd tell me not to let my stepmother know, whereas she expected him to pay for everything for her daughter. I can let go and not dwell on the past but I will always keep her a bit at arms length. Even if she acted like the sweetest person on earth now, the past was so painful that I really have no desire to a form a relationship with her. She can live her life and I'll live mine as thats always been the kind of relationship we had. We always have just stayed out of eachothers way. She hardly ever calls me (maybe once a year to ask about what i'm getting dad for christmas) and has NEVER once wanted to do anything with me alone. I have actually never done anything with her without my dad there. My dad is the only reason for our relationship, and we don't have our own relationship outside of him.
But now all that hurt(badmouthing my mom, sending me hateful emails, telling me i can't visit when her family is over, excluding me from vacations) is in the past and I fake niceness and politeness just like I would for any family member I don't care for but need to be polite towards to "keep the peace". However my stepmother misinterprets my politeness for closeness. Although she never seeks me out to do anything with her, she goes around telling everyone (her family and my dad's family) how close we are. But I avoid her like the plague. I tolerate her at holidays and thats it. Stepmom talks about how when I have kids and she's a grandma(i'm nowhere near to being pregnant) as if she'll be super involved in my kids lives or something. She seriously thinks we have a good relationship. I'm not going to tell her we don't, but boy has she rewritten history. She talks about how she helped raise me (really those 4 days a month she saw me from age 12 and up when she spent the weekend telling me horrible things about my mother who she had never even met), how she's a parent to me, ect. I find it insulting and so disrespectful to my mother who sacrificed so much for me and pretty much raised me on her own. My dad and stepmother were not involved in my life other than those 4 days a month. Now as an adult I've gotten much closer to my dad and learned to at least be friendly towards his wife, but I hate how she rewrites history and confuses my politeness for a close relationship. Now she hasn't badmouthed my mom in probably over a decade, which is good as its nice that my mom, dad and his wife can all be friendly. Now she goes around bragging about what a good relationship she has with my mother. But if you call her on that rewritten history of hers she will either start screaming at me or say that never happened.I try to avoid talking about the past and just let her live in fantasyland thinking she's a "parent" to me (although I will always consider her my dad's wife) cause unless I agree with her 100% there will be a scene. She tells me how "step" is a dirty word, and tries to force me to think of myself as "her daughter" which I won't. What is so wrong with being stepmother and stepdaughter? But she won't accept it. We have to be like a nuclear family in order for he to be happy. But her desire to force me to think of her as a parent has actually driven us apart. She's also rewritten history so much that she tells everyone how I was an "itty bitty 5 year old" when she married my dad. Umm my parents were still married when I was 5. Dad and Stepmom married when I was 12, and at that point I didn't need or want another parent in my life.
But seeing how I see her so little maybe its not important. But it does make the times I see her difficult with Stepmom talking about the past and how "she" helped raised me. I bite my tongue a lot to avoid a scene. And my dad is either oblivious or just doesn't want to cause waves with his wife. So as long as I stay in line and let her have her fantasy we have a cordial relationship. Even with all of this I wouldn't say we have a horrible relationship, its just a relationship based on avoidance.