controlling SM

yabberAugust 28, 2012

I didn't want to hijack Rae's thread so I'll start my own.

Dotz, my skids also think I'm a controlling SM. It's pure projection of BM's behaviour onto me.

I'm fascinated by the whole thing; how can a person deny their own behaviour and then turn around and blame someone else for something they do themself? How can they not see how strange that is? And more frustratingly; why don't other people (eg the stepkids) see that?!

I think it's a coping mechanism and I also think it is taught behaviour. My skids see their own mum project her unfavourable traits and they learn to do the same. And it's understandable; they want to see the good in their mum, not the bad. So even though they know she's very controlling and acknowledge that at times, they cope by joining mum in projecting it onto me. It's just easier.

However the bond between me and my skids has been damaged and will probably never fully recover. I've learned to accept this, most of the time. There are still times when I feel my heart in my throat; some of the stuff they come out with is just so ridiculous. A mirror to BM's soul I tell myself and then I walk away. I've disengaged; which makes me sad but I just don't know what else to do anymore.

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Oh Yabber, I m SO glad you said that!!! I dont even post much anymore because of all this " Goth" BS, your poor dad, narcissistic SM!!! All the SM s have disappeared, replaced with Adult SKs it seems that get boatloads of sympathy with the stories of their crappy SMs!!! I actually felt bad after I posted what I did, like I kicked a puppy or something, Rae is obviously young and doesnt even realize how her BM changed her perception of SM...I love kids, expected to love or at least, really like my SKs...I have seen some SMs in my own life bad mouth BMs and I know ITS WRONG....Hated it when I saw my own sister do it...I DO get it SK...A piece of your perfect world will never be the same. My mom is SO much better than you.My dad would eventually come home if you werent here.You are taking resources that belong in OUR family.Dad would pay more attention to me if you werent in the picture.Why does SM get a BIG TV , we never had one, resentments galore...Personally I ve been beat up with this nonsense for years, I have asked my DH NUMEROUS times, did I do something??? He loves his children dearly, he knows them better than me, AND HE KNOWS THEY ARE BEING LOYAL TO DEAR OLD MOM and all the poison that comes with that...I can do nothing but dis engage, hold my head up, hear the lies , whispers and rumors from in laws fueled by BM and disgruntled SK...And Yes I get along with people, just about anyone..I have tons of friends and family that love me, and they HATE the way I m treated..They cant see it either..So SKs maybe you need to look in Yabber MIRROR and take ownership of your part in these rifts....I welcomed a bigger, peaceful family...Not anything near what I got, but not from lack of trying....

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 10:25PM
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And it's to read/learn about both 'sides' that I'm here. I want to know (understand) how it is all around so I can be there and help my children/grandchildren who are in stepfamilies. The ladies (and a few gentleman) here have actually helped me try and get a 'look' into what life is like to all parties invovled in stepfamily situations.

It helps to read each person's individual experiences. What they've dealt with, how they perhaps avoided problems, ect. And in some cases, a simply a 'what not to do'. Because though I am a SM I never had the typical stepfamily home. No BM, no going back and forth between homes, no lingering resent from failed marriages/relationships, nobody 'feeding' the kids intentional/unintentional. So it's important to me to really understand.

'Seeing both sides' to 'cases' has also been part of what I've done for a 'living' for years (in the workplace and labor/management). Hear both sides of 'grievances', try to 'see' what is not being said by one or the other party, and try to bring both parties through to a mutual place all can agree upon. Old habits die hard. So naturally before I'd post 'oh you poor thing', it comes naturally for me to dig, snoop/pry and try to get a better 'look' of the side here that is not being represented from post to post. In this case, the 'silent' other side of the story if any.

Because of my GS/SGS (both in stepfamilies, GS's working quite well and SGS's in a custody upset at moment) it's important to me that I don't let impulse and/or personal feelings 'rule' myself when they come to me for support and/or advice. I want to be able to be realistic as not to impair or unduly influence. My grandkids future health and well being as a functional productive happy adult is at stake.

My GS announced to me last week '______(SF) is being a jerk'. And here hung the 'tude' of 'go kick his butt into not being a jerk, Gma'. It took a bit of digging into the event to finally get out what part in the event with SF to be a jerk GS played intentionally or unintentionally. By the end of our discussion GS went home to offered up an apology. I heard later that SF/GS had quite a talk, cleared some airs and went out to dinner together when they had finished.

As a side note...this is the guy that is TOM. It would have been very 'easy' for me from the git-go a number of years ago to hate this guy, poison my GS against him and make my exDIL's life a living h*ll. But the reality is, he's a nice guy, is good to my GS, loves my ExDIL, does not interfer and go all crazy with the fact that my son and SF's wife have to co-parent together blah blah blah.

And a second side note I think is necessary when people post here is not just to assume all SM/SF/BM/BD ect ect are the same. That's it's all cut and dried and a 'us vs them' mentality. That all have just merely been treated unfairly and or misunderstood. Some people, whether a bio or a step are just plain and simple dysfuctional people and no matter what everybody and/or anybody had or had not 'done' in any way, shape or form their situation would have gone sour and poorly.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 7:18AM
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Dotz, I feel like you are projecting your situation onto Rae's story. I have a Step Mother who really is awful. I know how it feels to be excluded from time with your Dad and from family vacations. It's hurtful. Dad is also to blame. It is easier to be disgusted with SM and to forgive Dad because there is Love behind it. It's easy to feel that if SM were not in the picture that you would be included in things you are excluded from because she is in the picture, especially if you were always included prior to SM being there. I think that Dad should stand up and say that if it is a family vacation, then all kids should be included. It's hurtful to see your Dad spend his money to send somebody else's kid to school, but when he wants to help you, he has to hide it. That's not right. That kind of behavior is easy to see and it isn't something that can be fabricated by the Bio-mom.

I don't remember much of your story, but I'm sure I could empathize with you as much as I can with Rae. I think if you were the kind of SM who tried to make it work and who made an effort with your SC, then they are lucky to have you, but that certainly isn't the case in every situation.

I just feel like you aren't really making an effort to see things from the POV of the Stepkids who post on here. There are Stepmothers AND Stepkids out there who are just plain mean. There are people like Thurman, who can't be pleased. It's not easy having to deal with that when you are trying to maintain a relationship with a person you love and want in your life.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 11:40AM
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I did feel some of the messages towards me were extremely cruel. And I did feel some were not trying to see my POV at all. I also felt it was a "SM vs. skids" thing and no matter what I said posters were going to see the SM side such as saying things like "you probably weren't a ray of sunshine" as if that is an excuse to treat a child badly. No matter what I said well SM must have been provoked by me, it wasn't her fault, ect. The truth is there are mean people of every title out there. There are awful grandparents, moms, dads, stepmoms, and stepdads out there that do not treat children well. I am a teacher and I have seen that. In my teaching I've even seen grandparents that should love their grandchildren treat them like dirt and its heartbreaking. I don't dislike someone just simply because of the title they have. But it has to do with their personality and how they treat me. Just because I don't like my SM doesn't mean my mom had a hand in it. Not all moms are out for revenge against the SM.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 2:47PM
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By no means do I mean for Rae or Raek ( are you two related????)to take this as a personal attack.. Lets keep it as a discussion....We SMs and you SKs are a little thin skinned when it comes to what we each side see as not listening to each others POV...I dont know if I am projecting what I feel onto Rae, but I do react when SMs are seen as cold evil mental cases...I know I m not one..I know they are some hideous SMs out there I have NO doubt....But what raises my hackles are the same things repeated over and over, IE, I LOVED dads other GF( she wasnt a wife, she d turn into the devil eventually)I didnt GET(Fill in the blank)SHE DID get(Fill in the blank)I DIDNT GET TO GO (Fill in the blank)HER KIDS GOT (Fill in the blank)Moms SO GOOD,she so evil,SM wont let me get near him alone , answer his own phone,etc....Honestly, its my OPINION, My BELIEF, that if your parents stayed together, and if you were an adult out on your own, you wouldnt be looking for daddy and me time, cash, gifts, mortgage and car payments..Your MOMS wouldnt stand for you bankrupting your dads and HER retirement..But its OK now...Cuz he OWES you...This is spoken IN GENERAL Rae and Raek, not directed to you ...Honestly, didnt your dad put a roof over you and your mothers head? Pay child support til you were of age? Pay college tuition ? My whole goal of raising my own was to raise an independant adult not looking for a handout, or a payback for some perceived abandonment.....None of my DH s money is spent on my bio... BUT... how would you know if it was??? You dont have my bank book....Why look into my finances???That is an issue for therapy..DH and I owe no one an apology or explanation to spend how we do..The way different SKs react must be a matter of past experiences with both parents pre divorce, personality, intelligence,PAS, Closeness or distance with BM, I dont know for sure...Like I said, I have 2 SKs, same family, one with a visceral hatred of me, the other a close and affectionate one..Hey , its me , the SAME person, not treating either one of them any different from the start.Everyone who said we cant generalize is right, I like and get along with my SK, I dont like and DONT get along with my SK...And Rae, as a mother of a one time hellacious teen I think the other poster was just doing a play on words Rae of Sunshine, I didnt see that as harsh, would you consider me bad for that? An SM that just doesnt understand, cuz I really didnt think it was too bad to say?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 6:30PM
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As far as money goes, no my dad didn't put a roof over our heads after the divorce. My dad got the house in the divorce (don't know how), and my mom and I had to move in with my grandmother as my mom had been a housewife up until then. My mom went back to school, got her masters and got a professional career. Child support, well my dad used to brag about how he paid $200 a month(he brought it up, not me), and my SM used to tell me how grateful my mom should be that my dad paid child support cause she didn't get support from her exhusband. Again these are adult issues that you should never bring up to even a teenager. I NEVER brought up money or child support. College, my dad helped out a little here and there(maybe like $200 or $300 to help out with textbooks) but whenever he'd pay for college he always would tell me "don't tell SM cause i don't want a 2nd divorce". How am i supposed to feel after he says that? I would've preferred he hadn't even helped me out if he had to do it so dishonestly. I wish I had never known that SM would be so against my dad giving me any money. And as far as being greedy, it was my stepsister who was the one who expected my dad to pay for a condo for her. He never did and told her to get a job. But I was not the one acting entitled, and you seem to think its only stepkids that can act entitled. Well SM's biokids can also act entitled feeling that Stepdad owes them, just like my stepsister.

I don't expect my dad to give me handouts or pay for car payments, motgage or any of that. I handle all of my own expenses and have so since graduating college. I don't care what my SM gets. I have never said that. Again there you go about generalizing stepkids into being greedy. And when I was younger and needed things it was my mom who I turned to for financial things.

Just to clarify, I'm not all that young. I am a 29 year old woman. I am getting married next year, and in no way do I expect a penny from my dad(or my mom) for my wedding. My fiance and I will pay for it 100% ourselves, which is why we are having a small wedding.

You seem to not be able to believe that a SM could be a mental case and Mom can be nice. However there are situations like mine where that is the case and it doesn't mean I'm lying or my mom was poisoning me against SM. Like I said some people no matter what their title are just nutty. SM just isn't a pleasant person to be around, and I am not the only one who feels that way. There can be nice stepmoms and mental biomoms just as there can be mental stepmoms and nice biomoms.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 10:51PM
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Rae01, you seem like a very nice young woman with a good head on her shoulders. Here is what I'd tell my daughter if she was in your situation. In fact, this is what I tell my daughter sometimes in other situations, because it applies in a variety of situations.

Often what people say to you, about you, and do to you have less to do with YOU and everything to do with THEM. What your stepmother is doing/saying says much more about her than it does you.

Your stepmother should not be telling people you became her stepdaughter at age 5 when you were really 12. Any person of reason would know that she probably did not substantially help raise you if she only saw you 4 days a month and you had an involved biomom. And yes, her expectations about the Christmas changes sound unreasonable. And as little as you see her and talk to her, any reasonable person would know that the two of you are not close. As you say, there is a world of difference in being polite and being close.

Even allowing for stepkid bias, your stepmother sounds unreasonable. Your dad should not have put you in the middle of the money issue by telling you your stepmother would be mad. But your stepmother should never, ever have told you that you were lucky he paid child support when her own ex didn't. That was out of line.

Having said all that.....your stepmother probably has a substantial amount of sadness and disappointment in her life. It sounds like her daughter has little to do with her and has some emotional issues. If you are polite and gracious to her, it's no wonder your stepmother would want to "claim" you now as a daughter. As a parent of young adults myself, I can tell you that sometimes we get frustrated and discouraged with our teens, and then just burst with pride a few years later when we see what fine young adults they are. It's no wonder your stepmother would like to rewrite history. It's no wonder your stepmother would now like to have you as an intimate part of her little family - you've grown up, are self-supporting, graduated college and have a nice career, and probably have a very nice fiance. What woman wouldn't like to have a nice daughter like that?

Nevertheless, reasonable adults know that we can't just wave our magic wants, rewrite history and just wish what we want into being. You know this, your stepmother should know this. What your stepmother is doing and saying has everything to do with her own wishes, dreams, hopes and needs; it has little to do with yours.

Here's the thing. It sounds like your stepmother wasn't reasonable while you were growing up. It sounds like she's not reasonable now. She hasn't changed, she's not going to change. You cannot control that.

But you can control yourself. Be the bigger person. So what if she rewrites history? As others have said, you don't see her often. As far as your dad's family is concerned, I think if they were particularly close to you, then they'd know what your stepmother says is just her own fantasy. If they're not close to you, then let it roll off your back.

29 years old is still young. You will encounter many, many unreasonable people that you just have to smile and nod politely to, and let what they say roll off your back. Get counseling if you need to. Your feelings about your stepmother are very, very understandable. But if you can find a way to just let it go, it will help you immensely. Remember when she says those things that hurt you, she is probably speaking from her own neediness and pain. Enjoy the relationship you have with your own mother, and be thankful that you have a mom you love and are close to. Be glad your mom doesn't have the emptiness in her mother/daughter relationship that your stepmom does. When your stepmother is weaving her tales, look deeper and see the pain and longing behind her fantasy, and be thankful you don't have that emptiness in your life. And hope you never do. Be as polite and gracious as you can be, because you never know what pain you'll face yourself one day, and when you might want grace and mercy from someone when you're down and out.

The next thing I'd say to my daugher is to learn from this. The best kinds of people are the kinds of people who look at you, your situation, and actually SEE you and your situation. Those kinds of people are rare, but they do exist. Most people project their own experiences and their own feelings about themselves. So when they give you advice and feedback, they're not really addressing your situation but their own. Learn from that - you don't have to be that kind of person. Many years ago I was discussing a problem of my little boy's with an older friend, and I was thinking way too much about myself, my wants, my needs. My friend said to me, "Daisy, this is not about YOU, this is about HIM." She opened my eyes and helped me be such a better mother. When you are a mom, sometimes it's surprisingly hard to separate what you want, your goals and dreams, your desires for your children from what's really best for them. So use this experience with your stepmother to learn what NOT to do. Remember how hurtful it was for you here on this forum when a poster doesn't see YOU and your situation, but immediately projects their own, and make sure that instead you are the kind of person who really listens to other people with an open mind.

I'm so sorry about your stepmom. And also so sorry your dad didn't openly stand up for you. He should have. But we love our parents in spite of their flaws. As a mom, I'm so thankful my kids love me in spite of my flaws, which are many.

You sound like a nice young woman, and I'm not surprised your stepmom would now want people to consider you as a close part of her family.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 12:51AM
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Quote: I actually felt bad after I posted what I did, like I kicked a puppy or something

Hahaha that's funny :-)

And Daisy I like your post; it's inspirational

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 1:53AM
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Thank you, yabber. I appreciate that.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 2:11AM
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It was a good post Daisy, but I disagree about the part about not seeing YOU and your situation...Isnt that what a forum is all about, similarities and past experiences?.I saw similarity in Raes complaints and my SKs behavior.And shared that, maybe too harshly..Is that projection, I dont know. I do understand that Rae is hurting from her SMs behavior,but has she done anything to contribute to the situation?Usually when there is conflict, 2 people are involved, not just one.Food for thought for both of us, as SM and SK...

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 10:44AM
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I knew you would not agree, Dotz, and that's okay with me.

Usually when there is conflict, 2 people are involved, not just one.Food for thought for both of us, as SM and SK...

I don't know, Dotz. Perhaps you are right. If so, perhaps we should turn the spotlight from Rae01. What have you done to warrant your stepkids' behavior? What have you done to cause that situation? What should you have done differently and how can you repair that damage?

I do think that most of the time it takes two to tango, and both sides share some blame. But sometimes it just takes one. Sometimes one person is so unfair, so unkind, so difficult that it's just impossible to get along with that person. So maybe you are the completely innocent party. And maybe so is Rae01. If you say that you have tried to be polite, kind and thoughtful to your stepkids, than I believe that. Just as I believe Rae01. Yes, I do believe one person can be mistreated badly for no good reason by another.

I do think you were harsh. She was hurt badly by her stepmother. You were hurt badly by one of your stepkids. You're both hurting people. You can disagree and share your thoughts without being so harsh. Isn't that the way you would prefer other people treat you?

I am truly sorry that you have been treated so badly by your step kid. It is hurtful when we stand ready to love and instead we are mistreated.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:15AM
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Dotz, I should have added this. If you did make mistakes, did do something to cause your step kid's behavior, why don't you share that, too, with Rae01? If you brought that on yourself and now regret it, perhaps that would help her see her stepmom as a person who makes mistakes, grew from it, and is worthy of a second chance?

I think she would understand and appreciate being told maybe she brought some of this on herself if she heard from you how you reexamined your life and realized you contributed to the rift in your family.

But again, it's entirely possible that you did nothing. Or that perhaps you did small things but nothing to warrant the enormity of the mistreatment you got in return. Some people are just mean and selfish and nothing we do is going to change that. Maybe that's what your step kid is like - mean and selfish, in which case it's no wonder you hurt.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:23AM
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Again good post Daisy...I believe I do boil up when I read some posts, and type before I think..I did apologize to Rae, and said I felt badly..Of course she may have a horrible SM, I have conceded that..My rift I dont think can be resolved..My SK asked DH for an enormous amount of money, after my DH had been sick and not working for over 6 months. I had to take a leave of absense from my job to care for him..No income for us and SK didnt even need the money, he had an enormous amount of the money in the bank..He had said in the past MOM says you re going to take all our money, right to my face, so I think this was his way of trying to get some of it back in case my DH died.DH made me sit in the room while he turned down his request, which I guess lead SK to think it was my choice...It was not, it was DHs...So he stopped speaking to DH, and when he had a major life event, he invited us( I m trying to be somewhat anon here with details, I would not want him to read this someday should he ever come across this site)he humiliated me , shouting over something I had no control over.Stopped speaking to DH again, until an EMAIL announcing the birth of a child, telling DH he should have been there!! He didnt even KNOW , how could he have been there? DH never stopped sending cards, gifts, and he got nothing in return.. I dont know my fault in this, give him money we didnt have? Take a loan? I havent spoken to him in years.I lose sleep over it, it still hurts. But like I have said, my other SK is fine, we are close..He is appreciates what we give him, or do for him...I m always glad to see him...DH has somewhat reconciled with SK, sees him a few times a year, slings gifts, and come home with nothing...Rae, Daisy, anybody, insight into my part of this? Daisy, I know what you are saying, my bitterness spilled out to Rae,probably did...Theres SO much more, but like I said for anon purpose, I really dont feel I can say much more....

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 12:14PM
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I'm not taking any of it as a personal attack, however, I'm happy to answer some of the questions you raised.

Are we related? Haha, no, but I like Ms. Rae's name very much! :)

I don't really care what SM or her son got for that matter. What bothers me is when my feels Dad has to hide anything he does for me. I'm not talking about car payments or mortgage payments, I'm talking about birthday and Christmas gifts.

As for SM won't let me near him alone...the difference if my parents were still together is that 1) my Mom is not going to try to start problems with me just for the fun of it. SM will. 2) If I wanted to do something with my Dad alone, why would my own mother have an issue with that? Honestly I don't understand why SM would have a problem with that. She's made it perfectly clear that she doesn't like me, so why does she want to spend the day with me?

Again, not looking for gifts, cash, etc, etc, just looking for drama-free time with somebody who I love.

"Honestly, didn't your dad put a roof over you and your mothers head?"...Ummm...he and my mom put a roof over all of our heads when they were married. After they were divorced? I don't really know what the amount of child support paid was, but we lived with my Grandparents for awhile because my mom could not afford a place of her own on her salary and the child support my Dad paid. It doesn't really matter though, I'm still not asking a "handout", just time.

If your Stepkids are looking for a handout, then I don't agree with that. I believe that too many people in this country do not want to work and think that somebody, be it Daddy, the taxpayers, or the universe in general owes them something, and I can't stand that kind of attitude.

"None of my DH s money is spent on my bio... BUT... how would you know if it was??? You dont have my bank book....Why look into my finances???"
I wouldn't know about you. What I know is that my SM doesn't work. I saw what her kid got for Christmas from my Dad and SM. I see that he is in his late 20s and still lives with them. I don't begrudge him. I actually pitty him a little bit because he is old enough to be on his own, but has no real direction in his life. I don't really care what they do for him. Again, it's just annoying to me that while so much is done for him, my Dad sends cash in the mail to avoid letting SM see that he has sent me anything for my birthday or for Christmas. Why the double standard, ya know? I think I would have the same kind of issues if he were my bio-brother.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 1:24PM
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Also Dotz, I don't see where you were at fault in the situation you described. What strikes me is your attitude that "usually when there is a conflict, it takes 2 people", yet you just described a situation above in which the conflict was entirely started and perpetuated by one person. So why is it so hard to accept that the one person could be the SM?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 1:57PM
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Raek,This dialogue, actually it does help me see somewhat what SK goes thru, I have kind of an idea but sometimes it veers off wildly from you guys perspective. The resentment of me personally just burns...I read another website, and these resentments are just so common between SM to usually conflict takes 2, I had to smile..That is my core belief.. Reaction for every action...I couldnt tell my situation and say I m all blameless and innocent( Tho I think I am)and get flamed as a can do no wrong SM... What came as a shock to me is, I thought me and SK had a good relationship before he turned on us. Oh and in regards to your SM and dad and hiding gifts,my DH and I have a really good relationship..He hides nothing from me.I think a good birthday gift is like 25 bucks...In his family he thinks its more like 200.00...He doesnt have to hide that from me..He worked hard for his money and he can spend it however he chooses.( I m sure he appreciates the thriftyness I show) :)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 4:07PM
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Forgot, yes it is possible for the SM to be starting a conflict of one...Anythings possible..

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 4:14PM
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DH has somewhat reconciled with SK, sees him a few times a year, slings gifts, and come home with nothing...Rae, Daisy, anybody, insight into my part of this? Daisy, I know what you are saying, my bitterness spilled out to Rae,probably did.

I don't know if I have any insight to give, Dotz. I'm sorry, I wish I did.

Here's what I think. Whether it helps or not, I don't know.

DH has somewhat reconciled with SK, sees him a few times a year, slings gifts, and come home with nothing

I'm sure that hurts you. It breaks my heart in two to see my husband hurt, I'm sure you feel the same way. But this is your husband's choice to make (don't know about the money, but certainly the time). If it's worth it to him, then that's his choice. I haven't been in your exact shoes, but I have watched my husband be badly betrayed and still love and reach out to the ones who hurt him. It hurts me, but he gets to make that choice. I am NOT saying your husband should cause you an undue financial hardship; I don't believe that at all. But if he'd rather be hurt over and over again than have no contact at all, that's his choice.

Rae, Daisy, anybody, insight into my part of this? If you are telling what happened accurately, and I don't see why you wouldn't be, then what on earth could you have done differently? Literature, art, history all testify throughout human history that there are backstabbing, ungrateful, selfish people out there. You cannot control them or make them play nice. Here's the advice I give my daughter in this situation: Look in the mirror and really, really examine your own behavior. See what you can do about it, because you can only control yourself. If you find out you're the problem, be glad and fix it, because you can fix yourself, you can't fix other people.

But if you are honestly, truly not the problem, let it go. Protect yourself, remember their behavior is not about YOU, it's about THEM. They are not reacting to the person you are, they are being the person they are. Let it go. Smile and nod politely (out of love for your husband), always do the right thing because that is the caliber of person you are. But life is too short, avoid toxic people when you can.

Again, I'm not in your exact shoes here. But I can tell you that certainly I've had to deal with people who are mean. In my life those people have been, thankfully, very rare, but I've run across them. One of them is a family member who will always be in my life. And I have a family member who's not mean, precisely, but difficult and dysfunctional. In every case, I wish I was the problem, because I can fix me. Most of the time I can adjust my approach or my attitude and at least make it easier to deal with someone. But with some people I just have to realize that there's nothing I can do. I am helpless to fix the situation, not because of the person I am, but because of the person they are.

What helps me in that situation? First, it helps if other people acknowledge with me that person is just an a$$. Maybe you don't have a sister or friend who can reassure you. Fortunately, I have many people who will sit with me and tell me the truth - either, "Daisy, check yourself, you're the one who's wrong", or "Yep, Daisy, that one is just a jerk, never going to change". But maybe you don't. If you don't have anybody like that in your life, then I hope everyone who reads this thread will tell you that your stepson is a jerk. An unreasonable, unfeeling jerk. There is no reason for him to treat his father like that, it doesn't matter what you did or didn't do. Stop beating yourself up. You couldn't do anything to bring that kind of treatment on your husband, it's unwarranted no matter what you did.

Don't expect your husband to be the one to tell you that. Maybe he does, and if so that is good. But I can tell you that my husband loves his family so much, he doesn't want to even say the words out loud. Even though he loves me even more. Friends and family are the ones to tell you that. If you don't have a girlfriend to tell you straight up, then get one.

The second thing that helps me is to try to have compassion. Your stepson sounds like a very unpleasant person. If he treats his father that way, there are other people he treats that way, too. That kind of stuff has a way of coming around to bite us when we get older. If you can look yourself in the mirror and say you did the right thing, then be at peace.

Daisy, I know what you are saying, my bitterness spilled out to Rae,probably did.

It's hard not to be bitter. I've had a wonderful life, but if we live long enough all of us have some reason to be bitter about something, and I'm no different. It's a natural feeling, and it's probably nature's way of protecting us so we don't keep walking into the same bad situations over and over again. One big thing that helps me over the hump when I'm bitter is to stop dwelling on the bitterness and be thankful for the good things in my life. My husband nearly died a few years ago, and every time I get angry or discouraged, I can usually just remember waiting in the emergency room for them to tell me whether he was living or dead, how I felt when they told me he was still alive. The feeling I had when I walked into ICU and saw his chest move is pure, distilled, amazing joy that makes every other problem I have seem petty.

If you love your husband and he loves you, then you are a very blessed person. If you have a good relationship with the other stepkid, then again, you are a very blessed person. Try to forgive the stepson who wronged you, not because he deserves forgiveness but so it will stop eating you up inside. It takes a long time to forgive that kind of treatment, so be gentle and kind to yourself, don't expect it to come overnight, just keep trying. Forgiveness is not a one-time thing. When I am really bitter, sometimes I have to forgive that person every hour, then every day, then maybe every month, till maybe it's a few times a year. But for me, when I am hurt deep down I can't just BOOM forgive and it's over. That's okay with me as long as I keep trying.

That's the only insight I have to give, and it may be all wrong. Whatever your stepson did to you, I am truly sorry. I love that bumper sticker "Mean people suck". It's so true. If only people would just...stop....being...mean. Maybe we could all get through life without so much bruising and battering.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 5:36PM
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Wise words again Daisy...To clarify, I purchase the gifts for DH to give, and I make sure they re top notch ( I love him and he s NOT a shopper)I dont care if he spends the money.. He does appreciate it, a lot... I just spend a smaller amount on my relatives...Wonderful advice on thinking about when DH almost died to fend off depression, anxiety. I remember the first dicey year and just trying to stay awake to watch him breath, a great tactic.You must have had the best parents to turn into the calm, collected, thoughtful person you are...Next time I m going to hastily strike out at a poster, I ll try to think WWDD??? What would Daisy do LOL Thank you for that reply, its cheering :)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 6:45PM
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Dotz, you very kind to say that. I've learned a lot of things the hard way.

And thank you so much for saying that about my parents. My mother is such a wonderful, incredible person I don't even have the words to describe her. She has been dealt some very undeserved, devastating blows in her life, and if anyone has reason to be bitter it's her. And her nature is more naturally to get angry and strike back when she's been wronged. She's had to work at not being bitter, and I respect and admire her so much because I know she had to work for that. She is very dear to my husband, my kids adore her, and everyone who knows her well loves her dearly. I don't have her strength of character and I hope I never need it.

Your husband probably loves and appreciates you even more because of your support in such difficult circumstances, and I hope your other stepkid does, too. It sounds like you've been through a lot and done your best, and you deserve to feel good about yourself and be at peace.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:45PM
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Amen to that >>

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 12:52AM
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Dotz...being my little dog decided he'd like to get up at 2:30 this morning and threatened to wake the whole household if I did not get up with him, I took some time to look-up some older postings...I gotta say, my jaw dropped as I stared at the words I was reading. You've had a tough road.

The BM in your story has got to be one of the greediest cold hearted creatures I think I've ever read described here. No wonder your one SS goes through life thinking he's entitled and has a 'me, it's all about me' lookout. it was spoonfed him. I'm trying to figure out how the other SS managed to escape his mother's poison and reach out to see the lady you really are (a caring good person who loves his father dearly).

From October of 2009 --"Oldest has actually said to my face, mom says you are going to take all of OUR money and not letus come to dads funeral!!!!! This was a very healthy(as far as I knew) man in his forties...Its was(IS ) chilling."--

All over potential future inheritance, double college funds and all expense paid 'for me by our daddies' weddings. I came away feeling the BM's next spewing to her sons was 'well how dare that man actually have the audacity to now really get sick'.

--"The resentment of me personally just burns."--

I think Daisy gave you some very good sound advice and thoughts to think over. What happened in your case was due to nothing you did/did not do and was basically a train wreck headed straight at any second wife whether the new lady in your husband's life was Dotz or Cindy, Sally or Ethel. It wasn't you personally. What happened would have happened with or without you. You were just the easy target to blame. You had nothing to do with the divorce, nothing to do with husband becoming ill, nothing to do with a new priority of husband's finances actually having to become husband himself and nothing to do with BM/SKs belief that this man owes/owed them much more than is (IMO) normal and healthy for any parent to 'owe' a child. Money does stupid things to some people. You can't change the way they are or think. All you can do is work on how you let it affect you.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 6:55AM
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Thank you for your thoughts all. have been out of town, sorry for late reply...SS (the one that likes me ) is moving out on BM...Jobless BF of EX..has been harrassing and getting physical..The never ending story....

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 6:28PM
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