It's been about a year that I have been TRYING to disengage from SD12, but I don't seem to be able to ignore some of the things she does. My daughter, who works with me, agreed to drive SD to the bus stop in the mornings so I don't have to be in the car with her but then she now leaves earlier before DH is up so he doesn't really see her before school unless he gets up a little earlier. Then it's only for a minute or two. The point to bringing that up is that SD makes her own lunch & gets dressed for school. A couple of weeks ago, she came walking into my office with her shirt unbuttoned. DH bought her some Cami undershirts because she told him she was self conscious about her breast developing. Tank tops or Cami's are not allowed to be worn alone at school per the dress code. She usually wears them under a tunic. This particular day, she wore a button down shirt with the Cami underneath but then unbuttoned the shirt so everyone can see the Cami, like it was a shirt. DH would not have let her leave the house with it like that but she sashayed into my office, literally shaking her shoulders & butt. She walked past me a few times. I can only guess she wanted me to see her new "sexy" look or say something about it. I ignored her but sent DH a text to let him know. He wanted me to say something to her but I refused. I told him that it's not my job and he needs to deal with her, maybe get up earlier & see what she's wearing or not buy her clothes that can be worn inappropriately (or as he intended). I don't think it was a big deal how she wore it... I mean, I see lots of girls dressing like that or worse. I guess what irritated me about it was the way she walked past me, shaking what she doesn't have like she is baiting me to say something so she can cry about it. It was the attitude that bothered me more than anything. What bothered DH is that she decided to do this after my daughter started driving her, knowing he is not up to see how she's dressed. So, for DH it was about her being sneaky. Also speaking of sneaky, a few days ago DH asked me to stop at the store after work to get bread for SD's lunches... not sure about the rest of the country but a loaf of bread is about $4. I told DH several weeks ago that I don't think SD eats her sandwich because I have seen her put just bread & lunch meat with nothing else. A few times, she empties her lunch box at my office so I see the uneaten "sandwich". So, on Friday he decides to look in her lunch box & finds she is just putting 2 slices of bread in her sandwich box to make it look like she has a sandwich, I guess in case anyone looks. He told her to make a real sandwich. I told him he can't make her eat it unless he goes to sit with her at lunch. One of our issues that we are struggling with (along with the rest of the country) is finances and I'm pissed that she is wasting lunch supplies to "trick" us. I could care less if she eats a sandwich, but don't waste food to be dishonest. grrrr
Irregardless, I am stuck with her from after school until we go home. Then she shuts herself in her room, which she keeps complaining to DH about. She says she "feels" like she can't come out of her room to watch TV when I'm in the living room. She has been told over & over that she can watch TV, do her own laundry, go outside, go in the kitchen & fix herself a snack, or do whatever she wants... except join me while I'm watching something on TV that is inappropriate for her. A couple of times, she comes in while I'm watching crime shows & plops down. I have told her to go find something else to do because the shows may be recreating murders, rapes or other crimes that I am not comfortable watching with her. Other times, I am watching kid shows with DGS & she can watch but usually chooses to do something else. Then it has the appearance that anytime she wants to watch TV, I won't let her... because she only wants to watch when those shows, that she knows I won't watch with her, are on. It is just very frustrating that she continues to constantly complain about me. She will be watching TV with us, DH says it's bedtime, she will smile & say goodnight to me, then he goes with her into her room to tuck her in. Then she starts bawling & telling him all the "mean" things I do to her (or sometimes it's the teacher or other kids at school that are picking on her) but usually it's me but 'someone' is ALWAYS picking on her! I used to get her crying to me about the bully at school picking on her so I would run to the school to stand up for her only to find out that SHE is the one starting problems with other kids. I've gotten several calls from other parents in the past to keep SD away from their child because she wants to break rules & tries to get the other kids to go along with it. That happened in 3rd, 4th & 5th grade. We put SD in a new school for 6th grade and now she's in 7th. Last year, she talked about a girl that "bullied" her but I did not go to bat for her that time. We did not get any calls from parents since she's been in the new school, but the old school put out a directory so it was easy for parents to contact us so that may be why. Her PE teachers in 6th & 7th grade say she refuses to participate & hangs out with her friends during class, which is the only behavioral problem we know of. DH talks to her about it but works too far from the school to go down there for anything, unless it's in the evenings. I end up feeling stressed out when I'm trying to disengage & have nothing to do with her schooling. It feels unnatural for me to not care & I struggle with feelings of guilt. But, then when I do get involved, I end up under the bus in some way. It was me that got the phone call from the PE teacher since DH can't get phone calls at work. SD was with the PE teacher at the time I was on the phone & was caught in a few lies because the teacher mentioned that a form had not been returned but DH had signed it a week earlier. SD told the teacher she forgot it but then had it in her back pack for a week until the teacher asked for it while I was on the phone. SD tried to feign asthma to get out of running but SD does not have asthma so the PE teacher called her on that too. Of course, that was another evening episode of bawling to daddy because "Ima is so mean to me". This is one thing we are discussing in marriage counseling, so DH is now more aware of what SD is doing so we are working on being more united & he's finding out ways of how to deal with it when she does that. (He's finding out how he has been adding to the problem with his reactions to her bawling because he would actually tell her, "I'm sorry Ima is being mean but she's done lots of nice things for you" which only reinforces her belief that I am mean to her, which I am not. It's her perception that when I say no about anything, I am being mean or she's just saying it to get attention.)
Another example: We decided to sell our vehicles back to a local dealership. We were out three nights in a row, negotiating the deal & did not want to take SD to the dealership with us. She stayed home with my adult kids & was told to fix herself dinner. I said she can "fix herself a sandwich, hot dogs, or anything she wants.". The first night she made a hot dog. The second night, she asked my daughter for soup & something else, which my daughter cooked for her. The third night, DH came to me & asked me if I can fix SD something because she doesn't want to eat hot dogs again. I made her a cheeseburger & fries. Later, my daughter told me that she had offered SD some of her pizza & Chinese food before we got home so SD had already had eaten before we came home and then complained to DH that she didn't want to eat hot dogs again, implying she had to eat hot dogs both previous nights. (DH, who is a bit OCD, cannot stand to eat the same thing twice in one week let alone two nights in a row, so he immediately sympathized with her plight.) I didn't find out until later that my Daughter had made her something else on the second night either. I'm just so sick of this manipulation that is all petty & stupid. She is told she can fix herself whatever she wants, she has my daughter fixing her what she wants, offering her take out & still lies to DH to get him annoyed with me for making her eat the same thing night after night. He did tell her the same thing I did, to fix whatever she wants... but then asked me to cook something since she doesn't know how to cook. (neither does he) And my point isn't that I had to cook, I don't mind that. I am just frustrated & irritated that she does this on a daily basis~whining & complaining about everything. Being around her is just very draining.
So, does anyone have suggestions for a strategy to disengage from her completely when she rides the bus to my office & sits there until I go home? She comes in & I have a table set up for her to sit & do her homework at. We have a small showroom between the front door & sales counter so I put a table in that area for her to sit. She does not open her back pack, does not work on homework, sometimes she takes out a book & reads but most often, takes a nap. A couple of days ago, I glanced over & she is slouched in the seat with her head at the back of the chair and her butt hanging off the seat... she couldn't get any lower without falling on the floor. Her legs were opened wide & I walked over to ask her to sit correctly because the last thing I want a customer to see when they walk in, is a spread eagle girl in my showroom. We rent construction equipment so there are lots of guys coming in all the time... there's no reason for her to sit that way. I really try to ignore a lot of what she does but there are times I just feel like I cannot ignore it, like when she sits like that. Then I feel like I have to hurry to tell DH what I said to her & defend myself by telling him WHY I said what I said or did what I did before she starts her bawling & "Ima is so mean" rant.
Any suggestions? (besides divorce... DH is working on what he does wrong. He is willing to address the problem & we have been in marriage counseling for a few weeks, working on a few issues and things are definitely getting better with us) I just need a strategy on how to not let what SD does affect me... it seems to push all my buttons.