BM broke up with her boyfriend, here we go again. . .

stepmomof4November 10, 2009

DH and I have been together for 10 years. Meanwhile BM has been in many relationships. Several of whom she has introduced to the kids and let him be part of their lives. When she is in a relationship she lets us have the kids extra if we want and is generally easy to get along with. When she breaks up with one of them, the good news is she becomes "supermom"and suddenly is very concerned about them and spends money and time on them for a change. She often acquires a new pet too. This time is was a kitten. The bad news is she is very hard to get along with and calls DH on the phone at his job and discusses the kids at length . . and complains about me too. DH and I also think she has a weird idea that he and she will get back together some day, or maybe she realizes what a great guy she had once.

The kids went back to her house on Friday and she called DH this morning at work, to complain about something she thought I had done, for an hour. She ranted about a lot of other subjects and just sounded like she wanted to control everything, perhaps because she had suddenly lost so much. I kind of feel sorry for her. We were expecting something to happen because one of the kids said she had broken up with her BF . . . *sigh* just in time for the holidays.

Does anyone else go through this?

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sylviatexas1

I think, in one way or another, *everybody* goes through this (not least the animal shelters!)

When someone suffers an emotional loss, the impulse is to replace the beloved, whether it makes rational sense or not.

example:

I once had a friend whose older sister was a mess.

As far as I know, she's still a mess, & she's in her sixties by now.

Whenever she suffered an emotional blow, she'd get pregnant.

When the baby got past the sweet-smelling adorable infant stage & became a soggy screaming red-faced burden, she farmed him/her out to her mother or to whatever friend she was using at the time.

& she'd get a pet from the shelter, & oftentimes, *she'd get pregnant again!*

It's sad & it's tragic.

I'd probably say to hubs, make up an urgent incoming call & cut her off.

&, unless there's a reason not to (mean to kids, etc), let her be supermom as long as she'll do it!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2009 at 2:51PM
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stepmomof4

Yeah- the supermom stuff is a very good thing. Wish it was the only side-effect!

It is very sad, your friend's sister. . or anyone who is so desperate for love. Do you think it is a function of something like abuse as a child or a low level of intelligence? I don't mean to sound like some sort of aristocratic snob (lol if you knew me) but I do find it fascinating.

Thanks for your input. There will be lots of antics throughout the holidays now . . she'll mess with clothes and appointments, pick up times, concerts and presents . . .
oh goody.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2009 at 3:31PM
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sylviatexas1

I do think that it goes back to childhood abuse, & that the reason it's so common is that abuse is so common.

My friend's sister (Mary)is the older child, my friend (Susan) is the younger one.

Susan has told me:

their mom tried suicide a number of times.

Mary started getting pregnant at *13*, & this was back in the 1960's.

Mary "hated" her mom & wanted her dad to marry her.

Her dad coerced her mom to accompany him when he tied Mary up & took her to a back-street abortionist.

The mother had to hold Mary down until the drugs took effect, Mary screaming hysterically the whole time.

*The dad was the calm in the center of the storm*, at that time & forever after.
(Remember what I said about the only calm one in a family of hysterics? *That's the guy who's in control.*)

I'd bet money that that dad was the father of that first pregnancy, & that he'd been sexually abusing Mary long before she was old enough to conceive.

Yet, Susan refuses to consider that it isn't all Mary's fault;
Susan worships her dad, feels that her mom was a tragic & flawed person, & blames Mary for the chaos & misery in Mary's own life & the chaos & misery she's dealt to everyone in her circle.

& Mary, like my mother, *has* dealt a great deal of misery;
Mary's daughters are in professions such as stripping.
she often threatens to "take custody" of her grandchildren.
she's befriended one pregnant girl after another for years & years, trying to coerce them into giving their babies to her.
she's had many many pets, but she always exchanges an adult pet for a new "baby".
& she never never never let go of the desire to have her father love her.

Mind you, she's a holy terror, & I'm afraid of her.

but she's been wronged & damaged to a devastating degree, *& nobody will acknowledge it*.

Susan, like so many younger children in abusive families, just doesn't see it.

They aren't "supposed to", & they aren't inclined to, because acknowledging that the victim doesn't deserve ill treatment means that they could be ill-treated, too.

My brother is like that.

He severed communication with me & our other brother years ago -

thank goodness, because all he ever said to either of us, or about either of us, was how horrible we are & how he is just entirely different.

According to him, he's the only one who deserves respect, decency, & success.

It's just the dynamics of the matter, just the way those things go.

& there's no "fixing" the problem;
Mary & the many others like her will keep trying to get love from people who are just like the one who mis-treated them.

I did it myself for years, until illness finally slowed me down so much that I had time to sit & think.

I guess that was the blessing of my illness, & it was a big one for which I'm grateful.

uh.

what was the question?

I think that so often the ex-wives, the mothers of your stepchildren, sound exactly like abused women, & their marriages *cannot* work out.

It's just the dynamics, & it looks insane to anyone who hasn't had similar experiences.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2009 at 4:30PM
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stepmomof4

There were a lot of *wows* in your story. You strike me as very inciteful and empathetic.

I think we have a lot in common, except you had a partner in your black-sheepedness (lol) and I was/am oh-so-solo.

So, Syl, you and I, why are we understanding of these "evil" people? Why do we feel sympathy for them? We were abused too, were we not?

Your statement "because acknowledging that the victim doesn't deserve ill treatment means that they could be ill-treated, too." is plainly profound, and my brother as well. .

And what about all the shrapnel in the form of these unwanted children, pets, . . BM is only loving her kids and attacking me like a bear and her cubs, because she is filling her selfish void.

How can people be so self-absorbed and callous? Because they can't help it?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2009 at 5:10PM
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sylviatexas1

right.

I *don't* think they can help it.

My mother was a narcissist, & violent to boot.

She beat the whey out of all of us & picked me as her special scapegoat, & it took me until I was ridiculously old to figure out that what she did was evil & that she knew it was evil because she kept it a secret from everybody else.

but...

Narcissists sometimes become that way because of brutal abuse when *they* were children.

& since it took me so many years to figure out a lot of stuff & to realize the extent of the damage done, I can readily grasp the concept that they aren't aware of what they're doing or why they're doing it.

As my brother would say, "It's just a mental thing", but in the end, the mental things color our entire lives.

Nothing I could do would have made any difference in the way my mother acted or the way she treated us, but that "mental thing", that knowledge & accpetance, frees me from remaining in bondage to her & to the past.

If you can keep it always in your mind that you *don't* know what went on behind closed doors in *anybody's* life & remember that there's a reason for everything (people don't just suddenly for no reason go berserk & start screaming that they want to marry their father!), it's easier to roll along.

As for the shrapnel...
I think it's much easier on the kids if the drama & resentment & anger are eliminated.

No matter what goes on, no matter what their messed-up mom does or doesn't do, if you can be the go-to grown-up for the kids, the port in the storm so to speak, I think it's the best, the kindest, the most powerful thing you can do for them.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2009 at 6:16PM
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stepmomof4

Somebody famous once said

"It's a great life, as long as you don't weaken."

    Bookmark   November 11, 2009 at 11:20AM
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imamommy

"The kids went back to her house on Friday and she called DH this morning at work, to complain about something she thought I had done, for an hour"

The frustrating thing for me, is when BM calls DH on something SD10 tells her and goes off on him before she calmly, rationally asks him "what happened?" instead of taking a 10 year old's perception as the gospel. SD10 puts her own slant on everything, as most kids might... instead of saying "I lied to my teacher so dad & Ima sent me to bed early.", she will say "they make me go to bed early... for no reason... I didn't do anything!" and BM will call up with guns blazing. Um, you're relying on what a child says?

(she also does the supermom thing when she is single... however, if she isn't in a relationship, she is preoccupied with finding one... so she isn't 'single super mom' too much.)

    Bookmark   November 11, 2009 at 12:22PM
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stepmomof4

Yes!! The one who fuels the fire is SD13!

What happened is that we bought an expensive winter coat for SS12 and sent it along to BMs. He came back with a different coat on. We don't care what he wears at her house but 1) If he had a coat why did she ask for one? 2)Where is the coat we bought? The kids rarely go outside when they are at BMs and at our house a good coat is essential for winter fun (we live in Minnesota). This is the third coat of SS12s that we bought that got lost at BMs. You think we'd learn and stop sending them, but we are afraid he will be cold!

So, I had a relatively small hissy fit in front of the kids about it and SD13 told mom her version of the things I had said. Her version was much more . . colorful.

So BM calls DH and says things like "what's the big deal? it's just a coat . . " and how she thinks I must be bipolar and "how he could stay with me for so long is amazing" etc. He doesn't tell her off because we want to keep the peace so he does the equivalent of nodding his head until she is done ranting.

I am so gullible and keep thinking everything is fine and we are practically friends and then she breaks up with someone and I become her favorite target again. We have conferences next week and she doesn't go very often. I bet she'll show up because she is in supermom mode. I can't wait, oh goody.

Meanwhile she doesn't censor herself in front of the kids and we don't get them back for a week and a half. *sigh*

    Bookmark   November 12, 2009 at 11:07AM
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