Myfampg can I pick your brain?

yabberDecember 17, 2010

I hope you don't mind, I'm just curious because I can't see my SD12 ever really getting it. And it worries me. Not that I want personal recognition (well that would be nice but that's not the point here :-) or justice, I just worry that SD12 will end up with lots of problems herself because she's so enmeshed with BM. She's the example of a parentified kid.

I know that that might not apply to you Myfampg, but my question is not re. parentification, I'm just wondering how old you were when you started to catch on with what was going on. I'm assuming that if you had an overprotective mum, she demanded your loyalty and you would have had to choose her in certain situations, to prove it? I grew up in an intact family, I can't imagine what it's like and I'm just not able to picture how that works in a childs' mind. Did you believe that your mum was more important than your dad, or even that only your mum was important? I don't even really know how to word my questions, can you notice? Anyway, I worry for my skids, I try and show empathy and be kind and caring when they are with us. I leave all the parenting stuff up to FDH, I show an interest in them and their friends, and what they do. But it eats away at me to see BM wear them down.

After last time when SD14 decided to stay with us because she coudn't handle it anymore (all the fighting and drinking and chaos) we haven't seen them again.

They both cancelled last time they were supposed to come and yesterday FDH received the dreaded SMS again that they 'have a lot going on' and are not coming till Saturday. I'm sure they'll go back again on Sunday, if they even come. It's from one extreme to the next. Christmas time I guess, BM increases the pressure yet again. Sorry to trail off, this has nothing to do with my question to you, I'll sign off now before I write a book :-(

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yabber, my parents divorced when I was in middle school. I think I was in 7th or 8th grade. Actually, I only remember bits of my life after that.. I think I've blocked a lot out. But my mom was overbearing (not sure I'd say overprotective) but she demanded my loyalty, wanted me to listen to her problems & part of that was listening to how my dad did this or that to her. Honestly, I don't think she knew how torn that made me feel. It got worse when dad remarried. His wife was nothing like my mom... educated, very pretty, prim & more sophisticated. (my mom isn't ugly at all, but she wasn't one to get nails/hair done all the time... SM was always put together & dressed 'right'. Mom was jealous of her & wanted our loyalty even more.. always digging for info & then the criticism began. It bothered me from when I was in high school, but it took until I was in my 20's before I felt comfortable telling my mom anything. (I'm 41 & still have never told my mom how it made me feel completely because I know she would be critical of my caring for my SM) It's because she is insecure & an alcoholic. (though she no longer drinks, she has never addressed her alcoholism)

Thinking back to what it was like to go through it, though it's different then my current situation... when I face the realization of how strong the mother/child relationship is, because I have a mom that some of the things BM does... it affects me a lot sometimes because it's too familiar. I can relate to where SD is in a way, but the way I dealt with it was different than how my SD handles it with her mom. My mom has 4 kids. My brother & I were the only ones to defy my mom by (secretly) liking SM. My two sisters were openly mean to SM... which bothered me as a kid. When SD does hurtful things to me, I see her as doing what my sisters did to my SM... I remember how they talked about her behind her back, etc. Honestly, if the child chooses to be completely loyal to their parent, there is nothing you can do to prevent the problems she will have. The problem is with the mother and will transfer to the child. If the child recognizes the problems it causes in their life they can seek counseling but I've had counseling & it's a lot of work to separate the feelings. For a long time, I would step back (with SD) & make excuses for her.. that she's only doing this because ____. and I could relate because of being in her shoes as a kid. Then, I also realize that she is doing what my sisters did... and they never had a relationship with SM. I had lots of tearful talks with SD over our relationship and finally realized that she may not want that/any relationship with me. I was loyal to my mom but I didn't run to her to trash talk my SM the way my sisters (& SD) did/does. It is very complicated & perhaps the best thing to do is to leave it to SD & BM to sort out their own relationship. It eats away at me to see BM ignore SD, but really there is nothing you can do about it. I still try to be empathetic to SD but have stopped trying to "have a relationship" with her. For me, it's been difficult to be more than cordial with her... she does not talk to me at all. She doesn't say hello, she goes straight to her room when we get home & stays there until her dad gets home, if she's out of her room & hears my door open she runs back to her room & closes the door to avoid being around me. I hope that is not the usual behavior that anyone else would have to deal with. It would be easier if it were on weekends only, but she lives with us & it makes life uncomfortable for all of us.

I don't know if any of my rambling helps, but I guess the bottom line is that trying to "fix" or involve yourself in the mother/daughter relationship, no matter how dysfunctional it is, can backfire & make matters even worse. I used to think my SM was being rude because she would excuse herself & stay in her room when my dad's kids came over. She hardly talked at Christmas. At family stuff, she kept a distance, but looking back she was doing what was best because of how my sisters were. I'm not sure I would ever "get it" if I was not a stepmom now. One on one, she & I got along fine.... secretly.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 9:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ok.. Here I go. Dad left when I was 2, sister 12 brother 7. Parents were married 13 yrs. Dad cheated and got GF pg so I have a half brother that is almost 2 yrs younger than me. Dad married his GF, they were married until I was 10. Dad never got me in the beginning bc I was the baby and he thought too young for weekend visits. Mom tried to get him to take me. Never would. Started going when I was 5. Dad worked all weekend leaving us with SM. SM and older sister got along great bc SM let sister drink and smoke and go out all night while me and brother were literally locked in a bedroom for hours with only rice and biscuits for dinner. No breakfast or lunch. Dad was clueless. Mom remarried when I was 4 to my stepdad. They are still married, I am 30 now. Mom never did or said anything until brother told about the abuse we indured (neglect) for 4 yrs. She stopped letting us go. When dad remarried at 40 a 29 yr old mom became furious at the affection I showed towards new sm. She was lots of fun. Taught me to drive at 13! Responsible parent? Absolutely not. I didn't realize the loyalty my mom demanded until I was 13. I went to live with dad and sm for 2 yrs in jr high. It was awful for me. I was even more neglected since sm and bd were both cops. No one ever home. We were the party house bc I was left to run wild. Got into some trouble and my mom made me move home. All through high school I would want to go see my dad and mom would get angry and tell me things like 'your dad never helps he doesn't pay child support he cheated he left US' so I would drop it. Then I started having my own issues with dad bc SM #2 felt betrayed by me since I moved back home with mom she wouldn't speak to me. I would visit and she would lock herself in her room all weekend. So I stopped going. Then at my high school graduation dad came SM did not, my Parents got into a fight. I was crying over my bff moving away and we were hugging, dad said awwwwww isn't that so sweet in a 'mocking' tone. Mom turned around and said 'she isn't use to losing people or people leaving her, that's your job!' omg!! It was awful they started screaming and going at it. I didn't speak to my dad for 5 yrs but I never heald it against my mom. SM and dad divorced and dad met sm#3. Dd was 1. I started seeing my dad in secret bc I didn't want my mom to know. Dad owed mom $25k in child support but she had to buy his part of the house when I graduated college. So when they went to do all of that basically they wipped that clean and mom had to still pay $28k to dad... Mom was furious. She had a bad attorney and dad knew the judge since he worked for the county ... Mom has lots of baggage, lots of hate, animosity. I did not realize what my mom was doing to me by forcing me to pick her or my dad until I told her I was inviting dad to dd's bday party, a party she agreed to help pay for. She simply said 'i won't be there' which then I had to not invite dad bc I couldn't afford the party on my own and needed her help. She basically knew I needed her $ and that I would pick her so that I could have this party we had already planned to split.

Basically my dad was not a good dad. Not there for me. But he is still my dad. I look just like him and so she always says don't make that face you look like your father!! That always hurt me which is part of some issues I have with my self esteem and self worth. It will hurt your dd's. They will look for a way out as young adults by trying to find a man to support them so they can move out fast. That is what I did. I could not stand the constant badgering of my dad and her stories of how he left us or how he did this or that. Granted they did not start until high school.

The way I have fixed it now is I just tell my mom, he is my dad and you married him, you had kids with him, you get over it.
So she slowly has gotten over it in the last two yrs but she still says things about the money (which I do agree he screwed her, he screwed us) but I don't want to relive it over and over and over again. I just want to live my life now. It took only 10 yrs from the beginning of the mess for me to figure it out and I had to set very clear boundaries with my mom. Now things are fine and honestly, now I see that my dad was a deadbeat, still is and my mom was right however I still don't want to hear it.

Your situation is a bit different. But do know that she will figure it out when she is an adult. Just keep doing what you are doing. Do not cut yourself off from her because that hurts worse. She will realize wow sm wasn't like what my mom said and she will probably need therapy like I have needed but she will get it and her adulthood may start out rough but in the end, her childhood will not define her. Mine does not. I do not say 'well I had a rough childhood and no one wanted me so I will go be promiscuous or a deadbeat' I have changed my yellow brick road to better fit what I want. Now my sister... She uses her childhood as an excuse for her constant mistakes... Hopefully that won't be your sd.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 1:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Correction Sm #2 was 20 not 29.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 12:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow those are some serious stories, thanks for sharing.
Our situation is definately different, FDH is a good dad for his daughters. Sure, he's a man, and he is not always in tune with things ;-) but he tries. He's there for them, listens to them, he has fun with them, looks after them, and I know how hard he tries to help them, but that is too painfup for SD's to acknowledge most of the time. Because if they acknowledge they could do with the support they open that door to those ugly feelings that they try to keep locked away. So that's fair enough.

I guess it will be the same for them as for you Ima, they'll forget bits and pieces of their childhood because they'll block it out. When you wrote that I realised I've already noticed that, just recently. Their mom is dating a loser again whom she also dated 4 years ago, that ended violently with the bloke out the fornt of the house banging on the door and wrecking the front yard, and the kids hiding behind the couch in the dark with BM. They don't remember it.

I also feel a bit more encouraged to hang in there, thanks so much ladies. Sometimes it's just so hard to keep going, I feel like giving up. But I won't, you are right it would hurt worse if I cut myself off emotionally. I'd rather deal with this turmoil within myself, I can get over it :-)

I can't predict the future, Myfampg you and your sister both turned out so different, I'm thinking my SD's will be the same because they already are so different now.

Ima, I just cannot imagine how hard it must be to deal with SD's hurtful behavior on a daily basis. We know the reason, and we see the poison, but all the same. I already have such a hard time with only the first day when they get here and they're all stressed and sad and moody. How do you keep going and deal with that every day, my heart really goes out to you. You have A LOT of patience.


    Bookmark   December 20, 2010 at 6:58AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
If I could tell mothers of adult stepchildren anything, Part 2
It seems my five-year-old topic has reached its limit...
How to Prevent Adult Children Living with You
If you and your spouse are of retirement age, move...
Can I handle becoming a stepmom one day?
I just turned 36 earlier this month. My boyfriend and...
Step Son Help
Hi, Im Rowdy and have been married for 11 years now....
if I could tell stepmothers of adult children anything
My dad remarried last year, a year after my mother...
Sponsored Products
Walt Disney Signature Underscore 20" Wide Pendant Light
Lamps Plus
Bisc Whitehaus WHFLATN3318 Athinahaus or Fluted Double Bowl Fire Farm Sink
$889.00 | Blue Bath
Rain Apothecary Table Lamp
$99.99 | Lamps Plus
Granny smith lacquer wreath
Origin Crafts
Filament Design Path & Landscape Lights Centennial 1-Light Outdoor LED Acid
Home Depot
Blackout Buddy with CO Detector
$60.00 | FRONTGATE
Pavillion Red Leather Home Theater Group - 600132-2
Area Rug: Trapani Dark Chocolate 5' x 8'
Home Depot
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™