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need help with dsd...anger issues/biomom issues/etc.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
i have surfed the web today to no avail. most of the sites i have come across are selling something, so i thought i would post a request here!
my dsd is 13 (this last March). in the beginning we got a long great and had a wonderful time. however, when biomom discovered our plans for marriage, she got very jealous and angry (mostly over $$) and began corrupting my dsd's opinion of me. we went through several months not knowing what the biomom said until it all came to a head and my dh reluctantly (at my urging) confronted biomom. Now, about 10 months later, we have been through the ringer. Dsd went for about 9 months of not coming for her scheduled visitation (allowed by dh and discouraged by me); then for a few months visitation has been about 1/2 the time. she comes over, gets on the computer, doesnt speak to me at all, then goes home. dh also sees her alone on tuesday evenings.
this just isnt working toward creating a blended family and really interferes with our ability to plan anything with the family on our kid weekends.
last week she was here we had computer problems. i had to fix dh's computer and in the process found messages that dsd had with her friends re: me and her thoughts of me. suffice it to say they were very ugly.
dh confronted dsd on his next visit but she was more surprised that we knew what she said than any remourse for the content of her words.
i am at a loss for what to do. dh has no idea what to do; and is constantly letting things go b/c he knows how stubborn dsd can be (believe me, she would rather not come here than apologize for anything).
i need help fast! we really need to address this ASAP!
post #2 of 10
Your step daughter needs help, find someone to do talk therapy with her, your hubby, and yourself.

This sounds like more than anyone should handle on their own.
post #3 of 10
I agree that getting her in to talk to someone is important, however, at that age (ugh!) they sometimes REFUSE to talk...

I can tell you from personal experience that 13 year old girls "worship" their mothers and the SM is "the evil one who came between her mommy & daddy"

My SD13 has lived with me (twice) FIVE of the last SEVEN years. I raised her, not her BM. But, "mommy is GOLD" in this girl's eyes and believes all the crud that mommy feeds her.

This, too - shall pass. Re-setting some boundaries for both of you right now will help. Don't try and be her "buddy" or act like a parent. IF (by some chance) she asks you for anything - just kindly say "ask your Dad".

If she's using the computer to write vile things about you, then have your Dh take her computer privledges away for awhile. He can do so in a loving way - by telling her that his time with her is limited and she can use the computer at home (or wherever).

If your Dh has insurance, have him call and get a couple names of adolescent psychiatrists. You may want to start with the shrink first, because they can RX meds if they are needed (for depression/anxiety) then the Doc can refer you to a good 'counselor' for "talking".

Hang in there!
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
thanks for the replies. my problem right now is that dh just visited her yesterday and continues to tell me that "healing will take time" and that she will not be coming up for her scheduled visitation this weekend. this is just CRAZY!!! I am all for protecting our children and trying to work out their problems but he is allowing her to make the rules and I think that is wrong. I would NEVER allow my children to act like she has for the past year. Its almost at a point where our marriage is on the line and that is something I really don't like.
I wish I could convince him to get help for her and for our family.
post #5 of 10
I think you, as the stepmom, probably need to back off a little bit. Yes, it's unfair that she has this animosity towards you, but she's 13. 10 months is not a lot of time for her to adapt to the new situation. Remember that she is a child and is suffering for something over which she has no control (her parents being separated and you being a permanent fixture). I don't think she should be rushed off to a shrink for acting like a 13yo in a tough situation.

I am categorically opposed to forcing visitation on a child. There have been a couple of occasions where my dss (11) has not wanted to come for the weekend. These instances are handled on a case-by-case basis - usually resulting in Ryan making the final decision. If he doesn't get to make the final decision, he gets to know why.

All that being said, you deserve to be respected in your home. I don't mean that she has to speak to you if she doesn't want to - I mean she shouldn't be allowed to be rude or mouthy to you, and if it really bothers you, she shouldn't be allowed to use your computer to say nasty things about you.

My stepkids know that they are allowed to be angry with me and/or their dad. They are not, however, allowed to be rude or mean. They're not required to love me and I make it clear that I know they will ALWAYS love Mommy more. This was hard for me to accept in the beginning - but since I have and quit trying to force MY IMAGE of a "blended family," life has gotten much more pleasant and my relationship with the kids has improved dramatically.

From what you describe, I see a 13yo being surly and noncommunicative and bad-mouthing her parents. I don't think one bit of that is abnormal. To me, the worst part of this whole deal is that this appears to be affecting her relationship with her dad. How does she relate to your Dh when you're around? How about on Tuesday's when you're not around?

I can see several explanations for her behaviour. One of these is that she feels threatened by you and your children (possibly especially the new baby). She needs to know unequivocally that her father still loves her. The best way to do this is for you to back off a little bit and allow her and her dad to spend A LOT of quality time together.

This is one of those times that "Stepmom" totally sucks. No one will give you any credit, or appreciate your efforts, but no matter how unfair it is to you, you have do what's best for the girl. Because "step" notwithstanding, you are the mom. And that's what moms do.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
i believe we have both backed off alot and i think it has been a very long time. as i said earlier, things were fine for about 6 months and we got along great until her biomom started polluting the waters.
i just dont think its ok for a 13 year old to dictate the entire family weekends and to cause us all a great deal of pain each and every weekend. these problems were her biomoms doing and not something that dsd began feeling herself. her parents were divorced for over 7 years by the time i met dh.
i also dont believe my kids cause her any discomfort, as she talks to my 7 year old alot and gets along with him. my older son is usually out and about when she is here (mainly b/c we never know when she is going to be here).
i am certainly not trying to push myself on her, but things she said on the computer were not just "i hate my stepmom". they were MUCH worse than that and really makes me feel like she has taken her biomoms animosity and jealousness as her own.
post #7 of 10
I have a similar situation with DSD 12, though he is more confused than anything. I do think it sounds like counselling would help with the situation. I also think if you can all sit down and talk it might help too - we told DS he did not have to like me but he does have to respect the fact his father married me, and also told him we love him and its normal to feel angry and confused (but think he needs counselling to express her feelings in a healthier way as does your DSD) anyhow he seems much happier after we talk with him, I think in this situation they also feel guilty liking you at all (they used to call me Mom and their Bio-Mom said she will kill them if they call me that - they still do though sometimes though totally voluntarily) and the older DSC are old enough now to see the games and want no part of it, and have made their own mind up. I think thats a very vulnerable age though and she sounds like she does need some professional help. But in the meantime I think its important your DH shows his solidarity to you and you try to talk to her as a couple (not saying anything negative about BM though). I think be as neutral as possible, it sounds like you are really trying hard to do the right things and its very difficult when things get so twisted around.
post #8 of 10
My dss is 13 and while we are not dealing with all the anger that you are, just recently he had the "i wish you and dad would get back together" convo with his mom. This is totally normal.

It sounds like she is very angry and you are the scapegoat. I know you say things were fine until biomom started saying stuff about you, but are you totally sure of this? Were things "fine" or was she putting on a good face to make her dad happy? Are you sure biomom was bad mouthing you, or could it be that she and her dd were talking and maybe she shared some hurt feeligns and now dd is super defensive of her? I'm not doubting what you say... just trying to get a better understanding of the situation, and maybe provide a different prespective.

I'm afriad I don't have any great advice on how to handle it (although, I do think it's Dh's responsibility to take charge and stick up for you and let his dd know her behavior is not okay), but time is on your side here. As she grows up, she will mature and begin to understand that you are not the evil stepmonster her mom has tried to paint you. Just continue to be yourself, treat her with respect and defer to her father. I have heard story after story of children who grow up with blended family drama and eventually, they all understand that it's the parents' baggage and that the step-parent/s are are caught in the middle of the drama just as much as the kids are. IME, in the end, it's all good.

This too shall pass.....
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
yes we are sure he bimom started things. she began with dh telling him he was crazy to get remarried (they had been separated 8 years at the time) and she also got together with my ex (long story...they live in the same town...we don't). after the initial disouragement from dh didn't work, she began saying things to dsd. dsd refused to tell us what she said b/c her mother told her not to, and it took months to find out but eventually we got it out of her bimom. motivation? bimom was still the beneficiary of ALL of dh's investments, insurance, etc. She was totally bummed when she found out that would change once we were married. also, DH pays a substantial amount of alimony but also frequently helped with other financial things. on top of all that, dh used to celebrate holidays with dsd at bimoms home. needless to say, all these things ceased when we got engaged.
i am sure dsd was fine for about 6 months of our engagement. we both went shopping together, joked together, etc. once bimom started protesting against the marriage, that all stopped.
so, thats the nasty update....
still stuck on what to do since dh is a very soft spoken man who just keeps asking dsd what she plans to do about this and will not look at therapy as an option.
what i dislike most about this is how it ends up with dh and i arguing (as last night).
thanks for all the advice and support...this is just really really hard.
post #10 of 10
Rachel, what a mess that sounds like. Ugh. And I'm sorry your DH isn't being more assertive about it. If he won't confront it, dsd is getting the message that her bahvior is okay with him. Maybe a heart to heart with DH about how important this will bring him around?

So, did biomom make up lies aobut you, or is it general "i don't like her" sort of badmouthing? I'm asking because I think the two scenarios would warrant different responses. If it's general bad attitude smack-talking, I would be inclined to take the highroad and not say anything to mom or dsd. But if she is making up lies about you, I think I would want to confront her and not only put a stop to it, but ask that she tell her daughter that she made them up. Not sure if she would be receptive to that, but it might be worth a shot on your part. What if you had your DH set up a meeting (or you could initiate it - that might let them all know how concerned you are) about among the four of you and get things out in the open? Would they go for that? I dunno... I know it's all easier said that done, especially as the "outsider" step-person. I'm just trying to think creatively about how to handle it.

I also suggest going to see a counselor yourself, even if no one else will go with you. It really does help.
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