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I'm done.

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
I am completely disengaging. No more making school lunches, no more getting library books, no more planning activities to do with SD, no more buying clothes for her, no more doing her laundry, no more special meals.

I am sick of constant complaining, whining, arguing and disrespect. I am not exaggerating when I say this child has never once said a positive word about anything. Makes insulting and disrespectful comments to her grandparents, has to be told repeatedly to do simple things like brush teeth, put on shoes (and often just refuses) and argues with everything. If I said the sky was blue, she would have to say it wasn't.

I'm sick of playing the opposites game, where whatever I say, SD does the exact opposite. She wins. The only thing she's going to hear from me, from now on, is "ask your father."

I am resigning as stepmother. I much prefer being a wife. Maybe I'm just not cut out to be a parent, I don't know. I honestly do not want to be within 50 feet of this kid right now and I don't know how I'm going to get through the next 2.5 weeks until this month is over.

Sorry for the rant - part of me hopes this will turn around but really it's been like this for 6 years and I'm finally accepting that it's pointless to pretend we can be a happy family. DH can deal with his daughter, I want nothing to do with her.
post #2 of 59
Have you made an appointment with a counselor yet? That can really help.
post #3 of 59
post #4 of 59


Is is soooo stressful mama. I know btdt. . . more hugs.
post #5 of 59
I'm so sorry you're having trouble right now... sending you lots of loving evergy....
post #6 of 59
What does her father say to her about it?
post #7 of 59
I can totally sympathize with you! I have many ups and downs with my SD's and it seems the older they get the more complicated it becomes just as if they were your own children becoming pre-teens. My sister turned me onto this book. The Courage to be a Stepmom. Author is Sue Patton Thele I have just begun reading it but it is interesting and I am finding it helpful. One point she makes is that sometimes we will explode and it is okay because we will learn from it and move forward. Good Luck for you and me!
post #8 of 59
Thread Starter 
Ugh. We just had a really crappy weekend. Well, actually it was a fun weekend that we planned - a visit to the grandparents, sailing, a show of local artists, a day at the beach... all ruined by constant whining and a bad case of the "I don't want to's" which by Sunday turned into the "you can't make me"s.

I just don't see the point of putting any effort into this relationship. It's obviously not appreciated or wanted.

DH feels I'm being "punitive" - I think I'm just being realistic. SD clearly does not want me to act parental towards her, so I won't. I'm sick of it. DH wants me to keep doing what I was before - making lunches, arranging playdates, etc. It's much easier for him that way.

The problem now is that DH talked to DSD and made her apologize to me. This was on our walk to daycamp... I told her she didn't have to apologize, that obviously she didn't want me to act like a parent to her so I'm not going to anymore. We'll talk more this afternoon, I need to make sure that she understands that I love her and I love her dad and I'm not going anywhere... but things aren't working the way they are so we need to change them.
post #9 of 59
I just wanted to say that it's okay not to act as a parent. *hugs*
Doesn't mean I won't make dsd lunches, or that I won't drop her off for her appointments, or that I won't help her with her homework. But I do leave the parenting to the parent, kwim?

** I don't pass on judgement on the things dsd does, unless she is actively searching for my opinion.
** I don't discipline her, and if I am uncomfortable with a situation I ask her dad to handle it, and remove myself from that conflict.
** When her dad is "having a talk" with her, I don't jump in. I won't leave the room, I might simply continue reading my book, I just won't "through oil onto the fire" if you will.
** If she is cranky and starts playing "the opposite" game, I catch on pretty quickly, and once again, simply allow her to declare that the sky is green today, and go on about my business, i.e. stop biting the bait.

I think it's okay to let her know your decision, just don't remove yourself from her to the point that you are not available. When I reached a breaking point with dsd, I wrote toher that I'm sorry for trying to be a parent in the past, that from now on I will simply be there if she needs me, and give her space when she doesn't. I reserve the right to be treated with respect, and will always support her dad's disciplinary decisions 100%. But I remove myself from further drama on any level. This might turn out into a great thing for the two of you if you do it right.

Don't get discouraged... *HUGS*
post #10 of 59
I don't know if it appllies in your situation, since I am not there, but I would encourage you to look into information regarding kids with attachment issues... I found information about children in the foster care system to be helpful when looking for information about kids with attachment issues, but it can definitely apply to children of divorce. While on the surface these children say and seem to demonstrate that they don't want your love or your support, or really anything to do with you, what they truly need is to know that you love them unconditionally and that they are worthy of that love.

Again, I don't know if it applies to your situation, but it might be worth reading about. It has honestly helped me in a pretty wide range of situations, just having a different "lens" to look through sometimes.
post #11 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post

I think it's okay to let her know your decision, just don't remove yourself from her to the point that you are not available. When I reached a breaking point with dsd, I wrote toher that I'm sorry for trying to be a parent in the past, that from now on I will simply be there if she needs me, and give her space when she doesn't. I reserve the right to be treated with respect, and will always support her dad's disciplinary decisions 100%. But I remove myself from further drama on any level. This might turn out into a great thing for the two of you if you do it right.
I did a very similar thing a few years ago with DSD when she was totally out of hand with me. Once she knew that I would not be treated poorly by her and showed her by simply walking away, she realized I meant it. Her behavior really started to turn around, and I began to do the things for her that I had stopped when I was not happy with the way she treated me.
post #12 of 59
Just wanted to give you some hugs... it is hard.
post #13 of 59
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the hugs...

DH is obviously mad at me about this. Apparently expecting him to look after his child is unreasonable. Making lunches is too much of a challenge. If we had other kids and I was making lunches anyway, I would make hers too, but that's not the case.

I'm trying to decide whether I will go along on the camping trip planned for the end of the month (2 nights). Generally camping trips are filled with the joy of DSD refusing to participate in any activities or to help with anything, with the added pleasure of constant whining and complaining. Sound fun?

I'm pretty sure this isn't an attachment problem. She actually is fairly affectionate, she just goes out of her way to do the opposite of anything I say. Like this morning, after I told her it was going to be hot today like yesterday, she decided she wanted to wear jeans and a sweatshirt. Her daycamp teachers must think we're on crack.
post #14 of 59
hugs

Your doing a great job in a hard situation
post #15 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie View Post
Thanks for all the hugs...

DH is obviously mad at me about this. Apparently expecting him to look after his child is unreasonable. Making lunches is too much of a challenge. If we had other kids and I was making lunches anyway, I would make hers too, but that's not the case.

I'm trying to decide whether I will go along on the camping trip planned for the end of the month (2 nights). Generally camping trips are filled with the joy of DSD refusing to participate in any activities or to help with anything, with the added pleasure of constant whining and complaining. Sound fun?

I'm pretty sure this isn't an attachment problem. She actually is fairly affectionate, she just goes out of her way to do the opposite of anything I say. Like this morning, after I told her it was going to be hot today like yesterday, she decided she wanted to wear jeans and a sweatshirt. Her daycamp teachers must think we're on crack.
I know lots of kids who want to dress and do dress weather inappropriate. I bet her daycamp teachers are not shocked. Maybe pack some cooler clothes that you give to her daycamp teacher in case she complains about being hot.
post #16 of 59
Ugh. What a tough situation. I'm hoping that when you remove yourself, your dsd will realize what she has in you, what you do (or did) for her. And I hope you get a break, and that your dh appreciates what you do for his child.
post #17 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by myra_mcgray View Post
I know lots of kids who want to dress and do dress weather inappropriate. I bet her daycamp teachers are not shocked. Maybe pack some cooler clothes that you give to her daycamp teacher in case she complains about being hot.
Yeah, and you just have to remember that she is only making herself suffer by trying to "get" at you. LOL Gotta love natural consequences.
post #18 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ma_vie_en_rose View Post
Yeah, and you just have to remember that she is only making herself suffer by trying to "get" at you. LOL Gotta love natural consequences.
I know, I know... at least, my rational self knows this. Somehow I have a hard time keeping my irrational self from taking over though. Don't you hate it when you KNOW your reaction is stupid/immature/unproductive... but you do it anyway? Maybe that's just me. At least I'm aware of my issues, I guess. Eventually I'm sure that I'll learn to squelch these impulses.
post #19 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by myra_mcgray View Post
I know lots of kids who want to dress and do dress weather inappropriate. I bet her daycamp teachers are not shocked. Maybe pack some cooler clothes that you give to her daycamp teacher in case she complains about being hot.

I do not know how old this child is but I would definately not pack her some cooler clothes. She will be hot and then she won't dress like that again. Regardless if she is defiant or just being like alot of kids. My 11 DSD still wears inappropriate clothing for the weather. (I did too when I was around that age) During her PE class which is outside and we live in Florida. (90 degrees most of the year.) She wears long sleeves under her t-shirt. Her friends were making fun of her because her face was so red and she stopped wearing it and put her hair in a pony tail which I asked her to do every PE day. Annoying yes but sometimes you have to let them figure it out on their own. Maybe if you do not go on the trip they will both miss your presence and maybe will accomodate you or get the ball rolling as far as you DH demanding her behavior to change and he realizing it really is not fair to you. Good Luck, Someone told me some days are just for breathing deep breathes nothing else, JUST BREATH!
post #20 of 59
One word of caution, the natural consequence of wearing the warmer clothes can backfire on you.

My dsd actually wore warm clothes to school, refused to drink the water we sent, and then sat in the sun during recess and lunch until she went to the hospital in an ambulance with heat stroke. She had untouched water bottles in her backpack, and had been wearing her pullover sweatshirt on top of her warm clothes all day! : (this happened a year and a half before she was diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder) I document like crazy because she does so many odd things I'm afraid people think we abuse her.

Is your dsd capable of going that far? We tried everything to get her to wear cooler clothes, but it was more important to her to make us look mean than it was to feel good. (if you think I'm nuts, read up on RAD) We thought we were giving her natural consequences by letting her wear the warm clothes, but in the end, she got lots of attention by riding in the ambulance and being fussed over at the hospital, and scaring the crap out of us, and we got stuck with a big bill. So who got punished? Within a couple of hours she felt fine and got to have all the popsicles she wanted. :

If you let her wear the warmer clothes, be sure to send cooler ones and inform her teacher. Or let your DH fight this battle.
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