My stepdaughter says she hates me... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 03-30-2006, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What do I do? Here is the story. I have been in a relationship with their father for 8 years. When I met them, his daughter was 6 and his son was 4. The first two years, the children lived in another city with their mother and I would see them in the summer. They moved here in 2000 to live with their father, without their mother. I did not live with them, but spent most weekends with them. We had a good relationship - I was a surrogate mom. Mom moved here in August of 2001. Everything changed, but this was natural and I was happy that the children had their mother with them. I hold all mothers in high regard - for the most part. Dad and I moved in together in December 2001 and the children lived with us 50 - 60% of the time. We have provided a stable home, rooms for each child while mom has moved twice a year since she arrived. I digress. Living together is harder for sure, but most of the discipline comes from Dad. In January 2003, I had my daughter. Initally, this was fun for the children, but over time the eldest daughter has had more and more resentment of her. They do not really get along well. Then in May 2005, Mom moved away so that the children had to take a 1.5 hour ferry ride to see her. We went from 50% to 90% custody. Only in the last two months have we received any support from her for them. My relationship with dsd has deteriored dramatically. She is 13 now and will have almost nothing to do with her sister, except to argue with her or correct her. Dad was away yesterday and dsd said " I hate you. I wish you had never gotten together with my dad and ruined my life...and I wish you'd never had ds." Then she told me she wishes her father and I would split up. I was devasted. I want the children to go and live with their mother for the summer, but mom works full time (Dad does not) and he doesn't want them to go. I think if they don't go, I will. My relationship with Dad is often difficult, and this makes it alot worse. I do not hate my stepchildren, but I dislike their behavior. Has anyone else had to deal with this - what did you do?
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#2 of 18 Old 03-30-2006, 09:01 PM
 
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What do you do...you ride it out. She is a teen and she is lashing out at the woman in her life she feels safest with (you). Her mom isn't safe since her mom leaves and comes back. But you have been there for her.

Go buy some books on being mother to a teenage girl and read up. It is a nightmare.

Best of luck.

You will all survive. I suggest Love and Logic btw for teen behavior issues.
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#3 of 18 Old 03-31-2006, 08:03 PM
 
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I agree with MM - teenaged daughters have a unique and um, "difficult" relationship with their moms - I KNOW I DID !

Don't take it personally, it will likely happen with your bio daughter someday, too . If anything, take it as a sign that she does love you. You are obviously the female role model in her life, because you're the lucky one who gets to be the one she's rebelling against I think young women go through a period when they are defining who they are and they use the women closest to them as something to push off from, kwim?

It's a tricky dance to do, I don't know if I can give you any good advise. The only thing I can say is that my mother shut herself off from me (emotionally) for a chunk of my teen years - I went to go live with my dad. Our relationship was damaged for years after that and it's only recently that I've begun to forgive her. I think it sounds like you need a break - but make sure that you don't shut down. Your dsd needs you to be strong for her now, even if it seams like an impossible thing to do.
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#4 of 18 Old 03-31-2006, 10:01 PM
 
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I agree with pp, ride it out. Its possible she's trying to push you away before you leave her, (just a thought into the teenage mind).

MommyMine had a great suggestion on picking up a book about teens.

Hang in there!
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#5 of 18 Old 04-05-2006, 08:57 PM
 
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I think the worst thing you could do is give up on her. It's hard to realize when you're in the thick of the situation, but everything she said is totally normal for a teenaged girl. And she doesn't mean it. I agree with the poster who said that she lashes out at you because she feels safest with you. I did the same thing to my (adoptive) mom. They sent me away to a boarding school and I did not forgive them for years for what I saw as the second great abandonment of my life (the first being the abandonment by my bio parents). Anyway, what about one-on-one time with her? Have you been doing that since you had your daughter? Stepdaughter was the only girl for a long time. Maybe she needs some regular attention from you.

Good luck!
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#6 of 18 Old 04-05-2006, 09:12 PM
 
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As a former teenage girl with step parents I just want to encourage you to hang in there. I was POSITIVE my stepmum ruined my life and my relationship with my dad when I was 13,14,15 and 16.

She must have had some nice advice from someone because she rode it out - gently and respectfully, but maintaining good boundries and letting me know I couldn't trash her.

As hard as it is I would suggest you spend MORE time with her. See if you can come up with some sort of regular thing that is something the two of you do. My stepmom and I attended a lot of community theatre productions and always went for a nice dessert together after. We never really talked - and I was probably fairly sullen through it all, but she showed me that I wasn't unloveable or worth tossing away.

Honestly, I think abandonment issues are huge for some chldren of divorce. I would guess your DSD is trying to push you away - and protect her emotions so that you can't hurt her. By sticking with her you are giving her self-esteem a huge boost.

Try to think of her as a terribly wounded child when she lashes out. Dig down to your very last bit of mothering empathy if you need to. If you can build the bridge between you and her - the bridge between her sister and her will come.

Btw - I adore my step-mum now. We have a great relationship and I thank her often for sticking with me when I was such trouble.
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#7 of 18 Old 04-10-2006, 10:42 PM
 
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'Ive been her before .... counseling is all I can suggest. She needs to feel validated.

Consciously mothering 3 girls and 2 boys
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#8 of 18 Old 04-17-2006, 09:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjfsmom
Dad was away yesterday and dsd said " I hate you. I wish you had never gotten together with my dad and ruined my life...and I wish you'd never had ds." Then she told me she wishes her father and I would split up. I was devasted
OMG...: Honestly,I would tell my dh it's our ds and me or the stepkid. Flame away. Seriously,I wouldn't tolerate my own child talking to me,much less someone elses. Ugh...
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#9 of 18 Old 04-17-2006, 11:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L&IsMama
OMG...: Honestly,I would tell my dh it's our ds and me or the stepkid. Flame away. Seriously,I wouldn't tolerate my own child talking to me,much less someone elses. Ugh...
Mirror, mirror, on the wall...
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#10 of 18 Old 04-23-2006, 06:10 PM
 
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except for L&isMama, you've gotten some wonderful advice in here.

In highschool, one of my best friends HATED her stepfather (her mother and he had been married for several years). She spend all of one gym class making us laugh with all the funny things she was going to do to make him think she was crazy. She blamed him for everything. She talked endlessly fo going to live with her dad.

Step-dad never laid down the law or demanded "respect" (like demanding respect could ever work). He never let her know pointedly how much he did for her and that she should be gratefull for his sacrifices.

Rather, he rode it out. He was a gentle, good, model. He let her know he loved her but, as long as she was lashing out at him, he let his wife take the parenting reins. .

When she got married in her mid-twenties, she listed him on her invitations and had all three of them (mom, dad, and step-dad) walk her down the aisle.
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#11 of 18 Old 04-28-2006, 01:17 PM
 
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I know this was started a few days ago. I just wanted to add that I too think you should ride it out. I have an adopted dad who I was very hard on growing up. I love and respect him dearly now. He was the stable male in my life and even though I didn't show it at the time and was truly furious and very disrespectful with him a lot of my teenage years, now as an adult I love him more because he stuck it out while I acted so horribly. I have a wonderful relationship with him now and no relationship with my biological father. In fact I named one of our daughters after his mother (who died from cancer before I was born) and his adopted mother my grandmother (who actually had no biological children of her own) she adopted my dad when he was an adult because she and my grandpa got married later in life. Hang in there it may be rough for a while. Just keep trying and don't give up. One day she will come to realize what a great gift you are to her if you just don't give up.
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#12 of 18 Old 05-05-2006, 12:02 AM
 
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Hang in there. I have heard "I hate you" too many times to count.
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#13 of 18 Old 05-07-2006, 01:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L&IsMama
OMG...: Honestly,I would tell my dh it's our ds and me or the stepkid. Flame away. Seriously,I wouldn't tolerate my own child talking to me,much less someone elses. Ugh...
I also have a problem with kids speaking nasty to adults. But...

This child has had her own mother in and out of her life, from what I gather, and is probably threatened and angry and does not trust anyone.

If I were to remarry and my husband told me it was my kids or him, I would tell him where the door was and not to let it hit him on the butt on the way out.

This kind of thing is exactly why stepmoms get a bad rap, even when most of them are most likely decent, kind human beings.
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#14 of 18 Old 05-14-2006, 01:23 AM
 
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I agree that it sounds like this girl is desperate for some help and by lashing out at you she is showing you that she needs help. To ask her father to choose between her and you is not right. How would you feel if he asked you to choose between him and your child?? As a mother, I would be very hurt and angry if my partner ever asked me to choose, then I would promptly show him to the door. A parent should never give up on their child, let alone choosing a partner over their own child. This girl needs some love and attention, and possibly some councelling. Please help her.

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#15 of 18 Old 05-14-2006, 02:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawanabe
except for L&isMama, you've gotten some wonderful advice in here.
Yeah. I'm sorry,I tend to be a bit biased,cause my dh is court ordered to pay 205 dollars,per WEEK,for a 16 yr old he never sees,per her mother's choice. For a child who despises him. That's money that OUR kids need. It tends to make me bitter,so I apologize,I should have stayed out of this one.
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#16 of 18 Old 05-14-2006, 04:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L&IsMama
Yeah. I'm sorry,I tend to be a bit biased,cause my dh is court ordered to pay 205 dollars,per WEEK,for a 16 yr old he never sees,per her mother's choice. For a child who despises him. That's money that OUR kids need. It tends to make me bitter,so I apologize,I should have stayed out of this one.
I'm sorry your dh never gets to see his dd. I hope for her sake he can
ride this out. All daughter's need their daddies, even those who show
hatred. Your dc are blessed to have their dad in their lives, when
they are grown they won't miss the $205 a week, but they will know
they were blessed because of the time dad spent with them. I hope
your dh can stay strong, keep trying to contact and have a relationship
with his dd. I pray he never gives up. Teens are often hard to deal
with even in the best of situations.

-Janna, independent mother of dd, Ms. Mattie Sky born on my 25th birthday, 06*23*2000. My Mama Feb.21,1938-Sept.10,2006
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#17 of 18 Old 05-26-2006, 03:38 AM
 
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I was a very bad 13 year old I don't think one person in my family went without hearing that I hated them. In truth I hated myself and my life. I felt I had no control in my life or my actions/feelings. My hormones were crazy and I felt like no one understood me. Please forgive you DSD she is just a child and doesn't mean to be this way. I think teenagers become posssessed and if we wait the evil hormone demon leaves and we have nice people back in our lives. I know if my husband said anything about not standing by my two daughters while they go through this teenage garbage I would tell him to not let the door hit him on the but on his way out. Children do this but there is no return policy on them we can't send them back when they go through rough spells we are here to love them through it no matter how unlovable they become. My mother used to say to my eldest sister (an adopted child from his first marriage) that she loved her each time my sister said she hated her, it was funny to watch my sister would just roll her eyes and throw her hands up.

best of luck to you
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#18 of 18 Old 06-03-2006, 10:33 AM
 
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When my DSS's say mean things like that I just tell them that they do not have to like me, but they must treat me with respect, just as I treat them with respect. (They are much younger at ages 9 and 6)


I agree that children often act out the most with people they feel the most safe around. So even though it can be annoying and frustrating, remember also that its like a "secret code" for the amount of love and trust they really have for you.

I would also imagine that since you had another child, there may be some fear of "will she love the baby more than me" It does make a different dynamic. (We got pg right away after we got married)

Hang in there! This is a tough time. Plus, even though you've been a stepmom for awhile, its hard on a mommy to throw their own kids into the loop.

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Alyssa, wife to one, mama to 2 boys, 5.5 and 4. Living and learning on our little farm.
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