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amicrazy's picture

So for the short time that I have been a member here, I have noticed that for many here the only way you semi keep your sanity is to disengage from your skids. This has been on my mind a lot lately, and I’m thinking that it’s the only way I will keep from going crazy and stressing all the time.

Things have been getting progressively worse at my house with the skids lying and disrespecting me, my FH, and our home. I reached my breaking point and had a break down about it. I would talk to them unless they asked me something first. I pulled away from doing stuff for them all the time, like cleaning up because they are such slobs at our house and I would get sick of the mess and clean it myself. I stopped buying them things because quite frankly they didn’t care anyhow. I basically would come home from work and go up to my bedroom and watch tv or do stuff around the bedroom like fold laundry and stuff. FH didn’t like that I was being so antisocial, but it was peaceful, but on the other hand, it felt like I wasn’t welcome in my own home. Like I was a prisoner and could only go in certain places. It was starting to get to me, but by that time it was the end of the week, and since we have 50/50 custody, which meant I had the next week of peace. So I go a whole week of just me and FH and things were great. THEN the next week comes, the skids are back…

So at first they are okay, not terrible. So I started to not be so antisocial and was around them more. I wasn’t totally stressed, but it wasn’t peaceful either. Friday we had a major incident of SD bringing her cell phone to our house and calling BM and BM calling her all the time, but she kept it on vibrate in her book bag so we wouldn’t find it (SS and SD aren’t allowed to bring them because A.) we have our own phones for them, and B.) BM only uses it as a tracking/harassment device to find out what is going on ALL THE TIME or for SD to call her up with fake sob stories about how she thinks it’s so boring at our house-sorry our week, don’t need BM unless there is an emergency!). So she had been sneaking the phone even though she knows that her brother just got in trouble for this same exact thing, but for some reason she thinks that she is beyond the rules. So FH and I were furious that she was lying and sneaking, so he makes her clean her room, which needed to be done, but that is something that should be done anyhow, right???? So my thought was that when she was done he would give her, her REAL punishment… WRONG! Everything just goes back to normal like nothing ever happened! I couldn’t believe it! I was so mad, and I even reminded him that “you know you still didn’t tell SD what her punishment is yet”. Yeah, he wasn’t interested, like the time had passed so he wasn’t worried. So I was all mad, and it wasn’t until last night that I really got thinking that if I would have just stayed away and not been involved, then I wouldn’t be stressing about it. I know it sounds so simple, but I just don’t want FH and skids to think that I just don’t care about anything either.

So skids go back to BM on Monday morning. Last night I am making dinner and FH is looking everywhere for an IPOD that he has. I told him it was in this one drawer just last week, well it disappeared. Then I got to thinking, SD had one that looked the exact same in her book bag over the weekend, but she told me right to my face that it was from BM’s house. I didn’t think that she would have stolen it, but yep she did! And I remember her playing with my IPOD the other week and asking all sorts of questions, I guess she figured I would realize mine was missing and FH wouldn’t notice. I swear it’s like we can’t even live in our own house. I hate it! I told FH that it’s like I have to check all bags before they leave our house to make sure nothing is leaving that shouldn’t. I was so mad! And what made it worse was that I felt that the kids before these problems arose, were actually being a lot better last week. Like SS said “can I take these video games to BM’s house” me-“you need to ask your dad” ss-“well I just wanted to have both you and dad’s permission”. I felt for once like I actually mattered, but this is from SS not SD.

I can’t take the stress and the constant worries about what is going on all the time, for those that have chosen to disengage where there any negatives that resulted? FH/DH mad about it, not like it? Skids worse? Or is it the best thing you have ever done?


LMR120's picture

If the kids are lying and disrespecting you dont give them a reason to lie dont ask them anything let your DH do that. If you stop engaging with them then they cant be disrespectful. As far as sitting in your room stop doing that. Its your house and they dont need to feel like they own it and with you sitting in your room thats the message you are sending them. You can sit anywhere in the house you want just dont talk to them unless they talk to you. When your DH asks you why you arent engaing just tell him that you dont not agree with his parenting and that you want nothing to do with it. If SD is stealing from DH then thats on him to deal with. My SS5 was taking BFs stuff and now we do check his pockets and bags before he leaves. If he doesnt like it then he shouldnt haven stolen from his father in the first place. He was told that the only stuff he could touch in the house without asking was what was in his room and everything else either belonged to me or his father and he was not allowed to touch it. He stole from his dad again so I went into his room when they were no there and took his favorite toy and when he came back looking for it I told him someone must have stolen it Smile Then I asked him how it felt to have things taken from you and he said he didnt like it ... he hasnt taken anything since and he has not gotten the toy back either. I threw it away. My BF understands why I stopped dealing with it. He wishes I would be more active but I already tried that for almost two years and no one heard me. From my point of view there has been no negative impact of it.

glynne's picture

Disengaging was the healthiest thing I've ever done.

I was like you Ami...I would get involved in SD's behavior: grades, cell phone, attitude, her fights with DH, you name it. I like you would expect DH to enforce house rules and take necessary action if they weren't followed. Needless to say - SD would be grounded and DH wouldn't follow through. SD would create drama, lie and manipulate with no consequences. SD never completed chores - there was always an excuse and again no follow through from DH.

I finally gave up. I would often work late, work out and go out to dinner to avoid SD. I stopped doing her laundry, shopping for her (groceries, toiletries,etc) and picking up after her (other than to toss her belongings in her bedroom). DH was made responsible. I no longer got involved in their fights.

Initally, I felt bad and a little sad about my decision. But after a few months, my resentment and anger lessened. It didn't go away....but almost. And I found that I was happier. My relationship with DH improved - it's still tense the few times that we discuss SD - but I no longer offer my opinion. It was rarely taken anyway. SD finally moved out of our home when she was 25 - and that was at my insistance. She is now 27 - DH still enables her and supports her financially but I stay out of it. Not my business and not my concern.

It's not a perfect solution but a workable one for us.

tryingtomakeprogress's picture

We have found that allowing anything to go between homes only causes problems. We have everything the kids need at our home including our own backpacks. (Check with the teachers to see if you can check out a copy of the books for your own home.) The only thing we allow the kids to bring with them is a folder that they can put homework assignments in. We have made it very clear that anything that came to our home would go in the garbage. We sent an e-mail to BM stating the rule so that it was also her responsibility. We only had one incident where some cards came to our home and they went directly into the garbage can. Since then we have not had any problems.

stepmom2one's picture

It does suck to have to check bags...but I do check SDs bag most Sunday nights to make sure she isn't taking something to BMs. It is SDs stuff (usually) that she is taking but I don't want to have to buy something 2x becuz she wants it at BMs too. BM can buy one for her house....

My SDs BM is good about it though. If she knows that it is from our house she always sends it back, even though SD throws a fit.

buttercookie's picture

It sucks skids get two sets of everything. My daughters had to bring back what they brought and we sent back what they brought from the other house. We worked together though and realized the items belonged to and were purchased for the kids , they learned to bring what they wanted from the other house or do without, We didn't make late night early morning dashes to pick stuff up. They were taught some responsibility but I didn't deal with wackos who wanted to keep kids stuff.

stepmom2one's picture

We do the send back stuff too. But we have to otherwise when we need something she doesn't have it.

Like she needs a belt but all 3 of them are at BMs....then she is without. Or she is wearing her dress for church but her dress shoes for that dress are at BMs...see what I mean?

The backpack thing in an earlier post is a bit over the top IMO but we do have our own set of everything else.

Even coats. Sometimes it is nice out on Friday when she comes without a coat but she needs one on Sat. You get what I am saying, right?

buttercookie's picture

We had a few issues but my daughters quickly learned no coat no going outside, never had an issue with not having a dress or nice clothes because I didn't send everything with them and I checked the bag on the way back and asked them why stuff wasn't there. I also watched it be packed and reminded them what they needed to take but both sides worked together

Biological Stepmom's picture

Amicrazy, sounds lIke we have alot in common. I'm also dealing with a slobby disrespectful ss age 12 & Dealing with my hubby who sees what he wants and ignores the rest.
I completely agree that disengaging is the less stress way of dealing with these problems.
I disengaged for the first time 3 weekends ago and immidiately felt a liitle more peace in my life. It's very difficult though to be so univolved especially when I'm watching hubby have to parent & take responsibility for his offspring. It's also hard when I'm witnessing my ss control & manipulate my hubby, his daddy. And I so wanted to get in the middle and tell hubby that his son is lying and trying to start trouble or tell ss that he is grounded for lying etc. But if your disengaging you just stay out of it.
So I found my iPod and OMG did that save my sanity. Because now I did not have to listen in on the dysfunctional (in my eyes) interactions between my hubby, ss & myself.
when Pat Benatar is belting out we will be invinsible and Bon Jovi living on a prayer and I remember all the words and Bryan Adams straight from the heart or any music that gives me goosebumps. Sometimes I would turn the volume down and listen in on stepsons outrageous demands and his tantrums & excuses and hubby always giving in & catering to every whim of this
very spoiled narcisstic child.
I decided that I prefer Journey & def leapard and Heart and found myself choosing the goosebumps over the turmoil.
I pretty much forced my hubby to parent. Which hopefully he can open his eyes a liitle better to
seeing how much he is taken advantage of & lied to.
In the mean time armed with my earbuds & my 80's I proceeded to take Control of my disaster zone of a house when I did something kinda mean and I hid the remote control to the tv, which sent both
hubby & ss into a frantic frenzy and I just played dumb and listened to my tunes as hubby and son
looked everywhere to no avail hahahahaha doing this my hubby realized what a complete slob ss is
and how disrespectful he is to our home. We will see if anything positive comes from it, if so, maybe
the remote will reappear. If not oh well.
This just happened this last weekend and it was my 2nd attempt at disengaging.