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It's like a vortex of hate.

amyburemt's picture

  Since my SD17 left(see my previous posts) I have been slowly recovering and moving forward. I didn't fully realize exactly what toll the stress in the house was taking on everyone until she left and we all could start breathing again. The negative vortex was turning me into someone I could barely recognize anymore. My own 2 bios were completely stressed out and my younger sd was stressed. 

  For so long, I tried to get my DH to see that I basically had a target on my back whenever SD even so much as walked by me.His answer was always well youre the adult.  My BD17 told me a couple of weeks ago that she didn't realize the full extent of it until she heard a conversation between sd and bm they were holding on speakerphone in which all they did was bash me. 2 peas in a pod. But in a way, it was a relief for someone, anyone, to finally see the hatred I have been dealing with for years. My self esteem is completely gone. I second guess every decision I make. These 2 (bm and sd) are completely bad news to say the least. Bm was an extreme  PAS parent. And absolutely fucking nuts. And my guess is her daughter will be the exact same way as a parent. Even though she is now gone, she is STILL trying to create drama in our house. She sent my DH a text completely randomly  in which she bashed me, told him she wasn't going to college and was going to become a famous dog trainer instead and that she wasn't going to contact him anymore. He told her that he loved her, wished her success , and hoped she someday learned to get rid of her hate. She likes to throw in the card "you chose her over me" all the time because that's what bm drilled into her. Whats ironic is that we always included her in things, tried to blend the family, but she always fought it 100 percent sooo actally she's the one who caused this rift and continues to cause it. I have never in my life dealt with someone like this except for BM. I just don't get the continued vendetta of trying to cause hate and discontent in a house she no longer even lives in. 

  I am wondering how much of this is genetic. I was very against blaming genetics for the way kids turn out because I, myself, am an adoptee who's bio family was a complete nightmare and I turned out well thanks to my adoptive family. But now I am thinking that was the wrong viewpoint. SD is a complete carbon copy of BM and no matter how my DH set SD up to be successful in life or to look at the bigger picture , she still ended up just like her. We worked so hard to blend this family. So it does feel like we failed. I completely hate the term blended family now, I feel like it should just be called surviving. 

  So my plan on moving forward is to continue working to rebuild my self esteem, have fun with my kids, and since we have a farm, keep pushing progress in that direction. I'm taking small steps in the direction of doing something nice for myself each day. I know this probably sounds stupid, but I bought some aromatherapy shower bombs that you hang in your shower and each day I use one. I take the time at night to read or to watch a movie, but I do find that movies really don't seem to do anything as far as self care goes. I'm just trying to do some small right now. I also downloaded the app "calm" and listen to it occasionally since they are only 5 or 10 minute relaxation sessions. I'm just wondering what other people do to slowly build their own esteem back up. 


Areyou's picture

I went through a very similar situation with SDlateteen. How did I heal? I completely disengaged from her, no longer put my self in the same space as her, stopped treating her like a daughter and started treating her like the annoying next door feral neighbor kid. I stopped making eye contact with her and stopped having small talk with her. Stopped asking her to do anything for me and stopped providing for her. I stopped buying things for her and pulled the  savings fund that I had started for her. I put all that money into DD's savings account and took away the promise that I would give her free tuition through my work. Made sure the family knew about SD's behaviors directed at me, and refused to be legally married to their father. Bought my own house and go there whenever SD will be around. All these things have helped me heal. SD now walks around with her tail between her legs whenever she is around me. You have to position yourself so that you hold all the cards.

CLove's picture

Except I do not have any children of my own, and did not recieve that kind of validation that you did, exept through the younger SD - Munchkin SD12 - that I am close to. 4 years ago, when SO was still going through his process, was separated but not divorced (mistake #1.) we decided to have a relationship. And a few months into it I met the kids. They were 15 and 8 at the time, and I thought "Hey, I migt not have kids, but can still bond with them, as a sort of bonus parent, eventually, if things work out!" (mistake #2).

The Ex is a Toxic High Conflict Golden Uterus BM, and she PASed the Feral Eldest against me right away. Just back stabbed the heck out of me, and she wouldnt meet me at all, to boot, so I did not really know what I was dealing with. The Feral Eldest is JUST like her mother - sloppy, a pathological liar, rude, mean, drama-inducing. Luckily the younger is like her father, and is sweet, chill, smart, and happy-go-lucky. I treat her like a daughter, and buy her things, and take her places, and we have nice discussions about everything. She comes to me to talk about difficult things like her sister hating on her, her mother spending more time texting her different men, than her, her mean girl experiences at school or church, etc.

Luckily, a few years ago, after a particularly nasty fight (actually she did all the fighting, I just shook my head listening) with Feral Eldest SD now 19, whereby she called me "ugly, disgusting, b!tch", said "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you" several times, I found this site, and it changed my life, my perspective and how I dealt with everything. I disengaged, and it was like a huge weight had lifted. I no longer felt so alone and isolated. I found people who lived in that same "vortex of hate", that I did, and found kindred spirits, which helped me heal tremndously. I still have some work to do. 

Last year, Feral Eldest moved out, and it was like the entire household heaved a sigh of relief. Munchkin SD12 mentioned how much nicer it was not having her sister around, being demanding and negative and mean to everyone. Six months after she left, she and I cleaned out her room. 6 bags of trash, 5 for donation, a few for the closet to keep "in case", a whiskey bottle, a marajuana pipe and other strange stuff later, we now have a nice room to hang out in. 

It can get better, sometimes it doesnt. I got real lucky and have a suportive SO, and SD. Otherwise I would have left, had she not moved out. I still have to deal with BM, and I live in fear that Munchkin will change, and be more like her mother and sister now that she as hit puberty, but thus far, it looks pretty good.

I am taking care of myself by working out and eating healthy. I no longer stress eat. I write, and journalize. I go for walks with family. I go to the beach when I can. I remember to breathe. So much has happened in the past 4 years and things have gotten better, and easier!

Thanks for sharing.

CLove's picture

Its NEVER absolutely never an easy pathway.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I can relate to a great deal of what you've shared. When I found this site, my self esteem was also in the toilet. I had tried so hard for so long to make things work better and please everyone. I had lost myself, and was a complete doormat. Then when I stopped doormatting after so many years, I became the family scapegoat.

Listen to me - It's not you, it's them. You are not the problem. YOU ARE NOT THE PROBLEM.

​​​It's not personal. It's not really about you at all. You joined a dynamic that was already broken and dysfunctional, that's all. Your SD was already twisted and weaponized, primed with hatred ready to spew it at whomever her father chose for a partner.

It's hard to keep your sense of self worth when some part of your husband's baggage is mistreating you but he won't acknowledge it or protect you from it. Without confirmation or validation that the abuse is actually occurring and is wrong, we begin to doubt ourselves and question whether our perception is accurate. "Is it me?? Maybe if I just try this or that, then they'll like me ."  But many of our SOs are either too weak, afraid, emotionally detached, or part of the dysfunction. They can't be counted on to protect us from it. As an outsider, you are on your own.

As you work on recovering from the toxicity, embrace being an outsider. It certainly worked for me. That's not your daughter, or your ex, or your mess. Make your H keep his crazy out of your life.  Delete BM and OSD from your brain (it's a process, but you can do it). I am even careful of labels, using them to create/maintain emotional distance: I'm not a SM, I'm DH's wife; I don't refer to skids as my steps, they are DH's daughter; the in-laws are DH"s uncle, sister, mom, etc. See? Little tricks to keep my place and my boundaries up.

Like you, I chose peace and a healthier way. And it is amazing how different a home can feel when a toxic presence is removed. Hopefully, you've packed up all of OSD's stuff and made plans to give her room a complete makeover. Get your daughter and YSD involved in the project. It could be healing for them, too.




SacrificialLamb's picture

"Delete BM and OSD from your brain (it's a process, but you can do it). "

This is what I am struggling with. Getting the crap out of my head. Any pointers?  I have been googling this for ideas, and it seems like breathing deep/meditation, visualization are recommended.

Cover1W's picture

SD14 hasn't been to our home since April. And it's so much better really. Even DH said he doesn't miss the tension and arguing. SD12 enjoys the breaks as well we think. 

I was fairly disengaged before she left so it wasn't too hard to get over it. I just don't mention her to DH ever. He wants to bring it up fine, but I also have limits about what I will discuss. #1 is not discussing parental issues. I've told him no and let him know why: if I have no authority or decision making power then do not involve me. If he wants my opinion only he has to make that clear. I do not make suggestions.

SD12 is now with BM for a while and the Re-painting of what used to be SD14s room is going to begin (re-named the 'big bedroom') along with making it/redecorating more neutral so SD12 can have it or it'll be a guest room. DH wants to remove her things into storage. 

I've got my own life and won't let it occupy my head. 

ntm's picture

And that’s a big part of you feeling like you have to second guess everything. He was gaslighting you by not acknowledging that SD was being disrespectful and not putting her in her place. 

That is emotional abuse. Your self care needs to include counseling to help you find your voice. My DH used to threaten divorce over his stupid stupid kids all the time. The day I pointed to the door and told him he was free to leave was the day I started to live again. A therapist had told him that was controlling behavior and told him to stop. So when I pointed to the door, he knew I was dead serious. I was done being controlled that way. 

Your husband owes you a ginormous apology for being dismissive, for failing to make you his priority, and for failing to honor his marriage vows to you. The two are supposed to become as one. He threw you to the wolf. 

thinkthrice's picture

haven't breathed a word to us in almost a decade now.  The BM (Girhippo) was PASed out herself by HER BM and unnaturally enmeshed to this day.   The HELL I was put through (and my SO, "Chef") was unbelievable.   I am not sorry in the least to not have that toxicity, although Chef went through a phase of about 3 years of blaming ME for the PASout.  I had disengaged completely unless it DIRECTLY impacted me.

Chef continues to be impoverished 14 years later by Child Support payments as CS goes to 21 here in NYS.  Hopefully YSS will emancipate himself "early" at age 19 like OSS did.

I realized the massive impact--our relationship has greatly suffered and I view Chef as an annoying roommate.  He does not have words of admiration for me either but I am too old to start over and we work well together.  After my 83 yr old mother had to have emergency triple bypass, I have resolved to take much better care of myself. 

StepUltimate's picture

"The negative vortex was turning me into someone I could barely recognize anymore."

Wow can I relate fo that statement.