I went off on SD (beware: LONG post)
For those of you who know my story, I bet you never thought you'd see this title on my blog, as SD and I have always had a very close and loving relationship. But Friday night I lost it and misdirected my anger and frustration onto her. It wasn't pretty. I hope I've been able to undo any damage. Let me back up a little and explain what happened.
BM is of course at the root of all our problems, and she had been working on SD all week - telling her that Daddy won't communicate with her, Daddy's shutting her out, Daddy doesn't care about SD, all he cares about is his NEW family, Daddy's a bad bad man - all because he won't discuss contentious issues with her while he's at work or at pick-ups and drop-offs. He just goes by the communication rules laid out in family therapy to say "now is not a good time, let's pick another time to discuss this."
Well, when BM doesn't get her way, LOOK OUT. When we were dropping SD off at 8:30 on Wednesday evening, she wanted to discuss something with him while SD was in earshot (which is against the rules) and while our two little ones were both screaming and crying in the backseat because they were tired and hungry (which is just against all humanity). He said that we had to go and he'd call her once we had the girls settled. She kept screaming in his face that she needed to discuss something with him and if he cared at all about his OTHER daughter he would talk to her right then and there, blah blah blah. It was really ugly.
We left and he called and emailed her that night as promised, but she didn't answer so he left messages saying that he would be home all day Thursday so she could call anytime. He didn't hear anything from her until Friday, when she called him 14 times while he was trying to work (no, that's not a typo - FOURTEEN times!) to discuss "something important about SD's education." He just kept asking her to put it in an email or a voicemail and he'd get back to her and she would. not. let. it. rest. So, essentially she was super pissed that he wouldn't drop everything for her at her convenience and decided to just catastrophize the whole thing because she is so in love with drama.
So "Mr. Mean Bad Daddy who refuses to communicate with BM" shows up to get SD on Friday night and BM charges at him with all her rage in the parking lot and guess who's right next to her backing her up? That's right, SD. This monster set up a huge horrible confrontation, bringing in her 81-year-old father, her 12-year-old daughter and the frickin' security guard of their building to go to bat for her!! For what?! I don't know, because she still hasn't told him what she wanted to say, although she took the time to write a single-spaced 3-page letter about all of Bad Daddy's supposed transgressions and all her reasons that she's in the right.
Anyway, shortly after BF got there, I arrived at the scene with the car to drive us all back to our house and guess who says she's not coming with us? That's right, SD. Well, what can I say? I flipped. Whereas I normally stay out of all this insanity, the stresses and pressures I've been under lately just made something in me snap. SD ran off in tears while BM was screaming at BF and I chased after her with my 2-year-old in my arms. I grabbed SD by the arm and said "NO! Don't do this. Not again! If you're mad at your dad, you TALK to him, you don't shut us all out like this. This is unacceptable! We can't live like this! You need to TALK to him and don't you DARE send your mom to tell him what you're thinking. Didn't you learn ANYTHING in family-based therapy?" She was sobbing and said all dramatic: "do you know WHY I don't tell him stuff? Do you know WHY? Because I don't want to hurt his feelings!" And I said "well that's the biggest load of crap I've ever heard because the most hurtful thing you can do is refuse to talk to him or see him!!!!! This has got to STOP. Come home with us and let's talk this through." Then my 2-year-old chimes in with: "You comin' wif us, SD? Come on!" And then: "I gotta go potty."
So, while SD and I took BD to the potty in her apartment building's basement, I continued on my tirade. I told her what a slap in the face it was when she pulled this same stunt at her birthday and how devastated we all were when we went to pick her up and she wasn't even there. I told her that her little sister was crushed because she was looking forward to blowing out the candles with her for weeks and that she could hurt her dad and me all she wanted because we're adults and we can take it but this Mama Bear WILL NOT LET HER GET AWAY WITH HURTING HER INNOCENT CHILDREN ANYMORE!
At this point, she tried to get away from me and went and found her mom, who was FURIOUS with me. SD was still refusing to come with us and in my desperation, I put her little sister right up in her face and said "alright. YOU tell her you're not coming with us because I REFUSE. Look her in the eye and say I'm not coming with you, little sister. I'm not going to do your dirty work for you." At that, SD stood up and silently made her way to the car.
Apparently, what she said to BF was "your GIRLFRIEND is making me feel guilty so I'm coming with you." BF also overheard her saying the same thing to BM. So I called her out on it. I said "this proves my point! If you have an issue with me, come to ME. Not your mom, not your dad - ME! And there's no need to get ugly, calling me his GIRLFRIEND with disdain dripping from your words." I also explained to her the difference between a guilt trip and facing the reality of the consequences of her actions. If she has no control over a situation and I make her feel bad about it, it's a guilt trip. If it is entirely in her hands, she deserves to know the consequences in order to make a fully-informed decision. She actually opened up a bit at that, saying that she knew it must hurt us (especially her little sister), but that she blocked it out because she didn't want to deal with the guilt.
I am so damn tired of dealing with the bloody mess that BM creates again and again and again. Family-based therapy was a useless waste of time because we're still at square one with this lunatic. She breaks all the rules of communicating and co-parenting that the therapists laid out and we've just been left high and dry because the program came to an end and now there's no one to help us deal with her. All weekend, we tried to coach SD on her coping mechanisms so that the next time BM tries to ensnare her in her ugliness, SD will remember to say "don't put me in the middle" or "this is between you and Dad, don't involve me please" or "please don't badmouth Dad" or whatever. None of this would have happened if SD hadn't let herself get all riled up by BM's lies and machinations. We can't control BM's behavior, but we can still try to influence SD's and I feel like our only hope (if we have ANY at all) is to get SD to use her coping mechanisms to just stay out of her mother's madness.
Anyway it's 1am and I've been spouting off long enough. I'm surprised you've even read this far. It's been such a long time since I've posted anything and I'm feeling so fed up and hopeless that it all just came spilling out. Much as it all came spilling out on Friday night! Was I totally wrong to go off on SD like that? I feel so bad - she was sobbing and saying "you're scaring me!" I think I was scaring myself too.