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Chapter 22: Bratty’s Road Trip

caninelover's picture

Flashback:  In Chapter 12:  Bratty McBratFace – College Graduate! Bratty received a brand new backpack from me as a graduation present, and promptly lodged a complaint with SO about not liking it.

During our letter writing campaign the prior summer, Bratty casually mentioned that she had re-gifted the backpack to a friend as he was very outdoorsy and needed one.  I’ve never had someone actually tell me they re-gifted something I gave them but I was over the whole backpack drama at that point.  It just so happens that same friend was invited by Bratty to join her on her road trip vacation. 

Bratty’s friend was scheduled to fly into the Bay Area on a Tuesday.  They were planning to drive down on a Thursday and leave on Saturday morning and drive down to Mexico where they would camp for two nights.  SO and I had purchased movie tickets for Saturday night as we assumed Bratty and Friend would be gone by then.  A few days before they were supposed to arrive, Bratty texts SO and tells him her cousin in the Bay Area was having a small birthday party on Thursday night and she was thinking of delaying her drive down to attend.  She needed to speak to her friend. 

We hear nothing else from Bratty until I finally text her Wednesday night.  I had to go to work Thursday and wanted to know if I would come home to a rando in my living room.  She finally replied and said they would drive down Friday instead of Thursday (I’m sure the Friend was thrilled to spend an evening at Bratty’s cousins party LOL).  I said sure as what else was I going to say at the 11th hour – no don’t come now?  I was finding the constant schedule changes frustrating – Bratty either shows up or leaves a day late from when she made the plans. 

At any rate, Bratty and Friend did drive down and made it to our house late Friday.  I was already up in bed but SO went downstairs and got them settled into their room arrangements – Bratty upstairs in her old bedroom and Friend downstairs in the guest room.  The next morning was a Saturday so I was off work.  I went downstairs and Friend was already awake and talking to SO.

I introduced myself and offered Friend some coffee (SO drinks tea, so I’m the only one who makes coffee in the mornings).  We chatted a bit over coffee and still no sign of Bratty, who was sleeping in per usual.  It was pretty clear from talking to this kid that he was interested in couch-surfing on his vacation as was not a ‘good friend’ as Bratty had said he was.  He actually said they didn’t know each other well but he was enjoying his vacation LOL. 

Eventually Bratty comes downstairs at around 10 am and she and Friend make some sight-seeing plans.  She asks SO what time they should be home for dinner.  SO tells her we had already purchased movie tickets and it would be a date night for SO and I, so they were on their own for dinner.  Bratty was quiet but said ok and everyone went on with their respective days. 

When we get home from the movie, Bratty and Friend are already home but look despondent.  We ask how their day was.  Bratty said it was fine but she realized that she forgot her passport and they were supposed to drive down to Mexico the next day.  Obviously that is a problem.  We all sat around and tried to help Bratty problem-solve.

Bratty’s first thought was she could jump in the car, drive back to the Bay Area, grab her passport, drive back to our house (overnight) and they could still drive to Mexico Sunday morning.  A solid 12+ hours of driving.  This plan was so ridiculous I couldn’t help but snort out a chuckle (although I knew better than to just tell Bratty that was bad plan).  Bratty looks over at me and then asks me ‘What?’ in a really sarcastic tone of voice.  Everyone ignores her, including me, as I knew I told Bratty the truth about her plan it would result in an argument.  Bratty wouldn’t let it go, though.  She kept looking at me and repeating ‘What?’ in a nasty tone of voice.  SO and Friend were talking about options and SO claimed to not hear Bratty.  I continued to ignore her and finally jumped into SO and Friend’s discussion to shut down Bratty altogether.

But I was pissed.  I agreed to let her visit with her rando friend as a favor to her.  I dealt with another last minute schedule change.  And now she’s sitting in my living room giving me attitude?  WTF.  And on top of that, Bratty went to get a mug to make herself some tea and left the kitchen cabinet open.  I had to get up from the living room to close it and she saw me do so (it is open plan) and not only said nothing, but kept doing this the next day as well.  Now by itself this is not a big thing, but sometimes a ton of little things eventually pile up and lead to one really pissed off person, which is what eventually happened as we’ll see later.

Ultimately Bratty and Friend ditched the Mexico plan altogether (which Friend was unhappy about) and left Sunday afternoon to spend a couple of days in another part of SoCal instead.  When they left, Bratty said goodbye but neither one of them actually said thank you, which I thought was rude.  I didn’t expect a parade but a simple ‘thanks for hosting us’ would have been appropriate before leaving. 

The rest of Bratty’s trip went fine, and she stopped back at our house on her way north after she dropped Friend off at the airport.  The plan was for Bratty to go through some of her stuff and take it with her.  I was at work so I didn’t see Bratty and when I got home I asked SO how it went.  He said Bratty was tired and napped for a couple of hours and didn’t feel like going through her stuff so didn’t take anything except for the bike (which I had insisted on).

For some reason this trip really got under my skin.  It really bugged me for a couple of weeks after Bratty left.  I figured it was better to keep the peace and tried to remind myself that the open cabinets were really not a huge crime.  And Bratty would grow up someday and get better at the not changing plans so much.  And maybe she just forgot to say thank you.  And maybe she would pack up her stuff on her next visit.  And maybe pigs will actually fly someday.

I finally unloaded on SO about Bratty’s visit and all the things that bothered me about it.  I also touched on the fact that Bratty never said thank you and I told SO he was blind if he didn’t hear the attitude that Bratty gave me in our living room.  We had agreed in couples counseling that Bratty being disrespectful was going to be a hard line in the sand.  It turned out to be no line at all and I was hurt. 

I felt better once I got all that out and SO and I were moving on with our lives.  Until one day a card came floating in the mail addressed to SO and I.  It was the last straw for me and lead to a Big Bratty Meltdown….coming up next!


CLove's picture

"Death by 1,000 cuts". They are small cuts, but cuts just the same. Feral Forger used to stomp into the kitchen, ignore me, and ask if she could have the fresh strawberries in the refrigerator. When DH told her "those are cLoves, youll have to ask her", she would huff, turn around and stomp back to her room without another word. 

That was with me sitting right there.

Its not JUST the small things, its the 1,000 small things. the not respecting you or your time or your intentions. It took me a long time to get over Feral Forgers "Death by 1,000 cuts" behavior that culminated in a major meltdown by her to me.

Bratty forgetting her passport. Priceless. Snotty attitude that should have been called out and wasnt, not so priceless - taken from an entitle skid playbook, the subversive passive-agressive "forgetting to close the thing that you want closed", what a b!tch.

The assuming you would drop everything because of entitled skid arrival, and make a special dinner for her and "not-so-close" friend. WOW. Good for you guys for not dropping your plans to accomodate. 

Ill bet in the Bratty Meltdown, all this is going to be thrown back at you.

The_Upgrade's picture

It really is! Taken apart individually you'd look like the crazy one. What? You lost your shit over strawberries in the refrigerator?! But when you pile it on with the rest it makes perfect sense. It's just hard to explain to people without compiling a massive list of tiny transgressions and without making it look like you're out to get the poor little step. 

caninelover's picture

You end up sounding like a raving lunatic, which is why I don't really go into it with most people.  I have friends who have adult stepkids and they do understand so I vent to them (and now, this awesome Board!)

caninelover's picture

Yep - because I was so unreasonable asking poor poor Cinderella to close the cabinet door, among other things...

MissK03's picture

She saw you close it and intentionally left it open the other times. Silent passive aggressive behavior.

I often wonder if SS17 does stuff on purpose or is he just lazy. Never turns a single light off, leaves stuff out constantly, bottle caps EVERYWHERE. It's insane. The other day he left a trail (I took pics) of Apple Jacks from the counter, up the stairs and to his room. It was like if he was making a trail to get back to kitchen in case he got lost in his room. Not 1 or 2... there was 9! How did you not notice?! How are you that f'n lazy that you can't pick them up. This has been a huge problem for years now and has caused many arguments with my SO. I'm ranting now haha. 

A simple thank you from bratty should have been expected but, you don't get that with these entitled self obsorbed people. All about me me me. 

I have a wooden sign on the top of my stove that states "when pigs fly." Maybe the kitchen won't be mess when I get home when pigs fly haha. 

Edit: did she forgot her passport on purpose because whatever she possibly had "lined up" was fake. I find it hard to believe you forget your passport when you specially need it. 

Cover1W's picture

yeah, I think she forgot it on purpose!  Agreed!

She wanted a free ride vacay!

Her poor tag along friend - hopefully he never showed up again and came to his senses?

caninelover's picture

Yes, and the passive aggressive behavior was what I felt was escalating ever since SO had the initial talk with Bratty prior to Thanksgiving 2018 about moving out.

Not sure if forgetting the passport was deliberate.  Honestly I think there may be some ADHD with Bratty - she is disorganized, procrastinates, and then makes mistakes.  But in any case it is really frustrating to have her give me a crappy attitude when she should have been grateful for hosting her and her freeloading friend.  Who now had a really nice backpack courtesy of me!

JRI's picture

Those last minute changes are what really irritate me.  I'm a planner, don't have a choice -thats the way I make my life work.  I can roll with most anything but last minute changes, or lack of planning, really mess me up.  Our YSS53 is a "spontaneous" person, in other words, doesn't plan ahead very well.  He's lived out of state for years and has often invited us to visit.  But these invitations are last minute, like inviting us on a Wednesday to come for a weekend.  He just doesn't get it that older people need time to figure out a trip and also cant just jump on a plane.  

Not saying thanks for hosting her and a friend -very inconsiderate.  

caninelover's picture

Every single visit - the camping trip, a day late.  Her prior visit, leaving a day late.  This visit - shifting the days again at the last minute.

I'm a planner too so I do find it frustrating.

BPDHell's picture

I can assure you absolutely, without question, those small things are very, very intentional! I realized way too late that letting my disordered SS know that 1. my space is sacred, don't f*ck with it and 2. I notice EVERYTHING was a bad idea. He now purposefully does things to the house to mess with me because he knows I'm the only one who WILL notice and taken individually, they seem dumb/innocent/inconsequential, so if I say anything I look like a crazy/unreasonable person. I just realized recently that a big issue between DH and I is that he is taking these incidences individually because he doesn't want to look at them together because they reveal a pattern of behavior by SS that he can no longer deny is purposefully mallignant. I now realize (better late than never!) that my best defense is to first keep him out of the house and second not to react or even let him know I noticed or that it bothers me. He will never again get the satisfaction of seeing me react. And while my DH gets defensive about his son's behavior, he also recognizes we have to protect ourselves and the house from him, so we fight about it, but he does step up to the plate in the end. Basically, this is gray rocking. I need to do more of it, along with the disengaging, which actually has been pretty good! Dirol

Love the stories, caninelover!

caninelover's picture

Its my home and I own it.  

Bratty should leave.  She's 23 and can live on her own.

queensway's picture

Sorry didn't realize it was just your home. You should let SO know this.   But here is a well known fact from a step mom. Your SO has a daughter and that is never going to change.

BPDHell's picture

Again. These aren't "normal" SKs. I wish they were. Until last year, I THOUGHT my two girls were. Well, And that's what caninelover has been blogging here. Her journey of discovering that her SD just isn't quite right and she will never be able to have the relationship that she had hoped for. Realizing that you can never have the relationship with your SKs that you hoped and dreamed of is heartbreaking. Read my first blog, the title of which is End of a Dream. Yes these will always be my partner's kids, but because of their issues, they are also fully grown adults that we have to protect ourselves from - read my blog, Security Cameras and Floor Safes, Oh My!

And if you don't think it could ever be that bad, I can share a case that involved APS, the family court, my grandparents, my mentally ill/personality disordered aunt, her daughter, my mom, and more hospital visits than I can actually remember. Yes, the courts had to get involved to protect my grandparents and my mother, because THESE AREN'T NORMAL PEOPLE WE ARE DEALING WITH. I'm shouting for the people in the back! Clapping

KC is not the stepmother's picture

Bratty is an adult, not a child. She and her "friend" that's really just an acquaintance can stay in a hotel. 

queensway's picture

I read your blog 2 times to make sure I got the whole picture. The whole picture from your point of view. OMG this person left a cabinet door open. How DARE her!!!  After reading that you have some real issues. I think you need some help.  Life in 2021 is not about leaving a cabinet door open to start your day and distress. Please. And you have a SO, no legal thing here, just leave.

BPDHell's picture

You're starting at the end of the book. Go back and read from the beginning, these are clearly labeled chapters. This isn't about an open cabinet door. This is about a pattern of behavior of a personality disordered kid over the course of many years and the different ridiculous situations that led to where they are now, which we haven't gotten to yet because we're in the middle of the story. The book isn't finished.

You've stumbled into something you don't have a clear picture of and don't understand. And you chose to comment on it.

Edit: I went back and looked through your blogs. It appears you aren't dealing with SKs who are mentally ill and/or have personality disorders. This isn't a judgement but an observation - until you've actually had to deal with these types of people directly, you won't understand. You can't. You can either learn from those who are dealing with those situations or you can pretend they don't exist. Whatever floats your boat.

queensway's picture

She said she was a college grad. She didn't say she was mentally ill. She didn't say go back and please read all lof my blogs as you did. She said she left the cabinet door open that she didn't like. And then went on to other things in THIS blog. FYI no ones book that is still living is finished. Not even yours.

caninelover's picture

For the record I did say:

Now by itself this is not a big thing, but sometimes a ton of little things eventually pile up and lead to one really pissed off person, which is what eventually happened as we’ll see later.

And yes, the blog is my point of view as I am writing it.  I never said Bratty didn't have an alternate view but she can write hers on a stepkid forum somewhere.

But thanks for validating cLove's point about other people not picking up on the totality of the behavior over years.

tog redux's picture

Bratty is an entitled jerk. Of course it's not about the cabinet being left open.

We had my 21 and 24-year-old nieces over for dinner the other night, and they both said thank you multiple times, and one sent a message later to thank us again. 

What would irk me is that your SO plays deaf, dumb and blind to Bratty's ... brattiness.

caninelover's picture

He doesn't want to see her issues...

He is her narc 'supply' for sure.

The_Upgrade's picture

Like you said earlier in this thread "You end up sounding like a raving lunatic!"

IDontCare3117's picture

Bratty didn't call you a misogynist for closing the cabinet door?  She must have had an off day.

caninelover's picture

I'm surprised there wasn't a complaint filed with SO!

KC is not the stepmother's picture

My best guess is that she told this acquaintance that they would spend a night with gourmet catered meals hosted at your home followed by 2 nights being hosted by your friend's mother in Mexico. Forgetting her passport relieved her of having to admit that she lied. 

You should have leaned back and agreed that a 12 hour drive back home to get her passport was a great idea. 

Floral_SM's picture

Her being so immature and going 'what' is so typical of her. I would have been the same and letting out a snort lol. She's just ridiculous. 

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

I completely get the little things over time and the constant disrespect. That is exactly what has lead to the demise of my relationship with YSD. 

After a while when someone does things to gaslight you no matter how small. There comes a point where you have finally had enough and would rather not deal with that person anymore. 

It makes it all the more irritating when they do little sneaky things trying to instigate an argument between you and SO by wanting you to look like the overdramatic crazy one by saying anything about their behavior.