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Update: Bratty Breaks Her Silence...

caninelover's picture

So at the start of the holiday weekend Bratty texted SO to ask to stay 'one night sometime in July'.  We had previously set rules in therapy last year for Bratty's visits (reasonable notice, specific dates, and adhere to the schedule).  SO texted her back and let her know per our agreement in therapy we needed specific dates.

Bratty went silent all weeked as she does when she doesn't get her way.

This morning she finally responded to SO's text and said she still wasn't sure about dates and was looking into alternative stay options.  YES!  

At least she's now fully aware that we don't intend to simply ignore or forget about the boundaries we set last year.  And as a soon-to-be 24 year old adult, they are free to stay elsewhere if they don't like the rules.

I'm pretty happy with how this turned out so far.  I'm sure SO would like Bratty to be able to stay but there is way too much drama when she does (which is why we needed the boundaries in the first place).


ICanMakeIt's picture

a solid victory to me! Woo Hoo!

Good job on SO's part!

caninelover's picture

Yes - I know its bittersweet for SO so I'm not outwardly cheering - but in my head I am doing a happy dance for sure!

WampusKat's picture

Hang in and stick to your guns.

Same. I have no children of my own by choice/life circumtnces. I was an educator and well versed in behavior management, so I attempted every appraoch in my arsenal to keep the peace. I was vastly outnumbered, however. When the perps are adults, what then? Welp, being smarter than the dumb bears certainly helps and it's clear to me that you're a wise one. Sent you a friend request, BTW. Feel free to decline, I'll still be looking for Chapter 1 of the Bratty odyssey as I managed to catch this in the middle and can't stop reading. It's 5:00  a.m. mountain time. Heh.

You've got a way with story telling that really takes the sting out for me. This is the frst time I've ever actually laughed out loud at the absurdity of it all. While you're certainly not having fun with Bratty and company, you at least appear to have retained your sense of humor. It's essential to maintaining one's sanity.

As for me, I haven't seen the perps in four years now and I'm still not over it. To say that I still feeling somewhat bitter would be the understatement of the century.  Even now, I'm constantly on guard as they continuously look for opportunities to cross my path though we don't live in the same state (a funeral, for instance). That's probably why I still can't put the Abby Normals out of mind entirely. I do believe I am finally in the clear, though. There are no event crashing opportunities left open for inserting themselves back into my life on the sly.

I, too, had a step-parent and would never have thought to make the man's life a living hell simply because "You're not my dad!" My own father absconded during my infancy, so I was happy to have a replacement. It's why I didn't tolerate the hysterics and pity parties from adults who used a divorce over fifteen years in the past to hold everyone hostage to their criminal behavior (and I mean "criminal" in the literal sense.).It wasn't even the case that my husband walked out on his family, otherwise I wouldn't have married him. An Air Force serviceman gets sent all over the world, while those who have familes are able to bring their faimilies overseas. The kids' mother refused to go.They parted ways amicably and he paid alimoney and child support until well after his chldren (AND A STEPSON) were into adulthood without a single gripe over it. It's a story as old as time. Long distance marriages simply cannot be sustained for years on end. No blame game went on between hubby's ex and himself and we actually got along. The adult skids (I love that term - it reads like "skidmark" to me), on the other hand, were a crime spree waiting to happen on a regular basis. It was exhausting! The constant upheavals! We have our own lives, work, interests, responsibililities for Pete's sake. They were welcome until eventually they pushed me to the limit. Then all hell broke loose. I told them where they could go, told my husband that he would be welcome to divorce me over it, but I had had enough. Fourteen years I tolerated the stupidity because hubby played the ' hear no evil, see no evil,' guilt-tripping daddy game.

The story of Braty McBratface is quite something. I hate to say that I "enjoyed" it, but I did to the extent that I actually logged in for the first time instead of just lurking. I'd be tempted to publish this as a book under a pseudonym! Your blog entries had me in stiches not becaue I think your situation is a laughing matter.( I lived it for 14 years before finally snapping and kicking certain heinous beasts to the curb).  I'm laughing my a** off because our writing style is just that expressive.You're a funny, funny lady.

I tend to check in with Steptalk and read the posts every few months. It's been theraputic in a way.  I found the website several years ago having hung on to my last nerve for dear life. I ended up using the site to get it through my husband's head that these step-family dynamics are the norm rather than the one-off these men imagine. While I've never posted a comment or written a blog post of my own, sitting my husband down to read the stories of well-intentioned women convinced him that much of the insane drama had been caused by his inability to tell his adult children "no," thereby establishing a dynamic which placed me (like all of us) at the center of a dysfunctional family as scapegoats. Long story short, Steptalk was an eye opener and a huge help in correcting the situation. In the end, my only option was total disassociation (no visits, no call to the landline, no contact with me whatsoever). The moment the gravy train stopped, the beasts didn't ever even bother to contact their father on his cell to see if he were allive or dead. Nada. These people are in their 30s, mind you.

The "you're not her mother" attitude is the problem. You don't have to be someone's mother to demand respect in your own home or to have a say within the family. When it was attempted on me (by fully grown adults), my response was as fiollows: "Correct. Therfore I need not tolerate you in any way, shape, or form.. In fact, I will not lift another finger on your behalf nor will you darken our doorstep again for as long as I live. All contact between you and your father will be through his cell. The ATM is now closed. Good luck." I never once suggested that they see me as a mother figure, but more as just another person in the world who cared. They already have a mother who seems nice enough. This was made clear by me from the day their father and I married. It was simply their way of circling the wagons.  Didn't work for them. it wasn't as though I hadn't warned them what would happen if they kept it up. They tested me by attempting to form a posse and ambush us. That's when I blew my stack. It wasn't pretty, LOL.

Your SO needs to cut the "you're not her mom" garbage. SO set up the dynamic for endless conflict. When you're married, it gets worse and then you can look forward to legal jeopardy involving your finances. You can count on being ambushed if something ever happened to SO. They'd be on your doorstep demanding everything the two of you built together. I was present for my mother's experience on that score. Step-father had three insame creeps for children who were quick to look for cashing in on dad's death.

caninelover's picture

Glad you're 'enjoying' the story Smile

I don't want to be Bratty's mother - and I don't try and 'parent' her.  But at the same time - my house, my rules - and if she doesn't like them, well at 24 she doesn't have to be in my house at all.

WampusKat's picture

right you are.

grannyd's picture

Speaking of well-written, WampusKat, your post shines. I, for one, would love to hear more of your step-parenting experiences! 

Give rose

WampusKat's picture

at the moment we're neck deep in renovations/contractors and then some. I realized I basically hijacked caninelover's post (sincere apologies - I relapsed - hehe), so I'll probably just sit back for now and keep mum. If I start in again and continue to relive it, I 'll get all ragey again.

Long story short, I seriously snapped. Laid down the law. These peope were treated like royalty and were given every chance to mend their family, BUT... well... you're all having the same experience (bering made scapegoats for other people's issue)).. I told them all individually to get off my lawn, don't call, don't write, get lost. I told hubby that divorce was an option because he sat there and refused to back me up (they guilt tripped him as we can see).. Like caninelover and everyone else here, I was patient, I was kind, I was generous and now I'm done. That's all. 14 years this went on (it wasn't all bad) but all it takes is one to get the lynch mob mobilized. Anyhoo, I felt for this lady because she was so funny and sweet about it all. It got to me. Hate seeing other people having to experience the exact same heinousness repeated over and over. I'm still on guard is all. Oops, shutting up now. Heh.

Wanted to see how the Bratty saga turns out, so II'll just get back to lurking for now, but I do wish all of you ladies the very best. Just don't give people any more options. Boot to the butt. End of. Start Googling... this dynamic plays out over and over again, even more so with adult skids. Show the research to the men. It turned my guy around, finally. Go after the men early and nip it before it becomes engrained. That's all I really wanted to share - so much to do and now I can finally focus on our lives and getting things accomplished instead of allowing the perps to waste our time with childish stupidy. See.... gonna keep on spewing (NOT). Ha!

Back to Bratty...

caninelover's picture

And no worries.  We enjoyed your post!

CLove's picture

for your excellently portrayed disengagement manifesto!

I have also had to disengage  from SD22 Feral Forger, as well as in a limited way SD15 Backstabber/Munchkin.

I also recall the fight that started it, with FF. There were many words from her, but it started with "your not my mother!" my response was "Thank God!" 

Biggrin We are civil now. She even wished me happy birthday twice yesterday.

But her stealing and dirtyness keep her at her mothers apartment. No one wants to live with her...

WampusKat's picture

have been reading your replies to caninelover as well. "Yur not mah mooooom!" From adults is hysterical.

Ahem: "Don't have to be... nobody has to tolerate you, especially us "not yur moms."

Then I called their mom (with whom I got along quite well) and squealed on 'em. She clearly told them what I said because the next thing you know SD30 calls hubby on his cell and starts lying. I could hear her screaming at him about me being a "wedge driving us apart" and "oh mah innocence" and that was all I needed in order to go ballistic). Grabbed the phone, asked her who she thought she was talking to and basically told her to kiss off. Then hung up. Then she tried calling back on her mom's cell, then on the granddaughter's cell. It was her. Heh. Because dumb as dirt. Hubby didn't answer.

The clan tried ambushing Grandpa's funeral (COVID) FOUR YEARS LATER, but there was not an in-person service. They drove all the way from another state only to be met with NADA. They never bothered with their grandfather, but were present to see how to cash in. Zip. We had the neice on the house, car, whatever else. SD thought she would try the sappy poem gimmick "for Grandpa" but turns out she never made a peep as hubby wasn't there to try to guilt trip (deflated balloon noises). They wanted an audience in order to make a scene. Oops. Heh.

Note: They never bothered calling my husband over the last four years, so suddenly, mid-pandemic, the clan comes running at the first (AND LAST) opportunity. It was a bust. We now have no further ties. Gotta say, I've never been a vengeful person. UNTIL NOW. Law of averages will get 'em eventually. They'll do themselves in with their own stupidity, guaranteed.

Seems like you feel the same. I feel your rage.

Thing is... with me, I don't get hurt fee fees, I get mad when people are just that mean and once that's accomplished, welp... tick tail and run, perps! Thar she blows.

JRI's picture

I have a feeling the drama isnt over yet so hang in there.  Starting school in your area + no firm accommodations + GF turned her down + August approaching = amber alert time.  Lol.

caninelover's picture

I think that was how she was going to stretch out her 'one night stay' here - oh, while I'm here I should spend a few days looking at places to live' LOL.

Yep - there is a clusterbomb brewing for sure!  

WampusKat's picture

That's exactly how it plays out. Two adult skids tried the move-in (running from the law in Utah). NOPE. I never signed up for that and made it perfectly clear that we're not a halfway house. Hubby rarely saw his kids as they always kept him at arm's length in spite of happily casing his cheks... until we got married (I'm wife number 3). he'd have been looking for wife number 4.

StepUltimate's picture

Me too on Wife #3. It sucks.

Enjoyed your long post above, glad you're laughing at the Bratty saga and writing some of your experiences.

WampusKat's picture

... how many wives do they plan on, exactly? He clearly thought I'd be the one to fix it for him. Ther's just no helping stupid (two of them high school dropouts -which I did not know until TOO LATE). It's like hitting yourself in the face with a brick. But I did try. Sheesh.

Thanks. Caninelover's writing style... reminds me of that comedy flick Stranger than Fiction (voice-over narration).. Don't get me wrong, i am absolutely not reveling in her misfortune.

WampusKat's picture

Translation: YEARS. Me, I put my foot down from the get go. Never thought adult steps would try to move in. Did not sign up for that. I'd have ended up their serf. They managed to break up their mom's relationship with her boyfirend. Pulled the same garbage. Failure to launch x4. Imagine it. Shudder. She had to move out of her house just to cut the apron strings. As if that weren't enough, they dragged equally obnoxious GFs into her house to live with her. Nope, this will not be me. The husband at least didn't balk (he does like his peace).

advice.only2's picture

It probably took Bratty a few days to process that her brilliant plan has backfired and that DH is holding her accountable to terms she agreed to.

caninelover's picture

Which is actually fine that she stepped back to process for a bit.  I was afraid of a repeat of her silent treatment to SO last year so this does show a bit of growth in maturity level.  Though it was inappropriate for her to make the ask in the manner she did in the first place.

Stepdrama2020's picture

The joy of Bratty.

Keep those boundaries solid. Which you are doing.

You could always say the dates in July dont work cause we are going to disneyland Wink OR are you sure you want to come, covid and the growing number of vegans did Boston Market in. They are closed. Sheesh

caninelover's picture

Is Boston Market really closed?  That kinda sucks Smile

Stepdrama2020's picture

Just attempting humor here. Im pretty sure they are open though?!

caninelover's picture

I wouldn't want Bratty to miss out on her 'traditions' LOL

CLove's picture

So - based on the history you presented us with, Bratty no doubt was expecting poppa to drop everything and wait and prepare for her decision on what her date(s) would be because one day just isnt enough do whatever for whomever.

caninelover's picture

I told SO its really annoying that she doesn't learn. 

I said in therapy her crazy plans are not cool with me.  She makes more crazy plans to visit Grandma who tells her not to come.  A normal person would maybe think, you know next time I should make a better plan...but Bratty is definitely not normal!

caninelover's picture

When Bratty texted me a couple of months ago asking about Disneyland that she was up to something and was probably going to ask for a visit in the near future.  Looks like that is exactly what she was up to.

Harry's picture

Her visiting dates are like 14 days or more from the date she tells you.  Let her know that there are days needed to get ready for her visit.  She can not possibly go to Disneyland when staying only one night 

caninelover's picture

We already agreed on a couple of weeks' notice during family therapy.  But of course she thought we wouldn't enforce it.  She really is a terrible planner and does everything last minute, always over-estimates her own abilities and under-estimates the task so she never has enough time.  If she were a normal person I wouldn't mind as I usually love guests.  But Bratty is not a normal person hence the boundaries.

She was visiting friends, not going to Disneyland - just to be clear.  She couldn't freeload any tickets and can't afford to buy them Smile

islandgal2021's picture

Woo hoo! hallelujah! She's looking at alternative options - I'd be doing the happy dance in my head! 

The_Upgrade's picture

It really boggles the mind how Bratty can sulk over something so logical. MIL and FIL live 3 hours away in a very large beachfront house. The family uses it as their holiday house because there's a seperate wing for guests. We all book in our dates so the ILs can make sure it doesn't clash with any other visitors. We bring enough food for our duration we cook a fancy dinner to share every night. The ILs do the dishes. And on the day we're supposed to leave we clean up the rooms and eff off. Not rocket science hey Bratty?

caninelover's picture

It boggles my mind that a grown adult needs rules like this explained to them in the first place!!!

Winterglow's picture

" was looking into alternative stay options"

Please don't believe this for a minute. She has no intention of seeking alternative accommodation, this was simply another piece of ammunition from her "guilt daddy to death" kit.

caninelover's picture

But my gut is telling me she'll either find a couch to crash on for a couple of nights, or sleep in the car.  She probably wouldn't want to lose face by coming back again but on the other hand, it is Bratty we're talking about here...

Winterglow's picture

In taht case, she'll tell you well in advance that she's going to sleep in the car or crashing someone's couch to try and guilt daddy a little more. And if she wants to really push it, she'll add "because there was nowhere else I could afford...". Dollars to donuts.

caninelover's picture

to pay for a motel room for her.  The issue is the same one I have with Bratty's plans:  a motel will want to know when you're checking in and when you're checking out.  Bratty can't provide either because her plans are always crazy.

Ispofacto's picture

Tbh, I'm pleasantly surprised that she didn't send some kind of rant to DH.  Maybe that's progress?

You may not want to hear this, but there may be hope for her.

I was curious about the difference between a person who has an attachment disorder, which leads to personality disorders, and a garden variety brat.  And I found this chapter.  They are have very similar symptoms, but it looks like brats can grow out of brattiness if people stop coddling them.

Earlier in the book, he defines the criteria for an attachment disorder.  Basically, if she wasn't neglected before age 3, she's just a brat.


caninelover's picture

Yes I was happy she responded to SO after a few days and didn't continue silent treatment or send an entitled rant.  I think its the first time she's had a significant boundary enforced - she just thought we'd forget or ingore it.

Not sure if she's just a brat who'll grow out of it in a few years of living in the 'real world' or if she's truly NPD, to be honest.  Either way, it doesn't change my present boundaries with her.  I can see how she copes with her young adulthood going forward - if she starts to make some progress in her life or if its more of the same victim mentality crap (e.g. Its not my fault I didn't get into med school because [insert an excuse from Bratty's greatest hits here]).

I actually DO hope there is hope for her - for SO's sake I would like her to end up stable and with a career/home/partner and maybe a family of her own someday.  Its hard to see it happening right now but a lot can change in someone's early twenties.

bananaseedo's picture

This is true, in fact my SD grew out of her brattiness.  I agree, there could be hope.  That said, SD was neglected by BM before age 3- but DH and his parents made up for it, so the impact wasn't as severe as it could have been.  She did show some attachment issues, but as she grew, they lessened.  And mine was one of the worst out there.