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Back to School Day & Disengaging

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

I have been venting a lot since I started blogging on ST and naturally much of it is negative.  On a positive note, I've also been reading A LOT of what you fine folks have to say and with your help, have been learning more about disengaging.  Well, SD16 (the only one at home f/t) started back to school this morning and although I have had a couple of hiccups, I feel MUCH less stress having ramped up the disengagement.  This is hard for me because I was admittedly a Mama Bear to my BS during his school years, I've been responsible for helping get SKIDS (particularly the girls) ready for the school years up to now, MR. ED is ridiculously out of touch with what needs to be done to prep his own DD for the school year, and SD16 communicates nada with her father.  Here's the progress:

  •  GM took SD16 shopping yesterday because she said MR. ED wouldn't take her.  MR. ED told GM that she was lying and was just trying to manipulate her into buying a fresh pair of kicks.  He told GM not to buy them because of everything that has led up to her not having her own money (see previous posts).  I heard about all this but seriously limited my commentary.  Progress!
  • SD16 walked in yesterday with 5-6 bags full of what looked like new clothes and at least 2 shoe-type boxes, compliments of GM.  GM dropped her off, but did not come in to say hello to me and SS10 (her grandson!).  Odd, but whatever.  I did not go outside to greet or talk to her.  Progress!
  • I did mention the bags of stuff she came home with to MR. ED. Hiccup.  He shrugged his shoulders.  I thought to my self, "Ridiculous. Enablers. No accountability or consequences," but walked away saying nothing.  Progress!
  • My alarm from my cell calendar went off last night reminding me that the 1st day of school was happening today. Yes, I have all 3 SKIDS calendars on my phone and MR. ED does not.  He was sitting in the same room, but I did not announce what the alarm was for.  Progress!
  • I know there is much to do before school starts...filling out paperwork for her Chromebook and paying for a car parking permit, etc. I said nothing and I know neither of them took care of those things.  Car gets towed...don't care.  She has no Chromebook to start class...don't care.  Progress!
  • This morning MR. ED looks out the window while getting coffee and sees SD16 in her car with the lights on.  "What is she doing out there?"  He goes outside and then asks me, "Does school start today? Wow, that stuff creeps up on ya, doesn't it?"  I simply couldn't help myself and replied, "Yes it does start today and, it doesn't creep up on me.  I have a calendar for that, but I'm not reminding you of these things anymore. Perhaps you should mark your own calendar."  He said, "She did text me that she was going to breakfast with friends this morning."  My thought was, "I thought she was ONLY allowed to take the car directly to school or work until she straightens up?"...but I said nothing. Gave him a kiss and walked my dog.  Hiccup, but held my tongue a lot more than usual and laid down some boundaries.  Progress!
  • Also...I've cooked dinner the past two nights like usual and SD16 has stayed in her room.  MR. ED did not call her for dinner and we had pleasant, happy dinnertime with visiting SS10 and the pup.  I told him a few days ago that I will not sit at the table with SD16 and pretend like she's not been threatening and treating me like crap.  I said she is welcome if she apologizes, shows genuine remorse, AND helps clean up after dinner, contributing to the household in some way.  SD16 is apparently unwilling to do those things and MR. ED isn't pushing the issue, so...their choice.  Boundary and expectations set and I enjoyed my evening.  Progress!

This is certainly not ideal, but under the circumstances...I'll take the peace, space to enjoy my home, and clarity to focus on work today.  Thanks fellow SPs for your support, advice, and encouragement! 


tog redux's picture

Very impressive. As you see, you were the only one who cared about any of this stuff anyway.  So let the chips fall where they may.

I can't believe school starts on 7/24 there - when do they get out? We have 7 more weeks of summer break here! 

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

They get out mid to late May.  Yeah, SD16 is on a year-round schedule, but SSs each have different schedules...3 different school districts.  But...MR. ED chose to have 3 different BMs so the crazy schedule is HIS to track, right? ;)  *music2*

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Good grief, woman. This explains so much. Now, where is my vinaigrette? This gave me the vapors.

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

Yes.  All I can say is that I was VERY optimistic in the beginning. *ROFL*  I had never seriously even dated a man with kids before MR. ED, so I truly had zero clue what I was about to get into.  I knew MR. ED when we were kids and he was known by everyone as a really good guy.  He is definitely that, but "good guy" characteristics can also get you 5 kids and 3 baby mamas that run you over like a freight train if not careful.  Wasn't it @Exjuliemccoy who on my other blog post?  Yeah.  I'd say maybe I use to be decades ago and still have remnants that pop up when left unchecked, but MR. ED could surely benefit from acquainting himself with the ins & outs of co-dependency.  He admittedly shows his love most easily by "providing" and I think he may feel most loved when "needed" by his kiddos.  They all don't seem to know how to just enjoy each others company, only interacting when they're asking for something.  It's sad really.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

My H is much the same, low EQ, good provider but had two BMs and three kids by the time he was twenty-five. Oh, and he liked crazy women because he grew up with an alcoholic mom. These men develop unhealthy coping mechanisms. My own DH is chronically detached and loved having me handle all things relational for him. I thought I was helping/filling in the gaps/shoring up a weakness, and it took too long for me to realize that I was interfering. I cared too much, and desperately wanted to be a part of a family. Classic codependent stuff. There are other similarities in our stories, but I hope you'll believe me when I say that a) all of my efforts were wasted, and b) life is great away from the dysfunction.

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

Yes, I definitely believe that!  I appreciate hearing positive stories of "after the dysfunction" because it will help me feel more confident and hopeful if I ever decided to walk away.  For now, I do see some light at the end of this teenage SKID tunnel, so I'm giving things a chance. However, I'm six years in with 2 more to go before SD16 graduates HS.  I realize 2 years can be a very long waste of time if people around here don't start jumping on the happy-healthy-positive train!  The next couple of months should be very telling.  Thank you for your support, candor, and insightfulness! <3

Doublehelix's picture

Isn't it awesome to stop stressing about things that are not yours to stress about? :)  Also, at 16, SD should really be able to take care of these things herself or at least be the one to remind her dad about it.

It used to completely boggle my mind how my SO wouldn't know about school holidays and then be shocked and annoyed when he realized (the night before) that he had to take the day off or work from home to watch SD7. 

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

Yes and although she just came home 1-1/2 hours after school let out (which is literally 2 mins around the corner)...I shall say nothing, right?! *dance4*