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Blowing up balloons

CLove's picture

So, I did something that everyone told me "nooooooo dont dooooooo iiiiiiiitttttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I did Feral Forger SD21's tax return. Friends, I know. Please Aniki bonk me over the head or something.

She was very appreciative, but not apprecative enough to want to pay me or get me something nice. Noooooooooopppppppeeeee.

But Im starting at the end of things.

So, as you might know from my previous blog Toxic Troll texted DH that we could claim Munchkin SD14 this year, and she "would appreciate her half of the child tax credit which she knows is $3,000..." and then she texted "oh and can you please ask cLove if she could do Feral Forgers tax return?"

So, I texted FF and thought "oh she will blow it off, or forget, or whatever..." well sure enough, a chance to earn money without working for it, and FF is all over it. She sent me everything on my list and lots of thank yous and awesomes.

I did the tax return for free on turbo tax. And then offered to do 2018 and 2019. What a curflufflehead. 

Guess how much she earned on record last year? A little over 2k. She said most of her earnings were "under the table". So, I plugged everything in and she hadnt gotten any stimulus money so I clicked THAT button. 

Guess how much I got her? Almost 2k. I sent her screen shot of the screen showing her return money. Then she was VERY appreciative. I texted "hey Im very glad that you are happy, and a wonderful thank you would be for you to buy your sister Munchkin SD14 something nice". She texted back that she would.

I texted Munchkin to let her know she needs to pick something out for her sister to buy her.

Guess what Munchkin texted back? That Feral Forger was gushing to Toxic Troll about her tax return money and all the nice things she was going to buy HER. Toxic Troll is always benefitting from my efforts somehow, which really sucks!!!!! DH told me that I should just be happy in the thought that I "did something good for someone". So of course he is happy. The he said the unforgivable "at least shes sort of paying Toxic Troll back for supporting her and living there". To which I responded "Toxic Troll supporting her is not my effing problem, its HER problem."

I called my mom, because she always has a way of talking me off the ledge and talking sense into me, while Im in the fog of anger. Her words of wisdom: "Sweety, just be happy in the knowledge that you did something good in the world." Eff that mom. Then "cLove honey, NO ONe is going to throw a parade in your honor for doing the good things. You have to throw that parade yourself, for yourself. Blow up those balloons yourself, pat yourself on the back..."

Ergh. So the good news ( WAIT! There's good news?) Claiming kiddo is only $2,000 tax credit. And yet it almost doubles our return $. And thats without all the extras like mortgage insurance, and all that. Also, I told Munchkin that I am going to teach her how to prepare tax returns and give her all the account info for her sister and SHE can do it for her sister and take me out of that equation. And she said back "haha ok". Gotta love Munchkin.


caninelover's picture

At least FF did say thank you.  Somehow I think the money will be gone quickly and I doubt Munchkin will ever see her gift!

CLove's picture

Which is why I proposed teaching Munchkin. Because I dont have any feelings of "done good", even with the thank yous.

Because I remember her asking for her old room back, "cant you choose me for once over your STUPID WIFE" And how she told me once "I effing hate you, your such an effing b!tch" and "your effing disgusting and ugly and gross, I dont know how dad can stand looking at you every day".

And the being ignored when she lived her and ate the food I cooked.

The thank yous just make me feel like more of a doormat.

bearcub25's picture

I'm with you...all the hate will never give me the warm fuzzies of 'done good' and the 'thank you' seems like just a 'eff you but I will mask it in politeness'.

CLove's picture

Like, "oh thank you" she got something over on me...

Cover1W's picture

Why offer up Munchkin to do her sister's taxes. NO.  Just NONONONO.  FF can do her own.  WTH?

CLove's picture

That would just make Munchkin even more enmeshed in all the effedupedness in the black void of chaos and nothingness.

Your right, not one of my best ideas.

JRI's picture

I hope you are not letting FF's past behaviors take up too much of your precious brainspace.  She's a pathetic loser and she hurt you badly in the past.  You've erected barriers against her.  She's out of your house for good altho she will be in a peripheral role as long as you are married to DH.  You did a favor for a peripheral family member.  Period.  Like a cousin.  Turn the page, go back to the other fun, loving, productive things and people in your life. Dont give her more of your bandwidth.

I know how much easier it is to say this than to do it.  I'm still working on it, myself


CLove's picture

I need to read this comment a few different times.

At least DH is happy I did something for his toxic spawn.

bearcub25's picture

SS21, aka asshole, learned a valuable lesson about working and taxes, if you don't fill out a w4, your exemptions could be so high you get screwed at tax time.

YSS did work 3 jobs in 2020 for a total of 8 weeks.  He received his first w2.  He made 800+ dollars and paid in federal taxes a whopping 2.00 (that isn't a typo, 2 dollars).  I'm sure the other 2 w2s will be about the same.  This happened to OSS a few years ago and I explained to him what to do in the future and i told SD what to do when she started working.  DSO didn't bother to explain things to YSS bc he is an idiot and YSS doesn't speak to me so not my problem.

So if I file for him, he will owe and he won't pay it.  Then the IRS is on his ass and he won't get any more stimulus money if they offer it, or get a reduced amount.  I'm sure he didn't make much over 1000 so I doubt I waste my time even filing for him.  I have no idea if he will be caught by the IRS or not if there isn't a tax return.

Yes I will do the skids taxes.  DSO does a lot for my kids and grand kids so its just a small thing to plug in some numbers and efile for them.  

CLove's picture

I probably have a bit of "hero complex", and want people to be happy with me.
But I was so shocked - both at the amount of $$$ she is getting and the lack of true appreciation. It just was a smack in the face.

Yeah, its easy, but I must get past the treatment and move forward as JRI said.

Feral Forger has perfected the art of not working so I doubt Ill be asked for any future filings.

Livingoutloud's picture

You actually don't need to file taxes if you make that little money. 

I get wanting to help if it's something people can't do themselves. If they can do it themselves but ask you, then it's enabling. And then it becomes more about you feeling good than true wanting to help others. You can volunteer at the hospital or foster kids or cook in a soup kitchen if you want to help those in need. Doing taxes for those who can do their own might not be the best idea 

CLove's picture

Kinda like a reverse mortgage - you always end up paying more for it. Thats how I feel. I dont feel good at all.

ESMOD's picture

Teach Munchkin to do her own taxes when she has a need to do them.  (assuming years down the road)  Don't teach her now with your return info (for obv reasons right?).. and don't get her roped into feeling like she has to help FF or TT with theirs because you taught her.

CLove's picture

Yeah, never going to let munchkin work with OUR financials.

I was kinda thinking this would be good for her for the future, but you have a point, as Feral Forger and Toxic Troll have a habit of roping her in to "do things" for them. It would be "yay, more tools for enmeshment!"

Aniki's picture

CLove, I'm bonking you multiple times with my Nerf baseball bat. 


I'll say this in the nicest way I can...

STOP THIS CACA!!! Those twunts are using you and you are letting them. Of COURSE FF was gushing all over you with gratitude. You got her MONEY!!! Sorry, but I think you may have falsely gotten Munchkin's hopes up. If FF actually buys something for Munchkin, I'll take back one Bonk. FF and TT are two toxic twunt-peas in an oozing pustule-pod. Your heart is in the right place, but for the wrongest of wrong people. 

Honey, if you want to do something nice for those who will TRULY appreciate it, offer to do taxes for the elderly for free. 

CLove's picture

I had so much fun doing the taxes I was thinking that I would get my license next year and help people out who deserve it. Like elderly or folks who cant afford HR Block/Liberty. Thats a great Idea!

CLove's picture

My mother taught me this is the best way to do battle with jerks.

I am a literal person. I see how money can buy nice. All I want is for FF and TT to be nice to me and stop trash talking me. And (for now) I have that.

This is definitely the last time that I will be doing this. 

Twunt. Love it. Oozing pustule pod. extra love it.

DPW's picture

I'm honestly starting to think you do all of this for attention, or you're full of shit. Ya, I said it. I can't be the only one thinking this.


Watereddown's picture

Or feels the need to be punished. Why else keep doing stuff for those POS's?

CLove's picture

Thats what I need, more attention from FF and TT.

I have actually decided to "kill with kindness". Then they can stop trash talking me all the time. Even if its fake, Ill take it. And I was kind of thinking "hey maybe someday FF will actually be nice to me, even if I have to buy it". And she was because I did.

caninelover's picture

It doesn't matter how kind you are, what you do for them, etc.  They still won't validate you in the way are seeking. 

If you stop, they will learn to respect that you hold your boundaries. 

It is hard for kind and giving people like yourself to stop doing what is natural to them, but if it keeps hurting or disappointing you than you have to go back to Disengagement 101.

CLove's picture

Toxic Troll complains that I am very controlling (because boundaries). I think that this was a test to see what a positive relationship with FF & TT would "look" like. It doesnt look as good as I had hoped. Will resume my disengagement. Things will flow how they flow without me in the middle mucking around in the toxic sludge of their lives.

caninelover's picture

As in you are taking control and not allowing their toxic lives to impact you.  So them saying that is actually confirmation that you are doing it right - taking back control over your own life.

I think Munchkin is very lucky to have you in her life.  I can't imagine the poor kid being stuck with only TT and FF.

CLove's picture

to imagine how show would do if I were out of the picture. In the event of divorce. Sometimes I think about leaving simply to get away from Toxic Troll and her spawn. And then I reject that thought because munchkin and its "only 3 years its not forever".

Shes a very smart sweet kid, but I can see that things are very difficult. Especially with the COVID lockdowns we are having. And distance learning.

Yes, I see disengagement as a means of taking control back. All we really have control over is OURSELVES. All we can really change is OUR actions. I suck at disengagment but I really need to get with it, and be solid in it. Thats why Im here, I guess.

caninelover's picture

No one is perfect, and all we can do is keep on' tryin Smile

DPW's picture

Yes, attention. Or drama. Or something that's not healthy .You would not continue to enmesh yourself, overstep your boundaries on a practical daily basis, come here and whine and then do it all over again and again and again. You have received so much bloody advice from everyone here, including myself in the past, and I do not see you ever take the advice, just have a constant need for the advice and/or attention from members on this board. I say this to you because you are spiralling. You are not getting better in your step-family dynamics or heck yet, with your own mental health and self esteem needs, only worse. I find it almost unbelievable that you cannot see this at this point, that you bring about a lot of what goes on in your life. "Kill them with kindness"????? Ignore them. That's what works. Move on with your life. If you are so fragile that you cannot handle them trash talking you all the time, you married the wrong dude. You are never going to be successful at engaging with them and you are never going to win. They are never going to like you. That's life. The sooner you realize that, the better for your own future and wellbeing. We cannot all be liked by everyone. We cannot create and stew in dysfunction with the justification that it is people pleasing. It's not healtjy.

And please, please, please, for the last time, please seek counselling. 

CLove's picture

But I realize and understand that it is difficult to discern on an anonymous online group. I have sought counseling actually. Its a process. I come here, not so much for sympathy but for a "journaling". I go back many times to re-read and also the comments. (that are useful and non-derogatory)

You do not need to read it, if it pains you so much, my near constant whining. You can go about your business and leave my posts alone, or whatever. Ive grown my backbone slowly, over the course of the past few years, and only post when necessary, or when I think my experience would help someone.

Attention flows where it flows. I do not seek attention. Validation probably. I have determined, through writing it out, here, that I simply want peace, and if I do something that brings peace, great. Ill not do THAT again, but it was an experience, and I have often wondered what would happen if FF had a more "friendly" relationship - what that would look like.

I think that all us steppers really want is validation that our experiences are "real" and that we are not alone and not crazy. Was I a little crazy doing FF's taxes? Probably. But it seemed like a good idea at the time. For the reasons I stated. Now I know from experience how wrong it was.


DPW's picture

I know you think I'm being mean, and that's okay, it does not bother me. I'm being selective in what I post to you for a reason and while hard to believe, doing it from a kind place.

If you'll indulge me, answer me this: Name 5 pieces of advice you have taken from this group and put into practice. It's good to take an inventory, sometimes, of things we read and see if we have simply read or are actually putting into practice what we are learning about. Similar to taking an inventory of when someone speaks only to us about what they'll do, but rarely take action on their words. This last one is applicable to your DH. 

Okay, not attention. If validation is what you are seeking, it can only come from within. Peace comes with that. These things you seek do not come from external sources, they are from internal sources. Look at those who do not seek validation externally as role models - they are confident, do not bend over and take it up the arse willingly over and over again. They hold themselves high and call their paths and boundaries and hold others to them .... they do not chase for validation from toxic others. 

Do you not see why we a lot of us want you to go to counselling so badly, beg for it? So you can develop a relationship with someone who can get to know you beyond a computer screen and help you be the best you. There are some things that are simply beyond ST's payscale and need long term intervention. Peace is out there, I'm telling you, but you need help in achieving it. A lot of us did.

CLove's picture

1. Disengagement - why and how. 

2. Dont take things a teen says and does that seriously - they are moody cranksters that will cry because the toothpaste is too soft.

3. How to create and enforce boundaries - DH does much better saying "no", and now I need to read and re-read advice on this. My memory isnt as sharp as it used to be. 

4. What does enmeshment look like and how to avoid it - this one I take and then go back on, admittedly. Il say "ok Im done with this", and then go back double strong into the swamp of enmeshment. Ive read and read about this. And yet here I am, on steptalk, revealing the depths of my enmeshment with strangers.

5. Let DH/SO deal with HCBM. ive taken this advice probably the most.

Gimlet's picture

I have a rule that when I am no longer able to be helpful to a regular poster and see myself posting the same thing over and over, I stop posting advice on that person's blogs. 

I am at this point now.

CLove,  I think your intentions are good, but you are just as enmeshed in this dysfunctional dance as the other members of this family, including TT and FF.  Until you see that, and you stop making excuses for your husband and are willing to take a hard look at everyone's interactions, including your own, it will not change.   You already know my other advice because I've posted it ad nauseum, so I won't repeat it.

Best of luck.

CLove's picture

I know, its at that point.

Gimlet's picture

I'm not saying that to beat you up, I hope you know that.  I really, really want to see your life change for the better. I know what it's like to engage in a dysfunctional system and I know how hard it is to see it and then change it, but damn the peace on the other side is priceless.

I just know I am not going to do you any good if I keep posting the same things.  I hope others are able to provide the support you need. 

CLove's picture

I know you to have a kind heart.

I guess Im crazy. I keep doing the same things and expecting a different result.

The good news is that I really enjoyed doing taxes and Aniki's suggestion of doing them for elderly or as a volunteer sounded fabulous! I took a tax prep course a few years ago, and loved it, but got a job that is steady, and after my bad experience with the CPA I worked for, I havent revisited it, until now...

Gimlet's picture

You aren't crazy, you can't expect to get rational responses from irrational people.  You could be a literal saint and these people are never going to give you what you're looking for. 

Look at Aniki and how she handled her SDs when they were being crappy to her.  Polite and nothing more, but still open and kind to the skids who were treating her well.  She expected, and got, her DH to handle everything with his ex.

You have nothing to prove to your spineless husband's ex and adult daughter.  Nothing.  They have nothing for you, they are nothing to you.  But, you have to sort out WHY you care about what they think and WHY you keep taking things off your husband's plate over and over, while he sits in his man cave and criticizes how you do it, and tucks his tail every time TT bellows.   He created this mess, not you, and you are free to back out of it any time you want. 

When I was nice to my sister, she was nice to my face and doubled down on her shit talking behind my back.  She respects nothing but strength and hard boundaries, so that's what she gets from me.  To some people, kindness is weakness. If your husband wants a relationship with his adult daughter that is 100 percent on him, not on you. Dealing with his ex?  Also ALL HIS.  I don't lift a finger for my OSS, not my problem at all. 

And now I've rambled again.

That is an excellent idea and a great way for you to give back to people who will be thankful, like normal human beings.

Aniki's picture

Thank you, Gimmy.

CLove, my Dad did taxes for the elderly for 15+ years. He finally 'retired' from that in his early 80s!

CLove's picture

Basically what I wanted from all that was for people to be nice to me. Im tired of all the trash talking, so I see this as a way to "kill with kindness", I know its a bought niceness, but at least FF is being nice to me now. And TT cant trash talk me without looking like a real jerk now...

Aniki's picture

CLove, she is nice to you for the sole purpose of USING YOU. If she cannot USE you, you are of no use and there is no need for her to be nice to you. FF is a USER. Period. She will use EVERYONE who will allow it.

What you need to understand is akin to Not Everyone Will Like You and that is:

Not Everyone Will Be Nice

Face it, CLove. There are people in this world who GET OFF are being an arsehole/twunt to others. And they ESPECIALLY get off on it when the person upon whom they are sh!tting bends over backwards to "earn" their niceness. 

The bottom line is that you will never be able to kill TT and FF with kindness. N-E-V-E-R.

So do yourself a kindness and STOP wasting your energy.

CLove's picture

Any time I feel myself waver. I might need electric shock therapy.

Ive often wondered what a positive relationship with FF, and even TT, "looked like" if that makes any sense. And now I know what it looks like. It looks like Im a doormat being used and being eager to be used. Not a very nice look for me. These are like kibbles of treats for them, they feed on their own percieved superiority, and I just reinforced it.

Just know that this is the last time. 

Aniki's picture

Darlin', you can wonder all you want, but you need to realize that is fantasy. Nothing more. Those twunts are toxic and warped and no amount of niceness will change that. The only thing you can change is you and how you react (or not react). 

You want to be a good person. I totally get that. And you ARE a good person. Munchkin would not be where she is today (physically, mentally, emotionally) without the gift of your goodness. And you can continue to be a good person and not let twunts take advantage of you.

It doesn't seem all that long ago that I was much like you. Bending over backwards and sideways and longways to be nice with the expectation of niceness in return. We put out ripples of nice with the hope/expectation of the recipients reciprocating.

But life doesn't always go the way we want. And the truth is, again, that not everyone is nice and not everyone will like you. Some will get to know you and not like you. Maybe they're jealous. Maybe you have a quality they find off-putting. Others will simply look at you and dislike you. There are those you meet at just the wrong moment (they're in a crap mood, having a bad day, etc) and they'll verbally skewer you. 

I spent many years being nice and trying/wanting to be liked. My epiphany was this: While I make mistakes, I try my best to be a good person. And that is good enough. If someone doesn't like me, it's their loss. If someone is sh!tty to me, I refuse to drop down to their level. I'm better than that. And so are you, sweetie. So are you. 

CLove's picture

Seem to be a part of the job description of stepparents.

Im definitely going to re-read this post tonight!

1dad4kids's picture

Being a parent is a thankless job as it is. Being a stepparent? Laughable. My stepson is a sweetheart but even he expects things from me to give to others.

1dad: here SS11! The newest Lego kit to start on this collection

SS11: cool thanks. My little brother at Mom's has another piece so I'll bring it there and he can play with it

 1dad: like hell you will! (jk, I'm much calmer but that's what I'm thinking lol) 

I think it's a good thing that you did her taxes, it doesn't seem like it was too much of a task and you did something nice (sorry to agree with your Mom!). But I gotta ask why FF can't do them herself? 



CLove's picture

she has no drivers license. She was promised a carafter high school graduation. Dh has them GIVEN to him. Still no license at 21.

She has no job currently.

So...she cant do ANYTHING for herself, much less taxes.

Ill have to tell my mom you said that Biggrin

1dad4kids's picture

But she managed to give you her information, how can she not manage to give H&R block the same info? 

Goodness, she's going to spend her life living off TT isn't she?

SS11 tried to pull the "I won't be ready for my license by 16" card and I told him straight up that wasn't a choice he got to make lol. Now he talks about what car he wants to get. Lots can change in 5 years but I know for a fact we won't be driving him around if he doesn't get his license. 

CLove's picture

Honestly I dont know the particulars. Shes not that smart. But smart enough to know how to mooch endlessly. Plus she doesnt drive and is depending on others. TT Bm isnt driving because she doesnt have current registration on her car. That might be what it is.

MissK03's picture

I live with someone who is only nice when he wants something.. aka SS17. 

Is the kid emotional stunted.. yes. Has he taken out anger on me because of his emotions towards BM..yes. List goes on. The second he would get what he wanted he would turn right back in to an a**hole. I don't do anything for him anymore. 

Now, he has a job, getting his license etc.. that's because SO wouldn't allow him to not launch in these parts of life and he (SS17) couldn't run to BMs like a lot of skids. Why? Because he also uses SO. He knows SO will do for him unlike BM. 

He doesn't "ask" me to do anything for him anymore. He knows he has burned a bridge. He has brought up multiple times how I will "do" for SD, and SS16 and not for him. Well kid... ask yourself why? Granted I DO things like help pay for vacations and such which he does benefit it from (and also quickly forgets) but, no little extra things. The simple things like.. hey you want Starbucks? That kind of stuff. 

FF will always forget the "kind" things you do. Will only use you for what she wants. I bet she won't really have a use for you until tax season next year. Those are the things you need to remember. 

I have so many stories etched in my brain of the things SS17 has said to me etc. That gives me the validation on my own on why I won't go above and beyond for him. 

If he decides when he is older to have a "change of heart" then I'll go about that with caution and see if it's genuine or not and decided off that how to proceed. He has BMs DNA. He is nothing like his father. So, I'm not holding my breathe there. 

Being the nice guy thinking people will change will only cause you more disappointment.. not only with them but yourself too. 

CLove's picture

Hopefully you can get him launched and out. It will lighten the energy a ton.

Stepdrama2020's picture

You are a good person. 

Good people end up as minced meat when they collide with Toxic Trolls and feral forgers. You already know that. You so want to be recognized for the good you do. There is nothing wrong with that EXCEPT you end up getting your feelings hurt.

Flip the script  PLZ hun just flip it. NO MORE , FINITO, DONE LIKE DINNER

You caved, then realized you didnt get the recognition you deserved. You cannot change what you did yesterday, but starting here and now you can change it.


CLove's picture

Ive always wondered what it would feel like to be "the good guy" and have peace and accord. Its been over 6 years of discord and chaos and DRAMA.

It didnt feel like I thought. I just realize and understand, as was indicated, that Im useful for this 2.5 second slice of time. And going forward will not waste time on FF and TT. Too much time wasted as it is. Maybe something good will come out of it, further down the road. Im not going to have expectations. 

A part of me also thinks of the affect it is having on Munchkin. She told me that she was honestly shocked that I would do anything nice for her sister FF. Honestly I dont know.

But I am definitely taking the advice given and staying as far away from anything to do with them as possible. 

Livingoutloud's picture

We do our taxes with CPA in HR block. Fast and easy. Don't want to do them myself. Too busy. It's not a requirement for people to do their own taxes. I think it's ok for you to teach SKs some extremely important life skills. Nothing wrong with that. You can still be nice and help FF with essential life skills. Something she'll benefit from me. Doing her taxes isn't essential or of a big importance. I never did my taxes or ask anyone to do them (I pay an accountant to do it) and I am doing well in life. 

just pick and choose what to help with. I helped SD (crazy one) with college homework recently because she couldn't figure it out and didnt understand professor's  explanation and tutoring wasn't helpful. No biggie. It was 15 minutes on the phone. I'd not do her taxes. She can do her own  

Livingoutloud's picture

I wonder if you wanting to bend backwards for FF and offer help even when she didn't ask for it and despite her being nasty to you has something to do with your marriage. Not your step kids. Your husband. He is the one you are trying to please by all this

is he a tad abusive, controlling, unkind to you, not particularly attentive, explosive? But when you do these ridiculous things for these terrible people, he is a tad nicer to you? You even said: at least he is happy. 

 Do you do all this on a subconscious level in hopes of making your husband be nicer to you? you exhibit some signs of a person in abusive marriage: bend backwards to make sure he doesn't treat you bad. 

Is it possible that the root of the issue  is your marriage and your husband and not stepkids. And a peace you are looking for is a peace you hope to have in your marriage that you hope to achieve by bending backwards for his kids 

your marriage does not sound healthy and maybe focus should come off pleasing skids and be more on what's going on in your marriage. Therapy should help you to sort it 



CLove's picture

But not abusive. He didnt really ask. His happiness is an offshoot.

I think Im just too much of a people-pleaser, and dont want the accusations of me being abusive to contune. And was hoping her hatred of me would lessen. Or just doing a good thing makes me feel good. But not as good as I thought it would. Because shes a nasty sh!thole.