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CLove's picture

If you are tired of my posts, no worries, move along.

Im angry. Angrier than angry. While the previous 2 days I was heartbroken, distressed, sad, and grieving, today I am madder than mad.

Last night, DH picked up SD14 - who is almost 15 btw - for his week long visitation, after Phone-Gate and when I got home from dinner and shopping, she was in her room. They had dinner together, chatted. I heard her high-pitched sing-song voice (sounded innocent before phone-gate, now its just making me sick to my stomach with fury) and heard her laugh because dadee is SO funny! Even when hes making fun of me hes SO funny. Strange the things your mind purchases on when you are turning them over and over obsessively.

So, I figured out the "end-game". The agenda. And yes, I know it will sound absurd, but there you go. I was set up to fall. Targeted. The perfect scapegoat.

The set up by Sd14: Her grades are falling fast and its the last month of the semester 1 of freshman year with distance learning. 3 fs. Art, Orchestra and English (honors) cLove finds this out, not because Little Darling tells anyone, but because cLove has a "feeling that things arent right in that direction and she wants the best for Little Darling" and gets into parent portal.
A few screen caps later, some tears, and a lecture and cLove is "chosen" to help her get focused and organized. Cue the dark music with a cello.

cLove puts on the cape that is folded up on the top drawer, freshly washed and unused for a while, and flys into zoom meetings with teachers, email exchanges, even buys books and art supplies, because Little Darling has excuses, erm REASONS for all these missing assignments resulting in poor grades. Little Darling was OVERWHELMED and then it just got out of CONTROL.
cLove, cape flapping in a cold wind of winter (cold for California which isnt that cold) makes checklists with assignments prioritised by grade and class importance. Spends a few hours here and there on her weekends checking things off the list, going through the readings, giving advice (some that wasnt taken, but that would result in a lower grade, because cLove actually is quite good at English assignments).

Calls about schoolwork after work, check ins, and more emailing about absences that are turned into tardies. Calls and emails to get Little Darling into in-person school for a non-essential elective. She is interested in Biology, so she signs herself up for a First Aid class.
All of this without threats of selling off pets, no threats, just rewards and encouragement.
Things hum along nicely, there is a groove thing happening, and the grades are A's and B's, except Orchestra, which because its distance orchestra is reliant on recordings that she is "too embarrassed" to complete. We strike a deal - can fudge on the orchestra but must ace other classes. Little Darling agrees.

Cut to a month ago. A friend, the number is midwester, enters the scene. Cue the violins that make you feel uneasy. Long phone calls on an unlimted data/minutes plan go unnoticed, until now during the post-mortem phase of grief. cLove notices 3-4 hour daily phone calls to this "friend". Texts at all times during the day and night, sometimes at 5 am sometimes at 3 am. During times shes supposed to be in the "zoom class". Now cLove has always been respectful of space and time and always either emailed or texted to avoid interruptions of class time.
But she notices this friend, lets call her "Kansas City" or KC for short, she notices that KC and Little Darling text all day, every day. Vidoes, etc. YES cLove is nosy but trying to figure things out. Why the grades dropping suddenly, why no response to a text and email.
cLove figures out that 3-5-7 hour phone calls are the reason. With KC.

When cLove tells Little Darling that there will be consequences to actions and that she is not bluffing, Little Darling calls that bluff! OH YES. Remember the set up? Thats coming up, soon, I promise. cLove informs DH of everything that is going on. Asks what authority she has to instill consequences. He states "full". Can she take phone? "yes". 

cLove waits a day to allow for adequate time of response. Nothing. Texts Little Darling that her lack of response to email and text are disrespectful and that she knows its because she is on the phone to KC. Tells Little Darling "I will take phone". Little Darling springs into action. 
First must lay groundwork with cLove: "I do not respond to your passive agressive negative comments. I am doing my work. You are calling me a liar and I am very offended. You are harassing me during my class. You have never helped me, you dont support me, all you do is helicopter and hover and that is not supporting me." 
cLove responds with "ok fine, you do you, I am done with this."

Second line of attack is Toxic Troll BM: Shows her mother all my texts. And her texts back to me. And Dhs texts. Tells her mother whatever will keep her phone and access to KC. Toxic Troll texts DH "your going to lose your second daughter, she doesnt want to go over to your house now, Im going to take you to court for full custody and move away to somewhere cheaper! She cannot stand your wife harassing her, keep your wife away from MY child!!! Oh and your wife telling Little Darling that her mother is lazy and should get a job, is defamation of character, but whatever!"
third line of attack: DH. First text him "clove was harrassing me during school time and calling me a liar. Im doing all my own work, she hasnt helped me at all, I am doing all this by myself." He texts her things like "I dont want you to be like your sister and your mother, I want you to do well, and want the best for you, I love you and dont want to lose you." Little Darling "I love you daddy, I dont want to lose you, but Im doing my work and just dont want to be called a liar and harrassed anymore. cLove hasnt helped me at all Im doing this all by myself! She even texts me during class time!!!"
Sidenote: About being called a liar, I never did that and never would do that - to her face. I did tell her she misrepresented a few things to me because I emailed her teacher.

So, the end result is that Little Darling SD14 gets to keep her phone. She gets to keep doing her 4-hours long daily phone calls to KC. during classtime. She came over. We do not speak. she gets to have her business as usual. Dh and I argue because he did not back me up at all, in any way. Just folded at the threat "You will lose your daughter!!!!"
I am more than MAD, I am furious. At DH because he let me go down this path thinking he had my back and he let me fall, and fall I did - hard.
At Little Darling, who set me up. Sure, ask cLove, that way she could do what she wanted and no repercussions, just activate Toxic Troll who is more than happy to attack cLove and her everything even if its not relevant. Im mad at Toxic Troll who just sits back collecting all her money and gets to be the Golden Uterus that has all the love.

Friends. I dont get mad, often, but I am in an absolute RAGE.


CLove's picture

Cue the trombones and drums. With fists of fury I went shopping and left them to each other. Told DH I need my space. He tells me "but this is your home too!" And he doesnt understand why I want to avoid Little Darling. Because "accusations of harrassment".

How do I do this disengagment when I am so furious?

advice.only2's picture

You were the only parent in this entire situation.  Your DH is going to lose his daughter but not in the way he thinks...he's enabling her to be just like TT.  I know this hurts like hell and you are you need to decide if you can stay out of this and let the two idiots deal with their offspring and not get involved again?  If you can there is a chance your marriage will be okay.  But the resentment and not having it acknowledged will eat at you over time.  That's where you will need to make peace with the fact that your DH is a horrible parent and he is just as much at fault as TT. 

CLove's picture

He is effed up.

Hes an effed up parent.

I HAVE to stay away, but its hard staying away from home. How to disengage in my own home is my problem. Im miserable and p!ssed off as heck. And I know that when I start enforcing the disengagement boundaries there will be more arguements ensuing, and she will go along and blab her brains out to KC.

Ive made my personal committment to stay away from her completely. Im finding it hard to find peace with how Ive been treated and set up. 

advice.only2's picture

When I disengaged from Spawn I basically had to ghost her in my own home and she lived there.  I was angry and hurt and upset and it pissed me off even more seeing Spawn act like everything was great.  I started doing my own thing, taking trips without DH and Spawn.  Going out with friends, spending time with family.  Pretty soon they were the ones feeling left out and miserable.  It takes time but after a time you stop noticing or caring. 

CLove's picture

I had always maintained that no matter what I am here to work things out. Now in comes this KC and Im garbage to be thrown out.

Yes, I loathe the sound of her voice. She sounds oh so happy and nice! Great ideas Advice. Im making my plans...we have similar interests Biggrin

One sticky area is he is always going out for day-long fishing trips. Used to be ok, but now he needs to respect my boundary of she either goes with him or goes to TT mama.

advice.only2's picture

Exactly that's what I did with my DH if he wasn't home after working hours she was going with him...sure put a damper on stuff for him, but at least he was now spending quality time with his daughter. 

CLove's picture

to the dark side - aka becoming just like TT and FF. He even told her this and she showed her mother THOSE texts who texted him "oh and your telling her shes going to be like me? well GOOD!"

missgingersnap2021's picture

The reality is you should have disengaged a VERY long time ago. When I first got on here that's I'll I heard from people and I am so glad I listened. You cared for children that weren't yours and got way too involved in their lives. I hated it when my DH told me when we first got together that SD would never love me, that she has a mother already and that she will always take her mother's side and love her no matter what. Harsh words but 100% true.

My SD16 and I are now nothing more than polite strangers when she is here. I say "hello", "goodbye", " goodnight", "how was school ?" and maybe one or two questions during dinner. More so as to not make dinner  ackward rather than I care about what she has to say. 

I tell my DH my thoughts and opinions (for example what she should be doing to prepare for college) but I leave it up to him to take my advice or ignore it. I dont care about her grades, what she does when shes not here, etc. and talking to her teachers seems way out of line. 

To be honest Im surprised you DH doesnt resnet you for whats going on. My DH would never forgive me if he though my meddling made his daughter not want to come visit.

CLove's picture

But he said that I was the only one that could help her in this way and ecouraged me to do this. At first things were GREAT. It took pressure off him. I was HAPPY to do it.

So its a mixed resentment and no I didnt listen to advice so yeah Im mad. And with this rage I could fuel a thousand firey suns. I consulted him every step of the way and he suggest I take the phone. I followed his advice.

Tried out's picture

disengaging when you love the kid is lots harder than when you don't. cLove truly loves the kid and showed it through her concern for and support of her SD. Her hurt and anger now are the measure of that love. 

tog redux's picture

Good, I'm glad you are mad, and I'm glad you are mad at DH specifically.  Yes, Munchkin is responsible for herself, but HE is your partner, and should have your back.

So now, you have learned that no good deed goes unpunished, and that your DH is only okay with good parenting if it comes from YOU and he can still be nice Daddeee.

Plan some fun things for yourself out of the home, you are now free.

CLove's picture

Getting out of dodge. She can stay home or whatever, but Im getting on the water.

tog redux's picture

Yep, and as for disengaging at home - lots of books to read, gardening, Netflix, house projects, you name it.  You have 0 responsibility for any parenting now, act like a single woman.  

CLove's picture

Just rejoined. At my Dads insistence. For my sanity and happiness. So thats where I will live for the rest of the week. In addition to prepping for fun trip.

caninelover's picture

Mentally just pretent she's a roommate you don't like, or a friend of DH's that you dont' want to hang around with.

Ispofacto's picture

You've traumatized the poor little thing so much that she will continue to have poor grades for the next three years.

Why does she still have the phone?


CLove's picture

NEEDS her phone. So she cant text and talk to KC.

And Dh doesnt want to lose Little Darling, so he folded completely. TT was looking for any excuse as its been a while from the last drama.

Trauma Drama. Only 3 years and 1 month until no more of this....thank goodness because she will want to live somewhere else by then.

AgedOut's picture

to redo a room, paint the kitchen, take a class, plant a garden, keep busy. But do not let her bend you, do not agree to do anything for her. No homework help, no talking to teachers, no rides, no gifts, no take out. Those things are privileges, not sure things. Step away because now she knows how to play everyone. Don't be her toy.

CLove's picture

So the stepping away part is easy. I have a whole house that needs deep cleaning, filing, a garden that needs attention. A gymn to go to, a bike to ride and a kayak to paddle. Im making plans and getting my ducks in a row.

She played everyone including me, but in her "phone grab" lost me. I dont think that anyone realises what that means right now.

positivelyfourthstreet's picture

I remember a time when I cared more than SK own parents.  It hurts, especially if your own husband throws you under the bus for it.  Sometimes you just have to leave them to it.  Sad

CLove's picture

But I guess I never thought it applied to SD14 Little Darling

hereiam's picture

How to disengage in my own home is my problem.

It is probably not going to be easy for you, considering how involved you were, but it can be done. You might have to keep yourself busy or find things to do away from home, at first, but it will get easier over time. The sooner you are able to disengage while staying home when she is there, the better. That is your home and you don't want to let her think that she is pushing you out.

If there was one thing that my SD always knew, it was that I was queen of MY castle.



CLove's picture

THATS what I was struggling with yesterday after work. 

I work until 5. Toodle over to grab some fast-casual Greek in a coastal town 20 min west of home.

Shop at REI for stuff for my day trip kayaking. Mope around considering watching the sunset. Just was tired or would have gone for a beach walk alone.

I was struggling with the whole "stay away while skid is there" question. Im a Queen Bee type. 

THANK you. I get the whole "get used to disengaging in the home" thing. It was so awkward doing my laundry listening.

But its worse not having a plan, wandering around morosely.

Tonight cleaning and gym. Must get in shape to leave them in my dust.

hereiam's picture

I didn't have that problem, as after my SD's blowout, she did not come over for months. As DH was coming back from taking her home that Sunday, BM left a message (in that "tone") informing DH that, "SD will no longer be coming for visitation, I'm sure you know why. If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them."

I'm sure BM wanted him to call, raising a fuss so that she could go off on him, show him who was boss. He did not even call her back.

Evil4's picture

I believe you've mentioned non-Munchkin's (don't what to call her now) weight and bad habits before. Well, just wait until you get into wicked shape and she wants you to help her. You'll be like, "um, no. Go ask your dad." 

CLove's picture

Because she acting like nothings wrong and nothings happened and she is all innocence.

She doesnt really care. She already outweighs me, just like her mother. She just doesnt do anything at all but talk and text. And complain. "my knees hurt" when walking. 'my back hurts" when picking something up.

Ill be in shape enough to run away from all her bs.

Tried out's picture

If you can fake it, walk around humming or singing or dancing to loud music, be super chipper with DH (if you can do that without throwing up) and keep a smile on your face. Greet her in a upbeat way in the morning or when you come back from a fun activity and ignore the hell out of her the rest of the time. Bring home takeout for yourself only. Lay claim to the biggest TV. Just don't let her see that her actions have pained you - that will only make her happy to realize she's getting to you. 

simifan's picture

I think this is step 2. First you have to burn off some of that anger so you can do this without exploding. 

CLove's picture

Little Darling has informed me of her. Esp important during this age of non-binary.

She lived in our west coast town and moved to kansas city a while ago. I think there is an obsession going on.

Zenmode's picture

I know this hurt goes deeper that SD14 (btw I notice and respect your transition from munchkin) you feel betrayed by DH. I would too. I'm sure you've heard of the five stages of grief, I pull these out whenever life smacks me around and it helps me handle it.

 my own kid is being a turd about school. It's his LAST year! I've had to disengage. I'm tired. I told him just last night, make up your mind. School or job. I'm tired of harassing and hovering over you getting it done. He's 3 credits short. We've been going the rounds since January. He's literally one test away from getting a passing in English lit and there it still sits. I told him last night, my biggest concern is the HABITS he is developing of procrastination and not completing something that benefits HIM. After I calmed down, we mapped out a realistic plan for him to essentially do summer school to get those credits, I'm exhausted and emotionally drained, and it's MY kid!!! 

CLove's picture

LOL. I was accused of parenting. What a heinus crime.

She is c in honors english. I was "harassing" to help build better habits - "get it done a day early!!!" like that.

Thanks for the read. Is there one for step parents mourning the loss of a step child?

Ill read and re-read. Im definitely in the anger phase.

hereiam's picture

It applies to any loss; death, divorce, and yes, even your situation, as you are experiencing a loss and you will experience all five stages. And, you can go back and forth between stages, so it's very exhausting.

Stay focused. Don't lose sight of what has happened and what is really going on. You are not her parent, you are not her friend, you are not her mentor. Always remember, you are just her dad's wife. She will try to make you think that you mean more to her than that if it benefits her, but...  Stay focused.

Unsureofthis's picture

You did what you could. Now you take some time to just let it be. It will blow over and when it does you will emerge as the person who tried to help. They will see that once the fog lifts, but you must now bow out graciously, like you are planning to do with your fun and exciting plans. Just do you.

14 is a tender and complicated age where relationships are largely maintained through the phone. I saw a therapist about my oldest daughter's phone use as she was headed down the same path as Little Darling and the therapist said that a phone for a teenager is like drugs to a drug addict. It's the dopamine they get from it that is addictive and they get anxiety being away from their phone for just a short amount of time. It is very powerful and they will do anything to maintain those addictive interactions.

strugglingSM's picture

Your experience is the exact reason I disengaged years ago. A stepparent cannot care more than the parents about school work. And immature parents (which it seems both TT and your DH are) usually crumble whenever it's time to impose boundaries. My DH is very similar. He talks a good game, but doesn't hold the line on anything, so I backed myself out of all that long ago. The BM in my life is very similar to TT...she would rather show outrage at anything she perceives coming from me than actually parent. SSs know this and use it to their advantage, although sometimes I'll catch a glimpse from them that they would actually like someone to parent them. 

CLove's picture

supposedly studied with her on her phone...?

But I am the bad guy, not supportve. too bad, I thought it would end well...

AgedOut's picture

then walk away. or change the subject. Say "great" then mention your plan to go out on the water this weekend. one word answers that seem positive when written in meme form "great" "awesome" "wonderful" "super" "good" etc. not your issue, not your problem, she burnt that bridge and your DH torched the ground around it. If you have to be home, buy a book you've always wanted to read and have at it. Learn to tune out their static. Go out and treat yourself to a new blanket and reading pillo0w for home time then enjoy them w/ a bag of your favorite treats. 

But between us, this isn't all her. Your DH set you up to fail. He didn't want to parent and tried to get you to do it for him and it was destined to fail. He's the one who deserve anger, she deserves complete indifference. 


Zenmode's picture

My first marriage (toxic) there were a lot of resets. I see that with my DH and his too. I'm not made that way. I'm not a tear it down and burn it too the ground type person, but I do put up walls when betrayed. Sounds like you know exactly what to do to get you on track and refocused. I hope to hear in a few weeks you're enjoying your new normal. Oh 

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

I truly feel for you Clove. You went through it once with FF but still opened your heart to M only to have everyone turn on you. 

It's like living in another dimension where doing everything wrong is right and those trying to do the right thing are outcasts. 

Then to have TT and DH coddle M and ostrisize you for upsetting her is enough to make you feel like you're insane. How can none of these people recognize Thier own behavior? 

I read your blogs and my blood boils for you because you are describing the hell I have lived for the last few years.

I know I'm still the bad guy but I don't care anymore because I have my peace and quiet and my sanity. 

CLove's picture

Dh knows this is bull. and he knows to protect me and stick up for me and he did. We had a turn around.

I said hello to FKAM and it took three times and she was nasty to me but said hello.

DH instist she loves me, my intuition tells me her mother is dominating her and thats where she is being drawn,,, plus kc, and teen. sadly I canot stay with her. shes not my kid. So, I dancw around and sing. silly I know, but...

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

DH may be supporting you with his words but as I have learned part of the problem is DH being content putting the parenting on you. By doing this he is basically putting a target in your back for TT to attack you and PAS M. 

I saw it myself when SO wanted to step in and parent DS. I could see DS building resentment towards SO. I asked SO to leave the parenting to me and to focus on just being a friend and role model to DS.  Now there are days DS likes him more than me and that's what I wanted. 

It worked in my situation because I am a strong parent and ExH knows to mind his own business.

If BP is not a strong parent and ex is crazy no matter what you do it's not going to end well. 


AgedOut's picture

He's not supporting you. He set you up then ran the bus over you and took photos. he's now setting you up for a repeat. why? because he doesnn't want to deal with anything he doesn't want to do. 


Don't fall right back into the rut he dug for you. I see you already slipping. 

caninelover's picture

What a terrible turn of events.  Get on that kayak and re-center yourself.  You'll know what to do when you burn off some of this fury.

CLove's picture

LOL, I cant stay super furious too long, thanks for taking the time to let me vent.

Now its more of a "slow burn'...paddle paddle paddle.

thinkthrice's picture

SM as only parent is always a setup for disaster.  Blood is thicker than water.  Personally I don't know any good outcomes when the step mother cares more than the BM or the father.  I think most of us on this forum have gone through this...I know I have and it sucks.

I used to violently rip weeds out of the garden and do housework to focus my anger at the fact that these parents don't want your help.  They would rather see their offspring grow up into brat-tacular ferals with all the suicide attempts, police calls and drama that goes along with it.  Result?  Completely maladjusted skidults.

And hard to believe that is exactly what they want because parenting is too hard and darn if somebody else will step in and do it for them if it gets too painful for their poopsiekins.  Or if they're competing in a race to the bottom to see who can be the parent with the least amount of rules.

As far as the pretending to be supportive of SM,  this is just a game of Lucy holding the ball for Charlie Brown.