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Shutting Down

CLove's picture

Its been hell lately. Perhaps one of my own making. DH and I have been arguing constantly, and the arguments are all centered around my anger and resentment. I cant contain it anymore. Several things are coming to the surface, I think triggered by Munchkin SD12, and her crying incident on Friday.

Munchkin SD12 had texted me several times asking to come by on Friday because she needed to change clothing. I said, "I will wait here, but I HAVE to leave, are you close?" She said she was, but it was still making me late. DH had taken the day off fishing, and Toxic Troll Bm was for once responsible for taking her to school. And somehow she had no clean clothes. I waited. There was no way I was going to leave the door unlocked and leave the house, but I felt bad for munchkin.

She came in and I said, "you know I cant leave, but I am late now..." She said "Im going to be fast...."

She was triggered (again) by my saying that I dont feel comfortable leaving her alone in our home, when her mother is outside.

I said "its because your mother has broken every boundary and disrespected us so much..."

She burst out crying so hard, I actually COULD NOT LEAVE,. I told her I care for her very much, but please dont go outside crying like that to your mother, who will then send nasty mean texts that I am abusing her precious daughter (forget about her making munchkin cry week before last, when she supposedly mishandled the rabbit, but in actuality was taking her anger with DH out on child. Yes, forget about that...).

When she was dropped off with us Saturday because her mother wanted to go meet some dude and was ging out of town, Munchkin was cold and distant and argumentative with me. Because I am the bad person who doesnt want her mother around my home.

All weekend, DH and I bickered. I hate this. I am angry. I resent him, I despise Toxic Troll BM and Toxic Feral his daughter. I am starting to resent his youngest, whom I love dearly.

My anger and resentment is making him angry and resentful, so he reflects all my emotions back onto me. I dont know how to change the never-ending loop, and am having no joy being married to him anymore. He gets irritated at everything, snaps at me. I walk on eggshells with both he and Munchkin, all the time. Its exhausting.

She got over Friday and was awesome Sunday, after sulking Saturday, but the triggers are always there, waiting for me to trip over them, causing a crying fit. Im tired and despondent, when here it is a lovely Spring Day. Flowers bursting everywhere, on green hillsides and there is a pit in my stomach that wont go away. I fantasize about being single, and living alone without all this anger, and it is such a freeing, happy feeling that washes over me.


always_anxious's picture

Looking back, was it really necessary for you to basically complain to her about her mom?

tog redux's picture

Yeah, CLove, sorry things are so hard.  I well remember the fantasies of being single again! (Still have them when BM rears her ugly head).

But be careful about what you say to Munchkin.  It's still her mother, even if you think she sees the truth about her - she's too young to be caught in the middle.  You could have just said, "I'm not comfortable leaving you here alone." And then telling her to stop crying so BM wouldn't harass your DH was unnecessary, too - you made her cry with the comment, and then told her to stop, and blamed it all on BM. 

This is a kid caught in the middle. My SS used to be the same - he saw the truth, but he loves his mother. I'm all for telling kids some of the truth, but not in that way.

CLove's picture

Yep, I know I should not have expressed things in that way. I did say that I am not comfortable leaving her alone, however, I have left her alone previously when she wanted to stay behind for a few hours, while I shopped or visited friends. The difference was that her mother was right there outside, and in the moment I felt like I had to explain myself. Also, her mother likes to drop by unannounced whenever she feels like it.

I know its a trigger, and in the future will try to avoid mentioning it. However, DH and I agree that we arent going to leave her alone in the future. Not after her reply that she has had to say "no" to her mother coming in our house previously.

So, now, when DH goes fishing and shes with us, I will either have to refuse to do kid-care or stay stuck at home.

tog redux's picture

Good idea - and if DH feels she needs an explanation, he can give it to her.  He can say that he now knows that BM might be pressuring her to let her come in the house, and he doesn't want her to have to endure that pressure, so she will have to go with one of you when you leave. 

always_anxious's picture

I've been there, so I did not want to come off as judgemental. I KNOW that feeling anger and frustration that spills over. Sometimes its just there and you cannot help it. 

CLove's picture

I also added that I dont trust that she can say "no" to her mother about coming inside our home, to which she replied "I have before". So her mother has asked to go inside our home, and had to be told "no".

tog redux's picture

I'm sure you are wise to not leave her there alone if BM is around - we used to do the same thing. SS never had a key, and he was only there alone during the one summer when he wanted to live with us and wasn't speaking to BM.  

But don't put all of that on the kid. 

CLove's picture

her mother barge into our home previously, shouting at us. She drops by when she feels like it, periodically, and waits for munchkin outside parked on the street. My home is my sanctuary. Its no secret that Toxic Troll has no respect for us. Its just a trigger, and something I have to avoid.

tog redux's picture

Believe me, I do get you.  At first, BM used to come over to DH's house (before we were married), whenever she pleased for nonsense reasons, and once tried to force her way in.  The police came and told her she could be arrested, and DH told her not to come on the property again.  She has respected that for the most part, only pulling in the driveway.  But I never trusted SS not to let her in - but we never told him that. He even told us once that she wanted him to steal something she wanted from our house and leave it outside for her to pick up.  

CLove's picture

Shes very sick!

When my DH sais these types of things, there is no reaction. When I say it - reaction. The trigger is only activated by ME. I should have mentioned this before. DH can say the exact same thing - no tears. Its me that triggers the tears, and then I am the bad guy. So tired of being the bad guy.

tog redux's picture

So DH should be the one to tell her. You trigger her loyalty bind - BM doesn't want her to love you, so she feels guilty. 

CLove's picture

She loves us both.

Cover1W's picture

While DH and I have a good relationship I struggle with not wanting YSD to end up like OSD.  I don't think she will, but there's a lot going on with her that isn't discussed.  Anyway, in situations like yours - been there waiting on my donated time with a deadline and people not getting it - I become all business.  "I need to be in X place at Y time, you need to get your things and go as planned. I cannot leave the house unattended as I am responsible for it and what's in it."  No mention of clothes issue, no mention of BM.  Make your case clear and without wants, needs, or wishes iterated.  Just the facts ma'am.

Personally, I stick to this with things involving BM and SDs for the most part.  And if you don't like the facts then don't ask.  My feelings are meaningless.

CLove's picture

Im just preparing for when DH goes fishing, and she wants to stay home with me, what to do in this. Do I say "I need to go shopping, please get ready", or just refuse to have her there alone...? I know its a lot of stress on a kid, but I dont want Toxic Troll having access to my home.  She drops by whenever she feels like it, and munchkin has had to refuse her entry before.

Perhaps I should back off and trust...

tog redux's picture

Have DH talk to Munchkin about it - not you. Just have him say he doesn't want her to have to deal with that pressure, so you guys are taking her along for the time being. 

Monkeysee's picture

I find it really frustrating dealing with the fact that we can’t have the emotions a bio parent can have. It’s enormously exhausting. 

In the very few times I’ve been upset around my skids, I’ve noticed it upsets them a lot more than when their dad is upset. Even if I’m not cranky with them directly, my being in a mood really puts the kids off. Their BM yells at them all the time, my DH can be intimidating when he’s angry, and yet I can’t even be in a bad mood on my own (where the most I’ve done is be slightly short with them) without it somehow seemingly ‘traumatizing’ the kids. I’ve never taken my moods out on them, but the affect is pretty obvious.

I agree with the others that you could have handled the situation better, but at the same time I really feel for you. It’s emotionally exhausting to constantly have to monitor every little thing that comes out of your mouth & tailor your emotions so they don’t affect the skids. Sometimes I’d love to just shout ‘I’m human too, deal with it!’  It’s really hard, and I’ve been struggling lately too. I hope things get better for you soon Clove.


CLove's picture

I read your blog - your going through hormones, but for me  - I am 50 and just frustrated with life. Its my first marriage and I have no kids and its hard. Marriage is hard work and its even harder when there is a high conflict ex wife and kids. She is a sweety and I really love her, but she has these triggers. Tog mentioned it - its a common issue in step families, called a "loyalty bind". So, she is caught between her love for me and her love for her mother. She complains about her mother all the time to us, saying she is "selfish and like a child"...stuf that makes my jaw drop. So then I feel like I can say something, and "boom!" the crying.

Its making me nuts.

thinkthrice's picture

blood can criticize blood.  In the big picture SM is the "outsider" and not allowed to criticize the BM whatsover but the skids may complain and you're not supposed to agree with the critique no matter how accurate.

Just like SM is not allowed to critique skids as she is not blood but biodad can moan and complain all day about the rude brats he helped create and we're supposed to just be a listening ear.

Just like the only kid allowed to pick on another kid is said kid's sibling.

IMHO DH should be taking Munchkin should not be handling his kid's child care whilst he takes off for some fun.

Monkeysee's picture

Thanks Clove, hormones are definitely adding to it lol. But it’s exhausting regardless I think. I think loyalty binds are pretty common in skids. I do my best to not say anything negative about BM, but even that is exhausting lol. 

We were having a conversation this weekend at the in laws about a situation & I had to sit there not saying what I really meant, and ‘agreeing’ to things I thought were utter BS, all because I’m the SM and I can’t cross the boundaries. Because I’m not the parent. So I just sit there witnessing things I don’t agree to, and I want to pull my bloody hair out.

I don’t even have the complications of toxic troll or toxic feral eldest & I still find it hard!! It’s affecting how I see the kids as well because I’m finding it harder to find them cute & adorable when they’re really just spoiled little brats. 

DH isn’t a Disney dad, bit I still don’t agree with some of his parenting decisions & I need to shut up about it. I can’t bloody stand it. I can’t stand not having a say within my own home. Being a SM is pants, I wouldn’t recommend this gig to anyone.

Harry's picture

It’s DH child, either he takes her fishing with him or he just does not go fishing.  He should also explain to BM she is not allowed to come into your home 

Step-girlfriend's picture

I'm sorry you're feeling like this! It's a hard situation to be in. And how do you stop the cycle?

I can't remember, have you tried going to counseling together? Or maybe even by yourself? It might help to work through the anger and resentment and get centered again.

As for what you said to SD...yeah it wasn't the ideal thing to say, but we're all human and can't say the perfect thing all the time. All we can do is try to do better next time. I hope you are able to figure out a way to turn things around with your DH and get back on track. Life is too short to be miserable!

bananaseedo's picture

I hate being the 'I told you so' beoch but I remember warning about this kind of stuff once the phone calls started to you while she was on visitation with her mom.  She has learned to manipulate you.  Say NO to the clothes, say NO to answering the phone and let your dh deal with it.  You keep 'feeling bad' and then doing things that cause you resentment.  Don't 'feel bad' if she doesn't have clothes-she'll learn next time.  Quit allowings yourself to be manipulated like that. Before you used the ''well my DH is working so I answer instead' this time he's effin fishing and can't deal w/his DD's shit?  

Quit allowing yourself to be a martyr and draw some clear strong boundaries -especially with Munckin-she is a master manipulator of you.  Quit allowing all of them to steamroll you- start disengaging a bit and then you can work on your resentment. 

CLove's picture

I agree - I have finally realized that she has learned how to manipulate, and has learned how to manipulate me. Next time this happens I now know what to do.

Yes. Friday he had the day off, so I am put in this awkward position of what the heck do I do.

Last night she disregarded me and as pushing my boundaries. I had asked politely for her to please stop popping those plasstic sheets. I had asked 4 times. She kept on. popping. those. effing. things. Her father was sitting right beside her. He had to step in. Then she getes sulky and stomps off with a sigh.

Then H gets angry with ME. I ask, "was I out of line, because she disrespected me, you were right there.." His response was angry, and loud. "look what she did now, she left the room are you effing happy now?"

A beautiful night ruined. Again.

Step parent is my name, disengagement is my game.