Graduation update... I'm done!
I wanted to update everyone who responded to my post about whether or not I should go to my sd's graduation without being invited https://www.steptalk.org/blog/enuzzo/high-school-graduation-next-weekend.... Well, we did end up getting an invite the week of the graduation. The bm had texted me on Monday asking for my address (which the kids already had) and so I gave it to her along with my mother's since she also lives in town. She then wanted my husband's families' addresses who are scattered all across the country which made me angry. My sd refuses to have a relationship with my husband for reasons she's never explained to him but then expects money from his family?? Also, my husband didn't want me to share the info and we both figured it would be easy enough to go online and find those addresses herself. I just responded that I didn't have the addresses. Short and simple. She then asked me if I was no longer with my husband and explained that since my husband won't speak to her, hopefully, I could provide the addresses. Does she think I don't know that every time she reaches out to my husband it's to threaten him with going to court for more child support? The thing is, she had just threatened him the month before so to say my husband would be nervous about talking to her is an understatement. My sd will be 18 in September and then all child support will end for good. It was one last-ditch effort on the part of the ex to get more money. Secondly, who does she think she is asking a question like that when she knows good and well my husband and I are still together. Games, games and more games. I didn't respond at all to that text. She then texted me the next day to say that it would "mean a lot to the sd if her father was at her party." If that was true, then why didn't the sd tell him that herself? I'm fairly confident the sd didn't even know the ex texted me that and if she did, it's truly all about the benjamins and has nothing to do with any kind of meaningful relationship!
We got the graduation announcement on Wednesday, two days before the party, and since we didn't know about it sooner, we already had plans. It was interesting they DID NOT invite my mother. I texted my sd who hadn't responded to me for 6 months and explained we wouldn't be able to make the party but that we would try to find her at the ceremony. She got right back to me and told me to text her at the ceremony. I was shocked but pleased she wasn't upset about us not going to the party. She threw it with 4 of her best friends so we wouldn't have known anybody there anyway, and I know the ex would have cornered my husband about the money since she has no boundaries. This is about the child celebrating her graduation and not the place to discuss money!
My husband still didn't want to go to the ceremony but conceded it would be the right thing to do. And who knows, maybe it really would open up some dialogue between them. I, my husband and mother all attended the ceremony. As soon as the caps were thrown, I texted the sd and said we'd try and find her on the floor. We went down into the chaos and looked for a good 5 minutes or so while I waited for her to text me back. Nothing. I figured she probably didn't even get it in all the excitement. Meanwhile, my husband and mother were getting antsy and didn't feel like it was worth the effort to keep looking for her. I texted her one more time with pictures of her graduating to say we couldn't find her and again, nothing. My husband and I got back to the house and he also texted her a picture and said great job, etc. Nothing back. We both felt good for going and were genuinely happy for the sd and then I get a text from my ss asking if we had found her. I said no and that I had texted her twice to no avail. Then nothing back from him. This gave me anxiety because I suspect it was the ex asking him to follow up with me. There'd be no other reason for him to ask me that unless he genuinely cared which I don't know why he would.
Monday came and I talked to co-workers who were also at the ceremony. They all talked about nieces and nephews who they couldn't find either but every one of them at least texted them back. These were relatives, not parents, and then it hit me, the sd really didn't care and honestly never has. The day she moved out was literally the happiest I had seen her for years. I spent 15 years of my life trying to be a good mom to the skids, and yes, I've made a ton of mistakes, we both did, but this resentment is so deep. I constantly regret and blame myself for the times I yelled too loud and made them cry, or the couple times I know I talked poorly about their mother, but I always apologized and told them I loved them and acknowledged my mistake. Same with my husband. I constantly think about what we could have done differently and it does nothing but make me feel worse, full of regrets. We've looked up the definition of children who are victims of PAS and they check every box. I have to remind myself that even if my husband gave the ex a million dollars, and we never yelled or disciplined the children, it probably wouldn't have made a difference. We're dealing with an extreme narcissist who has taught the kids that appearances are everything and most people are bad unless they're rich and pretty. She's a classic rich, mean girl and I fear the kids are too.
I texted both skids on Monday about getting together for a little celebration and so I can give the sd her graduation gift. Nothing. I plan to text them again tomorrow, and if I hear nothing back, I will just mail her card and a $100 gift card and then... I'M DONE! I can't play these games anymore. I'm mentally and physically exhausted from no sleep. People judge my husband for not being more proactive but he knows the ex, and the skids are just like her and there's little hope of changing them. I keep reminding myself that I am not their biomom so what do I owe them? NOTHING! I feel like I'm a pawn in their sick game for more money and I'm losing my identity over it. I'm no longer a strong independent woman who loves herself. I have subjected myself to begging and groveling to keep the skids in my life, and for what? They've never really given me any joy. I just pretended they did. But the reality is they've never identified with us and it was always a bit uncomfortable for everyone. I've been researching disengagement and that's where I'm headed. I've been going to therapy over this for about a year, but I'm changing the direction. Instead of figuring out how to make all the relationships better, I want my therapist to help me get over this once and for all so I can start living my life again, and my husband and I can finally be at peace. Thanks for listening.