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Graduation update... I'm done!

Enuzzo's picture

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.

Comments

tog redux's picture

Your skids have been alienated by BM, and as such, they do think just like her. 

Your husband should periodically contact them, let them know he loves them and he's there if they want a relationship, and then just let it go.  

Alienated kids do come back, my SS did, after 3.5 years of not speaking to DH. And if he doesn't at least leave the door open for them, they are less likely to reach out to him.  Cutting them off to show how angry he is at them won't help matters. He has to come to a place of understanding that it's not personal, it's about BM's control. 

Enuzzo's picture

Thanks, tog_redux! We plan to continue to send them birthday and holiday greetings but that's it. I only hope they do come around but we aren't going to live our lives dwelling on what we cannot change. Thanks again!

tog redux's picture

Yes, that's the right idea. My guess is that now that CS is ending, BM wants them to have more contact with DH because she wants more money and she can't get it through court (for tuition and other stuff).  My SS came back around once BM realized Child Support could be stopped if he refused to have a relationship with DH. 

Enuzzo's picture

Wow! I had no idea that was even possible! We've tried this whole time to keep everything out of the courts and since the clock is ticking, she's getting desperate. You're right too about her desire to get the kids' college tuition paid. We had a small fund for the ss and since we don't have a lot of money, we think it's important for the kids to contribute to their education as well. The ex, not so much.

tog redux's picture

Well, CS goes to 21 here, so in theory, you can get it stopped if the kid refuses to speak to you, but it never happens.  DH used that as leverage in court though, and lo and behold, SS did appear.  It's been almost a year since he started talking to DH again and their relationship has gradually gotten much better, and SS is having some realizations about BM.

So tuition may be the leverage your DH needs to get his kids back in his life - but he has to not allow BM to be the gatekeeper - the kids have to come to him directly. 

NoThanks's picture

Why even send her a gift card when she can’t be bothered to text back? 

The situation is very sad but I think you’re right that no matter what you did, it would eventually end up this way. Maybe she just needs some time to grow up a little to realize you guys really do care and always have. 

Harry's picture

Just send a card.  Just flush the $100 Dow the toilet.   SD want nothing to do with you.  BM is just setting you up to get money after CS ends.  As in SD needs new clothing, SD needs a car, SD need money for college. SD needs, needs,needs.  

SD know any money after September is going to be voluntary, on your part.  Part of disengaging is not to give money to buy there attention.  Either the attention is given freely or it’s not worth anything 

Or.   i will send you my address, you can send me money.  I will be your friend !!! just send it to down the drain forever 

advice.only2's picture

IT sounds like you and DH have done the best you can with a really crappy situation.
Just a though, when you reward somebody for crappy behavior with a gift you are training them the value of your worth. Personally I would send a card, sans gifts and just keep it at that.

MommyT's picture

So you are going to give this kid $100.00 for being completely rude and inconsiderate of you. Please don’t. Send a card but you keep the cash. Put it in a college fund for them. Seriously, don’t reward her bad behavior.

ITB2012's picture

So she get's $100 each time she ignores you? I want that deal. I'll stop responding to your posts if you send me $100 each time you post. Wink

Enuzzo's picture

Point taken, Guys! No money for her! Our reasoning was that's what her brother got at his graduation so we'd do the same for her. Interestingly, the ss stopped talking to us for two months after his HS graduation because he was mad we weren't able to give him more money for college, and then the 11-page hate letter arrived (please see previous post). 

NoThanks's picture

I see. You guys we’re trying to be fair and gift her something too. I think that was nice of you to even try. More than likely she won’t appreciate it though. Her mom has taught her you guys don’t do enough financially and this will just be another financial gesture to poop on. Plus she didn’t seem appreciative that you guys even made the effort to attend her ceremony. 

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Block Biowh0re. She has no business speaking to you in any fashion, ever. She is not your ex.

CLove's picture

I read your previous post, however I dont think I commented so here goes my experience - so you know you are not alone in this at all. BTW - you are suffering PTSD, so therapy should give you some good tools for that.

2 years ago, Feral Forger SD20, JUST turned 18 and a few months later was graduation. When she got the tickets because it was limited attendance, shed gotten them for DH, her 2 favorite aunties, 2 favorite girl cousins, Toxic Troll BM, and her sister. My reaction was "great!!! I dont have to go!!! Ill get the highlights later from SO, and have my day and evening free!!!!"

Sadly it was not to be. Then SO insisted that I be invited too, or he would not be going. Auntie #1 tried to give me her ticket, then SO said "no, Clove gets her own ticket or I am not attending. Period".

So, again sadly, the next day Feral Forger atproached me with "here is your ticket, I had to stand in line a long time for it, so I hope that you go so my dad will go too." Bitch. Ungrateful bitch. Then SO said that he needed my support, he didnt want to go alone and have to be around Toxic Troll etc...

So, I sacrificed a 1/2 of unpaid leave from work, sat on a hard bench in blazing hot sun without a hat or water, for 4 FRICKEN hours. Boy was I pissed. We found her afterwards, took some cute photos with dad, and that was that. I just heard recently from munchkin sd13 that she completely blew her mother, Toxic Troll off totall, didnt even meet up with her for photos, didnt pickup the expensive bougquet of flowers, just the money. Which doesnt surprise me at all considering that the month before Toxic Troll and Feral Forger were arguing and Toxic Troll choked her and slapped her and called her names.

But anyways. And a friend of my now husband, his daughter the next week graduated high school. After the graduation, we had to HUNT that girl down, and caught her just as she was taking off with her boyfriend. This friend is still supporting this kid. And now Feral  Forger is living with the mother Toxic Troll, and she refuses to have any kind of relationship with DH.

She left our house soon after - there was no arguement and no "kicking anyone out", she started staying somewhere else. 6 months later I cleaned out the garbage from the room. took the door off. Feral Forger seemed like she was pretty happy - went to concerts, traveled to grand canyon, and oregon. She couldnt be bothered to call her father on his birthday or on fathers day. But she came around eventually and started asking for money (this will probably happen with your DH too. ATM dadee.) and asking to move back in. Shes accused him of abusing her and called me names and we just cant hang with that - he said no, work things out with your mother.

Sorry for such a long response!

I too, am needing to find myself again. Get back to that person that was basically very happy with herself. With hobbies, friends and at a healthy weight. We can go on this jouney together all of us!

Enuzzo's picture

Thanks for sharing your story, CLove. My heart is breaking for you and your dh and everyone else who has had to endure this pain. This has been a terrible week for me and my therapist has been busy so I have to wait until tomorrow to see her. I'm just so tired of living for other people - trying to play nice with the kids, the ex, and of course trying to change my stubborn husband who wants nothing to do with any of them. I feel like I've been breaking up with these kids over and over again in one capacity or another since they moved out 5 years ago. I talk about it constantly with friends and family and they're so over it. I just want to be liberated from it all but it's hard when my identity for so long was being a mother to these kids who never truly saw me that way anyway. I want my new narrative to be all about me and just accept the way things are and feel okay about it. Thanks to you and everyone else for helping me through this!