Feeling negative around SD for a different reason
So DH has gotten a lot better with not showing favoritism or special treatment to SD. With a few slip ups here and there. So that has made my relationship with him better and as a whole improved the situation. SD still tries to be sneaky mean/bratty often, but that has also declined from the extreme it was at. Shes not any nicer of a kid at heart, but she cant get away with it as well so its put a damper on it.
However, now theres a new issue for me. Which is that when SD is not essentially being made the center of the universe, she gets very mopey. Theres not really a happy medium for very long- either shes getting kicks from being mean or getting attention over others or shes pouting and acting depressed. Seriously, if you can be addicted to attention, she is. It's like a drug to her - she can never get enough and when shes not getting any it's like her life force is gone. And as far as getting enjoyment but tricking or hurting others, I dont even know what that is but I think its separate from the attention thing.
So heres the issue - even if I'm disengaged shes still in close proximity to me for half her life. And when shes acting mopey and depressed it's hard for me to not feel badly. Because even if I intellectually don't think I should feel sorry for her, because shes not being mistreated, just treated as an equal instead of the princess she wants to be, she looks sad and that makes me feel bad. So now even when things are technically better it's hard to really enjoy it because I feel like a POS for feeling better at the expense of an 8 year old feeling worse. Plus just the negative energy being put out is still there like it was before. Its lose - lose.