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Mamabearof3's picture

Ok so. My first post, signed up 5 months ago and haven’t posted yet. I love my step daughter. Like genuinely always have. I have issues with many of her behaviors but my friends say I tolerate too much. But my mil and SD mother says I’m horrible and tries so hard to make her hate me. She hasn’t spoken to me in over a month now because of the issues between homes are stressing her so much. We usually talk alot for the last two years after having two years apart from major drama. My husband never had any rights and he was a mess and I was only going to be senior in high school when we met and he was fresh out of jail for fighting with her mom and drugs etc is a whole part of their story and past. She says her moms still always high or drunk still and lies a lot. But there’s no legal thing we can do. She loves her mom and is extremely attached to her so it would be horrible if we intervened legally or tried to. He pays child support. Small amount but he doesn’t fight for anything legally. And that’s always bothered me. The mom has sent her other daughter with me more than once for weekends ( I love kids) and then says she thinks I’m horrible. It’s all crazy. Lies and drama. I mostly only correct my step daughters stories from her mom if they include us. Otherwise the other crazy stories I ignore and vent to hubby. I was way too pushy as step mom from day one. I jumped right in. SD loved the attention and care but with age she resented my rules and role. I hardcore fought her mom even threatening cps to get her teeth fixed and get her in school a year late even and she was behind and is still. And she’s just ugh. I still treat us for lice regularly because of her. I’ve done over a hundred treatments on her and her mom always made her come to our place when she was being bad so we were always the disciplinarians. I’ve let her friends come over. We pay for them to do things. But the last visit her dad and I told her to be kind to her little sister and not lie to him. No yelling. No punishments. But she lost it. Screamed and cried for 3 hours and called for a ride to take her to her moms and just made a scene. There’s so much drama and I asked to have a sit down with the trouble makers (my mil was supposed to apolgize to her and us for her issues and things she’s done to our kids)  and it ended horrible now she’s not speaking to us.Idk if she’s talking to mil either. But it just all sucks. I love her so much and hubby keeps saying she’s learning who loves her and she’ll come around with age. Idk if that’s the right route. But even if it’s not what can I even do? She’s almost 15. She’d started making so many mean comments disguised as jokes about my looks (I’m so much prettier than her mom but) but my weight is great now lol .  She made a lot of really mean comments about me and my kids things I believe she was repeating. And so I expected this to an extent. Seemed the harder I tried the more she got mad at me. But she got mad if I didn’t pick her up and instead hubby did. So idk. If I disengage then she won’t come. I feel she’s so conflicted and afraid she’ll just accept her life’s easier without me even if she would prefer me in it. One of her friends told me she’s no longer a virgin either and she hasn’t told me anything of that tho she did call me when she had her first kiss. Her long term boyfriend told her she seems so much happier at our house when we were FaceTiming him. I just don’t know. Her mom has told her to lie to us and hide things. Like the fact she had a stalker. Like a serious one. Idk. I’m just mad and sad and confused. My daughter misses her but my son says she’s mean so. Idk what can be done maybe I just want to vent. 


tog redux's picture

14-15 is a tough age for girls and with a mom who is trying to turn her against you, it will be that much worse.  And your MIL is doing it as well, or did I misunderstand?

I think disengaging is your best bet. That doesn't mean being cold or rude to her, just stepping back from any parenting or trying to get her to talk to you etc.  You can be pleasant to her, just distant and let her do her own thing while you do yours.  Legally you probably don't have much hope of getting any change, anyway, at 15 most courts will go with what she wants, and her mother would put incredible pressure on her.

Just step back, be polite and pleasant, but not in a parenting role.  It may get worse before it gets better, but she may come around as she gets older.

Mamabearof3's picture

My MIL is her own special form of toxic. SD hates to be around her because she never stops talking bad about me apparently. And thanks for commenting. I can be overbearing so disengagement is very hard for me but I’m trying! 

tog redux's picture

Find a hobby or interest that takes up your time - and focus on that.  Just think of her as the neighbor kid - you are friendly to her, but she's really not your problem, nor can you do anything to help her, really.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I like that you're willing to admit you have faults and have made mistakes. So many people aren't willing to see themselves the way others do, and in steplife we have to be honest and realistic. Many of us have made the mistake of becoming too invested in First Family or step issues. I interfered far too much for far too long. Like you I wanted to "save" my SD, but ultimately all of my efforts couldn't raise her out of the ghetto, and my interference only caused resentment.

 I think you need to let go and take some big steps back from your SD, BM, and your MIL, too. These people all sound toxic and low rent, meaning there will always be some sort of drama. Raise your standards for the sake of your bios, and let go of the idea that any of these people automatically get to be in your life because "family".  Being overly involved with your H's daughter only puts more pressure on her, likely aggravates BM, and rubs SD's nose in the fact that the woman who isn't her mother cares more than mom does. It puts SD in a loyalty bind, which isn't good for her. And it's hard to expect MIL to stay in her lane when you aren't staying in yours, either. Stepping back not only reduces pressure, but also gives you the opportunity to gain some emotional distance from your H's baggage and focus more on your bios, your marriage, and your own happiness.

Your bios deserve to have a mom who is 100% focused on their welfare. So leave these low rent people to do what they do, and prioritize giving your kids a stable childhood and preparing them to be successful adults. 


Mamabearof3's picture

Thank you. That’s very true. These problems existed before me and I’m not being appreciated or making any headway in attempting to fix them. My kids do deserve a mom 100% focused on solely their welfare. I do sense greatly that my SD feels insecure over how her mom compares to me. It’s highly unfortunate all around but I can’t fix it. I’m very bad at self care and been trying to get to a place where I’m better at that too. My husband always says I need to let it go. So I guess I’m just too empathetic and emotional and need to chill. 

CLove's picture

You cant be the hero here, because no matter what you do, it sounds like you will be the scapegoat for all these broken toxic people. Step back, and focus on what you CAN make a difference on and thats your own children.