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Mamabearof3's picture

She just sent a text over 24 hours after saying ok that says" Also its not that my mom wont let me its because i dont want to go there. " I copy and pasted that. After months of her on fb rolling her eyes saying she doesn't think her mom will let her. And texting just weeks ago she really wishes she could come. Yesterday I posted the whole situation. And idk she has major mood swings so I guess a moment of honesty or something. I just replied with we understand how PAS works we've been studying it over a year now and talked with professionals in that line of work and that when she's legally able we'll go to therapy with her to work through it all. No reply back from her. But it's whatever. She's mad about something and I'm not biting. 


CastleJJ's picture

Stop communicating with SD and stop caring! You have already escalated this past a necessary point - you do not need to have the last word on this. Your SD indicated that it is her who doesn't want to come. There shouldn't have been a response from you, heck, there should have been no response from you yesterday - you should have accepted that and moved on, not gone on about how PAS works and all the research you've been doing on the topic. You need to stop exposing your true feelings to SD in long winded texts. She will only use this information against you. Your SD is only 16 and BM can still make your life hell until she turns 18 because you are calling out the PAS. This WILL backfire on you as the SM... Either BM will come after you, SD will accuse you of something, or DH will resent you for escalating and meddling. 

You say you aren't biting, but you're literally biting by engaging in this conversation. You cannot care more than the bioparents. Your DH isn't doing anything to manage his own relationship with SD. He literally told you yesterday to stop trying and stop caring, so do that! You can push for therapy when your SD turns 18, but you cannot force her. When she turns 18, she may never want to speak to you or DH again and she has that right. If I were you, I would get counseling for yourself now to determine where your deep need to fix all of this comes from and how to accept the situation for what it is and move on. 

Mamabearof3's picture

I gave an unemotional response. Maybe I do care more than them. Idk. Her mom, nobody takes her seriously. She's a druggie and drunk who won't do anything in actuality but run her mouth as usual. If that. She did literally nothing when SD was being stalked by a much older boy she met in school. I didn't say anything wrong rude or dishonest so there's nothing to be held against me at all by anyone. DH has been telling me what to say and my SD knows that. I told her she can call him and I anytime this week to discuss how she's feeling if she wants to and left it at that. I worded things nicer then he would have is all I've done. I don't care if I upset BM or SD. SD reached out because she's mad her dad didn't text her directly before his surgery. She replied with that tidbit. I didn't give an emotional response then either. 

CastleJJ's picture

Bringing up PAS could be held against you. BM may not do anything due to her personality/nature, but if she was a HCBM, she would haul your butt to court for 3rd party interference and likely win. While what you said isn't dishonest or rude, it is still not appropriate for a SM to be discussing PAS with an alienated teen. Let your DH handle that topic with SD. Your DH is telling you what to say, yet you are sending it. Why isnt DH stepping and texting SD directly? Why is DH using you as the messenger? Look at Clove on here. She was only trying to be a good SM and care for her SD and SD retaliated by making accusations and the whole thing blew up in her face - now she's disengaged. 

This was part of your response to SD that you posted yesterday: "I know I've over stepped a lot over the years trying to get your dad and your mom to get along and you and him closer and making sure your needs were being met. I meant well anyways. It just wasn't my place to do so much. I'm not resentful or bitter over it and I'm glad I did my best. I just hope you know we all love you and we're here for you. Your dad did tell me a couple days ago he wished he did more to get legal rights and to be more involved with you. We're both sorry for the position you've been in." - that is an emotional response. I could feel the emotion in that response. 

I'm not saying this to be rude or hurtful. I am saying this because I used to be you. I used to wear my heart on my sleeve and figured that if I poured my emotions into my reasoning, it would be well received and understood. In reality, my emotions were always mocked and/or stepped all over, so I learned to just share the bare minimum and leave my emotions out of it. Your SD does not seem like the type to care one bit about how you feel and seems like the type that would exploit those emotions. 

Mamabearof3's picture

SD is texting me not him. He and her have never been very close. She's told me much of her life and even as a teen that I'm one of of her favorite people in the world. I have been very hurt and emotional over it all but I'm doing my best not to be anymore. She's possibly dealing with mental health issues as well given how she is with other kids in school and her hygiene issues etc so I've always brushed off her extreme disrespect that she randomly displays (in between being overly lovey dovey with hugs and kisses etc) towards me and my kids especially. I appreciate your advice and I am trying to disengage as much as I can and I have in many ways. And maybe that's her uspet. I just told my husband to message her about the phone call I offered. He expressed regret over not doing more and now it's time for him to prove that. He's horrible with relationships and he does have mental health issues that have even landed him in a hospital before (not since we met). He's stable now and handles everything he has to he just prefers not to do relationship stuff. He's also a mood swinger from lovey dovey to cold distant and rude/mean. He's doing much better now. But I've done a lot to help him get to where he is. I was raised to care for my mentally ill abusive mother. And I've only recently cut her off in the last year so I'm getting there with the boundaries and hardlines with people. None of these facts are secrets about me and I'm okay with being mocked if someone decides to do that. 

notsurehowtodeal's picture

It was not your place to discuss PAS with a 16 year old. As was said above, this could so easily come back on you. If you are telling her about PAS, you are essentially bad mouthing her mother - which is never a good idea. If BM is really PASing, you saying bad things about her is just going to feed the PAS.

I know your heart is in the right place, but for your sake, and even for the sake of your SD, you have got to back off. The more you chase her, the more she is going to run. You clearly care more than your DH, and that brings nothing but heartache. She is 16, if she wants to visit she will and if she doesn't, there is not a darn thing you can do about it. You may be doing more damage than good by continuing to press her.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Stop lying to yourself that you have SD's best interest at heart. What you are is hurt, and you want SD to realize you're hurt so she changes her behavior.

If you actually cared more about how SD is feeling, then you'd be putting your foot up your DH's behind to get his daughter help. Or to get her to come to visitation. Or to go to the darned family reunion so he could see his daughter. Or just communicate with her.

He is a disconnected father that allowed you to get too close and didn't put in the effort in his own relationship with her. He alienated himself without BM's help. His daughter needed help and he left it up to you to handle.

So you overfunctioned. You knew you overfunctioned. You probably were her favorite person because her own parents suck. But that morphed, and when she chose BM for whatever reason, you got hurt. Now you're ignoring her feelings on the matter, still blaming BM versus blaming DH for his part, and giving her some sense of fall hope in order to make yourself feel better.

Newsflash: your DH will never do therapy with her. He doesn't even talk to her and that takes no effort.

You need to grieve this loss and leave SD alone. She knows you care, but right now you're caring way too much. She's likely mad at her dad for not trying harder, and likely frustrated at you for blaming her mom versus seeing yourself as part of the problem.

Also keep in mind that BOTH parents can lose in this. She may end up hating both her mom and dad and disconnecting from both. 

So STOP blaming BM for this. Your DH didn't form a bond with her. Your DH didn't get her mental health help. You're upset and blaming the parent who, while not great, is currently present because it makes you feel better to blame BM and SD's mental health versus listening to SD and realizing DH caused some of this pain for you.

Continuing to engage isn't an option. 

Mamabearof3's picture

I've recognized already on here that my DH wasnt as involved legally as he should have been. He didn't and can't alienate himself that's not how alienation works. Alienation can happen in home with married parents even. I suggest you research it. I have friends who actually have deadbeat dads for their children who do not alienate their child. My DH has done a lot over the years to try to help SD but he was unwilling to rock the boat as much as needed. He still did more than the other man when they were unsure who her dad even was the first few years. She looks a lot like him now so no paternity test needed. He doesn't like the drama that SD mom brings and he doesn't want to deal with it. It triggers his mental health issues badly. I've been pushing him as much as I can. He will pay for therapy. He went himself to therapy even years ago when he needed it. He has long said when she's older he will do whatever needs done to get her on track. He had the idea for years that she would want to live here upon turning 18 because it's obviously a much better environment but now after researching PAS he knows that's unlikely and needs to act sooner than later which greatly stresses him. She's only 15 and still a child and can still be positively influenced which is exactly what I said to him last nite. BM hasn't allowed her over and limited contact for months since we gently offered to pay for therapy last summer following a dramatic emotional break down on SD part.  And it has escalated to what this situation is now. 

Mamabearof3's picture

We even set up a tutor he would pay himself in her city when she was about to be held back for the second time and BM refused to allow her to help SD. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

I have lived through having a parent alienate me from their life, and it is different from PAS. It came from my dad not liking my personality, having other things to do, not doing what he needed to do to overcome his own issues as a father, etc. I wasn't an easy teen for him to get along with, I'll give you that. But it hurts a lot when you want to talk to your father and the person you end up talking to more, or planning dinners with, or scheduling visitation through, is his GF.

I liked the women my dad has dated. I told no animosity toward them. But it GREATLY sucks when I want to talk to my dad and the only way I can guarantee a call back is if I call his GF first to tell him. That started when I was a teen and has continued into adulthood.

I love my dad, but I have no idea how to form a bond with him. The crushing part is when he tries for a few months and then falls back into not responding again. I have built my life not expecting him to be there.

Having been somewhat in your SD's shoes myself, I am telling you that YOU need to stop talking to her and put your energy into getting your DH to respond. If he doesn't have the mental capacity to, then support him in getting therapy to get to a point where he can. Your SD doesn't believe a single word you say about what her dad will do because she knows he doesn't even have the capacity to text her now (but he does have the capacity to be a father to his other children - that double-stings).

I have lived this experience, complete with my mom whispering in the background that my dad was a bad father. She wasn't fully wrong. It is entirely possible to live through PAS while also having a parent alienate themself when they have the opportunity not to. If you have the ability to talk to SD and form a good relationship with her (or get her to be honest), so can he.

Mamabearof3's picture

I'm sorry your dads been distant and uninvolved. My DH has pushed most his relationships off on me as a default especially when it comes to planning events or correspondence. Which I think is somewhat normal for a wife to do it's just harder to experience when you're the child of divorced or separated parents and have to deal with the gf or new wife. I hope your dad and you can find an interest to bond in because for my kids that's what I've pushed for my DH and them to have is something they can do together they both enjoy even when they're not seeing eye to eye on something else. I genuinely suspect my DH is on autism/aspergers spectrum since the mental health issues he does have often are misdiagnosed and mimic autism. He knows my thoughts but under no circumstances will he acknowledge it with a doctor or professional. I've discussed it with SD as well before because my change in how I communicate with him has helped our marriage have so much more peace after I read about it. I know my DH needs to talk to her more. He has reached out some he just doesn't understand her at all and when he does it's because he sees himself when he was a child/teen and that bothers him. Our most painful alienators are the ones who alienated him from his dad and he has expressed to them the hurt many times they caused and they have changed nothing. His mom and her parents have money and have bailed BM out of jail and paid for so much for them and just manipulates her to get their own way. Then they talk crap about BM even in front of SD when she was little too. It's sick and it's sad and SD knows it's true and has expressed it to me and I've told her time and again she can still love them while acknowledging they've caused problems for her. I think SD needs to research PAS and break down everything as logically as she can so she can deal with it all. She's apart of our family wether she's in the current photographs or not. I know she hurts she can't have her family whole together and so do my kids. They would love to have their sister more involved. My DH has taken SD after my pushing of course but he's taken her out alone and he's talked to her one on one and tried to make her comfortable to discuss whatever she'd like to concerning anything. The problem is she's lied about things a lot. Things he's said. And she's pushed a lot as well. Not recently but even last year she was still pushing the "my mom says she still loves DH, I'm sure he still loves her too he just can't admit it when he's married etc" it was hard for him to confront that but he did. They were never together more than 2 years on and off as teens and never serious about their relationship so it's just an odd situation to discuss. I don't get up in arms or anything about it so she's always been able to say whatever. Which idk if that's best or not. DH will be FaceTiming her sometime this week to discuss whatever she's currently feeling whenever she can get away from BM and be alone for a bit to talk anyways. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

No, SD does not need to research PAS and break this all down logically. If she wants to do that, she can do that deconstruction as an adult. She is still a child. An older child; an emerging adult. But still a kid who doesn't need a lesson in psychology in order to understand why her parents - both of them - continue to fail her.

What she needs now is to know that her dad loves her, cares about her even if he can't understand her, and be there in her life if her BM is prevent her from being part of his. Again, if he can do it for your mutual kids, he can do it for her.

He should not try talking to her sporadically to find out what's wrong if he isn't willing to put in the work to have a genuine relationship with her now. Asking SD to dump all her trauma, fears, concerns, etc onto him when he isn't going to help her pick up those pieces is wholly unfair. All it does is allow him to walk away feeling like he tried but her stuck with having to wade through everything that got brought up.

I don't know what the best approach for him is right now. Perhaps it's keeping things very surface-level until he can figure out how to be a better father to his teenager from a distance. But stop throwing up excuses for him while expecting her to do the mental work to work through the PAS and alienation. She is a child, and we shouldn't expect children to do the emotional labor that we don't expect out of adults.

Mamabearof3's picture

After 15 years of lies and ugliness said to her from her mom about him us simply mentioning PAS is a struggle she's been dealt and were willing too help her work with it isn't us bad mouthing her mom or causing issues. He can't legally do much more than he has. I'm a better mother to my kids than her mom is to her and that makes it easier for a man to be a dad to his children. It's not my fault her mom has never allowed her dad to parent the way she needed him to. He should have gotten custody but he didn't and he wouldn't be able to now because SD wouldn't want that. There's nothing more we can do besides reach out as we have all year. 

ESMOD's picture

Honestly, in reading LD's posts.. I think she is giving a pretty good viewpoint.

Part of what I see the problem is that you.. and her dad are both hurt by her lack of communication/interest.  While her mother may have played the PAS cards.. the girl seemingly has been at least semi onboard with having a relationship with you that wasn't entirely toxic.. but her dad has allowed his hurt feelings to become a barrier to being a parent.

NOw, maybe you do the heavy lifting with the kids you have.. and that may not be entirely unusual for a nuclear family... it may not work as well in stepland.  The girl may well already be getting messages from mom that he doesn't care.. then he kind of backs that up by letting you manage the relationship with her.    He has allowed you to overcompensate for his apparent lack of parental active interest.  Yeah.. sure women have historically been the primary child care in the household.. but in a divorce and separation.. that dynamic needs to change... and in this case it didn't.  She apparently has more relationship wiht you than her dad.

And.. the hurt feelings are a revolving door.. he is hurt.. you are hurt on his behalf.. she is hurt to not have direct communication.. so she doesn't communicate.. and he is hurt.. and you are hurt on his behalf and try to communicate.. and she is hurt that he doesnt want contact.. but you ask for it.. it's like a standoff of sorts.

And.. while you may have started your healing at 13.. everyone has their own capacity for that.. and honestly.. the dynamic her dad is showing her is toxic in it's own way.. expecting her to somehow turn her back on the parent that was there for her (as messy as she is) is probably a big ask.. she also aligns with mom because mom is the one that has more control directly on her life.  it's higher stakes to buck her mom than dad.. and dad doesn't seem to care as much in her eyes...

PUtting the onus on her to resolve this PAS and to recognize it all? it's really giving her more problems to deal with.. and she sounds like she has plenty on her plate.

Mamabearof3's picture

I began healing from my toxic upbringing at 13. If I would have waited to 18 I'd be 5 years behind. She should definitely begin healing as much now as she can 100%. 

Winterglow's picture

"He has long said when she's older he will do whatever needs done to get her on track"

So when's that going to be? When she's thirty? Look, she's already 15, it may already be too late to change much. Her personality is already pretty much formed and she knows who she feels she can count on ... and it's not him. What makes him think she'll want him interfering in her life later on to get her back onto whatever track he feels she needs. In short, he's kidding himself.

Mamabearof3's picture

At 15 she's legally under the care of her mother. So when she's no longer under legal custody of her mother is when he planned to be able to help her. As mentioned above all efforts of therapy and tutoring have been rejected by BM. 

Winterglow's picture

I understand that but at 18, I cannot imagine that she will agree that she's not on the right tracks. I truly do think he'd be wasting his time and simply setting himself up for more heartache.

Mamabearof3's picture

I agree with that and I've said that to him and he's starting to see that himself now. 

ESMOD's picture

A 16 year old is likely to not want to leave her 'life/friends/social construct".  Even with her dad having had surgery.. you did say that she didn't hear directly from him before the surgery?  perhaps that is telling of the relationship on both sides...

The bottom line is that 'fine.. she doesn't want to come.. it may not even be for "personal" reasons'.  I know you would like for her to be different with your DH.. but she isn't.. and a family event to a 16 yo is not enticing.. she likely just doesn't want to go.

I would not try to think too much into motivations.. they may be less sinister than you think.. clearly she is raw to youthinking her mom is pulling her strings.. it may just be that his little girl is flying the coop.. I rarely spent time with my parents at that age or older.


Mamabearof3's picture

I know she's mostly stuck home babysitting all summer for her younger siblings. She has one close friend but it's very toxic and they fight a lot. I'm friends with her best friend online and follow her and she's recently removed pictures and videos of them together so I'm sure that's part of my SD mood right now but I am not mentioning it or saying anything to either of them. If she wants to talk about it she will. She has every other time so I'm sure she'll open up on that eventually. She struggles with friends. She's very mean to other girls and terrible with boys. She switched schools this year and hasn't made any real friends that she sees outside of school yet. She has some cousins she hangs out with sometimes anyways.