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Anon StepMom Backstory Part 1

StepMomAnon's picture

So this blog is almost 10 years overdue with how much drama we deal with, I recently discovered this site and eager to vent out some frustrations hopefully with some like-minded step parents!

So my DH and I have been together almost 10 years, married 2 years. I love my 13yo SD with all my heart. Her dad and I started dating when she was 3.5 and I met her a little before her 4th birthday so we have a long relationship. We have one biological daughter together, 6yo. This will be my first entry and I will likely start from most recent incidents and work back to our older frustrations. I want to start by saying my SD does have a therapist she sees although we haven't had an appointment for almost a year because she decided it is no longer a good fit and she would rather see someone else (younger and more relatable!) so, we highly value mental health resources but we are just in-between counselors right now. COVID-19 makes that difficult. She saw a different therapist when she was younger as well but we moved out of a decent travel distance. 

So! Some background, our situation is kind of unique. My husband and his babymama only dated a few weeks when they were young, she didn't want anything serious so he ended it and they both dated other people and lost contact. He knew she was pregnant but she swore it was her current boyfriends baby. Almost two years later, he was served and forced to take a paternity test that confirmed he was the father. He had missed out on over a year of time with their baby, and the only reason she got him involved was for child support. They went to court, he was given every other weekend but very quickly they had a different arrangement where he had her most weekends or multiple days a week. It was very obvious from the beginning that mom was a very negligent parent. SD's health and wellness was constantly a challenge. By the time I met her, her mom had another baby on the way, then one more, then she married and divorced their dad, now currently she has another baby with her newest boyfriend. So that is three half siblings on her moms side, and one half sibling on our side. For years we were 50/50 parenting time, then her mom started letting us take her as much as we asked for with no complaints as long as we didn't question paying her full child support for a child she only had on weekends. We let her siblings come over for play dates and sleepovers because we value sibling relationships. 
 

We went from 50/50 to primary household as we put her into the best school available in our district, we pursued a custody change in court and we were granted 50/50 legal and physical custody and we were named primary household, we have her M-F and one weekend a month, summers are one week on one week off (although we usually get more time if we arrange it) court ended up being a very long and emotional drawn out process, her biomom fought against everything after it became clear that she would no longer receive extra financial support. There were many lies and fake incidents but luckily we had a good support system behind us and we got the best judgement out of it that we could expect. 

In the beginning, bio mom and I actually had a pretty good relationship. We talked often and most of the communication between biomom and DH was through me. I saw how negligent of a parent she was but thought if we could be good influences on her and model good parenting, we could help her improve. Unfortunately she is too narcissistic to do anything differently, and she is an unfortunate product of her environment. Her family has a lot of drug use and domestic violence in their past. She has always been emotionally, and at times physically, abusive to my SD. Now that we are primary household, the drama hasn't ended for us. Almost every week there is some new way she has hurt or upset my stepdaughter. I'm not going to pretend we are the best parents either, my husband and I are both young parents, we rented small apartments for years because we were financially drained from supporting her biomom and not having much money leftover for ourselves especially after the expense of legal fees after 2 years in court.  We recently bought our first house together and feel really settled and well-off. My stepdaughter loves our house and she loves living with us. 
the most recent issue is the new boyfriend who has lived here less than a year, and her moms continued emotional abuse. I will continue on more specific incidents on my next entry.  

 

 

Comments

lieutenant_dad's picture

Having her with a therapist is good for two reasons: one, it helps SD emotionally, and two, it puts SD in front of a mandated reporter regularly. CPS is more likely to accept a report from a therapist than a parent when it comes to emotional abuse.

As for physical abuse, I'm hoping you're documenting and reporting as needed.  Spanking likely isn't going to result in anything, but if she comes over with bruises, a black eye, or any other marks, you need to report it to CPS. Pictures, journals of times, dates, and what happened, and doctor's notes are ALL going to be important in order to protect SD.

You can't change BM, though it seems like you already know that. I stopped trying to get ET to be a better mother and just switched to helping DH raise the boys into adulthood. The drama, at least for me, greatly lowered when I stopped focusing on what she was doing. Doesn't mean I don't hear things and get upset by them. It just means I don't directly interact with her.

StepMomAnon's picture

Everything in documented, and yes unfortunately the abuse is not enough. She never leaves a mark, it is usually agggressive spanking or occasional face slaps that do not hold in court. Now that SD is older the physical abuse hasn't happened in awhile and it has turned mostly to emotional abuse. The few times we have called CPS with our safety concerns (her uncle who lived with them was stabbed by a neighbor while she was in her moms house, we found out the next day when we came to pick her up and there was blood everywhere) we have had a lot of dismissal because it has never been enough. They say we could always file for temporary emergency custody and have an investigation but again, it's never been quite enough. Now, her mom and the new boyfriend just break her down emotionally. I think anyone coming into a stepparent situation would do well to follow that advice though! And we will never stop documenting and communicating with my SD to ensure she is as safe and taken care of as possible. 

CLove's picture

Yes, your journey sounds extremely familiar. And our stories as you read through will sound familiar to you.

Ive got 3 years worth of venting blogs, so you can see all my challenges there. Abusive Toxic Troll Bm, filthy Feral Forger SD21. Sweet, kind Munchkin SD14. A DH who is caught up in parallel parenting  crazy. 

We also just bought our house, that he had been renting for 13 years. He could never be in the place to do this with the ex. Im childless, so I find myself pouring energy into Munchkin, who really appreciates it and enjoys the benefits it brings to her life.

We have a true 50/50. Toxic Troll gets a small amount of child support and last March was the last spousal support payment. Shes not been working a regular job, so its been stressful for SD14, who goes from a stable secure happy household to a chaotic, filthy, crazy household (Feral Forger Sd21 movied back in to the filthy 1 bedroom apartment after a year.

So, again, welcome! Post as you like, and read as you can.

Thumper's picture

Welcome to ST

You may quickly realize that your experience is similar to many of ours.

My first lesson here on ST, years AND years ago, is the same i give to you.

YOU are not alone.

trust me, you are NOT alone.

Welcome to the Gang Smile

*just to let you know,  most, if not all the steps here on ST are good, law abiding, loving caring,  people. I  Cant NOT say the same for BM*.

 

CajunMom's picture

I am also new to the board but not new to the high conflict stepworld. I loved this group after a few minutes of reading some posts. I knew I was home.  While all SKs here have aged out (26-40 years), we have entered grandchildren age which brings on more ability to "trash the SM" in this family. 

As for therapists, you will note when you see my comments that I always say to look for a therapist that has high conflict blended family exerience. We had one therapist...when DH and I chose to pay out her alimony in a lump sum, then asked us if we'd consider taking up the kids' private school tuition. Umm...no crazy, therapist. We send BM $2k a month...we already pay the tuition. Consider also, my DH chose to give BM 3 years of alimony rather than the 6 month max in our state to help her get an education to support herself. Of course, that didn't happen; she blew it all. Same therapist wanted me to coddle BM through her "changes the divorce brought on." Ummm...wait. SHE divorced DH, SHE's been single for over 6 years at this point, making more money in CS and Alimony than I made working 48 hours a week and you want ME to coddle that biotch??? Yep. Not all therapists are created equal. 

Looking forward to getting to know you and your story. 

CLove's picture

Sitting there, sympathising with GUBM, who cant seem to make it out there in the big bad world...work is HARD! Being a single mother trying to make it on her own is HARD. Forget all that money I am getting for not doing anything...the world OWES me.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

Welcome, your story sounds very similar to what I went through with my niece and her BM. I had custody of her since she was a baby, then later joint custody. When DN was a preteen the abuse was severe from BM to the point where DN became suicidal.  

I never backed down to BM would report her, had the school and counselors on my side and would drag her into court whenever I had to. 

DN would never want to end visits with BM because she feared for her Bio sisters safety and wanted to see them. I honored her wishes but made sure BM knew if she laid one finger in her I would have all her kids taken away from her. She couldn't afford for me to keep taking her to court and was tired of dealing with CPS. Plus after a while the courts and especially the law guardian made it clear to her that if there were any more reports she would not be given any more chances.