Adult Stepdaughter Drama
As the holidays approach, I need to know ideas on how to make things pleasant. I would love one big happy family for Christmas. I have a stepdaughter who is in her mid twenties. She has never been kind to me. Not once.
When I met her dad he had been divorced for many years and was single. We hit it off and eventually moved in together. He had a friend in a bad situation who desperately needed a home. He suggested I rent my home to his friend and move in with him because we hated being apart and his friend needed help. So, I moved in. The adult daughter lives out of state. It didn't impact her at all. But, she flipped out and created drama with her dad over it. She lives with a boyfriend... But, me moving in was somehow bad. She cut her dad off and created drama.
Later, when we got engaged, same thing. Married, same thing. Nearly three years later, she has never had a conversation with me. Before my now husband and I were engaged, we took three months apart to make sure we were doing the right thing. We never stopped seeing each other but dated a couple others before we got too serious. When we were apart my stepdaughter was thrilled and sent me a nasty message in FB messenger about how glad she was we were not together and what a terrible person I am, etc. I had never been attacked verbally by a stranger before and I needed support. So, I did a prayer request post for myself on my private FB page and stated I had been attacked by a woman with a mental illness and to please pray for me. Somehow, even though we were never friends on FB, she managed to read it and realized it was about her, even though I mentioned no names. She went nuts. I knew all about her diagnosis and made every excuse in the book for her behavior. But, I am only human and have feelings too. Anyway, my prayer request sent her into orbit.
I got her Christmas presents last year. No thank you. She needed to borrow a car and her dad let her use one of his. She refused to acknowledge me when I said hello many times and gave me her best evil eye. At that point, my husband had had enough and told her he would no longer tolerate her behavior or make excuses for her because of her illness. She submarined again and did the typical cutting off dad move. We have tried to help her in every way.
Failure to launch comes to mind. I get that many young people struggle once they are finally mostly supporting themselevs out in the real world. I feel bad for young people today. They don't have the opportunities we had. If their parents spoiled them growing up, many just can't make it and have major struggles. I'm getting her Christmas presents again this year even if she ups the ante and spits in my face. Her behavior has actually only helped me because she has made herself out to be pretty unreasonable.
I have been accused of silly things. She thinks I looked at her the wrong way once. She thinks I should not have hugged her boyfriend goodbye after a family dinner. I hugged everyone goodbye. It's what we do in the South. It doesn't matter what I do, it's bad or wrong. So... after many beautiful letters asking to build a relationship and get to know eachother, I finally left the ball in her court. Her maturity level is that of a two year old. I think if she ever said to me, "I am sorry I never gave you a chance. I'm sorry I never got to know you and treated you poorly," I would drop dead and she would love that. In my last letter, I did tell her I love her and want us to be a big happy family. I did say when I am attacked I will always defend myself. I think she did not like that. But, I will always defend myself in a polite way. I might be the only person who has not put up with her bullshit in her life.
Since I am not her biological parent, I do not tiptoe around her. I refuse to be like everyone else and tell her only what she wants to hear or can handle. I tell all of my children the truth. She hates that her dad is happy and we have a strong marriage. She did not come to the wedding. She did not come to his birthday party. She has isolated herself. It's very sad.
My husband and I went to therapy for ideas on how to handle the situation. We were told that we have done all the right things and to simply give her space and time. If she comes around, great. If she doesn't, she doesn't. I wish I had a magic wand to make everything better with her. But, I don't. It appears she enjoys drama and division. Granted, I could be wrong because I have not been given a single oppoortunity to have a one on one conversation with her since day one. Any ideas anyoe has for unity would be fantastic. My goal is a united family. I understand her mental illness. I have read all about it. I realize her drama has nothing to do with me personally, it's an internal thing. But, she does not realize that and may never be able to.