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Honestly do not know what to do

TrueNorth77's picture

This has been such a hard week. After 6+ years, SD12 has done a complete 180 and become distant from me. No more hugs before bed every night, talking to me about anything, and she only talked to me twice last week, when she wanted something from me. I did help her with her first request (she wanted to borrow sandals), but the second request (wanting me to talk to DH about being allowed to hang out with a friend she is not allowed to hang out with now), I denied. That's when I recognized I was being manipulated to get what she wanted. You got a no from him, I'm not going to bat for you when you no longer will even talk to me. 

It should look be noted that I pulled her aside this week and asked her if something was wrong, if I had done something, etc- I was met with mumbled no's, and her saying she was distancing herself from everyone because of "stuff she was going through", which she wouldn't tell me. (It's somewhat manufactured drama with a boy, I know). The next night she only talked to me to Inform me she had told her brother about her "stuff she was going through", as well as her mom, and then said goodnight and went to bed without a hug. Um, ok! Not sure what the point of telling me that was.

Tonight: I played kickball with one of her teachers. I mentioned that we were really going through it with SD, and he immediately was like, oh yeah,and told me that last week, he mentioned to SD that he played kickball with her Stepmom, and she said, you mean my dad's wife? He said, no your SM. She said, no that's my dad's wife. He told her that she needs to call me her SM, I'm not just her dad's wife. And honestly, skids drive me crazy, but SD and I especially have always had a great relationship, so this sudden change is making my head spin and catching me off guard. I don't know what to do or how to handle it. I told DH about it and he hugged me and he said he's going to take her to a Dr's appt tomorrow, so he's going to talk to her. He doesn't think it's acceptable at all. 

Making things even more difficult is Crazy had made our lives hell this week. Constant messages about bullshit. She wants to send us MONEY ORDERS to pay for her portion of SS16's Insurance! No, this isn't 1998, and we aren't making you pay this! She can give SS the $ if she wants, otherwise he just owes us 2/3 of the cost. We don't take money orders!  DH made the mistake of mentioning this to SD as Crazy was being difficult about it, and SD proceeded to tell DH that "mom pays for this and that and YOU DON'T". (She's talking about Crazy buying her a water bottle and some other crap). But SD was acting like DH doesn't pay for Things and Crazy does. OMG. DH pays $650/month in CS, plus the majority of expenses. We have them 50%! SD always comes to Crazy's defense and believes DH is the bad guy. She has also been snotty with him recently and he feels a difference with him also. 

My dilemma: We are taking skids to South Dakota next week, leaving Wed, coming back Mon- Driving. I've expressed my hesitations to DH about it being too long and wanting to leave Thurs- what if we get sick of each other, etc. We did a week in Mexico and we all agreed it was too long. DH has offered to get 2 hotel rooms for our first night because the last time we stayed in a hotel room with skids it was awful (this would just be the stopover night to break up the drive, the rest of the time we have an airbnb). He also told me we could go out at night if we need a break without skids since they are old enough to stay at the Airbnb alone, told me I could drink in the car on the way., lol..whatever I need! But now I found out SD said I'm "her dad's wife", and not her SM. It changes things for me, and Part of me doesn't even want to go on this trip:. I don't want to be where I'm not wanted. I am truly Thrown offf by this. 



ESMOD's picture

Ahhhhh welcome to the preteen years.

I recall during that stage.. my SD's started to call their mom by her first name.. lol.  Of course, her mom could be getting in her head a little bit too.. but at that age.. they can get wrapped up in a lot of drama.. and she may be also getting some input from peers.. who may be influencing her in ways of life that you don't know either.. like she calls you SM to a friend.. who has a bad relationship with her SM.. and her friend.. is like.. she is "NOT" your mom.. she is your dad's wife.. she doesn't care about you.. bla blah blah... 

And teens get hormonal.. moody.. and can be little crapboxes..  I would just give her what she wants.. space.  I would let her dad do the heavy lifting.. but as long as she isn't outright disrespectful and rude? (and just being withdrawn isn't necessarily that.. ).. then I would not put too much pressure on her.

I would still go on the trip.. I would have that 2nd hotel room.. and I would have that drink in the car.

TrueNorth77's picture

It's funny you say that about peers- DH and I were discussing it, and he said he knows Crazy has been trying to alienate SD against me for 6+ years now, but she's never given in to it, so he would be surprised if a switch just flipped now. We do know that SD has friends with SM's that they don't like, so DH suspects that could be part of it also. I feel like just backing off is my next move. 

I was joking with my friends about setting up shop in the back of DH's truck during the drive to SD. Put a chair back there, cooler, speaker. Just living my best life away from skids. lol. 


ESMOD's picture

Just like your own parents can become incredibly "uncool" (which is probably not even a cool thing to at that age.. so can your steps. and if it's "uncool" to get along with your stepparents? well.. the "dad's mother" comes out.

but.. enough times of her asking you for things.. and saying.. "IDK.. ask your dad".. perhaps she will get a bit of a taste of someone not being willing to be a punching bag and used.

I had a pretty good experience step wise.. well.. older stepdaughter was always aloof to an extent.. but only a few real conflicts.. 

YSD.. never really went through a totally terrible phase.. except maybe when she was like 17.. I had to manage her remote high school experience.. and that was frustrating because she was just not keeping up with it.. but we actually have a great relationship now.. she is 24.  so it's not that her "trying on" this teen attitude is necessarily permanent.. or even personal..

I might just stand back.. live my life and when she starts wanting things.. well.. you give what you get little girl.. she may find you too busy to drop everything for her.. or unwilling to give advice if it is going to blow up on you.

But.. I would just do my best to grey rock the attitude she has.. you can roll your eyes too.. haha.  And.. I wouldn't let her sour puss attitude ruin my time.. I would play my music.. sing along to the radio.. talk about the fun things YOU will do on the trip. if the kiddo wants to participate? up to them.. not your problem.

Stepdrama2020's picture

So you have been demoted from SM to "dad's wife"

Ok then proceed accordingly. SD is now a distant cousin in law twice removed in your husbands side of the family. She is part of the IDGAF side of the family.

I would go, drink if you must and enjoy DH and the other kids. Take breaks, head out. Stay the victim dang it. Especially if triangulation is going on. My therapist taught me these psychy words lol

missgingersnap2021's picture

My opinion on a few of the points you brought up – 

I totally get the uncomfortable car rides I don't even like driving 30 minutes to go into the city for dinner with SD17 in the car with us because we all just sit there not talk.

I stopped staying in a hotel room with her after only doing it a few times years ago. I put my foot down about that and said I was done doing that and I am so glad I never backed down.

I'm sure he was just joking about the drinking in the car so obviously I'm sure you won't be doing that. (Although I have wanted "road pops" in the past when we went on weekend getaways with SD)

I would totally rather be called "my dad's wife" vs stepmom. (And am) I've always hated how the word stepmom sounded. I mean think about it - basically the word implies we're a mother of sorts and yet,as we all know on here, we are completely not a mom to these kids. 

As for the changing her attitude towards you – I think it just comes with the territory it happened with me and my SD when she was around 10 or 11. And I remember so vividly one poster named Clove talking about how good she got along with her younger SD and I kept reading her posts thinking how that's gonna blow up someday and sure enough when that girl got older she started pulling away. 

All I can say frim my own personal experience is as she gets older somethings are going to be better and  some things actually get worse. 



CLove's picture

yep. That totally happened and if you want to go back to "One Poster" aka CLove's blogs, it details how Munchkin and I started out and meandered down the pathway. Starting at 8.5 we were buds. I always maintained she could love both of us, all of us (because around that time her mother had a 'boyfriend') and she doesnt have to choose. 

Then all the normal things that happen in steplife, happened. The toxic in Toxic Troll came out. Sd15/16 Munchkin started becoming a backstabber/munchkin. Nice when it served her. A few times I slipped up and she would "activate" her mother against me. I wasnt careful, I got comfortable in feeling we had a positive relationship, and then when I started trying to parent her, the fangs came out and that was the end of that.

I call myself the "step aside" because Im not a parent of anyone. Im now considering myself as "dads wife" and learning how to be happy with that. Im learning about narcissistic triangulation and enmeshement (Sd B/M is so far up her mothers a$$ she cant see straight). My current reading is all about learning how to let go.

So do the trip, just prepare yourself, and be careful in case daddy cakes takes Sd side.

TrueNorth77's picture

I'm so sorry that happened. I remember your posts when you had a good relationship (I was Step-girlfriend then)- I will read up on all that has transpired since. It's so ridiculous that it fell apart like that because it just doesn't have to. SD here is up Crazy's ass also, I fear no matter what we don't stand a chance. 

I'm going to make an update post on DH's conversation with SD today....he definitely didn't take her side, in fact he almost took my side a bit too aggressively for what I wanted. It is absolutely Crazy what SD said. 

TrueNorth77's picture

It does help to know others go through the same crap experience. I am going to look at CLove's posts, I was off this site for a few years and missed that stage! F'ng skids man. 

The jury is out on the road pops. I won't. Probably. Maybe. If I do I will hide them well. lol. 

justmakingthebest's picture

11-15 with girls is pure hell. Going through it with my own daughter It is ridiculous how she acts some days. I will say, that the bad days are getting fewer and farther between.

I will say that most kids will stick up for their mom, no matter what. I wish it was that way for dad's too, but it doesn't seem to be to common denominator. 

Harry's picture

Let the great bio mom. Take care of everything.  Between your SO and BM. You don't have to do anything for SD.  Thing are not going to change.  As she gets older and wants more , more $.  It will become your fault.  No nice new  car no expensive college.  Having to work!!!  You can break a nail 

advice.only2's picture

Well it's a two way street honestly "Oh mean my husband’s daughter?"  At some point in their lives kids need to be taught that being an a$$hole does not mean everybody has to continue liking them...even the adults in their lives.  

TrueNorth77's picture

My thoughts exactly. We have always told her you can't just treat people poorly- you are nice to everyone. She seems to think it doesn't apply to adults, and we just have to keep acting the same way to her. Wrong. Let's see how she likes not having a stocking or any of the special things she gets because I'm the only one who makes it happen.