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At a loss

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

At a loss. I met with SD counselor to gain some insight and perspective if I am doing the right thing by stepping back. He was supportive of my decision agreeing that in my current situation I am powerless and the only way to gain some control is to disengage.  

But, he also confirmed my worst fears that SD shows signs of having a personality DO. I always sensed something with her even when things were good between us. We were never able to have a normal conversation.  She doesnt talk about school,  her friends, her interests,  her goals for the future or even talk about her day. I always gave her the benefit of the doubt that she was guarded with me.  When we do spend time together alone all she does is make up grandiose things about herself.  An example is she is the girliest, girl I have ever known. She considers walking on treadmill for 5 min a workout because she doesnt want to sweat. She has zero interest in sports she is more of an academic.  So, I didnt even know how to respond when she went on for quite some time about how the football coach approached her and asked her to try out for the football team. She was very detailed in her story.  She even went on about how she has played football before and can tackle. I know that's not true but she speaks with such conviction.  Also this is a girl who comes running to me because she gets beat up by her younger sister who is half her size. That's a whole other story in itself.  

My dilemma is trying to cope with what I know and that I understand that she is going to have life long issues and keeping that information to myself.  SO wouldn't understand for one  and for two no parent wants to hear thier children aren't perfect human beings or that thier something wrong with them. It took me years to get over my own personal feelings of guilt knowing my BS had a learning disability and would struggle through school and the hardship of having other adults only focus on what he couldn't do and not all the great things he could do. I dont want to be that person for my SO that is only focused on the negative, I want to try and be more of a support than a Debbie downer. Plus SD likes to use anything I say to try and play the victim with SO. He will hear negative things from enough people especially as she gets older and is unable to maintain healthy relationships. 

I am just trying to work on keeping my emotions in check because she can be absolutely vicious when she is not getting her way or she is not the center of attention. It's easier under normal circumstances because I have a very busy life. But has become more of a struggle during the lockdown. 


CLove's picture

And invest in some cameras.

SD21, Feral Forger sounds much like your SD. Makes up stories, had no friends (until recently  - shes not unattractive, and has an agressive charisma) had no activities, wasnt even academic.

I had to disengage, and so did DH, he knew there was a disorder there.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

It may come to that as she has recently started stealing from me and when I tell her not to take my things without asking. She tells me I let her have it. My response is always the same with here. "Whatever you say" because thier is no point in wasting my breath.

hereiam's picture

I know that parents don't always want to hear the truth about their kids, but the sooner she gets some help (counseling), the better.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

She is in counseling and dad goes to. I met with her counselor for advice. I feel it's best if the co concerns about her behavior and mental health are addressed by the counselor to dad.  

hereiam's picture

Oh, I don't why I was thinking that you met with her school counselor!

So, is the counselor going to actually work on the personality disorder issue and let her dad know this diagnosis and what he can do to help the situation?

Is this counselor the best one to help her? Or, maybe she needs a different one? What type of counselor is he?

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

He will he able to help her and he has been working with dad also. I picked him because he is a former colleague and has a lot of experience with children with serious mental health issues. His expertise is in children and adolescents. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I went through this with teen YSD. Five years of Hell. She lied constantly, vast tapestries of lies. Have you ever encountered someone and realized they are so much better than you at something that you are completely out of your depth with them? That was how I felt about YSD's lying. She was so good at it that DH and I didn't even catch it until one of her teachers called to tell me about the bull she was slinging at school. The only way you could tell the kid was lying was she would trip herself up lying about things she was too young or inexperienced to know about.

In her mind, YSD was the most beautiful girl at school. Every boy wanted her, and every girl wanted to be her bff. If a friend dropped her, well, the friend was jealous. When the married cashier at the supermarket was nice to her, he had a crush on her. We went through four therapists, tried individual and family counseling, but nothing helped. As time went on, YSD struggled more. Reality kept intruding on her fantasy. Kids and teachers caught on to her lies; the crushes she built up in her head wanted nothing to do with her. Her peer group was maturing, and realized there was something off with YSD.

YSD couldn't keep a job, either. She would tell me the job was easy; her boss loved her; she impressed supervisors with whatever - and then be fired. Periodically YSD's lies would be exposed, or she'd paint herself into a corner, and her fantasy world would come crashing down. She made a halfhearted suicide attempt at nineteen when a number of her fantasies collapsed around the same time. It is not an experience I care to repeat.

YSD ran off a few months after that, and I went into counseling. DH decided to go no contact with her, and slowly we recovered. He has no illusions about YSD, and is well acquainted with her maternal side's history of mental illness. I developed some health issues from the stress, but they subsided. We have been NC with YSD for well over a decade. She has reached out a few times, but only when she was desperate, and we gray rocked her. She's never expressed any interest in her father or taken any responsibility for mistreating us or the damage she caused. 

You are wise to remain emotionally disengaged from your SD, and it sounds as if she's getting quality care. However, you aren't doing anyone any favors by ignoring her lies. That merely allows the sickness to grow. The only success we had with YSD was matter of factly calling her out when she lied to us. She got tired of us correcting her false narratives, and while ultimately chose to stick with her preferred coping mechanism, did stop lying to our faces. If you teach your SD that lying to you = a hassle, she may stop doing it around you. I don't know how old your SD is, but there may still be time to modify the behavior. There are plenty of adults with PDs who live functional, productive lives, but the expectations need to be in place from childhood. Has the therapist made your SO aware of his suspicions?

You should also start laying the groundwork for ensuring the SDs launch in a timely manner. There has to be a plan and firm boundaries, or your SD's crazymaking will dominate your lives.


Wicked stepmo.'s picture

You can definitely relate to my situation, I am sorry you had to go through that.   SD is showing signs of histrionic personality DO. I used to confront her on her lies, but then she would text BM who also has the same issues and BM will tell her Im an abusive asshole only reinforcing her behavior and hatred. Then BM will start with SO, not me because she is intimidated by me. But she lives to cause SO undue stress because she knows he is easily triggered by her because of thier past court battles and her vicious lies about him. Its funny and sad at the same time. He doesnt have PTSD from serving in the Gulf War,  but does from his baby mama. 

Yes. I definitely have a launch plan. I am selling my house and taking a promotion at work when the kids are out of HS and going to live in housing provided by my job.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

It sounds as if you have a good grasp on the issue and have firm boundaries in place. If BM is also disordered, the dynamic is unlikely to ever change so you are wise to distance yourself from all things SD.

My DH and I have a zero tolerance policy on lying, thanks to our experience with YSD. Liars are exhausting to be around, aren't they? While it's unfortunate that both your SO and mine chose to breed with mentally unstable women, we should not be expected to pay the price for their mistakes. Enjoy your life, leave the crazy making to BM and SD, and keep those boundaries UP.