New phase of life
This is long, when things are on my mind it really helps me to come here and write it out. My DH and I are entering a new phase of life. Our sons (BS and SS, both 22) graduated from college last spring, and SD18 graduated from high school. Both Skids are now in the same town about 90 minutes away, as my SD chose to go to the college that SS22 did, and he is still in that town because he lives with his girlfriend who has one year of school left. BS22 lived at home through college, and will be moving out at the end of this month to his own place. Exciting times, but bittersweet too. It has been a while since we have had all 3 kids in the home, as SD moved out angrily over two years ago. I have posted about it over the years, but bottom line it has been a rocky road with her basically since she became a teenager - her view is that she was not welcome here because she did not like our expectations (well, mostly mine as DH didn't have many. Ironically the thing that made her move out was that he was trying to ground her for getting passed out drunk at a party at 15, so he was finally trying to set some boundaries). My view is that she was spoiled and encouraged to feel entitled by her parents, so anything I would have wanted or expected would not have worked unless it was to let her be in charge. Even so, I do have regret that we do not have a relationship and I acknowledge there are things I could have handled better.
The most recent incidents with her happened last December - she called her dad late on my son's birthday, screaming and cursing because she wasn't invited over for pizza (she has never acknowledged mine or my son's birthday, so there was no reason to think she would have been interested). She went silent on her dad for a few weeks, but then came back around right before Christmas. She had arranged for her brother and my niece and nephew to go take some pictures to give my in laws for Christmas, which normally I would have thought was nice, but since she had just screamed about being excluded from my son's birthday, it hit me wrong that she did not include him in this picture. She brought the pictures up while talking to me, and I made the comment that I guess my son wouldn't need to be included in that. She didn't say anything at the time, but 2 days later she made a scene at my in-laws on Christmas Eve, then refused to come over on Christmas, except late at night to scream at DH. At that point I decided I was not going to engage with her anymore until we all sat down and sorted things out. I felt bad for my passive aggressive comment, but I felt like this incident illustrated how things have been for years - she has over the top, explosive reactions to minor things, verbally abuses DH over them, and everything is everyone else's fault. I don't know how to relate to that, and I am tired of the roller coaster of highs and lows without any accountability or resolution.
Of course our family sit down has never taken place. She froze DH out for the months following, right up until her graduation when it was like nothing ever happened. I did go to her graduation party, and we had a family canoeing trip, but other than that I have not seen or spoken to her. DH and she are back to talking regularly, and he has visited her at school once. She has called him a lot in the last few weeks, which is great, but even he feels like there is an elephant in the room, waiting for the shoe to drop. Hopefully she is maturing and they can maintain a good relationship.
I am not exactly sure how to navigate going forward. DH knows how I feel, and agrees and understands - but of course he wants to keep a relationship with SD (as he should). I don't feel like I want a relationship. I don't really know her anymore. I would love for things to be different, but I don't trust her, and I honestly don't feel like she is interested in a relationship with me. But, i don't know if i have a responsibility to keep trying and participating?
It is coming up now because she has invited "us" (per DH) to parents' weekend at school in a couple weeks. I think DH will understand if I don't go, but I am sure he wants me to. I am sure it would be fine, she and I would be superficial like we normally are, but I am already feeling anxiety about it. And after my single comment set off the last chain of events, I am worried about what I say. But on the other hand, things will never get better if we are not around each other, right?
DH also mentioned she has a few days next week as a fall break and is thinking about coming back to town. Her BM's boyfriend's relative just moved in with them, and SD no longer has a room there. DH said she mentioned she might stay at her grandparent's. He wasn't sure if she was waiting for him to say to come here, but he didn't say it. I asked if that was because of me. He said it was a lot of reasons, partly that he doesn't want me to be uncomfortable, but also the way things have gone down the last few years. I told him that I will never say one of his kids can't stay here. His son always does when he comes back, but I feel tons of anxiety thinking about SD. I hate to feel that way. I am just not sure how to change it right now