what's a wrong-pegged wicked stepmother to do on Xmas eve?
For those that might remember my story, I am the high school guidance counselor that has a 13SD that unfairly hates my guts and her Dad's. This is particularly hard for the upcoming holiday because 6 months ago (after living with all of us 50% time (my sons and her brother for 4 years) she went to live with her BM full time. We were totally cool with that, even suggested it, because she seemed so miserable. What we didn't anticipate is her dropping off the grid entirely since that time. No calls to her Dad, no visits to the house, nothing, it is like she dissappeared from our lives. Her brother (17) gets to live with her part time because DH and BM share 50% custody on paper of both kids--- my step son lives with us half time and is with his BM 50%. My DH has spent some time with her over the past 6 months, mostly initiated by him-- he goes to her soccer games, he goes to her soccer banquet, he picks her up and takes her for drives or walks but this has probably amounted to 5 or 6, 30-1 hour visits over 6 months. My DH is a great Dad. He doesn't deserve this from her. Also, it is difficult not to seemingly reward her when he spends those short interactions with her (it usually amounts to her getting something like dinner out or whatever).
So about a week or so ago he hears from her via text asking what the plan is for her to visit for the holidays. Last year she was still living with us. This was a positive sign-- don't get me wrong-- I want him to build back his relationship with his daughter first and foremost. I'll worry about mine later as it is secondary. The thing that is hard is that she wants to go to his family's for Christmas eve to see her Aunts and Uncles and Cousins (and dare I say, maybe to collect gifts), so she is suddenly reaching out after little to no contact in 6 months (my son's and I haven't see her since June). So, I say to my DH, why don't you just take she and her brother to your family's holiday. We typically go to see his family for the 1st half of Christmas Eve Day, then go to mine in the evening. I told him that I don't want to bring her to my side of the family's festivities because it is so incredibly akward. The back story is that obvious parental alienation has occured with her BM in terms of her opinion of me and her Dad, but this also included regular "slander" during the last year she was living with us. Her BM is very much a town crier type and I feel my SD emulates this. My family has been generous with her over the past 4 years and I have tried my hardest to not try to be another mother to her over the last 4 years, but instead, just be friendly and supportive-- I went to her games, I taught her how to ski. She has now basically fallen off the planet and I harbor a lot of guilt that my union with her Dad ended their relationship. I knew her Dad before we were both divorced and because we ultimately came together the BM immediately went with the victim dialogue that we were the reason the marriage ended-- which was and is still not true.
So hear I am sad, because:
1) My step daughter hates me. I work with kids her age everyday and I'm good at it, so this hurts deeply.
2) My first married Xmas with my DH my sons and I are not going to see his family because of his daughter's decision to cut us all off, but his family's insistance on seeing her. I feel like I just want my sons and I to get out of the way so my DH can repair his relationship, but I kind of feel like she is just going for her relatives and the gifts. I don't want to be there for that...
3) I decided he should bring her home rather than bring her by my family's holiday simply because I don't feel like she is genuine and although his family wants to see her, my family kind of feels like she doesn't want to be there anyway, so prob best to not have her join in. We are talking of 4 years of her opening gifts from my family, but I feel like she has been nothing but rude and horribly behaved for the past 6 months, so I don't reward that behavior. If she had so much as spent half of a day at our house again I would feel differently-- but we have seen her ZERO since June. You can't just waltz back in when you want. More repair needs to occur.
I know she is happy because she is back with her BM and her labrodor retriever full time, but still don't feel like I or her Dad deserve to be hated or cut off completely. I could really benefit from talking to someone who also feels like her SD unfairly hates her simply for being married to her Dad. My DH has been trying to get into her counseling appointments, but her counselors tell him she isn't ready...its been months of waiting. I told him he needs to insist that he get some time with she and her counselor come the New Year.
Looking forward to a weird holiday,
Wicked Step Mother