Divisive adult stepdaughter
I've been reading the blogs and searching for answers. What I have found is validity and support. I'm not alone and it's not personal even though the attacks are. So for those of you that think you've seen it all...here's more.
I have two stepchildren and one daughter ages 21, 18, 17. When I met my husband (and yes we are still married 4+ years now) my SD was 15. Thier mother died. They have an extensive, very involved, family from their mother's side. When my husband married me they blackballed me in our small town and because they were an old established family they had a long reach. I'm talking stores, schools, church doctors other parents ... For the first few years I was treated horribly by MANY people in this community. Not only me but my then 12 year old daughter.
My SD was livid. Too many stunts to name but here are a few:
She wrote chalk notes all over the driveway telling me to go away.
She pulled up flowers my daughter and I planted.
She was mean to my shitzu.
She went to everyone in the community for counseling including clergy, teachers, actual therapists, all of the family's friends and all of my husbands in laws.
She kept poisoning her younger brother opinions.
She was constantly critizing my daughter to her father.
She actually took her senior picture with love letters saved by her mother.
She also did all the very typical things, talk only about pre-me times, isolate her father at every given opportunity, not allow me "to even watch" her at home prom pictures being taken. Cutting me and my daughter out always.
She promised, "If you marry my Dad I will make your life miserable." She said this in front of her Dad and even years later hasn't come off it.
She told everyone she was suicidal while on the teen board and an honor student that was voted two superlatives so had to chose between Most Likely to Suceed and Most Dependable. Very active social life and surrounded by support. She became a PROFESSIONAL VICTIM and was enabled by the entire community.
Here's the topper:
She sued her father. That's right, with the full support of wealthy grandparents she filed a legal suit complete with a guardian ad idem (which she strategized daily) to give her grandparents Co-Parenting rights because he was incompetent. She lined up all the people she had been crying to as witnesses on her behalf. My husband and I were doing everything possible to blend our family in this horrible and hostile environment. We had a family counselor, we did family activities, we had family meetings. I kept things in the house nearly exactly the same for the first 3 years to respect their moms memory. We let her vent. Her meanness went uncorrected by me for 4 years and her father for two.
There was and still is nothing I can ever do that will be good enough for her. And I quote, "she's just not a Talbots kind of woman."
Regretfully, my husbands family, lawyer and shamefully myself talked him into giving her what she wanted to drop the lawsuit. I thought it would hurt my husband more to hear his daughter saying horrible things about him along with all her witnesses that didn't approve of him marrying so soon after wife's death (1yr). I wish I had said go ahead. Expose her for her manipulation. She graduated highschool with honors, teen board, prom, boyfriend, acceptance to a very prestigious school paid for by grandparents but dad does supplement $500 spending money a month, parking passes, storage containers and additional spending money as needed. She just finished a trip overseas hospital assisting. She's a senior in a soririty and is looking at medical schools.
But... She's still as bad as she was initially. I had a light bulb moment during her last conversation which was on speaker phone. She had refused to talk to her father for the past 4-6 weeks because her dared correct her. She is so intelligent she can spin a person into confusion. After an hour of debating her father he was weakening so she went in for the kill... I'll call myself Kate. She starts insisting that she doesn't spend time with him because of Kate. He always wants Kate around and they can only be together when she's not there. Now keep in mind I also have a stepson that I have a wonderful relationship with as well as my daughter and we love doing things as a family. He reminds her that we enjoy being together and she's not around. I'm not around because of her, I love you dad but...
Lightbulb moment. I step in and speak.
You love him CONDITIONLY! On your terms or none. On your terms or you will sue him. On your terms or you're not coming home for Christmas. On your terms or else... Her response was typical, this is a private conversation between me and my dad. Im not from your womb!
My response, I know that's right or you would behave a lot better than you do!
My husband is committed to his family and his marriage. He sees this as a sad indication that his daughter is cutting herself out of our new family by demanding moments of alone time (which he has always given she just wants all his time) instead of unifying time with a new family that in no way wants to replace her old one. It's painful for everyone but it comes down to ACCECTANCE. Acceptance of the path you choose and accepting the paths our love ones chose even when it's away from us.