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Christmas time and guilt

pollycracker's picture

Hi All

I am a stepmom to a 10 year old daughter and a bio mom to a 3 year old. DH and I have a good relationship however since my last post he has had no contact with SD10, not a call nothing and I keep asking him to call her and check on her but he says he needs to get his head "straight" before he calls. I am sure the situation of me being accused of rape and being told that BM will no longer be sending SD10 over to our house if I am here is weighing heavy on him. He is avoiding all communication, he saw SD10 in October for her birthday to provide her with her gifts from us, he told me he asked her when she would be visiting and she responded that she "does not know when". I am not sure she said anything else however he has not spoken to her at all since then. December we always spend as a family, I buy the girls matching outfits and we celebrate it with my mom and in-laws. This year will be the first time in 6 years that she will not be with us for Christmas, at least I think she will not be with us because I asked DH and he said only book the Christmas lunch for us.

I feel guilt because I want him to be in her life but I also acknowledge that he has been through some hectic times with BM and may wish to cut all ties...she has stabbed him, beaten him up, abused him, taken him to court on false charges and the recent false charges  of rape against BM's ex husband (involving her 15 YO daughter) may have created doubt in his mind that SD10 would have falsely accused him as well. The incident in August was that she requested to sleep in the same bed as DH and cried for us to call BM to force him to do so, not sure if she wanted to charge him with rape later but alarm bells went off in my head and I offered for them to sleep in the lounge on separate couches in order to watch TV. She had never requested this before as she has her own room in our house.

This whole situation is sick. I think he has totally given up. not sure what I can do but feeling very guilty. I do not want to be known as a bad step mother or have my BD3 not know her own sister because of all this. please provide me with some advice?

thank you.


Catmom024's picture

I think you need to take your 3 y.o. and leave.  It always bothers me that so many people on here say "run for the hills" but in your situation there are some pretty serious things going on.  My fear would be you end up in jail and labeled a sexual predator because of your SD's allegations.  

tog redux's picture

I think your DH is wise to distance himself from this child, she sounds dangerous to all of you. Maybe he can keep up phone calls/video calls but he'd be foolish to be alone with her any time soon.  She sounds very disturbed - can I assume that BM is not getting her any help?

Gimlet's picture

Edit: OP, this is a hard situation but none of this is your fault or problem.   Your husband should do what we can from a distance, like Tog said.  You have nothing to feel guilty about.

tog redux's picture

I agree - I don't think he should walk away, but perhaps not see her in person until this issue has been addressed in therapy, or possibly in public with a witness with him at all times. 

Gimlet's picture

Yeah, it looks like BM is weaponizing the child and isn't getting her any help.  Maybe OP can give us more details on that.

A CPS call could backfire since there have already been accusations.   I don't even know what he could really do, it just sucks for the messed up 10 year old.

OP, I am sorry you are dealing with this.  What an awful situation.

Winterglow's picture

Please stop feeling guilty, you have done nothing to feel guilty about. You are the victim, for goodness sake! None of this was of your doing and there was nothing you could have done to stop the sick minds responsible from carrying out their appalling plans. 

Be kind to yourself. 

justmakingthebest's picture

This is some serious stuff. I think walking away is probably the right thing to do but I would make sure that you have solid legal advice from several parties. I worry that him going no contact could make him look guilty but then trying to see her could look bad as well. I don't know what the right thing to do is but the accusations that have come out are too much. This isn't forgive and forget stuff even from a 10 yr old. 

Evil3's picture

I went back and read your previous blogs. I don't get why you feel so much guilt. Your number 1 job is to protect your bio DD. As a mother, I would not want your SD in my house where she could cause all kinds of shit that could result in me losing my own DD to CPS.

Stop pushing your DH to see or communicate with his DD. She is very disturbed and your DH has likely rellized that his DD is dangerous to have around. Your DH doesn't want to risk losing you and your DD. Perhaps you can do some introspection and really ask yourself why you feel so guilty and why you've taken on way more than what you're actually responsible for. There's a Disenganagement Essay floating around Steptalk. There are tenets that say that the SM is not responsible for what the SKs went through in their pasts, the SM is not responsible for how the SKs are as people and the SM is not responsible for how the SKs turn out as adults. Whatever your SD went through, which is very likely sexual abuse, is not on you. How she is as a child is not on you. How she turns out as an adult is not on you.

I read your blogs about how your SD masturbates out in the open. Why you would want to have a child who won't stop masturbating out in the open in front of everyone in the same house as your bio is beyond me. Sure it's very sad that your SD may have been abused, but you also need to consider what you're exposing your bio to. Do you want your SD's influence on your bio? There's empathy for a damaged child and then there's responsibility to protect your bio and DH.

I find it very suspect that your SD fought to sleep with her dad. I actually wonder if she was trying to set him up for a sexual abuse allegation only it failed because you offered alternatives. Thank God your DH didn't actually sleep with her.

When you say that BM accused you of rape, do you mean that it's official? Is there a police or CPS investigation? Probably not because if something is going on at BM's, she likely won't want to bring authorities into her home. She stands to lose your SD for either the abuse itself or for failing to protect her child.

While it's sad that your SD is so damaged, she is dangerous to have in your household. If it were me, there would be a ton of extensive therapy and a written statement from a highly qualified therapist that there is no longer risk to having SD in the home. However, that would be a very long way off, if ever. The way things look, I would say that your SD can never live with you again. If your DH decides to see her, he should see her only in public or with trusted witnesses. Perhaps go for some counselling yourself to see why you've taken on so much guilt over something you had no control over. You cannot fix your SD. You can only protect your family. Your DH seems to be doing that. Talk it out with your DH about your guilt, but respect him for not wanting your SD around. It sounds like he's protecting you and your DD, so please immediately stop pushing to get your SD. Nothing good can come of it.

pollycracker's picture

Maybe because i was raped at 4 years old that I really want to help her. It hurts to know she will be hurt when i can make a difference. But i understand your point of view.

Evil3's picture

You can help by calling CPS and talking to someone. Tell them all of the behaviours of your SD and tell everything you've told us in all of your blogs. Leave it up to the child protection professionals to decide if it's a reportable concern or not. They can decide to investigate or not. Don't you do it. It's not your responsibility and you could end up with your SD in your home which could end in the tragedy of losing your own DD to foster care.

I realize that many adult survivors of childhood sexual trauma carry a lot of guilt. Have you had any therapy? This whole situation with your SD is triggering you and you need more support and catharsis than talking things out with your DH. Your counsellor can also help you with what your role should be in this situation. Please take care of yourself. As a veteran therapy client, I can promise you that getting therapy is actually the greatest gift you can give to your loved ones. The healing spreads to them, especially to your bio DD.

Harry's picture

No reason to feel guilty,  you are the Victim not SD.    SD is pulling her crap , if you let her in your home and this continues, may lose your BD.  This may make the news and other people will not understand.  It can effect your whole life.

Do not let SD in your home, if you see her it's out in public, restaurant, malls ect. I would not even be in a car with her. 

Your SD and her BM started this, you are not guilty you are just protecting your family 

CLove's picture

Ok, so from all your postings - I suspect that the BM is probably the one abusing her daughter(s). The open masturbation, the BM co-sleeping with her "holding her tummy", the crying to sleep with daddy. The accusations against TWO different stepfathers. Then the stabbing and lies and abuse of your DH.

The Sd needs intensive therapy. This isnt your war to fight, however, your number 1 responsibility is to your DD. Period. SD needs therapy, you need to protect your DD as she is starting to emulate the SD in behaviors.

I think YOU also need some heavy therapy as well.

Thats my advice. Keep SD away from your DD by any means necessary. Get therapy for yourself.

Best wishes!

ndc's picture

You have no reason to feel guilty.  You are the wronged party.  In your position, I would not want the SD anywhere near me.  Also, I don't know why you feel bad that your husband isn't seeing SD.  You wrote in a prior blog that prior to you coming into the picture he rarely saw her for years.  He obviously doesn't have a problem with not seeing his daughter.  Stay disengaged, let your husband call the shots on his relationship with his daughter, and don't EVER be alone with SD or allow DD to be alone with her.  But please, don't feel guilty.  It's not your fault, and there's nothing you can do to fix this dysfunctional situation.  Take care of yourself and your child and let your husband deal with his baggage.  Consider counseling if you can't get over the guilt.

Harry's picture

Nothing is ever going to change.  Nothing with BM or SD.  I am afraid to say,   SD is a lost cause.  Worst thing that can happen if someone happens to BM. Like going to jail.  You will be stuck with a sick SD 24/7/365.  After years  of abuse it's hard to get these kids some what normal. it will be life long problems 

Rags's picture

There would not be a snowballs chance in hell that I would give up in this situation if I were your SO.

No way.

SeeYouNever's picture

I don't have any advice you really are in a tough predicament. In step families false accusations like this can be so damaging. The place where I kid might actually be the safest it has to deal with accusations meanwhile who knows what the kid is being exposed to at their primary residence. Unfortunately this is not even the first time something like this has come up on this site. Your stepdaughter needs help and needs to be in a place where she feels safe in order to move past this. However there may not be a place where she feels safe anymore. 

I know your past experience has made you feel guilty like you must do something but as a stepparent there really isn't that much you can do. This is one of the many reasons that people disengage it's just too painful to stay engaged when you see all the problems but can't do anything at all about them.