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Just need to vent. I hope that's okay.

Alwaysalittlesad's picture

All my life, I've always kind of had this image of myself. Well... of who I wanted to be. A good person. An attractive person. A kind, loving person. Graceful, inspirational. And there was a short time in my life where I think I was just about that person. But, becoming a wife and stepmother has forever shattered that "dream me". I know what I am now. What I'm capable of, and what I'm not.

Like many stepmoms, I went into this marriage with dewey eyes and rose colored lenses. I was going to love this little girl like my own, and I was going to be the best wife and mother in this world, and we were all going to live happily ever after. I wrote this beautiful vow to my stepdaughter. I gave it to the preacher, but he didn't read it like I asked him to. I guess that's what happens when you pay $250 for a gazebo wedding in a tourist town. 

Things started out great. She was 4 when we became a part of eachother's lives. And her daddy, I've loved him since we were teenagers. We married each other (at long last) when we were 29 and 30. My stepdaughter absolutely adored me. She was crazy about me. And I adored her. I loved that little spot just above the bridge of her nose. I would kiss it all the time. I loved my life, I loved myself. I was happy.

Then, out of nowhere, my stepdaughter started announcing that I wasn't her mom. We'd be out shopping or something, and if someone was standing near looking at us, she would just blurt out, "she's not my mom!" I assume it was because of something her bio mom said. I don't know. But it hurt, nonetheless. Kind of put me in my place, I guess. 

After she turned 5, things started going down hill a bit. She started grabbing/touching my breasts. Off and on for months she did this. I kept telling her to stop, but she would just try to get sneakier next time. Every time I would go to hug her, she would try to cop a feel... until it made me stop initiating hugs. And she would come to hug me and cop a feel. I don't know how I got her to stop, but eventually she did. Then, we were changing in the dressing room together, and she told me I looked really good in my underwear. And when I would be in bed with her reading her her bedtime story, she would be playing with her labia under the covers and keep bringing her hand up to her nose to smell it. Not in a sexual way, just curious, but man it grossed me out...I still loved her, I just didn't really see her the same way after all that. 

I really started feeling like a monster for not feeling for her the way I should. Everyone kept telling me that she loved me like a mother. I was (am) expected to love her like my own. And I see other stepmoms loving their stepkids like their own flesh and blood, and feel like absolute trash. I didn't realize how different my love for her was from a mother's love until I had my own child. She is the light of my life. I would do anything for her. There's times when I wish I wasn't around anymore, but I wouldn't miss a moment with her for anything. And I realized that if she had done the same things my step had done, I wouldn't feel any different about her. 

In spite of everything, I've been as good to her as I know how. I've been more a part of her life than her father has. I've taught her more about life than her father has. I've planned and hosted all her birthday parties, went to all her school events, helped her with her homework,  taken her and her friends on play dates more than I can count, stood up for her. Been her mother in every sense of the word except one. And we've had a lot of fun together. But, it's starting to get harder.

When she was younger, she was super annoying. I don't even quite remember in what way anymore. Very loud and repetitive and obnoxious and painfully awkward. This was her at her worst. Other than that, she was a good kid. The last couple years, though, have gotten worse. There are good days, but more often than not, talking to her is like talking to a robot. She shows no emotion when she's punished or scolded about something. Just says "ok", and goes back to doing the same stuff within a couple weeks. She reads constantly. Before we grounded her from electronics, she was on her phone/tablet constantly. Any time there's a quiet moment, so she won't have to talk to us. Zero interest in being a part of the real world (who could blame her, it sucks, but I kinda thought her family might be a bright spot). 

Her daddy and I are on the geeky side. We love having fun. Playing games, going on adventures. We are feminists and pride ourselves in our love and acceptance of people form all walks of life. We thought we'd be great parents for this kid. But, as they say, you are the perfect parent for your younger self. She's adopted this sarcastic, biting and off the wall sense of humor. She says things like "i will eat your children", jokes about being "dead inside"... you know. Crap like that. I thought -I- had a quirky sense of humor. Hers is so bizarre that it's almost impossible to relate to her...  not just the violent crap, but just weird uses of terms, and... I can't explain it. Too much YouTube/Memes etc. This sounds like such an old person thing to say, but how she's turning out has really made me despise the internet.

She came out as a lesbian a few months ago. Rather, I found out by invading her privacy (text messages). And we were totally fine with that and happy to support her. But then it also came out that she's non-binary. I'm sure this makes me a horrible person to the LGBTQ community, but the non-binary stuff makes me want to scream. She's not a girl nor is she a boy, she says. Except, she loves glitter and unicorns and stuffed animals and all things cute. And I've taught her to be a proud, strong, eclectic woman - yet she tells me that she does not want to be a woman. She's offended when we call her a "she'. She wants me to call her they/them. Why can't she just be a woman, but be her own kind of woman? It maeks me wonder if I screwed up and confused her by getting her into superheroes and things...

The way she makes herself look drives me crazy, too. She wears huge baggy sweatshirts and t shirts and leggings all the time. That's all she'll wear. She lets her hair hang in her face so that litterally all you can see when you try to talk to her is one eyeball. At least she did - before I stopped taking her to get it cut. Now it's too long to hang in her face without also getting in her way. She refuses to shave her legs, so she won't wear shorts, because she has hairy legs. She refuses to eat better and punishes me every time I take her to the gym with me, but she's embarrassed about her stomach and wears those big baggy clothes to cover it. She says she's ugly all the time and of course won't listen to us when we tell her she's not, but REFUSES to do a thing to make herself look nice. I keep debating about making her practice hair and makeup for the summer, but have to keep reminding myself that she's a "They" now and it might be freaking child abuse if I do!

She's gotten to that age where she thinks everything I say is stupid. Most of the time she responds with a grunt when I'm trying to have a conversation with her. She's sneaky. She's messy. She's lazy. And she's an a-hole to her little sister, my daughter. 

I know she has issues from her mom, I know she's been through a lot. And I know she deserves better than me. I love her, but I don't like her very much right now. I hoped that when she got older we'd get closer, but the opposite is happening. School's out now, and she stays shut up in her room all the time. And I get to be the wicked step mom by telling her to come out of her room to do her chores or go to the gym with me, or get off her butt and clean her room, or ground her because she hasn't done what she's asked, and she texts her friends telling them how parents are the worst...

Any idea how much I've given up, and how much I'm giving up to try to ensure you turn out ot be a decent human being, you little shit? To make sure you're safe and your fed and you have a room full of things that bring you joy?

It could definitely be worse. I know that. There's hateful things she could say to me as her stepmom. She could be a super nasty manipulative jerk and pit her father and I against each other. I know.

But this is my reality, and for me, this is hard. Almost every thing she does gets on my last nerve. And I'm a monster for it, and I know I am. And I hate myself, every day I hate myself. For not being better for her/to her. I'm always sad. I don't see myself or my future self the same way any more. I'm almost 40, and I look tired all the time. That glow is gone. My passion is gone. (Oh god... I can now relate to that NIN song I hate so much...)

I wouldn't trade this life for anything, but I will be greedy and wish that I had the option of living another one, too. It's not just her. It's a lot of things. But how much I feel I suck as a stepmom is a huge part of it.

Thanks for reading, if anyone did. 

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

DISENGAGE!!!

 

Focus on your real kid. Stepdemon our at 18, permanently.

bananaseedo's picture

Your glow is gone because you're too engaged and think you're a bad person. You're NOT a bad person. You happen to have a POS disgusting nasty SD who is mentally ill- dont get me started on this non-binary BULLcra*   You do not suck as a step-you have been great, she's a lost cause.  Cut her entirely out of your life.  Learn all about disengagement and go on to be awesome woman you aren and your DD deserves.  Let dad deal w/her 100pct.  Ignore her. She's a bad seed-nothing you could have done better would have fixed it.  A lot of times it IS genetic.  

tog redux's picture

1. Your SD is acting like a 2019 teenager. This is the way they are "different", like all of us have tried to be "different" as teens.  Some will go on to be truly LGBTQ and some will not.  Just let her be her.  It will sort itself out.  If you think it crosses into mental health issues, get her some help.

2. You sound like you have depression, you should get that checked out.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

It has become almost the norm for most teens to go throught the LBGQT/non-binary  phase. It is the "in thing" now. Most sort themselves out as they get older and discover they aren't as "different" as they thought.

You sound depressed. Please consider getting yourself some therapy so you can find your way back to your happy self.

shamds's picture

you have burnt out. You have done too much for her that her parents should have as thats their job!!

i am the kind of person who feels well if skid hs bad behaviour it must be corrected, they need to know it’s unacceptable but i tell hubby and i make him address it everytime. No excuses, no lip service, just address it without making or accepting excuses of any kind from stepkids.

but there comes a point where the bio parents have neglected them, tried to do the best but failed because of pas and hcgubm and narcissm etc, that you just have to say to yourself i cannot care more than the parents. This child only has its parents and themself to blame.

they can’t blame bad behaviour on stepmum...

4 years of abuse and absolute hell and torture from my almost 21 yr old ss, sd23 & sd14 disrespectfully telling me that they would do whatever they wanted to my 2 toddlers even when i firmly said no! (And this was in front of their dad), i just said to my hubby i am done with all 3 skids. I don’t want any relationship, they are pure toxic ferals who enjoy and justify the abuse they dish out to everyone and i will not whilst my kids are minors force them to be in skids presence so they can abuse them further...

its ok to feel this way... save your sanity and disengage!!

CLove's picture

Stop hating yourself and beating yourself up for things you have absolutely no control over. You dont have a connection to this child. Thats ok. You cannot expect yourself to have a connection, you cannot force it. You sound like a loving joyful sweet person, who has a big heart. You love who you love. She is a bit mentally ill, and Ive seen enough of that in my own situation to know that you cant "fix it", especially if they dont want to fix it. Basically its not your child, so its not your issue, so take that burden and lay it down.

However, vent as much as you need to. Its easy for me to say "let it go", but Im not living your life, you are.

So, read the boards.

Oh and she sounds really gross and nasty. Like my SD, whom I call Toxic Feral Eldest (now Feral Forger). When she decided to ghost us after she turned 18, we had to clean up her room. We found an empty whiskkey bottle, used condoms *found by her 11 year old sister, dirty underwear, used pads, all kinds of gross chit.

marblefawn's picture

Please don't be so hard on yourself. You're probably doing a lot better job than it seems.

You're up against a step situation (never easy), a gender identity situation (hard for most parents), and probably the normal age-related difficulties that come with raising kids (i.e. the terrible teens, etc.)

I think a lot of bio parents in your situation probably feel as if they're failing too. Just hang in there. Most likely she will find herself and shock all of you with her future...in a good way!

Yosemite's picture

While a lot of the things you describe are typical teen, there's a few things that stand out that taken in total make me concerned that your SD has had trauma, like she may possibly be being abused or has been abused in the past. She had hypersexual behavior, she is putting herself down constantly, she has extremely dark thoughts being expressed as humor, she is trying to hide her body/face constantly, she has flat affect (trauma/PTSD response), she refuses to shave or take care of herself (subconsciously trying to make herself less attractive), she is attempting to erase all signs of her sexuality. It may be coincidence but all of these are signs of sexual abuse/trauma. This girl may need help. I am not trying to be offensive and I am sure some posters will say it's not your problem. However, all children deserve help if they are being abused. Also, you have a little girl and you need to make sure that if SD is being abused that your daughter is not around the abuser, whomever that might be. I hope I am wrong, but there's enough signs that you should look into it. 

Curious Georgetta's picture

me in much the same way

This young lady does not need to be criticized, condemned, or judged. She needs to get counseling to help her sort out whatever is and has happened in her life. Most of all she needs a supportive family.

 

Alwaysalittlesad's picture

I agree...