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MorningMia's picture

Through this long "journey," what has always been a central thread in skid life is the secrecy. The secrets kept between BM and the skids have been a great tool for PAS:  They helped weave the cocoon around the three of them, as if "it's us against them," also sending the message that if the skids were to reveal certain things to DH, he is such a monster (eyeroll) that he would . . . do what? Yell at them? (no) Frighten them? (no) We don't know. The secrets, I think, are also a punishment for DH (he hasn't deserved to know what's going on in their lives) while making BM look like the nice parent (she has always demanded total devotion to the point of worship). 

There have been so many secrets through the years that have come to light, but I am sure there are many, many more we will never know about (which is fine).  Years ago, BM approved an out-of-state unsupervised (no adults) vacation for SS when he was a teenager. DH only learned about this because SS was injured and ended up in the ER and it was his health insurance the skids were under. They also kept from DH that SD had COVID when she was pregnant. But most of the secrecy has been over REALLY minor things, really stupid things.

Most recently, DH spoke with SS and was telling me what was going on. There were all these mysteries and major gaps in the story. I started laughing and said WTH?! What is the big deal about keeping DH out of the know? Why bring up the topic they were discussing, anyway?!  It's so stupid and ridiculous--and disrespectful--but by now it has become the norm with the cult.  

BM decided a long time ago that DH--we--didn't deserve to know what was going on with the skids, that she would hold onto them tighter and keep us at bay by, in part, building a life of secrets together. The skids grew up with that and now that they are adults, it's habit. All this was a PAS tool and it worked. Right now, it just looks silly. 


2Tired4Drama's picture

That's what it is. I have an eerily similar situation which I've seen unfold over the last two decades.  The only conclusion I've reached is that BM is fundamentally responsible for the way SD behaves, because she TAUGHT her that this was "normal."

It's "normal" not to notify father when skid is is hospital. It's "normal" to let minor skid do whatever they want as long as BM approves (tattoo, piercings, etc.) without so much as notifying father.  It's "normal" to ignore father because BM is the absolute, ultimate and only parent.  And holds the family trust money pursestrings, so there's that, too. 

There is no way that any man can compete with a BM who is adamant about using her maternal power and her money to keep kids within her greedy grasp. It will never change. It certainly hasn't in our case.  And now we are on the second generation of it.

We've also had the "secrets" environment for more situations that I can even remember.  Often, as you say, it's such ridiculous stuff that it makes you scratch your head over why it's so hush-hush. There is no logical reason - it's about power.  What to communicate to others is a powerful weapon, and our BM and SD wield it relentlessly. 

For example, it is blatantly obvious that one of SD's children is quite developmentally delayed. Child goes to a school for kids with special needs.  YET ... not once has SD said anything to her father about his own grandchild's diagnosis!  They all pretend like there is nothing wrong. 

Same goes with SD's in-laws.  One of them had severe drug addiction and criminal problems that we were all aware of. This person was found dead by a family member and by law required an autopsy. Not a single mention of death since then. For all we know, it could have been a murder. SD and her DH say nothing.  Why in the world wouldn't you tell your own family members? Though I am quite sure that BM knows all the details as she is so enmeshed in their lives. 

They can keep their little secrets all they want.  I disengaged quite some time ago. 

Oh, and FWIW, I put a lot of the blame on my SO. He has been willing to be treated as less-than, and has been willing to accept whatever scraps are thrown his way. He refuses to confront the b.s. stories and stupid secrets so that's exactly what he swallows whenver it's dished out to him. I've lost respect for him because of it. 

Elea's picture

SDiabla 24&26 do the same thing and have been this way since they were kids. And yes, BM is a big part of the problem by repeatedly planting in their head that DH is a bad Father and can't be trusted. (For what reason?) SD's get really uppity, coy and smirky about it too. They think being evasive and keeping secrets is grown-up.

I think SK's act like that because they want DH to bow down to the 1st family, beg for crumb's about their lives, to punish him (for God knows what?) but most of all, they are jealous of the happy life DH and I have together. They want us to feel jealous of their vacations with BM, roadtrips, travel abroad, or whatever.

It doesn't work. I find it pathetic. I could care less where they go or what they do or who they do it with as long as it doesn't impact my life, my DH's life or my BK's. You would think they'd catch on that we really don't care but they keep trying to make me jealous and DH feel bad.

DH finds their games petty and stupid. He refuses to beg for information and is mostly just irritated by it. I am happy with the way he handles it. Although, I have to say that if my kid did that I would call them out on it and tell them exactly how stupid and petty they are acting.

DH and I don't tell SD's everything either but for very different reasons. When DH was having to "co-parent" with BM we kept a lot of information to ourselves because, given the opportunity, BM would sabotage our plans and impose herself and/or go blab adult matters to the SK's.

SD's have horrid attitudes, cause major drama and have constant dramatic crying, yelling, slamming, hitting fits so DH stopped inviting them to events or on vacation with us. We attended many a special occasion where they didn't find out until much, much later. When we visit my family, they are not invited.

What these SD's don't realize is that if they humbled themselves and played nice I would have made sure they were fully included but they aren't nice so I let DH handle it and he tends to not be nearly as mindful, accomodating, organized nor is he a planner like I am. Their loss. DH does a great job of being completely oblivious to their demands. I sit back and find it amusing when I hear SD say to DH something along the lines of "Next time so and so has an event I would like an invitation." Lol. No SD, you will not be getting an invitation.

That reminds me of another point. SD's act like infants. A lot of times they don't get invited because they hold themselves separate and failed to maintain relationships with friends and family on DH's side. They act like daddeeeee has to be the middle man and relay information. They expect DH to do what they are perfectly capable of doing for themselves. By the time I was their age I made sure to keep up correspondence with friends and family by myself. I didn't expect my daddeeeee to do it for me.

Felicity0224's picture

I feel like this is all too common. It seems like every single person on this site has stories about their step kids keeping secrets. I think you calling BM's 'side' a cult is spot on - secrecy and exclusion of outsiders is one of the most powerful tools that cult leaders employ to keep their members isolated and dependent on them. 

I'm in our case, my SDs were incredibly burdened by all the secrets BM demanded they keep. Sometimes it was big, important stuff, sometimes it was the most inane, trivial things you could think of. OSD in particular was always so high strung and anxious because she was afraid of letting something slip. For our part, we explicitly told them both that there was nothing we would ever expect them to keep secret from their mom. We wanted some degree of privacy in our home, sure, but we never dictated what they could and could not tell her.

These days I tell XH everything going on with DD when she's with me, and he does the same. And DD is very well aware that I'm protective of her privacy when it comes to friends and family, but we don't keep secrets from her dad. As a result, she's secure and open with both of us. I'm not a perfect parent, but I sure as hell have learned from what my SDs went through and I will not put DD through the same trauma. 

Harry's picture

He getting punished for him leaving her .  Doesn't matter what she did. He should be kissing her feet .  Sad part is she won.  SK are teenager's or older.  BM now should be out of the picture.  Direct communication between DH and his kids.  But BM wants to hang on.  It's to late to fight this. .. 

MorningMia's picture

Yea, she thinks she won, yet she's the one still carrying around all the bitterness, the one still trying to hide the truth from the "kids" (she cheated and threw DH out), the one still living a lie, the primary relationship in screwed-up  kids' lives. I guess she deserves a medal. *clapping*

Rags's picture

Are the kids regularly being presented with the truth and the facts?

If not, why not?

Letting this kind of crap be ignored is not healthy for the kids.

IMHO of course.

MorningMia's picture

Repeatedly. The first time was just a couple months after our wedding, when SD visited us and "confronted" her father about "abandoning" them and not fulfilling his promise of loving her mother forever (her exact words). DH was so blown away by this scolding that he finally told her the truth (he also felt like she was old enough to hear it). The result? SD went home, confronted her mother, and the major PASing began. After collecting money for summer camp from Daddy, SD did not speak to us for a little over 2 years. Oh, wait. She (and her mother) did send him a scathing, hurtful letter that arrived (planned) on our first anniversary (DH did not tell me about the letter for a couple weeks). He responded in writing with the truth. Then SS stopped talking to us, too. The next few Father's Days, in fact all holidays, were times to hurt/ignore DH. All visits stopped. 

SD rekindled the relationship when she needed money (ready for college and child support was ending--I predicted that one!) and has never brought up the topic again. SS has been in and out of therapy (good for him) and has spoken with DH about this a handful of times. 

No matter what DH says, how he tells the truth, how he reveals details that support the truth (my God, the boyfriend was openly in the picture immediately after DH moved out of the house!) and could not be made up, the skids are part of a cult and, while they may believe the truth for minutes, hours, or days, they get sucked back into believing that DH is making it all up and that ultimately he abandoned them.

I cannot begin to describe BM's manipulative tactics--just the ones we are aware of, but I'll give you a hint: She pretends like she could die and she has purposely put herself in dangerous situations. She is a very sick woman who has the skids trained like trick ponies on crack. 

2Tired4Drama's picture

And so many similarities, including BM moving her love-interest into the home without so much as notifying my SO (their father.) I can't imagine any father letting a stranger move into the home with his teen daughter but my SO didn't put up a peep.

At least in your case, your DH tried to combat the misinformation and lies. You have to at least give him credit for that!

Cover1W's picture

DH told OSDthen13 the details of the divorce after he was scolded "for leaving mommy" one too many times. "OK, you wantvthe truth, I'll tell you..." Let her know BM kicked him out, refused counseling, didn't let him retrieve his things, took all the joint money, etc, etc she sobbed through the whole thing, then got on the phone with BM for a long time. She was gone the next day and estranged since. Haven't seen her since she was 15. She's now 20. Truth doesn't work with PAS.

Rags's picture

Hopefully her risky manipulations will end her and provide a permanent solution.

She has earned it.

Though her manipulated spawn would just cannonize her and she would then become dead but Sainted mommy who was abandoned by evil daddy.

So, you and DH live your best lives together and let the shallow and polluted end of the Skid's gene pool accomodate their splashing around in that shitpuddle instead of infecting your lives.

SMto3's picture

SS24 was very secretive when I met him, not comfortable at all with letting DH know his insecurities around DH moving on. These secrets I'm sure were spoken of with his late mom, and was a big reason why I never get to trust them. As SS19 was growing, ss24 poisoned him and they always seemed to have an "us vs them" mentality. I used to hate going home. 
Fast forward and it was why they were not included when DH and I married (we knew older Ss would tell his mom) and we just never got the level of closeness I would have liked. Sucks for them both as I'm not sure what it would take for me to allow either one to live with us again. To boot, SS24 also liked to lie to people and say we would leave on vacations on not leave them food. I am certain he told the girl he lives with he got kicked out so that he could manipulate her into letting him move in. I'm willing to bet money he wasn't honest with her about why he was asked to leave (he refused to save and blamed his mom for taking his check). I'm sure that's why he doesn't try to maintain closeness; for fear of it coming out and us having to tell her the truth. 
I also have taken a step back from gift giving and never mentioned Easter to DH (no presents for stepgrand baby). I just don't give them the best of me, since it seems I don't get the best of them. 
They now live together and I'm sure there's a ton of secrets there, but as long as they don't have to come back, I don't really care too much. 

Rags's picture

Oh yes. The lies.

For us it was my SIL.  My DW assumed guardianship of her when she was 17.  DW was 28. SpermLand reduced the requirements for HS graduation which gave SIL the choice to graduate after her Jr. year or go on to her Sr. year.  It required my IL's approval.  My DW begged her parents to not let SIL graduate early. If any person on the planet needed that extra year, more like a lifetime, of maturity it is my SIL.  Nope, they "raise their kids to make their own decisions" and signed.  

I made an offer to DW that if she wanted to take guardianship of her sister, she could come live with us and we would pay for her college.  On the condition that she be home when SS then 12 got home from school, she took him to his practices, she kept the house picked up, and she did the yard work.  We covered all of her expenses; she was a family member.  If we went on vacation, she came with us, dinner, movies, parties, etc he was with us.  Her being home with SS after school saved us $400/mo in after school care.  Her doing the yard work saved us $150/mo.  For her doing those things we paid at least that much per month in food, etc....  And.... about $1000/mo in school costs.  We did it because we wanted to give her an opportunity for something better.

DW had to pull strings to get her into DW's alma matter.  We bought a 3rd car for her to drive.

Because DW had used her personal relationships to get SIL into University DW requried her attend class and do quality work.  SIL was barely literate when she "graduated" from HS.  She wrote on par with a 4th grader at best.  So, DW and I worked with her every night on her assignements, etc...  

She did fairly well her freshman year.  Though it was a battle to get her to go to class, produce quality work, etc... We would proofread all of her writing assignments.  It would be a battle to get her to edit, revise, and produce college level work.

After her freshman year and she had turned 18 the guardianship expired, and she left to return to SpermLand.  Her self-delusion was rampant, and she lied her ass off about how mean we were. How we wouldn't let her do anything she wanted to do, we made her go to class, and re-write her papers, etc.....

We bought her a car, we paid for college, we fed her, we housed her, we clothed her.  The last thing we "made her do" was register the Jeep in her name.  I had flow home for the weekend (I was in a road warrior role) put new tires on the Jeep, fully serviced it for the 2200-mile road trip.  We had flown my MIL out to make the drive back with SIL.  

SIL got lippy that she would get the car registered when she got to SpermLand. Hell no. I was not going to allow her to maintain a car in our name.  My MIL got offended and said that if it was a problem that they would just fly back. I told them to get their asses in the car, go register it and if I had to I would follow them the whole way back to make sure they took the car with them.

SIL returned to SpermLand to spawn OOWL twice with her mugger looking BF.  She got into a local university as a transfer student due to her 3.2 GPA due to DW riding her to attend class and actually do the work.

Meanwhile, 20 years later she is in hock for over $100K in school loans for a degree she never completed.  

Her stories about how horrid caused some sullen shunning of my DW.  Until...... after about 5 years of attending her local university FIL asked my DW why she had not graduated yet.  I was there. DW at first started to play the "I do not know" card.  I started asking DW leading questions and after about an hour FIL was pissed as hell at SIL for the lies.   SIL married mugger BF after their second OOWL charity baby was born.  She borrowed every possible Cent she could. They bought their house using a school loan for down payment, the same with cars, tattoos, etc...

SIL was all in on her fantasy and lies about getting her education degree. Nope, she was denied entry to the school of education.  She was vectored to the General Studies program.  After 10 years she was forbidden from applying for any further loans and kicked out of the University.  She had failed at least one class every semester and never once repeated a failed class.

Her DH got on my DW about her not graduating. So... he got the facts too.  FIL and SIL's DH shredded SIL over all of her school bullshit, the lies she still holds to on how we were mean and abused her, and how she would not have ever even been accepted to the local university except for DW and I riding her ass to go to class and do her damned work the year she was with us.  The problem is, they all have short memories and over time we return to the point where SIL’s failed university career is our fault when we are the only reason she ever even got into a university at all.

One thing that we don’t do is tolerate the lies and bullshit. When it happens, we bare the liar's ass and we rub the noses of everyone who buys it into the stench that the liar is recruiting them into.

For us, the main issue is SIL.  SS-31 was an angel for the most part.

SMto3's picture

shake my head at how much these people lie, and I'll be honest, it really bothers that the lies have to be told, and that I have to be included in it!

Your SIL had a hell of an opportunity! I WISH I had someone offer to help me through school, pay a car for me, and all I had to do was some minor babysitting. It is in fact, a very similar deal I offered to SS19, because I thought he'd have loved it! He went for his driving learner permit, and I pretty much had to incentivize him to pass it, then he never went for driving lessons. 

Just wanted to be in his room vaping and watching TikTok all day. 

It is a shitty thing to do, to lie on people who have only ever helped. I will be anticipating when SSs shit come out, and yes, I will be very transparent about what transpired in his life to have him get asked to leave. 

Rags's picture

I am sorry you had to suffer that with SS-19.  His loss.  He will feel the pain at some point.

You will of course feel it too because you care.

Give rose

SIL never did anything to actually learn about how university worked or how becomming a certified teacher worked.  She knew it all, we were just mean.

In SpermLand a MEd was required to become an actual teacher.  At that time we were in Texas.  They had such a teacher shortage that anyone with a Bachelors could be hired to teach, get an emergency teaching certificate after a year then be a fully certified teacher.  She could have then transferred to SpermLand as a certified teacher due to interstate reciprocity.

She dumbassed her way from a fully funded accelerated Bachelors degree and an accelerated teachers certication to $110K in debt and nothing to show for it.

It still pisses me off 20 years later.  Just the lost opportunity that would have changed her life.

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

"I just don't give them the best of me, since it seems I don't get the best of them." YEP. That's exactly where I am at. I have really slowed my roll and I do not take intiative. DH has to be the leader on all things. I do not do any gift giving anymore - once in a blue moon but it's never met with much gratitude. I also realize we've been PASed from multiple generations and I don't think there's any way to fix the lies or the secrets. I spend my time and resources elsewhere. 

advice.only2's picture

This is my DH’s Spawn and her Meth Mother.  Even after we got custody of Spawn she was a closed book and would tell DH at pick up from visitation “What I do with my mom is none of your business, stop prying.”  This after her asked her how her weekend had been.  Our lives on the other hand were to be an open book that was dissected and fed on by Meth Mouth and Spawn.   

Rags's picture

Oh the fun I could have.  Fake expensive car purchase papers, fake adoption papers for a couple of young kids, expensive vacation bill of sale docs, cosmetic surgery appointment docs (boobs, face lifts, penis enlargement/release surgery, etc.....), expensive jewelry receipts, early emancipation of SD paperwork, law suits against BM on fabricated fake law firm letter head, huge inherritance from long lost elderly family members, a fake Will leaving everything to you and after you pass.... the cat or the adopted young kids (see above), fake phone calls quietly discussing something that would get SD's attention and totally piss off MM. Etc....

All randomly left randomly partially exposed in various locations to get SD's attention or her to feed to the MM.

When MM loses her already batshit crazy pea sized mind, honestly say "We have never purchased or done those things.".  Not a lie.





advice.only2's picture

The problem with that was any time Meth Mouth would get a whiff of us taking a vacation or making a major purchase she would drag DH back to court.  Since we had custody, she no longer got CS which pissed her off to no end, since in her mind, our money should be her drug money.  So pretty much every 3-6 months for years DH would get dragged back in to court for no reason other than Meth Mouth was looking for a payday.  It was tedious and tiring and having to keep a lawyer on retainer for 7 years was a very long time.

MorningMia's picture

GMTA.  One time, back in the day when the skids were coming for a visit, I left out papers about adoption--in my office on my desk (we never had any intention of adopting a child). I thought, hey, they snoop for intel; I'll give them something concerning to talk about. lol. I wish I had thought of the huge inheritance docs! 

MorningMia's picture

Oh yea. I caught SD walking through our house taking video with her phone. It was surely to send back to her mother. What. the. hell!? Why?! I can't imagine what else she "got into" and shared during her few visits to our home. 

Harry's picture

Non functioning adults . Having mommy supporting them.  Until mommy can't. Then they live in a crummy apartment on minimum wages.  Congratulations to the mother of the year 

Rags's picture

The self deluding MOTY will of course express infinite pride in her Sainted failed kidult spawnlets. Even when they are rotting in their shit apartment and scrapeing by in their barely pay their bills lives.