Blinders and etch-a-sketch brain
I totally get parents forgiving their children and moving on. Kid gets in trouble, gets his/her s*** together and moves forward. Yay. Kid flunks out of college, kid goes different direction, ends up fine. Good. I'm having a hard time (I know I need to let go; this recently came up) with the blinders when it comes to chronic, regular, and really bad "assaults" on the parent and the parent's spouse. . . and how my DH, once upset by them, pretends that they never happened or that all is ok. Maybe you all can give me some insight.
SD cut off DH shortly after we married. She was underage and this should not have been allowed, but BM encouraged it and DH tiptoed around the issue, doing nothing. I told him, after 2+ years of silence, that as SD approached 18 and CS would no longer be required (and she wanted to go to college) that she would be in contact. It would be about $$. And it happened and it was, and all went well for SD. The cash flowed to the detriment of our finances.
Years later, after one nightmarish holiday gathering at our house that ended up with my sickly mother spending the holiday alone (it's a long story, part of which involved the skids arriving very ill...we all caught it and my mother couldn't afford to), I said "no more." No parent should have ever allowed their kid to treat their home and their spouse the way SD did that holiday. They brought their dog and were encouraging it to "go after" ours; they trashed a room and bathroom; the topic of Thanksgiving dinner was "mommy"; SD hijacked what was left of the turkey I wanted to use for soup; rude comments were made; never a mention of where my mother might be; it went on and on. SD did not visit us (my decision with DH's support) for 7 years. DH would go visit her. The visits always involved her crying and denying while I enjoyed time with my girlfriends at home.
SD then one day decided she wanted to visit us. I told DH, "She must have a BF and is intending on getting married. $$$$." SM radar is good. BINGO. DH realized he was being used again and decided on his own to pay for a very very small portion of the wedding. Then there was the wedding:
We were treated like lepers. Hardly anyone spoke to us (we are not introvert types). The groom's mother glared at us through the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, and the reception. All of the bridesmaids and groomsmen ignored us. It was clear that horror stories had been told. In fact, I learned that BM had (or said she had) hired a plain-clothed security guard that SD said was for someone else (are you kidding me? the drama...the drama...). At one point, the wedding coordinator told me to literally walk down to an outside pavilion and stand there alone in the freezing COLD for over an hour while some photos were taken. DH said HELL NO. Then, at the last minute, DH was informed that he would not be walking his daughter down the aisle alone, as expected; BM would be on her other arm. He about lost it. He wanted to leave and I told him he could not do that--no matter what, this was his daughter's day. He couldn't "ruin" it and he couldn't feed into the "we are the monsters" narrative that had obviously been told.
There is a lot more to the story. The reception was the same. No one interacted with us. We left early. By the way, we were sent links to the wedding photos. Guess who was edited out of all but one? (A: me! I laughed.)
Someone asked me about the wedding the other day. When I told them this story, it felt like I had PTSD. I could not believe how horribly we were treated--and I can swear that we never did anything "wrong" to these people!!! The worst we did was set boundaries that we had hoped would encourage communication with SD early on (her mother was communicating "for her," feeding into the alienation while harassing us on a daily basis). We never yelled at anyone, never said anything rude, never cussed anyone out (I would have if I had known the punishment to come...it could have made it somewhat worth it). We simply didn't go along with their desire for DH to remain (or become) single so that they could forever own their cash puppet.
DH confronted SD about the wedding situation months later (I asked him to wait). As usual, she acted like she didn't know what he was talking about.
Today, DH makes himself believe that he has a relationship with this "girl." While on one hand he says that his relationships with his kids feel like they are "cousins," on the other hand, he pretends like everything is ok with them. Has their relationship evolved? Maybe it has and I have been unaware of that? Do I wish he'd cut her off? No.
I just don't get the blinders, the etch-a-sketch brain. Me? I'm done with his kids. I'm good with that. He knows it and gets it. I don't discourage him from talking to them or seeing them. I'm just...dumbfounded, I guess. I stay away from people who have treated me like crap. Their relationship seems to be: "I can disrespect you and you will always tolerate it. Yay!"
Thanks for taking the time to read all of this. Good grief!