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Feels Juvenile to ask, but "What would You do?"

Birchclimber's picture

This is almost embarrassing, but I am conflicted on how to handle this.  I have a social media account that I have enjoyed for many years.  I use it to keep in touch with my Bio family and my actual and real friends. 
My StepGrandkid23 sent me a friend request a few days ago.  I have little to no relationship with her even though I have been in the family long before she was born.  We see her once or twice a year.  She has two kids of her own.  She has a sister, (SGK19).   Her mother (OSD54) has a tolerable relationship with me, at best.  We live several hours away from all of them. 

Here's the rub:  a few weeks ago, my DH sent his daughter (SD54) a THIRD request (over the course of 2 years) that she please return something to him that her other daughter (SGK19) had borrowed a couple of years ago and had never returned. He, walking on glass as he usually does around both of his DD's, mentioned in the email that if the item was by chance damaged and if that's the reason that they were not returning it, he wouldn't be upset.  He would just really like to have the item returned to him as it was a gift from his father. 

For some reason, SD54 completely flew off the handle and tore a strip off of him (via email) that: "How dare you attack your own granddaughter that way by implying that she destroyed it!"  She also said that she is hurt that "you assume we are liars and ruin/misplace borrowed items." And for good measure, she threw in that "you avoid my calls and emails" (which he NEVER, EVER  does!!!!).  She went on to say that the borrowed item was sitting right in front of her and that because she is going through financial hardship right now and all sorts of difficult situations in her life, she hasn't had the time or money to send it to my DH.  After receiving these two angry emails from her, my DH didn't care so much about the item, as he was just hurt by the absolutely uncalled for harshness and accusatory nature of her emails.  He sent back that he ALWAYS returns her calls and emails and if he "offended her in some way, he was truly sorry, but he has repeatedly asked them both to return the item and he just wanted to get it back." and he ended the email with another apology and "love dad".  ( Personally, I think if someone borrows something, they should return it within a reasonable amount of time.  If the lender has to ask for it back, then the borrower should apologize and return it right away.  If the lender has to ask for it back on a continuous basis, the borrower should return it with, not only an apology, but with a consolation gift for being so remiss in not having returned the item promptly after the first request! )...but that's me...just the way I roll.   

Long story short, she finally delivered the item to another family member who shipped it for us.  It cost him $3.10 to ship it and he did it the same afternoon that SD54 dropped it at his front door.  Anyway, we have not heard from SD54 since that exchange of emails, and I can tell that my DH is hurting over the entire situation.  

Back to the social media dilemma.  I can't help but feel that the only reason my SGD23 has sent me a social media friend request now, after all these years, is to spy on our camp so that she can relay information to my two SD's, (OSD54 and her sister YSD47)

In the ten years we have lived six hours away from them, they have visited us 10 times.  Pretty much all ten times were the most stressful and exhausting weekends of my life, punctuated by small moments of fun during the visits.  Otherwise, I was just overworked, ignored or treated rudely and my house was completely ransacked and soiled by my two adult SDs and our SGKs who knew that the only person who was going to be cleaning up after them, after they left, was me.  After their last visits several years ago, I informed my DH that I just could not manage their visits anymore.  Mentally or physically.  I think they are now trying to see if we are still entertaining guests in our home and if so, who.  (The answer is yes, we are still entertainings guests.  Guests who are clean and appreciative of the effort that I put forth in having them here.  Guests who treat me and our home with respect and who are actual "Friends" of both of me and my DH and who don't take pleasure in trying to pit us against each other all of the time.  Guests who don't look for ways to provoke myself or my DH into having drama in our lives.)

Sorry...back to the social media question.  What should I do?  If I delete the request, (which I would like to), I will start a war in that I don't like my SGK's enough to include them on my social media.  If I accept her request, then I have to censor everything that I post, as I don't want the SDs to see everything that I post to my true friends.  Incidentally, I NEVER post Anything to do with any of my SDs or SGD on my page, which could ALSO be viewed as a slight against them.  What would YOU do?  And, any thoughts or insights on SD54's anger filled emails to my DH would be appreciated too. 

So sorry that this turned out to be so long... 

shellpell's picture

About the request, just leave it and I think if she checks it will show as pending, indicating that you haven't seen the request since you are "never on".

Birchclimber's picture

Thanks Shellpell.  That's true, but I'm then concerned that she will send me an email drawing my attention to the fact that she has sent me the request.  The other problem with saying that I am "never on", is that I occasionally do send out a public post.  I did that one week before her request.

MissTexas's picture

because it's usually right.

Given the rare, sporatic contact or visits, I think you're right on. She has been sent to spy.

Next, after you delete the "friend" request, don't be surprised if others "all of a sudden" pop up from "new people." That's what usually happens.

Good luck.

hereiam's picture

I would ignore.

I don't do social media, but if I did, I would not allow anybody to try to control or manipulate who I do or don't allow into my social media world. Especially someone with whom I have no or little relationship with. That makes it pretty obvious that she is up to something.

It is YOUR choice. Some people will start a war over anything, so does it really matter?

As far as your SD54 and her bullshit? Your DH is her father and no matter how old she is, she is the daughter and should have some respect. He needs to stop being the victim and stand up to her. It doesn't mean that he loves her any less.

He is allowing her to disrespect him and then is hurt by it. I'm sure she knows this and is using it to her advantage. Really, she just needs to be put in her place, which I'm sure he has never done. Which is why she treats him like this.

I'm sorry that he is hurting but he needs to look into why he walks around on glass when it comes to his daughters. As long as he feels he needs to to that, they will have the power to hurt him.

And, by the way, guilt is not a valid reason to let his children walk all over him. Unless he killed their mother. In front of them.



GrudgingSM's picture

I agree with others that it's probably best to just ignore it. However, I have excepted my step family request, but I have a set of filters for who sees what. This is just kind of true for me and my own bio family too. So you can create separate lists for social media over who sees what. If that is too much of a pain, don't do it! And it sounds like they may be manipulative in general, so I let them have any ammunition. But if you do decide to crack open that door, Facebook will let you curate who sees what, and for one of the options I have a list of people excluded from seeing some posts that I don't wanna share with family. But again, I agree with ignoring it. Boundaries boundaries boundaries.

AgedOut's picture

leave the friend request pending. 

Survivingstephell's picture

I would block her.  Who cares what she thinks, she will use this for drama, you know it and if it's not this, they will find another reason for drama.  Do not bring that to Facebook or any other social media, it's supposed to be a fun thing , not one of dread.  It's your life and you get to control it and that includes Facebook. Stop playing their games and take yourself out of it.  Block them.  

Birchclimber's picture

I'm hesitant (although tempted) to block.  It really draws too much of a line and I'm not sure that it would do anything more than further strain our already difficult relationship with them.  Ignoring, at this point, may be just enough and I'm sure, still controversial.   But I will keep your advice in the "in case of emergency" file, for sure! Thank you!

twopines's picture

I ignore any friend requests from DH's family. And I don't explain myself to them. My social media is for my convenience, not theirs. Especially not DH's grandkid of all people.

Birchclimber's picture

Thank You so much, Hereiam.  Your words are so validating!  Initially, when SD54 emailed all of that crap to DH, he was feeling like it was his fault and that he had actually done something wrong to instigate it. I'm pretty sure that if I weren't here to assure him that she was the one in the wrong, he would have already called her to apologize on the phone as well, and that gets ME thinking.  I start to feel guilty.  I start to second guess my support and my stand on this whole drama and I then wonder if she will perceive the fact that she hasn't heard from her father, as me trying to keep her father from her  After all, she is going through an  "issue" in her life that is causing her grief.  Was this just her way of getting him to call her to give her emotional support? (Albeit a BAD way of doing things....)  Am I wrong for not encouraging him to "deal with this"?  After all, I'm the one who told him that she needs to call HIM to apologize, not the other way around.  So, now he's waiting on that call.  ...and waiting...and waiting.

I know that her birthday is coming up and it's going to make for an another awkward situation.  She just sold her house and now we don't even have a forwarding address to send her a card!

As for the SGD23 social media dilemma, Thank You EVERYONE for your opinions on that.  I have decided to go with majority rule and to "ignore" the request in the hopes that she will delete it on her end when she realizes that it's not being accepted.  My only fear is that now the YSD47 or one of the other SGK's will be sending me requests to see if this is an anti-step move on my part. Another No-Win for me, the wicked Stepmother.  BTW, I do have 3 of the 4 SGKs (including SGD23) on another, more picturesque social media platform. I was GUILTED into that by the two younger SGDs on one of my anxiety riddled visits from them to my home, about 4 years ago. I don't post anything but nature shots and the occasional photo of my luncheons with my friends on there, so I wasn't too bent out of shape about adding them to that one.  Actually, I'm rather glad that, when they stalk that site, they can see that I DO actually have a large circle of friends in my life who actually LIKE me!  Yes my dear stepfamily, Birchclimber does have friends.  (Unfortunately, they are all Biomothers or non-mothers who don't understand the whole step family dynamic, so I find more comfort venting here about those particular issues!)  And I am soooo grateful for this site and all of you people who take the time to answer posts!

Survivingstephell's picture

I really hope you come to a point where none of their toxic behaviors matter so much, you stop over thinking it and block them.  It takes awhile to get there but it's so much better on this side.  

hereiam's picture

Well, it's all a no-win in step life.

For years, I thought my SD liked me, then one day, 10 years in, I find out that she actually believed the lies that her mother had been telling her about me. So, I reassessed some things, like my feelings about her. I am completely indifferent. I don't want anything bad to happen to her, but I just don't think or worry about her. I lose no sleep when it comes to her or her life. Or, how she feels about me.

I'm sure she feels that if I were not in her father's life, their relationship would be different. But her own mother sabotaged that relationship (and SD went along with it) so I am guilt free and she can think what she wants.

My SD (now, 29) likes to try to put guilt trips on my DH but it doesn't work. He knows that he did nothing wrong. He also knows that she will never admit to her own part in it. So, it is what it is, he has come to terms with it.



simifan's picture

I would leave it pending. If she asks about it - oh I didn't see it, then filter, filter, filter what she sees. 

shes driving me crazy in my retirement's picture

What ever happened to just saying that she will get it and see it got back to him.  Honestly, what a selfcentered person.  Normal erson would be embarassed at not returning it after 3 requests for the item bac.

Anna21's picture

I hope you just left the request pending. That is where it really belongs, a request in limbo. Years ago I discovered my SD 14 at the time, was taking photos of our home and posting them on her social media page with mean comments and nasty things about our life. As adult skids now, we all seem to be fine with not following each other on social media. I do think that your SD's request after all these years is to get up to no good. If you decline or delete you will hear about it. Leaving it pending and then answering with oh, no I didn't see that, in a preoccupied way will send the message without her actually proving you refused the request. 

MamaPTK's picture

I would just ignore it. Say you never saw it. It just invites more drama. If she sends an e mail deal with it then and say you didn't see it. Don't allow the stress in when you have done so well moving away from it.

I recently deleted my SD from my social media acct. If you can't be reasonable in person I surely am not allowing you to invade my friend space. 


Birchclimber's picture

Thank You so much for all of your replies!

Quick Update:  I could no longer stand to open up my social media account and see my SGD's photo/friend request staring back at me, so I deleted it and....crickets!  Absolutely no repercussions!  Well, not yet anyway.  We've also not had any verbal contact with any of my Skids or SGKs since the friend request, so my claiming a victory on that one may be premature. 
As for OSD and her freak out email session with my DH?  Neither one has called the other since that drama.  However, this weekend my DH asked me (because he not tech savvy) to send along Happy Easter Emails to all of his family including my OSD, YSD and SGKs.  OSD (The Freak Out Queen) actually sent back a quick "thank you... same to you" email.  Now it's the YSD who is playing dead and not replying.  I'm sure that she'll have some BS story concocted about some astronomical drama that is taking place in her life right now and that is why she was unable to respond.  The drama continues....