You are here

How can I stop feeling like this?

Seashells's picture

Hi there,

Im a new member here and have long standing issues with my adult step-daughter. I’m sorry in advance for the long post but have been looking for years for somewhere to offload!

To give a bit of background - I met my (now) husband 16 years ago. We were both going through divorces at the time having both been left by our previous spouses. I had 2 little boys of 5 and 8 and he had a daughter of 8. My divorce was pretty straight forward - no contest of who my boys would live with or how often my ex would see them - but his divorce was painful and acrimonious. His ex played the ‘Mummy’ card when it benefitted her but once the financial judgement had been made in her favour, she announced to the court that she ‘wouldn’t be able to have her daughter stay with her for the foreseeable future as she had nowhere suitable to live and needed to re-establish her social life due to the controlling relationship she’d had with her ex’ - so to cut a long story short, my husband was given a residence order in his favour with his daughter being able to have adequate contact with her Mother. 

She had contact weekly for some months but one day, she wanted to attend a party instead of having tea with her Mother - this is when her mother stopped contact stating that we were stopping her from seeing her (we lived in the same village and walked past her mothers house each day to school and always encouraged her to stop by if she wanted to). Neither mother or daughter then made any effort to maintain any contact - leaving me to it. 

Now, some may say that that’s great - and it could’ve been - however, there were paternal grandparents sat in the wings overseeing everything I did, said or thought!! But everything I did was wrong in their eyes. My SD was used to being an only child and with this, was very indulged and allowed to scream and shout at anybody who got in her way - including me! When I put boundaries in place and sanctions in place her grandparents would step in and take her to their house for days to calm down - I was completely undermined every step of the way. They said we should let her do whatever she wanted because her mother had left her and that’s got to be hard - so, I was supposed to let her scream in my face because she didn’t want me to remove nits from her hair, or she didn’t want to eat THAT, or she should be allowed to stay out later than I was comfortable with, etc.... and my husband just said - well, she’s always been that way - she’s always screamed - it’s the way she is....

  I raised this child how I raised my boys - lots of love and laughter but a pretty normal home where sometimes people get stressed and get it wrong - I’m no saint - I worked hard - we fostered several children but always questioned if the children we were working with would fit in - and they did! In fact, my step daughter became really close friends with the older girl we fostered long term. They had absolutely everything, holidays, nice clothes, a lovely caring home where their friends were always welcome for parties, sleepovers etc - in fact, we probably spoilt them all too much. 

My boys have always been respectful and kind - not always well behaved - in fact my eldest was the only one of our children (including the fostered children) to be arrested! I know I’m not showing favouritism and I made sure of that because I’m a step-child myself. 

The youngest was born with a heart problem and a chromosome deletion. His first few years were touch and go - we spent many nights in hospital including 3 weeks when he had heart surgery and complications afterwards. He’s needed lots of care and still requires a high level of care at 13 due to his learning disability. SD makes no effort with him and flatly refused to have him for a few hours as he ‘might hurt her son’ (he’s not violent) - she only sees him if my husband takes him to her house. 

So, fast forward quite a few years and she’s now in her early 20s, a home owner (we supplied the deposit) and a mother herself to a little boy. (I was there when he was born at her request but after that was allowed very little time around him - she didn’t want help from anyone and when her dad asked why she didn’t ask for advice or anything she responded with - that’s what Google is for!) 

She’s continued to shout at us all when things aren’t going her way but 2 years ago she really went for it.

We had just moved into a sweet new house (downsized), I’d established a lovely little gift shop and was making some jewellery to sell and told her how proud I was that I had sold something to this beautiful, well groomed, well spoken young lady who had chosen something I had made over everything else in the shop -well, my SD flew into a rage, screaming and shouting (in front of her 18 month old son) about how I’m only interested in my own success, how she’s had a terrible childhood, how I’d got everything wrong, how I’d treated her differently to the boys oh, you name it, the whole lot came out.... she then refused to speak to either my husband or myself for weeks - her partner phoned everyday to update us on how she was - and also blamed my parenting for her being upset! I suggested she have counselling - was told she wasn’t mad - I’d made her like this and how she wished that she hadn’t called me mum but had the same relationship with me that my boys had with her dad (believe me, it would’ve been easier to have shared raising her with her mother - and would’ve been nice if her mother had contributed to her upbringing too but alas) 

We haven’t spoken really now for 2 years - she told her dad that she had gone over the top but that’s how she felt and she would not apologise to me as she’s always had to apologise for saying what she felt and now she’s an adult, nobody is going to tell her what to do.

So I now find myself in this awful situation where she has made contact with her birth mother - she has contact with the whole family apart from me (well, doesn’t really bother with my eldest but occasionally texts the middle one) - and so when I get snippets of information about her and her family, I feel so anxious, angry, upset.... everything ... to the point it’s making me ill. I can’t talk to her - I’ve tried but she just ends up screaming and shouting at me that I treated her different to my own children and nothing I say will stop her shouting - My husband has told his parents not to contact me any more as the verbal/emotional abuse I received from his Father became too much (that’s another story) 

I could go on forever as I have nobody to talk to about this and carry these feelings all the time - I wake up in the night thinking about it - it pops in my head through the day - it’s so sad as all I ever wanted was a happy family life with grandchildren running around my garden and enjoying life. I now feel I can’t approach her to sit and talk about it - she wouldn’t anyway as she’s always said that’s how she feels and that’s that - and she sounds so happy with her life now without me - I’ve never managed to make her happy anyway - perhaps it’s better just left - but it’s just soo hard. 


If if you’ve managed to read this far - thank you - I really needed somewhere to put this. Has anyone else had problems like this? 




beebeel's picture

Nature is a beast that nuture rarely wins out. This young lady sounds like she has some mental issues likely inherited from her mother, with a bit of abandonment issues sprinkled on top. She and her bm have rewritten history to make you the bad guy because the truth of having a mother dump you and do nothing for you is too painful. You are spot on that she needs therapy to sort out her twisted thinking, but that probably won't happen. This is a pretty common theme for kids who have been abandoned by disordered bms who reappear when the child is an adult.

You have your own kids who will give you grandchildren. Focus on them and the family who appreciates you. 

shellpell's picture

This is spot on! There's nothing that you can do in this case. Let her go and do what makes you happy. Don't be a doormat either. Don't do anything for her. She sounds disordered and everyone else around her is pretending she isn't. Lucky you have your own two kids.

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

She isn’t your kid. Never was and never will be and it shows. You wasted years, effort and money on her. You should have disengaged from the get-go and let her twist in the face wind as an adult.

She is horrible just like her “mother.” Disengage now and focus on your real kids. Bio, adopted or fostered.

Seashells's picture

Thank you for replying. It’s so hard to let go Agreeto- but I know that’s what I need to do to save my own sanity! It’s just so hard when my dH still has a great relationship with her (as he should, he’s her Father) I can’t say what I’m feeling to him as it causes arguments between us. He knows his family have not been nice but they’re his family! 

 Thank you beebeel for your comments about nature/nurture - I should understand this having fostered - even the most abused children seem to gravitate back to their abusive mothers - this is the nature/nurture debate in play isn’t it! 

So grateful for your replies xx

still learning's picture

" I can’t say what I’m feeling to him as it causes arguments between us."

I've been in the same situation with DH about ss33.  I can't say anything concerning about ss or point out the obvious.  We almost divorced over ss issues so I signed us up for therapy so we could talk in a neutral space. DH refused to go so I went by myself.  It was helpful to talk to a professional who had to keep what I said confidential.  She helped me see how messed up the dynamic was and how to set protective boundaries around myself.  

Now I never talk to DH about my feelings about SS's.  I rarely talk about them or bring them up at all.  DH often gives me updates or shares a cute pic of gskids and I oblige him but that's about it.  If DH suggests anything concerning ss that crosses my boundaries it's nothing personal but it ain't gonna happen.  

SacrificialLamb's picture

Many of us have adult skids that we do not have relationships with. My OSD, in her 40's, is similar in that things have to be done her way, or else everyone gets punished.

You can't build a normal relationship with someone like that, so don't beat your head against the wall trying. Focus on the people who treat you with respect and love you back. 

Read some of the topics posted under "Disengaging".  

tog redux's picture

Sounds like your DH married a woman (BM) who was just like his controlling parents.  SD is a lot like her mother, and also has probably also felt abandoned by her mother.  Now that BM is back in her life, I'm guessing BM is spewing a lot of poison about you and SD is drinking it up.  

Just focus on whatever grandchildren your sons might have, and let this SD go.  Good for DH for protecting you from his parents.

Harry's picture

But this what happens when you invest to much time and love in a SK.  SP is always wrong, SP is to blame for the worlds problems 

Rags's picture

Quit giving her any space in your head. Write her toxic ass off.  If she wants to be a screaming banshee then you rub her nose in the stinking spots of her behavioral carpet and keep her and everyone else fully informed on her shit.  Her partner, her sibs, her BM, her extended family.... her coworkers... everyone.

Zero tolerance, full confrontation and full information for everyone.  She can play the childhood victim and "I am an adult and no one is going to tell me what to do" card all she wants. Don't tell her what to do, just tell her and everyone else the unequivocal facts.  

Baring the ass of toxic POS adults and rubbing their noses in a the cesspool of their crappy behavior and doing it publically is an extremely effective way to get idiots to crawl back into the shallow and polluted gene pools that they reside in.  Public humiliation is extremely effective in modifying behavior.

Let the facts highlight her bullshit.

Learn to have fun doing it.  It beats being upset about the toxic bullshit of a POS person.

Take care of you.

CLove's picture

Fully disclosed to a cousin what Toxic Feral SD20 has said and done. All her lies and accusations. Cousin was telling me about Feral asking to live with her, and the atitude that she encountered. LOL. I did exactly as you suggested. Ive done that with 2 or 3 other family members. Feral has burned so many bridges she raelly has no where else to go.

shamds's picture

Her. I mean if her grgadparents are shouting at you just like her, where do you think she learnt that behaviour from? People have made excuses for her behaviour instead of telling her its unacceptable to treat others and talk to them this way. She has not taken responsibility for her behaviour because everyone gave her a free pass because mummy left her

i grew up with a narcissistic mum, did and said horrible things to me, she died when i was 30, she pas’d my dad out from our lives (i am very close with my dad now), all the hardships i had growing up and having to care for a severely ill mum since my early 20s wasn’t easy but it doesn’t give me a free pass to treat others like shit...

you just have to find peace with everything, they are the way they are and she is the reason why she chooses to behave that way...thats not on you. Know that!! Own that!! Accept that!! Move on... it takes a long time of reflection and heartache to ge there 

Seashells's picture

Thank you all so much for taking time to reply to me. I’ve spent so much time thinking I’m alone in all of this and now know I’m not! I will take on board all of your thoughts, advice and kind words. I just thought she would outgrow it - she just got worse.... your right - she’s not mine, never was, never will be - I just have to deal with my own feelings when anyone talks about her. I will try xx

CLove's picture

Finding this board, posting and reading about others step experiences, really saved me. I too allow skids and toxic bm too much real estate in my head. Way too much. It becomes an acid that eats away at you, eroding everything positive.

Ive got an adult SD, Toxic Feral (read my blogs! Too similar!) and she has yelled at me previously, called me names. She has accused family membrs of things, accused DH of abuse. Shes mentally just like her mother, who unleashes her temper in much the same way.

You seem like a lovely loving person with a lot of positives going on. Take back that real estate - its too valuable!