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I’m set free. Finally.

Newimprvmodel's picture

So I got my answer. SD went to the house. Saw the decorations. Wedding cake. Charcuterie board. All done by ME. So who does she call?  Not me, her father. He was outside and the cell phone was in house with me. Then she texted both of us together basically thanking both of us so much. 
If that doesn't smack sense in my head nothing else will.   I am only a person she will superficially text if I do something really really nice for her. 
My daughter said it best. My husband has accepted this behavior toward me.  He will never say anything to the them. I am sure tomorrow when he talks to her he will tell me that blank is so happy and said to thank me. 
No more lifting a finger. I will let him handle everything now. 

Rags's picture

Remember, insanity is doing the same things over and over again while expecting a different result.

If there is anything in life that proves that addage, it is repeated engagement with a mate's failed family progeny.

I hope that you commit to your freedom far more than you have commited to chasing the failed family progeny.

reedle2021's picture

I'm so sorry.  I was hoping maybe SD would soften up toward you.  In any case, now you know.  I would disengage to the fullest and be okay with that.  You tried.  You really really tried.  You don't deserve this.  You can walk away the bigger person.  To hell with her.


justmakingthebest's picture

You were so kind to do that. It really is a slap in the face. But, now that she sealed the deal and is a grown ass married woman, you can separate yourself in good conscious. 

Newimprvmodel's picture

So SD texts her father to call her this morning. He calls. I hear her gushing about everything and thanking him profusely. No mention of me. She says the cake is fabulous and finally husband says I did the cake. Dead silence. Then husband rushes to get me on the phone which I hate because it takes away their responsibility to thank me right?  
To husbands credit he did tell her to call me which was met with silence. Husband now is angry with me because he says I have an agenda and I read too much into things. 
But the hurt is there. I told him that after 15plus years she knows who did everything and she could not call me to thank me. It's like someone at work getting all the credit for work you do. At some point you are going to stop doing the work. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Do you think part of her silence toward you and gushing at her dad is because she's hurt that HE didn't put the effort in toward her and was hoping that, just this once, it was him? And if she poured out enough gushing that he MIGHT take the hint and do it for her in the future?

Not excusing the hurt she caused you here. Perhaps, though, your DH is a big part of the problem here. He has let you do things he could do (or could organize - I'm sure he knows how to call a bakery and deliver a cake) and SD may be upset that he didn't put forth the effort for her. She "takes it out" on you because it's easier to hate you than it is to hate him. And you get more mad at her than you do your DH for not stepping up because of the same.

I think maybe you should tell your DH that this is a big part his fault for not stepping up and doing this nice thing for his daughter himself. Him forcing SD to thank you doesn't take away that she probably wishes he'd put 1/10th the effort in that you did.

Newimprvmodel's picture

I think she has never liked me from the beginning. She never attended our wedding years ago. She gushed over the decorations while the biggest thing was the two tiered wedding cake. She didn't mention it really at all as well as the other food. Why?  Because she knew that it was all me. In fact she asked him where it came from when he mentioned it. 
I do have to wonder about me. In some ways what wrong here? You could say I predicted this but why did I do it?  I really went way out of my way. At face level I tell myself it was done for my husband but really what does it say about me? Was I looking to be kicked in the face?  Maybe. 

Birchclimber's picture

I think we do things like this because we feel like we have to continuously prove our worth.  It gives us ammunition so that when our husbands try to blame us for the failed relationship that we have with our step kids, we can say with complete confidence that we did try. Clearly they were the ones who are not putting forth the effort.


ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Yes. We want to weave a fabric of love and to be accepted- it rarely works in most cases. This is the one situation where "love does NOT conquer all." It might be that the cake situation allowed you a creative outlet and initially I think you had said that you were doing it for you but like all human beings with feelings we want to be acknowledged. My hope is that this was a final straw for you. I had done endless work for my SKIDs truly good intentioned initaitives and it was met with behavioral problems and lack of gratitude. I had a final straw with what I called the "final supper" where I allowed myself to be set up, blamed and held 100% responsible for all that has gone on- their hurt feelings, their failures, family dynamic- I allowed ALL of it to come crashing on my head. For a dinner I sat there unable to eat as I was persecuted and told "You are horrible for the following reasons." When I asked if I had any redeeming qualities- it was met with a NO. I paid for dinner, cut the dinner off after what seemed like an eternity, entered my car and I knew that was IT for me. After that I planned nothing, did nothing and did not see that particular SKID and DIL and still haven't seen them for a year and it's been very peaceful and HAPPY. The 365 days of FREEDOM allowed me to reflect on how little I am actually responsible for - I stripped away teh guilt, anger, despair, depression. I started to recognize that NONE of the other people in this blended family had a look at themselves and were holding themselves accountable, I realized they all believed it was 100% on my shoulders and it is likely they will never believe otherwise. So once you take the time to heal from your hurt, take more time to reflect on all this and whether its worth ever putting another foot forward. For me, I know the answer is to keep the door firmly closed. I already see signs of that SKID trying to crack it back open and I am sure I'll make PLENTY of mistakes and have to retreat but this new healthy boundary that keeps the toxicity out of my life had been truly a gift. Go to freedom, happiness and the warm sunshine on your face - allow that SD & others to retreat back into the shadows. 

Missingme's picture

You are understandably hurt, as so many of us have been and still are where you are. You made the cake because you wanted to be a part of "the team", hoping to make your husband happy and in some part to make them feel good about you. But they likely never will feel good about you and you're breaking your butt in goodhearted vain. Never go out of your way again. I used to go out of my way to make a very nice dinner for when the skids came over and the ingrates never got off their *sses to help clean up or thank me.

Now when they come, it's an easy meal that takes very little on my part and I assertively ask them to help clean up, which sometimes they will. I don't suggest to do nice things for them because I've realized that they don't really care anyway and because I'll be slapped in the face with nasty, passive aggressive behavior. Sometimes I feel guilty about partial disengaging, but then read up here and my confidence comes barreling back. I've read where only 20% of SDs accept their SMs, so, again, don't feel badly that they don't like you, the odds were stacked against you.

Hopefully some day your husband will see the light. And while the blinders have been removed from my husband's eyes, post obvious ugly behavior of his kids towards me (ganged up), I realize that it's going to be an emotional roller coaster for the rest of my life.

reedle2021's picture

I don't believe for a second that she thought your DH had baked that cake, etc.  She knew what she was doing.  She was using what you did to slap you in the face so to speak.  She sounds manipulative and cruel.  Disengage.  However, the flip side of this is that your DH should demand absolute respect from her to you.  He should be stomping out this behavior and addressing it vehemently.  Instead, he gets mad at you.  My ex husband was the same way.  Exact same way.  It's heartbreaking to try and try and then be made to feel like sh&t.

Please put yourself first, you deserve so much more than you are getting... Smile

CajunMom's picture

It takes us a while sometimes, doesn't it? Speaking from my own experience. I'm so sorry your DH is being a jerk; but that's typical of men trying to defend rude, crap behaving kids. There is no defense so they resort to be assholes to us. Been there.

DH has a grandkid that has a birthday this past week. Did I remind him? Nope. Did he remember to send a gift? Nope. Do I care. Again, nope. Not my circus, not my monkeys.


Birchclimber's picture

You are an amazing person for having put in all that effort.  It's a trap that we all seem to have fallen into at one time or another.  In the back of your mind, you probably knew that there was a possibility that she was not going to acknowledge your efforts, but you rationally thought that there was no way that this could happen this time.  Your signature was all over everything you did.  It was so blatantly obvious that it was done by you, there was no way that she could ignore it.  And yet, she did!  You are a ghost.  DH gets all of the credit.  

Been there, done that!  It's happened to so many of us.  I wouldn't let DH off so easy on this.  I usually bring out the big guns when stuff like this goes down.  I cry!  He hates to see me cry and I don't do it often, but now, when I do, he knows that I must have a pretty big reason for it. 

Time to shed some tears so that he understands that this is actually painful.  It's not about your anger.  If we sound angry, then our husbands get defensive over their daughters behavior.  Make it about your PAIN.  So, cry a little, tell him this hurts you so badly, and let him have to deal with THAT!  Leave your mark on his psyche.

Then, never do anything for SD ever again.



Missingme's picture

Good advice! Sincerely show the pain (not justified anger) it causes you emotionally. If your husband has a heart, he will start to notice their hateful behavior. 

Merry's picture

The freedom is indeed very nice. That's where I am too. But I still struggle with the hurt -- partly from skids, partly from DH. My DH has had the good sense to be embarrassed about some of the slights in my direction, but sometimes I think he truly doesn't understand. We're the target, no matter the situation, and our DHs get the thank-yous when we've done the work.

DH doesn't remember the grandkid's birthday? Stepmom is blamed. Stepmom sends the kid a gift? DH gets the thanks. It's so tiresome.

Newimprvmodel's picture

The hurt is really from husband.  You are so right. I have totally removed myself from other SD. And you know what is getting sent there?  Nothing. Because husband doesn't do that stuff. He's not even traveling there because I am the travel agent as well. Lol. 

Survivingstephell's picture

Time to step back and let DH bare his dumba$$ to his daughter.  Give him lots of room to show off his thoughtfulness and ambition to make things happen.  As he spectacularly fails at this, who knows what SD will do.  If nothing else you will have peeled back the layers of illusion and put a light of the truth. 

Newimprvmodel's picture

I have been doing the work for him. While he gets all the credit. And he takes it!  He did NOT admit that it was ALL me.  Maybe he doesn't get angry with her because he feels guilty himself. Who knows. I need to keep my snout out of the s$&@.  I have plenty of my own. 
Honestly I do have to say it's a beautiful cake. I ordered a special cake topping that's unique for them.  She took pains to actually avoid talking about it. Lol. 
The lesson from this?  I can actually do a two tiered cake and that makes me happy. Now to bake for those who matter.  

Merry's picture

I totally feel this. I'm a home baker, too, and could see myself doing exactly what you did. Doing it in the spirit of learning a new technique or creating a work of art is important. So be proud of that.

Don't waste your talent (or money -- lordy the price of butter right now...) again where it isn't a[ppreciated.

I think we keep doing these things because we're doing what normal people do and then we get reactions that are NOT normal, creating some cognitive dissonance that's just darn hard to reconcile in stepworld.

Stepdrama2020's picture

Youve tried, lord knows you have.

Never expect kindness from ugly people.

Of course DH transfers all of this on you. You are the easiest to kick. SD knows that too. So she will keep on being ugly and loving it. DH rather kick his wife than defend her from the ugly. Keep reading that. Not cool.

Now you love your freedom. 

You deserve more 

CLove's picture

For things to set in our hearts, we need a hammer at times.

I recall reaching out many times and doing. Ive recognized I am good for doing, helping, paying and driving, but thats the extent of it.

Wow, sounds like you have SO much to give, they are not worthy of getting.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

"I do have to wonder about me. In some ways what wrong here? You could say I predicted this but why did I do it?  I really went way out of my way. At face level I tell myself it was done for my husband but really what does it say about me? Was I looking to be kicked in the face?"

You've been on this site for a long time. I used to get frustrated with your posts and wasn't always as kind to you as I should have been. It never made sense why such a highly intelligent, accomplished and educated woman had such low self esteem and kept offering herself up for abuse. You take crap from everyone - your H, his loony parents, his vicious HATEFUL daughters -  always chasing that elusive approval and acceptance. You'd gain a little clarity, but always got caught by the undertow and dragged back down into the dysfunction. 

However, recently you've shared your struggles with your family of origin - vicious, twisted mother, passive father, Golden Child brother - valuable information. THAT is the source of your problems, NIM. Those wounds inflicted by people who were supposed to love, accept and protect you are still there, and the core of why you do what you do. And when one of them dies (no matter how horrible they are), it can be destabilizing. You've been through a lot with your FOO this past year, so it's not surprising some of your old patterns resurfaced.

There are a lot of people on ST who had problematic childhoods, myself included. The number who had at least one narcissistic parent is probably significant as well. We grew up with damaged people, and are drawn to them. But if you heal those wounds, do the work to love and nurture your damaged inner child, your life will change. Therapy, or a return to therapy after a precipitating event, is needed self care for wounded adult children, like oil changes on cars. You are a sensitive, compassionate and worthy person, and I mean this kindly when I say physician, heal thyself.

Newimprvmodel's picture

This post spoke my truth.  I have been pretty depressed this whole year. Antidepressant has helped tremendously but I think I actually feel guilt about my mother. Oh yes. She always made me feel guilt. Even after her terrible cruelty this year I still guilty somehow. I mourn the loss of my nephew who I will never see again. My mother and brother both promised me that. 
I need to work on me. Thanks for the honestly. And I do need to stop trying to this cycle it seems. 
I did stop it with the older one. Time to disengage here as well. 

2Tired4Drama's picture

No matter what the origin, demons or angels, if you have a giving heart that is something to be proud of.  The problem is to learn not to waste the gift of giving on those who are not deserving of it.  Just stop.

Find a volunteer organization and spend at least an hour or so a week helping others who do appreciate it.  In no time at all, you will find your self-esteem restored and it will be much easier to completely disengage from those who only take and do not appreciate having you in their life.

Somewhere out there is a child, older person, animal, veteran, environment, etc. who NEEDS you.  Go find them. And leave your SDs in the rear-view mirror as a road you've already travelled and won't go in reverse for ever again. 

ndc's picture

 Husband now is angry with me because he says I have an agenda and I read too much into things. 

THIS is what would bother me.  The SD doesn't have to like you or accept you.  It would be nice if she was grateful and civil, but apparently she's shown you who she is for awhile.  She's not worth your time.  Disengage, stop trying, do nothing for her.  Your husband, on the other hand, owes you more.  It is unacceptable for him to be angry at YOU because his daughter is being an ungrateful ass.  The fact that he directs any negativity your way is telling.  His behavior is hurtful, and he's the one who is supposed to love you and support you.  He needs to do better. 

tfsimmons's picture

Shame on your husband to deny the truth about you and keep his blinders on like he can't see the kind actions YOU made and those of his twisted DAUGHTER!!  He knows... He's embarrassed about her and his own behavior - therefore you will suffer... Isn't that man's way?  Give yourself Grace - we on ST know this story all too well...