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Keeping SD's dysfunctional infection from spreading to other family members

Healyourslf's picture

SD24 (who is the bone of contention) is "the" problematic skid who I have disengaged with. DH recently laid down the law about her behavior and accepts that she will silence him out. He is willing to disengage as her manipulative and disrespectful behavior has been the incessant cause of issues. DH and I know that BM is behind the wheel, but expect adult SD24 to make her own choices and follow through with respectful behavior towards us. We hold her accountable.

Here's the upcoming dilema. SD24 has texted my BD24 and wants to "get together for lunch" when she is visiting Colorado this weekend.  I am sure SD24 will attempt to pull BD24 into the situation. BD is very intuitve and has no problem speaking the truth, but SD is covertly manipulative and has no problem lying. SD has never wanted to spend time with BD - they are two very different people. I find it interesting that she has taken a sudden interest in BD. 

Also, DH and I will be with SS27 this weekend for a family wedding/reunion (SD has declined to come to the gathering to punish DH and avoid me).  BM and SD24 have attempted to "emotionally rope in" SS, but so far SS shows no "taking sides" behavior.  DH has never spoken to SS about the situation but I have a "feeling" that something will come up this weekend when DH's family begins asking, "where is SD?"  They are a tight-knit bunch who have welcomed me into the fold and many of them witnessed very questionable behavior from BM when DH was married to her (aka. getting drunk and hitting on DH's younger brother's friends after DH went to bed.)  Some family members are already aware of the situation with SD (they have refused to be sucked into SD's victim drama and stood up for DH). In fact, one of DH's sisters who knew BM the best warned me, "SD is just like her mom...watch out." 

Should I give BD a heads up?  Should DH and I discuss the issue with SS? There's that feeling of "discomfort" because the issue with SD has not been discussed with our other children. The feeling is like slowly taking the tape off Pandora's box. The other two have never created any problems with DH and I.  We have already felt the "what's up with SD quizzical tension" from family members and some know. 

How did you approach a situation like this?  I am a believer in that the "truth" always rises no matter what and would rather state the facts up front.  Thanks for suggestions that may help keep the infection from spreading.  

Goodluck's picture

What a mess.....so sorry.

My bios want nothing to do with skids. ..

Tell your daughter DO not answer calls or texts. JMO

Evil3's picture

My SD29 used to reign with terror even as a very young child. When my SS27 was a young teen, he coined the term "the wrath of SD." I used to just keep a guarded distance from my inlaws, because I knew that SD is their blood and I'm not and it won't be long before she turns them all against me. It turned out that one by one, family members were coming to me and making comments about SD and the "way she is." SS27 will be courteous and goof around with SD at family gatherings, but he is well aware of her past manipulations and SS is way too strong to fall for them again. He's even aware of his BM and how she trained SD. My DD18 is younger and idolizes SD, which I'm actually happy about since they are sisters. However, I have warned DD about SD and left it at that. I didn't want to ruin their relationship, but at the same time, DD is aware of just how far BM would go and how far SD used to go to be the lead female. I wouldn't worry about saying anything to your SS unless it comes from your DH. I also wouldn't worry about your DH's family as they probably already see through your SD's bullshit. I would maybe give your DD a call and leave it with her. She's a big girl at 24 and likely fully aware of her step-sister's antics.

Survivingstephell's picture

You said it yourself that SD24 is an adult and being treated like one.  Do not own her choices but shrug your shoulders and put it all on her choice to join in the family event or not to.  That's not your job to explain her choice.  What's a parent to do with an independent thinking child??  (yes I get that she was PAS but other people will understand that comment) 

I always give my Bios a heads up if SD22 is flaring up , in fact they let ME know if she is.  She did some really harmful, hurtful things to them growing up and they had to let her go.  Its a shame really but SD is turning out to be exactly like her egg donor.  My kids know that SD would only pump them for info to use against her father and me.  They are all in their 20's now.   Its pretty sad to have to warn your kids about a family member being shady but when you think about it, the people closest to you can cause the most heartache if you let them.  

I say give her the heads up and request that she not share any of your personal business with SD.  Also touch base after the meeting so you can see what SD is upto , cuz I guarentee she is up to something.  

As for SS, he knows what these women are like and I give him credit for staying out of it.  Follow his lead and I bet he down plays it and doesn't give it much energy.  Good way to think about it because I'm sure SD is expecting her absence to cause a scene.  Give the famiy credit for knowing more than you think they know.  Let any conversation attempts just die at your feet.  

sandye21's picture

Yes, but give information only - no feelings - as hard as seems right now.  Everyone has been in a situation where they know they are being bad-mouthed or lied about by an individual who wishes emotional harm.  You feel like you need to be stomping out 'fires' to avoid misunderstandings and people you value taking sides against you.  The worst weapon you can use is to demonstrate what a kind and genuine person you are - the same person they knew and loved.  If you already have allies in DH's family the odds are, you will not have to say much to anyone.  SD's personality 'traits' are probably known to others more than you think.  This will get better with time.

I found out SD was bad-mouthing me to others early in the marriage.  Sure, there were certain people who just liked SD more than me but I discovered that they weren't people I would want to be close to anyway so there was no loss.  I simply don't care anymore.

I wouldn't discuss SD with anyone.  If someone asks where SD is refer them to your DH, "You'll have to ask DH" or just smile and shrug your shoulders.

Healyourslf's picture

I will give BD a heads up on SD and keep the message short and sweet.  This will at least give her fair warning so she can filter the bs and not be taken off guard.  As for SS and family, I'll stick to my "disengagement" guns and allow DH to contend with anything that comes up.    

I am just weary AND wary of any iota of SD's malicious, gnat-like manipulations hovering. I really appreciate the suggestions and comments from this site. Thank you as you have helped me a great deal over these last months stay resolute with choices and the situation with SD is no longer holding me emotionally hostage.  

Merry's picture

That's what I would do. My DD and SD have a tense relationship. DD says that if SD isn't the center of attention (the "SD Show") she isn't happy when DD is around. My message to DD would be something like, "SD might call you, watch out for the SD Show and make your own decisions."

MissTexas's picture

You said it best.

Sounds like SD is planning to use BD as her "out" for not coming to the wedding. I wouldn't tell SS at this event/ wedding, as this is supposed to be a happy tiime, correct? Despite all the dysfunction. And he already knows. Just because people don't verbalize it, doesn't mean they don't see it, rather they choose not to give it take up space in their heads. Kick anyone out of your mind who is taking up space because they're certainly not paying you rent to occupy it. Your SS seems pretty "go with the flow" and not bothered by SD.

BD sounds very no-nonsense, and I'm wiling to bet she can handle the situation. I'm not sure she even needs forwarning, as you said she's pretty matter-of-fact when it comes to things like this.Everyone involved is an adult (even if only by age in the case of SD) and can communicate about SD if they feel the need to.

It also seems like everyone has seen SD for precisely who and what she is. There's an elephant in the room, and everyone knows it. I would advise (as difficult as I know it is when somethign or someone is plaguing you) not speaking about it, and certainly  not as you are heading to or at this gathering.

Healyourslf's picture

Had a short talk with BD yesterday about SD visiting.  BD comments, "yeah...she's been blowing up my phone asking for me to go to the concert with her while she's visiting."  (That was before receiving word from DH that 1. he's not putting up with her manipulative, passive-aggressive behavior 2. he expects her to apologize to both of us for her callous actions 3. ) she might want to consider getting a life for herself because he is her father, not her BFF or boyfriend.)

As I'm speaking to BD, she looks on social media for an update on SD as she has not heard from her and the date of the visit is this weekend. SD has now "blocked" BD from all social media...the taboo of netiquette.  BD commented..."That's so weird. Why would she do that?"  I responded, "she's having some issues and it's better for you that she stays away."  Seems that SD has decided to extend the "silence punishment" to BD.