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ME. I am the problem.

Newimprvmodel's picture

Truly. I volunteer to do things regarding the steps and then get angry at MYSELF because I think I am trying to buy their friendship approval but it is likely not going to happen. 
case in point. As this list knows SD is getting married and it is going to just be she and her fiancé. 
They then decide to use my husband's house that nobody uses anymore to spend a few days on the two ends of their trip. The house is only a few hours from the house I live in with me and their father.  fine.  However I embarrassed to say I volunteered to my husband only how it would be if we went there and got decorations, champagne, chocolate covered strawberries etc and I would make a wedding cake. I would be doing this totally for my husband who recently went thru hell with my own now estranged family. 
However I am dialing it back to just ! Making the wedding cake which honestly I am doing because I enjoy the challenge of it. 
And yes I am setting myself up to be the victim. Likely they won't change how they view me and then I will disengage again. 


CajunMom's picture

We live and learn. It's just so hard when you are a good person. You want to do good for your DH's kids in spite of the hurt they throw at us.

I did not attend DH's oldest son's wedding but I did help DH order gifts from their Amazon registry. My goof up was doing it through my account, not thinking. Packages arrived with MY name on them. THAT opened the door for oldest son to think I was "past" what he did and he tried to communicate with me, which I quickly shut down. DH cleared up what happened - that I was simply helping HIM - and nothing had changed. The next time DH asked for my help, I made him get his laptop and we worked from HIS account.

I hope things work out for you.Your offer is so gracious and sweet. Not something a man would think of. DH has his youngest son planning to propose. He's local so that may open me up to some "requests."  Please let us know how things go.

JRI's picture

Most of us are nice people who are used to interacting with others like us.  We, in the beginning, vow to treat our DH's family well.  So, it's a jolt when our kind actions are disregarded or rejected.  Eventually, many of us disengage to protect ourselves.

You don't mention any upsets with your SD so maybe she will appreciate your efforts.  But, just keep reminding yourself you're making the cake because you enjoy doing it and don't expect a response.

It's nice of you.



Exjuliemccoy's picture

I think the better we know ourselves (which can take many years to figure out, especially if we experienced childhood trauma or neglect as you did from your mother, OP) the better equipped we are to handle the slings and arrows of step life.

It seems from your post you've had a breakthrough. You recognize you keep chasing after skid approval despite knowing you're never going to get it. The next step is understanding why. Figuring out why we do things that run counter to our own best interests is so important. Do that, and you'll be on the path to freedom.

Newimprvmodel's picture

I have started on an antidepressant which has helped so much. I think the hell of the past year with both my parents and brother were years in the making. It didn't just start when I confronted them that my brother was essentially bankrupting my parents with my mothers blessing. 
I still think about all this when I am alone sometimes. Driving. But it's getting less. 
I do hope to have days in between of thinking of this. I  am hoping to finally have freedom other than the deep sadness I feel finally seeing that I was abused by my mother and my father essentially spent my childhood hiding out in thr basement. 


BobbyDazzler's picture

then realized it was expected of me to do so and there was very little gratitude.  I came to see, more and more, that I was never going to be anyone of any real importance in their lives so I stopped wasting my energy/emotion.  They treated me as a guest in their lives and that's now how I act.  It's very freeing.  IF your SD comes to you and shows gratitude; wonderful.  If not, step out of their lives and become an innocuous person in the mix.  If she notices and asks 'why', be honest with her.  Don't undervalue YOURSELF because of people who undervalue YOU.

Newimprvmodel's picture

Yes I am treated as a guest in their lives.  This SD avoids coming to our home and in past year has only stayed a few times for no more than two nights. 
The other daughter I sent so many gifts to their home across country. Yes there were thanks af first but when I saw that my husband was still the outcast in her life I stopped all contact on my end and no gift giving. 
I think this SD will be appreciative but it's not going to get me in the door so to speak. 
So I should graciously go back to being the guest after my cake tomorrow is baked. 
a long time ago someone told me not to stop giving but stop giving to the wrong people. The ones that never reciprocate. You would think I would have learned. Lol. 

CLove's picture

SD16 SMPS seems like the permanent guest in our house much in the same way. No real attachments, no investments.

So Ive stopped investing anything too.

bertieb's picture

what gesture might be a breakthrough right? Like you, I would enjoy making the cake, so do it and add it to the list of ways you tried on your end.

2Tired4Drama's picture

And I gave myself a verbal a$$-kicking.  I spent many years doing too much or stepping too far back into the shadows (all with the best of intentions) trying to develop some sort of relationship with her.  It never worked.  And it never will.

Sure, there was an occasion here or there where I thought she might be turning the corner but nothing ever changed. That included supporting her graduations, her first house, her fiance/engagement, her wedding, her first child, her second child and now her third child. 

Now you are also at a phase where you are probably hoping that your SD is reaching a point of maturity where she will finally open up her eyes and realize you are a person to be valued in her life.  It probably won't happen.  You can bake all the cakes, buy all the perfect gifts and do the step up/step back dance and none of it will matter.  

She is who she is.  It is doubtful she will change. 

FWIW, I made a lot of the  "right thing to do" efforts for my SD's big life events too, as I always felt no one could fault me for trying.  Well, there comes a time when enough is enough of that - especially when it isn't even recognized (let alone reciprocated) by SD.  Any small effort she does make is entirely superficial.

As just one example, we literally just went through a national disaster. My birthday was just days after the event.  And she sends me a text saying, "Happy Birthday! Hope you have a wonderful day!"  Not one word about our current situation. Who does that?  Only someone who is either completely oblivious or completely fake.  I don't have time for either.  


Newimprvmodel's picture

Only one birthday did I get a text wishing me a happy birthday and that was two years ago. No happy thanksgiving or merry Christmas EVER. 
So yes I spent all day baking on my feet and I will likely get a gushy thank you text. It won't even make her face book feed that mama bear looks at. Oh yeah I've been blocked for years. 
I told DH that I am not spending days cooking or baking for anyone other than him or my kids. That's it.  

2Tired4Drama's picture

... she will probably give you a superficial thank you and then turn around and ridicule your baking talents to her mother.  My SD is completely enmeshed with BM and there is NO ONE who will ever get between them. Fine by me - they are both deceptive and self-absorbed and fully deserve each other!

reedle2021's picture

I made the same mistake when I was married.  I opened myself up to be financially exploited all because I wanted SS and his dad to like me and include me in their lives.  I wanted to be important to them both.  But no matter how much I did or what I paid for, there was never a thank you or any hint of appreciation except on the rare occasion from BM if you can believe that. In fact, the more I did financially, the more they expected and the more they took.  Ex SS and his daddy are opportunistic a&&holes.  I feel sorry for the next woman who crosses their path. 

Anyway,  I came to that realization during a counseling session.  I have to realize the only person whose approval I need is my own.  If I have to pour money into someone to get their approval and love, then that is the wrong "someone." It's a mistake I won't make again.

You sound like a very kind person.  Guard your heart and don't let anyone take advantage of you.  I think making a cake is a wonderful gesture but I wouldn't have any kind of expectation from SD and it doesn't sound like you do.  Making the cake is kind and called being the bigger person. 

Take care of yourself.....  Smile

Flustered's picture

My SD. Never wanted her father to remarry anyone. She wanted him 100% ( her mother had died 5 years before we got together). I tried being nice for almost 24 years. Now my DH has died and my home is getting raided.... or was- until Sat. Now, seeing what occurred? My BIL said he'll come here anytime she pulls that! Amen!

if SS/SD didnt warm to you before you married their father? Don't expect it now. ( my own BD and my grandkids adored my DH/ big difference). In the past few days, With support here from Forum & DH  family/ seeing how she's treating me? I feel different... My BIL will tell her off if I cant, no question there.

Rags's picture

My DW and my SS are two of my parent's favorite people.  SS is their eldest grand child though not their first.  We married the week before SS turned 2yo. My niece was 5mos old when my DW and I married.

My DW and my SS adore my parents.  SS is just as much a part of the extended family as everyone else is.

Of course SpermGrandHag had other ideas. Her haggy banshee shit is much of why my son has little to do witih her or anyone else in the SpermClan and why his asked to be adopted.  He asked me to adopt him when he was 22yo. We made that happen.

People like your SD, are shit so scrape her off of your shoe and give her no furthther thought.  If she had not perpetrated countless years of this shit behavior prior to the death of her father, I might give her a brief reprieve for her behavioral crap assuming it is grief related. As past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, she is shit.  Not much question about that IMHO.

Take care of you.

My condonlences on the loss of your DH.

skidpeace's picture

It is so lovely that you want to do that. It shows who you are. I spent the past 12 years trying to be good to SD's. I wanted a harmonious family. I wanted my husband happy. I am learning that is not good for me. I will pride myself on being a good person. I was not foolish. Those who did not appreciate me are. Now it is self care all the way. Good on you girl for seeing your worth.