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Need advice on letting go of anger

trying to cope's picture

I do not know how to handle my feelings about my step daughter who turns 18 in 2 weeks. 

She irrationally and out of the blue decided she hated me and put me through HELL.  She since has moved out and said she will never ever talk to me again or set foot in my (our) house.  For almost a year she had zero contact with her dad despite his attempts to reach out to her.  Now they "talk", when she needs something from him.  I hate that she still manipualtes him and he is so desperate for a relationship with her he will do anything to think he has one, even if it is him "buying" one from her. 

I loved her so much and did everything for her for so long. I tried everything to save our relationship and I do understand now that it was not within my control to do so but I lost a daughter when she did what she did and that loss has never been acknowledged by anyone because I am "just a step mom". 

I harbor so much sadness and pain and anger and resentment for how she has treated me. For how my husband allowed her to treat me. That he still reaches out to her even though she bad mouths me and lies about me. Has so much of his family hating me for the things she said I did, but I didn't. I need to know how to move past this. I know she is his daughter but I find myself hating even hearing her name. I dont even want to hang up her pictures because they make me cry. It is not just anger but so much pain and sadness.  It consumed me before she left, I was very very depressed and now that he "talks" to her again I feel that way again and I need to know how to cope with her "existing". She continues to make it clear she hates me. I will be fine and then I think about her and just loose it. I cry and I want to scream.  What do I do when she graduates, or has kids? I hate the thought of her kids being in my husband's life.  When my husband wants to take my kids to see her? My oldest misses her, but said she was very rude last time he saw her, I know that hurt his little feelings so much and that makes me soooo angry. A whole other level of anger towards her.  My younger ones do not even remember her but my husband is determined that they will have a relationship with her and I do not want that.  Do I have a say in that? WHAT DO I DO????  How can I get rid of this ugliness in my heart. I hate her I really do.  I do not know how to not care. 

jenny1974's picture

Just pray....God will help you.  Ask him to help with the anger you carry...I swear it works!

trying to cope's picture

thank you.  i need to keep trying.  I am afraid I have so much darkness in my heart because of all of this it is not working.  I know I need to try harder. 

2Tired4Drama's picture

This can make a difference.  It sounds like they are your children, and not half-siblings, simply because your SD seems to have lumped them into the same sh!t-show she shoved you into.

Not sure what else transpired (and there is always more to the story) but in essense your SD is officially an "adult" and can choose who she wants a relationship with.  She has now chosen to cut you out.  I'm also not sure how long you've been in her life, either.  

What are the "things" she said you did and/or said?  Why would your DH's family immediately believe her and not try to get your side of the story?

Once a skid decides to deep-six you, you will be out.  It doesn't matter how much you may have cared for her, loved her, supported her, etc.  If she decides to shut you out, so be it.  And your DH is obviously in her corner as he does not want to lose his relationship with his daughter.  So she will manipulate and guilt him into seeing her on his own.  Where she can have free reign to bad-mouth you and try to poison your DH against you.

About all you can do right now is disengage (read up on it here and elsewhere).  Then let go of her, and go on with your life with your other children.  Start practicing mind control - when you start thinking of SD and what she's done, immediately change the channel on your internal voice to something more pleasant.  It takes practice but it will help you get over this and will be important in figuring out how to handle this long-term.

Your DH is going to also have to navigate this new terrain he's in, including avoiding landmines.  And SD will be sure to set plenty in his path.  Since SD is still a "young" adult, she may still have a chance of redemption in the future if she realizes she's acted badly or unreasonably towards you.  You never know, but you don't want to hold out too much hope either.

If you have more specifics on the situation, perhaps we can give you better insights.

sandye21's picture

2Tired gave you some good advice about disengaging.  Completely remove SD from your life.  Don't bring her up in conversation with your DH.  If he brings her up change the subject.  Also, do not allow your children to visit her until DH can get a better at handling SD's toxicity.  You have the right not to allow your children to be in her presence.

Then you need to create boundaries for DH.  He should be making your marriage his top priority and presenting it to SD as such.   He should never speak badly about you or allow anyone else to speak badly about you behind your back.  Possibly counseling would help.  Choose a counselor who has experience in blended families and that you are comfortable with.

Just in case your DH wants to continue to be a jerk, start saving for an exit plan..

trying to cope's picture

I think the only thing that saved our marriage before was counseling. It was nearly impossible to get him to go to counseling with me. I was so upset with my husband for allowing her to treat me so badly for so long, and then for him getting mad at me for her chosing to leave. It took so long for him to finally see her for what she was, admit it, apologize and work on our relationship. If not for the counseling we would have likely divorced. But now only a year later and here we go again. 

When you say I have the right to not allow my children to be in her presence I fully agree, obviously he does not.  Do you have any ideas for how I can explain this to him?  Exactly what you said is exactly how I feel about it.  It is going to be a fight for sure. 

trying to cope's picture

My 10 yr old is mine, but my husband adopted him, he has never known another father other than my husband.  My 2 yr old & baby are bio both of us.  I have been her "step mom" for 9 years, we lived together as a family for 6 years and married for 3.  

There are soooo many layers to what has transpired. 

I also posted in disengaging "i do not know how to handle this" i just have no one to talk to about this and feel insane.  In the beginning (After she turned 16) she told everyone that I refused to give her rides and always left her stranded. The truth is that I gave her rides to and from practice every singe time. For years I also gave her rides to and from school, towards the end, I would sit at the school calling and texting trying to find out where she was and she would ignore me. I would go home and relieve the babysitter and sometimes so much time owuld pass that I would even start to make dinner and finally she would call from a friend's house (several blocks away usually) demanding that I come get her and would throw a fit because I wouldn't.  Her dad always worked late and did not really care to hear anything about anything when he got home. She told everyone that I said Mexicans were stupid and demeaned her heritage constantly. Not true, at all. (Her mom is of Mexican descent, she is only half and not from Mexico as she claims to be). I only encouraged her to look up both sides of her family tree (I am very into geneology and offered to help her with hers - BOTH sides) She said I would not let her eat food or touch anything in fridge or cabinets. Also not true, I specifically bought most of what ever she asked for.  However my rule with all my kids is, in the hour before dinner no one eats snacks because then no one wants to eat dinner. In the very odd occasion she was around before dinner this applied to her too. She said I talked bad about her mom.  Not true, she complained about the horrible things her mom did constantly and I always told her I loved her and would be there for her and encouraged her to work on her relationship with her mom.  Once, YEARS ago I made a comment that it made me sad that kids went to visit people in prison (her mom had just taken her at 9 yo & her younger sister to visit her boyfriend in prison) and I said that in my bedroom to my husband and she heard.  I apologized about that, and never again did I ever say anything about her mom when she was in my house period. I never complained about her mom to my husband when she was not around because there was no point. I have always kept it in. 

Finally my husband told her she was not allowed to disrespect me any further and her response was to "run away" to her moms house. We had talked many times about when she turned 18 and moved out to college that my oldest son would move into that room. She told her dad that she was never ever coming back to our house. She and her dad had been discussing her moving to her grandmas anyway because she kept threatening to do anything she could to get kicked out. After 2 weeks she said again that she would live with her mom or grandma and never ever come back. She was already 17 and my husband confirmed with her mom and grandma that she absolutely refused to set foot in our house again so I cleaned the room, it was beyond disgusting, everything from used tampons to moldy dishes (all my missing dishes) I nicely packed up all her belongings that she left behind and put her clothes in clean trash bags. Apparently she planned on using the room as storage because she stopped by the grab some shoes while we were gone one day and got pissed off and told everyone that I threw all her things carelessly away in trash bags. Not true. I even used paper to wrap her breakables when I packed them in boxes.  90% of her clothes were dirty anyway, and I put them in brand new clean trash bags. She told everyone that I was cruel and disrepectful to her, I kicked her out, and I threw away all her belongings. 

My husband has a HUGE family.  Many of which have remained good friends with my SD's mom. That in and of itself has been very difficult for me.  His parents, and a handful of his aunts love and respect me and have seen first hand what has gone on and know the truth.  They are also the ones who have seen what SD's mom is really about since she portrays herself as such an angel.  The others have always been friendly to me, but now they do not talk to me and when i walk in the room they all fall silent, that kind of thing.  I am making an assumption that they believe her, but I think it is correct based on the very palpable change in their demeanor towards me. 

sandye21's picture

Your DH acknowledged SD's bad behavior before, remind him of it.  Put your foot down and let your DH know you will not allow anyone around you and your children who lies about you and tries to cause problems.  SD is dangerous to your marriage and to you personally.  You simply can not trust a lair - period.  They can wreak havoc in your life.  Do not allow her in your home OR around your children.  If DH objects let him know you will get a restraining order to ensure SD stays away from your home and children if you have to.  If you can prove she is lying about you it should be justification enough.  If DH doesn't come to his senses, go back to counseling and let him have a 'refresher course'.  If he refuses to go to counseling go yourself. Your rigths are being infringed upon.  I know it is very hard for you right now but you need to stand firm. 

CLove's picture

She sounds very disordered and bitter. And like a typical narcissist. She didnt suddenly and out of the blue "decide to hate you" - the incremental "steps" were there, Im afraid, after reading your comments and with some reflection you will see that. She took advantage and used you, and then when things werent going her way, or she made things impossible, she did the typical narcissistic thing and turned it around to make it all YOUR fault. The easy one to blame, and then hate. She has been using gaslighting techniques and trying to turn everyone on you, in order to isolate you.

I had the same thing happen with SDnow20. When she was 15.5 I came into her life, and it was a slow but steady decline. She is also a narcissist disordered person, exactly like her High conflict Bm, who I call Toxic Troll. So, SD20, back THEN even, she would treat me badly, then lie about it. She would tell her mother I called her aweful names when in fact it was HER calling ME names. Luckily then SO always had my back. In fact I was careful to not say anything to her without someone else being there, for example, during one of her nasty tirades.

I disengaged. I said hello, goodbye and that was it. SO insisted I stick around for when she turned 18, and would perhaps get her head out of her a$$, but instead, she got a job and started living with her manager/friend. There was no "kicking out", she was never directly asked to leave or move, she just stayed away. I had THOUGHT we were all on friendly terms. SO even texted her on bdays, fathers day, etc, nothing. He tried to initiate lunches, dinners, nothing. I supported him having a relationship outside the home.

She basically ghosted us for about 8 months, and in January after she graduated and left all her crap in her room, I decided enough was enough, my home wasnt her storage facility. Myself and SD then 11.5, went to work. SO dragged her electric bed base to the dump, we sold the dressers, as they were somewhat nice still (she had an unfortunate habit of spilling nail polish and makeup over everything) and put some small things on the street for "free pickup".
I turned that room into a light-filled, plant-filled little sanctuary. I took the door off, and installed a fish tank.
To get there we had to filter through used pads, and dirty laundry, old used makup, papers, platic water bottles, an empty whiskey bottle and a girly toy, and bags and bags of clothes, purses and shoes.

To this day, she wants her room back here, and is mad at me for "going through her stuff". Its been 2 years last August, that she has been gone. Shes now living at her mothers and causing havoc. Stealing checks, living in a filthy room, with WWW3 caused by requests to clean. Lots of other stuff if you read my blogs.

I disengaged, and now DH also had to disengage. She continually accuses me and my husband of abusing her (I yelled at her a few times through her bedroom door, excluded her from things...all true - repecussions! He yelled at her too - repercussion!)

I dont know what your personal belief system is - but I am in the process of cleansing myself because I too become obsessed with this toxicity. I told my SD13, that step parents basically want to be loved and WE ALL WANT a positive relationship. But we need to be treated respectully and cannot allow ourselves to be abused by Skids and BMs.

So - do some research on mind work, seek counseling and keep writing it out! I found writing it out to be theraputic in itself.

Movingonisbest's picture

Trying to cope. I wish I had some good advice to give you. I just recently ended a relationship with a man because of his selfish, manipulative, toxic adult daughter. My kids are adults my days of raising kids is over. Boy was I shocked when I found out my now ex has an adult daughter who refuses to do anything for herself. Very narcissistic young lady. I deal with my adult kids on my own and told him he needs to deal with his kids on his own. I  can be cordial but would never take on the responsibility of someone else's disrespectful adult kid ever.  He tried pushing the issue a few times but I told him I am not financially helping her. She disrespects him but I  already knew I would never allow  her to treat me like that. What I didn't know was she is verbally abusive towards him. Once she disrespected him and our relationship and he offered to take her on a vacation instead of setting boundaries I knew the relationship was over, so I  broke up with him. No respectable man is going to  tolerate that. I am glad that is his problem and not mine. Life is too short for that crap

Rags's picture

She is 18 now.   Any time she spouts her untruths about you... sue her for defamation of character, libel or slander.

Whichever is likely to deliver the most painful consequences.

Maintaining control through application of consequences does wonders for diffusing anger and turning frustration into a big grin.




Exjuliemccoy's picture

I can relate to much of your story (damaged SD who ran away and painted me the villian, conflict avoidant DH, unsupportive in-laws who blamed me, etc), and know what it's like to have a skid break your heart after you've done so much for them. But I'm over a decade on from the experience, and want you to know IT GET'S BETTER.

Like you, I was devastated when YSD ran off at 19. She was the only one of DH's three kids I'd grown to actually love, and I'd spent the previous five years being the parent (BM was MIA, and DH was a nonparent who worked swings). After she took off, I developed health problems from the stress, and sought counseling to deal with the sadness, worry, pain, and resentment. Having a professional on my side to listen, support, help sort through feelings and gain perspective was money well spent and I encourage you to seek help as well. I don't think I could have moved forward without it.

The most important truth you need to accept is, most of this mess has ZERO to do with you. You could be Jesus or Gandhi, and your H's daughter would still hate you. The SM is the perennial scapegoat of choice, a convenient target for all as she's not blood kin. Still, your SD was already screwed up when you came along. She comes from a failed family, seems to have a less than stellar BM, and would be a problem for the partner of EITHER parent. She's just a troubled young adult, the product of two people who aren't you, at an age where many problem kids become full blown a$$holes.

Another truth is, truth will out. Your H's daughter can talk all the crap she wants but time is a great equalizer, and the more strife and drama she causes, the less people will believe her. My YSD was much the same, but over the years has shown herself to be such a liar and of such poor character that the majority of my H's people have distanced themselves from her. She also pulled some of the same carp on them that she did on us, giving them a taste of what I'd had to deal with. Just remember that perception is reality OP,  so be careful to position yourself in a sympathetic light around the in-laws. Don't try to correct the lies or get sucked into convos about SD; just tell people it's a painful subject; that you're so worried about her and you pray for her, but you're too sad/hurt to discuss it. Conduct yourself with dignity, raise your bios well, and time will show who the problem really is.

If I had a nickel for every SM who got burned after becoming overly invested in someone else's kid, I'd be obscenely wealthy because it's a mistake lots of goodhearted people have made. Right now, you're stuck in a loop of negative emotions, but staying there is up to you. You're a good and loving person. You didn't make this skid, you didn't break her, and you're not the one to blame. This stepmess was created by her parents, and she's their problem. As someone else suggested, start working on self mastery and putting emotional distance between skid and yourself. Dont make any announcement, just choose to be happy rather than collateral damage in someone else's failed family. Focus on yourself, your children, and your marriage, and if your H notices you've stepped back, just explain that your heart can't take the pain SD dishes out any more. How can he argue with that?

I've gone from loving my YSD to being indifferent. We've spoken once in the past decade, and I felt nothing because she's just someone I used to know. She is her mother's daughter, not mine, which was the truth all along.



Disillusioned's picture

Your story is very similar to that of my OSD

She went from just adoring me to hate seemingly overnight

I truly liked her and felt we had a really good relationship and I like you was so shocked, confused, hurt, angry and eventually reached the stage you're at now, of being very sad

And almost in that order, were those greiving emotions

But you know what, after the sad stage comes something unexpected (at least for me) - acceptance

After going through the rollercoaster of emotions and really thinking about the situation I knew in my heart I had done nothing wrong, at least not intentionally and that the issue was SD. She had chosen to hate me force me out of her life (and to try to force me out of DH's life as well) but I finally accepted that this was the reality, and that she had chosen it, and that it was her loss and the loss of anyone else in DH's family who decided to side with her and kick me to the curb also

And you know what happens once you reach that acceptance stage? When you truly stop caring, when you've decided to focus on the people and things in your life that DO make you happy and no longer think or worry about the one who proved to be an enemy - well then you go back to being happy, relaxed and far less stressed! 

I say this from experience, give it all time, know that this is not permanent 


Rags's picture

Turn the anger into laughter at the bullshit.  Bring the consequences for her behaviors and enjoy the ridiculous crap that ensues when she starts whining and crying in denial of her crap.  

Learn to enjoy the ridiculous and anger fades as incredulous disbelief about her crap grows.

Enjoy it.

sammigirl's picture

The advice you have received here is spot on.   ALL the advice put together seems overwhelming I'm sure; but all applies. 

First, I took myself out of my SD and DH's relationship totally.   This was very difficult, after 30+ years of marriage and trying to keep a blended family happy.  I was keeping the peace for DH, thus over the years developed a good deal of hate.  I realized nothing was going to change the fact that a father loves his children unconditionally, as it should be.  

Long story, short, when I walked away and accepted what I could never change, the entire situation made an extreme change.  I had my life back, DH and SD had what they wanted.

Now I was left dealing with the hate and anger.  I very patiently worked on my anger and hate by doing exactly as these posts here have advised you.  I spent a great deal of time soul searching, controlling my thoughts, walking away from self destruction,  and giving my DH and his DD58 their share of owning the problem.  I ceased being too hard on myself.

Now, SD58  wants to be friends and all sweet, but there is one problem, it is not sincere.  You may ask how I know that?  DH betrayed me to SD six years ago.  Neither DH nor SD58  ever apologized or met me half way through it all.  They say they have nothing to apologize for.  

I have moved forward.  I have 99% good days now, with very little anger or hate.  I will never go back on my disengagement,  nor will I trust them again.  Call it self defense.  SD58, and DH's two grown sons, and their families are welcome to come into our home and be a part of DH's life, their game.  I am no part of it.  I am civil, do not leave my home, nor do I hostess any of them.  No meals, no staying over night, I do not offer.  DH has changed towards me, because he realizes I am finished with it all.  When I stopped caring, he began caring.  He no longer expects me to tolerate any of it.  We do not even discuss it.  I do not ever ask, I sincerely do not care.

It is possible to make yourself happy and rid yourself of the anger.   Stay here and read, vent, and pat yourself on the back.  I will always be here.  One long as we are married to our spouses, they have children, thus we have Skids.  I handle me. 


CANYOUHELP's picture

Hi lady,

You have to stop caring what others think of you and what they do behind your back.  I know it is easier said than done. And, we all go back and forth with it; but just consider the sources of the enmeshment. They are the ones with serious issues and they must be bored with their lives to make you a priority topic. When you stop caring, as stated above by Sammi, that is the greatest pay back of all.  The goal is to insult you, to get an emotional reaction. They seek attention-yours. 

While they will never stop trying to destroy your marriage, it is a lot less fun if you are not an active participant.

Go on wtih your life and ignore all foolish, childish behavior.


sammigirl's picture

CANYOUHELP mentioned this.  Yes, a major element of a narcissistic person.  They cannot stand peaceful lifestyle.

Seriously manipulative and controlling, describes my husband and SD.  They truly do not see the problem; it has always been a lifestyle for them.  Unrest is their way of living.  They actually know no other life.  I learned to detect the signs and am getting much better at avoiding the conflict and instead, amused at the game they play.

I was raised on a ranch in a rural area.  I led a very free, happy, and sheltered life growing up.  I did not know control of another person.  Live and let live is how I was taught.  I had never been fenced in, so to speak.  I learned to make decisions, live with consequences,  own my mistakes, love and respect a person for who they are, never judge, and most of all I have compassion. 

With this said, letting go of anger I can do, forgetting, I am unable to accomplish.  Therefore, I WILL NOT go back on my disengagement.

Again, the problem is still in my marriage, but I am slowly learning to deal with it and heal.  I credit my progress to my friends here.



still learning's picture

What you're feeling is normal and justified. You did the right thing and were there for this young lady when she needed a mother figure in her life.  I can guarantee the anger directed at you is not about you. She's the by product of divorce, drama, disney parenting, loyalty binds, and family who've taken sides and perpetuated more drama.  Her father is teaching her that emotional manipalation is the way to get your way in the world.  I feel sorry for kids that aren't properly parented because the world won't be so accomadating.  

Give the responsibility of the relationship back to her father. Disengage with her and reengage with yourself, your kids, and your marriage.  About the family, you were a wonderful person to SD and have nothing to hide or be ashamed of.  If they bring up old untrue stories you can politely let them know that there must be some misunderstanding and the truth is__________.  Your kids will develop their own relationship with her, with or without DH's help.  It may be a distant one, it may be close. Time will tell but it doesn't have to involve you.  My relationships with my half siblings dont involve my mother.  

My kids are COD's and they've have their issues. My adult daughter was a wreck as a teen and has went for spells without talking to me because of drama created by her father and his mother. Now she is not talking to him or her grandmother. I stay out of the swirling drama and just love and be supportive of her.  

Take yourself out of her line of fire and refuse to play.  She'll look pretty silly railing on against someone who gives her no reaction.  

sammigirl's picture

THIS is good advice.