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Realization: anger, pain, self-fulfilling prophecies, punishment & winners/losers

MorningMia's picture

I know my skids’ bad behavior, resentment, and hatred was instilled in them by their mother and nurtured through the years. I worked to shut it down in my life over a decade ago, but late last year it resurfaced because of an emergency situation. I have grappled with this ever since, and I HAVE to let it go.

We had hoped that once the kids were adults, they would be able to come to their own conclusions and live their own lives. SS wavered for a year or two but ultimately both skids have fully committed to a lifetime of full cult-like devotion to their controlling, fanatically religious and resentful mother. It’s to the extreme: the words they use, details in their appearance, the trends they follow, etc. They move in lockstep. I’ve honestly never seen anything like this. It’s like there are three identities (or lack thereof) wrapped into one. And the one is very destructive and always has been.  

This may seem simple and obvious, but I finally recognized that the skids’ behavior, which I’ve always viewed as nasty (if not evil) and coming from a place of anger, is really rooted in pain—and it’s a pain I have nothing to do with, but which I have blamed for (DH gets just a portion of that blame). My “sin,” aside from the big one of dating and marrying their father/ex-husband, was putting up barriers to ward off the daily dysfunction and constant nasty drama. These kinds of people despise boundaries.

Through the step-saga, my focus was always my own (and DH’s) pain. While I am not concentrating on the skids', I am (silently) acknowledging their pain and where it came from. It’s not an excuse for their behavior at all. Still, I realize their pain has been much deeper than mine could have ever been. And because they didn’t process it, because it was constantly fed through the years, it lingered, grew, and morphed into nasty, disgusting behavior which, rather than producing a more desirable relationship with their father, caused more separation. They have wasted YEARS trying to hurt us (I don't want to detail how or when, etc). Their goal has been to punish. What a way to live! I think it has killed them that DH and I have for the most part enjoyed our lives together. There are trips we have taken that we could have taken them on, but we chose not to because of their crap behavior. There are wonderful members of my family--and some of our friends--who would have welcomed them/embraced them, but we never gave them the opportunity to meet them because of their crap behavior. 

I’ve always said that, especially in SD’s case, her view of me and our marriage (fed by crazy mommy when SD was around 12) was that her father would abandon her and forget about her (her exact words) because of me. . . and, while he did not do that (and I actually pushed for more involvement early on), it became a self-fulfilling prophecy in that her crappy behavior through the years (including not speaking to him for 2 years), and THEIR desire to force him to make a choice (them or me) led to him distancing himself from them. 

THEY made it into a win or lose situation. While sometimes as SMs we feel like we’re on the losing end, I think for many of us, we aren’t. . .especially when we keep our dignity intact and commit to living peaceful lives with healthy boundaries. It’s hard. It’s painful at times. That pain can linger, don't I know. But it is they who have "lost," and it’s by their own choosing. With lessening emotion, I hope to never see my skids again. Ever.

MorningMia's picture

I need to add: Some family and friends did reach out to the skids, even inviting them to stay in their homes and/or  vacation homes. All offers/gestures of kindness were rejected. I then made sure not to have the skids around my family members again.  

2Tired4Drama's picture

I am disengaged and will stay that way. After two decades, nothing will change. SD is an adult woman, married with a family of her own. I have zero interest in a relationship with any of them. 

BM has dangled a cash-filled purse, and thus the heartstrings, SD's entire life. Did the same for SD's parasitic husband who grovels at her feet and checkbook.  Now there are grandkids and BM is carrying the dysfunction to another generation. 

I am not unaware that there are episodes of SD's life which were painful. We all have pain in life. It's how you react to it which shows your character. When skids are younger and taught they must hate, it's hard to undo. But it's not impossible. When they reach adulthood they have the capacity to think and behave for themselves. If they choose not to fix that hate, then it's on them.

I have zero sympathy for any of SD's pain - mainlky because she's shown no sympathy to the pain she intentionally inflicts upon others. 

Kes's picture

Your story is very similar to mine - the toxic BM training her 2 daughters to hate me and their father, and to treat us with contempt.  Telling him it was "all about Kes's daughters, always" - whereas the truth was that my (adult) daughters live far away and I saw them about twice a year!  I was always disengaged, but I called time completely on the relationship with SD28, in 2022 when she sent me a string of insults, and I plan never to see her again.  Her sister is less offensive, but won't come to my house because SD28 is not allowed here. Fair enough, her choice! 

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

This was a lovely read @MorningMia as I sip my tea. I am still on the path to peace. My biggest problem is not letting them live rent free in my head- somehow I have had a lot of feelings emerge where I used to be so accepting of behavior and treatment - now that they are adults I don't need to take the abuse and passive agressive behavior...probably never should have. One SKID who I was very good to is a covert narcissist and once I stopped giving him what he wanted, he dropped me and DH. He speaks poorly of us and gives off this "vibe" that we ahve been abusive towards him (NEVER have we- in fact we have been probably a bit more indulgent and I have never once raised my voice at him or my hand.) I am trying to find ways to take the grief, anger and pain I have experienced from them and let it go. It's crazy but the truly innocent one in this whole matter was ME. I am the only one who came in with an open heart, open mind and put them all before myself. 

MorningMia's picture

They are cruel and it is especially hurtful, I think, when we enter these situations with open hearts and minds, like you say. I look back and sadly feel like I was such a fool in the earlier years. The relationships I envisioned and worked toward were the polar opposite of what reality was to be.
I would not say I am "there" yet with peace, but I am ready to be, and I am working on letting go. . .leaving the resentment behind and focusing on enjoying my life without the monsters in it. It does add some closure and peace when you decide that you will not allow people like this to ever have the opportunity to hurt you or mistreat you again. I am there. 

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Totally striking a chord with what you are writing @MorningMia - thanks for this. Sage, wise and willing to reflect back. You are on the path to healing, so am I. Grateful for this support group and for minds like yours - this was great to read today. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Because STalk is our safe place to vent, we don't often explore skids' emotions in much depth. But your post reminds me that everybody loses when an ex chooses to play games. 

Divorce is already hard enough on children. Yet too many parents seek to make their kids soldiers in their own personal war against their ex. My own parents did it, each selecting a child to be their emotional support animal and ally. It created a permanent schism between kids that continues to this day.

Thanks for a thoughtful provoking post, OP. 


MorningMia's picture

Soldiers in their war. That is EXACTLY how I described what was happening when the most aggressive part of the assaults were happening (my DH called it us "getting nuked"). I often referred to them as her little army. . . while they were constantly in combat, they especially liked nuking us just before (or on) our anniversary and the holidays. So disgusting, horrible, and LOW. 

Rags's picture

What shit spawn and shit Xs like these don't realize is that the choice they were trying to force daddy to make between them and you, was never about him choosing between them and you, it was about them trying to force him to choose between them and the two of you.  Daddy being an intelligent and confident man knew that while, sadly, his spawn and his idiot X have never understood that.

I applaud you, and I applaud DH.  I would advise that you not consider your years long focus being about "Through the step-saga, my focus was always my own (and DH’s) pain. " but about your own and DH's happiness together.  In spite of the Mommy cult.

Certainly the SKids choices are rooted in pain perpetrated on them by their BM.  Though as adults their choices are their own.  They are choosing their position in this.  It certainly may still be BM's choice as well, but... the kids own this.  We all inherrit baggage from our parents.  As some point those things become our own problems.  As adults, they become our problems to either perpetrate or solve.  

Sadly, your Skidults are choosing to embrace, perpetrate, and make their own.

Now that they are adults. IMHO they need zero consideration other than to force feed them reality and the facts about cult Mommy and their choices to remain active members.

Keep living our best lives together. Living well is what we owe ourselves.  It is also the best revenge. Enjoy both living well, living your revenge. Which is also the perfect example to the Skids of how quality viable adults live a life of quality together.

By living well and living your revenge, you are also doing what you can to show the Skidults how to do it right. Hopefully one or more of them will realize that lesson and your example.  BM... can F-off  If your happy marriage and her XH being happy is her torture.... BONUS!!!!

Take care of you, take care of each other.

PetSpoiler's picture

Skids like that never learn to think for themselves.  My adult SS went from thinking BM can do no wrong to pretty much cutting her out of his life.  He was somewhat influenced by us(dh, me, mil) so he at least is a productive member of society.  He did get an independent streak and wanted to be on his own as a young adult.  I'm proud of him for that, especially when I see so many posts on here about adult skids still living with Mommy or Daddy when they're thirty or forty years old.  

We never were able to get the manipulative liar out of him though.  We thought we had, but then he found a new leader, the reason he was able to dump BM.  His wife, the She-Devil.  She is a liar, worse than BM in a way.  Yes, BM caused problems in her day.  She lied, she manipulated.  Her problem though, was she didn't think things through.  I don't know that she intentionally caused problems.  I don't think she necessarily wanted to hurt people ALL the time.  Had she thought things through, she either wouldn't have done some things, or she would've been dangerous.  She-Devil is dangerous in a way.  She sees situations and exploits them.  She'll tell a lie that pits people against each other and causes big drama.  I'm convinced that SS can't think for himself. Or he can but would rather let someone else lead him and tell him how to think. It's rather sad.  

Rags's picture

He married a girl just like mommy.  When mommy is a quality person, no problem.  When mommy is a toxic manipulative POS harpy, not a good thing.

It is sad when a kid is that big of an idiot.

I know it breaks your heart, and his dad's.


PetSpoiler's picture

Very true.  I've referred to her as BM 2.0.  She's an updated version with two college degrees.  The old version refused to work, had a drug problem, and always had a man waiting in the wings to support her.  So he just married an improved version that doesn't come with the drug problems and is a productive member of society.  Everything else is the same.  She-Devil actually despised BM, who is now deceased.  She-Devil probably looked down on her and probably looks down on most of SS's family.  

  SS lies and manipulates to make him look good or make the situation look like things aren't as bad as they seem.  He actually tried to guilt me into playing Grandma to his child while at the same time doing nothing to foster a relationship between me and himself or me and the kid.  I guess he wanted me to chase him and I wouldn't.  

I went beyond disengagement and went no contact.  My husband did too.   If my husband ever decides to resume speaking to them he'll have to see them away from our home.  They will not be welcomed here.  I refuse to let them disturb my peace.  

MorningMia's picture

This is like my SD, who is a weak people pleaser (except for us--even though she does put on a show for her father) and, like her mother, has serious identity issues. She went from mommy enmeshment to mommy enmeshment with Husband Leader added on. As soon as she began dating this guy, she went from wearing an excessive amount of  makeup (encouraged by her mother by age 12) to zero makeup . . . then wacko mom followed suit. So, Mom and Husband share leadership roles, but it appears that Husband has influence over Mom as well. I don't know how this works out. It makes my brain hurt. Everything in BM and SD's lives is done to the extreme and, for SD, it's all about being a follower. Whenever she has been in our home, you can't count the number of times she refers to her mother, as if there is some rule that she must keep her mother "with" her at all times, especially in our home. It's like an illness. The nice thing is she has rarely been in our home and will never be here again, as long as I'm walking this earth.   

Harry's picture

If SK disrecept you, it's time to disengage.  If that cost them trips, vacations,  exciting people. They caused there own misery.  SI made it them or you, they lost.  The SK are not part of your life.  Just make sure that in death they don't get anything.  Make wills,  make sure in the will the wishes are made. 

MorningMia's picture

Great advice. DH made his will. He leaves everything to me and it's up to me if I want to give any of his possessions or money to any of his kids. Believe it or not, I am open to giving them both if there is enough for me first. With me, it's a different story. I have just worked on my will so that DH gets a certain amount (he will be comfortable without money from me if I go first)--not all--then a few other family members and a few charities get the rest. I worked it out this way not only because I want to leave funds for these people and charities, but because I really don't want DH left with an overabundance of (my) cash that he leaves to his kids when he goes. . . and I don't want to have to come back as a ghost to try to wrangle MY hard-earned money out of the grasp of the rotten spawn. 

Rags's picture

You could put it in trust for DH's support (as governed by an executor in compliance with your stipulations) and then to family and charities upon DH's demise if he survives you.  That locks it up so your assets will never go to his children.

Our joint Will names each other the heir and upon our joint demise, it goes to SS as our sole heir.  If... he either has completed a Bachelor's degree or turns 40, whichever is first.  Our way of parenting from beyond the grave.

I raised him as mine (since he was 2yo), he is a good man of character, honor, and standing in his life, profession, and community, he asked me to adopt him when he was 22. We made that happen.  So I have no regrets with him getting it all eventually.  That he has written off the SpermClan due to their toxicity, manipulation, and failure in life calms my anxiety about them benefiting in any way from what DW and I have built together.   The trust until degree or age 40 was designed to keep them from getting a Cent in the event DW and I passed before SS reached the age of majority.  

My dad and my brother (co-executors) would have ride them hard and put them up wet had they gotten custody of SS had DH and I left this mortal toil before he aged out from under the CO.  They also would have kept a collective foot up his backside to complete his college education.

Fortunately, he  (SS-31) has no need for our assets. He does pretty well on his own and has never asked us for a Cent.

His mom and I are proud of the man that we raised together.