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A warning to all who think it will get better.

catswantsweets's picture

At what age should an adult stepchild leave home? 18? 21? 25? How about 63?  Yep, that's right. 63 years old and still at home. never left, never married, never given her parents a day off, alone.
And now, after 53 years of marriage, she has finally destroyed her mother and step fathers relationship.
My SF found himself on the night of his 80th birthday, sleeping on my settee. How did it come to this?  Read on and remember next time, it could be you.

A little over a year ago my sister told me that things were going missing from the house she lived in with her mother and her step father (my step father). Just small things like a pen, a safety pin, a butter knife, a remote control, some tablets etc.  "So what"? was my reply, we all lose things from time to time, I am sure they will turn up. They usually did.  My sister was convinced that SD was hiding these things from his wife.  To what end I asked?  It was obvious (to her), he was trying to drive his wife mad so he could put her in a nursing home!
This is what my sister believed.  I asked why on Earth would he want to do that, he quite clearly still loved his wife.
Once again according to my sister, it was "obvious".  He is having an affair., 
I urged my sister not to say a word to my mum until she had firm, solid evidence to support her allegations. The fact was, she had nothing. She had never seen him with another woman, she knew nobody who had. She didn't know who the woman was and didn't have a clue what she looked like.  She just "knew". And for her, that was enough.  It was enough to convince her mother that her husband of 53 years was cheating on her.  Of course it was all a load of rubbish. There never was and never has been any other woman.  She also convinced her mum that he was hiding things from her. She told her mum that he was planning on sending her to a nursing home.  My sister was convinced he was going to do this so he could move this "other woman" into the house.

If he looked out of the window, he was accused of waiting for her to walk past. He if went to the bedroom, he was accused of looking out of the bedroom window, waiting for this woman to walk past. If he went for a walk, he was meeting her. My sister decided that the woman MUST be the woman who walked her dog past the house every evening. (They live 5 min from the beach, lot's of people walk past with their dogs).
If he went to the shop he was meeting her. If he picked up his phone he was calling her. If he got up in the night to go to the loo, he was sneaking to the garage to make a call. If he went into town he was meeting her.  It got to the point where everything he did was being watched with suspicion and accusations. He doesn't drive, uses a bus pass and walks with a stick. He doesn't drink and NEVER goes out to the pub.  His biggest joy is walking round car boot sales with me on a Sunday morning.

By this time, my sister has so convinced my mum that "HE" was cheating she ended up hating her husband for what he was doing.  The arguments and rows grew in ferocity to the point where the police were called (by my sister) and my did was given the option, Come to my house or go to the police station. My dad (Step dad) arrive at mine in bits. He was a broken man.
Two days later, my sister sent me a message "Mum is missing him and wants him to come back home".
He went back with joy in his heart.  It lasted a day before the accusations started again.
He tried five times over a two month period, to return home, but it was no use.  My mum couldn't forgive him and couldn't stop the anger towards him for having an affair. He recorded in secret, the conversations and arguments that took place each time he went back.  I have heard them all and there is no doubt that it is nothing less than abuse from both my sister and my mum. He is called every vile thing you can imagine.  When he attempted to remove some of his personal possessions my sister gets on the phone and tells the police he has come back in the house and is attacking his wife. You can hear from the recordings that he isn't doing anything of the sort.  My mum says she will go out in the street and start screaming (that she is being attacked)
I went to see my mum to tell her that there has never been "another woman"  That he was not hiding things from her and he had no desire to see her in a nursing home.
My mum told me to get out and never step foot in the place again for taking his side.
I even showed her his mobile phone and explained that I get his P.A.Y.G credit and he has hardly ever used it.
It was no use, my sister had totally convinced her.  I asked my mum what evidence she had seen to support my sisters accusations.  She replied that at least my sister was telling her the truth!
A week or so later, I received a call from my dads doctor to ask if I could take him in for a "test".  A mental health test, requested by my sister!  He went and passed it with flying colours. The female doctor took hold of him, gave him a great big hug, looked into his eyes and said "I believe every word you have told me"  The problem is obvious.

I only learned this week that my sister tried this same thing 30 years ago. She accused him of having an affair when he was working away from home. I believe him %100 when he says there never was any other woman.  This guy took on a divorced woman with four children and looked after us all.  He told me last week that all the photographs of him in the albums have been removed last year. My sister denied all knowledge!

To cut what could be a very long story short. 
He now lives alone in a one bedroom flat.  ALL his personal effects were left in the house. So at 80 years old he has had to start again.
My sister continues to live in his house with her mother.  He has had no contact with either of them for almost a year.
he feels too old to start divorce Proceedings and too old to fight for his share of the house.
Just to empahsise one point.  My mum has never had to work. My sister works part time and until he left was paying £23.00 a week for her keep.
This is the reward he gets for looking after his step daughter for all of her life. THIS is the thanks she has shown him.

Sorry for the long rant. Any comments or questions I will try to answer.
Thank you for reading.


tog redux's picture

Wow. Your mom and sister are lovely people.

While I do feel bad for your stepfather, why in the world did he hang around in that mess for so long? From age 27 until now, he never saw this dysfunction?

notasm3's picture

It doesn't get better IF you have a spineless worthless spouse who insists on accepting the unacceptable.  That's where one has to step up and say NO!!!

I was single for decades (and very happy) before I met DH.  I did not NEED him.  I really like him, love him, and enjoy him but I was never willing to accept the unacceptable with SS34.  DH would have been tossed out on his rear in a nano second if he thought I was going to accept SS's abuse.

catswantsweets's picture

The dysfunction has been there for years. I don't think mum ever got over being left with 4 kids by her first husband. She's even told my step dad (the man who fed,clothed and put a roof over her kids head) that her first husband was a better man. My 63 year old sister now wants photos of her "real" dad.  She has been going around telling anybody who will listen that her SD hit her mum. My mum has said this too. I know what you're thinking.  The recordings he took clearly audible show my mum. Hitting. Kicking and spitting at him. She clearly says she will go out and tell people he'd hit her. When the police were called they had to stop her from hitting HIM. Because she believed hr was doing the same to her as her first husband did. That is cheat. By the way. . . she's 88 years old. All because my sister couldn't keep her mouth shut.  Just before this all started .I received a call one evening from my sister. They had BOTH agreed she had the go. She was in her car with nowhere to go. They offered to pay for bond and advanced rent on a flat. Eventually it was all forgotten. She went back home and a short time later my mum was kicking HIM out. He is much better off where he is now. 

marblefawn's picture

Do you think your sister has a mental health problem? This is so random and vicious. And the fact that she never launched makes me wonder what held her back.

What a sad story. I'm glad your stepfather has you. You are kind to remember what he did for you, even if the other crazies don't.

I'd get his stuff out of that house by hook or crook. My sense of justice wouldn't let me forsake him. Sad story.

Siemprematahari's picture

I feel for your step dad in all this and the awful treatment that he received from both his wife and SD is astounding. At that age I can't imagine going through all that drama. It makes me wonder about his health and how he is mentally trying to process all this. Your sister is as toxic as they come and she may have a mental disorder. I think the best thing he did was get his own place and remove himself from all that dysfunction. There is no telling what your sister is capable of the next time. My heart just breaks for him and hope that outside of you that he has other supportive, loving, family/friends at his side during this time.

tog redux's picture

OP, I thought about this overnight, and this may be an adult protective issue, that your sister and mother just put him out on his ear with no money and no place to go.  Elder abuse is real, and they will look into it.

catswantsweets's picture

First of all,thanks for your responses and ideas. I'll come back on a few points raised.   I contacted social services because I was concerned the way my sister has such an influence on her mum. I was worried about my mum. Did she have dementia? Was she frightened of her daughter? Was she being bullied? Why was she believing all the rubbish my sister was telling her. They interviewed her and my sister (separately). They said both had capacity. They didn't even bother talking to my dad. I heard a little of what my mum had said. That he was hiding her medication. HE was the one who went for it on the bus. (My sister has a car).  That he never gave her money. At any time I could go to their house and my mum would have at least £500 in her little box in the cupboard. So I know 100% that thses things she told them were lies. So why turn against her husband so much? The moment my sister entered the room my mum would change from a nice person into a sarcastic bitch. Calling him ugly. Useless. Impotent cheating lying thief. And lots more!!          It took me too long to realise that it wasn't my mum who was being abused but my SD. In fact they both were. But my mum sees my sister as her "child" and blood is thicker than water. No matter what evidence I could present to her to show my sisters lies. It wouldn't have mattered. My SD after all,is only a husband and kids come first. That's why I say "it could happen to you"  my mum has never allowed my sister to grow up. My SD went along with it because he wanted to please my mum. They created a toxic narcissistic isolated monster who I believe knew if mum died first,would be kicked out at long last. SD had to go before she did. So she relentlessly day after day pushed the right buttons. She even told her mum that she wanted photos of her "real" dad. The guy who walked out on her never to make any further contact when she was 4 years old.  The man who worked all his life to feed her now lives alone and his wife hates him because she chose her 63 year old Leach over him.

still learning's picture

This is a step and also a Failure To Launch, and perhaps a mental illness story.  DH's little sister is in her mid 40's, lives at home with elderly MIL in her 80's and controls the home with her mental illness.  It sounds like your sister has mental issues. So sad for your SF who has to deal with this at this time in his life, but nfortunately your mother and SF allowed and created this dynamic.  

catswantsweets's picture

Im unsure if my sister has mental issues or if she has been very cunning? Probably the former.  When she talked about this other woman she talked as though she really existed. She even said she would take a lie detector test. I have no doubt that she would pass one because she really believes in what she is saying and she constantly fed my mum with information about this other woman.  Her story would change though. Sometimes the woman was big with blonde hair. other times she was scrawny with dark hair. She knew exactly what time the woman would walk past the house, where she lived, what her husband looked like and where he worked.  She even said at one time that she had someone to follow her.  BUT, not once did she ever point her out, give a name or an address   or manage to take a photo of her was she walked past the house 4 times a day.  Not once in a whole year!

To be honest, my sister reminds me of the Russell Crow character in "A beautiful mind"  Only he could see the people he saw. He was convinced they were real but nobody else could see them because they were all in his mind.  Nobody has ever seen the woman my sister is convinced was/is having an affair with my SD.
I even pointed out to her how unlikely it would be for a woman who's husband is still working (which must mean he is below retirement age) to risk her marriage  to spend five minutes in the que at the post office with a man 20 years her senior.
When the police were in the house and SD called her out on her accusations, she changed her tune and said "I have never said he is having an affair"  "I simply said I think he fancies some other woman"  She couldn't explain why he would be getting up at 3 a.m to phone a woman he has never met but only fancied from affar.
The DAY after, she was telling my mum that "She has just walked past, that's why he has gone to the corner shop. "He's gone to meet her".
So is that a mental health problem or a deliberate act to destroy a relationship?
I wish I knew of some way to confront her but it is like talking to somebody who is never ever wrong, 
My brother died about 2 years ago. Just dropped dead on holiday. My sister was convinced that his partner had murdered him. She couldn't prove it but she KNEW. She pent months trying to find evidence.  Of course she never did find any but that made no difference.
I have listened again today to some of the recordings my SD made before he was ousted out of his own house.  Believe me, they would make you shiver. I am trying to explain the lack of logic in her behaviour.  Here is an example;

My SD returns to the house (to attempt to sort things out), when he arrives he finds my sister and my mum looking under my sisters car on the drive.  She has lost her keys and they are both searching around trying to find them.  My dad walks in the kitchen and sees them on the kitchen floor.  He walks outside and says "Your keys are here"
Logic dictates that they dropped them in the kitchen.  Not a bit of it. My sister takes the opportunity to convince my mum that he had hiden them from them. That he had them all along and this was one more attempt to disrupt their day but more importantly, to make my mum feel like she is the one losing their mind.
It doesn't matter that they had already been out in the car. parked it up the driveway and been in the house for most of the morning before SD even got there. How could he possibly have hiden the keys from them when he wasn't even there? They had been using them that morning. My sister convinced my mum that there was no way those keys were in the kitchen. He must have had them all morning.  Though how they managed to use the car when SD had the keys is anybodys guess?  You see, logic doesn't stand a chance.
That episode ended in my mum calling the police and telling my SD that she going to cut herself before they arrived and say it was him that attacked her.  She was going to do this because "somebody" had told her that he was trying to get her in a nursing home.  It is obvious who that somebody was.

So IS that a mental illness or just pure vindictive evil?

I know I am ranting on a bit here. Sorry for that, but how does one resolve all this?  Yes my SD is out of the house now and is away from all the crazyness but he is still joint owner of that house and one day both he and my mum will die.  If he dies first, my mum will inherit the whole property and will bequeth it to my sister when she dies.  If mum dies first, SD will inherit the whole property and will bequeth it to me. If they split the property, my sister will on my mums death become joint owner with my SD. SHE will own half his house!  It's a difficult one to resolve. 
In any case, step children do not automatically inherit from a step parent. He has to make a will but a will is invalid if he is still married and a divorce at their age is crazy. Isn't it?
When he was forced to leave his house, he left £4000 in the house and took £2000 which he proceded to put in the bank. Little realising it was a joint bank account.  He did't tell me until it was too late. My sister marched my mum to the bank and froze the account.  That was almost a year ago and unless my mum agrees to unfreeze the account, he cannot access his money.  Will will not agree unless she has his £2000 plus the other money in the account.  So when he left his house, he had no money to pay for a deposit on a flat and spend the next 6 months living with me. In the meantime, my sister lives with my mum in the house and they deny he left them any money when he went.  My sister has just bought a new car. Nor bad for someone who works 20 hrs a week! Sorry for the rant.