About to make the leap and my anxiety is getting out of hand-Very Long need tender touch with advice.
This is going to be long, detailed and somewhat uninteresting but, I want to hear from anyone that understands this and wants to weigh in.
I have been dating my boyfriend for 2 1/2 years now. We do not cohabitate. I have 1 daughter. She just turned 18 and is graduating from high school in less than 1 month. He has 4 children. The oldest is 16 1/2 (boy) the other boy is 13 and the youngest 2 are girls and they are 10 and 7. Their bio Mom doesn't care for me purely based on appearance alone. We have said maybe 20 words to each other ever but she has determined if you are female and wear makeup, these items alone make you a "prostitute".
I am not actually a prostitute. I am a 42 year old woman that works hard to stay in shape and I wear make-up for me. She has even went as far as to tell the girls that makeup is made of dead baby skin. That's beside the point but just ridiculous.
Most of any issues these kids have ever had with me has been perpetuated by their Mother. It has been confusing for them all along as they are with their Dad weekly Thursday-Sunday afternoon. They are told by her terrible things about me but then they are with me and they see things for themselves and they see that I am not what they have been told so they are observant and standoffish-because their Mother is perfect and would never lie to them. But, I am not special by any means as their Mother also does this with their father. She has them scared of him, treating him as a liar and someone they cannot trust and they are not authentic with him. She left him 6 years ago. She has moved homes 4 times until he let her live in a home his family owned for free so that the kids would have a stable home. She has now moved them and herself into a home with her now boyfriend. She has not told him that she moved out of the free house he was providing and they have obviously been told not to tell their Dad as there is no water or electricity to the house and hasn't been since February yet she is still there at that house to get them on Sunday, she just is conveniently always outside on the porch because she likes fresh air when he brings them home. She doesn't know one of the kids slipped in front of him talking about moving so he went in the house and it was empty in February with windows all boarded up. So he has not asked the kids or her why or if they moved but they have. When he eludes to dropping something off to them during the week at their house, they no longer need said item that was important as boyfriends house and free house is 40 minutes apart so Mom does not want to drive 80 minutes to get a bag that he can take to school the next day.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Problems most recent stem from oldest son.
Mom uses taking phone as a form of punishment. When son acts out, she takes his phone. Asks his Dad to also carry out this punishment. i.e. Text Dad "Don't let child use your phone this weekend, I took his for bad grades."
In January, son spending time with Grandmother and Mother more. He out of no where confronts Dad asking him why he was always mean to Mom. He was accusing him of being a liar and mean yet cannot name anything his Dad has done to him personally. He then pulls out how his grandmother's dog hates his Dad and dogs see the true inner workings of a person. Dad explains that his mother's relationship is not his with him. Yes, they didn't work out but nobody was mean to anyone. Son states he only pays child support because his Mother makes him and she had to go to court for that. Dad explains how he works for the government and even if he wanted to not pay he couldn't and he offered her more money in the beginning but she wanted half of retirement and half of house so he pays exactly what is the decree that his mother was fine with even though he provides them a free home and pays for all school clothes and other items on top of child support. Son constantly taunts Dad trying to make him mad and accusing him of all kinds of things. Not helping grandmother, that his grandfather told son he hated Dad before he died 4 months earlier, how grandmother is leaving all her assets to son instead of Dad and how she hates him for being mean to him and his siblings. List goes on. Dad never raised his voice or got angry just let child vent and corrected what he said that was untrue.
All of this conversation the son recorded on his phone and he text to his own Mother, grandmother and Aunt. Aunt (Dad's sister) calls and tells Dad about it. Dad is furious as he feels son was malicious in his intent to record this and share with others in an effort to ruin relationships. Sister states Dad was not out of line and was upset with Son about his intent. She talks to son. Few hours later grandmother calls sister and tells her that she must apologize to the son for telling Dad about recording the call. States she broke trust!!!!!!!
Next week when son comes to Dad, Dad tells son he must put his phone in a locked box when he is there. He can use Dad's phone to communicate with Mom and he can take his own phone to school etc. but he wasn't going to let others have their privacy invaded and it was disrespectful for him to record any conversations secretly. Son refuses. Dad says that is his rule, Mom takes phone as punishment all the time no difference. Son storms out to go down the street to grandmother. Grandmother calls Dad and says he has no right to take phone, it's no biggie to record people,etc. Bio Mom calls and says if Dad didn't do things to warrant son feeling he needed to record him there would be no need to record and now Son doesn't feel comfortable coming there so until she can get him calmed down he won't be coming. This goes on for a month. Mom saying every week that Son is still too upset to come. 3 of those weeks she also keeps 13 year old son because "brothers need to be together and they need each other" Dad sees an attorney, she states he can get them with Sheriff and divorce papers. Dad doesn't want to upset the younger girls or force them to come and be miserable and make everyone else miserable. Finally after a month Son comes back keeps phone like nothing ever happened.
Dad requests counseling for all kids. Talks to therapist tells her he feels they are being alienated from him and tells her what all happened. Mom brings kids, they won't say what is wrong, why they hate their Dad even why they are there. Therapist tells Dad she doesn't know if she can even admit them as they won't say enough to give her anything to admit for.
Since Thanksgiving we have been telling them of our plans to get married and move to a new home. It is the same distance from their school just in opposite direction of grandmother. They have been excited and had no issues with it. Last week he shared photos of house with them and they chose furniture and paint colors. Oldest Son states he won't ever come there, he hates his Dad doesn't care either way about me but he will not live in another house. Dad states he will get him no matter as there is a court order in place and if he wants that changed he can have his mother file for that change. Son rages, leaves goes to grandmother. Next morning he comes back for breakfast, acts like nothing has happened and asks to pick paint color for his room. LIKE NOTHING EVER HAPPENED!
I am exhausted by all of this. It's just 3 days a week but damn they are killing me. The oldest sets the tone for all this with the other children. Not one has stated anything negative about me all this time. They just act weird about their Dad. Use words grown women say and you can tell they are not their own thoughts.
Dad states to me he doesn't care if son comes at all because he occupies his time with all of them in a negative way and it's unfair. I just don't want to be the reason any of them refuse to come to him and if we weren't getting married and sharing a new home they wouldn't be moving period so I feel in some way this is my fault.
To answer the questions- Yes, I love them all and I want this even though I may be crazy.
Yes, I know I am stepping in it all but eventually they will see the real me and they will easily dismiss what they have been told and feel whatever they feel toward me genuinely.
No, I am not currently posting this from a mental health facility. LOL
Any insight on how to work around kids being secretive and sneaky and reporting back please advise.