Dislike Step Daughter, want these feelings to go away
It's a little surreal to admit this but in a few weeks, I will be starting therapy mainly to talk about my step daughter. I have two biological children and four bonus kids (three teenagers and one 8 year old). It is the 8 year old I am having issues with. I've known her since she was 3 years old. I did not dislike her at first. All of his children are mostly well behaved, intelligent kids; there wasn't really anything to dislike but she was also just three years old. As time has gone on, I just can't stand the girl. I've tried journaling about it, I've tried connecting with her and forming a bond over things we have in common, I've tried positive thinking and imagining us getting along in the future. I've tried to make myself love her. I only love her in the sense that my husband would be crushed if anything ever happened to her and so I want her to be okay in every way.
I feel embarrassed to say this but everything about her, even the way she looks and her mannerisms, really bother me. She is a very awkward child and a few people have made the comment to me that she's not your "typical lovable, easy to like kid". Not that any of this is her fault.....I'm so embarrassed to say this but she's extremely unattractive, extremely obese, not cute in any way, with enormous horse teeth, and, well, I've made myself into a terrible person enough already. There are also other things about her not related to how she looks that are also not her fault but which bother me immensely. She's incredibly loud and her voice grates on my nerves. She is loud because she is the child of deaf parents. She has to speak loudly to communicate with them but they can also tune her out and not teach her to be quiet because they can't hear how loud she is being. Again this isn't her fault but I'm also not exaggerating. I often feel embarrassed to be in public with her because of how loud and obnoxious she is constantly.
I will admit that there are other things that have bothered me which were in our control and which my husband and I are working on. For example, she is his youngest child and he babies her BIG TIME. Until last year, he was still serving her dinner on a plastic baby plate, leaving all the lights on for her to sleep, washing her hair for her, etc. She's very immature in some ways but she's also highly intelligent so in other ways, she is mature.
Another thing that happened is that she seemed to go through a phase (I truly did not think it was a phase but it seems to have passed) where she knew she was smarter than anyone else and she said that, to me, and to my children, on several occasions. One time on a family hike, she said to my children, "I may be younger than you but I'm smarter than anyone else here." She truly is an intelligent child and has also had a great education but both her mother and my husband have, I think, taught her that she is somehow better for being smarter and it wasn't until that incident I just described that they thought there might be a problem with this. There's nothing wrong with being smart. There is something wrong with treating other people like crap because you think you're smarter than them.
Now that I have explained where some of my feelings come from, and I'm legitimately ashamed of feeling this way, I feel like I have to add how this affects us on a daily basis. I have to admit that at dinner last night, I had a hard time hiding my disgust. Dad gives her a plate bigger than his teenagers eat, then she wants more. I admit, I made a comment when she went to get her third plate of food. I said, "Wow, I think maybe just the green beans, you've had enough pasta. Aren't you full?" So my point is that no matter how hard I try, these feelings are going to slip through and it is going to hurt everyone.
I don't want to be the cause of any pain in our already blended family. I most certainly don't want to make her feel unloved, insecure, or any of the other issues that could come from having an unloving parent/step parent.
In my defense, I'm not a cold hearted or disgusting human being. The other day, I accidentally opened our backdoor too fast and it hit her in the face. Thankfully, it wasn't as bad as I thought it was. But at the time, I dropped an entire plate of steaks from the grill because I was more worried about her. I immediately hugged her and made sure she was okay. I legitimately felt scared and guilty that I had hurt her. (She was ok, not even a scratch) So it's not like I just hate this child and want bad things for her. She is the flesh and blood of the man I want to spend my life with and think the world of so I know there is a lot in her that I could love as well. Most of the time, I don't even understand my feelings towards her or why it's just her and not the other kids as well. Guess I just needed to get this out.