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stepmarch88's picture

Having so much anxiety about SDs time here this week. we usually have her every w/th and every other fri/sat/sun. Lately she has been taking it upon herself to not come here on the w/th until 'everyone learns to respect each other more'. I am fluctuating a lot between being okay and living my own life to coming back around to the realization that SD is going to be here soon tormenting everyone. My son wants to go on a ski trip with DH this weekend but he said he doesn't want to be bullied by SD. She plays mini wife and mini mom syndrome too much here and I just don't know what gives. it's driving me crazy not knowing how she's going to be and what kinds of hateful things she'll say this time. It's all piled up so much I feel like I can't breathe sometimes from anxiety. My doctor prescribed something so that helps but I know most of it is ruminating on the what ifs. SD has really taken on an impossible stance within the last few weeks. She comes to our house and neither of us speak to each other. She mocks me and makes rude comments under her breath. she is still being her same, obnoxious self so that hasn't changed. I'm trying to be myself and detach (with love, whatever that means). I have shown way more love than I thought was possible to show to SD and she proceeded to lie to me and steal from me repeatedly to the point where it sabotaged any trust and faith I can have in her. DH goes back and forth from trying to discipline SD and then telling me to back off. I am tired of SD instigating fights in our home. She is a high conflict person and always needs to keep some kind of fight going. she doesn't get along with anyone at school and her own BM has told DH many times that she can't deal with it anymore and she's done. then SD manipulates her BM into feeling sorry for her and puts her on a guilt trip. this overwhelming feeling of what ifs like will she trigger me? will she hurt my children again? will we keep doing the silent treatment to each other every time she's here from now on? is enough to make anyone want to throw in the towel, but I love DH and the time that SD has been gone this time was a nice break. We didnt talk about her the whole time and I decided to go with DH to her sporting event in order to support him even though SD didn't bother to acknowlege our existence. the only thing she wanted was for DH to bring her new retainer. I could have never imagined this girl trying to act so big and bad. She irritated me even when she was very young because she has always been super loud and obnoxious but we've shared many laughs and hugs. I don't know where this animosity is coming from besides jealousy maybe. She always says that I have no life except to spy on her and yes I have been fixated on her for some time because she is the thorn in my side that aches every day. Any thoughts are welcomed and thanks for reading all of that!

Loxy's picture

That sounds really hard and I really feel for you, however as much as I hate to say it the real problem is your DH who allows this behaviour and allows SD to treat you so badly. If he isn't willing to consistently deal with it then your only option (if you want to stay with DH) is to completely disengage. Be polite but keep all contact with SD to the barest minimum. Do not do anything for her (don't cook, don't buy her anything etc), do not discipline her and avoid her as much as possible (ie organise things out of the house with your son when she's around). 

Best of luck!

stepmarch88's picture

Thank you. most times DH has my back, which is why I need to do everything in my power not to react to SD any more. she uses those reactions to manipulate the situation and to feel justified in saying/doing the things that garnered the reactions. DH does not allow SD to treat me badly. He takes her devices away and gives her double chores when she is disrespectful toward anyone but I agree that consistently dealing with it is in his hands now. I have offered SD so much emotional support but she has made up her mind that she is independent and doesn't need anyone to help her out. I realize from reading blogs and other peoples' stories that the best way to detach is by being polite and not showing SD that any of it bothers me. I already did mention to her within the last month that my heart was hurting and she said 'ok. that has nothing to do with me'. this is how she treats me and DH cant put a stop to how disrespectful she is. I read her messages on her ipad and she texted DH that she hates me with a passion and doesn't want to live here anymore and DH is telling BM things that forces her to have to come back. She calls all three (DH, BM, and me) snitches and says she hates everyone. SD can turn on the tears about anything. She has already been in some legal trouble at school and was hanging out with some kids who were smoking weed and one of them got picked up for having a pipe. She laughed at me when I said I can control what she eats and she referred back to the time when I tried to make her eat a pbj and her dad had to sneak her pizza. SD is spoiled rotten. does anyone else have a SD that was like this and changed into a more appropriate and respectful person? thanks

simifan's picture

I agree with Loxy. Your focusing on the wrong person. SD may be a little... brat. But it is your DH that is allowing her to steal the peace and safety in your home. Is she punished for mocking and making rude comments under her breath? The silent treatment? When she calls an adult responsible for her welfare a snitch? The fact that DH allows SD to refuse to follow the schedule screams Disney Dad. It is HIS job to ensure SD becomes a likable person. 

Remind yourself this is not your child, you are not responsible for how she turns out. Treat her as you would a neighbors child, be civil & send her to Daddy every time she wants something. Take your son on the ski trip alone - don't allow SD to go and ruin your time. Don't give in & don't be afraid to tell DH why you are going without him & SD either. 

stepmarch88's picture

Yea he does punish her a ton for every single thing he sees her say and do toward me and others. SD stays mad at him and tells me and everyone else how much she hates him. It feels like such a losing battle because it's causing marital problems from all the stress never letting up. We had a couple of good days to relax and unwind from all the drama and it's started back up again because I found random cursing and pretending to be high, basically just acting like an idiot on her social media and showed it to DH and he said he would talk to BM which he has done before with no results from her side. He is disappointed about how SD is turning out and gets irritated with me for being the messenger about a lot of things. I agree very much with not treating SD as my child any more even though this is a big leap from how I've been doing it. The ski trip was initially going to be SD and DH and then our son wants to go so I asked DH if he can please make alternate arrangements for SD since she got to go by herself last time with him even after she caused a ton of drama in our marriage. I said our son deserves a solo trip with his dad and SD needs to know that we do not reward bad behavior here. I am working with DH to help him get a different perspective on the whole situation. Thanks again for all the great feedback. I really appreciate it.

Stepdrama2020's picture

Dang it  bring out your inner B. You are older and wiser. Yes you can take the highroad, ignore and disengage. That I highly recommend...

BUT if the lil manipulating family crasher is muttering under her breath, call the lil witch out on it. Humiliate her back. Give the I dont GAF about her fee fee's. Let er rip. OR NOT...but dang that would feel vindicating.


CLove's picture

Was a lot like your SD. How old is this brat? FF never really got better, she got much worse. The lies, the stealing, the rude comments, all of it has escalated, however its been all relegated to her mothers place, Toxic Trolls apartment.

Ill reiterate what the others have said: Disengage. Shes not your child, ergo, not your problem. She smokes pot, curses on her social media. Do NOT tell DH. Anything that doesnt directly affect you, do not reference, because not your problem. Its DHs problem. Do not even ask. That will remind him of his frustrations with SD and will come back at YOU. Do nothing for her. NOTHING.

When she is rude to you, call her out. Each and every time. Again, do not refer your DH so he can punish later. Call it out. You deal with it directly. Start recording her bad behavior. BM cannot deal with her failed attempts at parenting? Eh, too bad, she helped create the mess, she gets to help deal with it. But when its directed at you, you deal with it.

And no more vacations and trips for SD. That needs to stop.

stepmarch88's picture

This brat is 13. I don't know why I even care any more. She has been so ungrateful and rude constantly for years. What does that look like to call her out? Like when she is saying stuff under her breath or dramatically threw herself out of my way when I walked by. How do I deal with her if DH can't? He has already planned on taking some trips that will exclude her and after I asked him to only take son on ski trip, he agreed since I explained that SD doesn't deserve to be rewarded for the way she's acting. I'll support him but how else would he see how SD is acting online unless it's pointed out to him? Thank you for educating me on these matters. I've been trying to figure it out on my own and it's nice to meet people who can empower me to do this the right way.

CLove's picture

Hi there - Im so sorry for what you are dealing with. We do things for these ungrateful humans who enjoy and delight in torturing us because are not wired to do otherwise. We have souls, and love in our hearts. We go fully in this because we have good character. We make committments and we stick to them.

Ok, so there is a lot to disengaging. You seem to be a SAIM. So its not like you can go with full disengagement. Shes still pretty dependant at 13.

13 Ive been told is the absolute worst. So theres that. I met FF SD22 when she was 15. She was bad. Every day getting ready for school was WW3 type battles. Ive not heard the word okaaaaaaaay strung out for as long as she has strung it out for. The eye rolling was fun-not. One time I enjoyed asked if she could see her brains back there. 

So, you have several issues:

- Bi-polar mother. Shes definitely got some mental issues going on. And you indicated they are enmeshed. So thats a good term to research.

- Shes a narcissist with mini-wife/mini-mother tendencies. Shoot that stuff down, just by telling her "your a kid, enjoy it, leave all that to us.

- Rudeness, muttering, dramatizing how shes the victim and your going to beat her by flinching at you: You can say things like "ok, well you arent exactly getting beaten up here. You can stop that." or with muttering "ok, would you like to tell me what you said? Or not, who the eff cares." You definitely just walk away. Narcs feed off reactions. You do not react emotionally to her antics. Shes feeding off the drama she creates. SD22 FF does this still. I kept telling sd15.5 the same thing I tell you - "do not feed the drama with your reactions. You are being manipulated into reacting because they feed off this. Walk away humming to yourself. She WANTS your misery. She WANTS your reactions." I would say the same to you.

- Stealing, lies: Get nanny cams. Record her. Document. Lock everything up, put locks on your doors. Everyone gets a key except her, and you are master keyholders. Do this with the refrigerator/cupboards if you can. She has lost everyones trust, she will need to earn it back. Or not. You only have about 5 more years and then shes got to make her own ways.

- Therapy: doesnt seem to be working. And certainly dont go with BM, it will be an accusation-festival. Ammunition gathering.

Good luck and keep us posted Biggrin You got this

Tried out's picture

This is a technique I learned in dealing with my ex and it's really very effective. It lets the abuser know IT'S NOT WORKING. It worked even better when I preemptively hummed or sang when I knew he was going to throw a temper tantrum.

stepmarch88's picture

thank you for speaking words of wisdom and reason. sorry you're still dealing with SD22, how ridiculous and yes we are real people with souls, love, and character. But enough is enough. I have been recording SD progressively more often with my spare phone. Why am I doing that? I guess I'm listening for her to hurt my kids again or to say something about my name? I don't understand how I've become intimidated of a little brat. Probably because BM took me and DH to court when we first met and basically demanded we get married. yet she's had all kinds of men and women that she exposed SD to. why am I intimidated of a child? I just never imagined being in such a challenging situation and it's made me anxious and even fearful. I deal with PTSD any way so it's the feeling of being around someone who is not right and thrives on bullying people. i'll do anything to protect my children and support DH. None of us deserve to live in constant dread and anxiety like we have been lately. just thankful that DH is agreeing with a lot of info I am relaying that I've learned here. He sees things for what they are and I think he's ready to let go of any shred of false hope he has that SD is going to change. I hate to show him her double life online identity but he needs to see the truth. If BM allows her to act like that on her time, that's on her. BM supposedly already installed nanny cam when SD brought people over for a party while BM was at work. I really like your suggestions and just knowing that other SMs are going through the same hell somehow makes me feel better. DH is super strong and he is listening so please keep sending those awesome tips!

CLove's picture

Arm your children if you can, with knowledge. Bullys are cowards. Teach your children to use their voices to fight back.

Rags's picture

You and everyone in the home let this toxic little bitch dictate your lives?  Really?  Why?

So, you medicate and sacrifice yourself and your own children on an altar of martyrdom to this failed family POS rather than hold DH and his toxic failed family breeding experiment accountable for their collective toxic bullshit?

You get what you tolerate. So, go to full frontal assault confrontation on everything she does and everything your DH facilitates or fails to address.

Any under the breath comment.... "If you are going to be a manipulative little bitch under your breath, have the courage to just spit it out so people can actually hear you."

She mocks you..... "Manipulative little bitches have no business mocking anyone. Knock it off, grow TF up or get the TF out."

DH tells you to back off.... "Grow some balls and actually parent or STFU and back TF off or GTF out."

She lies and steals.... "Sit TF down and shut TF up. The police are on their way and your ass is starting the process of entering the system. This was your choice so you will have no choice but to own it" If DH says a word reference his lack of balls and tell him to man up or STF up.

She hurts your children... Immediately forcibly restrain her, call the police, press charges, and let her see how she likes being the shower bitch for the detention center lady men.

Time to step up and actually apply consequences where they belong or suck it up and suffer.

Make a choice.

Good luck.

stepmarch88's picture

Thank you. I have to take medication for gad but this shit isn't helping any of that. We definitely can't let this KID dictate our home because we all see what a toxic person she is. My nine yr old son doesn't tolerate his bully sister. so SD came after him with a shovel and gave him a bloody nose with a volleyball. DH cracked down on her. But then she goes back to BM and tells her how mistreated she is by us. Her time is up for getting away with these things. She stole two nic vapes from me, money, jewelry, etc and everyone says to call the cops if any of these instances happen again. That seems like a bold move for stuff that kids might otherwise do any way. She has always been afraid of the cops so it would probably be a good move plus she can't think she can get away with this any more. Good idea to call her out on her cowardice and I'm not really sure how to proceed with the silent treatment that's been going on because people say I should be polite and I'm not even sure if that's in my make up toward this person anymore. I've been looking up ways to deal with the passive aggressive bully. Everybody knows them. DH used to be a lot more passive aggressive but I have worked on him for a long time and he knows I'm not going to put up with it. it's just a different dynamic with SD. DH tends to bury his head in the sand but he also is not afraid to discipline SD. I agree that we need to step up and call her on every single thing and not let her dictate our household. I'm going to put my spare phone in her room so I can record when she's talking to BM and friends about how "stupid it is to live here". we try to hold her accountable and then she goes to BM's house and she acts a fool on her social media And is scheming to get into any trouble she can because BM can't keep an eye on her since she's an alcoholic and always parties. I've tried being nice to SD and mean and neither one works. She still thinks she's a little gangster kid and I have too much going on with work and my other kids so I am detaching and disengaging. It probably doesn't seem like a hard decision to make but it's just that I've tried to be there for 12 years and she's been trying to do this codependent relationship with me like she does with BM and it makes me sick. I even had to call crisis hotline a couple of times because I thought I was losing it from stress and they said that SD is possibly trying to send me into that state which makes me sad to think that might be true. You're absolutely right that we get what we tolerate. I'm going to be practicing zero tolerance from now on with this toxic person. She has always been able to find a way to weasel her way back into good graces with me and get me to do things for her again but my eyes are open now and DH had even tried to get me to detach a long time ago but I didn't understand. Now I do. And it's not too late to save the family and marriage we have going for us here. I'm just bummed out because I thought I could make a difference and I don't like to walk away from a project that I've put so many years into. 

stepmarch88's picture

OK so it's been a week and a half since SD had anything to say and now she is texting me "Hey I'm sorry I haven't been treating you how you deserve to be treated And we haven't been getting along. I know you deserve more respect And I apologize for not giving it to you. I know I haven't been doing my part in a relationship and it's not working out. I'm sorry I hope we can get along and not fight anymore. So I apologize." 

is this codependent BS?



stepmarch88's picture

I decided to ignore SD's text which I don't think I've ever done and she followed up her first part with " I can't make things work right if you just leave me on read and ignore me all afternoon". So I will ignore that too and see if she really meant what she said on the first part. As far am I'm concerned I don't have to text with her any more unless case of emergency which in case I would contact DH and he can deal with it. Disengaging is so strange and unfamiliar but it's time for some kind of change. I got so used to getting sucked back into SDs apologies and promises that she'll be better. Just can't deal with that cycle any further, she can go do that with someone else. I'm not going to be someone she can prey on again. She can text whatever she wants but I have no words for someone that has put me and my family through the wringer.

ESMOD's picture

Unless this is an often repeated pattern with her I think you should send a civil response.. she is a tween/teen.. and the basic expectation should be civility in the home.


"Thank you for recognizing the impact you have had on me and others.   I do appreciate the sentiment, I look forward to seeing this put into action."


stepmarch88's picture

Yes its definitely a repeated pattern that is getting so old. It's confusing because I want to believe it and think that she is going to change. I really want to break the cycle and I hope DH will cooperate. I'll be civil if SD has any more to say but go on ahead and disengage. 

ChiMom's picture

Your SD sounds like mine, only mine is 17 now. Text and talk is cheap. She needs to demonstrate through her actions that she is sorry. That means no more disrespecting you or manipulating. An apology without change is manipulation. 

I wish we could grab coffee together

cmd88's picture

I dread the days when SD comes to our house to. We have her every wednesday and thurday and every other weekend just like you do. She is 12 and will be 13 in a few months and has the same snotty attitude. Plus the mini wife complex for sure. Last week she really got attitude with me, and I hid in my room to so I didn't blow a fuse the rest of the time that she was there. Now we have her for 5 days this week and I am really not looking forward to it. She never apologized to me either, so I am still a little sour from how she acted last week.

At least your SD apologized. I probably wouldn't have responded either. But hopefully she actually starts making changes! I don't really have any solid advice since I am going through the same thing Beee Keep us updated!

stepmarch88's picture

I can relate with hiding away but I've gotten better about coming out of our room and doing whatever I need to do. The only reason she's texting another apology is because she had some kind of drama going on with BM the last few days and is probably feeling the water to see if she still has a friend in me. I didn't respond and if she asks why I'll just say because BM told me not to disrupt your class time, which is the truth. If she did make any changes, it would probably be just for show, like her grades that BM pressures her to have. She can put on a show any day any time. I'm so over it. But yes I hope some change happens. Just not counting on it. She is a high conflict person who just has to keep a fight going somehow. I'd rather just be a hermit and put my earbuds in. I have to use them almost every time she's around me lately because her voice is a huge trigger. I have felt so disheveled and out of sorts since she started all the stealing and the lies never ever stop. It's nice to know that disengaging is a real option and it has brought me a little peace of mind so I'm going to follow my instincts and take all the advice from more experienced SP who have survived the teen years. Good luck to you with your SD too and reach out any time Smile

stepmarch88's picture

wow you guys all talked some sense into me. we had SD back tonight after a week and a half. She came in with her usual sassy self and I calmly reminded her of some ground rules such as not talking back and not gossiping behind others' backs. when she would mutter something, i said 'what was that? can you please repeat it?' loud enough for everyone to hear and i said if she has something to say about me to say it to my face. i was shaking honestly because i hate confrontation and i don't want to have to do this but that's what people suggested and it felt GREAT to stand up for myself. SD tried to start drama left and right and i would just chime in we don't do this or that in this house. she tried to tell DH how mean i am since I didn't respond to her text message apology. i called her out and said we don't do that in this house and she was just creeping around trying to find out what I was up to. at one point i said 'excuse me. i am trying to talk to my husband right now if that is okay with you.' she said 'well its my dad' and i said ok well you are not in this conversation so can you please not try to be in it? she said ok then can you please be more respectful to me? I said sure and she said thank you and pranced off like a dumbass. i said 'you're welcome' in a subtle game show host voice. good times, right. then she came into the kitchen where i was and she was ignoring me and humming to herself so i started humming to myself and said 'do you like my humming?' she said no and i said that really hurts my feelings! and acted all fake dramatic about it and she said oh no we're all gonna die. i said why did you say that? what do you mean? why would you say that? just bugging her and she said oh i'm not playing this game with you. i said 'what game? what are you talking about?' i made a big deal about it in front of DH and said 'i just don't understand why you said this and this and that really hurt my feelings'. her expression was just priceless. she had the nerve to say she won't respect me unless i respect her to which I responded 'oh is that my job now is to respect you? your job is to respect me.' and that shut her up really fast. she was trying to tell me that i had to clean up some spilt milk and i said if you see something you should clean it up. she kept making a big deal of it to try to start conflict and get attention and she succeeded. DH called me out when i asked SD if she was talking back. she said no she wasn't and i said good. well then DH can't stand for me to have the last word or whatever and he said 'baby please' quit with this repulsive tone and attitude and shit kinda hit the fan. i told him to grow some balls and learn how to parent and stop letting SD walk all over me. he got all stressed out and called me a terrible parent but it didn't bother me at all and i didn't even respond. i just stayed on his tail about saving his family and cracking down on this toxic creep. he said i'm the one who's being toxic and i said im just putting my foot down once and for all. he was like is this how it's gonna be? i said yeah i'm disengaging so this is how it's gonna be. thank you guys this place is amazing.

cmd88's picture

Good for you for standing up to your SD! She sounds like a monster in the making, wow! Sad that your DH was backing SD's bad behaviour though. I really hope that it gets better in your household when SD is around. I was baffled reading how she was talking to you, wow! But good way to react for sure. 

stepmarch88's picture


yes it's getting old how much DH lets slide. Now since he's being stricter SD is pushing back and trying to skip her last night with us. DH told her that it's not her choice to make and that he's planning to talk with BM about how SD has been acting at our house. He also told her she needs to change her life. Go DH. SD gave me a dirty look last night and I said "so now youre just going to give me the sour face?" SD has never really seen me stand up to her and DH said I should just ignore her. I said no I'm going to call her out on every look and mumble that is in my direct line of sight and hearing. We went back and forth last night and I had to be a lot nastier than I'd like to be but hopefully he got the point. He kept saying my ego is in the way of the unit being able to function and that my personality changes when SD comes around. I didn't really know how to respond. I just kept telling him he'd better crack down as hard as he can if he wants SD to be a part of this unit.

cmd88's picture

Good on hime for being more strict. Since he sees how SD is being, he should definitely back you on this and you have every right to react when she is being a little snot. I know that I totally act different when SD comes to our house, because you never know what type of attitude you're going to get with her. Kids that live in or visit your home, your space, should be respectful at all times, if not, there should be consquences, and that's what DH needs to do and stand his ground, no matter what. Or it's just going to continue to cause more issues not only between you and SD but between you and DH. 

Good for you for speaking your mind to DH and not putting up with SD's antics. Sounds like a little gaslighting coming from your DH. I would just tell him, "Yeah, my personality does change when SD comes around, because she has no respect for me and a crumby attitude." Or you could say, "And why do you think my personality changes when she comes around?" It might cause an argument, but at the same time you will get your point across an shouldn't be blamed for her behavior.