How do I find the balance between my sanity and being a good person?
I just found this forum, and it's already making me feel less like a monster, so thank you to everyone. My SD15 came to live with us about a month ago. She and my DH are from a developing country, and I sponsored her for residency, investing thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of effort to give her a better life. Her BM lives with a dangerous, abusive, alcoholic man who would take the money my DH sent away from her. There's no official custody or child-support arrangement because my DH and his ex were never married, and their country's court system is terribly corrupt in any case. My DH was terrified that his ex's boyfriend was going to abuse his daughter, which is why he asked me to sponsor her to come live with us. I am a citizen of the country we live in, and DH is not, so the sponsor had to be me. Literally thousands of people from their country have died trying to make it to my country, so I was glad I was able to help at least one. I was so excited for her to come - I carried her photo in my wallet for months as a constant reminder that I needed to make space in my heart for her, and I spent hours crocheting her a blanket to make sure she knew she was welcome as a part of our family. I had met her once on a visit to my husband's country, but I didn't know her well before she came. I promise I only ever wanted to do the right thing and be a good person! I love my husband, and I was sad his daughter was growing up in poverty and violence. I just wanted to help.
Stupid me. She's ungrateful, rude, disrespectful, and constantly angry about everything I do. No matter how much I tried to help her when she first came, something was always wrong, and everything was my fault. She's a bully with no compassion - when she made me cry with her insults, she just made fun of me and then told her BM I was a crazy, evil bitch who was yelling at her. I know I wasn't perfect, but I always had good intentions. When I try to explain or apologize for whatever it is I've done to her, she just lashes out more about all the ways I'm terrible. When she isn't lashing out at me, she pointedly ignores me, even turning her back on me if DH, SD, and I are trying to have a conversation. It's been hell since she arrived. I've started staying in my office until late at night to avoid SD. She's told me in her own words that she will never respect me or speak to me civilly, and I believe her. DH apologizes to me for her behavior in private and says I don't deserve it, but when he tries to talk to SD, she just claims she hasn't done anything to me and that her relationship with me is fine. If he insists that's not true or tries to defend me at all, she cries and says he doesn't love her, that he only loves me, and that we should send her back to her home country so DH and I can just be happy together. It makes him feel guilty and like he has to prove that he loves her. If I cry, he gets angry at me and says it isn't fair for SD and me to put him in the middle. I don't want to put him in the middle, or for there to be "sides" at all! I want DH and me to both be on SD's side, helping her grow into a strong, independent, educated woman. That goal is starting to seem impossible, though.
The problem is that there are many things only I can do for SD; my husband just can't. I'm highly educated, I'm the primary breadwinner, and I speak the language of the country where we live (I also speak my DH and SD's language fluently). My DH is kind, funny, patient, responsible, and all-around wonderful, but he had to drop out of high school to support his family and doesn't speak my country's language well. He makes half what I do, even though he works much longer hours, and he sends nearly all of his pay to family in his home country. I know moving to a new country and culture and learning a new language is a huge adjustment for my SD, and at first I was totally ready to support her through it in the ways my DH can't. I researched classes and activities, found tutors, and generally busted my butt trying to make the transition as easy as I could. If she can just learn the language and stay in school, her future here will be a million times brighter than in her home country, but she refuses to see that or accept my help, and she's never once thanked me for any of my efforts.
How far can I disengage before I become the monster who abandoned a poor immigrant teenager in her hour of greatest need? What do I absolutely have to do for her, and what can I refuse to do? I've tried so hard to be a good person, but it's just made everyone in my life furious at me and left me a quivering bundle of misery. I know it's only been a month, but if I'm this exhausted and despairing after a month, I can't even imagine where I'll be in a year. Please help!