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So over it, but it never changes..

LoveAmongChaos's picture

It's been a 2 1/2 year roller coaster and I still love him dearly, but damn I was not prepared for all the mental issues. He has 2 Xwives and #2 is annoying (BM of SS9), but i can handle her. #1 was a pos (BM of SD18), she had  mental issues that she passed down to her daughter (SD18). I honestly thought at some point it would get better, but I think it just gets worse. SD18 has been hospitalized and is mood disorder (too young for the bipolar diagnosis that is coming). I am a Special Education teacher, just never thought I would be dealing with these issues in my own home... 

BM (x#2), who I like to call psycho made my life a living hell... so many examples... taking pictures of us over our privacy fence, brining police to our home to deliver a blank piece of paper, taking my underwear (I only had 3 pairs left), planting meth in my bed and his truck, and screaming constantly as I'm calling the police for the hundreth time "when your done with #3 call me like you always do." ugh.. Police didn't help much, they just told me that they make these great little things called guns to protect myself with.. have one, just didn't think shooting the psycho would be great for her daughter, nor my teaching career. Restraining orders are not for people who have been married in the state of MO unless your life has been threatened... I was LOSING my shit and beginning to feel crazy, too. He had always taken the stance that "don't provoke the bear" and just let her craziness rage on through his second marraige of many of the same instances. I took SD18 homecoming dress shopping and she had a cow that I bought her dress and how dare I try to be her mother.. I should focus on my own children.. to which I replied "well you can give me the $ for the dress and we can pretend like you bought it... oh wait.. you don't have money.. just a state check.. and you could always do these things with her, but you won't, so I do" Fast-forward through all kinds of hell and we get a call that the coroner is at her house, BM, psycho had hanged herself.. It is the worst thing I have ever felt.. relief because I could possibly have a normal life again. I went to church, I prayed forgiveness, but the relief is there.. At this point SD18 had moved out of our house when she was 16 becuase she didn't like that there were rules and she wasn't running the house (x#2 was never a priority and SD18 was more life his wife and confidante). Makes for a very skewed life.. So even though I feel SAFER I still have a ton of mess to deal with, a mentally ill, depressed SD who is pissed that her dad gives me attention.. it's a whole ball of crazy. She posts horrible things that people tell me about and blames her dad for all of her mom's issues and being mean about her mom and making SD18 feel isolated because he hated her mom. So many other issues from years and years and so many trips to the sherrifs dept where she had put her daughter in danger, but she's the saint.. He is upset and feels horrible/depressed about his lack of time with his daughter.. I tried contacting her and telling her she still has one parent that cares, but it has to be on HER terms. SD18 has bounced back and forth between dating 2 druggies, the current one is in trouble and has all kinds of charges against him, not sure what's going to happen to him.. looking at 20 years. She also got picked up for possession the other day. 


I am at a loss as to what to do, I honestly tried with this kid, but she was too far gone before I came along.. sad thing is she is supremely manipulative and no one sees it. She wants daddy all to herself and if she can't have that, then she will punish him by ignoring him. Thing is when he's single, she runs and pays no atttention to him either. Only when she feels threatened by someone else does she start the "daddy" crap. It's exhauting.. She thrives off pity, everyone has felt sorry for her for years becuase she has a crazy mom (including her dad/ my DH). So they have all created this monster of epic proportions. She loves to post how "My dad left me for the Brady Bunch". Jesus... I cannot even stand her anymore with her manipulations and pity party AND I TRIED for 2 years to be good to her, but then that was too much and made her feel bad for her mom.. so I'll be the BITCH and take the blame, I'm so tired of caring..

dysfunctionally_blended's picture

Wow, I am really sorry you are having to deal with all this chaos. And sadly, I feel sorry for your SD as well. 

Have you tried counseling? Individually for SD, and then as a family?  

I don't have much advise. Feel free to keep venting here and hopefully someone more wise will come along to offer something a bit better. 

Again, so very sad for your situation Sad

LoveAmongChaos's picture

I felt horrible for SD for a LONG time, now I've just had to cut my losses and say whatever... She is who she is, I wasn't involved until she was 15 and I pushed for the counseling that she so desperately needed. Dad didn't want to see if forever and SD came and opened up to me, basically begging for help. So I pushed for it and we went from there.. He just didn't want to see that she had her BM's issues. He would prefer to ignore that, than deal with it in his own child. Problem is, she never sticks with meds and counsling/ psychiatrists. She is now 18 and hasn't lived here for a long while. So there is nothing I can do any more. She has to want the help for herself, so I'm distancing myself from that chaos and focusing on our littles. Which pisses her off, hence the name the Brady Bunch. She cannot stand that her dad is happy and found stability after 2 crazy (one literally) wives. At first she embraced it, until she realized with normalcy comes rules and she was no longer in charge, because there were 2 capable parents to be... 


Thank you for your kind words, it just helps to get it out!! I have been doing counsleing and we did marriage counseling, too. He has issues he needs to deal with independently from his upbringing and we are no longer doing marital counseling, but without her here in our home, life between us has steadily improved. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

It didn't take very long being on this site before I recognized that mental illness is a factor in many of our members' step lives. Some of our partners grew up with crazy, or married into crazy; they bred with crazy, and like a pebble thrown into a pond, the crazy creates ripples that continue on and on.

It's important to admit that some circumstances are simply above our pay grade, and that you can't overcome bad genes. We didn't break these skids, we can't fix them,  and once they're adults we can't force them to get help. All you can do is take steps to carve out a peaceful existence for yourself. Create boundaries for yourself, try to avoid being sucked into the never-ending drama these skids love so much, and try a little therapy.

I married a man whose mother was a severe alcoholic. Lots of men, failed marriages, and instability. Turns out the maternal side of DH's family is filled with mental illness and addiction that going back at least five generations. I know less about his paternal side, but there were addiction issues there as well. DH went on to breed with two women who both also come from families where personality disorders and mental illness are present. And to no surprise, both of his daughters have mental health issues. See the pattern? See how foolish it was for me to think I could help?? One of my SDs went through four therapists in five years as a teen. She lied continuously, was promiscuous,  made a half-,hearted suicide attempt...I could go on and on, but suffice it to say I have some experience with this.

For your own mental health, you have to practice self care and cultivate a certain level of detachment. These are your DH's issues and responsibilities, not yours.

LoveAmongChaos's picture

YES!! His family of origin has definitely shaped his life.. he had an abusive father and an overly permissive mother. They divorced, his very much  older father died in the nursing home when he was in his teens and he pretty much ran wild. His mother was murdered by her new husband 9 years ago. He thought he could fix X1, aka Psycho B, when he was very young. She was pregnant with someone else's baby when they started dating and he thought he could give them both a normal life, so he truly tried. Some crazy you just can't fix. She was in and out of foster care and had a mother that was basically as crazy as she was. Now their daughter is repeating the same cycle. I had NO idea what I was getting into, becasue when we first starting dating, x1 was not in the picture at all and SD18 was living here full time, when she wasn't running. 

I am in counsling by myself currently and we did marriage counseling for a long time, but we would end up in huge fights afterwards. WE could never quit dragging up the past and it just simmered and ate away at us. Some things, I've learned, you just have to agree to disagree on and let go. Now that x1 or CB1 is gone, it's been much calmer and I feel SAFE again. Everything else is managable. It was the height of things when I really couldn't deal anymore. Our relationship has slowly improved, until we are almost back to where we were. I could not feel safe in my own home and, in his mind, he was doing what he felt to protect me. Changed the doors on our home (but SD had a key that mom used *aggressive*) and bought me a new handgun. She had never been told no or had cops called on her in the 11+ years since their divorce, so she didn't like when I came along and said "NO MORE" and put my foot down. She had basically just harassed and wreaked havoc for years with no consequences. (Including beating the holy hell out of x2). No one did anything, until me, because I am not the doormat type that will have my children dealing with that nonsense. So it exploded before it got better. 

He was so used to this crazy it was his normal and when I refused to live with it, he had no clue how to handle it. Now it's just periodic bouts with his daughter and for that I'm thankful. She was basically his mini-wife when he was with x2, because he didn't really have a marriage. So he confided in his daughter, so now she is very very jealous of me and the way our relationship works. She did some damage for awhile, but it's finally gotten better.. and I don't have to deal with her. 

notasm3's picture

You know logically that you had NOTHING to do with BM's psychological issues.  She was nuts, and she killed herself.  It has no more to do with you than it does with me.  So quit thinking that you somehow had a part in this.   If  a person on the street came up and tried to stab me, but I jumped out of the way, and they landed on their knife and died - would it be my fault?  Of course not.  Not even if mobs of people wanted to yell and scream that it was.

As for the daughter.  From your standpoint you need to write her off.  She is not your problem to solve.   Her relationship with her father is between the two of them.  It's not your responsibility to fix it or to encourage it.  Ignore the whore.

LoveAmongChaos's picture

Yeah, that crazy goes WAAY back, to the bio grandmother.. and possibly beyond. Definitely not my fault, but I was raised with good ole Catholic guilt (all of my aunt's were nuns at one point) and am generally a nice person, so being thankful for death still doesn't seem nice.. lol 


Watching DH suffer with SD18 treating him like shit is the only problem I have these days. It affects our life, but he tries not to let it.. I demaned he go back to counseling to deal with things, so hopefully he will make some progress. I just want to vomit when he babies her, but I have learned to just leave the room and go hang with our other kids. He tries really hard to pacify everyone and he feels stuck in the middle of it all. I feel bad for him, but this whole situation is his own making and I also am pretty pissed off at him sometimes. So I continue my own counseling to find healthy ways to detatch and keep my sanity. 


Thank you for your response! It's so good to have support and not feel like the evil step-monster! 

LoveAmongChaos's picture

sniffed them? lol I really think voodoo dolls, because I have a brain tumor and I swear it's all her fault.. hahaha. Seriously though, it's the best kind to have so she didn't do a really good job, slow growing and no surgery for years... 


Hell maybe she wore them... gross as biotch

Exjuliemccoy's picture

And I love the fact that you havent lost your sense of humor. Sometimes, it's the only thing that gets us through, isnt it?

Our dynamics have many parallels. Our SOs both grew up in severe dysfunction, making crazy their normal. Both witnessed bad things, but as children had no control. Both were drawn to crazy women because it felt normal, and both sought to rescue these women because they couldn't rescue their moms.

Over here, BM2 was referred to as PsychoBi+chfromHe!!. While BM1 is merely disordered, Psycho is seriously mentally ill. Her grandmother and mother both were institutionalized for mental illness, forcing her into the foster system where she was sexually abused. BM2 made a career of being a human parasite, quickly sizing up her prey and becoming whatever it took to snag her man. She never worked or got an education, preferring to subsist on a mix of welfare, c.s., and whatever she could get by spreading her legs. She made sure to keep herself looking pretty and feminine (imagine a soft spoken church lady) but once she had a man, she'd unleash the crazy. She never contributed one dime of support for any of her children, all of whom ran away to their dads. Last I heard, Psycho (now in her sixties) was institutionalized and all alone. She may be dead. It pleases me to have created a life where I neither know nor care.

Guilt is a wasted emotion - see again, We didnt break them and We have no control - and it helps me to always strive for dispassion and cold hard facts. It also helps to accept that each of us is on our own journey with lessons we need to learn. We cant save our DHs from the consequences of past poor choices. I wasted years on what I saw as helping before finally realizing I was interfering with the natural order of things. My DH has had to learn some lessons that are much harder because they were deferred for so long. You seem to have clarity and a good grasp of things, so Brava! It does get better as long as you keep the crazy at a distance and ensure that your marriage is a loving, safe harbor from toxicity.

  It's encouraging that your DH is in counseling. It may not change his engrained conflict avoidant ways, but he can learn coping strategies and ways to protect your marriage. The more you know the better, right?

Rags's picture

Facts are neither good nor bad, they are merely facts.

Time for daddy (and you) to give her the facts.  Get a copy of deceased BM's arrest/court records.  Show this kid the facts. Discuss with her how her dad (and you) did what you had to do to protect her from her mother's mental illness and choices.  She may not recognize these facts... yet... but keep your interface with her grounded in the facts and reality and eventually she will have no choice but to internalize them.  She may still be F'd up but at least she will have the facts to influence her choices and you and DH will have them as the foundation of your interface with this out of control 18yo.

The facts of the criminal records of the BFs are good ones to use too. 

Stick to the facts.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

LoveAmongChaos's picture

Exjuliemccoy, Sometimes it's easier to keep my sense of humor than others! It's a good defense mechanism. It sounds like we are with the same man and same exes, only in reverse. #1 is my psycho and #2 is merely messed up. I hate that so many people can relate, yet it's also reassuring! Our psycho didn't even waste her time trying to take care of herself, instead embraced the "hippie" lifestyle as she called it.. she did drugs openly and wondered around messed up. Now that she's passed on, she's on some ridiculous pedastal by her kids, which is whatever for me. I've just had to disengage from SD18 due to all of this. She resents me becasue her father has a "normal" life for the first time ever and she never got that growing up. So she still throws baby fits and avoids us because our "perfect" family just upsets her too much.. We are FAR from perfect, we are just striving to be somewhat normal in a crazy blended family. She's went as far to say her dad (who had full custody per SD18's choice at age 12) is more of a dad to her little brother SS9 and my daughters than he ever was to her. It's all about persepective and I've chosen to just avoid her at all costs. Which is much easier for me with her not living here. It hurts her dad and I'm such a "fixer"/ empath that it is VERY hard for me to just let him deal with it, although for my sanity that is what I have to do.. It's always a work in progress and as long as we are both working toward it, I think he's worth it. From his past he's very "flight" and I'm the "fight" during conflict, so we've really had to work toward our communication styles. It isn't easy, but for now, I think he's worth it.. My SS9 is very close to me and I think he will choose to live with us full time when he's older. Right now we have 50/50 with him and my triplet daughters that are 11. And it works well. Monday and Tuesday night date nights and every-other-weekend alone make us much happier. WE need that time to focus on each other. He was on night shift for about a year and that was very,very hard for all of us. Now that he's back on days, it has helped us both. 


At first I was really p***ed that my life was such chaos. While it has calmed down immensely with the absence of psycho and SD, our life will never really be "normal". That was a very hard one for me to accept and now I'm getting better at it and it makes me deal with him more rationally. It took a long time for me to get over his past, and realize he appreciates me so much more because of them. The baggage can be alot at times.. I'm still working at it, but learning all the time. And I'm thankful he's receptive and willing to work towards a happier home life with me. He will never be without issues, but really who isn't... 

Thank you for your response! It helps to talk to others with the same issues as me! 

amyburemt's picture

I have a very similar situation. SD spreads hate and moved to her moms. Then texted dh a "youre no longer my father because you chose her over me" text. Thing is, she has caused some major drama over the past several years and never seems to own her side of things at all, when it was her poor chocies that got her in the pit where she is in the first place. Oh and guess what? life isn't any grander at bm's. Maybe someday she will grow up. But I doubt it.