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Gaslighting by SD8 & How to Handle ?

SourGrape2122's picture

Is it possible, that a child can gaslight an adult ? This toxic little snot is full of crazy stunts like the one I'm about to tell you about. The "I never said that!"..."I never heard you tell me that!"..."No that's not how it happened"..."She's lying!" But tonight she reached a whole new level.  I have been disengaged (for the second time in two years) for three months. This evening I prepared dinner, as usual.  Normally under these disengagement circumstances I would not prepare their dinner plates.  That's up to DH.  However, right as he served SD6, he got an emergency phone call from work and asked would I please serve SD8 while he tended to it.  Silly me.  I thought this would be easy and I agreed.  She stood next to the stove and point out what she wanted on her plate.  That, that, that, (meatloaf, mashed potatoes, carrots) and definitely NOT that! (snarling her nose at the French style  green beans).  Now, I don't normally make French style so I wasn't really shocked she refused them, they looked different and green beans aren't in her group of acceptable foods anyway.  

Here comes the fun part.  We're all seated at the table, myself, SD6, SD8, bio son 12, DH returns from phone call.  SD8 begins to whine that she doesn't like carrots. I asked her why then did you ask me for carrots on your plate ? I wouldn't have served them to you if you did not ask for them.  To which she replied "I did not ask for them.  That was [bio son] !" ...which is a totally ridiculous statement because I don't serve his plate, he serves himself.   I ignore her lies.  DH says she needs to at least try the carrots.  To which she barely lets one touch her tongue and then dramatically gags spits and loudly proclaims how disgusting they are.  And can she PLEASE have green beans.  Because she absolutely LOVES green beans, and ALL she wants is green beans.  Then she proceeds to eat THREE huge servings of green beans ...whilst glaring at me across the table with a smirk on her face.  Because apparently I either cannot hear, I cannot tell the difference between the two children, or I cannot tell the difference between carrots and green beans when they're pointed to in pots on totally opposite sides the stove.  

I just sat there, eating my dinner, in total silence, when inside all I wanted to do was lunge across the dining table and rip a hole in her throat and shove the carrots into it.  

She does this stuff ALL the time. SD6 came home from music class the other day singing a Halloween song.  Cute song.  She sang it over and over again from after school until dinner.   I politely asked her at dinner could she change her tune because it was cute and funny but she'd been singing it for three hours.  Lets sing something else.  She happily abliged. But SD8, leans over and says "sissy, teach me the song !" Then proceeded to sing the song I just asked her sister to stop singing, over and over and over again while glaring right at me and giggling....until I got up and left the dinner table.  I swear I think she is the devil in disguise.  

Short of smacking that smirking giggle right off her face, what am I supposed to do with this nonsense she keeps throwing at me that DH is TOTALLY oblivious to ???? And if I point it out to him he says I am picking on her, or giving her too much credit, that she cannot possibly be "that manipulative "....but oh my dear.   I guarantee you that she can.  And that she is.  

Kes's picture

There seems to be no doubt that SD8 is indeed waging a campaign against you - but you are giving her more power by attending to the things she does and says.  If you reconcile yourself to the fact that everything that comes out of her mouth is going to be a lie or a snipe against you, then just be prepared to ignore ignore ignore.  Definitely do not get into a power struggle with her, as it sounds like she has her father's support in his refusal to acknowledge what's happening.  But maybe he has the right idea? if you both ignore her, her games will fall flat. 

tog redux's picture

Yep. I was thinking, "well, at least she ate her veggies!"

OP, either ignore it (unless it becomes more significant, like her accusing you of hitting her or something) or figure out how to outsmart her. Make sure that you make green beans every night from now on and she's to eat a heaping serving, since she loves them so much. Don't let an 8-year-old get the best of you.

SourGrape2122's picture

Oh, but she does come close to accusing me of hitting her.  Anytime he leaves us alone in the house together it's immediately followed by her blowing up his cell phone with texts calls and FaceTime calls with cries and pleads to please come home and rescue her because I am "so scary"...even tho I have never raised my voice at her or only laid a hand on her in my mind.  If she has not already accused me of hitting her and I don't know it, it's coming.  

tog redux's picture

The real problem here is that your DH doesn't put her in her place by telling her, unequivocally, that he will believe you over her if she makes false allegations. Personally, I'd refuse to do anything for her.  Next time he has to go to work unexpectedly, SD goes with him, waits to eat until he goes back, or gets herself an apple from the fridge.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I read your previous blog and the girls are unrelated to him and he adopted them due to bad home lives. Have they gotten any therapy? If DH is going to blindly back them up against you, that will be a major issue. These girls really could develop problems in the future if they don't get help. Now she's accusing you of giving her the wrong vegetables. Small kids/small problems. Imagine when the kids get bigger, what will the accusations be? I think him not believing you is a huge concern for the future. 

SourGrape2122's picture

When you say it like that, she's accusing me of giving her the wrong veggies, it does sound pretty silly.  But it's more than that.  It's the constant manipulation of DH, twisting the actual events to her "advantage". The ongoing, mom never told me that, I never heard her say that, she didn't ask me to do that, I never said that, it didn't happen that way., etc.  and in this case it was the grand spectacle she made of it.  The snide undertone of no, that wasn't me that said that, it was someone else.  I never said I didn't want green beans.  I love green beans so much and I'm going to prove you're a crazy liar by sitting here and eating green beans until I'm sick.  

I think deep down a part of him does believe me, because he knows she lies and manipulates him as well, but a bigger part of him is in a greater deal of denial that' she is so messed up in the head.  I agree 110% about bigger problems to come ...and I wonder if I'll be able to handle it.   :( 

Dogmom1321's picture

Yes, SK can definitely Gas Light. Even more common if you think they witness an adult do it frequently (ex. HCBM). When SD was 8, she came home crying from school how the teacher "was being so rude to her!" DH fell for it.

Myself, being a teacher, asked SD what happened before that. Well, SD was talking back to her and not following her directions, so consequently, she was put in time out. SD CONVENIENTLY left ALL of that information out the first time around. 

SourGrape2122's picture

These girls are experts at leaving out the first half of the story. SD8, last year came home with a note for detention. 1st grade! When asked why, her response was because she didn't finish her work.  I called the teacher to verify.  The actual events ? She was out of her seat, talking, playing , talking back when told to sit down and work and finally, she told her teacher "when you stop talking to me like that maybe I'll do my work "   My mind was blown.  

Rags's picture

Record her shit and replay in for Daddy at dinner every evening.  She seems to like evening meal entertainment. Make her manipulative toxic shit the entertainment.  Keep baring her ass every second until she learns to STFU and knock her crap off.  Run her toxic ass to her room with constant humiliation for her bullshit.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Experience will beat youth and inexperience every time. All it takes is for you to take off your give a shit hat and go for her throat.  Figuratively of course.

Toxic people, even kids, should get no quarter.


SourGrape2122's picture

I seriously was just thinking after all this that I needed to start wearing a body cam like a cop !!! So there's evidence of this crap she pulls when DH isn't around !!! Or just installing cameras al over the house ! 

Thumper's picture

What do you want to do OP? Can you see yourself living like this for years and years?

Your dh adopted them because  BM and bio dad must have been real doozies to have rights removed.

Since cps was involved, correct, the kids should have states insurance to cover therapies and medical. Also the state gives your dh money each month for the kids, correct? IF your dh must go out of pocket for counseling.

(((HUGS)))) sorry about all this.  Sounds like the kids have a lot of problems.

They need help---asap. JMO

Please consider finding them a good Child Psychologist.

SourGrape2122's picture

I agree the need help.  Especially the SD8.  SD6 is not as bad and her biggest fault is imitating SD8's behavior. You're right their insurance is 100% covered. There's no reason they're not in counseling other than DH dragging his feet and not following through...his reasoning for I do not know.  SD8 has had a psychological evaluation and was diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, & conduct disorder amoung other things and counseling was recommended but he never followed through.    I have badgered and badgered about it.  But I feel like it's not my place to initiate, especially given my disengaged status. Not my monkey not my circus. Unfortunately I just have a front row seat to the show.  

Winterglow's picture

So tell him it's his situation to handle and that you'll have his back once it's under control.