saffron5567's picture

WHY does she keep bringing this up?

My dog was mauled by a pit bull a week before my wedding. Although he lived through the emergency surgery, he died three months later. It ruined my wedding night (had to go home and tend to mauled dog), my honeymoon (it was cancelled so I could care for my dog) and cost me $2000 in vets bills and my dog still died.

That was three years ago and I still cringe when I see a pit bull. I know there are nice pits out there, but I don't know which are the nice ones and I still cry when I think of that scene of that pit ripping my dog to pieces.

This past Christmas, SD26 brought up pit bulls and I said I don't trust them. I thought it was ballsy of her to even bring it up when she knows very well the anguish and pain my dog went through. She and I went back and forth a few times and I ended it nicely by saying, "When it happens to your dog, you'll feel differently." Then I walked away. I later asked him to tell her the subject upsets me and we need to agree to disagree and she should not raise the issue again to me.

This weekend, out of the blue, she photographed a paragraph from a book that talked about how maligned the breed is and how it's all media hype that they are a dangerous breed. She emailed it to me. I was so angry that she not only raised the issue again, but sent it on the anniversary of my dog's death.

Why won't she shut up about it and what is she gaining by reminding me how miserably I failed to protect my dog? I don't care that she or others feel differently than I do about it. I don't want to change anyone's minds, but mine won't be changed either. How do I shut her up without causing a major ugly scene? I suppose I'm more sensitive to the issue than the general public, but still, what is she trying to do? How do I draw the boundary without sounding like a bitch?


Rhyleighblue's picture

Why does she do it? Because

Why does she do it?

Because you never fail to react to it. She is using this traumatic event to torment you.

How do you stop her without looking like a Bitch?

Stop reacting to it. You can't change the way that you feel but you can change the way that you react to those feelings. That is; you can't really snap your fingers and suddenly stop feeling traumatized over this horrible event. But you can control the way that you respond to her torment. Just don't.

Simply do.not.respond. Don't smile, don't cry, don't argue. Stay completely expressionless.

If she brings it up in person just stare at her. Even if she asks you a question or talks about you to others in front of you...

**crickets**

If she emails you; delete it like spam and don't reply.

If she calls you just don't say anything. Leave her to ramble on until she realizes that you are not participating in this conversation. Then tell her that you are very busy and hang up on her.

Eventually she will realize that you are not going to play anymore and she will move onto something else to torment you about. They always do.

“The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.”
― Elie Wiesel

bi's picture

i agree with this. maybe pits

i agree with this. maybe pits do have a bad reputation that isn't fair to them, but i'm not taking any chances, either. our doxie was hit 2 weeks ago and our dobie is terribly depressed without her. we will get another dog sometime this year. sd told me the humane society has plenty of pits. that's just what i want to have with another dog and a 4 year old, you idiot.

"I don't hold grudges. I remember facts."

old-blue-eyes's picture

@ Ryleighblue Well Worded. A

@ Ryleighblue Well Worded. A SD like that who makes hurtful/critical comments in a round about way about your beloved pet dog in "Why does she do it" That's certainly coming out of her ass via mouth or email it's her business and NOT SM's business. This SD is an A-HOLE PERIOD.
Us SM's should put on the front door "BEWARE OF DOG" DO NOT ENTER! My Loved Pit Bull Lives Here...
I love my dog too and if it was mauled by any dog I would feel Bad & Furious

saffron5567's picture

I haven't responded to her

I haven't responded to her email and I won't. (But I did use the occasion to put fear into her father by saying, "I'll handle her this time.")

As for this gnat, I'm afraid not swatting at it won't stop it from flying in my face. It's as if she locks in on something (before this it was our opposing opinions on the death penalty) and then just keeps pounding away at it. We went to a movie that involved someone being executed for a crime. I thought we were just talking about the movie and next thing I know, she's aggressing on me telling me how wrong my opinion is.

I try to talk about nothing but her (not too hard -- that's typically all she talks about) and the weather because I know how aggressive she is. But sometimes I say something that seems so bland and she finds a way to jump on me for it.

She's such a little girl. Ugh. I guess Daddy let her expound on her thoughts without countering her so now she can't hear a differing opinion without forcing the other person into submission.

God, it's like being around my mother all over again. Sad I hate being guarded the entire time I'm in her presence. It's like waiting for the ambush you KNOW is coming.

Kes's picture

I am so sorry about what

I am so sorry about what happened to your dog. This must have been incredibly distressing. I agree with Rhyleigh - your SD is trying to get a reaction from you. The rights and wrongs are immaterial - Pit Bulls are illegal here in the UK, so they are obviously dogs to beware of, but try reasoning with a Pit Bull lover - its a waste of time. I doubt if she does sincerely hold these views anyway - all she wants is to get your goat.

Another thing - you said its like being around your mother - this is one reason why it is easy for her to push your buttons - she reminds you of mum. Try to do what Rhyleigh said, ignore, ignore, delete etc. She will eventually get fed up and go and bait somebody else.

Veteran disengaged SM of 14 years. Underestimate me, that'll be fun.

Dory's picture

She's doing it precisely as

She's doing it precisely as Rhyleighblue says, because she gets a reaction from you. Your SD homes in on any subject which garners a reaction from you, this one is particularly sensitive, "all the better" I'm sure she thinks. I think as SMs sometimes perfecting a completely neutral facial expression can be our best weapon!

As you say "I hate being guarded the entire time I'm in her presence" - that is sadly the name of the game!

So sorry to hear about your dog. Our neighbour's dog, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, once managed to come into our garden, unbeknownst to us, only to take an enormous bite out of one of our dogs (ours are large dogs but softies). I only found the wound the next day and also discovered the opening in the boundary where the Staffie gained entry. It grips me with fear to think about what would have happened if our dog and the Staffie had been in our garden together unobserved for a longer period of time - it would have definitely mauled our dog to death. They have massively strong jaws. However, it's part of the nature of bull terriers - they ARE a dangerous breed!

StepAside's picture

Pit Bull enthusiasts (both

Pit Bull enthusiasts (both informed ones and ignorant ones) can really get riled when someone has a negative opinion about that breed. When they go off, they are like the folks who scream about Jesus on the street corner. They take the role of forced educator, and to hell with whatever you think or feel. Boundaries of typical civility and respect get tossed out the window.

I think the problem you made was here....

"SD26 brought up pit bulls and I said I don't trust them."

Who cares what she thinks about Pit Bulls, dragons or shoe polish? Do you care about what she thinks? I know it can be hard when you're in that moment to resist the urge to reciprocate the dialogue, but there just is no payoff for having one with someone who you don't care about. What she thinks is unimportant. The effort you expend trying to change her mind is a waste.

This is a classic example of engaging, when it was not in your best interest. All your comment did was trigger her to defend the breed. That obviously is not a debate you care to have, particularly with her.

I'm not being critical. I've done the ex.ac.t same thing. I've told myself not to engage in any conversation that is anything but surface stuff, like the news. And then later I've kicked myself for joining in a conversation when I promised myself I wouldn't. And it never ends well. They don't want to hear what I have to say. Anything I say is twisted and used against me. I'll never forget that. It is just fodder for more hate. Best not to join in period.

The way you silence her is by icing her. Do not respond at all. She'll get the hint eventually. As long as you respond at all, she's just going to keep arguing.

Her position is very insensitive to your feelings. Are you surprised? I sure as hell am not.

Boudicca's picture

Saffron, I want to say

Saffron, I want to say something on this. You did not fail miserably to protect your dog. The owner of the pit bull failed miserably in dog guardianship. You could have done nothing against a creature like that. For what it's worth, and no offense to pit bull owners, I don't trust them either. Pit bulls are BRED to be aggressive. It doesn't matter how gentle the pit bull seems to be, that aggression gene is in there and you can never be sure if or when that inbred aggression will rear its ugly head. Look how many children have been attacked and maimed by seemingly "gentle" pit bulls. As for the SD I agree that you should deal with her by not reacting. That's what she wants - don't give it to her. Hugs to you for the loss of your beautiful dog Sad xox

sandye21's picture

I agree - she's a pit bull!!!

I agree - she's a pit bull!!! It's time to disengage totally. She's getting a sadistic thrill out of upsetting you and will continue to find ways to go for the jugular. She's to toxic too be around. Your DH should be more sensitive to what obviously hurts you and tell her to knock it off. If he can not do this refuse to be around her.

saffron5567's picture

I had the same idea,

I had the same idea, newwife3.

I thought of perhaps telling her, "I don't think divorce is really that hard on kids. The media is ALWAYS hyping how traumatized children of divorce are, but I don't think it's that big of a deal. I mean, I know if MY parents had divorced, I would have been FINE!!!!"

But you know, these damn kids have it made because they're just kids and I'm the adult in this triangular mess I got myself into. If I say "boo" to the brat, she will be defended because SHE'S A CHILD OF DIVORCE!!!!!! Yea, I'm about 20 years older than she is, but she's not a kid. She knows exactly what she's doing and I can't really fight back without looking like I'm a jealous second wife trying to tear apart a father and his little daughter...who's 26 years old.

I'd love to level the playing field and takeoff the gloves, but frankly, I'm not that kind of person. If I had my choice, I'd never see her again and never hear her irritating voice again. I'm not a fighter. I'm an avoider.

Thanks for your advice and your thoughts on my dog. He was a good guy and he didn't deserve that so late in his life. I wished that pit bull owner the worst possible karma and I think she got it. SD better hope I don't have that power or she's in for a lot of heartache!

Miss-Step's picture

The SD26 is using this to

The SD26 is using this to torment you. Do not respond to her. It seems to me that most SDs just have to be vindictive little "b's". She is using this to hurt you. If there is a next time, ask her why she thinks she has to keep bringing this issue up to you? Is there some reason she wants to intentially make you feel bad?

I'm sorry for your loss. I hate Pit Bulls too!

I suggest you find a Pit Bull and put it in her car and see how she responds.

hippiegirl's picture

Why do you have to draw the

Why do you have to draw the boundary WITHOUT sounding like a bitch? Maybe sounding like a bitch will get your point across. She doesn't try to not sound like one, so why should you? BTW, I'm sorry about your dog.

saffron5567's picture

Actually, your scenario

Actually, your scenario sounded exactly like something my SD would pull, so I don't think it was that off topic! There's just a malicious streak there, isn't there?

I have an even smaller dog now than the one that was attacked. When I see a pit, I take him up in my arms. Can you believe a man with a pit saw me pickup my dog as he came our way and he actually backed me into a corner on a city street and was berating me, yelling that his dog wouldn't hurt a fly? All the while, his giant pit was straining at its spiked collar to get at us. I thought I was going to pass out I was so terrified. Finally, some man had to pull him off me by yelling, "Hey, leave her alone! She has a right to walk her dog; you have a right to walk your dog; just leave her alone, brother!"

I mean, seriously, pit owners just tend to be assh*les with horrendous chips on their shoulders. And they are always out to pick a fight over the legitimacy of the breed. I just want to be safe!!!!

Regardless, thanks for your kind thoughts and advice. I appreciate it and wish you well!

novemberm's picture

Wow. I guess I am an asshole

Wow.

I guess I am an asshole with a chip on my shoulder. What a disgusting comment. I have a beautiful pit bull who I assure you would not hurt anyone. She is elderly and deaf, and I have had her for 11 years. She grieved for weeks when our cat died suddenly of an embolism. She got me through a really rough patch in my life. While I do acknowledge and know there are bad owners, there are many of us who are not. Shame on you for that nasty comment.

My heart breaks for those who have lost pets due to bad owners' actions. I have a family member who was mauled by a dalmation, and a friend who was attacked by a Doberman, but I do not judge ALL of them.

The OP's SD is obviously fixated on tormenting her SM, it is not about pitbulls.

saffron5567's picture

Read carefully, Novemberm. I

Read carefully, Novemberm. I said "tend to be" assh*les with chips on their shoulders.

I'd go on, but my sisters in the forum recommend I ignore people like you.

Poodle's picture

My name may tell you how I

My name may tell you how I feel about pit bulls! I'm so sorry to hear this. I think this is extraordinarily cruel and sick of your SD given in particular that she knows the pit also ruined your wedding, so much so that I just wonder who owned that pit who got your dog.
May I suggest 3 further ways of shutting her up without having an ugly scene? First, change your email address or somehow tweak the software so that she can't get through. However print out that email of hers with its date and hide it away somewhere. It could come useful in time. Second, if you discuss this with DH, point out to him the connection with your anguish around your wedding time which he surely will remember. Point out that this is deliberate abuse. He can't disagree. Third, if she does this in front of other people, don't fall silent and tolerate it, neither raise your voice or quarrel. Just say, "I don't understand why you keep advocating for pitbulls to me in front of other people, when I have told you already that I was really traumatised when one killed my dog just before my wedding to your father". Her audience will become yours, my dear, and you can then even start crying without it looking weak. You will have blown her out of the water.

It's nothing personal.

saffron5567's picture

I've had three dogs, two

I've had three dogs, two iguanas and a parrot in my adult lifetime. Kid count: ZERO!!!!!!

I wouldn't have a kid in my house - too messy, too hard to train, too expensive, too loud, my house is too small, they need space to run, too much trouble to crate them all the time, they need too much attention, they shed too much, they're too dirty...

So I hear ya, sister~!

Thanks for your thoughts. They are comforting when I think about that incident.

Most Evil's picture

I think you should find

I think you should find something that you know she does not want to discuss and start talking about that whenever she wants to talk about pit bulls.

Ex. remember that time you flunked elementary school? How did you do that anyway? Have you found a job yet, a decent guy, a true friend yet? What are you planning to do about your weight gain?

I hate to get into arguments because I will say the meanest thing just to end the argument, then the other people are all hurt and can't forget what I said, in response to the mean shit they said to me first. But maybe they should get out of my/your face, ya know????

She is intentionally baiting you, so give her something back!!

If you are going through hell, keep going. ~ Winston Churchill

saffron5567's picture

An interesting

An interesting insult-to-injury detail I didn't mention before... The book passage she sent me is critical of the media - not so ironically, I AM A NEWSPAPER REPORTER. SD IS a pit bull!!!!!!!!

It sounds as if I'm preaching to the choir on this dog issue. I appreciate all your support and am so grateful I didn't get a bunch of lectures from pit owners because I wasn't trying to politicize THAT issue here. I was just trying to get some help with "the kid." And I did. I will entirely ignore her this time and next time, but I can't promise the same next time.

Thanks for all your kind thoughts for me and my late dog. Just a note on this topic: I tracked down the owner of that pit bull, even after she gave me false name and contact info. When local authorities wouldn't do anything, I went to the state Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement and had them charge the owner with several offenses. I lobbied until the state euthanized her dangerous dog. And within the past two weeks, I finally received my last dime of restitution from that stupid slug. Her dog had attacked two other dogs in the two months prior to the attack on my dog.

Some of you wrote about similar experiences. If you experienced a dog attack by any breed you should fight until the bitter end to make the owners responsible. That said, I can't believe in this litigious society that pits are still allowed, particularly in crammed urban settings where a single dog could take out half a city block of kids before police contain it. Sinful.

angelbeth's picture

I am so sorry for your loss.

I am so sorry for your loss. She should just let it go. You told her it was best to agree to disagree. She should not bring it up again.

Rags's picture

Fact: A pitbull ate your

Fact: A pitbull ate your dog. End of story. SD needs to STFU. Periiod. I concur with the advice to ignore your idiot SD. Give her the "you are such an idiot" glare and move on.

If you have a pic of your pitbull shredded pup, burn a copy and drop in on SD everytime she brings the topic up.

IMHO of course.

I had a pit by the way. Great and gentle dog. Dumber than a rock but gentle and sweet. Maggie was a loving pet.

A parent is an example, mentor, confidante, advocate and disciplinarian, not a buddy.-Rags
If you can't listen and learn then you will have to feel.-WLR
If you want to be a part of my life then use your head or STFU and do what you are told.-Rags

forgotten wife's picture

send her one on her birthday

send her one on her birthday about abortions.

fierce_warrior's picture

Hahaha! This is Hysterical!

Hahaha! This is Hysterical! Thank you for the laugh, I needed it today. Probably shouldnt be done as it would reinforce this bitch's behavior

forgotten wife's picture

(No subject)

Evil Eye-wink

shes driving me crazy in my retirement's picture

So sorry to hear about your

So sorry to hear about your dog. You did nothing wrong.

Your SD is being insensitive to your needs. I did not read the whole thread, but have you talked to your husband about this and your feelings? Perhaps he would be willing to have a discussion with her about this and how it upsets you. If he does this and she still continues to bring it up, then you have every right to go off on her and tell her how bad it makes you feel and you never, ever want to hear her bring it up again....period. Don't scream it, or yell, just state it calmly but forcefully. After that avoid her like the plaque if she doesn't apologize for her arsine behavior.

TwirlMS's picture

What a terrible thing to

What a terrible thing to happen on the eve of your wedding. Was there any way he could have stayed with the vet under observation so you wouldn't have to cancel your honeymoon? I know it's a moot point now, but was just wondering.

I have mixed feelings about the subject of pitbulls. My son adopted a rescue dog from the shelter which turned out to be half pitbull. The dog is so affectionate with me, just loves it when I come over, but I've also seen it kill a squirl in the backyard with no effort whatsoever. It has the strong jaw and scary growl of the pitbull. Since she was the first "baby" of the family, it's kind of hard to get rid of her now.

I never get into debates with the stepchildren. I just stay neutral and change the subject so they know they can't bait me into it.

forgotten wife's picture

maybe you could just tell her

maybe you could just tell her next time, "look, SD15, mentioning Tigger really upsets your dad and we would like you to not do it anymore." (since your DH obviously doesn't have the courage to do so.)

forgotten wife's picture

then either start screaming

then either start screaming or laughing hysterically each time she does it. look her straight in the eye afterwards. do it each time.

fierce_warrior's picture

I am so sorry for your loss,

I am so sorry for your loss, No one should have to go through what you did. I just wanted to chime in to say that I wholeheartedly agree with Rhyleighblue. When an animal (or a person) exhibits a certain behavior, you have to stop and think "what is the function of the behavior?" Her vile behavior to me seems like she is looking for a reaction, trying to hurt you, get you angry, and upset. She might get off on it. The best way to extinguish a behavior is to not reinforce it. No reaction will not give her the reinforcement she wants and eventually (it might escalate first) she will stop trying. Hang in there!

dj's picture

I would email the little

I would email the little beotch off and then I'd get a specially trained attack dog the next time she comes to visit.....jk.....sort of. I am sorry for your loss I had a mini pom who was attacked by a pitbull...he survived I don't know how but he did...I was so glad only to have my creep of an ex husbamd take him away in the divorce....it was a loss to I was very sad but your story is horrible...I miss my dog everyday but he is still alive...u poor thing that had to b horrible....I do not dislike any dog breeds but watching that attack was awful he spend a long time at vet...

forgotten wife's picture

ooh, i love this one!

ooh, i love this one!

Freshstart's picture

Your SD sounds like mine. A

Your SD sounds like mine. A mean clever little bugger. Is yours more absorbed in your and your husband's lives then she should be? Sounds like it if she is digging this low to get at you. Is there anything you think you may be able to do to treat yourself well and recover some of what you lost at that time? So the timing of that terrible event (any animal owner would feel deeply for you) just before your wedding was a double loss. Can you line up a honeymoon to recover what you missed out on? You couldn't have enjoyed it then but you can now. Perhaps have a day to remember all the good things about your lovely dog before you go so you can reconnect the events in a happy way. Sounds like he was a good loyal dog and would have wanted only for you to be happy. That is the great thing about dogs they love you wholeheartedly in there straight forward way. That is something to celebrate about his life. Maybe you can get away on a belated honeymoon for a whole month or so? Take a rest from crazy SD.

ps you SD is relishing your grief and the connection to you wedding in my opinion. My SD did everything she could to make our simple wedding unhappy. She failed. Yours is loving that you had misfortune at that time.

Go on honeymoon every year. Talk about it incessantly whenever she raises a nasty topic. "Did you see our photos of Rome. We loved it there. We were so happy there."

I got a good one's picture

Ryleighblue said it well.

Ryleighblue said it well. It's a shame that your DH doesn't do anything to correct SD's behavior. She sounds evil. It's too bad no one is teaching her not to deliberately cause hurt by things that she says, especially to someone that her father loves. My 3 stepdaughters would not dream of hurting me like that. Their father would set them straight in a hurry. What a shame. And I'm sorry for your loss and ongoing suffering. Sad

engineer101's picture

Wow.....killing

Wow.....killing pets......wasn't Jeffrey Dahmer into this just of sick and twisted crap. Might want to sleep with one eye open!