Was 15 years meaningless? Surprisingly, no.

>> Sunday, May 29, 2011

After being made to feel meaningless and expendable by my stepdaughter after 15+ years of loving her, to be kicked to the curb when it came to graduation (seriously, eight tickets are more than enough - or should be and when you tell your dad he gets two for dad and stepmom and then take stepmom's ticket away a week before the trip - wrong!), I thought to myself - the last 15+ years was a waste...I put myself, my heart, out there and it didn't mean anything...I took care of her like my own and it meant nothing.  Why did I bother?

The other day I told a friend of mine how it all felt meaningless after all these years of being in a parental role with my stepdaughter and this being the result and she said something that made a huge difference to me:

"You should not feel like your help in raising her is meaningless though, loving her was the right thing to do. You can be proud of yourself! It is sad that an exciting/happy time is this way because it doesn't have to be like that, which you already see, because you aren't CRAZY."

She's right.  I wouldn't have done anything different.  I COULDN'T have done anything different.  It isn't in me to treat children any different than with love and caring.  I could not have been a stepmom the last 15 years to two kids without showing them any positive emotion or taking care of them when they were in my home.  I did the right thing by them and it's on their mother and them how they behave now as an adult and almost adult.  It's on them how they treat other members of their family - their dad, me, and their four younger siblings.  

Now, this is not to say that as an adult, she's going to get my heart out front for her to puncture time and again.  What my stepdaughter did to me, and her dad especially, was terribly wrong and as of right now, it's changed the dynamics, the bond, between she and I in my eyes.  Stab me in the back once - shame on you. Stab me in the back twice - shame on me.  She's an adult now and responsible for her actions.  She's not a young child anymore who needs me to brush her hair, make her meals, and kiss her boo boos away.  I CAN be proud for providing for them when they were at dad's house and giving everything I could that they needed to be loved and taken care of since marrying my husband while they were with us despite the conflict, interference and vindictiveness of their mother over the years.  


Stepdaughter an Adult (Legally Anyway)

If I could do back handsprings and cartwheels, I'd be bouncing all over my yard right now in happiness!!  The legal relationship with the ex, for my stepdaughter, is OVER!!!

One down and one to go.


You can't mess with this stepmom.

My last post was a short one about what position my stepdaughter put her dad into - he was promised two tickets (for the both of us) but she texted him the other night and said he was only getting one out of eight tickets.  What a position to put your father into.

I fully expected this to happen.  Nothing we do where it concerns the ex and kids goes smoothly and the other home's actions are generally predictable in their conflict and cruelty. There's always something negative, which is sad.  With me expecting this, I planned for the worst.  I contacted her high school a couple months ago expressing a wish for several tickets.  They only hand out so many to the student and that was it.  I contacted them again a couple weeks ago to see if anybody had turned in any extra tickets.  Nobody had but they put us on a waiting list.  Three days ago, I contacted the school again to see and they didn't have any extras.  Well, that night is when my stepdaughter texted her dad to tell him she was only giving him one ticket to her graduation ceremony.

My husband told me to take his one ticket and go in his place.  He was very upset that his daughter put him in this position.  He said he was "floored" by it all.  I have been "mom" to her when she's here.  When she was going through a huge emotional crisis last year and her mother didn't know what to do with her, she sent her to ME.  When it's all said and done though, I'm expendable.  I'm easily set aside.  I'm just the stepmom.  I'm not important.

The next morning after he received that text, I contacted her school principal back again and told him what was going on and how we'd appreciate a couple extra tickets so that we could see my stepdaughter graduate together and if he could mail them directly to us so they couldn't be taken from us, it'd be great.  He responded right away that he'd mail out two tickets ASAP!

I really don't want to go at this point.  After 15+ years of being a loving stepmom to my stepdaughter, I was kicked aside like I was nothing after all of these years of loving and taking care of her.  However, I WILL go to stand by my husband for him, for us.

They tried.  They failed.


SD Only Giving Dad One Grad Ticket

>> Thursday, May 26, 2011

Well, it happened. SD texted her dad tonight to tell him she is only giving her dad one ticket for her graduation ceremony. What a position to put her dad in!


O Magazine - $9.00 for a One Year Subscription

I'm not a huge Oprah fan but I know many are.  Right now, you can get a one year subscription to O Magazine for only $9.00 at Amazon (shipping is free).  Buy a subscription for you and one for a friend!


Wet Dog Smell

>> Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yum, that wet dog smell is drifting through my house right now - and it's not from the dogs...it's from me.  What a nice aroma!

This morning, I gave my daughter's toy poodle a bath before the vet appointment (because yesterday's bath didn't last long after she went outside this morning and rolled in the mud).  I took my shirt off before the bath because I knew she was going to get me wet - me in my bra giving a toy poodle a bath - yippee.  I was right...she got me wet.  Shirt dry so  no big deal.

Take two dogs to the vet a little while ago - the sun is shining.  Walk out of the vet with a 4.8 lb. dog and a 6.8 lb. dog and it's booming - thunder, lightning, and pouring rain.  I have dogs in my arms who are acting like they were totally traumatized at the vet and it's pouring on us.  Yum - the transfer of wet dog smell all over my shirt - the one I made a special effort to keep dry this morning.


One of the worst smells, to me, is wet dog.  I can handle poopy diapers.  I can even handle dog gas better.  Wet dog smell just makes me want to yak.  Tomorrow, I get to take two more dogs to the vet, and three kids, and it's supposed to storm again tomorrow.  Fun days!


I'm giddy!

By this time Friday (two days!!), my stepdaughter will have finished her last day of high school! I'm positively giddy!!


What would you do?

>> Monday, May 23, 2011

I am really expecting my stepdaughter and her mother to go back on the agreement for two graduation tickets for us and just hand over one for dad - making him choose between seeing his daughter graduate or standing by his wife, stepmom to his two kids for 15+ years now.  (No, I can't get more tickets from the school - already asked!  They give a certain number to the graduating student so they're in the ex's hands now and they give enough for parents, grandparents, etc. so it has nothing to do with not having enough tickets.)

If dad is told he is only getting one ticket for himself and you were dad, what would you do?

As stepmom, what would you do?

As stepmom, what would you expect dad to do?

I don't know if my stepdaughter has the gall to do that - she's been really difficult and hostile but I don't know if she'd go that far.  She'd be drawing a line.  I guess we'll know in less than two weeks.


Hate Us (but hold your hand out for money at the same time)

>> Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My stepdaughter is currently in a very active "hate dad" campaign (along with her "dis stepmom and ignore her half-siblings phase").  In all the hate she has spewing right now, she expects us to buy her first year of books for college!  At the very high-cost college she is going to, that'll be around $1,000 or more (probably per semester) I'm estimating.

Yeah, I'm perfectly willing to hand over 1K every few months after being made to feel like nothing.  Not.  She must have me confused with a doormat.


8 Days!!!!!

Three are EIGHT DAYS and NINE HOURS REMAINING until my stepdaughter's last day of high school.  Let me tell you, I am so happy that this countdown is coming to an end.  One stepchild graduating and one to go!  When that legal relationship with the ex ends, I will be THRILLED beyond belief!


Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation

According to Wikipedia:  Parental alienation is a social dynamic, generally occurring due to divorce or separation, when a child expresses unjustified hatred or unreasonably strong dislike of one parent, making access by the rejected parent difficult or impossible. 

According to Parental Alienation Awareness Organization:  is a group of behaviors that are damaging to children's mental and emotional well-being, and can interfere with a relationship of a child and either parent. These behaviors most often accompany high conflict marriages, separation or divorce. 

ParentalAlienation.org:  a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child-custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child's campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) parent's indoctrination and the child's own contributions to the vilification of the targeted parent.

Stop Parental Alienation of Children:  Parental alienation occurs any time that a parent, relative or friend speaks badly about another parent so that a child can hear what is being said. Alienating behavior may be mild, moderate or severe...when there is a predominance of negative messages being communicated to a child, these messages can seriously erode the child’s psychological well-being. In severe cases of parental alienation, children are manipulated and brainwashed (programmed) into such states of confusion that their perception of events and people around them are severely distorted.  Programmed children lose their own sense of reason and their ability to express their own choice in the matter. If the alienator is not contained, these manipulations of the child’s mind become the incubator of their own future psychological problems. These children have an altered perception of reality that is not in their best interest or in the best interest of society.

My stepkids don't remember a time when their parents were together.  I've always been there in that parental role with my husband for as long as they can remember - when they were sick, showing them love, teaching, taking care of them, clothing them, taking them to doctors when mom wouldn't, etc. when they were at dad's house.  When they were here, they were loved and taken care of.  They did not hear negative things about their mother; we did not interrogate them on their time with their mother.  They had a safe home to just be kids.

When they weren't here, they were pressured and manipulated for loving us.  Their other parent may have loved them but it had strings attached.  They were punished if they answered the phone when dad called them by mom removing herself from them - they answer the phone, mom won't play with them - withholding love, time and attention.  You go to dad's, mom stands at the end of the driveway and cries as you pull away.  They were told things about our home to scare them into coming here (we had serial killer ghosts at our house, going to hell, etc.).  They were encouraged to schedule everything they could on dad's time so it became dad's fault if they missed something.  They were made to feel afraid to leave their mom alone to come to dad's house (mom is all alone).  They were bought with material things - anything they wanted no matter the cost, go wherever they wanted to go, speak however they wished to (oh the cussing!) - they run their mom's house.  They were encouraged to buck our basic household rules and harm siblings, get consequences from us for inappropriate behavior, and then babied and excused for that behavior by mom.  So many other things but it's been 15+ years of PAS.  Eventually, that took its toll and mom won.

Why can't kids just be allowed to love who they love?

Up until a couple years ago, I really thought we'd get through it despite the ex.  I never would have thought my sd would behave the way she's been behaving lately.  We tried to make sure they knew we loved them, despite their other parent's attempts to interfere, and maintain a presence in their lives but eventually, they started pulling away from us. The therapist said it was so they could feel "safe" at their mom's house.

If I knew then what I know now, would I have put my heart out there for 15 years for them to stomp on now?  I don't know the answer to that right now.  I'm too hurt over their behavior the last few years and what I heard this morning about how my sd has been treating her dad, the things she's been saying to him, the way she's turned everything around to suit her mom and herself.  My husband isn't sleeping; he's stressed and has been for weeks - since my sd started her active "hate dad" campaign.  She's ignored her siblings for a few years now and I've quietly taken a backseat as well over what my role was with her used to be for so many years, but she's just so far out there right now - I don't know who she is anymore.

I'm glad I can safely vent here.  I can emotionally purge all my feelings - rational or not - and still maintain the responsible, loving adult persona to them - even when they slap me in the face with it.


Oh the Drama!

Why can't things just go on without conflict?  Seriously!

My stepdaughter's graduation is in a couple weeks.  We've been planning on going.  We wouldn't want to miss it!  My stepdaughter tells me not to bother.  I told my husband this morning that I got the feeling from that conversation that she didn't want us there.  He said that he thinks she just wants him there (never mind her four siblings or the stepmom who helped raise her and who she doesn't remember her not ever being there for her in her life).


I predict that if she gets the guts to do it, she'll not give us two tickets to her graduation ceremony. I  think she'll put her dad in a tough spot by only giving him one ticket, after we drive to their state, to either see her graduate without me or not allow her to manipulate him and not go. 

This is what years of manipulating and pressuring does to kids.  They get forced to choose.  They get forced to pick sides so they feel "safe" with the alienating parent.  They eventually start to believe the crap they're fed and turn on the other people in their lives who love them.

It makes me angry (at the ex mostly but at the kids sometimes too who are old enough to know better now) and I vent here where it's safe.  I never take it out on the kids or show them anything less than love but damn does it hurt.


SD Ticked Off - Again. Is it the Prozac?

>> Friday, May 13, 2011

We can't figure out what is wrong with my sd.  She's so angry all the time anymore. The only time I hear from her is when she thinks she has to complain about something.  I asked hubby if he talked to her last night and he said they argued last night, like usual (usual since Prozac, not usual over the last 18 years).  Is it possible that Prozac has changed her from the sweet kid she was into the hostile person she is now?

We can do nothing right apparently.  She graduates in June.  She planned her graduation party in July. We can not afford two trips to their state within that short amount of time.  We are going to her graduation ceremony because that is most important.  A party in July - not so much.  A party with her mother's side of the family who hates us - definitely not so much.  We had asked her months ago if we could take her out after her ceremony to celebrate and she said no.  So yesterday, she asked me on facebook why we weren't coming to her graduation party too the next month.  I explained it to her (finances, it's not that we don't want to but financially, we can't swing two out-of-state trips so soon).

"Well, if it's such a hassle don't bother coming at all then."  (That's what she told me.)

I realize you have been warped by your mother and are now spoiled, never having to work for anything and have no concept of financial responsibilities but grow the hell up.

No, I didn't say that to her.

I told her we loved them and missed them and wanted to see them and were coming to see her graduate in June.  All I got back from that was a "yea" - yea, what?  Yea as in "ok, sorry I bitched at you because you didn't deserve it? or "yea, right, I don't believe you"?

After that, I guess she moved onto her dad to complain to him all night long while he was at work.

I'm so tired of this.  

Does anybody have any personal experience with Prozac?  Can it make a normally nice kid hostile and aggressive?


She's a good mom?

>> Monday, May 9, 2011

On my MIL's Facebook yesterday, my MIL told the ex she was doing a good job (in response to the ex kissing up and telling my MIL Happy Mother's Day).  When?  When she alienated the kids from their dad?  When she manipulated them right into therapy many times and Prozac?  When she changed therapists every time a therapist would say the ex's behavior was the reason the kids were in therapy?  When she didn't take my stepson to his speech and occupational therapy and the wicked stepmom did?  When she didn't give the kids boundaries or rules or consequences?  When she allowed my super bright stepson to almost fail all three years of junior high because she couldn't be bothered making sure he did his homework?  When she lied to my stepdaughter's pediatrician about the source of her stomachaches and put her through stool checks, enemas and x-rays and other medical tests rather than tell the doctor they happened when mom cried when they left to go to dad's house two blocks up the damn road?  When my stepdaughter became so fearful of hurting her mother's feelings in some way she stopped going to dad's house and became over-apologetic and started having panic attacks when she thought she'd disappointed her mother?  When my stepdaughter said that she'd rather die than worry about her mom anymore?  When the ex allowed her kid to be vulgar and pornographically obscene in front of younger kids?  When she excused my stepson's violent behavior every time he physically harmed one of his younger siblings (MY kids)?  When the ex cried in front of them every time they left with their dad until they just refused to leave her home crying alone anymore because she has no life and is pathetic?  When she allowed her kids to be inactive and unhealthy?  When she taught the kids that dad just doesn't matter?  When she taught her kids that their younger siblings matter even less?

When was she doing a good job?

Oh, she gave birth to them.  That excuses everything else!

So, if that is the definition of good parenting, what's the definition for bad parenting?


Mother's Day Ignored

The stepkids ignored Mother's Day for me.  As usual, I expect it from my stepson.  My stepdaughter usually sends me a Happy Mother's Day message.  This year, nada.  Guess she's still ticked off at the stuff she started on facebook and is going to blame me for that?

Oh well.

My own kids and husband spoiled me absolutely rotten and not just ON Mother's Day. It was like a four day weekend of spoiling for me!  Loved it!!


Happy Mother's Day

>> Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!  I hope you have a wonderful day today.


Not Supposed to Buy Anything for Ourselves?

>> Friday, May 6, 2011

We bought a new "used" vehicle today.  My husband's car was 13 years old and mine was 10 years old.  My husband's was the worse out of the two (ready for the junk heap condition) so we traded his in.  We bought a new "used" vehicle (two years old) for me to haul our kids in safely - it's the car I've wanted for several years now...not the color, but the model:)  I have this thing about color and gray isn't it...though gray is what I always seem to end up with.  Hubby will take over my old car for his work vehicle.

Do you ever feel funny about buying something where the ex is concerned? We do and that's just not right.  Even though it's used, etc., and the ex is driving a brand new car (and we're pretty sure the ex is going to buy my sd a new car too), I get the feeling like we're not supposed to buy anything new (or used in our case) or else.


Such an Idiot

>> Monday, May 2, 2011

The ex sent a list of oral surgeon names to us to check with our insurance to see if they were in-network (for my stepdaughter's TMJ).  I looked them up and let her know which ones were in-network.  She replies back that they don't even do jaw problems (so she'd have to get a new list of names for me to look up).  Shouldn't you have found that out FIRST before you contacted us?



DH Pays Up, Ex Doesn't

>> Sunday, May 1, 2011

My husband pays his child support on time, all the time, for the past 16 years.  It's paid before everything else - house payment, groceries, etc.  The ex hasn't paid her share of the kids' medical insurance since last August.  Nice.


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