betrayed and hurt
This is a fairly long story, so please bear with me. I am the step parent of 3 young ladies. I have been with their father since before he got custody. His oldest was 6 1/2 and his middle was 5 when they came to live with us in 1998. His youngest came to live with us the following year when I was pregnant with our child, she was 3 1/2. The girls' birth mom died in 2004. During that time, she only saw the girls around 7 or 8 times and it had been over a year before she died. So, I raised them and until recently NEVER used the term stepchild. They are now 20, 18 and 15. Our daughter is 11. I currently do not speak to the oldest two.
It started with the 18 year old. After she hit 13, her and I had nothing but problems. She was always doing things that she knew were against the rules. Last year when she was 17, she ran away to be with a boy we had forbidden her to be with because he was ultra possessive and domineering. She came back to our town but not our home the next day and talked her two sisters into moving out. The day after this, we all got together and had a discussion and reached a compromise. But underneath my agreement was so much hurt. I lashed out at her at every chance I got. I admit I was very ugly and unfair with some of the things I said. About 2 months after all of this, I was at work and my husband was having dinner with me. I got a phone call from the police that she had been picked up for shoplifting. Wow, the anger I had over it. She was grounded by us, no cell or phone or computer. Two nights later one of her friends text and called me that she was worried about her. We checked on her and found she had taken a bunch of pills and cut herself. We took her to the hospital and admitted her to a inpatient treatment facility for suicide and depression. She got home after released and things were going very well. She started to date a boy we thought was decent. Labor day weekend I was told that she was smoking and doing other things. I went and searched her room since she was at work. I found lighters, cigarette butts, ashtrays and a substance called K2. It was a potpourri like substance mixed with the ingredients from marijuana. I flipped. I was going to take her to the er and have them do a drug test, but my husband wanted to fix it ourselves. Long story short, her boyfriend was not allowed in or around our home and I stopped speaking to her. I could not and cannot get over the fact that she was doing what she was doing. I also couldn't get over the constant lying. We moved a month before her 18 birthday and she moved in with her boyfriend. I have seen her 3 times since November 2010.
The 20 year old, Ann, is my biggest issue right now. She is pregnant and just told us she is getting married next Friday. I do not plan on going. We have always had a good relationship until recently or so I thought. I had a friend who was to involved with my family. The kind who had to be included in everything and was at my house every day. We had been friends off and on for 7 or 8 years. Ann told her she was pregnant before she told me. God, that hurt so much. Then Ann came and stayed at her home, which is one block from us, and didn't tell us she was even in town. She lied and hid the fact that she stayed the night and entire next day with her for over a month. In May, my friend and I got into a massive fight over stupid things that happened between our younger kids. I tried to not talk to her until I cooled down and she pushed me over the edge when she started picking on and involving my kids. I told her we were not friends and to stay out of my life. Ann didn't believe anything I or her sister said that this person said or did. Ann said there is no way she would say anything about her. All of a sudden, I went from hearing from Ann countless times a day to 16 times in a month. Plus I was so excited to be a grandmother! Now I could care less She exchanges over 50 texts a day with this former friend of mine. I exploded after Ann kept this woman's two kids after telling her sisters that they couldn't stay at her apartment until she quit her job the next month. Ann told me she could have any friends she wants and sees nothing wrong with her being friends with my former friend. With everything that happened with my former friend and looking at everything Ann had done, I came to the conclusion that she chose her over me. I have not spoken to Ann since the beginning of June. There have been massive fights on Facebook and not once has Ann stepped in to say "Stop that is my Mom" or anything along those lines. She lets people bash me and then when my family (sister and cousin) stepped in and said something, she let her future mother-in-law say a bunch of stuff about me without saying anything. I finally had to block everyone involved except Ann, and that is only because my husband would not let me.
I have had it with the children I raised having no respect for me. I have removed myself from their lives as much as I can without leaving my husband. I have tried to let things go and get over it, but the hurt and anger are still so very much there. I cannot even hear Ann's name without feeling it bubble up in large waves. I want nothing to do with her or her baby. This is causing strain between me and my husband because he loves his kids and wants to see his first grandchild when she comes in Sept. How do I get past all of this? I have no trust for these two. I am sick of being hurt by these kids. I am not a perfect mom, but I feel they treat me like **** and expect me to accept whatever they do or say to me. Any advice on this would be great. I have run out of ideas to get past all of this.
Please slowly read your own letter above as it came from someone else and see if you can see the themes of anger, resentment and jealousy that have infected your difficult life. Then please get yourself to a counselor ASAP to talk out all of this pain that is now running your life and causing terrible losses of loved ones in your world. Please do this before it costs you even more.
Dr. Mike Bradley