It's an awful feeling. Builds up inside. Eats away at you . You try to forget about it but somewhere in your body doesn't let go. Hold on very tight. You snap, at everything. Things that normally wouldn't bother you, do. Patience you once had...gone.
That's how I feel, every time chatterbox is around. It builds just before she comes. And the resentment is more towards dh that anyone else. With her it's just a dislike. I dislike her, I dislike her coming to the house. But with Dh it's built up over the years. Do I resent him for meeting me, do I resent him for bringing me into his life when he already had kids prior, do I resent tht no matter what I am always going to be the second family. Seems no matter what chatterbox does he will stick up for her, even if she'd put our family at risk , or made up lies about me hurting her. There is so much bitterness coming out of me when he is around.
For 6 years I watched this trainwreck unfold. I tried everything to stop it. At first it was just little things like she wouldn't eat her dinner. So dh let her have whatever she wanted. She'd even go as far as pushing her plate away from her. HE never told her that was unacceptable, instead gave her yoghurt. She'd have a tantrum because he wouldn't buy her stickers in target. Literally laid on the ground and cried. HE bought stickers. She was 8 then. Old enough to know better. Why do I remember all this?? I don't know. maybe it's because it continued like this forever. He NEVER pulled the reigns in on her. When we didn't live together I let it slide. But once we moved in together and were due to have our first baby I started to pull the reigns in. We were one household. One set of rules. No special rules for anyone. Why should there be, Just because hs kids only visited every 2nd weekend it didn't mean it was a holiday house.
He left chatterbox in my care often. Never asked, just assumed. Who wouldn't. I was the SAHM, he was working. We were family. But it started to get to me not after very long when he would leave her as it was convenient for him, even for things like soccer games, soccer training etc. sometimes the whole day. If she was being difficult I disciplined her (never physically). It was verbal, I set consequences and followed through. I would tell dh once home and well he didn't like it. So i was good enough to mind her so he could have a life, but never good enough to discipline her. However if i said the EXACT same things about our own kids....eg "oh gee they were full on today" or " so and so just would not listen" or " everytime i asked them to do something they chatted back" he would sympathise . But with his daughter, no way. Funny though as she used to listen to me. And he knew that. I would only ever give her 2 chances, or otherwise it resulted in whatever consequence it was. And she'd listen. She had her moments, all kids do. But dh knew if he really wanted something done to ask me to ask her as he admitted she listens to me better. But that was because I was firm, I was consistent, I didn't take her shit. Her and I used to have fun. We'd laugh together. Play board games most weekends she came, or the PS2. I was the one who chose her presents as I knew her interests because I listened to her, Every time she came home after school i was there , there to listen, there to feed her, there to help with homework. That did not bother me, it only bothered me when Dh had double standards. I packed her lunch because I knew her favourite foods. Dh tried packing it a few times and I'd say no she doens' like ham, pack a banana instead, she likes that on her sandwich. She'd laugh and say yeh dad, (step mum) knows what I eat.
At our wedding 4.5 years ago chatterbox got up and did a speech. Maybe I should find it and show her. She said how happy she was that her dad and I are together. And how he used to be sad until he met me and now is happy. And She always feels happy when coming to our house. She did that all by herself.
Over the years I kept encouraging dh to build a relationship with her. Little steps...go for a bike ride, have lunch together. Just little things. Not buy her stuff. She won't remember that stuff. But he kept pushing her away. It was easier to let her do and say what she wanted, go where she wants because it meant he didn't have to deal with ehr sulking. We all know how fun a sulking child is...but they can suck it up. I put so much energy into it, into her. Always thought about how can we make her feel part of the family. Dh didn't. Until last year when she knew I was communicating with her bio mum (BM) to try and get dh and BM on track a bit as chatterbox was really playing one against the other once she started highschool. I didn't want D and BM to be friends, just wanted them to be parents and do the best for their daughter. BM SW willing . We still talk regularly. We support each other. Let each other know what chatterbox is up to so we can keep one step ahead. Chatterbox doesn't like this so she starts making up lies about me. Saying I hurt her, saying i told her she is not welcome in this house. That was last year when I said no such thing.
Meanwhile dh chooses now to try and be her "friend" not her parent. Sticks up for her in a non verbal way. She see's that. She sees he and I fight and don't agree with things about her. I think of the future and what trouble she can get in to if she continues this way, and he enables it. He thinks of now, and how to get her out of his face so she isn't pestering him.
So I resent him for letting this happen. For our family to witness this all the time. For the stress it causes. How do I fix it though??
Linking with twinkle in the eye for flash blog friday and with some grace for flog ya blog friday
and with you know it happens at your house too for TGIF