Friday, November 14, 2008

Some background

I'm not sure what started the spiral exactly. It seems like it was bound to happen, and just needed a kick in the pants along the way. Think about this. Mystery's mother walked out when she was 5 years old. She barely called and hardly visited for the next 3 years, and she lived in the same town. It was probably worse on Mystery than Jabber because she was old enough to understand that her mother was making a choice not to spend time with her. She learned about excuses pretty young.

Then I came along and I was really tight with my kids, especially with Glory. The mother/daughter stuff was a lot of what you'd want it to be, very close and active with each other constantly. So Mystery sees this and probably started to cling to her Daddy a little more for awhile and there was surely some jealousy mixed in there too because she had been the 'house mother' for a couple years.

When I was pregnant with Daisy is probably when it all started changing. Mystery and Glory shared a room and although Glory wasn't around too much they were often at odds with normal stuff like "Stop borowing my clothes!!!" I was harder on Glory about chores and things that I wanted her to be an example of and that had to have sucked for her. I know it did. Worse, nobody cared about the example and they did whateverTF they wanted! Daddy still wouldn't choose a battle about little stuff, but waited until the huge snowball hit! Snow boulder!

So, less attention for Mystery right? Nomal actions/reactions on both sides. Oh, one surprise though. Mystery never told anyone that she had a new sister on the way. Glory invited one of Mystery's friends and the Mom to the baby shower and they were the only ones that knew until Daisy was a couple weeks old. Mystery began using a crying baby as an excuse for lack of sleep to her teachers! Shoot, she was up sneaking her butt on the phone until all hours and paying ZERO attention to the baby! Daisy got sick at a couple months old. She got one of those things that she was just getting shots for but had already been exposed to. (I can't remember if I've shared this and will have to go back in the achives to see!) She was hospitalized in PICU for just short of a month and I stayed with her 95% of the time she was there. When we came home things at our house had gone haywire! Daddy let the animals run the zoo! Oh, he came and told on them while we were there, but there's only so much I could do by phoning it in!

It has to be right around then that they started going to TW's for more than one night here or there on weekends. About 6 months later I told Daddy that things were changing too much and they were disconnecting. We should keep them home EOW and establish 'normal' with our family. He sounded just plain tired of dealing with conflicts and would only agree to keeping them one weekend a month. That last for about 7 months. Lately I can tell you that I'm tired and relieved when they're gone.

It's because there's nothing here when they're here. I can tell you that I have heard the two of them talking and Mystery has blurted little things when she is ticked off. They don't need me for anything. There is no doubt in my mind that TW has drilled it into their heads that I am nothing to them and they do not need me for anything. If they want something they should never ask me for it. Half of the reason for that is because I insist that they ask in the form of a question with manners. If there's no please in it then I ask them to repeat it. Heck I did the same thing with my bio kids and it didn't kill them! If you want something then ask, instead of telling someone that you want it and expecting them to jump.

An example. We live less than a mile from the school that Mystery attends. I used to get up and give Glory a ride to school when she asked. She got a ride sometimes too, so it was inconsistent. If there was snow on the car then I expected Glory to help me wipe/scrape it off and getting the car warmed up, possibly bundling up Daisy while I did that. Something! Not just at her beck and call. Mystery is a whole different kid though. Because she would have had to phrase it as a question in the first place she wouldn't do it. She informed Daddy that she was going to have him drop her off at MIL's house and she'd have her drive her to school 20 minutes later. Turns out that she informed MIL too. And they did it for most of one year! In the spring MIL apparently put her foot down and told her to walk from here because the weather was nice enough. The next year she began having Daddy bring her to the school when he left for work and she would wait until classes started. Doing this made her arrive 40 minutes before! What teen do you know that wants to get up and go to school 40 minutes before it starts? Heck, almost a half hour before any other kids get there! But all this happens just so she won't have to ask me for a thing.

LOL, she walks a lot of places. She won't ask me, and Daddy has stopped being a constant taxi for her, citing that she needs to ask instead of inform him. Yayyy!! He picks and chooses when he'll go with things like that, but I'll take them where I can get them! In truh she only half makes her plans and then ends up calling him to come and get her when the plans that she said she made don't materialize. I have to say that I don't like that she's 16 yrs old and walks around after dark by herself at times. We're in a pretty quiet residental neighborhood, but sometimes that is not the place to bewalking all by yourself. If I never let Glory do it at that age then why would I want her to? Shoot! Her with her tight jeans and booty all out there and everything! Looking all badass, but it's all a bunch of hype! She can talk a good game, and I think her friends are her friends so that they aren't on her bad side but she's all talk. Trust me!

I'm not trying to pick on her. I'm trying to survive around here. I take so much crap from my step-kids that I would never take from Daddy even. Being ignored to my face, if I ask them to help do something one way then it seems like they bend over backwards NOT to do it. And lied to. They know that Daddy chooses his battle a lot more lax than I do and they rely on that so they can shortcut everything. He gets sick of me telling him about whatever one of them did, but he won't do anything that would allow me to have any final authority. Hey, if he'd let me set a limit and then tell them that if they don't do it he'll make it 3x worse then maybe they'd start listening to me, ya think?

I just know that we are only ever in the same room at the same time for a VERY small percentage of any day. When he's not here neither one of them has no problem ignoring me, walking away while I'm still talking or doing an exact opposite of whatever it was right in front of me. Saying they're sorry means get off my back but I'll do it again every time.

A counselor/shrink would have a field day with us, right!


kwoneshe2 said...

Okay, I'm not sure of the exact circumstances, or situations. But just STOP doing for them. If you do their laundry - stop it. If you ever drive them places - stop it. EVERYTHING you can, within reason, stop doing!!!

You are not their slave, you deserve to be treated better, and you need to stop.

Medea said...

How crazy that she would rather do that than ask you for a lift! What's more, I can't believe that her Daddy and Grandma let her do it for so long.

I think you're doing quite well coping with the rudeness. Don't beat yourself up for principles that are perfectly admirable. Hopefully the example you set will have a positive effect on her.

Mimi said...

It's been a gradual stopping, and there is something in me that every now and then just has give something a try and see if we're at a point where we can be civilized. Maybe when she's 30?!

My hubby doesn't get it that this is rude, he just tells me not to make offers to do things again instead of setting them straight. I think it's a disservice to them, and so far it doesn't seem to matter. Yes, one day I might be appreciated, but it seems doubtful it will be by her unless she has a kid and wants me to help with care. Even then I'm still not sure I can picture it!

But I'm not mad today... it's just what it is and I try to reason it through my head. It is so nice of both of you to post back and let me know that I'm not nuts!!

dragonmctt said...

Hang in there! I find the hardest thing is to differentiate between what is normal teenage behavior and what is step-behavior and what is just plain unacceptable. There are times that I really struggle with this because BM acts like a teenager when she is 36 years old. So some of the behaviors the boys have (SS1 is 16, SS2 is 13) seem like they are acting just like her, but in reality, what they are doing is normal developmentally, she is the one that acts like them (which is not normal)! So it is going to be a hard few years, because sometimes it really seems like BM is living in our house, times 2!

All you can do is set limits for yourself. If your hubby won't do it for himself, you have to just go with it and let him deal with it. But you certainly don't need to take it.

Mimi said...

Yes dragonmctt! I did make that decision about a year and a half ago. It just doesn't suck less with time! There is so much in me that says that you don't give up on kids because they don't know any better. LOL, I'm considering finding a countdown ticker for when Mystery graduates HS and will most likely move out of our house!

cassee01 said...

Here is what I have told my kids in regard to my boyfriend (because at 9 my oldest has tried to pull some of this crap), you will treat him with the same respect you give any adult, he and I know he is not your parent, but he is an adult and deserves the same respect you give any adult so you need to do what he tells you, be polite, just like you would with a teacher, your grandparents, a neighbor. I make the decisions about your discipline, but if you are disrespectful you will face the consequences. It has worked pretty well. Their dad has told them that don't have to listen to him, that he's not allowed to cook for them, that he's a bad person, the whole nine yards. It sucks.