I am going to vent a bit here today about something that I am sure others deal with on one level or another. I am still trying to process and attempt to understand how some people act the way they do.
I know…that first statement was a bit vague so I will give you a little back story to put things in perspective.
My ex husbands family had always been kind to me and my kids. When I divorced him, they were still understanding and I kept in contact with them the best I could. They met my new husband and they all got along and I thought how great it was that we had this relationship with them. The kids would have their grandparents and all was right with the world. Well that was 5 years ago. My oldest daughter who will be 21 in just over a week caused us some crazy trouble when she was 15. She was defiant, dating a deliquent and started running away. We came close to putting her into a residential facility for defiant teens. Our counselor even suggested that when she turned 18 that if she was still causing this much trouble and couldn’t obey the rules of our house, that ‘tough love’ wasn’t easy but it might be warranted and would be the right thing to do to salvage the rest of our family. We called the police on her several times, had her admitted to the juvenille psych ward, where she was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, and we all as a family spent many hours over the course of 3+ years with her in family counseling, working on things she was going through. It was then that I found out that when I was with my ex husband that he was abusive, both verbally and physically. To this day just thinking about it still makes me sick that I didn’t see the signs and get out sooner. She wasn’t sexually abused thankfully. But, he was mean to her and always when I wasn’t around since I was the only one working and trying to keep our family afloat. I forever will carry that guilt that I just kept trying to make everything right all while failing my oldest daughter and our son. My ex was and is a bully.
Back to his parents and the purpose of this long, rambling, venting blog post, but first a bit of background on what preceeded all of this. Our oldest daughter when she graduated from high school, met a guy, who was older than her but she was 18 now and we couldn’t stop her from moving out. He seemed nice and she seemed to be over the destructive boy whom she had been in a relationship with from age 15-16. So with our blessing and us helping her move in and helping her decorate their new place she moved out on her own with this guy. After about 6 months the relationship became abusive and we rescued her and brought her home to live until she could afford to get a place of her own. She was out of high school and there was no way it was fair for her to just lay around in the basement sleeping all day and not working or going to school. We had to practice “tough love” with her once again. We laid down the law, she had to either get a full time job and contribute or get a part time job and be going to school. We couldn’t afford to pay for her schooling so she would have to figure it out on her own. We tried to help her when she was in high school and she was even offered a scholarship for a private college for her color guard skills. She never followed through with any of it and pissed away a chance at going to college like all of her friends. She couldn’t hold a job for one reason or another, some beyond her control like illness etc. My ex’s parents were being told by her that we gave her the ultimatum of the job/school thing or she would have to figure shit out on her own. Of course she is going to cry and complain to someone, why not try to milk some sympathy out of the grandparents, right? They took this as we were throwing her out on the street with nothing. I received many messages from my ex’s step mom berating me for not paying for her to go to college, for not buying her a car and for being a horrible parent and throwing my child out. I told her I didn’t know where all this was coming from but she didn’t know what she was talking about. She never would rationally listen to what I was telling her. After awhile of me being so upset my hubby even spoke to her and told her that she was irrational and was welcome to sit in on our counseling sessions and we would give her access to the records and she could know the TRUTH once and for all and get her facts straight before attacking my parenting skills. It ended up with me blocking her from my facebook because I couldn’t take the stress anymore. We brought it up with our counselor and our daughter was encouraged to call her grandma and explain that she had been manipulating them. I was sitting right there when she did this over the phone and we had it on speaker and my daughter flat out told her but she didn’t believe her.
Fast forward a bit and she got a job, and was doing better and decided she was ready to get her own place again. Things were good between us again and she got a place and moved out all on her own. Hindsight is 20/20 and I should have read the signs when she didn’t ask for any help, and wouldn’t accept help when it was offered. We soon found out the reason why, the boyfriend who had caused so much trouble in our family when she was 15 was back in the picture. She would lie and make up stories to cover for why we hadn’t been invited over or whatever. But when we found out and confronted her, she was defensive and made up excuses as to why he was there. I called bullshit, because after all we had been through with this boy and all the hurt and damage he caused her, we didn’t understand how she could get back with him. After all the hours and hours of therapy and counseling our family attended on her behalf to help our family become stronger, we all felt betrayed. She stopped talking to me for awhile. She was still in contact with the ex’s parents, and they were much more accepting of her and this assholes relationship because she had fallen back into the manipulating them the whole time and making up things in order to make them feel bad for her and help her out because we refused to allow this boy in our home because we didn’t trust him. We loved her but still felt screwed over by this boy after all he had put her through and the trouble he caused. When she became pregnant and moved an hour away without telling us. (I found out on Facebook that she was pregnant). We worked through our issues and worked on letting go of past issues and moving forward. When things went bad with her boyfriend and they broke up just a few short weeks after the baby arrived. We took her and the baby in and supported them since she didn’t have a job or anything. I tell you all of this for information only, not looking for recognition. It is what in my mind a family does for each other. We help when we can and how we can when tough times arise.
Our relationship has been rocky but as she has matured and learned about the world on her own, she realizes now that everything we did, we did for her out of love and to help her to become a self sufficient member of society.
Yesterday out of the blue, my ex’s dad and step mom were at my front door. I invited them in but he stood there quietly and she refused to enter our home, instead standing out in the cold. They had brought a Christmas gift for each of the kids and asked if they could take the two youngest out for lunch. Our oldest came to the door to say hello to them and the ex mother in law said to my daughter, “I would invite you to lunch as well, but now that you have a relationship with your mother again, I don’t want that drama”. So because my daughter has a relationship with me she no longer lives or breathes??? As they left I wished them a Merry Christmas because I believe in not stooping to the same level as those who offend me. Now I know where my ex husband got his twisted sense of family. Because he actually said that to my oldest daughter when she was about 10 years old, he said, “you don’t even exist in my life, so don’t talk to me, just deal with your mother from now on”. How does a person do this to someone you supposedly love?? Why are people like this?? I was raised to stick by your family and to get the facts before accusing someone of being something they aren’t. It makes me sad that there are people like this in the world, but even sadder that I have met them and tried over and over to be nice to them. I don’t like to be bullied and I won’t ever again in my life. If people can’t handle that, or the way I raise my kids to not be a bully or to stand and take being bullied then those people lose out on knowing us. Family or not, it isn’t right to treat someone that way. I have grown a backbone and refuse to be treated like shit or to allow anyone else to treat those I love like shit.
Sorry if this is just all over the place, I just have so many feelings right now from sadness, anger, disappointment, and utter disgust. I truly feel sorry for these folks. The only solace I have is that my children know the truth about their biological father and his family. For they are loved unconditionally by my husband and I and always have been, but with that part of their biological tree branch….the love is conditional and they refuse to accept the lies being told to them. I am not a perfect person or a perfect parent. Nobody is. But everything I do is always 100% in my children’s best interest and always will be until I draw my last dying breath!!
Thank you if you got to the end of all of this mess. Sorry for rambling.