Alyssa - posted on 01/13/2015 ( 1 mom has responded )
This may not be as brief as I would like, due to the fact that the backstory plays a significant role in the subject of this post. Grab a coffee, or a whiskey if you're in such a time zone.
I'm divorced. My little family consists of myself, daughter 11, daughter 13, daughter 14, and 2 lovely (adult) stepdaughters, 22 and 26 (from my ex-h first marriage). Stepdaughters are both living out on their own, married/engaged, were raised right by their mama, and spent the typical EOW with me and ex-h when the little girls were little. They play a very active role in the guidance and emotional support of me and my 3 youngest daughters.
The Father......you'd be surprised how little wisdom a man with 5 daughters has gleaned over the past 26 years. We flipped flopped for many years, in between kids, I was his 2nd wife, blah blah blah. He didn't hit me, break lamps against the living room wall, or anything like that. He's simply stuck at a keg party in the back woods of Vermont that started in '85, and he's still waiting for someone to show up with an 8-ball to keep that party rocking. That sums him up. 47 years old, holds the same low-paying hum-drum job he's had for 18 years, reluctantly pays support for the younger set of girls (reluctant means it's garnished).
The court papers give him 3.5 days and me 3.5 days, but that arrangement didn't last very long.He sees my girls once per week. Typically their older sisters will plan things with them and pick them up to have 'sister sleepover', take them out shopping, all the great things that big sisters do. Dad is usually not involved in these plans.
Fast forward to where the trouble begins. Upon separating from my now ex-h for the 4th time, back in 2009, I decide I'm gonna go make me happy and I start a relationship with another man. Dumb, bad timing, wouldn't advise jumping so quick, alas, this relationship remains solid. Upon my ex-h realizing that this guy is around me, the crap didn't just hit the fan, it hit every fan in every house close enough to reach......ex-h blames new guy for our divorce, and he will tell that bit to any stranger who's unfortunate enough to be next to him at the bar. Sadly, he has also involved my younger daughters in this crusade. Badly enough that they are FORBIDDEN to utter New Guy's name in any context in Father's presence (the last time my 11 year old slipped up on this, he went on a 15 minute scream-fest in the car complete with F-Bombs galore, in the presence of all 3 girls). In ex-h's defense........yeah, he's right. If I hadn't met New Guy, struck up a relationship, and remained quite content with him, it's EXTREMELY likely I would have flip-flopped right back to ex-h and my house would be full of his best buddies drinking all of my beer. But I haven't. And guess what ex-h's #1 goal in life is, still? To have New Guy dead and gone. Again, my children are 100% aware of this, as he tells them all about it. Father also happens to have a lovely girlfriend of 3 years, and even she is unable to corral him in all of his buffoonery.
Now, New Guy and I have an odd relationship. By odd, I mean pretty cool. He lives about 10 minutes away in his own house, I maintain my own house. He keeps fairly long hours at his job, so if we are to see each other, it's after 8 or 9pm on a weekday, where he may spend the night here and leave at 6am to head back to work. New Guy has children and he picks them up on Friday night, has them until Monday morn, with the exception of 1 weekend per month.
I love having my space, my time with just me and my girls, and this arrangement works for us. New Guy fully respects my space and the relationship I have with my girls. New Guy would DEFINITELY rescue my daughters from a fire, or donate plasma if one of them needed it, but he does not take on any sort of fatherly role, at any point in time. He's just mom's bf that the girls may see hanging out with me in the evenings and takes me out for our Thursday night date. That's his role.
And now, for the problem. Daughter 13, by far my most challenging child from the day she was born. We all know what 13 looks like; moody, sullen, sometimes withdrawn, a bit mouthy and entitled, nothing surprising there. But as of late, I have noticed that when Guy is around (I've now dropped the New since he's been around for over 5 years), my daughter flat out ignores his presence. He may toss out a 'hey, how ya doin kid?' or 'your mama told me about your making the honor roll, good for you', and her response, for real, is to sneer, turn her head, and retreat to her room. Whether it's my bf or not, I find this a sickeningly disrespectful gesture to an adult. I'm ashamed and horrified that my child would act that way. I've approached her recently about it, and she (I kid you not) smirks, shrugs, and in a sing-song voice says "I don't know, mama!".
And I cannot even scratch the surface of how she sometimes treats her sisters....the 11 and 14 year old get the hell out of her way when she's in a mood, as do I. If she wants to borrow something of theirs, rarely do they say no to her, for fear of a grand eruption. Also have to add that 11 and 14 are peachy, happy-go-lucky, and rarely cause me to pul any hair from my head. 2 out of 3 ain't bad.
Daughter 13 at school? Oh, you guessed it. A real pleasure, conscientious of her peers, excellent work ethic, a real team player. You've got to be kidding me. So, naturally, after noticing this behavior towards the Guy for some time, among other recent bitch-offs that send me and the other children running for cover, I decide to sit down, woman to woman, and address it. She is her usual closed, but smug, self. Finally, after our conversation goes nowhere fast, I get THE TEXT: "Mom, I just wish we could have one single second alone as a family without HIM always barging around. HE's not family so why is HE coming to all of our family gatherings? UGGGHHH I can't stand him, and he's not part of this family". Huh? So I approach her to delve deeper into this accusation, since she's probably in the Guy's presence for a total of 14 minutes during a typical 7 day week, if that. Her response to me is "I've spoken my opinion, and I refuse to talk about the matter any further". Now I'm livid that this runt thinks she's not only the leader of this house, but also 28 years old. So, the only way to begin that task, of course, is to shut her cell service off, take the phone, and change all her Instagram/Chat/nonsense passwords. Done.
And here we are. She's not speaking to me, which is to be expected. I told the Guy to run for cover himself and give us space this week to work out exactly what is bothering her. Counselor at her middle school is pulling her aside to have a chat today. Big sisters have been briefed and are on board. Her beloved BFF's mama has been brought up to speed (you know, the mama that's so wonderful, much nicer to her kids than I am, and can do no wrong), but the Father? He and I don't confer about the kids at baseline, I'm on my own, so that avenue is a no-go.
I pray that someone here reading this can either relate their similar experience, or give me an unbiased outsiders' take. I see a real piece of work in the future if I do not get her to open up pretty damn quickly. I'm hurt, confused and embarrassed by her behavior.