While I’m on my trip back in time, a few other things from earlier in my marriage needs to be brought to light. Our early blended family life was anything but fun.
I had just came out of an eight year marriage with a man that refused to work or help take care of our children. I was twenty-four years old with a four and a six year old. If you’re doing the math, yes I married very young and no I wasn’t pregnant. I call it my young and dumb or temporarily insane period.
My new husband was thirty-six and been married three other times. I know I should’ve saw the red flag, but I didn’t. He had an eight year old daughter who lived several hours away with her mom, his second wife, but traveled to see her every month or so. She would come visit on her school breaks too.
When my step-daughter was eleven and home on Christmas break, she confided in a friend that her mother was being physically abusive to her. We were awarded emergency custody and eventually full custody. Issues arose soon after she moved in. I tried to raise my kids to be nice to everyone, be respectful, pick up after themselves, do what you can to help others, and do what you are asked. Apparently, her mother raised her completely different or she just hated me. She refused to listen to me. She talked to me like a dog. She was spoiled. Everyone was expected to do what she said and bow at her feet.
How many seventeen year olds do you know that get to pick out any brand new car they want and not pay a dime? I was driving a five year old used car with a jacked up ABS system, and she got a BRAND NEW, NEVER DRIVEN 2008 Impala LS. She even got to pick out the color she wanted. Oh, and all this happened on my son’s thirteenth birthday. I’m sure he didn’t think it was fair. It was his birthday and he gets $150 gift and she gets a $28,000 car for no reason. I’m not sure if that was part of the reason or not, but my son moved in with his dad the following year.
My step-daughter’s behavior got worse as time went on. The disrespect and disregard for everything I said or asked became a huge burden on me. I started to isolate myself. Avoidance was the only way I knew to survive.
She wouldn’t listen to me, but she didn’t talk back and call me names when her dad was around. She chose to ignore me instead. According to her, I shouldn’t be involved in any of their conversations or decision making. When my husband wasn’t around she would tell me, that I was only allowed to marry her dad and live there because she agreed to it. I was told that she hated me. I was a crazy, bipolar, bitch, a horrible mother and wife. She also said it’s no wonder my kids left me, if she wanted me gone all she would have to do is say the word and her dad would get rid of me. These are just a few of the things I heard nearly every day. Of course, my husband wouldn’t believe me when I would tell him. His daughter would never do such a thing.
She was the perfect child in public, but at home the acting out became a daily event. It came to the point where she not only verbally attack me, but she also became physical. It began with pushing my hand or arm, but soon led to shoving and hair pulling.
A few months after the physical attacks started, my husband was able to witness her behavior towards me. Her verbal attacks started to happen when he was home, but her hands were kept to herself for a little while longer. I told my husband that something was going to have to give. If she laid her hands on me one more time, I was either going to fight back or call the police. At this point, she was eighteen and things between us were horrible. It made an unbearable tenseness and division in our home.
One evening in July, she was being mouthy to me and her dad. She refused to do what she was asked and stormed off. The arguing continued and led to her pulling my hair and pushing me. I resisted the urge to give her a right hook. I just tried to get her off of me. I couldn’t take it any more so I called 911. Yea that didn’t turn out well either. The officer told her she could file charges against me. What the Hell?! She attacked me! Amazing how a little flirting from a pretty eighteen year old blonde can affect a young police officer. I swear I get the shitty end of the deal every time. She didn’t file charges and neither did I. I just wanted her to know I had enough and she needed to accept her role as the daughter instead of my husband’s partner. She moved out that night and began living with a friend and then our niece.
Rumors started to spread throughout the family and community about how horrible I was. She was telling everyone that I was physically and verbally abusive to her. She also told everyone that I kicked her out of the house which was a complete lie. According to her, I was also two-faced. My mother-in-law was very cold to me. Actually, all of my in-laws were treating me different.
After about two years, things slowly began to improve. People saw that I wasn’t the person she portrayed me to be. My step-daughter was finally maturing some and was trying to make amends. The fact that she was being kicked out of my niece’s house and needed a place to stay probably helped things along.