Irreverent Mama

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

When was the last time I was so angry?

Hmmm... I'm not sure. I'm not a woman prone to anger. I don't really enjoy stewing in righteous rage, not, at least, as a way of life...

But tonight?

I'm furious.

Diva Daughter, the eldest stepdaughter ... you know, the one who has had NOTHING to do with us for over a year because we dared to suggest she might attend a family dinner without the boyfriend of three weeks attached to her hip? The one who, despite having lived with the boyfriend for six weeks (a whole three months after that conflict -- the girl was not letting any grass grow under her, er, feet) was NOT having sex with him? That step-daughter?

The other stepkids are with us for a couple of weeks. They are chatting at the dinner table. And they tell us such funny stories about that daughter. She's just so funny, that girl. She tells the funniest stories. Her favourites, it seems, told "hundreds of times" to all sorts of friends and family, revolve around conflicts I had with her middle sister. Conflicts which had me in tears, most often. One of which had me in tears on the floor, that's how much fun I was having.

I tried so very hard to make connections, to be a resource in their lives, but this particular child (a child who has, over intervening years, become quite a delight) had NO interest in a positive connection with me those first few years. This child was determined to be in conflict with me, and nothing, I gradually learned, was going to prevent her from doing so. Not promised treats, nor coaxing, nor firm discipline. It was a matter of loyalty. Mommy was queen, and thus, I had to be The Enemy. (Mommy said so.)

It was not a happy time for me. Eventually, after a more than a few heart-breaking episodes, I learned to disengage. Thus, instead of becoming the Crying Stepmother, I undoubtedly became the Remote and Evil Stepmother. I'd call that being caught between a rock and a hard place, me.

And now, years after the fact, years in which I have formed a good relationship with the formerly problematic middle daughter, years in which the eldest daughter turn nasty (to her dad; by then I'd learned to keep out of these things); turned nasty and eventually left, I learn that eldest stepdaughter has been using these long-ago, miserably unhappy episodes as opportunities for the spotlight, as comic anecdotes for the entertainment of (hostile to me) friends and family.

Just warms my heart, that does.

And her siblings? Her siblings are too STUPID AND INSENSITIVE to know that telling me of these stories, repeated many times down the years, to know that I have been the butt of malicious jokes and embarrassing stories, many times ("hundreds of times") over years, would be at all hurtful or embarrassing to me.


I held my tongue. I did not retaliate. I did not laugh, mind you, but I did not burst out with anything hurtful, either.

But I fantasize. I imagine telling an equally "funny" story about how my son's then 17-year-old friends would ask before coming over, "Is your step-sister going to be there? The fat one? Because if she is, I'll come another time. I don't really want to have my leg humped today."

Because a couple of years ago, the eldest step-daughter had some flirtation/hormonal issues, and was a serious embarrassment to herself. We tried to direct her away, gently, but subtlety was not her forte. So my son's friends,knowing what awaited, simply avoided the house when she was around, so intense and persistant was her desire to have their attention and desire.

But I did not say, "Oh, that's so funny! Hey, that's almost as funny as when D's friends wouldn't come around if his oversexed step-sister was likely to be in the house. Because they were afraid -- oh you'll love this -- that she'd be humping their legs! Yeah, they actually SAID that!!!"

Isn't that HYSTERICAL, kids? Just as funny, EVERY BIT as funny, as knowing I've been mocked and ridiculed by your BITCH of a sister for YEARS. Ha, ha, ha, fucking ha.

I didn't say that, because I am the grownup. Just barely, today.

And when might I expect THEM to grow up?


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  • Oh, ouch.

    As much as I value taking the higher road, I'm not sure I would/could have held my tongue. You get applause just for that. That said, you might want to gently let them know how inappropriate it is -- and how you feel about it. They might still listen to her (ha, will, right?), but at least you won't have to hear about it later.

    That's how I now have a somewhat peaceful relationship with my grandmother who'd bitch about me after each and every visit -- my parents stopped telling me about her thoughts. Took them long enough to figure that one out.

    Damn, I'm pissed for you.

    By Blogger Alli, at 1:52 p.m.  

  • Alli: I think you're right. I do need to tell them that this is not something I enjoy hearing. Maybe I can even get them to understand why. (These kids are 13, 15, and 17. Quite old enough to have some idea of what it's like to have people saying unkind things about you...)

    I couldn't have said anything when it happened, though, because I would not have been able to keep it measured. It would have burst out into hatefulness, and I utterly recoil from that. (Not that the hateful doesn't go through my mind, obviously!)

    Thanks for your input. It gives me a constructive response to the situation which doesn't involve bad-mouthing their sister. I needed that, but just hadn't got to the spot where I was thinking clearly enough to see what my positive options could be.

    I will have that conversation. Probably privately and individually.

    Thanks again.

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 2:58 p.m.  

  • Geez. Someone needs to smack those girls. Just a little.

    By Blogger AverageMom, at 5:10 p.m.  

  • Oh, would you? Puh-leeze? Because even MORE has happened since then, and they really, really need it...

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 6:08 p.m.  

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