I've read a lot of opinions here on those who choose to "write off" a child or stepchild. I am a longtime stepmom and BM with lots of experience dealing with a wide variety of issues. Here is my take..
I, like many of you I'm sure, consider myself to be a good person. I have flaws and plenty of them - who doesn't. But I am compassionate and caring and I want to do the right thing. I deal with a BM who is mentally ill. She thrives on conflict and discord. We have made all attempts to get along with her but there is no reasoning with her.
She is a pathelogical liar and over the years she has done many insane things..She filed Domestic Violence complaints against my husband twice (planned to coincide with Christmas because she wanted to hurt him by keeping them from him) once against me (all dismissed), she has called police to our home to "check" on her kids (never any issues). She called DCF when my DH entire family was in town for family reunion because she said we yelled at SD (untrue and dismissed), she had her lawyer send us crazy letters non stop about ridiculous, untrue stuff: one said DH and I were making pornos while the kids were around (yeah right.) Everything was based on lies and I do not exagerate here my friends..
She has told SD that her DH wanted to abort her and that if she didn't take "her side" and stop seeing us, she would stop loving her and never speak to her again. She physically assaulted SD when she found out that she had called her dad on her cell phone. She wouldn't speak to my SD for weeks after finding out she had introduced her boyfriend to us. It goes on. She has yelled profanities and SD, kicked her out of her house three times (we rescued her), and told her that her whole family hates her for talking to her dad... She actively and continuously has tried to keep the kids from loving their dad.
Meanwhile DH has always put kids first. Very involved, very loving, supportive. He paid more child support than he was required to - he had kids half the time because he cherished his time with them. Is he perfect, no. But he is a damn good father. I wish I had one like him.
My SS is now 22, and after allowing this behavior to brain wash him for a bit, when he got older - his mother verbally attacked his girlfriend, calling her a "whore" and "Trailer park trash" ..this woke up SS - who hasn't spoken to her in two years. Of course BM had to then turn SD against her own brother - and make her feel guilty for wanting to continue to have a relationship with him, and convinced her to call her brother and yell profanities at him too. The last two years with SS have been amazing. He and DH are best buds. They talk everyday,we have him and his gf over all the time. Its been a calm, peaceful time. Never did we ever tell him he should not talk to his mom, that was his choice.
As for SD as she got older, she became even more difficult - and a lot like her mom. She would share all kinds of private information with her demanding mother. She took pics of our house - and even a video and sent it to her mom - who promptly posted it on her FB. Speaking of FB, she routinely calls me, my DH, and our eight year old daughter names on there - and her friends - who must be mental rejects, eat it up. Let me also mention, that BM filed papers to move to another state right before we were all taking a family cruise, so we had to think about that during a vacation that took us a long time to save for. Once we returned DH spent two years in court and a ton of money we didn't have - on keeping his SD here - because she told us that was what she wanted. But since that court battle ended, and SD remained here.
She spent the next year being the biggest jerk to her DH. She is cruel, nasty, and selfish. She doesn't care about anyone but herself. I can give you a hundred examples, but believe me - she was mean and cold. She finally announced she was no longer coming over and DH was told there wasn't too much he could do at this age to force that - but he didn't want to "force" her to see us anyway, if she didn't want to. She said she would see him alone for lunches, dinners, movies. So he tried to do that, and every call was returned with a text that she had other plans, or she would make plans with him and cancel. She was always curt, and rude. They managed to have one lunch and DH did not bring up any issues, just tried to enjoy the time with her, it seemed to go well, and ended with her asking him to bring along her 8 year old sister next time. I was thrilled, because although I have reached the point that I no longer care to see her. I do care about DH and DD very much.
DD was so excited, and you guessed it - she canceled. DH tried to make other plans and was greeted with nasty texts each time. He asked her to please explain all this anger in person - so they could discuss it and resolve it -- nope. She's a coward. She's tough behind that little phone though. He has no clue what she is angry about -- she just wants to be angry it seems and every new angry text contains a new vague reason -- DH kept reaching out and recently said he wanted to see her and help her save for car, she slammed back with a text about how she's always last -- that my son got a car first (completely untrue) she is making crap up - just like dear old mom.
I really thought she loved DH but she has been so cruel and he has attempted to overlook it and try and see her - but its getting nuts, last night DH asked her to call her little sister ,,saying even if you don't want to talk to me, can you give her a quick call? That day at camp my dd was suppose to make a picture of someone who was sick, or needed prayers - she drew her big sister. It broke my heart. She asks about her all the time - and does not understand why she doesn't see her. Well my lovely SD responded NOT NOW, and then went on to say she is moving on to "a new chapter in her life and washing her hands of all of us." Now tell me, at what point do you stop trying? This girl is so mean to her dad. Every attempt he makes is slapped back in his face. He simply responded that his heart and his door will always be open. I support him whatever he does. My heart now has a padlock on it. I don't know that I ever want to let her in again. I know she is a teen - I have a teen girl myself - and she gets moody etc.
BUT SD goes far past that. She is cruel and hurtful. She wonders why so many people in her life (teachers, friends, friends parents, her boyfriends mother, her grandparents, her cousins) find her hard to be around. Its the way she treats people. She doesn't care. But she thinks everyone is out to get her. Its always everyone elses fault. She never apologizes for anything, or accepts responsibilty.
I think its very hard on dads who are not custodial and have to deal with a crazy BM. Mom encourages the disrespect and the hateful behavior. She wants to destroy the relationship they have - and she has succeeded. How can you be a father, when you have a BM who says "you don't have to listen to him, he's an asshole, loser! you know what..he wanted to abort you! He doesn't love you, you're always last on the list over there, .." etc. Its a battle that makes you weary.
The high road gets hard. Some men give up because its too much pain, too much rejection, ..and I say SHAME on the mothers who do that to their kids. Its abuse. They are not thinking of what is best for the kids, they are thinking of getting revenge, getting even, hurting, lashing out, for their own selfish petty reasons. Frankly its disgusting. If a teenager basically tells you she wants nothing to do with you, do you keep calling? Why so she can call you obsessed or pushy or annoying.
SD is probably gonna end up just like mom. But at 16, with as much love and support we have shown her - she had a choice - we always told her she could live with us - personally I think SD enjoys being this way now.After all, its easy to be a bitch. Its fun to tell people to F*** Off and make people beg for your love and attention... Its hard to consider other people's feelings, swallow your pride sometimes for the greater good, admit when you are wrong, and put others first sometimes. Nope being a bitch is much more fun for her.
UG I vented..I feel better. Sorry, no one to really talk to about this. I'm trying to maintain an outer aura of calm and peace for my DH and kids.