how do you protect and heal your children from manipulation?
It's just frustrating because I've done nothing but go out of my way to keep the peace for the sake of the children but she insists on being spiteful towards my DD and I... I'm just so tired of this childish attitude! I'm not sure how much I can keep letting it go. I feel like I can't confront her on anything even if I wanted to because anything she doesn't like she turns around and claims DH is being abusive to the MI friend of the court! (she has done so several times, all claims with CPS have resulted in the claim being "unfounded" - seriously, the flaw in that system needs to corrected so that the people making bogus charges are caught and disciplined, you should be held accountable for attempting to manipulate the system)
For example, the 2 SS's called me keykey-mama, they named me this of their own free will and invention. My nephews call me keykey, my DD obviously calls me mama, they combined the two - we felt it was important for them to define their relationships and didn't encourage them one way or another, same went for my DD and DH. When DH's ex heard the boys use this endearment she flipped out (we have it on audio, we keep our phones recording to protect ourselves against her false claims, our lawyer's recommendation) she told the boys not to say that, that I am not a mother to them (when DH pointed out I am their step- mother she said I don't care, just because you got remarried doesn't mean I am) and went so far as to tell the boys it makes her sad so not to call me that... I am a big part of their lives, we have a loving relationship, but now they have this torn sense of loyalty as if having a relationship with me is wrong because it upsets their BM - the 5yo especially has been impacted by this and has become more withdrawn. He's slowly starting to open up a little more again, but he seems so crushed and confused. It seems so wrong. Likewise, when SS refer to my DD as their sister (they've been together since age 2, so hey don't know life outside of being siblings) she corrects them harshly, telling them she is not and never will be their sister or step-sister - its awful for my 5yo DD who then feels rejected when the 5yo SS keeps her at arms length and is mean to her because he wants to please his BM... And it's devastating to our sense of peace in our home when it seems invaded by this kind of anger and darkness.
How do I keep from letting this get to me? How do I help the kids process through their confusion? I'm tired of trying to pick up the pieces of our kids and comfort them without saying anything negative. I want our home to be a positive peaceful refuge for them, especially when there's so much else out there to deal with growing up. Home should be a place where they feel built up and protected, surrounded by the family that loves them - not this such garbage they're being buried by (especially without putting BM down in front of them) they're smart kids, I just hope they develop their own sense of identity, not what someone tells them they can or cannot do or feel. I want something better for them than this manipulation...
Please help? Someone please tell me there's life after this storm??? I could really use some encouragement.