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New Eveil Stepmother

Posted by on Jul. 5, 2009 at 10:08 AM
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Hi all.  SO glad to find a place where I can really BE the evil stepmother I want to sometimes.  I have a 15 yr old ss whom I've raised since he was 3.  His father and I just had our 10th anniv and have 3 children together. My ss - "Zac" - is generally a good kid, but being a teenager now, he is beginning to direct all of his years of frustration at being the only stepchild in the family at me.  I found a chat session he had with a friend online (yes, I monitor what my kids do online) in which he told her he was pissed at me.  She told him to "give her a chance"... his response hit me right in the gut - "I've given her plenty of chances.  One for every year she's f**ked up my life".

I know he feels I treat him differently, and in some regards, especially lately, I do.  He alienates me and refuses to allow me to reach him.  I have always thought that he isn't the only one in this relationship that has hurt feelings.  He is 15 years old now and it's time for his father, mother and whoever else says it to quit telling me "You're the adult and you have to handle it."  He's at an age now where he is fully capable of understanding that I have feelings too.  In my opinion, it's time for his father to start stepping up and holding HIM accountable for his actions and behavior toward me.  I can't force a relationship on the kid, but it rips me apart that I have been the one that held him when he cried because his mother didn't show up for visits (this was quite frequent when he was younger), I financially supported him all these years (SHE only started paying support in recent months because they finally - after 14 years - told her it's pay or go to jail), I've put my heart and soul into this child, and more, yet he claims to hate me.  I've by no means been perfect, but does that mean I deserve for him to alienate me and talk the crap he does?  I know some of it is just being a teenager, and I'm the easiest target for his negative emotions, but does that mean I have to "be the adult" and take it?

by on Jul. 5, 2009 at 10:08 AM
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by Group Admin on Jul. 5, 2009 at 12:47 PM

Hello & welcome.  We are so glad to have you in our group.  Please know that we will never judge you or bash you.  That being said, we do try to offer advice & opinions & we are honest with each other. 

My skids are 10 & 6 right now but I have a DD who will be 15 in a couple weeks.  She either loves me or hates me, depending on which minute of the day you happen to ask her.  I really think it is a teenage thing but I am sure it is greatly compounded by the fact that he is your teenage SS.  One thing you might try is taking him out on his own one afternoon or evening.  Go for coffee or to the mall or dinner or bowling or whatever he would enjoy.  Make it a special time for the two of you.  When you have a quiet moment, tell him how much you love him.  Acknowledge his feelings of frustration about his family situation & try to have an open discussion about how things can improve for all of you.  You are right, your SS is growing up & he has to start learning to deal with things in a more adult manner.  But also realize that in a lot of ways, he is still a child. 

I don't believe for a minute that one afternoon together is going to solve anything (trust me, I have tried this with my own DD & it works for maybe a week, lol).  But I do think it starts laying the groundwork for more conversations.  It is going to take a lot of conversations over the teenage years to survive them.

Kudos to you for monitoring what he does online.  The one thing I would say is take what you read with a small grain of salt.  I know my DD will say things online that she doesn't truly believe.  Sometimes it is to impress her friends or just to get attention.  After all, it sounds a lot more impressive to say you HATE your SM & she F'ed up your life rather than admit you actually like her & she is doing an ok job of it.

Good luck & we are here for you whenever you need to talk or vent!!

by New Member on Jul. 6, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Thanks.  I know some of it is just "teenagerhood".  But there's a lot of history too.  When he was 11, he began mouthing off a lot., During his birthday party, he and his brother (from his mother) hurt my baby girl (by accident) but they refused to tell me what happened.  He told me "I should have never asked him to keep an eye on her" (which I did so I could get HIS birthday cake out of the oven!!!)  Not surprisingly I lost my temper and called him an ungrateful "prick".  His mother got called, came to the house, called the cops (who refused to hear ME - they told me to go inside and shut up!!!) and just like that - we lost him for 2 years.  All it was was something I said out of shock and anger - an admitted mistake - yet I've done the same dozens of times with my "own" children.  We mothers make LOTS of mistakes, but it seems when you're a stepparent, mistakes are forbidden.  The truth is, I wasn't then and never will be a bad mother. 

Anyhow, he failed the two years he spent with his mother in school and had to go to summer school in 7th grade and he repeated 8th grade.  It was when he had to repeat 8th grade that  HE made the decision to come back with my husband and me.  In between, I'm sure his welfare sucking mother convinced him I'm the evil stepmom - because he's told me so but not in so many words.  So in short, the history is sticky and I feel like I'm the one who has to watch my mouth, not him - the lippy smart-mouthed teenager.  I never know what I can say or not say, do or not do. 

Your suggestions are good ones and I'll give them a try.  It's awkward for me too because I believe that he has always resented me.  Having the courage to be a mother is hard sometimes.  But I know it pays off in the end when your skid grows up to be a good young man and a responsible adult.

by Member on Jul. 7, 2009 at 9:03 AM

Yikes... being a SM can be so tricky.  You're right in that it feels we are held to a standard of perfection that no one can live up to.  I so often feel like BM is just waiting to pounce on me for anything.  (Major pouncing occured last week - but this is your vent!) 

At one point or another we've all said things either to or in front of our kids that we instantly regret.  A mistake you made several years ago, however, shouldn't haunt your relationship with your SS for the rest of his "childhood".  You are still the parent.  It will be challenging but you can't walk on eggshells around him forever.  I have a 16 year old DS and know how tough teenage boys can be - step or otherwise!  They do have a propensity for exaggeration when it comes to their friends so I would also encourage you to take his words with a grain of salt.  All you can do is try to keep the lines of communication open with your SS and know that he loves you, even if he doesn't say it, show it or want to admit it.

by Group Admin on Jul. 7, 2009 at 10:06 AM

 hey girl, welcome to the group! i think funnyface is totally right, also,  not only is he at that age where he wants to find someone to blame for his problems, but you are the perfect target, and what i mean by that is he knows you walk on egg shells to please him and try very hard not to treat him differently which to him makes you very easy to blame when he does feel like the odd one out. my sd (6) already plays that game with me, and it seems like everyone is perfect and can do no wrong in her eyes, so i kind of know how you feel. i wish i had better advice then just keep your chin and try not to let it bother you ( i know not easy) because i think alot of times that is like fuel for the fire.

well welcome to the group again i look forward to getting to know you better.

by New Member on Jul. 23, 2009 at 9:01 AM

Thanks!  I've often said the same - I'm the easiest target for him.  We once had a conversation riding home from his buddy's house where I was telling him that I'm not a "bitch" just to pick on him and such.  During this conversation he actually did say that we "ARE a lot alike".  My SS and I have had a lot of similar life experiences and because I've raised him since he was 3, he has become a lot like me.  And we do butt heads a lot because we're both stubborn.  In spite of all the negatives,  I know there's a boy in there who craves for someone to understand him - like only I do - but I can't help but think he'd feel he's betraying his mother if he lets me get close to him.  I only hope that when he grows up and has a family of his own he will come around and allow me to be a mother and a friend.  As most of us know in this forum, many of us vent about our SKs because we hurt for their approval and we've mothered them passionately but get VERY little rewards, in fact, most of what we SMs get is hurt and rejection.  But I always try to keep in mind that there's no way he can really feel what he acts out because I've been there with him consistently (unlike his BM) since he was only 3 years old.

Thanks for your words of wisdom!

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