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Can't quite believe this ......

Old 05-26-2014, 10:06 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Hopefully they don't intend to act this way, it's just a byproduct of their own codependency. Maybe one day they will wake up and see the damage they are causing to SD (and you for trying to protect her), but probably not. They are trying to make sense like everyone else is, but they are definitely doing it inappropriately. They probably don't realize that they are losing SD too.

She will make her own decision when she is old enough, and I think it's pretty clear right now what decision she will make. She should never have to feel that she is responsible for something like this at her age (at ANY age), especially when she is not even capable of understanding the depth of the situation. If they lose her, that is their fault-they have to be held responsible even if they ARE codependent and that is the sole reason that they act the way they do.

I think you are doing the right thing, and I think she will appreciate it when she gets older.
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Old 05-27-2014, 04:27 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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I don't think they intend to hurt SD, but they do this again & again. They did it to us, for years by putting mum before their own son. It was crazy, sick & absolutely destroying & drove him to a breakdown & put me in counselling! She has always had some kind of hold over them, & we kind of understood it when SD was living with her mother (she would use emotional blackmail to get money out of them) so there has always been codependence. But, when SD left her mother
3 years ago we thought things may change, but they didn't & now not only are they continuing to hurt us, they're hurting their granddaughter too.

We cannot have any more to do with them because to do so would be dangerous. It's a shame, it really is, but we have no choice because they really won't ever change.
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Old 05-27-2014, 06:09 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Does anyone think that SD's mum should be made aware of what her grandparents said to her?
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:12 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Probably not. She isn't rational and it may just hurt your sd more.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by NikNox View Post
Does anyone think that SD's mum should be made aware of what her grandparents said to her?
To what end? To make her see the light? Why would this work when nothing else has? Confronting mum with this seems likely only to fuel the drama surrounding this more, and your SD has had enough.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:47 AM
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I was just thinking that if she knew she could perhaps reiterate to SD that if she did start drinking again it wouldn't be her fault. I guess I wondered if it might make her feel sorry for SD too, for having such a tough time from her grandparents. But, it's probably a bad idea. I think that because what was said to her is so so awful we're still reeling from it
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:00 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by NikNox View Post
I was just thinking that if she knew she could perhaps reiterate to SD that if she did start drinking again it wouldn't be her fault. I guess I wondered if it might make her feel sorry for SD too, for having such a tough time from her grandparents. But, it's probably a bad idea. I think that because what was said to her is so so awful we're still reeling from it
The problem is that she should absolutely, 100%, already know those things and already made them clear to her own daughter. Coming from you and/or your husband it is not likely to be received as anything but an invitation to escalate the incident even further. If she is not ready to hear and accept that her choices have negatively impacted her daughter's life, then that's what it is, sadly. Your positive influence in your SD's life will go a lot farther than trying to manage the damage from the negative ones. Good luck to you, my heart goes out to your SD as I know how she feels.
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:12 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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She won't be aware of what they said, but you're right, she should know how negatively she's impacted on SD's life. Since she left rehab, she hasn't once accepted any blame. In fact, all she has done is tell SD she's seeing my in-laws, despite being aware that SD wanted them to stop their involvement with her, effectively rubbing salt into the wounds. Goodness, they're all really rather horrible aren't they!
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Old 05-27-2014, 01:00 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by NikNox View Post
I was just thinking that if she knew she could perhaps reiterate to SD that if she did start drinking again it wouldn't be her fault. I guess I wondered if it might make her feel sorry for SD too, for having such a tough time from her grandparents. But, it's probably a bad idea. I think that because what was said to her is so so awful we're still reeling from it
Hi Nik,

I don't think that the mother of your stepdaughter is in anyway going to be able to support her daughter right now. IMHO, if you tell her what your in-laws said to her daughter, she would probably feel it was a victory of sorts for her. This is just my 2 cents.

I think distance and silence and carrying on with your own lives in the most peaceful and joyous way possible is for the best in the long run.

Sending hugs!
S
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Old 05-27-2014, 01:32 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Thanks Seren, I think you're right. They (the in-laws & AM) have this "bond" that, in most ways, is not normal, so she probably would see it as a victory of sorts. It has occurred to us that perhaps the reason she insisted on telling SD she was seeing her grandparents despite knowing how SD felt about it, was some sort of sick ploy to drive a wedge between them & us so she can have them all to herself. She's always been able to twist them around her little finger to extort money from them etc., so she needs to keep them on side. It wouldn't surprise me if she'd said to them that if she started drinking again it would be SD's fault!
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Old 05-27-2014, 02:00 PM
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It's quite possible that she has implied that to them if not out-and-out said so. Sorry she feels that way, sorry they feel that way....they are missing out on spending time with a wonderful young lady. Their actions, their consequences.
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Old 05-27-2014, 02:40 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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And our choice not to have any more to do with them, any of them. They can continue to exist in their twisted little bubble and we will continue to exist outside of that. We don't need them - they do more harm than good.
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Old 05-27-2014, 02:51 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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I think it's the best decision you can make for SD, Nik. I'm one that gives no leeway for age or blood-relation when it comes to toxic people in my life & especially in DD10's life.

In fact, I have been having very big issues with my 90-yo Gram (my mom's mom) over the last 6 months as it relates to abuse of my mother that I have only just found out about. It's a very long story, but the relevant part is that I told my mother in no uncertain terms that I may very well never see or speak to Gram alive again at this point & I'm ok with that. She is a very sharp, together woman who has amazing health for her age but her toxicity to those around her & the way she is choosing to handle this family crisis is something I won't make excuses for nor will I look the other way while she feigns memory loss or blameshifts. She is avoiding me knowing that I will call her out but trying to manipulate my mom into setting up for her to be able to visit with DD - no way, uh-uh, ain't gonna happen on my watch.

Toxic is toxic & there is no room in my life for that...... since I'd rather save for DD's college vs. therapy fund - there is no room for them in her life as long as I have a say-so.
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Old 05-27-2014, 03:30 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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You have made the wisest choice. The grandparents misguided loyalty is baffling!

Or maybe not so baffling: it's possible the mom is extremely active in influencing them. And that their views of you, your SD, and husband are provided to them by the alcoholic mom.
She may build up their hopes that she is recovering, convincing them that she is the only "true" mother, that blood is thicker than water and she must be in their lives. (and close to their wallets). Or she is working the pity angle and convincing them that her severe problems drive her to drink and she needs their support. And money too. She might be creating the image of herself as a the victim in their eyes, and once again, make them more malleable to supporting her economically.

Of course the mom is going to do everything in her power to stay close to an easy source of money. The mom could easily be the source of the remark that it is the SD who made her drink. Totally predictable, totally typical and not surprising behavior at all for someone in advanced, untreated addiction.
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Old 05-27-2014, 03:45 PM
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The misplaced loyalty thing, man -- I'm sorry you and SD are dealing with this. My mom, for whatever reason, has never trusted me and has always been suspicious of me regardless of my behavior. This constant criticism and suspicion led me down some dark roads in my teenage years and early adulthood. She sided with my rapist, and down the road, with my DS14's dad, who was abusive to me for many years and had me in treatment for PTSD, and she maintains a relationship with him and his family to this day despite knowing her meddling has caused hundreds of problems for me and DS14. She is also obsessed with my STBXAH and is always trying to discern how he "really" is because she doesn't trust me and my thoughts on it. She knows no boundaries and throws fits if you tell her no. My mom is a classic co-dependent who I suspect also has some narcissistic tendencies -- regardless, it defines how I understand and deal with her.

However, I'm an adult and I get to choose whether I have a relationship with her today and how deep it is. But nobody was there to shield me from her constant gaslighting and unfounded mistrust as a child, and it had profound negative effects on me.

You are right to limit her contact with the in-laws. They have the right to have a relationship with their ex-DIL if they absolutely have to have one (ugh), but fortunately you have the right to limit their contact with their granddaughter. The way you talk about it -- are they contacting her through texting and social media? You can block them now through her Facebook accounts and parental settings through your wireless company, and insist that their contact with her (if any) go through you BECAUSE of their outrageous behavior. She is a minor child and they're trying to catch her in their web of codependency and denial.
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Old 05-27-2014, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by littlefish View Post
You have made the wisest choice. The grandparents misguided loyalty is baffling!

Or maybe not so baffling: it's possible the mom is extremely active in influencing them. And that their views of you, your SD, and husband are provided to them by the alcoholic mom.
She may build up their hopes that she is recovering, convincing them that she is the only "true" mother, that blood is thicker than water and she must be in their lives. (and close to their wallets). Or she is working the pity angle and convincing them that her severe problems drive her to drink and she needs their support. And money too. She might be creating the image of herself as a the victim in their eyes, and once again, make them more malleable to supporting her economically.

Of course the mom is going to do everything in her power to stay close to an easy source of money. The mom could easily be the source of the remark that it is the SD who made her drink. Totally predictable, totally typical and not surprising behavior at all for someone in advanced, untreated addiction.
It's always been as though she's put blinkers on them, so that they don't 'see' their own son and granddaughter. Initially, when my husband left her, she made them promise not to abandon her and blackmailed them by saying they wouldn't see SD if they dropped her. My MIL maintained throughout that she was only 'staying friends' with her so as to keep an eye on SD. For a while, and because my husband had moved 20 miles away to live with me, we kind of accepted that, were pleased someone was indeed keeping an eye. But, as time went on it became clear that something was very very wrong. My MIL was our constant source of information, and it was never nice. She would go to great lengths to tell us how appallingly my SD was being treated by her mother. She would tell us the horrors she witnessed, first hand, some things would leave us practically retching. We would, of course, contact Social Services, but because our 'stories' were always third hand they didn't really believe us. They advised my MIL should contact them, as she was witness to these atrocities, but she always, always refused, and said 'I will not go against her mother'. It drove us crazy, but she was our only link to SD - for most of her life with her mother there was no way of contacting her as there was no home phone, and her mother never answered her mobile. We lived 20 miles away and my husband didn't drive then, so his mother was the only person to keep an eye on things. But, what kind of an 'eye' was it? It became more and more apparent that it wasn't a caring 'eye', because how could anyone sit back and not do anything about the way their own flesh and blood was being treated by an alcoholic? My MIL never tried to cover up for SD's mum in the sense that she was only too pleased to tell us what was going on. Warped or what? SD now knows all of this, and she resents her grandmother for not helping us get her out of there sooner.

Theirs is a very toxic relationship, it must be because they were all coercing together to protect her neglect and mistreatment of SD. We also think that one of the reasons why my MIL wouldn't help get SD out of there was because whilst SD was with her mum, within the same town, she could have control over her. She is a very domineering woman and likes to control people. She knew that if SD left to live with us she would lose that control, and maybe that was too much for her to bear.

It does give me some comfort to learn that we are not the only ones to have experienced this totally baffling misguided loyalty, and I am so sorry for anyone else that has had to endure this, because it's not nice, at all ....
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