You are here

Step Daughter popped in and I didn't even recognize her

Russell1981's picture

My SD20 left my home almost 9 months ago. She headed out my doors to prove to the world just how awful her mother and I were to her for all those years of providing a safe home, food, education, support, and everything else.

She followed her dad's advice and sent us the way of the buffalo. It was hard at first, then life just has a way of moving on. 

I have 5 other kids younger than 12, started my own business from a successful side hustle, got busy traveling across the country over the summer with my beautiful wife, and just really enjoyed life without stepdaughter drama for the first time in 13 years.

Two days ago I was in my home office when my camera notified me of a visitor. I scurried to the front door to meet the young lady. I put my two goldendoodle pups away and prepared to tell the young lady I was not interested in solar panels or a new water purification system. 

I opened the door and the young lady smiled and said SURPRISE! and opened her arms. I just stared and cocked my head to the side like a confused mut. 

Her mouth began to ramble on and then she asked the question that snapped me out of my haze...

"Where is mom?"

It was my stepdaughter...she had gained about 60 pounds since I last saw her. Her face was full of acne and her hair was nappy. It honestly broke my heart, but unfortunately I was home alone and I don't trust her so I set up a time for her to come back later. 

Wow...the visual of her has passed through my thoughts the last couple days. As a very competitive person there was this part of me that wanted her to prove me wrong. I wanted her to go out and crush it! Make me eat my words like I would have done at her age.

Instead she's out of money, she can no longer mooch off her aunt, and her dad... well he got what he wanted out of her I guess.

She can't live in my home anymore because I don't trust her and don't have room so I asked an older couple with an extra bedroom that she can rent for cheap to graciously take her in until she gets back on her feet.

So freaking sad. 

Less than a year ago she had a full ride at a local college and was being vetted for a management position. 

Any advice on keeping a safe distance and helping? I want to be cautious and not cruel.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

You arranged housing for her, which was nice but keep the goal of her doing for herself in mind. You and your wife can't save her; she must save herself. Does she have a job, a plan? 

Advice I can offer from having two headstrong SDs crash and burn after discarding us is, make no decisions in haste, and make all decisions as a couple; offer nothing, and when she asks for something, always take time (days) to consider and discuss with your wife; and don't let SD divide and conquer. Your wife has been guilty of conspiring behind your back in the past - don't tolerate it when you're trying to help SD20 learn and grow from her mistakes.

Rags's picture

Not your problem and .... she made her bed. She has to sleep in it until she makes another.

Hopefully, she learns and makes better choices.

Your young ones must be protected, even from their elder sister.

Stand your ground and keep SD out of your home.

You and your young children are the focus now.

Take care of you

ESMOD's picture

Well.. she wouldn't be the first kid to thumb their nose at their parents and then come back when they realized life was a little harder than they thought..

I think that helping her figure out housing (not inyour house) was kind.  I think you should have some general pre-emptive discussions with your wife about if and how much assistance she may want to offer her child.  I would hope her mom can get to know her.. know her issues.. was it substance abuse that made her crash and burn.. does she need help seeking out counseling?  does she want to go to college? does she need other emotional support?  mom can and should help in those kinds of advisory ways..  you can host her in your home for an occasional meal.. with your wife understanding that any invitations come with standards of behavior in the home.. that you don't want to let her live there.. or be there when you aren't home.. but that you understand her desire to reconnect and help if it's possible.. but be mindful that she don't allow it to consume her.

Harry's picture

Don't get sucked in.  Starting to pay her rent, food money.  Starts with $10. Ends up you are supporting her 

Russell1981's picture

Thank you for the advice.

I think I will encourage my wife in whatever she decides to do. I don't think it will be much. 

Like I said I don't want to be cruel, but honestly, I am over it. I don't want anything terrible to happen to her, but there is just no emotion there for me anymore. 

As far as my kids I have already spoken to them. They are in school, sports, etc. I am sure my younger children will be happy to see her and I am sure my two 12-year-old boys will be too busy with football and school to care.

It is an odd situation to be in. At the beginning of the year my wife and I were devastated and now we are so used to normalcy that it is tough to be bothered by it. 

CLove's picture

SD24 Feral Forger has been in and out of her parents lives. Not mine, as she is blocked on all my social media, and I have her blocked on my phone as well.

She was stealing when she lived with her mother, and husband almost got his bank account blocked when she was kting checks.

SD17 Powersulk doesnt love or even like her and most recently Feral Forger has been causing conflict. Supposedly FF caused them to lose an apartment (or two) and now they are living in section 8 Beach Town apartment, FF lives a few houses down, but I suspect she will be trying to slither her way back in = drama.

All you can do is support your wife while keeping and maintaining YOUR boundaries.

It sounds really sad.

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

You've got it down- just keep the boundaries and focus on your happy life. She needs to focus on her life and figuring out. I am not a petty person but this does swell my heart up a little to know you went on to have a bright and wonderful present and you didn't wade in SD's garbage. The NICE thing to do would be to continue to help her, the KIND thing to do is to be cordial, boundary laden and make sure you & your wife are synced up on decisions together. Be kind, skip nice.