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My dads (old) new girlfriend.


NotIndigo

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I'll start with a quick introduction: Hi, I'm NotIndigo, I'm 28 and new on the forum. A pleasure to meet you

 

I could really use a bit of advice from you parents out there, I feel my own are a bit too involved to be objective.

 

My parents got divorced when I was 18 and about a year later I moved in with my dad. I had just broken it off with my boyfriend and needed a place to stay and it's not important.

Anyway, his new girlfriend was living with him too, as was my younger brother, and at first everything was fine. the girlfriend was really nice and we got along great, but it didn't last.

 

I must have done something, though I don't know what, to make her think that I was trying to break the two of them up. I wasn't by the way, just to be clear. So she decided that we were enemies, or something. She got mean, called me names behind my dads back, one time literally. She once locked me in the bathroom, she had asked me to clean it and I did, but she didn't think I had done a good enough job. I admit that I could have given it a bit more attention the first time around, but still. So she locked me in there for about a half hour so I could finish the job properly.

 

Now it should be said that, I am what some psychologists call: "psychologically vulnerable", I struggle with ADD and a dependent personality disorder... I was a doormat basically. And the girlfriend knew it. The way she treated me made it worse, to the point where I started having suicidal thoughts.

 

I was told once that it helps to write down hard-to-deal-with feelings, but I didn't have a journal, what I did have was a sudoku book, in the margins I wrote about contemplating suicide and how the girlfriend was making me feel worthless. Didn't think anyone would rifle through my sudoku book so I just left it in my room.

 

Of course the girlfriend found it and confronted me about it. She yelled at me, said it was horrible of me to even think of doing this to my dad (which I admit is true, but not the point here). She made me feel ashamed about it. Was still thinking it though.

 

Now I'm a little hazy about this, but I think it was roughly two months after that, she gave my dad an ultimatum: either she moved out or I did. I knew I really shouldn't be on my own even then but part of me was worried he'd pick her, so I made the choice for him and moved out.

 

Things didn't go great for me after that, I eventually attempted suicide and am I ever glad that didn't work! Let's be clear; I don't blame her for this, she had a part in setting me on the path, but she didn't drive me to the brink.

Dad and the girlfriend became Dad and his wife, not that it made her any more pleasant. Then one day, dad catches her going off on my little sister and breaks it off. (There was much rejoicing).

 

I never told dad how she treated me, or my siblings, partly because I didn't want to be what she'd always said I was; a vindictive witch who didn't like someone taking away her daddy etc. And because it's a big scary conversation to have.

 

But now they're back together and expecting me for Christmas...

 

So parents: Should I tell him?

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I'm probably about your parent's age, and I have kids your age. And as a parent, I would want to know if someone I was involved with was being abusive to them. On the other hand, if I were in your shoes and it were my father (when I was your age) I don't think he would have listened to me, which would have made my situation tougher. It's tough, because he'll have her word against yours, but you can make it clear that you don't want to appear vindictive and aren't trying to break them up, but just want to give him the information. Have you talked to your sister about her experience? Do you have other siblings who might also have input? Maybe you can meet with your dad together (without the girlfriend). For your own peace of mind and self-respect I think you should tell him. But have a support system for yourself in case he is unsupportive. Do you have a therapist you could talk to about it?

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I have a support system, yes.

 

As for my siblings; my sister has decided not to be with my dad for Christmas (first time ever) and my brother is taking the "water under the bridge route", as mhowe put it. I'd wager he's more worried about my dads feelings then his own. We've talked about it before, it wasn't fun for them either.

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I never told dad how she treated me, or my siblings, partly because I didn't want to be what she'd always said I was; a vindictive witch who didn't like someone taking away her daddy etc. And because it's a big scary conversation to have.

 

But now they're back together and expecting me for Christmas...

 

So parents: Should I tell him?

This is manipulation. She uses that against you to keep you silenced.

 

I say you tell your dad to the side and tell him all of this.

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This is manipulation. She uses that against you to keep you silenced.

 

Y'know that struck me too as I wrote that down. Might be giving her too much credit though

 

Just want to say how nice it is to get some perspective (any perspective) on this. Thank you, really.

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As a parent - I would want to know. Both my children I gave birth to are adults - and adults or not, I'm still quite protective of them. I would want to know how my kids had been treated, especially if I was considering a reconciliation.

 

And at the very least, I would open the door to the conversation that if you visit at Christmas - if you make it short and sweet, it's not because of anything he's done. And let him know as an adult you won't tolerate being manipulated and demeaned by her.

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No, the time to have said something was when he'd kicked her behind out for mistreating your sister.

 

I would not go over for Christmas. That woman has no respect for boundaries. She had no business snooping through your diary, even if it was in a Sudoku book. They were not her belongings.

 

Give it time--they'll break up again and probably for her going off on one of your siblings. At that time, that is when you should tell your father. Oh, and if at all possible, try to have your cell phone on you when she's on one of her tears--use the voice recorder or the video camera on the phone to capture her without her knowing it so you have proof of her effery.

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As a parent I would definitely want to know if someone had verbally and emotionally abused my child to the point they felt suicidal. In fact something like that did happen and I seriously went after the guy in question who was my middle son's coach. I got the guy fired and banned from the local schools and told him I'd take him to court if I so much as ever heard a single word breathed about him bullying anyone again. You do not abuse those I love in any way, shape or form and get to just walk away scot free. And definitley not my kids.

 

Also her telling you those things about if you tell...is a common tactic of an abuser using threats and intimidation to keep their victims silent. Sorry, but no. He already broke it off once after catching her mistreating your little sister. I think it's time you tell him what's going on. Also where is your mom in all of this? As to spending Christmas since you are an adult living on your own you coud tell your dad you'd love to come, but not if she's going to continually be verbally and emotionally abusive to you and your sibling(s). Also could you maybe talk to your sister and any other siblings or relatives the woman has done it to? Or better yet maybe you kids could arrange for witnesses to her vebal abuse with another relative or family friend? Just throwing out some ideas here, but as a parent I would definitely want to know. If your dad loves you I think he would too since what she's showing him to his face is so different (and disturbing) to how she treats those he loves behind his back.

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My mom has been a great sounding board through-out all of this, she said to tell him as well. I was doubting her objectivity but I'm starting to think she was right.

 

It's getting late here so I'm gonna sleep on it for now and give my dad a call tomorrow, work out where I'm going for Christmas at least

 

Thanks for chipping in guys, I needed that.

Ya'll sleep tight when you get there.

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I agree. If I were a parent I would want to know. I would call your dad and say, "Dad, I have something very serious to talk to you about. Its personal I don't think your going to like it. I just really need you to listen." Then explain how you were treated. She will of course say everything is a lie. Just be prepared for that.

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I think you are an extremely mature individual.

 

I really like how you take ownership of yourself and your choices.

 

Here's that I think. Your stepmother should not have gone off on you that way. She shouldn't have read your private writings. They are your private thoughts.

 

Secondly, even if she did read it and wanted to talk to you because she was concerned about you, she should have done it in a gentle, constructive manner, seeing how emotionally fragile you were at the time.

 

It is obvious to me that you are much more mature than she is.

 

I don't feel that telling your father would do very much. Chances are she would just turn it around to make YOU look like the 'bad one.' She appears to be very manipulative.

 

I think the best thing is to involve yourself as little as possible with her. Be civil, but don't get too close. Let her be her nasty self and you take the high road and live your life separately.

 

I am sorry you have to go through this. I hope you are receiving therapy of some sort. Please take care of yourself.

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Honestly, there is nothing you can do about them being together. You just set boundaries. You play the role of the adult that you are and meet them for dinner or see them at large family gatherings. Don't spend the night or get in her space like that.

 

I understand what she did was not right, but on the other hand I can see someone at wit's end suddenly having a teenager living with her that she did not bargain (and if you have ADD and are depressed and suicidal = not everyone is equipped to deal with that or knows how) for and it brought out the worse. And i think the time to have brought it up was at that time or after the breakup - not ten years later.

 

I think that you should not dig up things from ten years ago. It will really be seen as trying to break them up. I would just know how she is and set boundaries accordingly and plan your involvement accordingly. Your dad may break up with her eventually or stay with her but let him decide.

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She locked you in the bathroom until you cleaned it to her specifictions?? That alone is very abusive! Who does that?? I think that you do need to tell him how she mistreated you regardless of how long ago it was just so he understands why you are not coming to his house for Christmas. Secrets are never a good thing. chi

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No, the time to have said something was when he'd kicked her behind out for mistreating your sister.

 

I would not go over for Christmas. That woman has no respect for boundaries. She had no business snooping through your diary, even if it was in a Sudoku book. They were not her belongings.

 

Give it time--they'll break up again and probably for her going off on one of your siblings. At that time, that is when you should tell your father. Oh, and if at all possible, try to have your cell phone on you when she's on one of her tears--use the voice recorder or the video camera on the phone to capture her without her knowing it so you have proof of her effery.

 

Kendahke, I would be very careful about giving this advice out. In many jurisdictions, it is illegal to record someone without their explicit consent.

 

OP's "stepmom" seems like the type of person to file charges about something like that.

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Kendahke, I would be very careful about giving this advice out. In many jurisdictions, it is illegal to record someone without their explicit consent.

 

OP's "stepmom" seems like the type of person to file charges about something like that.

 

Agree. And 10-ish years have passed. Maybe she has changed. Maybe she treated you the way she was raised and now you are an adult. Just keep solid boundaries. That is all. Meet them in public. For a meal. Have pleasant small talk. Don't get too involved with her. maybe he won't be with her long - maybe he will. Keep a respectable distance without appearing so.

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