Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Saying sorry

Relations with my step-daughter have been rocky for the last few years, to say the least.  The revelation of her drug use came late in these tumultuous years as well, and we didn't have any time to help her try to combat the addiction.  This is something she's remained resentful about throughout.

The biggest clash has been between her and my husband; they don't agree on anything, and we've also both been openly un-supportive of her relationship with her now-boyfriend, which seems to have cost us our relationship with her.  My past efforts to try to patch anything up with her have led to hours-long fights via text that have further driven me from wanting to reach out to her and try to make anything better.  Her anger and resentment have been furious and clear; she doesn't want a relationship with me. Not at all.

So here it all stands: I have a step-daughter I don't have any relationship with, and a husband that I barely have a relationship with, and a son that I have a great relationship with.  One out of three isn't a good batting average. 

I am constantly plagued with the "coulda, shoulda, woulda's" of how we could have done things differently.  When she and her boyfriend came back to live in Colorado with no prior warning, they wanted us to let them live with us, with the expectation that they'd need rides across town to get things done, which we refused. They ended up living with my in-laws, and when things soured, we weren't willing to offer them a place to stay with us for fear that their habits and attitudes would cause too much strain on our lives. 

Admittedly we were thinking of ourselves much more than we were thinking about her. But it isn't just us we were worried about; our 6 year old is still in the throws of a joyous childhood, and not only did we not want to bring in the inevitable fights and bickering we were going to have with her, but they expected to live in and consume our basement (50% of our house, rent free), which we also refused.  For this, also, we are at fault. 

I don't deny that we share some part in the deterioration of our relationship. What's done is done.  I don't know how, if possible, I can ever try to repair what's been done, and what's happened.  She's got no love for me, and I don't even know if she ever did.  Nothing a step-mother ever does is right, no matter what way it's done.  I was foolish to think that I would have a great relationship with her, and an even bigger fool for trying to be something that resembled a parent figure. 

Most of the choices I've made with concerns to my step-daughter haven't been good ones. I've tried apologizing for my faults and mistakes, but it wasn't received nor sufficient to bandage anything up, let alone start healing anything.  I want to send her a text and try to talk to her, but I'm so wary of getting smacked down again, that I don't even want to try anymore. I want to walk away from all this bullshit and quit having to get nothing but bad criticism.  I'm unhappy enough as it is being married to her father, I don't know that she cares one iota to hear my apology.

She'll never read this, and neither will anyone else, so it's all just talking to myself out here in the space of the internet, and none of it matters anyway.  Just typing this brings up a well of regrets that I should have been more kind, or tried harder to make something work out. I know we had reasons that we didn't want them to live with us, and we tried to help her to see that it wasn't done because we just wanted to hang her out to dry.  Part of it is that she cannot and will not accept criticism herself, and she tends to yell a lot when debates turn into arguments.  She and her boyfriend aren't tidy, and our house is dreadfully small now.  We enjoy our privacy in our basement, and she asked that we relinquish it to their needs, and we wouldn't.

We've been fairly outspoken about our disapproval of her boyfriend, which has been a bit of a mistake. We didn't dislike him at first, but a lot of the stories he tells seem unbelievable. He's built races cars; but can't change oil in a car, nor diagnose problems in her volvo. He has colon cancer but hasn't been receiving chemo.  Things got out of hand with our opinions about her choosing to be with him.  The fact is; she's an adult now, and this is her choice, and we have no business telling her what she can and can't do. It's her life, and she gets to make the calls now.  We still fucked up though.

In the end; we're assholes.  I'll never have a relationship with my step-daughter, and it makes me very sad.  I can't say anything that will make her anything better, and I can't do anything that will help anyone heal.  I'm helpless. I can't un-fuck this up.

When my son was little, I felt like I was constantly striving for making the best choices and always tying to be the best I could, for him....   Now, I feel like I've moved so far away from that place of inspiration and love.   I feel like I'm not as good of a person as I used to be, and in great part this is because I'm very unhappy being married.  We've grown so far apart in such a short period of time. We don't have any sort of coping mechanisms that allow us to get through stressful events. We try to make improvements to behaviors and personality flaws, but these changes never actually get worked on. 

We had a heart-to-heart this last Friday and my husband not only acknowledged the tenancies he has that provoke me, but how childish and stupid they were. How we have a great life and he never strives to help achieve better. How these stupid habits drive me to utter madness, but yet he keeps doing them.  Literally, the next day, it was as if we'd never had the conversation. 

I think that things like this have gone on for so long, that I just don't care anymore to try to fix anything. If I was fiscally able to pay for the house and support my son without him, I'd have filed for divorce as soon as I could have.  Even when we were planning our wedding party in the mountains, I was wishing that it was just a divorce party instead.  I've been in that mind space for that long now.  I don't even have any physical attraction or desire left in me anymore.  I feel like I am a dead shell, with some shriveled up part of myself living inside.   Sometimes I wish I could just die and stop feeling so miserable all the time.  

If it weren't for my son, I can't say for sure that I'd be here anymore, but because of him I fight to stay above this dark emotion than threatens to pull me under.  Leave him isn't even an option.

Yet here I am, unhappy and paralyzed.  Futile and pathetic.