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Adult Daughter of Step-Mother Need Advice

16 years ago

I am 32 years old and my Dad has been married to my step-mother for 11 years now. My Mother passed away 3 years ago. I have a sister with cerebral palsy confined to a wheelchair (she is totally dependent) who lives with my Dad and Step-Mom since my Mothers death. Someone comes in most of the day to care for my sister and my Dad cares for her otherwise. I will have my sister one day. I love her very much and my step-mother is cold and indifferent to my sister most of the time but on some days she really tries to show she cares by buying her things and doing small tasks for her. I understand the situation with my sister would be difficult for any women to take on in her home and I am grateful and applaud any good thing and effort my step mother makes towards my sister. I am telling you this because my step mother lives in the same household with my sister (such a special and precious part of my life) I will be starting to see my step mother more (once a week or ever other week) when I go to visit my sister. I am going to make an effort to bring my sister home with me whenever I can to avoid my step mother but at the same time I will not always get to do that. SO hence, I will need to find a way to co-exist with my cold and indifferent step mother once a week for at least 3-5 hours per week and this is a change for me. I feel like I am about to dive into a shallow pool head first with no water. I love my Dad and sister so I will not allow my step mother to keep me away from them. From day one I have reached out to my stepmother SEVERAL times, I care for her, tell her I love her, try to do things for her and go above and beyond to be nice to her in all circumstances. I have let her know several times that I want to have a relationship with her very much. While I do not profess to be perfect, I have really tried to connect with my step mom. If I have ever felt that I have hurt her feelings I am VERY quick to apologize. My step Mom has always treated me very different from her own kids (making it VERY OBVIOUS), she is very cold and indifferent to me. I can tell she wishes I never existed. I got married a few years ago and inherited a step daughter of my own. I have made a goal for myself of my own 10 year old stepdaughter to be everything she wants me to be without trying to take her mothers place of course. We have a great relationship and I am truly thankful for that! My step mother played the "Grandmother" role with her very well for the first year or so and slowly she has started to reject my own step daughter by not aknowledging her birthday and making excuses as to why she can't schedule plans to see us all from time to time. My step daughter is slowly catching on to how "Mama Jill/ aka my stepmother is" and it just breaks my heart to see her hurt too. I realize I need to change my expectations of my step mother. She never raised me as a child and has no attachment to me or my own stepdaughter. I wanted SO BADLY to have a good step mother relationship with her hoping that she would somehow at least play a grandmothering role and now she has chosen not to even do that. It hurts and I would like to find a very productive way to deal with it. I just want to be able to lower my expectations of my step mother and look at her as the person she is..... my Dad's wife and nothing more. I would like to learn how to appreciate my step mother for anything she does instead of holding an expectation that she would play the role of a mother in any way shape or form. While I realize what I need to do to keep from harboring resentment and hurt It still hurts very much. Can anyone offer a good book to read or some advice for me in this process? I am SO ready to get on with things and just be happy that she makes my Dad happy for some weird, sick reason and find all the positive things in it. I am allowing her to tear me up inside and I do not want to do that anymore. Please share your advice and thoughts! Thanks!

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