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Stepdaughters' lies and blaming stepmom

21 years ago

Hi All!

I really need and appreciate this forum! I don't feel so alone anymore now because I know some of you are dealing with more difficult issues than mine. However, that does not alleviate the pain, stress and constant turmoil in my situation.

I am mother of adult fraternal twins, son and daughter, who have turned out well. I was married to their dad unhappily for 19 years and finally divorced him after becoming financially independent. Both are on their own, married, daughter is in college and is an accountant with a large manufacturing company, and son is employed with the Civil Service. Both have their first babies now. I am very proud of both of them and love being a grandmom.

I married a wonderful man two years ago with two beautiful and seemingly kind-natured daughters, 6 and 12. Boy was I in for a rude awakening! My husband is still the person I thought he was. He is very loving and supportive. But the two daughters are kind to my face and stick a knife in my back and twist it when they leave visitation with their dad to go back to their mom. I believe they do it only because their mom expects it and encourages it. This behavior gives them the acceptance, approval and attention from her that they would not get otherwise.

Major loyalty issues exist with the bio mom and the girls. The mother encourages total loyalty to BOTH bio parents while encouraging them to blame anything that their dad does on me and encourages them to fabricate stories about me. I resent this tremendously. The oldest daughter has had problems throughout elementary grades K-6 with lieing. We have copies of the documentation from her records. Now the youngest is beginning to do the same thing.

The mother and stepdad have set the example. Bio mom told both girls that they had different dads and that my husband is NOT their dad. This upset both girls to no end and understandably so. They were constantly questioning us about it. The youngest was very upset asking if "Sissy" was her real sister because Mommy said he was not her "real" daddy; Mommy had said stepdad was her real daddy(He was the man my husband caught her cheating with, whom she then boasted about cheating with for many years). The oldest was upset because mom had it written in an ambulance report that my husband was not the father of either child and gave NAMES of men she purported to be their bio dads. Both girls were conceived and born AFTER my husband and she were married, so basically, what she was saying was, "Hey, I slept with two different men while I was married to your daddy." Last summer oldest asked me to PHONE the man that mom said was her "real" dad and ask him if there was any chance that he could BE her real dad. (In summer 1999, the oldest had three panic attacks after mom grilled her for hours when we returned her from summer visitation. She had the child transported by ambulance at least twice to two different major area hospitals in one week. The third time, THEY transported her to the hospital by car.) At least, that's what they TOLD us.

Summer of 2001, We finally decided, for the girls' emotional well-being, we would have DNA tests dones. We celebrated the results both times, taking each of them out to the restaurant of their choice. My husband is indeed their biological dad. They will never have to wonder about this again. My teaching income paid for these tests and I was the one who urged my husband to go through with them because I wanted the girls to have at least this much security from knowing who their biological dad really is.

This upset mom badly because she had been telling stepdad that he was dad of the youngest for years. She and he, with both girls in the truck--drove past our house--and from the road, about 50 feet from our residence, bio mom screamed out the truck window, "You're goin' to jail!" Prior to this, they had followed us twice down the longer route, with narrow, winding country roads with speedlimits of only 35 to 40 miles per hour... to our NEW residence. The alternate, shorter route consists of a main highway and interstates to the major cities in our area with speed limits of 50 to 70 miles per hour. After we moved there, we documented their driving by our residence several times after we began seeking the protection order. None of their family or friends live in our area, so they had no business driving by our house. After mom yelled out from the road at us, we had a deputy come out and take a report from us. While he was sitting in his car in our driveway, they drove back by. He witnessed their driving back by and slowing down as they passed our house and documented it in his report.

That same Sunday after returning the girls from July 2001 visitation, mom and stepdad also had found a bruise on the bottom of the 6-year-old. I had spanked her only the second time since summer of 1999. Hubby had left them in my care while he worked. This time it was for refusing to stop what she was doing for the fourth time in two weeks, long enough to go to the bathroom, thus wetting her pants. She hid it the first time she wet; the second time I was understanding and urged her to come in and use the bathroom; the third time I was firmer; the fourth time--when she sat at the lunch table and it ran down off her chair into a puddle into the floor, I knew it had to be stopped (although I sensed that there might be deeper "reasons" for this sort of thing to be happening--and I knew that I was not the root of the problem). First, I tried education theorist Jean Piaget's "making the punishment fit the crime" so-to-speak. After demonstrating how to do it, I had her to wash her shorts and panties out with soap and warm water, then had her to rinse them in clear water. Her older sister asked her if she liked her punishment. She said more than once that she did, so I thought to myself--I've got to try something else--so I did resort to giving her 5 mild pops with my open hand to the thick RIGHT pocket of her denim Garanimal shorts (all documented in detail because of multiple prior problems with her mom). I very calmly and deliberately explained to the child why I was spanking her--because I had tried handling it another way--and she had liked what she had to do. The child did not shed a tear and I felt that it did no good except to show her that I meant business--that it HAD to stop.

I spanked her on Wednesday, July 18th. Mom took her to the pediatrician Monday, July 23rd. Doctor reported to DHR and you know what followed. After finding out some things about me, caseworker offered to write a letter of character reference in my behalf because she KNEW I did NOT bruise the child. Hubby talked to the doctor and doctor stated that the bruise was on the LEFT buttock, NOT the right buttock where I spanked her. Thus, the case was closed as physical abuse by alledged perpetrator (me) was "not indicated," meaning that there was not enough evidence to prove that I did bruise the child. But the oldest daughter went along with mom's accusation and supported mom's theory of how she believed the child acquired the bruise. For some odd reason, only the mom, her closest friend (at the time--they are alienated now)and the youngest girl visited the pediatrician. The oldest child did not go with them. This is the first time I have thought about this! The oldest didn't mind helping stir UP the trouble, but she apparently didn't want to be totally responsible as a so-called "witness" to the false allegations. (Conjecture here, but intuition tells me I am right.)

I taught elementary school for 7 years. I am totally against physical punishment now, for obvious reasons, but from 1992 to 1997, as a rare last resort while teaching, I used a wooden paddle to spank. I NEVER bruised a child. I only wish the pediatrician had talked with us before believing the mom's false accusation. Her false accusation put me on Child Protective Services Central Registry for five years.

We stopped spanking altogether after talking to the pediatrician about it, and told the girls we would be using more restriction of privileges and "time out" for discipline. They, in turn, went back, told mom and stepdad that they couldn't spank them anymore. Stepdad became upset and stated, "I'll beat the hell out of 'em if I think they deserve it!" We had DHR to be sure that THEY stopped spanking, too. (I STILL wonder how the bruise was made on the youngest child's bottom). I didn't want to be accused again if one of THEM spanked the child, plus, stepdad has lost part of the feeling in his right hand and doesn't realize how hard he spanks.

They have also made assorted fraudulent claims against businesses and insurance companies for which they have received around $100,000 in punitive damages since about 1999. No, I am not exaggerating. The oldest daughter stated several times that her mother showed her a deposit ticket for the amount of $65,000 in May of 2000 to AmSouth Bank. She and stepdad also received several thousand dollars from at least two other lawsuits, one against an auto insurance company and another against mom's former employer. We have talked to all of the insurance companies and the businesses that they have sued. Stepdad is even sueing his own bio dad for land that his dad had at one time allowed them to live on. They did to him what they have done to me--falsely accused him of several things and tried to cause problems for him with the legal system. He followed the sheriff's department's advise to get rid of his problem--stepdad's bio dad finally evicted bio son and my husband's ex-wife. The mom's adopted dad [biological grandfather] recently died. There was no will. He had Alzheimer's and was not competent to make decisions while spending his last weeks in the hospital. The mom [having formerly accused him of molesting her as a child and having always said she hated him and would not visit him--suddenly became very tearful and was at his bedside every day and night prior to his death while in the hospital]. Stepdad forged a handwritten document urging mom's adopted dad's bank to put him and the mom on his checking account. His account was almost completely depleted within a month or so. Stepdad forged his name on the title of the adopted dad's title of an expensive luxury car and then sold the car at a local dealership. The mom sold the majority of adopted dad's belongings and pocketed the money. His survivors included another sister and the adopted dad's biological daughter, thus everything should have been sold and/or divided three ways. Her sister is now sueing her. This is none of my business, but I only mention this to demonstrate her character and the kind of influence she and her husband are on the girls. She's teaching them that it's only okay to do wrong, be deceitful and tell lies if it's going to benefit you in some way.

Last year, we sat in conferences with the oldest child's teacher three times, most of the time because she denied her actions each time she was caught doing something wrong. The teacher had already seen what kind of person the bio mom was and was sympathetic toward us because she knew what we were dealing with. She confided that in a conference that mom had requested with her and the daughter, mom had stated to daughter, "I don't believe EVERthang you tell me about EVERYbody, but I DO believe everthang you tell me about yore STEPmomma." (I'm not trying to ridicule her, but that is truly how she speaks. The teacher stated that she could tell that the mom was jealous and felt intimidated by me.) Mom had told teacher that daughter told her that I had said she was fat. (Truth is, DAD had said she was getting fat. I scolded DAD for saying it and CONSOLED daughter, for Pete's sake, because I know what these kinds of comments do to a child's self-image.)

Now, with the youngest, it's silly, nitpicky things that I'm being blamed with. Last year mom made a huge issue out of her homework assignment paper being folded--blamed me with it--had the oldest to call and tell us about it. Claimed the teacher had scolded the child for turning it in that way. (I will admit to ANYthing I do, regardless of the consequences. That's the way I was brought up. I am known for my honesty and integrity everywhere I have ever lived, worked, or attended school.) I did not fold the homework paper.

We spent around $12,000 in legal fees and court costs trying to win custody of the girls where they can be reared in a loving, emotionally healthy home where they would be taught to have good character and values, and would be taught to respect others. We also fought to get a protection order against them for harassment, to stop her from denying my husband's parental rights and visitation, and to make her pay my husband back for payments we have had to make on the car the court awarded her in the divorce settlement that was financed in his name only. The lending institution was sueing my husband after we had exhausted all financial means and could no longer make the car payments. She had also "hidden" the car for months. We know for a fact, that at first, she had given it to the wreckless brother of a girlfriend to drive. This young man had already totalled two cars. She refused to tell us or the company WHERE the car was after telling the oldest girl that she was either going to make late payments or stop making payments on the car to ruin his credit.) She had to return the car (which we did not want or need because we already HAVE three roadworthy vehicles). When they returned it to us, it had cracked heads and is virtually worthless.

She also had to pay some of the legal fees we paid (yes, teaching income helped to pay the legal fees, too. Both of us were tired of her running rough-shod over him.) She had denied visitation after we had DNA tests done and after she falsely accused me of bruising the youngest. My husband was supposed to get the girls on the weekend of the oldest's birthday, but she refused to let them go with him when he came to pick them up. He was still required to pick them up at her house then. When he drove up, it was dusk, both vehicles were there, all lights were off, all blinds were closed. She came to the door and said, "They're not going with you." My husband, very upset, yelled out, knowing stepdad was sitting in the dark somewhere inside, "SHE'S NOT YOUR KID!" In court, she claimed that my husband threatened to kill her. I heard what he yelled out and would not lie about it for him or anyone. I believe it was four whole weeks (normal visitation was every first and third weekend of each month)before he was able to see them again. Judge granted an emergency hearing to reinstate visitation and this is when we began to fight for custody because it was obvious that the girls were not in an emotionally healthy environment. Court ordered psychological and parenting evaluations of the mother. Mom agreed to go ONLY if we went. We were happy to oblige and did so. After listening to taped telephone conversations between mom and us (it's legal in our state to tape them), psychologist stated that mom was behaving very childishly. Mom NEVER went for evaluations. Court did nothing to her for not following court orders. When my husband's attorney mentioned it to the judge, the judge said he wasn't even going to go there. Mom was supposed to submit a response to a "Request for Discovery" on her financial records. She never submitted this information. The court did nothing.

We sent a birthday bouquet to the oldest's home with a card. We followed up on the florist's delivery because we expected problems. We learned that mom attempted to refuse to accept delivery, but they told her they were required to deliver. Mom refused to let the child see it. Youngest saw mom throw it in the garbage. According to mom, oldest child did not seem to understand why we never "got" her "anything" for her birthday.

Husband was only awarded joint custody in the modifications, but at least she realizes now that her use of sole custody for the purpose of malicious and spiteful control is over. (Mom was on a power trip because, prior to this, she had sole custody--even wrote letters to the school forbidding my husband to be involved with the girl's school life and stating that only the stepdad could participate in school activities with the girls.) Hubby no longer has to pick the girls up at her house.

I learned about his rights from ANCPR, Alliance for NonCustodial Parents' Rights--I found the site on the internet and paid $55 to join--WELL worth the money for access to important info about your rights, and we put a stop to that and informed school, doctors, and all involved of my husband's parental rights. Even had to go to the doctor's supervisor to get the doctor to meet with my husband and discuss the health of his youngest child after she had been sick with acute bronchitis for about ten weeks, following a ruptured eardrum after mom threw away antibiotics that my husband bought and sent home with the child. (After 9/11...anthrax, ya know... Mom claimed that doc said child didn't need the meds.) Said doc had stated that antibiotics wouldn't work if the child "got" anthrax. We called the doc, told him she had thrown the meds away and told him what she had said. He in turn, called her. To cover herself, she apparently fished the meds out of the garbage--after being there for a day or so--meds that were supposed to be refrigerated and then began giving them to the child. Oldest child SAW her throw them away and heard what she said. It was AFTER all of this that the youngest ran a temp of 102 degrees and her eardrum ruptured while with us. If she had gotten the meds, full strength, not after being at room temp for several hours... we believe she would not have had the ruptured eardrum.

After that the doc refused to talk to their dad unless he had the mom's permission. That was when dad/hubby went over doc's head and talked to the doc's supervisor at this major hospital.) Doc happily agreed to meet with us after this. By the time we met with him, he had conducted some diagnostic tests and found that the child had MONO. He stated that because she had been sick for so long and had so many "colds" one after the other, that her immune system had been weakened, thus making her more susceptible to Mono. DUHHHHH!!! If mom had taken proper care of her, the child would not have BEEN sick for so long.

Prior to this, mom had been constantly taking girls to doc for minor sunburn, sniffles, etc, (but she had not taken the youngest for follow-ups while she had bronchitis). Girls have osteogenesis imperfecta or "brittle bone" disease, so she was using this to take them to doc constantly if they fell and had a bruise. Their OI is mild. The girls do not break as easily as someone with severe OI. After creating a chart and logging all of the physician, emergency room, and hospital visits, I proved that the youngest had seen one or the other 46 times in the last two years. The youngest had been exposed to x-rays 16 times since 1999, sometimes having had three sets of x-rays from three different medical facilities in only TWO days. (When we reported to DHR, this was part of what we reported because of unnecessary exposure of x-ray and possible, eventual damage to the child's reproductive system. The caseworker [Intake Person]admitted that the number of visits to the physician, emergency room and x-rays seemed excessive, although she felt that "both sets of parents love the girls very much, but sometimes had a warped way of showing it." She said we did not have enough to prove physical abuse [although mom is currently on Central Registry as "indicated" that mom slapped oldest into a table in 1999 following teacher's report. DHR admitted that mom had abused the child, but said that no PATTERN of abuse had been established, since this was the first time mom had done it.] Caseworker stated that we did not have enough to prove DELIBERATE physical or mental abuse. I thought to myself, "Heaven help us all... Those people who KILLED their children when they lost control didn't always DO it deLIBerateLY.)

Mom had stated to the oldest that she was going to use the medical bills against her dad if he took her to court--and she did just that. She showed NO concern about the danger of excessive x-rays to the child. Her only concern was to get at my husband. She tried to come up with enough medical expenses to keep her from having to pay him back the car payments on HER car, and legal expenses that SHE pretty much FORCED him to incur.

SHE finally stopped her DIRECT harassment, but now she uses the oldest (who loves being in the middle of the strife) to be her mouthpiece. She had the oldest girl to call dad and tell him the "lies" that the youngest "is telling now." Mom acted as if she was disgusted. Oldest said youngest had stated that she was hungry because she didn't get enough to eat while with us this time on oldest's birthday. When mom asked why, youngest supposedly said, "Cuz Sissy and ___________ (stepmom, I) ate it all." This took the cake. I WAS NOT EVEN HOME! I was at WORK when they ate dinner (supper). Oldest said several times she "thinks" she told mom that I wasn't even here, which means she probably did NOT tell her at all.

What bothers me about this is, I'm already on Central Registry for five years for something I did NOT do. What happens if mom gets a wild hair and decides to falsely accuse me of something else. I already "sort of" have a "record." Is DHR going to believe the girls and her this time?

FOR the record, I never drank, smoked, or abused drugs in my life. I was never promiscuous. I graduated in the top percentage of my high school class and received numerous honors and award throughout junior high and high school. I graduated second in my class from a well-known four-year university with a 4.0 GPA in my major field of study. I was selected for Who's Who Among American Junior Colleges from the college I attended for my Associate's degree. The Speaker of the House of our state legislature thought enough of me to assist me in locating a state tuition and fees academic scholarship in 1999 to pursue a degree in Pre-Med. My hometown's local hospital's ladies' auxiliary thought enough of me to award a $1500 annual academic scholarship for the same goal. Circumstances forced me to leave it, but I left with a 4.0 GPA in completed coursework. People OFFER me jobs even though I have not applied for work with them. That is how I began working for my present employer. After only 9 weeks with this company, they upgraded my status from part-time to full-time and management recently hinted that they are considering me eventually as a department manager.

I know what kind of person I am. Those people who know me who don't have a personal agenda with me know what kind of person I am. But now I am constantly concerned about my good character and reputation being assaulted and/or destroyed by a malicious biological mom and her two children.

It's enough sometimes to make me set up temporary residence elsewhere when the girls are here. I left teaching because I didn't enjoy it anymore with all of the changes in the last few years. Then came trying to figure out what career I would pursue after that. The main reason I began working in retail is because, first of all, it's fun. I make money working in plants--my first love and favorite hobby. The second reason is--I was hoping the girls would be less able to go back and tell their mom lies about me if I'm not HERE WITH them because of my work schedule. I love both of them, but I am gun-shy now. I am aware that their mom enCOURages them to tell lies about me and to blame me with the little things that sometimes their dad does. But the mom is creating children with some warped perspectives and values, plus she is encouraging the girls to help her to attempt to destroy me. I am a survivor, but this is getting old. Their dad is wonderful. I definitely WILL set up temporary residence while they are here if this does not stop, just to protect ME. My husband is open to it if that is the only way to keep our marriage intact and not give up custody of his girls. I do not WANT him to give up custody, so that may be the only way to keep them from destroying ME with their lies, deceit, and denial of their own actions. Only time will tell.

I know this is long--more like a book than a post, but I appreciate your taking time to read it. I had to deal with some temporary, mild anxiety and depression last year due to all of this, but I have never reacted in anger, except to tell bio mom that she needs to grow up! I welcome your views on this and hope that some of this information will help a noncustodial parent out there.

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