Overcoming A Manipulative Stepmother

My parents separated when I was three, and my dad moved in his girlfriend and her son when I was four. They eventually got married when I was six, and I found out later that my parent's divorce was finalized the same month that he married my stepmother. I don't remember what exact it age the abuse started, but I'm going to say it was when I was six. My stepmother would tell my dad lies about, physically hurt me, start arguments with me and make me cry and then make me forgive her afterwards, and convince her son to hurt me as well. This carried on for six years, and as you can imagine, my self-esteem dropped. I was also being bullied at school, so there was no escape for me other than the days and nights that I spent at my mom's house, which were every other day. My mom noticed what was going on and tried to tell my dad, but he just said that she was the jealous ex-wife, so he did nothing. Fortunately, there are others that took notice like my school officials and my etiquette teacher, but nobody reported her or pressed charges. According to my dad, he said that when he found out about the abuse, he took a year to financially separate himself from his wife, and when that was done, they started the divorce proceedings. However, during this time she and her son were still living with us, but he made sure to keep us separate so she could no longer do anything to me. Then he said she hit him one night, so he called the cops. The female cop wanted to arrest my stepmom, but her partner suggested that my stepmom and her son move out, and my dad could use the report as leverage and black mail to keep her away.

I was sent to therapy to heal from the abuse, but it didn't help much. Then a few years later when I was in high school, I decided to wish my ex-stepbrother happy birthday. Unfortunately, this led my dad to reconnecting with his ex-wife, and they started dating again and got married. My mom was pissed and told my dad that if he married that woman, that I was not allowed to live there anymore. Now my mom wished that she had taken him to court, but that was in the past and there was nothing she could do about it now. So I moved in with my mom, until the teenage hormones had us fightinh, so I moved in with my dad despite my mom's objections and warnings about my stepmom.

I had believed that my stepmom had changed and gave her the benefit of the doubt. Boy, was I wrong. She spent the next two and a half years, picking fights with me and then playing the victim when I fought back. She also talked crap about me to my dad and tried to convince me and him, that I, my mom, and my dad were responsible for the abuse as a kid and that she was forced to do it. One day, I snapped and said that I had enough of this and told my dad that I didn't want a relationship anymore. So my dad made everything about him, and said that I was trying to destroy the peace in the home. So after a few months a feuding, my dad finally went to therapy with me and agreed to let me ignore my stepmother because it was unfair to force a child abuse victim to interact with her abuser on a daily basis. The very next day after, he changed his mind and said that I had to acknowledge her presence. I was depressed for about a day, and my dad said that I needed to get my emotions under control and that from now on, he was going to be an ***hole to both of us for disrupting his personal life. For the next few days, he intentionally treated us like crap to the point where the last day, he locked our cats outside in the cold and threatened to take them to the pound until my stepmom and I got along again.

So I faked it, but I couldn't do it for long, and I went back to ignoring my stepmom, and my dad said that he had enough. He told me that I was destroying his life and his marriage and that I could no longer continue to do this. He also pointed out that he knew about the mean things that I posted on Facebook about he and his wife, and that I was bullying them and trying to destroy their lives and their marriage. So he kicked me out and said that he could no longer put up with me because I was going to drag him down. For awhile, he actually had me believing that I was at fault, but then when I moved out, he had the audacity to be upset and sound hurt, while my stepmom was smiling and being happy when I was carrying my stuff out to the car.

Thankfully, I was able to move back into my mom's house, and a few months later I found a job. And that spring, I was graduating from community college and got accepted to all the universities that I applied to. My dad and I never really had it out about that night and his wife, but I do plan on putting everything on the table once I graduate and establish myself in my career.

There are some things that I learned in the process that I want to share with others that have gone through the same thing. You cannot change either one of them. Your stepparent chose to marry someone with kids, and your parent chose to ignore the abuse and believe the stepparent's lies. You can still choose to have a relationship with your bio-parent, but be careful in how you deal with them. Their spouse is the number one priority, so keep that in mind. Avoid the stepparent if possible, and if you feel like that person could do it to someone else, press charges or at the least file a report to prevent it from happening to someone else.

Another thing, and this is the most important. Do not let this person keep you from moving on with your life. You will still think about them and the pain they cause, but if you focus on improving your life and being successful, it won't happen as often. Success is the best revenge because you are telling your abuser, that they didn't have an effect on you whatsoever. You are telling them that their attempts to destroy you were failures. Don't focus on what the abuser is currently doing in their life, it will do nothing but set you back.

Keep your mind busy with work or extra-curricular activities. Try therapy if it's right for you, or find solace in religion or friends. Remember, no matter what your abuser says and has convinced others, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Something is wrong with a person who accuses the person they abused of causing the abuse.

I am a child-abuse survivor, and you are too. I have my own place, and I'm currently studying at one of the greatest universities in the country. I make a decent amount of money to pay my bills and save up for future items. I almost had no self-esteem after the abuse, but now I know that I am better than my abuser and my enabler of a father. While they live in their marital bliss and ignore all the issues that they both have caused, I am using my story as a way to help others and coach them through their problems. My life turned around and so can yours.
HopelesslyinLike HopelesslyinLike
18-21, F
1 Response Dec 2, 2012

Thank you for sharing your story. You are an inspiration.