I never had a good relationship with my step-father. In fact, I'd go as far as to say we have a very bad relationship. He never seemed interested in anything I (or my brothers) did, except when he could disapprove and point his finger saying "I told you so!" I've been faithfully trying to mend this relationship for years and make a little progress, then get broadsided by some rude thing Karl does. After I had Sophie, I spent a week up at their house (they live near Buffalo, NY...5 1/2 hours away or so) and was making progress with Karl. Enough so that he actually acknowledged my presence and at least pretended to be interested in my daughter and me. Fast forward 8 months to a dinner we had for my mom's birthday/mother's day. We had just moved a friend out of his apartment and stored some belongings at our house in the meantime. We tried to call my mom's cell phone at least 4x before leaving a message saying that since we didn't hear from either my mom or Karl otherwise, our friend was going to join us for mom's dinner and pay his own way. Since he was like family, we (me, Brian, & my brothers) all agreed that it would probably be just fine. Karl did not see it this way apparently and later told my mom he was disappointed in me for bringing my "fag friend" along. WTF? He ignored Brian, me & our friend all night...which would've been whatever, but he also ignored Sophie (who was 8 months old at the time) and kept dodging her eyes when she looked or babbled in his direction. Total dick move, right? Anyways, I said I am done with him because I will not have him hurt my innocent daughter with his childish behavior. The next time we see him was after Sophie was 1 and she was walking with my mom and she took her over to Karl and he was nice, but she was scared. 6 months later, same thing happened...she was scared when she saw Karl. In the beginning of January, they came down with a bunkbed they were giving us and put it into the house for us. Sophie hid to stay away from Karl. Then last Thursday, the four of us were having a family dinner w/our last gift card at Longhorne and that happened to be where Mom & Karl were having dinner when they were down here that night. He completely ignored us...I mean, go as far as turn his back so he wouldn't have to see us as we came in the door. Mom was nice and came over and greeted Sophie, but Karl was such a dick again. We invited them both to join us, but Karl refused and Mom kept coming over from the bar (where they were sitting because he's a functioning alcoholic). She brought Sophie back over with her one time to say hi to Karl, but she was terrified. He gave her a pen he was using to try to smooth her over, but she did not like him (smart kid!!). When we left, we went to the bar and he ignored me as we said goodbye.
So last night Mom and Karl were talking and he told her the reason he doesn't get along with us is because I don't appreciate anything he does for us. Apparently my thanking mom for the bed and everything she ever does for us does not count. He must think he is God because I should make it a point to praise him for his wonderful workings. Seriously?! Mom said he just likes to feel appreciated when he puts work into something. Like a thank you isn't being appreciative? I have given this man my respect, despite him not deserving it, and have been nice to him and tried SO hard SO many times to build a relationship with him because Mom would like it. But all of my efforts are for nothing, since he doesn't do the same thing back. He gives us no respect at all and is jealous that my Mom could love someone (her kids & grandkids) more than him. That's how it should be! We were planning to go up this summer for a long weekend when he's down here selling cars, but now I'm not so sure I even want to be in his house. I don't want my daughters to feel the same kind of neglect, worthless-ness and not good enough attitude I feel from Karl. They love their grandma and have a right to see her, but on my terms. I am their mother and I decide what is good for them. He is not good for them. My mom was so excited when I said we want to come up to visit with her and talks about it all of the time. After hearing from her today that Karl thinks I need to show that I appreciate him and that's why he doesn't respect/talk to me, I'm second-guessing that decision. I don't want to break my mom's heart and not go up there (and get an "I told you so" from Karl), but at the same time, I don't want to feel those awful unwelcomed feelings in his house (not my mom's house because he won't even let her put up knicknacks...control freak!!). I don't know how to tell her I'd rather not even be there when he's not there. I don't want my daughters to know him and I don't ever talk about him (not good, not bad), but it secretly thrills me that Sophie is smart enough to know to be scared of him!
How do I let my mom know we're done with Karl for good? How do I let her know we'd rather meet halfway for a long weekend than come to his house to visit her? I am just so sad at the thought of disappointing her because she does so much and is so amazing with her granddaughters. Am I being too much of a bitch about this? Should we just suck it up and go? What prompted everything is the fact that my brother Adam and his girlfriend went up there (only 1 1/2 hours away maybe?) and Karl really likes her and said so. He hates Brian because when Karl offered fatherly advice when I was newly pregnant with Sophie, Brian didn't take it and politely said "ok, thanks anyway". Karl is not his father...not his father in law either...Karl is his STEP-father in law and has no say in our lives, but was mad that Brian didn't do exactly as he says (like everyone does...my brothers included). Brian and I don't let Karl control us and he HATES that. He has to control his kids, his wife, his wife's kids, his mother, his siblings (with whom he no longer speaks to). Ugg.
I'm just very frustrated at Karl. I wish my mom would have never met the man. I wish she could just pickup and move away from him and never be sucked back into his web of lies. I wish he was gone from our lives forever! He makes me so angry for hurting my mom over and over again, and then being mr. nice guy and winning her back because she's weak. Ugg. I just needed to let some of this out. I need help being a Christian towards him (he's not one), but it is HARD! I just wish I knew what to do!
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