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Ugh! I Am So Mad!!!! Step Child Sydrom Rant

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
So I was at home the other day and my dad was telling me that he is getting my sister a laptop. Now, this would be totally fine with me if she was going to college but she is 12 years old!!!!! They have 3 people in the house, mom, dad, sister, and they have 2 desktops AND a laptop. I was furious that they are even thinking about buying her something like that. Two years ago she was 10, I was 18 and my step dad said "hey we should buy her a digital camera!" I said, if a 10-year-old is getting a camera then I want one too. Then guess what he said! "You just want one because she's getting one" I responded "You can't tell me you're spending at least $300 dollars on me too?" He didn't have a responce because they weren't.

Oh and did I mention that I had to buy my own laptop when I went to college?!

Anyone else have to deal with this stepchild syndrom crap?!
post #2 of 24
Yes, but I've learned that complaining doesn't help at all, it only makes things worse. I was exactly 6 months younger than my step-sister but it always seemed that she had gotten better things. She even got her own car on her 16th birthday but it was an agreement between her dad and mom (my step-mom). Besides, I was better off without a car anyways, the prices for maintaining one was too much for my job and I was going to bootcamp 6 months after I turned 18. I was the lucky one when it came to my own computer but it was purely the fact that my Dad and I worked on it before my Dad remarried. Mind you though, we had 4 computers in the house; my Dad's two laptops (one for work), my computer and the family computer.

I do find it ridiculous that your parents let your sister have a digital camera at 10 years old. There's a reason they make cheap kid ones for kids at that age... because kids break them! I didn't get my own camera until I moved out and went into the military. I didn't even get my own laptop until I had gotten to my first base! My old desktop that my Dad and I worked on went to my step-mom because I knew that I would be risking it's integrity with moving it from base to base and having a laptop was easier. My Dad did give me an external hard drive with all of my old files though.

Keep in mind though, you can't change your parents. They're taking care of your sister the way they want to and if they make a mistake of buying a brand new laptop only to have her drop it, then it's their fault. The only thing you can do is stand back and watch. (That's not a bad idea actually, hehehe! )

But I would ask yourself, can you count on them when you need them? Do they check up on you and ask to see if your fridge is stocked and laundry done? Do they ask how you're doing and invite you to visit them? That's worth more than gold, IMO! I can't say how many times my step-sister envied me because I wasn't 8 hours away from home and able to count on my Dad in a moments notice.
post #3 of 24
In some ways I agree with you, and in some not. If she uses it, why not? I got a digital camera when I was a kid and I used it SO MUCH. Never broke it. I got it when I was 9, and let's compare this: two years later I got another one, and within four months had taken almost 7000 pictures. Now don't get me wrong, if your sister would break it, then I can understand. But I think you need to understand the parents probably think you could buy it yourself, but the kid can't. A laptop, however, is a bit extravagant. But, no offense, I think you need to let it go because I don't think it's fair for any of you.
post #4 of 24
Argh, I could see myself getting very angry if I was in that situation
post #5 of 24
I don't mean to be harsh but it sounds as though there is a lot of jealousy going on. As the above poster said, there isn't much you can do about what they do or do not give your sister or you. Your being mad and upset certainly isn't bothering them but it does harm to you.

I don't know how old you are now, but it's time to let it go. Be the better person and grin and bear it. It's unlikely you'll ever change any of them so don't torture yourself.

My older brother was always jealous of me and my younger brother. He always figured we had it so much easier than he did. None of it was true - we were all treated equally but he just interpreted it negatively. He's now 66 years old and still has this big chip on his shoulder, accuses my younger brother of ruining his life and is a very unhappy individual. He tells terrible lies about both of us and I feel sorry for him that he needs to do these things in order to make himself feel better. Don't turn yourself into someone like my brother.
post #6 of 24
My mom married my step dad when I was 13 and they had my brother when I was 15. I love my step dad, I consider him my dad and call him dad. I wish that I would have known him my whole life.
I never introduce him as my step dad, I always call him dad.
We went to a wedding the summer before last and he introduced me to someone as Theresa's daughter. That kind of crushed me, know what I mean? It was family of his (distant family) so I can kind of understand, but it still hurt, I mean he has been my dad for 13 years.
post #7 of 24
Yes I sure have. There was one Christmas in particular. I'd been asking for a camera (pre-digital days) for years. Literally years. Every Christmas and Every Birthday. So one day I was out shopping with my Mother and they got a camera, supposedly for my youngest step-sister. Now they'd tried before to get something for me and say it was for someone else, so I got pretty excited figuring either it was for me because I'd wanted one so bad and had been asking and asking or that they'd be getting one for me too! Well no. Christmas morning I got a nail polish/pedicure kit (which don't get me wrong, I still have it and use it) and my then about 10 year old step-sister got the camera. She was beyond excited, running around taking pictures. I was crushed. I felt betrayed by my own mother. Things were always bad between my 4 step-siblings and me. That made it worse. I spent the whole day crying in my bedroom. And my Mom couldn't figure out what was wrong! She knows now, oh ten or so years later.

Then there was my Birthday every year. My step-siblings lived out of state but would spend the month of August with us. So my step-dad would save his leave and take the whole month off. They'd spend the month doing all kinds of things I never liked. Go-carting, going to the movies, amusement parks, etc etc etc. Then it would be time for school to start, so YAY!, they'd go home. But then it was time for my birthday and my Mom would quietly have a talk with me and explain that my birthday was going to be small this year because of everything we'd just done in August. Well "we" didn't exactly apply since I'd not participated in most of those "we" things, or only done so begrudgingly. I'd spent most of the month defending my cats (they treated them awful and did it on purpose!) and hiding in my bedroom. And I got that talk every year.

So believe me, I know how deep it hurts. I know my Mom didn't hold back on me on purpose. Now she's one of my best friends and we are very close again. But back then she didn't know how to hold my step-dad back or defend me even. They've never had it easy when it comes to each others kids. My step-dad could freely punish me and she'd back him up. When his kids did(do) anything, she was attacking them. And it's still that way. But really, I do get treated better now. Because I'm the one who respects them! My Dad was very controlling and verbally abusive to her. So once she married my step-dad, it took her a long time to get over all that. She still hasn't 100%, but it's better. And I do love my step-dad. He works hard for his family and he's there for us when we need him. As far as things like my birthday and Christmas, it's not like that anymore and they do try to be fair. They can't undo the past, but the future has gotten much better in some aspects!
post #8 of 24
Hmmm...let's see...

My dad GAVE my 17 year old brother the Toyota pick-up truck that I used to drive. He KNEW I wanted it. But my dad said my brother needed it more than I did, and that he'd gotten good grades so he deserved it. (I was in college at the time and a single mom. Oh - I graduated with high honors, by the way.)

One month later, my brother completely totalled the truck by driving off the road and taking out a whole bunch of trees.

Later my dad said maybe he should have given it to me after all. It cost my dad big $$ in insurance surcharges, not to mention the fact that now my brother needed a new vehicle. So stupid.
post #9 of 24
I understand this all too well. Without getting too personal (I just deleted a long post), I went through the same thing growing up. Only, I had 3 older step-brothers and and younger biological brother to contend with.
post #10 of 24
I have never had to deal with that situation, But I see my neice doing it with her children, the first child she had very young, the second was planned and she married that child's father, the oldest child is left out of everything, and stepdad and his family treat him like garage, my sister has shed alot of tears over this, but talking to her daughter and her husband, has had no effect.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
Later my dad said maybe he should have given it to me after all. It cost my dad big $$ in insurance surcharges, not to mention the fact that now my brother needed a new vehicle. So stupid.
Like my Dad always says, "Hindsight is only 20/20."
post #12 of 24
Several years ago my dad moved in with his then girlfriend (they have since married). She has 3 kids, all a few years younger than I am. That left my grandmother and I living together at his house, not that I minded - she was a wonderful grandma and I'm so glad that I had those years with her.

Long story short, he basically acted like we didn't exist. Never stopped over, she bought all the groceries, etc. Worst of all was when I would get sick, he didn't like spending the money on me to go to a doctor but would pay for her kids to go. I endured gallbladder attack/infections that over a three month time period made it where I could not even eat for several days at a time, or even get out of bed for the pain. It took my grandmother yelling in his face for him to realize I needed medical care.
Similar happened again when I had a bad cold, her children got sick and were taken to the doctor while I was left to worsen till I had pneumonia and was fainting from not being able to get enough oxygen. Again, I owe so much to my grandmother.


Material items really don't mean much and you can't measure how much someone cares by what they spend. So you don't have a new computer or a flashy new mp3 player. Do you at least have your parent there to tell you they love you and give you a hug?
One thing to consider is maybe they're trying to impress the wife or husband. But for the person to not be there as a parent or show any concern at all hurts.
post #13 of 24
You know, honestly, you just have to get past it. I'm 21 and have been where you are now, jealous about what a step sibling was getting/doing.

You know what? It wasn't worth the energy. Material objects are not worth being so angry over. You eventually just move beyond it, or you don't. It's up to you.

I was really REALLY REEEAAALLLLLLYYYY f'ing jealous that my step-sister is 38 and has been in college for 10 years and will probably never graduate and has had her entire college "education" for liberal arts/womens studies BS paid for by my stepmother. But then I woke up one day and realized - She's been in college for 10 years for a reason. Because mommy never pushed the little birdy out of the nest, she's never grown up, and will never appreciate anything in life because she hasn't had to earn anything.

Just let go of it. It's really not worth the energy.
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you to those that understand, to those that don't, it really does hurt. I try not to let it get to me, but it's hard not too. My stepdad will honestly say that he treats us different because my sister is his "real" daughter. It makes me sick that a parent who has been there since I was 2, could say something like that.

By no means do I blame my sister and we get along great, other than she can be a bit snotty imagine that. I go down and ride horses with her once every week, and I take her out to lunch now and again.

My step dad is the only one I blame in this whole ordeal.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnzoLeya View Post

My step dad is the only one I blame in this whole ordeal.
That's part of getting past it though, is letting go of blame.

It's really good that you don't harbor any resentment towards her. That's probably half the battle, is getting through any jealousy you may have held towards her, personally.

It is messed up that he actually said that though, and really your mother probably could have taken a more proactive role in that specific situation by making it a rule that you both get treated equally, but individually. I'm sure you have different interests than her and what may be god's gift to her, may not be so interesting to you. As odd as it may be for a female, I'd rather have new tools (think power drill) than a sewing machine, as one somewhat dramatic example.

I don't know where you are in life, but maybe you could consider staying on campus for college at the earliest opportunity? Just as one suggestion. Getting away from the situation and allowing it to be "put on the shelf" for awhile is sometimes good. I had to do this. I was in no way ready to deal with my issues, and issues with my dad and his wife when I was 18, so I moved out. This allowed the whole ordeal to chill, and when we were all ready earlier this year, we got together and just talked. It gave me time to work through my own problems, and gave them time to work through theirs.

Write it all out some time. It's a healthier way to deal with the anger and frustration you're probably feeling. Every little thing that you can remember that ever p'd you off or made you angry, write about it - BUT also write about everything you can remember that made you happy, too. If you have medical insurance through work that covers psychological counseling or if your college has a counselor on staff, consider going just to talk. It helped me alot.

Really it boils down to a feeling of inadequacy on your step-father's part, I would hazard to guess. He feels like, after he divorced his wife, he has to buy the love of his daughter. Both of my parents went through this to an extent after the divorce - They would try to one up eachother around the holidays and my birthday. I put a stop to that around my 15th birthday by refusing to open any presents either one of them got for me for that birthday and christmas. I didn't want any of it and I didn't want part of their game.

Just keep in mind that you can't force someone to change. But you are allowed to feel the way you do, as long as you don't allow it to get out of hand.

Ok, /tirade
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
I am out of the house actually. I moved out the day I could and it's been a little over three years now. I will agree that life was so much better once I was out and didn't have to put up with his crap.
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnzoLeya View Post
I am out of the house actually. I moved out the day I could and it's been a little over three years now. I will agree that life was so much better once I was out and didn't have to put up with his crap.
Ah, that is such a tough situation that you are in. I am so glad that you have not let your step-dad's control of your past ruin your future
Of course it hurts to see the favoritism and I do wish that a bolt of lightning or some other kind of "wake up call" would happen to your step-dad before he lets the opportunity to establish a wonderful relationship with you slip by. After all, he's gonna keep getting older and at this rate, risks being a lonely old man in the end
post #18 of 24
I'm not a step-child, but I do *have* step-children. I have to say that from the point of view of a step-parent, it can be *really* hard, especially when you don't have custody of your step-children.

I have struggled not to show any kind of favoritism to my own children over my step children, but it is often very difficult, especially when they are being raised in an abusive environment and are being taught *very* bad habits which include being abusive towards me and their father. We haven't seen our step-children in two years this Christmas.

However, when we were still having regular visits with them (before their mother whisked them off to another state!), we made sure that all of the children were treated the same in terms of discipline and gifting. Everybody got the same "allowance" when we went shopping, etc.

It's hard enough not to play favorites with one's *own* children (I see it happen a lot, from my own relationship with my adoptive family to my relationship with my children), but when you throw a step-child into the mix, it just makes it that much harder.

I'm sorry that you've gone through this. It is undoubted incredibly unfair for you to be treated differently than your sister. I have to wonder though where your mother is in all of this? *I* won't allow my step-children to be treated differently as the step-mother, but if I was in my DH's shoes, I'd be *livid* if their step-mother treated them any differently!
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghosthunterbeck View Post
I'm not a step-child, but I do *have* step-children. I have to say that from the point of view of a step-parent, it can be *really* hard, especially when you don't have custody of your step-children.

I have struggled not to show any kind of favoritism to my own children over my step children, but it is often very difficult, especially when they are being raised in an abusive environment and are being taught *very* bad habits which include being abusive towards me and their father. We haven't seen our step-children in two years this Christmas.

However, when we were still having regular visits with them (before their mother whisked them off to another state!), we made sure that all of the children were treated the same in terms of discipline and gifting. Everybody got the same "allowance" when we went shopping, etc.

It's hard enough not to play favorites with one's *own* children (I see it happen a lot, from my own relationship with my adoptive family to my relationship with my children), but when you throw a step-child into the mix, it just makes it that much harder.

I'm sorry that you've gone through this. It is undoubted incredibly unfair for you to be treated differently than your sister. I have to wonder though where your mother is in all of this? *I* won't allow my step-children to be treated differently as the step-mother, but if I was in my DH's shoes, I'd be *livid* if their step-mother treated them any differently!
Thank you, from the perspective of a step child, for doing everything you can to treat all of them equally, and putting your own feelings aside for their sake. That's very noble and it takes a very big heart to do.

Some of us need more love than others, but none of us need more "things" in effort to buy our love.

It's so difficult all around to try and blend, but in the end, it's really worth all the effort.
post #20 of 24
Growing up in a family of "favortism", I can relate to how you're feeling. But you know what? Your stepdad is the one who has a problem - not you. Don't let his problem make you bitter & angry. As someone else said, it will only affect YOUR life - not his. Try to let it go..

My brother is an angry, bitter person - not to mention an alchoholic - b/c he never let go of his pain towards our abusive dad and dysfunctional family. He's been miserable most of his life, and will probably die miserable, too. All b/c he can't let go of his anger, hurt, & frustrations. It's such a sad thing to see: he had such potential..

I'm not saying you don't have right to feel your hurt & anger, b/c you do. But try not to let it get you down..

~KK~
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cazlee View Post
Thank you, from the perspective of a step child, for doing everything you can to treat all of them equally, and putting your own feelings aside for their sake. That's very noble and it takes a very big heart to do.
I wouldn't say that it's necessarily "noble." I love my step children (don't always like them, but then I don't always like my own children, either -- love is something entirely different), and they deserve no less than any other child just because their parents chose to divorce one another (or were forced to, in a manner of speaking).

Kids shouldn't get wrapped up in the affairs of their parents. Parents who do that are just using their children for their own gain, IMO.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghosthunterbeck View Post
I wouldn't say that it's necessarily "noble." I love my step children (don't always like them, but then I don't always like my own children, either -- love is something entirely different), and they deserve no less than any other child just because their parents chose to divorce one another (or were forced to, in a manner of speaking).

Kids shouldn't get wrapped up in the affairs of their parents. Parents who do that are just using their children for their own gain, IMO.
I would say it is, take a darn compliment. LOL.

But really, we've all known alot of blended families I'm sure, and how sometimes the step parent will just make no effort. My boyfriends step father did some really nasty things to him as a kid, and really shouldn't be around children. Now I'll admit my boyfriend can be difficult sometimes, but there's a very clear line between discipline and the very Matilda "I'm bigger, I'm smarter, I'm better than you." behavior.

From what I've seen, really going out there and putting forth an effort isn't something alot of stepparents do.
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for their support. I usually do very well about not letting things about my stepdad get me down. It just really made me mad because a laptop is expensive and my mom told me they were almost forclosed on last month. They have no money sense and I NEEDED somewhere to vent.

My mom does agree that my stepdad shouldn't play favorites, but what can she do? They fought constantly when I was still at home. In fact I'm not even sure about why they are still together. She's even admitted to me that she doesn't love him anymore. I'm guessing she just doesn't want to go through another divorce (my real dad was crazy/abusive).
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cazlee View Post
I would say it is, take a darn compliment. LOL.
LOL!

Okay, okay! I'm just not very good at that

Quote:
But really, we've all known alot of blended families I'm sure, and how sometimes the step parent will just make no effort. My boyfriends step father did some really nasty things to him as a kid, and really shouldn't be around children. Now I'll admit my boyfriend can be difficult sometimes, but there's a very clear line between discipline and the very Matilda "I'm bigger, I'm smarter, I'm better than you." behavior.
I didn't grow up around many blended families. Having been raised Catholic and in a Catholic community, divorce wasn't all that common, so I didn't get much of a chance of "understanding" what blended families went through. It would have made it easier on me when I *became* a step parent.

And it was tough at first, period. My step-children are literally trained to be poorly behaved, and some of their "bad" behaviors are insane, including the child who, at four and a half years old, was still in diapers, and not for a medical reason.

I read a lot, I talked to the kids, and I tried to figure out what I could do to help them. Yes, sometimes I had to protect my own children from the more violent behaviors, but I would have protected any of the children from what I perceived as a danger. Who wouldn't?

Quote:
From what I've seen, really going out there and putting forth an effort isn't something alot of stepparents do.
IMO, it's really not that hard *and* it's worth it. But that, of course, is just my opinion on the subject. Kids are kids -- if you treat them as equals (to one another) you're going to have a much more rewarding experience out of parenthood.
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