Thursday, October 1, 2015

Vacation Drama

blended family vacations, blended family, step parenting, vacation drama, parenting
The Cabin we stayed at in Gatlinburg

The view from our deck overlooking the Smokey Mountains

We decided to take all of the kids on a week’s vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  Everything seemed to go good but then on the second day of vacation I can tell things were starting to go wrong. When we were out looking for souvenirs to take home, my daughter, Grace was getting cranky and fussy about finding something to remember her trip by and everyone noticed it.  I didn’t really pay that much attention but I did notice a little that my stepdaughter keep whispering something to my youngest daughter, Megan and then about 5 minutes later she would do something to Grace that would get her upset.  I didn’t put it all together at the time that my stepdaughter was telling Megan to do things to Grace until later on. Later on when we returned home, I can tell something wasn’t right with the kids, but I just ignored it and went on my way doing things and cooking dinner. Later on, all of the kids were in the hot tub at the cabin we rented. I heard a lot of bickering going on, but nothing sounded alarming so I finished cleaning up from dinner and went to our room and was getting things ready for the next day.  Then all of the sudden my stepdaughter came in from outside saying that Grace is being a Brat.  I heard it and came down the stairs and told her that’s not very nice to call her a Brat and I would appreciate it if she doesn’t call my daughter a Brat. Then she said Brat, Brat, Brat, Brat. I looked at my husband who was just standing there doing nothing and I said to her “You know the only one that is acting like a Brat right now is you”.  Then of course she got mad at me and said: “You’re a terrible mother” and then stormed into her room.  Then my son, AJ said to my husband “I can’t believe you're going to let her talk to my mother that way, you’re a pu**y, that you can’t stand up to her and get her to stop.” I couldn’t believe what just happened and then all of the kids were there.  Before my husband could say anything to AJ I told him that was totally uncalled for and that he needs to go to his room.  I didn’t know what to do at that point I was in shock that all of this just happened. He went into my step daughter’s room to talk to her and I heard her yelling at him and crying and saying she wanted to go home.  
I went and had a talk with AJ about everything and he told me that my stepdaughter was teasing and doing things all day to Grace and that they were picking on her.  I told him he shouldn’t have said the things he said and should have stayed out of it and he agreed but it just angered him that my stepdaughter would say what she said to me and that I am not a terrible mother.  AJ said he would go and apologize to my husband soon and that he felt horrible about what he said.  Then my husband and I decided to go outside to talk about everything. I apologized for AJ saying that to him and he understood why he did say something because he was only protecting his mother meaning me. Then we were thinking about turning around and going home. I told him to call the ex-wife and see if she could meet him half way to get her that way we don’t have to all leave and go home.  I just told him to call her and tell her everything that happened and see what she says.  Even though it was going to be hard to do and have to listen to her, he did call her.  She told him to let my stepdaughter cool down and then talk with her and tries to calm her down and see if we can work things out. 
In the meantime while he was on the phone with her I started packing my stuff up because I really thought we might end the trip and go home. Grace noticed I was packing and starting crying because she didn’t want to go home yet.  I told her we need to pray that God works everything out so we can stay here and continue our vacation.  Then I went into the bathroom and cried and prayed by myself asking God to come in and fix this whole mess so we can continue our vacation. I went into the bathroom and prayed and cried about all of this. 
My husband came and got me and we went outside to talk again and it turned out my stepdaughter had a change of heart and said she wanted to stay and make things work.  So I was really relieved to hear that and thankful to God because it was him that answered my prayers.  Then all three of us sat down in the living room and I apologized for calling her a Brat and she didn’t say one word to me or apologized for calling me a terrible mother or for calling Grace a Brat.  All she did was cry and hyperventilate.  So then I left and she went in the room for the night. 
The next morning, we left to visit my brother in law’s house which was 2 hours away or so from where we were staying. My stepdaughter was giving me the silent treatment on the whole way there.  She didn’t speak a word at all until we were pulling into their house my girls said they can’t wait to ride the horses that they have.  Then my stepdaughter said you have to ask first, but it was the way she said it was a little snarky. So I responded with of course they will ask first before riding the horses.  Then I was mad all over again which was hard because of just getting to their house.  The whole visit there I was really tense because of everything, it was very hard being there. 
Then the next day we went to a water park and everyone paired up to go on water slides, but no one wanted to be with my stepdaughter, most likely because of what went down the other day.  In one way made me happy that all of the kids were upset with her for the way she treated me and the things she said, but in another way I felt bad.  I told my husband to go and ride slides with her and I will go with my girls and do slides with them.  Then after a while we all came back together to go eat lunch together and then after lunch everyone ran off to go back to the water slides and left my stepdaughter behind and I can tell she was really upset this time because she couldn’t find them at all.  And I could tell she didn’t want to hang out with my husband and me.  Eventually, she found my step son and the two of them went off and did slides and my three kids went and did slides too. Everything was just like walking on eggshells the rest of the time we were there until 2 days before the last day.  Then everything went from walking on eggshells to really bad. 
We went to this outdoor mall for the day and AJ wanted to go to play arcades while the other kids wanted to go into this indoor fun house.  So then afterward AJ had all of these tickets from playing and was going to divide them up evenly amongst all of the kids and he told them all that.  But then the bickering had already started between Grace, step daughter and step son about how my daughter kept disappearing on them in the fun house. Grace came up to me crying saying my stepdaughter was being mean and telling her what to do, so she walked away from them so they would stop being so mean to her. So I was feeling bad for her and starting walking with my kids to the restaurant we were going to be eating at for dinner.  Then AJ said instead of dividing it all up, he was going to give all of his tickets to my one daughter instead of all of the kids.  I told him not to do that, it would be wrong of him to do that after he told all of them what he was going to do with the tickets.  I know why he was saying that only to cheer up my daughter since she was so down and feeling out of place. I told him to wait and we will talk about it some more after dinner.  So then we sat down for dinner and no one wanted to sit next to Grace which made things even worse. It was like they were all against her, all but my older son.  Then it was quiet and I was still angry because of the way my stepdaughter and stepson were treating Grace. My son asked if he could go quickly somewhere with my daughter and said he would be back soon, I didn’t know where he was taking Grace, but I just thought he was going to buy her something somewhere to cheer her up.  I told him to go ahead and that was fine.  So he went off to do that.  When he returned he came back with stuff for both of my daughters but nothing for my stepdaughter or stepson.  Turns out he took her to the arcade to use up the tickets he won, which I didn’t say he could do that because the tickets were supposed to split up between all of the kids, not just my two girls.  Megan (my youngest daughter) started crying because she felt left out because they went without her to get something even though they brought her back something.  Then my stepdaughter spoke up and said it’s so unfair and not right. Then she started going off on me and how terrible I was for excluding them in the prizes and she wouldn’t stop talking so I can get a word in. When I really didn’t know AJ was going to take Grace and spend all of it on her and Megan. Then I told my husband are you going to do something about her, why are you letting her talk to me that way.  Then he asked me to come outside and we went outside to talk and I was very mad, we were yelling at one another outside of the restaurant. It was awful, in the meantime the kids inside were yelling at each other too.  AJ was calling my stepdaughter names and then my stepson told AJ to shut the F up and was defending his sister.  My two girls were crying when we came back inside. It was an awful ordeal.  I ended up taking all of the prizes and throwing them out in the garbage can outside of the restaurant then I had both of my girls crying. I told them all it wasn’t fair to do that and so no one gets anything.  To say the least, the night went really bad. It was so bad that we got up early and left  a day early and both my step daughter and step son were quiet the whole trip home and when we stopped to eat they would sit by themselves away from us.  It was awful and horrible.
One week after we got back they sat down with my husband and their mother (ex-wife) and had a long talk and told my husband they are never coming back to the house or around me ever again. They even said that they were mad at him because they felt that he always takes my side and never their side and that he should put them first instead of me. They agreed to only see my husband every other Saturday from noon to 6:00 pm and it can’t be at our house or around my kids and me.  It’s been a little over a year now and they have only been to the house once to pick up something.  I have seen them a total of four times this past year because of events or holidays that took place.  It’s been very hard on me emotionally and mentally. I miss my step kids a lot and wish we could work everything out, but my step kids, mainly my step daughter always holds grudges and won’t get over what happened on our vacation. She never apologizes for anything she says or does wrong. I really miss our family all being together as one family.  Every time we did something fun this year, I always felt a little sad wishing my step kids were there to have fun with us.  I feel like there’s a big hole in my heart because they are no longer coming over to the house. Every time he gets back from visits with them I ask how they are doing and what’s new with their life, so I can still feel like a part of their life.  I just hope and pray that one day they will look back at this and see that I really only want the best for them and love them a lot. Have you ever had a vacation drama with your step children? Please share your story.

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