I feel like I can't abandon this child, but I fear that she is already lost.
I love her father dearly, but he is flawed, and he has some blind spots when it comes to this situation. He also has a lot of guilt and I don't want to add to it.
Counseling is helping somewhat but she's 10, and at 6 she was so screwed up already, I don't know if the damage can be undone.
Some background-she found her mother after her suicide. For the first 6 years of her life she witnessed her rages and constant accusations of infidelity, throwing and breaking things, and so on. Her mom's entire family was raised by a woman who taught them that all men are cheaters and all women are trying to 'take your man.' When I came into her life she already had bizarre ideas about how male/female relationships worked, and she was in early puberty. There is suspicion that mom did drugs while pregnant. She was raised primarily by dad when he wasn't working, her older brother, the aunts who have the same odd ideas about men, and daycare. She watched entirely too much TV and when I met her, she thought the dramatic love relationships she saw (which were much like her mother's behavior) were 'normal.' Think Desperate Housewives.
I have spent years
trying to teach her that women are not in competition, and that I am not worried about whether or not her father works with, or speaks to another woman in the course of his day. She tries to start arguments between us by saying things like 'Mom, did you see dad look at that woman?' or 'Dad, mom thinks Brad Pitt is cute.' We don't bite, but she continues, still. We had an incident with a family friend where she got mad at the father because she concocted in her head that he was 'keeping her from her boyfriend' when in fact, he was babysitting her for us (she was 8) and his 13 year old son had football practice so he wasn't home.
There are issues with playing dumb, and 'forgetting' things, yet she can remember complicated things that she is interested in, so we know
it's all an act, and it reminds both of us of the drug addicted relatives who pretend to forget responsibilities to get out of things. There is a lot of passive aggressive behavior and when she has contact with the relatives I swear it's like they tell her to come back and not
do anything we ask of her.
One aunt boasts about not doing what people want her to, so this is not exactly a paranoid notion.
To add to the drama, I met my husband at work. I was a single mom, dating someone I met outside of work and he was this nice married guy with this cute kid he sometimes brought to work with him. I had no idea about his home life whatsoever. I found out months after we were together, long after her death, that the one time
I met his wife she had run home, called all her sisters and told them that her husband was having an affair with someone at work, apparently me.
Not true, but now, they all believe it, and since we ended up dating and eventually marrying, well....that just 'proves' it. This was all repeated to her kids, so our daughter has asked me repeatedly whether or not I was dating her dad when her mom was alive.
I could have the guy I was dating (and dumped for dh) come talk to her, but it wouldn't matter, they are going to believe until they die that we had an affair.
So, evidently, she was some kind of psychic, she just had her predictions a little sideways.
Well, it's almost
funny. At least I know where our daughter gets her intuition. She was very intuitive but she often had something a bit 'off.' Before her death she woke from a dream, looked at dh and said 'you went and married her!' He told me that one long after we were married. In their house there was a place on the floor that she would scrub and insist there was a stain that nobody else could see, and when I moved a plant after we were together, there was a leak, and the stain appeared exactly where she had been scrubbing all that time.
So, she definitely had something. But she was all wrong about us having an affair, she misinterpreted her information and boy, has it caused me grief.
I can endure this, unhappily. I can go do some other job, but what is going to happen to her? She won't be able to work if this is how she relates to people. The people she idolizes are incapable of holding down jobs and survive on handouts, and at 10 she doesn't see this.
No matter what I do, I'm wrong somehow. If I give up, I'm wrong for not trying. But if I stay and try, I'm just continuing to harm myself. But my child is glad to have a father, and I waited a long time to fall in love again.
Maybe I'm supposed to be alone?