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My Stepmother's Anger And Hatred Has Ruined My Life

by Cindy

My stepmother has had an unreasonable hatred of me since I was 8 years old. I was about 7 when she married my Father. She has always been very jealous of the relationship between me and my father and I think that's what started it all.

When I was 9, we went to family counseling, in her words, "to find out what was wrong with me and why I caused so many problems." That ended when she claimed I told the therapist I would do everything in my power to ruin her marriage. Of course nothing like that was ever said since I was 9 years old and a child doesn't think like that.

She always accused me of crazy things that had no base in reality. She started calling me "it" about this time. By the time I was 11 she started calling me "the whore" and told her family horrible things about me and accused me of constantly trying to ruin her life. This was when she also started beating on me at least 3 times a week, but most times it was almost every day. She would tell me that everyone hated me. My whole family, neighbors, everyone. She told me I should do everyone a favor and kill myself. I was suicidal by the time I was 14.

Every morning I woke up to her screaming about me and calling me names. My Dad of course always stuck up for me, since I wasn't doing anything wrong and would ask her what her problem was, and she would say, "she's alive, she's breathing." She accused us of having sex when I was 15. She is constantly mad and screaming and swearing and just raging in general. But in front of other people she would be all nice and laughing. The whole time she is telling her family horrible lies about me and making me out to be this terrible person that spends every waking moment causing her nothing but grief.

That is not who I am at all. I have always been a good person that goes out of my way for people. I have always done my best to stay out of her way and do everything she told me to. I am now 36 years old and nothing has changed. I work on the family farm and suffer her wrath constantly. The only reason I stay is because I want to take over the farm but she is making that impossible. I have so much anger built up in me I think about this stuff every day. I have bad dreams that I don't even want to describe about 4 times a week.

In a recent argument she not only denied all of this but blamed it all on me claiming it didn't start until I was 17 and it was because I was such a horrible kid that did nothing but cause problems. This has really sent me over the edge. The funny thing is that I have a 6 year old daughter that is her favorite person in the whole world and she absolutely spoils her rotten. What exactly is this woman's medical problem and how do I get her to realize that she is the one who has the problem and needs to seek help?

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hi Cindy, and thanks for telling your story on this site. That is quite a history of abuse you're describing, and as you state, it is still going on.

You have been a victim of child abuse for a long time, and you are still around your abuser on a daily basis. It's good that you're angry--you'd probably be horribly depressed if you weren't. Your anger is there for your protection, and it's trying to protect you. It will keep getting worse until you get away from that woman.

Here are some things I want you to think about:

1) You need to heal from a lifetime of abuse. You can't do that when you're around your abuser on a daily basis and still being abused. It's impossible. That situation keeps you on alert and vigilant, watching and waiting for the next abuse. That emotional state prevents the deep personal reflection necessary for healing and emotional recovery from abuse.

2) You're not doing your son any favors by allowing him to be "spoiled rotten" by your step mother. When food is spoiled, we throw it away--so why is it a good idea to spoil a child? I have had a lot of very disturbed adult clients whose problems go back to being spoiled as children. You need to protect your son from that type of abuse (that looks like something good).

3) You are going to have to face the fact that your father is almost as responsible for your suffering as your step mother. When you were a child, he may have stuck up for you, but he did not protect you. That may be hard to hear, but it's true. Until you face that, it will be hard for you to do any of the other work you need to do.

4) You were a victim as a child, but now that you're an adult, you are no longer a victim--you're responsible for where you live and what happens to you. It's your job to take the necessary action to keep yourself safe and healthy.

5) You don't need a medical diagnosis of your step mother, and you will never get her to realize anything--that's her job, and she can stay in denial for the rest of her life if she chooses. She's not bad, she's just sick--and you can't help her. You just need to help yourself.

6) When you're ready, start using the journaling processes on this page. It will help you to see the trauma you've been through clearly, and hopefully help you to make the decision to protect yourself and your son.

7) Read these relationship quotes, and see if you think any of those apply to you.

Talk to a lawyer and find out what your options are for taking over the farm without living and working there.

Shift your focus from your step mother to yourself, Cindy. You and your son need to be your top priority now.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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Comments for My Stepmother's Anger And Hatred Has Ruined My Life

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Jan 25, 2021
To Harley
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hey Harley – I can tell you’re a really smart, good kid. Thanks for telling your story here.

I really feel for you, with the difficulties you’re having. There don’t seem to be any easy answers for you. I will try to help, as best I can.

Please don’t let your anger built up so much that you do something that actually makes your situation worse for yourself.

I suggest that you consider talking to your dad. Tell him in detail what’s going on, and how you are feeling, and that your anger is building up but you don’t want to do anything destructive. Also tell him that you plan to contact Child protective services, if he is not willing to take some kind of action to further protect you.

I know this may sound drastic, but hopefully it will get his attention, and perhaps bring some intervention on your behalf.

Also, here is a link that you can use, with an 800 number you can call to get help.

Please take some action on this, Harley. You are worth it.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

Jan 19, 2021
My Step Mom is Verbally Abusive to Me
by: Harley

When I was 7 or 8 I was back and forth between my parents during a divorce. But my dad won the custody battle and I haven't seen or talked to my mom since then, I am now 14. I don't know if this has affected me mentally or not.

About a year later my dad moved in with his new girlfriend my step-mom. After a week with living with her she started to scream at me call me names and make ridiculous accusations toward me, which usually never made sense. She was verbally abusive to me, especially when my dad was at work, she still does it secretly to me when he is outside or in another room.

My step-mom would call me lazy when I missed a piece of trash in the yard, or if the house wasn't sparkling clean. My step-mom would wake me up at 6 A.M. every morning to do chores from that time, sometimes earlier, to the time I go to bed at 8 :30 Every day.

Every day I fear of her beating me.

She acts as a bully at school calling me "Lazy." "Duma**." "Lying thief" "Stinky boy" "stupid". The list goes on forever. Most nights I go to bed with no dinner, which only happens when my dad goes out of town to work.

My step-mom slaps me, she pushes me down to the floor and yells in my face. I barely get to sleep because I know it makes the next day come so much faster.

Each day when I come from school I will walk slow down the road sometimes just stand behind the trees for a while, so I don't have to go inside, where she is.

My dad tries to stand up for me but he only home for about a day or two before he has to leave for another week. When I try to explain myself to her thing she listens to two words I say then she yells, "shut your lying mouth up."

She tells my dad that I need some help, and I am trying to ruin their relationship, and she tells him everything I do wrong in such a way which makes it sound like I really am a stupid lying lazy person.

She calls me a thief all the time because she thinks I am stealing things from her but she hasn't found anything to say I actually stole.

She says she is going to give me to the police, and when she has a conversation she finds a way to talk about how such a "horrible little brat" I am.

I'm have holding in my anger for years and I am running out of room. I need help

Oct 23, 2019
I Need To Also Talk
by: Anonymous

I need to talk about abuses of all kinds although I'm 55 now, and all of my memories are blocked.

Jun 28, 2017
Thank You For This Article
by: Ivan

This article rang so true. I am a 50 year old man and from the ages of 10-15 I was mentally and physically assaulted by step mother.

I would dread going home after school for fear of what was going to happen. She wound herself up into a rage and let it out when I got home. When rowing with my father I was a pawn she would use to divert or continue the argument.

I appreciated the comment that my father was almost as responsible for not doing enough to protect me. The physical abuse stopped when I became strong enough at 15 to restrain her from hitting me with a stiletto heel.

I still lack confidence and little things that I should be able to shrug off appear so big in my mind. I have suffered depression on and off for my whole life and find it difficult to trust people.

The abuse continued in another form when I was 18 and very down.

I have not spoken to either my father or stepmother in 10 years as I realized I needed to be away from the abuse.

Each day is a struggle as I dwell too much on details of issues that happen each day.

I will probably never get over it but will slowly improve.
Recognizing you are not responsible for the abuse and getting away from the abusers is the biggest step.

For anyone suffering from mental and physical abuse now try to talk to someone. You will be supported and listened to. The sooner you get help the better.

Aug 08, 2016
To the author of "Still Suffering..."
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi, and thanks for telling your story here. It is clear that you were a victim of multiple forms of abuse as a child. There is no excuse for how you were treated, and the way your father joined in on the abuse and neglect made it even worse. It's actually amazing that you survived at all.

And it's not surprising that you have had problems as an adult. I want to assure you, however, that you do not have to suffer as a victim for the rest of your life. You're in charge now, whether you realize it or not.

If you're not already, get clean and sober and take care of your body and mind. Follow the steps on this page to fully understand and heal from the aftermath of what you went through. There's no way I can know for sure, but you may be able to do this healing on your own, without professional help.

Most important of all, do not ever give up on yourself. You are not a result of how you were treated, you are a result of the choices you make in life as an adult. Choose to be healthy and happy, true to the good person you are inside.

You can do this.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

Aug 08, 2016
Still Suffering 20 Years Later
by: Anonymous

At 11 my father re-married. My mum had passed away only a year earlier, and they had separated 2 years before that.

As soon as the honeymoon was over my step-mum cornered me in the laundry with her kids and told me that she never wanted me and only wanted my father so her kids could have a dad…mind you her kids saw their dad every 2nd weekend.

From that day on I lived in hell. Endless chores…I was Cinderella. The verbal abuse never stopped. I was isolated from my dad and they went on holidays without me. I asked my dad why I couldn't go? He just said that she didn't want me there. Her kids had everything they wanted and I had to grin and bear it.

I tried to tell my family, but I didn't want it getting back to my stepmother. Her son sexually abused me too. The physical abuse was the icing. She even had my dad hitting me with bamboo, etc. I hated them both. I left at 15 after my dad strangled me and almost hit me, to her delight of course. She finally got what she wanted.

I had years of drug abuse, domestic violence, alcohol abuse and mental illness after it all. I'm still fighting demons 20+ years on.

May 10, 2016
Abusive Step Father
by: Anonymous

I really like the advice that was offered. I suffered as a child from an abusive stepfather. He had hatred towards my brother and me because we weren't his biological children.

He said awful things about me and the mental abuse was worse than the physical abuse. It was much worse for my brother, he would beat my brother more because he wasn't of school age like me. My mom just put on blinders and was a coward for not stopping him.

For many years I had anger towards my mother for not protecting us and not leaving a man who beat her children. It was only when I was diagnosed with cancer as an adult that I confronted my mother and stepfather to tell them how badly they had ruined my childhood.

What I took away from the whole bad experience was that I am a better mother and parent because I learned how not to treat my children. I actually called him from my hospital bed to say thank you for making me into a better mother because I would never treat a child the way he treated my brother and me.

I also forgave my mother who eventually left him, but not until I was an adult. She too suffered from mental abuse and was too afraid to leave.

Don't let what happened to you as a child destroy who are as an adult. The problem they have is their responsibility to fix, learn to love who you are a result of the adversities you have overcome.

May 09, 2016
Been There...It's Time To Stand Up For Yourself
by: Jennifer Schlachter

Anyone who abuses children has something deeply wrong inside of them. I had a step parent who was similar, and I left home 2 weeks after I graduated from high school because of it. And in the end, he left my mom, instead of my mom leaving him.

I went down there to comfort her and take care of her and help her with our farm. In the end, he apologized to me and said, "I'm sorry it has to be this way" and my reply was, "I'm more than fine with it! I just wish it had happened during my childhood so I would not have been so miserable in this house!"

This is the same man who said eventually I would come crawling back, asking for his help. My reply to that was that I would be a whore in the street before I came crawling back to him. For that I got a good face slap, but he never crossed me again.

To Cindy…author of "My Stepmother’ Anger and Hatred…"When you stand up to a bully, they usually cower in shame. Stand up for yourself and you take that farm. Help your dad do everything possible to remove her, or you get out of there. Get a good attorney and walk away.

Apr 29, 2016
I'm Going Through That In My Home Right Now
by: Lexi

My mother died back in 2014. And I feel like my life has been worse ever since.

I moved in with my father and stepmother. I have 2 step-siblings that are 14 and 13, and they get treated like royalty. They always get what they want, when they want. I don't ask for anything, I do chores around the house when I'm not asked to, and I’m responsible. I work almost full time and go to school full time.

When my stepmom and my dad fight, I'm somehow always involved. I don't get involved, I don't talk, but she still puts me into blame. She always accuses my dad for sticking up for me, which he really isn't doing most of the time. And regardless, he's my dad, he should.

I sleep on an air mattress every night, and I don't have a lot of my belongings from when I lived with my mom, and I never have personal space.

I never did anything to cause anger to anyone but still I feel like my presence always causes problems. I feel like when I'm not home everyone is fine, but when I am there's always a fight even if I don’t do anything.

Just this week they all went on a vacation without me. I couldn't go because I had finals, but they still went. I managed the house while they were gone for a week and get no thank you in return. I only ask for little things like that.

I feel so unwelcome and unappreciated sometimes.

Feb 11, 2016
I Went Through The Same Thing
by: Anonymous

I went through exactly the same thing! My stepmother was in the same class as my mother in high school and she hated me for "looking like your mother." She used to lie about me to my dad and my dad would take sides with her.

One day a woman told me something that I will never forget: she said, if there is a choice between someone a man has sex with and another he does not have sex with, a man will always choose the one he has sex with. Since that time I gave up on my dad ever protecting me from my monster stepmother.

I was in Africa then. I decided that I was going to grow up and leave the country to escape my stepma. I studied hard and got a scholarship and left the country and now I am in the US away from the hatred of my stepma and her equally hateful kids.

I wrote and published a book about them and now I am the one laughing! I went to visit Africa in 2012 and they still had an attitude to me and I gave them $200 to have fun!

Sep 02, 2015
To Larry, author of "Burning Within"
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Larry

Your story is very touching, and you express yourself well. The only suggestion I have for you is to find a way to process your anger so that it doesn't harm your own health, or cause you to act in ways you regret. Your stepmother is totally responsible for her dysfunctional behavior, but the anger you feel is your responsibility. You might benefit from the journaling exercises on this page, as a way of processing and releasing the anger you feel. Remember, this is all for you...for your health and well being.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

Sep 02, 2015
Burning Within
by: Larry

I've been under my stepmother’s thumb for 36 years. I've been mentally and emotionally under attack. I've built walls that will never be dismantled. I’ve been unduly scrutinized and ridiculed for the smallest of reasons.

I was forced to bathe in her dirty bath water, had my personal belongings searched through daily, was subjected to cruel remarks, made out to be a troubled child to family and friends. There was no privacy in my adolescent life which lead me to leaving home shortly after high school. This only added to her arsenal of reasons to put me down.

My father never protected me from her. I’ve concluded that he feared her wrath and expected me to remain quiet, which I did. I have only recently begun to share the abuses with family to their astonishment.

My resentment for her has only grown since my father suffered a stroke. I'm forced to deal with her daily in caring for him. I’ve kept the family farm working and make multiple visits daily to tend to his needs. Still I am an emotional punching bag for her. I'm given no credit for my efforts and accomplishments.

I will never comprehend what has driven her to resent me. As I’ve grow older I have lost hope in ever finding peace with her. She still ridicules me and undermines my efforts at every chance. I'm made out to look like I do nothing. She's nasty when we are alone and plays the victim when I finally have had enough and fire back at her. She's like a bully in the sandbox who cries foul when someone stands up and pushes back.

She has succeeded in making my father’s condition all about her. This infuriates me. She uses him to get people to help out financially and to get things that in no way pertain to his care. Often resorting to what I see as "alligator tears."

Even her own children seem to avoid her, mainly visiting for a few hours at Christmas. But in her eyes they do no wrong and protects them from any criticism.

I try hard to overlook her and find forgiveness in my heart. Usually I keep my mouth shut to keep the peace, for Dad’s sake. But deep inside me is a volcano of rage that I've kept bottled. The disdain I have for her and those that conspire with her against me has become overwhelming. I pray for strength and guidance but the desire to "unload" on her is tremendous. I want to expose her for her injustices. Every day has become a spiritual battle for me.

My father married her, not me. He chose to watch me suffer her sickness. He chose to stand by and let me be ridiculed. He wouldn't stand up for me when he knew I hadn't done wrong. He kept silent when I was being unjustly punished. If only he had enough awareness to see how she is now and the way she is using him for her own purpose. If only he were aware of the sacrifices I've made and the things I do. If only he could see her power grabbing and its effects on his children. The only consolation I have is that she will have to answer for her actions to God.

Aug 09, 2015
I'm 13 and my Step Mother Lies About Me
by: Anonymous

Right now I am 13. My stepmother came into my life when I was about 9-10. She is always making up lies about how I do things to ruin her life as well. She is always pushing me around and yelling. She has taken me to a doctor for "mentally Ill" children. They said there was nothing wrong with me. She tells people that I am a horrible kid, and that I cuss, and scream, and hurt my brother. I never have cussed, screamed at her, and I would never hurt my younger brother. She tells me that everyone of her friends and my dads friends hate me and only hang out with them when I am not around. She physically and mentally abuses me and my younger brother. She is so mean. I really pray to God everyday that he will help us. I know he has everything worked out and he will fix this. 😔

Nov 03, 2014
Same Case Here
by: Suresh

My step mom only acted to the world that she was good, but she always physically and emotionally abused us and only loved her daughter and the money my father earned. She also had a couple of external affairs as well. Today me and my brother are married and she still mentally abuses us and our wives everyday. God knows when will this misery end for us. We need help. Hope God is listening.

Sep 16, 2014
Been there too...
by: Debbie

My stepmother is awful. She made her way into my life when I was 13. I'm 48 now, and still suffer from her verbal abuse. Not directly at me anymore, but through my adult kids. I stayed away from family functions for many years now and realize She is the one who has caused problems in my life, while my father allowed her to. Needless to say, the family is finally starting to see that they are the one's who are in fact the problem...not just her. My advise is, get away from the people who hurt you, and get closer to God. Just because you're born into a certain group of people does not mean you have to stay a part of their lives. Move forward always. If someone truly loves you, they will change and hold on tight for fear of losing you forever. Good luck.

Jul 10, 2014
My step-mother ruined my life
by: Anonymous

After my mother passed away my father married my mother's best friend. It was the biggest mistake he ever made. He knew she was verbally and mentally abusive to me and my sister and he never did anything about it.

They are both senior citizens and live with me temporarily. I hate being home it doesn't feel like my home anymore.

I still dislike her as much as I did when I was a child. I love my father but resent him for staying married to a person that ruined my life.

Jun 17, 2014
Stepmom abuse
by: Anonymous

My step mom committed adultery with my dad who had a wife and 3 children under 10. I was uprooted and then began my life of hell. She verbally, emotionally and physically abused me. She threw me out of their wedding at age 11. I turned to alcohol to cope. Can I sue my step mom as a adult for ruining my childhood and abuse?

Jul 08, 2013
Don't understand why they act this way
by: Anonymous

I understand where you're coming from as an adult. I'm 28 yrs old and my father passed away 1 yr ago. As soon as my father passed my stepmother didn't allow my half sister to speak to me anymore. Fast forward to now, my stepmother says it's all my fault because I separated the family and misbehaved towards her since I had the nerve to bring up the estate to her and hire an attorney. On top of that she told my other half sister (not her daughter) that my father never wanted her around. This was a complete lie, but I think she believes all her lies that's why she speaks so poorly about us. One thing that I have realized is that it's best to stay away. They never change. Especially the ones that hide behind religion like she does.

Apr 22, 2013
Feel your pain
by: Anonymous

While I didn't experience physical abuse from my stepmother I did experience emotional. Hearing your story about being taken to the counsellor to find out what was"wrong" with you and not her is such a familiar story to me, also being accused of being jealous of their marriage and ripping up wedding photos and other delusional scenarios. My Dad defended me too but he did not protect me and I think that's the hardest part to accept. I' ve caught myself being very wary of women 30 years older than me and I know why. Anger and bitterness are such horrible emotions but you're not alone, we're all in it together.

Dec 27, 2012
Story of My Life
by: Antoinette

I too go through the same thing.

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