difficult child 1 does not even live with us anymore. Heck, I don't even speak to her anymore. Yet still, she has a way of putting her dark cloud over family holidays. First, it was two years ago, when she blew Christmas up into her own drama fest, just to have an excuse to leave. (She already had packed her bags the night before, unknown to me...the whole ordeal was orchestrated.) Then it was the next Christmas, where I wasn't allowed to see Rae for Christmas because difficult child 1 wanted to be evil, mean, and nasty when I refused to be Bank of Mom or her door mat any longer. Now this Christmas, she has to stir up trouble, yet again. For the last nine months that my sweet little granddaughter Rae has been living with my sister in law, difficult child 1 has made little effort to keep up her relationship with her daughter. She sees her maybe once ever 6-8 weeks, seldom calls to check on her, and just generally only has something to do with her when she wants to play Mommy, or point out to her friends what monsters we all are. (She'll call and want to come see the baby right now, then when sister in law tells her they already have plans, she needs more notice than an hour, difficult child 1 uses it as an excuse to show her friends we won't let her see Rae.) I have been paying Rae's support since the day she arrived at sister in law's, a full two months before legal custody was decreed. difficult child 1 has brought diapers twice in nine months and a handful of toys we're pretty sure she stole, since she has no job and was arrested for shoplifting already. When she leaves after a visit, she's not happy unless she somehow gets Rae to cry, just so she can post to Facebook how heartbroken she was that Rae cried when she left. Well gee, when you stand in the door, repeatedly saying "bye-bye" and don't let Rae go outside on the porch, she always cries. If the door opens, she wants to go play outside. If she can't, she cries about it. difficult child 1 will stand in the door until Rae notices the door's open, then runs over to go outside. Naturally, when difficult child 1 doesn't let her, she starts crying. How cruel can you be to a child, just so YOU can feel like she cares?!? Poor Rae can't even pick her own mother out of a family picture! She can point out Grandma, mama S (sister in law), Papa (my father in law) and her cousins, but not her own mother. Hardly any of the family speeks to this child anymore (difficult child 1) because she has lied, manipulated, stolen, and just in general been acting like an immature, self-centered, thoughtless twit. No one wants to see her self destruct. But to her friends-of-the-month, we're all heartless monsters because everytime difficult child 1 gets kicked out of yet ANOTHER household (happens about once every few months...usually after she steals from whoever's trying to help her, or sleeps with their husband/boyfriend/brother/and next door neighbor.) we won't offer her somewhere to stay. We keep her from her child. We never loved her. Oh geez. Give me a break already! I ignore it all...even when it shows up all over Facebook how her mother doesn't even remember her birthday, how her aunt is always keeping Rae from her, whah, whah, whah. But the other day, she crossed the line. I blew up...and in a very public manner. Little did I know, it would start a family-wide blow up - all directed at difficult child 1. It all started innocently enough. My neice, sister in law's oldest daughter, absolutely LOVES Rae. She dresses her up in cute little outfits, takes her to church with her, has pictures of her little cousin all over her Facebook profile, I mean this kid just loves Rae to pieces. Now keep in mind, my neice is only 14. She's very active in her church. She's really, honestly, a good girl. Heck, she asked her Mom to start homeschooling her because she doesn't like the fact that the teachers at public school don't do anything about the foul language and general bad behavior of the other kids. She doesn't want to be around that kind of stuff. I don't think that kid could have a mean-spirited bone in her whole body! Well, she posted a picture of Rae to Facebook the other day. difficult child 1 immediately got an attitude and was quite rude to my neice, accusing her of always rubbing it in her face that my neice gets to see all the things she should see with her daughter. I was very proud of my neice for the way she handled it. She apologized, but firmly stated that she was not trying to hurt difficult child 1's feelings, but share what Rae was doing. The nastier difficult child 1's comments got, the nicer and more supportive my neice got, saying she loved her cousin, and hoped for the best for her, etc. difficult child 1 felt the need to add her revisionist view of why sister in law has custody of Rae to begin with, and all my neice said was "now you know, difficult child 1, that isn't the whole story. I'm sorry if I got you upset, but that's really between you and the courts, not me. Just remember that I love you, always will, because that's what family does." I was so proud of my neice. I couldn't stand the idea of my child bullying her so publically, so naturally, I commented myself. I told my neice not to ever feel the need to justify or apologize for sharing something she found joy in...including her little cousin. I told her I was proud of the "big sister" role she's taken with Rae, and how much I know Rae loves her too, how much it means to grow up knowing you are safe, loved, and cherished. Now, knowing my child, I knew she wouldn't DARE continue the ugliness on her cousin's page. Not if she wants to stay on speaking terms with my sister in law. So I went looking at her page, to see if she was continuing the bad-mouthing and bully of her younger cousin there. I read a status update, much like a million others, with the typical poor me, I'm grateful for my friends who stand by me, blah, blah, blah. I was sorely tempted to answer with "what...you mean the friends who haven't caught you stealing yet? Who haven't seen you pick on your 14 year old cousin yet, just because she posted about Rae?" But I didn't. I refrained. I stayed mature. Took the high ground.... until... More comments showed up from her friends, about how THEY were her real family, we were just a bunch of heartless monsters, that the people who raised difficult child 1 never loved her, we were a bunch of blankety-blank idiots, blah, blah, blah. Between bullying my neice, and now people who have known difficult child 1 less than a year are bashing my ENTIRE family, including my niece, for being heartless, making accusations that were simply untrue, I blew a gasket. But still, I didn't comment. Not until difficult child 1 posted that she was getting Rae back, then leaving the state and none of us would ever see Rae again. That was it. I had listened to enough. So, I responded. I outlined every lie, half truth, and b.s. story difficult child 1 has ever told. I called her out on all the lies, the manipulations, the stealing, the bullying, the ignoring and abandoning her child, all of it. Every last bit of it. How she has used Rae to get back at family members who didn't give her what she wanted. How she abandoned Rae multiple times at my SILs for "a weekend" then disappeared for weeks and months at a time. How she stole money from me, how she planned her drama fest the Christmas she left, only to tell everyone I kicked her out. I dumped every last bit of it, all the ugly truths - including the fact that I could have handled some thing differently, but my intentions had ALWAYS been her and Rae's best interest, and for such a monster as me, why would I furnish her home, put utilities in my name, make repairs on her home, loan them money, drive an hour each way to bring them formula or diapers, etc. I seriously unloaded, and felt so much better for it. Naturally, she had a pack of lies, half truths, and nastiness as a defense...which absolutely ENRAGED other family members, including her brothers and my sister in law. Here, my sister in law is, out of the goodness of her heart, taking in Rae and doing her best by her, all the while trying to be supportive (if only limitedly) of difficult child 1, encouraging her to keep trying to get her life together, never openly passing judgment, and here difficult child 1 is, firing off how we're all monsters and that sister in law will never see Rae again once difficult child 1 gets her back (like that's ever going to happen.) Before you know it, a half a dozen family members jumped in, all calling difficult child 1 out on her lies and nastiness. Enough so that difficult child 1 blocked everyone. Now, keep in mind, none of us stooped to being nasty. None of us let on in our comments how truly hurt and angry we all were. Instead, we were all very diplomatic, remindeded her that we all loved her, but hated her behaviors, etc. In response, we had difficult child 1 and her ex-con, striper, and general lowlife friends tell all of us difficult child 1's version of history, and how cold, uncaring and nasty we all were. Yeah, okay kids...talk to me after you've been around her a little longer, after she's stolen from you, lied to you, stabbed you in the back...I promise, you'll sing a different tune. The whole thing was just ugly and nasty. It left a lot of family members reeling and hurt to hear how difficult child 1 portrayed them to other people. Its one thing to know she talks bad about you, it's another thing to actually see the words and hear the stories she tells. I was astounded by the things she said about other family members. I'm used to her portraying me as the Bride of Satan. But other family members? No. They don't deserve that kind of treatment. She has now, yet again, put the entire family in foul spirits at Christmas. It's bad enough to see her presents sit under the tree every year unwrapped. It's bad enough that she's not a part of family holidays and events. But to have her so heartlessly hurt everyone like that, just because SHE isn't getting to see Rae for Christmas? You could feel the dark cloud over everything when we had Christmas dinner at my inlaws the other night, right after all of this. Christmas is especially hard on them, with exDH gone. To have her attack them and their son's memory like that, just a few days before the holidays? It just broke their hearts that much more. Why does she have to do this? If she hates us all so doggone much, why can't she just walk away and leave us all alone? Sign over custody to sister in law permanently and walk away. Go start a new life with whoever you want. Why go to such lengths to hurt everyone who has ever loved you? I just don't get it. I really don't. And as horrible as it is to say this...I don't care if I ever see or hear from her again. That's such a horrible thing to say about your own child, but it's how I feel. I know in my heart, if she doesn't change something, some day I'm going to get a phone call. I'm going to have an officer at my door saying "Ms. J, we're sorry to tell you this..." And to be perfectly honest? I don't really know that I will care. I don't really think I'll feel anything. Nothing. It's just all gone. I feel nothing for my own child. Nothing but contempt, anger, sorrow, and fear that somehow she WILL manage to get Rae back, and then what will happen? What a lovely way to spend the holidays...with yet another painful reminder of how that child has tried for so many years to destroy her family and make them as miserable as her. I feel bad for my SO. He came into the picture long after difficult child 1 left home. He has no clue just how vile and nasty that child can be, or what she's put us all through. Now I just want the holidays over with. I don't want to be all cheery and Christmas-y. I don't even want to do our Christmas celebration tonight. (We both have plans with our families tomorrow, so we're having our own little private Christmas with each other over dinner tonight.) I swear I just want to pile all the Christmas decorations up in the back of the truck and go donate them somewhere. I just don't want to do Christmas any more. difficult child 1 always finds a way to make it a horrid, painful time of year. Poor SO. My boys get it. My family gets it. None of us feel really Christmas-y this weekend. They don't expect me to fake holiday cheer, nor do I expect it of them. But SO, he didn't sign on for this. He didn't sign on for having a girlfriend who hates Christmas now and just wants to spend the weekend in bed, under the covers, like it's not even a holiday. Ugh. Bahumbug. Are the holidays over yet?