Family stuff

Before I ask my question, I just want to say – as crazy as it may sound – I joined Scholars on the 25th of August and have been following a protocol since (rough at first which I tweaked for September so it’s more solid), so 12 days, and I kid you not I’ve lost 5 of the 7 pounds I had to lose. I went from 132 to 127. Wild! My protocol is very reasonable and I do 3 meals a day in a roughly 8-hour window. I’m somewhat convinced the scale can’t be right, but I’m headed in the right direction either way! Now to manage the desire…

Anyway, my question is a subject I want to avoid but need to look at. I have a complicated relationship with my dad’s wife and chose to stop talking to her and having her involved in my life about 5 or 6 months ago. For the 10+ years they have been together, she has chosen to see me as manipulative and sees every action I take as intentionally against her, and I will admit that the problem has not been her but rather my own thoughts. I stopped talking to her because I was tired of constantly second guessing myself and feeling the need to consider how I *may* be coming off to her. When I used to visit them, I practically couldn’t leave a tube of toothpaste in the wrong place because she’d think I did it intentionally to spite her and to manipulate my dad. I’m also not happy with my dad in this scenario because he feels like a victim and feels stuck. He’s told me not to second guess my decision to stop talking to her because she’s incapable of having the kind of relationship I would want; he says it’s either going to be the fun, over-the-top fake stuff or what we have now, and that’s also frustrating to me. It’s almost like I did what he wants to do but doesn’t have the courage to do.

It would be one thing if it were just the two of them, but they have a child, my little brother, who is almost 3 and of course I absolutely adore him and want him in my life. I live in the UK and visit home once a year so I’ll be going back in November and I don’t know how to approach it to keep it completely drama-free with my dad. I want to see him and my brother, I’ve decided I’m not going to stay at my dad’s house, but there’s always all this hush-hush stuff happening with them – my dad trying to keep the peace and not just SAY what’s actually happening so people around him can plan accordingly. My little brother will be having his 3rd birthday party when I’m in the state and of course I’d love to be there, but I also would understand if my dad’s wife wouldn’t want that seeing as I’m not on speaking terms with her. What work can I do around all of this? The only thing I can come up with in terms of boundaries is letting my dad know that I can meet him and my brother for the day on a couple occasions and it’s up to him to square that with his wife.

I have sooo many thoughts around all of this and so much drama that I’m not sure where to start, but I know it’s work I need to do.

Thanks so much