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'My parents tried to screw over my sick stepmother. They blew up our lives instead.' UPDATED 3X

'My parents tried to screw over my sick stepmother. They blew up our lives instead.' UPDATED 3X

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Nothing makes people show their true colors quite like the possibility of a windfall.

"My parents tried to screw over my dying stepmother. They blew up all of our lives instead."

TLDR; My bio parents tried to screw my terminally ill stepmother out of trust fund money, but she caught on and now no one on my side of the family gets anything.

My (17F) stepmother "Jane" is a wonderful, wonderful woman. She and my father got married when I was 4, and she's been a rock in my life ever since. My mother was always my primary caregiver, but up until that point her relationship with my father was acrimonious and I basically never saw him.

Jane was the reason they developed a stable co-parenting relationship, she encouraged everyone having a good relationship with each other and was always there to support me and my mom when things got rough. Jane was always a really hard worker.

When she met my dad, he was living out of a hotel and my mother was doing everything in her power to keep me away from him because she was petty and angry that their relationship didn't work out.

Meanwhile Jane had a great job, a nice house, helped my dad get back on his feet, negotiated a visitation schedule with my mom (who hated her for a long time), and made sure my dad sent us money every week because neither one of them could afford an attorney to negotiate child support payments.

Jane had no reason to do any of these things but as I got older she made it clear that she loved me as much as she loved my (half) brothers who were born a few years later. I even have my own room in her house because at the time we lived with my grandparents / various boyfriends of my mom and Jane felt that I needed a more stable environment than that. She's like the opposite of the evil stepmom.

When I was 15, Jane won a big lawsuit against an airline company and got awarded upwards of a million dollars. She used the money to build sizable trust funds for me and my brothers so that we would be taken care of later in life. Despite having a lot more money she still wanted to live a fairly modest life, so she paid off the house she has and has been living there ever since with my dad.

Sure she bought a new car and they went on a few nice vacations but she didn't blow all her money on stupid things, which I respected. About a year ago, things started getting really weird. Whenever I saw Jane she seemed to look sicker and sicker, but no one would tell me or my brothers why even though I know they knew. All we knew is that she was at the hospital a lot.

Around the same time, my mom has been coming around my dad a lot more and acting really strange, basically like she was trying to romance him. Whenever Jane was in the hospital my mother would insist on spending the night at their house and playing mom to my brothers, which was so weird to me because she never liked them or Jane.

She'd be the perfect little housewife and my mom is NOT like that at all. It was super fake. Worst of all, my dad started falling for it. I'm not stupid - I'm pretty sure they were sleeping together. I tried to shield my brothers from it but they're not dumb either. I tried talking to my dad too but he insisted it wasn't like that.

Then a few weeks ago, my mom started talking about all the places she'd like to visit, how she wanted a new car and was looking to invest... which is weird because my mom has been a bartender her whole life and has lived paycheck to paycheck since before I was born. She was acting like she was about to get a lot of money, which started to make me really suspicious.

Between Jane being sick and my mom acting all nouveau riche, I had a lot of questions. Finally I decided to visit Jane in the hospital and ask her about my trust fund. I found out that if anything happened to her, that my dad would inherit all the money including full control of the trusts for me and my brothers.

She asked me why I was so interested in the trust fund so I told her what's going on with my parents and how my mom has been acting with my dad. I didn't want to but after everything she did for me, she deserved the truth.

It really hurt me to break her heart like that, especially once I found out that she was basically in hospice at this point because of irreversible kidney failure. She's only got a few more months. We both cried so much. Then, two days ago everything came to a head. My mom stormed in furious and started arguing with my dad.

Apparently Jane met with her lawyer and changed the trust so that my dad would get nothing and all of the trusts would be controlled by my step-aunt. She demanded to know how Jane found out about their relationship and I came out and told them that I told Jane everything.

I told them that if they wanted to play stupid games they would win stupid prizes and that I wasn't going to let them screw Jane over after all the help she gave my family when she didn't have to. My mom slapped me and my dad just looked so defeated. Then my mom told my dad that she didn't really love him, that she was just pretending to so he would marry her and she could get all of the money.

The worst part about it is that my brothers witnessed the whole thing and now on top of their mom dying they have to deal with a cheating dad and his vindictive ex. Our whole family is in ruins and I feel like it's my fault even though I know it's not. Yesterday I visited Jane again and told her about the fallout.

She apologized and said that she had to dissolve my trust fund to make sure my mother didn't get a hold of the money, but that as "her oldest" I will inherit the house/property after she is gone and that's worth more than the other two trust funds combined. My father won't get anything because she's going to divorce him before she dies, and honestly I'm happy for her.

She made me promise to take care of my brothers and told me that once I turn 18 this summer I can kick my dad out of the house if I want to. And I FULLY plan to do that btw. I haven't talked to my dad since and I can't even look at my mom. I can't believe they would conspire to do this to Jane after all this time. Just proof that they deserve each other and I'm embarrassed that they're my parents.

Once I turn 18 I'm going to cut my dad out as much as I can and cut my mom out completely. I hope she rots. Meanwhile I'm going to try and be at the hospital as much as I can until Jane passes away. Anyways. I just needed to vent. I'm really messed up about the whole thing and I feel super betrayed, although I can't even begin to imagine how Jane feels.

I'm gonna be so f-ed up when she dies. I can't even think about that right now. But at least she's not surrounded by people who just want to bring her down. Thanks for reading.

Not long after posting, OP shared an update.

Edit: Some people are asking a lot of the same stuff so I'll just clarify here --

My brothers - My plan is to use some of the estate money fight for guardianship for my twin brothers so that they can live in the house while I kick my dad out. If I can't get guardianship then I will have to let my dad stay in the house.

However once I turn 18 I will technically be an adult so even if my dad leaves I'm still legally able to be responsible for them. The only thing I won't be able to do is stop him from taking them if he leaves. But they will be 18 in six years so even if they do have to leave they will always be able to come back whenever they want.

In a perfect world my dad would just leave and let my brothers stay with me which I'm sure my bio-mom would be very supportive of because right now she hates all of us and I doubt that will change anytime soon.

The trust - from what I understand, my brothers will inherit 1/3 each of the estate and the remaining 1/3 will be used to keep the house running until they turn 18. After that it will be up to me if I want to keep the house or sell it.

At that point my brothers will still have money left in the trust so they can branch out or do whatever they want, otherwise I will not sell the house and just pass it on to them or keep it and maintain it myself and they can just stay with me as long as they need to.

A little later, OP added another update.

So I just spoke to Jane and she told me that the reason she dissolved the trust is because originally it was going to be split 3x between us kids and my dad would inherit the house. She dissolved my 3rd and switched it over to make it to take care of the house maintenance, and instead put the house in my name so my dad wouldn't get it.

Plus by doing that at least financially I would be getting a much bigger share (the house is worth about 1.5x the amount of my brothers trusts) I just wouldn't be able to do anything with it until my brothers are 18, which I'm totally cool with. Sorry if I don't have a better answer but I'm just trying to translate what she told me.

My parents - The big fight happened on Sunday and I haven't spoken to either of my parents since, I think they're both at my mom's place right now but that's fine with us because we're all still mad at them so they can stay gone for all we care.

I know technically that's not legal to just leave us alone but I've been taking care of my brothers for over a year I can handle a few days while he gets his shit together. Screw both of them. Hope that clears some stuff up.

The internet had a lot to say.

mattdvs1979 wrote:

My only advice is make sure you work with a lawyer once she passes so you get your inheritance and your parents can’t try to intervene, and then you keep your promise to use that money for you and your brothers’ welfare.

OP responded:

Oh absolutely, Jane already gave me the lawyer's info and between him and my step-aunt I'm sure I will be able to do what I need to do for them. I don't even care about the money, most people don't have trust funds and turn out just fine.

I'm actually more glad that she gave me the house because you can be damn sure it's going to be a safe space for my brothers whether I end up getting custody of them or not. My brothers are basically Jane's legacy so my goal is to give them the life and guidance that I got from her, and that they won't get because she'll be gone.

Tisanes wrote:

I'm so sorry you're going through such a hard time, OP. The most important thing you've inherited from Jane is a strong moral compass. You could have taken the easy road and ignored everything your mom and dad were doing, but your compassion to Jane is proof you take after her the most.

OP responded:

Thanks a lot. Yeah when my mom was yelling at me she asked why I couldn't keep my mouth shut and mind my business and I told her "because Jane raised me better than that" and that's when she sl*pped me. I feel like she's always been thr*atened by Jane and that was just proof.

Away-Link-8063 wrote:

You poor thing. Take the time you have left with her and make sure your brothers do too, grief is a powerful thing to go through and you’ll all need each other. I’d go NC with your bio mom and put in place a boundary that she’s not to step foot near your home.

What she did was downright cruel. If your dad didn’t realise his mistake in that moment and still pines for the rhymes with witch, then he’s proven his worth. I’ll leave you with this:

𝙏𝙝𝙚 ğ™—ğ™§ğ™žğ™œğ™ğ™©ğ™šğ™¨ğ™© 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙨 𝙗𝙪𝙧𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙛𝙖𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙨𝙩, 𝙨𝙤 𝙬𝙚 𝙢𝙪𝙨𝙩 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙢 ğ™¬ğ™ğ™žğ™¡ğ™š 𝙬𝙚 𝙘𝙖𝙣.

OP responded:

Thank you for your kind words, that's a beautiful quote. My brothers have a hard time visiting the hospital because they're young and seeing their mom that sick is probably really traumatizing especially now that they know she's not going to get better.

As for my dad I made it super clear to him that he's dead to me and that I don't want to have anything to do with a man who has one foot out the door before his wife is even dead, and tries to steal from her to add insult to injury.

I know a lot of "men" do that but I never imagined my dad would let my mom talk him into that. As for my mom...at this point I think she knows better than to come near me because I threatened to call the cops the next time she tries.

Hungry_Blood3949 wrote:

Jane raised you right. You showed incredible character and did the right thing. Your conscience is clear. I hope you and Jane can make more memories together in her last few months together and that she can be at peace. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. ❤️

OP responded:

Thank you very much. It was really hard to tell her but I think a part of her already knew. I'm planning on taking her out for a surprise end of life celebration with her family because they all live across the country and want to fly in to see her. Coordinating it will be hard but I think I can do it.

wenchywitchy wrote:

Your dad's the ultimate sucker here. He was bamboozled by a heartless con (your birthgiver) and fell prey to her lovebombing, and in the end, it's costing him all that he knows and those who should've been the priority.

He's banging his ex while his loving, devoted wife is suffering in grace and silence. Your birthgiver seems insufferable. Karma will surely catch up to her something fierce. Clearly, Jane's parenting influence has rubbed off on you, so continue to fight for yourself and your kid brothers.

OP responded:

Honestly it hurts a lot because before Jane got sick they seemed to have the perfect relationship. Until my birthgiver (I like that) came in and f#$ked everything up with her toxic personality.

Honestly in a perfect world my mom will end up broke and alone and in a sh#$ty nursing home with bed sores. And when she calls me and begs me for a relationship (because she needs the attention) it'll feel so good to hang up on her over and over again.

Beginning-Working-83 wrote:

How did the mother find out before the father?

OP responded:

I think my dad found out first and told my mom and that's why she came to the house in a rage and started arguing with him. I don't really know who found out first or how.

SnooWords4839 wrote:

((HUGS)) Your brothers will need you and you are a good person. Jane knows this.

When you turn 18, cut them both out, I am sure your step aunt will be there to help you.

OP responded:

Thank you, I'm going to spend the next few months doing everything I can to reassure her that my brothers are in good hands. My step aunt always hated my mom so I'm sure she will be more than happy to help lol.

Three months later, OP shared an update.

Hi guys it’s me again, a lot of you asked me for an update on my situation with Jane and my family so I’ve come back with a few things that have happened since I initially posted. I will try to organize this in a way that addresses the major points of last time. Jane is still alive and doing surprisingly well considering the circumstances.

She’s always been a fighter and although her disease has been progressing she’s keeping a positive attitude with everything that is going on. She says she’s grateful that she was able to see everyone’s true colors before she passed so she could go into the next life knowing the truth. We have become so unbelievably close in the past few months and it’s getting harder to know that she’s getting close to the end.

She doesn’t ever talk about it though and I know it’s because she doesn’t want to hurt me but we both know the situation so we’re just making the best of our time. I'm also not being completely transparent about all of the drama at home but tbh I don't think she needs to hear all of that. We did end up having that surprise celebration of life that I planned.

A lot more people showed up than I thought but they all got an airbnb near the hospital where Jane is and we were able to take her out and spend some time at the lake near the facility. It was super lowkey which I know Jane preferred and I was even able to get her old college friend to come after I found him on Linkedin lol.

We had food and there was music and we played games and it was overall a really great time, except Jane started crying at the end but she promised me it was just because she was grateful. My brothers are also doing okay, my aunt (Jane's sister) is currently paying for them to go to therapy and they've become a lot more open about talking about the situation.

They just turned 13 but a lot of the time it feels like I'm talking to actual adults lol. They've become really independent lately (in a good way) and aside from me driving them places I don't really have to do much for them anymore. Their grades aren't super great but they're not failing and considering the circumstances it could be a lot worse.

They still hang out with friends and I'm keeping an eye out for like depression symptoms and stuff. The situation with my mom is as funny as it is embarrassing tbh. She spent a few weeks ignoring us and then she tried to crawl back into my life basically begging me to let her move in because her lease is about to expire and she has nowhere to go.

That convo went about as well as you'd think and she ended up calling me an ungrateful b**** and that I couldn't just ignore her because she's my mom. I told her to get out of the house before I call the cops and to go back to my dad (who at that point was only coming home every few days to "check on us" and grab some clothes.)

After that she tried coming by a few times and when I wouldn't open the door she would lose her mind and start yelling through the neighborhood. After three instances of this I finally called the cops but because I'm 17 they told me there's a possibility that I would have to go home with her since technically I'm a minor and need to be with the custodial parent.

I told them no way because I was the only one watching my brothers atm. That led to a whole thing where after a few hours my dad basically showed up and I was allowed to stay there because there was finally an adult present and I'd basically lived there for over a year.

After that the c*ps firmly told my mom that if she keeps showing up and causing drama (my neighbors confirmed that she'd been there a few times screaming) that they would arrest her for trespassing since technically it was Jane's house and not hers. She left and hasn't tried coming to the house anymore but for a while she would call me constantly telling me I owed her and all kinds of stuff.

She's now blocked on everything and anything she needs to say to me gets filtered through my dad. As for my dad... well, since he's basically required to be here for another 2 months until I turn 18 we've basically just avoided each other. It's not too bad though because I've been heavily relying on guilting him for everything to get my way.

For example he was going to contest the divorce but I threatened to kick him out when I turn 18 if he does that so he just signed all the paperwork for a "quickie divorce" and is basically doing whatever Jane tells him to do. I don't openly disrespect him or anything (he's still my dad) but I've made it clear that I have no intentions on doing anything he says ever again and he doesn't fight me on it.

Most of the time he's just in his room and sometimes he'll go back to my mom's but only for a day or two before they argue and she kicks him out again lol. I haven't decided whether or not I'll kick him out yet and we haven't talked about it either so I'm kind of playing it by ear.

As for me, I'm handling everything as good as I can. I found a new job where I make a little more money so I've been focusing on saving as much as I can and just being there for my brothers. Between working and school and visiting Jane I've been so busy I haven't really had time to really stop and think about everything, but I know it'll come.

One of my friends has really stepped up and helped me manage everything and I'm super grateful to him for being there for me and my brothers so we'll see how that goes. Anyways I wish I had something more exciting to share but that's what's happened since my last post :) Thanks again for all the support on my last post.

The comments kept flowing in.

abslxtion wrote:

Holy s#$t, I remember your first post, this is such big pile of horse crap to be dealing with, but you sound so incredibly mature and like you're really taking it in stride. Your parents have really failed you and your brothers here, but I'm so proud of how you've managed to step up to the plate and hold your ground against them. I'm still sorry you have to be the next best adult in this scenario.

It's also great to hear that Jane is still alive, and that you guys got to do a celebration of life with her. I can only hope, when I am at my own end, that I have people who love me this dearly and this deeply. I hope you and your loved ones are able to make some more happy memories with her :-)

OP responded:

Thank you :) and I promise that as long as you are a good person and work to make the lives of those around you better instead of being a burden you will have many people around you who will love and cherish you.

kaleidoscope_paradox wrote:

This update is as fine as it is you don’t need more “excitement” right now, you are doing great, like I said in your previous post, you are a heroine, brave , strong and caring. Jane is super proud of you I can guarantee that, you are a beautiful soul, you will have a bright future ahead of you!

I’m really glad to read that you are doing well (considering the circumstances), I really really wish you the best!

This internet stranger is really really proud of the person you are becoming, I send you a big virtual hug!!

OP responded:

Thank you very much you are very kind :)

stormoverparis wrote:

If you havent with jane, if she’s still on hospice she can do little video clips for the twin’s big milestone moments and future ones for you as well so you can have more of her with you during those times would be really thoughtful. Especially for the twins since you said they have a hard time with hospitals since theyre young.

That might be something they might regret later on when they’re older so having those videos might help everyone with the grieving process. Hopefully Jane stays strong.

You’re doing amazing for your situation and stay strong.

OP responded:

Yes actually a few people suggested this on my last post and we have been doing this for a few weeks now. Jane has a little digital recorder that she’s been putting her thoughts down on and she’s also written a few letters to us for major milestones.

My brothers do not know about this as we want to surprise them but that said they have been coming to the hospital more now that they’re in therapy and able to deal with it. I know they do not want to have any regrets even though it’s a difficult situation.

Wild-Boysenberry9085 wrote:

OP, you're a great person and perhaps you could consider getting emancipated to take care of your brothers. However, are you certain that one or both of your parents wasn't poisoning your stepmom to k**l her and get her money? They could have been conspiring to harm your stepmom and having an affair behind Jane's back even before she was hospitalized.

I recall a case in the US a few years ago where a husband was slowly p0is0ning his wife with car cooling liquid, and one of the symptoms was kidney failure. She also became progressively sicker over time. Fortunately, he was caught in time, and she survived due to a kidney transplant. Nonetheless, she still faced health issues as a consequence.

Since your stepmom is still in the hospital, she could talk to her doctor to explore the possibility of poisoning. She should explain to them that your parents were conspiring against her to get her money. The doctors might not have considered p0isoning because they were unaware of what was happening with your stepmom.

OP responded:

Hi there. A few people have mentioned this and yes we are absolutely certain she is not being poisoned, it’s a genetic disease causing her kidney failure and we have known about it for a long time but she shielded us from the worst of it hence why her “sudden” decline in health was such a shock to us, we thought she had more time.

My brothers have also been screened for this disease and thankfully neither of them have it. I’m turning 18 in a few weeks so I don’t need to get emancipated and my dad has already agreed that my brothers will stay in the house with me because they have nowhere else to go.

TotalIndependence881 wrote:

Unsolicited advice: you need to find a personal finance advisor or class and do a lot of learning. You’re about to come into home ownership and be in control of more money than you’ve ever had in your life before.

I’m going to equate this to winning the lottery, but obviously that’s not it either, most lottery winners are poorer than they were before winning because they blow it spending without planning. You need a plan for spending, savings, and investing in order to take advantage of this huge gift you and your brothers get.

You need this financial education and advice, and home ownership advice, both for yourself and for your brothers sake so you can teach them between now and when they get access to their trusts. Start by asking Jane for a name or organization to go to, then ask your counselors at school.

OP responded:

Thank you for the advice, my aunt has actually suggested a few financial literacy courses that I plan on looking into once things settle down, I’m gonna start simply and work my way up but until I get there I have full trust in her to do what’s best for our family.

My friend's uncle also works in finance so I’ve been getting tidbits of advice here and there that I’ve been trying to process but right now my priority is graduating and then we’ll see where it goes from there.

Trick_Delivery409 wrote:

I am so proud of you OP.

I know you want to stick around the area for your siblings. But is there a local or online college you may apply to? Or an apprenticeship program? I want you to keep living your life too!

OP responded:

Right now I’m focusing on working more than college, the job I have right now is kind of like an apprenticeship so there’s a guaranteed full time position for me there once I graduate in a few weeks and take some time off in the summer.

I do plan to go back to school once everything stabilizes but right now I don’t think I could handle that on top of everything else. I do try to take time for myself here and there but with everything going on rn it’s minimal.

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