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A man and woman smiling | Source: AmoMama
A man and woman smiling | Source: AmoMama

My Stepmom Intentionally Called Me the Wrong Name Until I Taught Her a Lesson

Bettina Dizon
May 16, 2024
01:51 P.M.

My dad remarried last year, and I hate his new wife. She doesn't see me as her own daughter, and I get that because I'm really not. But what I don't understand is why she sees me as some sort of competition. To make things worse, she keeps calling me the wrong name even after correcting her. When the opportunity came, I decided to teach her a lesson that caused her embarrassment.

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This past year has certainly put my patience to the test. Ever since my dad remarried Carla, she has been annoying me with her snide comments and calling me the wrong name.

A newly wed couple | Source: Pexels

A newly wed couple | Source: Pexels

My name is Jessica, but she calls me by my second name, Eunice, which I hate. There’s a peculiar dynamic at play, mainly because Carla has a daughter named Jessica. But unlike what you might expect, we get along incredibly well. We’ve become like real sisters, sharing everything from clothes to secrets, which seems to confuse Carla.

Two girls enjoying pizza | Source: Pexels

Two girls enjoying pizza | Source: Pexels

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Carla’s not subtle about her favoritism. She's always arranging little outings for my stepsister and Dad, almost as if she's trying to craft her perfect little family tableau with me as the outsider. But what really grates on me is how she insists on calling me by my second name.

An annoyed woman | Source: Pexels

An annoyed woman | Source: Pexels

"Eunice just sounds more distinguished, don’t you think?" Carla once remarked over breakfast, buttering her toast as if she hadn’t just dismissed my feelings. "It’s Jessica," I corrected her gently, not wanting to start my day with a conflict. "It’s the name Dad loves, and it’s the name I love. Please respect that."

A woman eating breakfast | Source: Unsplash

A woman eating breakfast | Source: Unsplash

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She flashed a patronizing smile and continued as if I hadn’t spoken. Stepsister Jessica kicked me under the table in solidarity, rolling her eyes at her mom’s stubbornness. Thank goodness she is nothing like her mom.

Last Saturday, an exciting run-in happened at the supermarket. As we were shopping, Carla spotted her boss a few aisles over and made a beeline to introduce us. She saw it as a moment to show her familial love; I saw it as an opportunity to teach Carla a lesson.

A woman in a grocery | Source: Freepik

A woman in a grocery | Source: Freepik

"This is my stepdaughter, Eunice," she announced, gesturing grandly in my direction.

I continued grocery shopping as if I had not heard a single thing. "Eunice!" she called again, louder, trying to catch my attention.

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Ignoring her felt like the only power I had at that moment, so I pretended to be fascinated by a display of exotic fruit, examining a particular piece as if it held the secret to world peace.

Carla stormed over, her face a mix of embarrassment and irritation. "You're embarrassing me in front of my boss!" she hissed, her voice low but fierce. "Why didn't you answer me?"

A woman grocery shopping | Source: Pexels

A woman grocery shopping | Source: Pexels

I continued to go about my business like I didn't hear anything. "Eunice!" she said three times, before finally saying, "Jessica!" I then looked at her with a smug face. "Yes, Carla?" I calmly replied.

"I’ve told you repeatedly, my name is Jessica. I don’t know why you insist on calling me Eunice, but I won’t answer to it. It’s disrespectful," I added

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A woman with a subtle smile | Source: Pexels

A woman with a subtle smile | Source: Pexels

She sputtered a response, but I walked away, feeling her eyes burning into my back.

The aftermath was chilly. When my dad got word of what happened, he tried to mediate. He went to me and laughed about it. "Maybe she can call you Jessi, and her daughter Jess?" he offered, trying to bridge the gap.

A happy man | Source: Unsplash

A happy man | Source: Unsplash

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I appreciated Dad’s attempt but shook my head. "It’s about respect, Dad. It’s not just about my name; it’s about acknowledging who I am."

Carla’s birthday party a few days later was the true test. The house was filled with her friends and colleagues, and I braced myself for another round of "Eunice" introductions. But something had shifted in Carla after our supermarket showdown.

Garden party setup | Source: Pexels

Garden party setup | Source: Pexels

She began the introductions, her voice cheerful as she gestured to her daughter. "This is my daughter Jessica," she started and then turned to me. There was a brief pause, a moment of tension where the air felt thick.

"And this is my stepdaughter…" she trailed off, her eyes flicking to mine, a silent battle being fought. Finally, she exhaled and continued, "…Jessica."

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A mom and daughter smiling at each other | Source: Pexels

A mom and daughter smiling at each other | Source: Pexels

It was a significant moment. Stepsister Jessica squeezed my hand under the table, a grin spreading across her face. We shared a look of relief and triumph. For the rest of the evening, Carla made an effort to call me Jessica, and though it was clearly a struggle, it meant the world to me.

Two people holding hands | Source: Freepik

Two people holding hands | Source: Freepik

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It’s not all smooth sailing yet, but it feels like a corner has been turned. Standing up for myself taught me that change is possible, even in the most stubborn hearts. And maybe, just maybe, Carla’s heart is softening a little towards me, too.

Like Jessica, another woman did not get along with her stepmother.

My Stepmom Gave Me a Used School Bag for My Birthday While Her Kids Got Pricey Gifts – Karma Finally Caught up with Her

My mother was never meant to be a mother. She said exactly that to my father when I was about three months old, and then she left.

A woman holding a baby | Source: Pexels

A woman holding a baby | Source: Pexels

"I'm sorry, Collin," she told him while packing her bags. "But this just isn't the life for me. I cannot do this. I don't know how to be a mother, and I don't know if I want to try anymore."

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"But Kayla needs you," my father said.

"I'll do more damage if I stay," she said, tears streaming down her face.

And then she walked out of our lives.

A crying woman holding a mug | Source: Pexels

A crying woman holding a mug | Source: Pexels

For years, my father relied on my grandparents to help raise me, and they did a good job of making me feel loved and cared for, despite the fact that my mother had chosen to leave me behind.

"It's difficult, I know," my grandmother said while we sat at the table one day. "But you need to remember that being a parent isn't for everyone, Kayla. Sometimes people only realize that too late."

A girl sitting with her grandmother | Source: Pexels

A girl sitting with her grandmother | Source: Pexels

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I understood my grandmother's logic—it made sense to me. This was beyond my control. But at the same time, there was nothing easy about accepting the fact that my mother had chosen to leave me—that loving me wasn't enough.

But as I grew, my father became more and more important to me—he was the one person who would do anything for me.

A father and daughter embracing | Source: Pexels

A father and daughter embracing | Source: Pexels

It was us against the entire world.

But then when I was twelve, my father met Tanya at my school. She had a set of twins who were a grade above me, and they met at a school fundraiser.

"Kayla, we're really spending our Saturday at your school?" my father grumbled to me as he took one of the containers of cupcakes from the car.

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Chocolate cupcakes | Source: Unsplash

Chocolate cupcakes | Source: Unsplash

"It's just for a few hours," I told him. "And then we can leave. I know you and Uncle Jim want to watch the game on TV."

My father laughed, and we walked to the football field with the baked goods. We set up everything, waiting for Bake Day to begin so that we could sell our cupcakes and head out.

A person watching football | Source: Pexels

A person watching football | Source: Pexels

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And then, Tanya and her twin girls, Allie and Avery, showed up, setting their containers of brownies next to mine.

"Oh, no!" Tanya shrieked, almost dropping a container as she tripped on a tablecloth, causing my father to rush to her rescue.

He caught the container, set it right, and helped unhook the piece of tablecloth that had caught on Tanya's shoe.

A smiling woman | Source: Pexels

A smiling woman | Source: Pexels

That was the beginning of the end.

My father and Tanya exchanged numbers, and by the end of the fundraiser, they had made plans to meet for dinner the following week.

Two years later, they were married—with Allie, Avery, and I as bridesmaids.

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A bridal couple holding hands | Source: Pexels

A bridal couple holding hands | Source: Pexels

And for once, I learned what it was like to have a mother.

At first, things were fine—Tanya did the necessary things for me.

"Just be careful," my grandmother told me. "She's just being nice because your father married her. Wait until the dust settles. But for your sake, my darling, I hope she's everything you need her to be."

A girl with her grandmother | Source: Pexels

A girl with her grandmother | Source: Pexels

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It was as if Gran's words had conjured the nasty side of Tanya. She went from being caring to losing the plot with me. I began to see the difference in how she treated me compared to the way she treated the twins.

"Don't worry about it," my father said when we went for a run together—recently, his cholesterol had been absolutely high, and as per doctor's orders, he had to start living a healthy life.

Two people jogging | Source: Pexels

Two people jogging | Source: Pexels

"It's not the fact that the twins are getting new things," I said. "It's the fact that she doesn't even try to make me feel like I deserve them, either."

"It's been Tanya and the girls for a long time, love," my father said, stopping to catch his breath. "They only know each other."

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Twin teenage girls | Source: Pexels

Twin teenage girls | Source: Pexels

We walked back home, and my father told me that despite the way I felt, he would always be there for me.

Until he wasn't—just weeks after my 15th birthday, my father passed away from a heart attack in his own bed.

Read the full story here.

This work is inspired by real events and people, but it has been fictionalized for creative purposes. Names, characters, and details have been changed to protect privacy and enhance the narrative. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

The author and publisher make no claims to the accuracy of events or the portrayal of characters and are not liable for any misinterpretation. This story is provided “as is,” and any opinions expressed are those of the characters and do not reflect the views of the author or publisher.

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