To My Stepson’s Mother

There are several things that I’ve ALWAYS wanted to say to you, but have always held my tongue because, in my heart, I know it’s what’s best for my stepson. However, I am human and after 10 years of dealing with your anger, hatred, the damaging things you say to your stepson about me, my husband and my sons (one of which is your son’s half brother), I can’t take it anymore and have to let this out. And so I am choosing this virtual venue to get some things off my chest.

First off, let’s be clear, that EVERYTHING I have done for your son is not because I felt obligated to; it’s because I had grown to love him. I had been in his life since he was four years old and since you were never around for the first couple of years (my husband had him for 9 months out of the year), I became his mother figure. I was never trying to replace you; only doing my best to help my husband. Not only that, I am a mother myself and would want my son’s stepmother to do the same in my absence. I’m sorry if I assumed that you wanted the same. HOWEVER, give me a break and a little bit of gratitude. Instead of referring to me as the “glorified babysitter,” how about a thank you every now and then because I don’t HAVE TO DO WHAT I DO, I choose to.  It would also be nice if you’d consider the fact that I have children, too, and when we ask for a little flexibility because our sons’ schedules are completely different as they live in different states, be considerate enough to grant us that flexibility. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to see your son. We loved having him here! But, the world doesn’t revolve around him, and when there are multiple kids in a stepfamily, all of their needs must be taken into consideration.

Now let’s get to the serious stuff. When your son kept trying to stick his hands down my son’s pants, hump him, when he got out of the shower, while naked, ask him to “make out”, kick him in his testicles as hard as he could, and all the other completely inappropriate things he did or attempted to do to him, you should have handled it better. My husband was against telling you when we finally found out what was going on, but I told him that, as a mother, you would want to know that your son was doing these things. You would want to know where he learned the behavior from and if anyone was doing those things to him! But you proved me wrong yet again. Oh stupid me, always trying to give you the benefit of the doubt. Instead, you told us that we were against your son and even though he admitted to everything he did, it was all “normative” behavior. You even went as far as to call my son crazy and tried to impose frivolous injunctions on me, demanding my son’s medical and school records. All to no avail, I might add. But you only put more stress on me and took me away from my son (who really needed me after what your son did) to attend court appearances that only ended with the judge telling you that you needed to focus on getting YOUR son help instead of worrying about what I was doing with mine. He ordered you to take him to counseling and after ONE session, you decided that the child psychologist(in your exact words) lost her ability to be objective. As a result, you did not take him back to therapy. For the record, my son wasn’t the perpetrator, yours was. My son is a straight A student; his teachers say that he is a leader, a peace keeper and a joy to have in class. And yes, I did take him to a therapist because of what YOUR son did to him! I’m happy to report that after a year of therapy, he is doing quite well. I also want to tell you that it might have been considered normal play if both boys wanted to play. But when one kid constantly tries to do these things against the other’s will, there is a problem. And all we asked was that you take him to get some help (since you wanted to include in the divorce decree that you discuss those types of things before taking action). I didn’t get mad at my stepson. I was the first one to wrap my arms around him after he admitted what he had done and told him that we would make sure everything was okay.  HOWEVER, I had to think about my child as well and could not just pretend like nothing ever happened. Why can’t you understand that? When your son told us (you were on the phone) that he didn’t mean it, his exact words, “I just play like that sometimes,” why weren’t you concerned about who he was playing like this with? This was our main concern. But you see EVERYTHING we do and say as some sort of personal attack and refuse to co-parent with my husband.  Furthermore, why have you taken it even a step further and decided to only allow (because court orders mean nothing to you) my husband to see his son 2 Sundays per month, in your state, for 5 hours? Why are you treating us like WE did something wrong, when your son is the one who committed the inappropriate acts? Who gives you the right to treat everyone like a puppet because you don’t get your way? More importantly, what would you have wanted me to do differently in that situation? I didn’t call child protective services, I didn’t choose to bring action against your son, I didn’t do anything but reach out to you to try and work this out as best as we could for our family.

And now, I’m angry! I can no longer wear a smile on my face and pretend that you’re anything other than evil. You do not want what’s best for you son. Because you were a lawyer at one point, you only want to win; only my husband and I had no idea we were playing a game. We thought we were co-parenting children. Now you have torn this family apart. Our sons were very close at one point and we WERE hoping that we could get past this as they have. My son has totally forgiven your son because that’s what type of person we are raising. To top it off, I just had a baby boy that your son has never met.  After everything you’ve done, I was supposed to feel sorry for you after what had happened to you? As a mother, I really tried to feel sorry for you. But as a person, who has spent years taking the daggers you’ve thrown at me and my family with a smile, I just couldn’t help but think about one word – karma!

Lastly, I could’ve put all this behind me if it were just about you being a protective mother, but it wasn’t. You were only “protective mother” when you didn’t get your way. But when you were on vacation, off with your boyfriend, partying and drinking, you weren’t so “protective” then.  This co-parenting thing is all a game to you and I’m done playing. And now I just feel so sorry for my husband for having to try to co-parent with you. It’s too bad he realized a little too late that by having a child with you  was actually making a deal with devil. Okay, I’m done. I finally got it off my chest; what a relief. Now, I can finally let this go.

~ by Stepfamily Letter Project on October 19, 2010.

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