Dear Stepmother

•November 22, 2011 • 8 Comments

I try to love you, I honestly do. You make my dad ecstatic, you are an amazing cook, you are a talented craftswoman, and you have a fabulous sense of humor. I like more things about you then I dislike, honestly.

Yet you get angry. Correction, you get passive aggressive. You mutter under your breath about how I can be useless, you blatantly insult me. I am not stupid! I can hear, just as you can see me shake my head. You get jealous of the fact that I am close to my grandmother. I am sorry, but in my entire life, she is the only member of my family who hasn’t hurt me. Of course I am close to her. Yet I stopped talking to her to make you feel better. I am not close to many people. I only really talk to my best friend, grandmother, and father. Yet I don’t talk to my father about how you make me feel because he is your husband and I would rather you and him have each other and lose me then watch a marriage fall apart because of me. When I talk to my best friend on the phone you get mad because you say you can hear me through the floorboards as I insult you. As I vent. Tell me stepmother, how the hell am I supposed to live without talking to anyone because it upsets you?

I know what you will say. Hell its what you said to me yesterday, driving me to work, “You suck at communicating and you treat your father and I like we are your slaves.” Right before work. I didn’t cry in the car but I was bawling the break room. An eight and half hour work shift and all I could think about was what you said. I sang to myself and my coworkers who barely know me noticed that something was off.

I cleaned before work. Did you see? I swept, mopped, vaccummed, dusted, clean the windows, and did a load of dishes before I left. I am not trying to pull a Cinderella here. But I wonder if you see what I do. I also work and go to school. I don’t spend my money, I put it in savings. I try to do laundry weekly, but most of the time I have to wait a week and half because it takes you forever to get laundry done.

So I don’t communicate in our house. I am liberal democrat in a house with staunch republicans. I like foreign films and you guys cannot stand them. I misheard you the other day, as I was getting sick and working non-stop, but you get offended without considering the situation. You are in the perfect place.

You can insult me and I won’t say anything. You can cry and I won’t call you out. I don’t communicate because talking does me no good. Even friendly conversation you don’t say anything. “How was your day?” “How was the party?” I ask these questions all of the time. I am begging for the day when I get asked these questions in return. I get blamed for not communicating. You never ask questions. You hate that excuse. You call it evil. Remember when your brother moved and never told you? You got mad because you felt like he just should have told you, but I am guessing that you never asked what was going on in his life.

You call me all the names, selfish, poison, evil. I will never refer to you those ways. I know you. Faults and all and I get angry. You love your nieces, but cannot stand me. I am the bad one. A straight-A student who is in college and has a great job. Who saved your marriage. Who helps around the house. Who babysits. “Three chores.” You scathingly say when I forget one, yet you forget the dishes, the help. I do more then my chores. I am evil. I destroy your family.

You cannot talk to me without sounding like I committed a crime. You don’t inquire, you accuse. You wonder why I jump, because you feel that it is unwarranted. I feel that I do not warrant being accused of helping out. How horrid.

Something is wrong about us. I care for you, I really do. You say to fake being nice but I don’t want to. I really care. When you came out with you having cancer I cried so much. At work, and my best friends house. I could not stop crying. I care for you! I love you! I just don’t want to be accused.

You can vent all you want yet I say nothing. I cry when I write this because I know this is the communication you want but I am to afraid to give. You will tell me “What more can I do!” For starters you can stop acting like I attack you and then you accuse me. You have support. Go online, there is so much help for you. There is nothing for me. Stepchildren are evil to the internet. I guess you were right.

So I will continue to love you. I just won’t say anything. Its not worth the ridicule and accusations. I will clean, work, and study. I don’t know what our real issue is. I honestly don’t. Some say that you are jealous of me and compete with me. I have no clue though.

All I can do is get used to the new norm.

Your Step-Daughter.

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To my sons

•November 22, 2011 • 4 Comments

I want to admit to so many mistakes I have made in the past with you two. I want to say first and foremost, I do love you both with all my heart. I know I haven’t always put you and your needs ahead of my own. I see now the results of my mistakes when I was younger and selfish. Your dad and I married when I was 16 and he was 19. He was and still is a very good Christian man. You know he is a good father to you. Our marriage didn’t work because I didn’t want it to. I wasn’t satisfied with my life. I didn’t know what it was that I was looking for, but at the age of 22, I left your father. We agreed on joint custody of you. You were 5 years and 5 months old at the time. I decided to go out and live my teenage years that I never had since I got married at 16. I married another man, that although he was good to you both, was not your father. I compared him to your father for 2 years and he never could be the man your father was, and this led to our divorce. I put my job, not a career, but a job, ahead of your needs. I still took care of both of you and always made sure I had you on my days and never interfered with your dad on his visitation days. But I still know now that I did not put you and your needs first. I know I rushed into a third marriage with yet another man that  was not good enough for you boys or me. I became stuck in an abusive relationship with him, and I regret that you boys had to see me not only abused, but to see your mom become such a low self esteemed person. I was so  deep into depression over this third failed marriage, but I just did not want to give up. I wanted to be a stable mom for you. I regret that you were witness to the physical and mental abuse that went on from him. I thank God he had sense enough to never put his hands or lash out at you boys. I finally wised up and divorced again, realizing that a third divorce was better than the alternative. I began to pull myself out of the low place in life I had allowed myself to be in. I began to have better self esteem, I was smiling again, I was happy. But I always had you two. I reconnected with a life long friend from school, and fell in love again. This time, he was a great guy. He had 3 kids of his own, but you two were always looking for the positive in my situation. You absolutely loved having 3 step brothers. I married this man, and we became the brady bunch, except all boys. He helped me to become a better person, helped me to see I deserved to be happy. He put me through nursing school and helped support you two while I was in school. I know that we have had our bad days, but with that many kids under the age of 14, that is to be expected. I am thankful your father never decided to take me back to court and take you away from me, even when I wouldn’t have had a leg to stand on. He is truly relieved and happy that I have after 10 years since divorcing him, “found myself”. I have a stable life now. You boys know where my home is, you don’t worry if I will get tired of this one too and divorce him. You know this is finally your mom being a mom and a wife.

I say all this to say I know that karma is a bad thing, and I have my share of bad coming back to me. I just don’t know how long I will have to suffer. I know I have made terrible mistakes as your mother, and I am paying for them dearly now. You two slowly have spent more and more time with your dad over the years. I tried to not be mad and “make” you spend equal time with me like you used to. I understand you are boys, growing into young men and need your father’s influence. You are now 12 and 17. You are both very good kids, well behaved, respectable, make good grades, are kind and generous to others, know right from wrong. You know I was wrong to put my needs and wants ahead of yours when you were younger. But I have spent the last 5 years trying my best to make up for my past mistakes with you. I know I can not make up for lost time, only make the best of today. However, I miss you so much! I come to your ball games, your band concerts and make sure you have whatever you ask for, although you are such good kids you rarely ask for anything from me or your dad. I miss how only 2 years ago, during the summer and anytime school was out, you always spend every day with me and every night with your dad. Somehow, in this last 2 years, when I have most likely been over compensating for my past mistakes, I seem to be losing you. It breaks my heart that you kids stood by my and always wanted to be with me when I was being a bad mom, but now that I realized my mistakes and am making sure I don’t make them again, that now you are pulling away from me more and more. I miss my babies! I don’t know what else to do, I’ve asked both of you if there is a reason you don’t want to be at my house anymore and you both deny any problems with being over here, just that you prefer to be at your dads.

I know this is just what goes around comes around, but it is killing me for you to pull further and further away from me. Your dad and I have talked and he assures me that he knows of no reason you wouldn’t want to be over here. Like this morning on my way home from work, you are home at your dads while he is at work. It is  Thanksgiving week off from school. You would rather stay at your dads house alone, while he works, than come spend time with me at my house. I call every day you are not in school to offer to come get you  and stay with me until your dad gets off work. You haven’t spent a night at my house in almost a year now. I only see you on Saturday mornings while your dad works from 7am-12 noon. I know you enjoy time with him, but you spend every single day and night with him! When do you forgive me and let me be mom again? Or do you? I know I did a lot of selfish things, but I was always there. I always have provided for everything needed. I always take you places. You don’t even want to go with me to visit you grandmother in another state. You haven’t seen her since last Christmas when she came here to see us. I know you love your dad and you are loyal to him, but he has told you countless times to come with me on vacations, camping, visiting relatives, ect. But you choose not to. The only reason I ever hear is “I just think I’ll stay at Daddy’s” or “I really don’t want to go, but I will if you just WANT me to.” You aren’t spoiled brats, you aren’t disrespectful to me, you just don’t want to spend time with me. I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t want to just let you two go  and leave it to you to decide to see me, that is why I call all the time trying to get you to come over. I mean for craps sakes, we are exactly 4 miles from my driveway to your dads! It isn’t a distance thing. I just don’t know what else to do. I love you boys more than you will ever know. I know that by me taking care of all your financial needs isn’t going to make up for me not being the best mom I could be when you were younger, but I want to spend time with my children! I love you! I miss you! It does hurt that the only time you ever call me is to tell me something you want me to buy for you. But I never complain but I am just so thankful you called me. My husband now thinks I should just let you go and let you decide, but until you decide he thinks I should “cut you off”. No more guitars, laptops, video games, etc. He points out to me I only hear from you on my paydays, which you remember quite well. He has become bitter towards you two because he sees the hurt it causes me to not spend time with you. He says you are at 12 and 17, old enough to know what you are doing. He says you aren’t the angels I think you are, because I miss you so much. My husband now is a good man, a good husband to me and a good father to his children. He never connected with you boys because he didn’t want to cause any problems with your dad. He knew you already had a loving and supportive dad and didn’t want another. He loves you on a step dad level, but it makes him more bitter as time goes by that you refuse to spend time with me. He doesn’t like to see me upset or hurting and most especially when it is by my children and he has no say so to make you do any different. I know I spend more time with his kids than I do you, but believe me, it wasn’t my choice. If it were up to me, you would live with me 24/7, but I could never ask your dad to give up time with you that he deserves. After all, he isn’t the one that divorced me. He has never put his needs about yours. He still, 10 years, actually wow, 11 1/2 years later still doesn’t date because as he says, you are his number one priortity and that you are only kids once and he can live when you are grown. I am sorry I could not be more like him in that manner. I am glad I have finally married a good man that loves me and does his best to help me be a better mom to you than I used to be.  But he also loves me enough to be mad at you for punishing me for so long. I just want my kids back. Why did you have to wait until I got my self together and become a better person to pay me back for my bad parenting? It has been over 6 years now that I have gotten myself together. I have been trying to make up for 5 years of being a selfish mom for the past 6 years. How much longer will you punish me?

To the Woman Who Loves the word “Mommy”

•November 16, 2011 • 2 Comments

First, you get pregnant after a month of dating. Then, when he graciously marries you and gives you everything he possibly can, you cheat on him, not once, but with three different men? Have you met your ex?! Is he the same man I’m dating now?! If he is, you were and are out of your mind. You had this amazing, beautiful son together. He was faithful to you, loved you, cared for you, and dealt with you! You had this pretty little picture in your head, of being married and having a baby and this perfect little life together. The reality is, you didn’t have what it takes to make it work. You care more about yourself than your own son. To me, that is sickening. He kicked you out… the smartest thing he had done in over 3 years. Before the divorce even went through, you were engaged again. Will you ever learn?! It would be humorous to me, to watch the things you come up with and the way you live your pathetic life, IF it didn’t involve this amazing 5 year old I know. And then… you left. You burned too many bridges here… it didn’t work out with your new flavor of the week. You didn’t have a good job, a place to live, or any friends. I wonder why. You had the audacity to say if you hadn’t had left, you and your son would’ve ended up homeless and you couldn’t do that to him! WRONG sweetie… his Daddy is here. HE would’ve never been homeless. HE always has a place here, where he belongs. You left because YOU wanted to. YOU cheated. YOU messed up. YOU spent all your money on petty things. YOU took your son from boyfriend’s house to boyfriend’s house and had him sleep on the floor. YOU left… because you didn’t feel like playing “mommy” anymore.

How could you? How could you go like that, with no plan on returning? How could you lie, again and again, about your many “reasons”? Have you met your son?! He’s amazing. He lights up my world in a way I never thought possible. He is so smart and funny and amazing. How could you not care?! How is it that you are satisfied with only speaking to him once a week, if that? Meanwhile, he asks questions. I don’t know how to answer them! I don’t know how to tell him that his “Mommy” didn’t care enough about him to figure out any way to live with him. I can’t tell him that. He adores you. He needs you. You’re his MOTHER! Which, you like to throw in my face whenever possible. You think that really hurts me?! HA! I laugh at it. I laugh at you! Stop wasting your energy on trying to get it through to me that you’re the real mother. I already know that. Why don’t you prove it to who really matters here? Your son.

“Mommy”… you sure do love that word. The thing is, “Mommy” is the title for the caring and love in which I am providing for your son. I get him ready for school, pack his lunch, make sure he has a jacket, help him with his homework, take him to the park, look under the bed for monsters, give him hugs when he’s sad, teach him new songs, take him on trips, and more. When he talks about his family, he mentions MY name first, even before Daddy. I have turned my entire life around for your son. I would do anything for that child. What have you done? What can you honestly say that you’ve done for him, and not for yourself?

I really wish you could see this letter. The thing is, it wouldn’t make a difference. You’ll always figure out a way to be the victim. I hope your son never figures out what kind of person you are. He’s better off not knowing.

Dear Mother

•November 14, 2011 • 1 Comment

This weekend I took off work to celebrate your birthday. I questioned if I really should make an effort to participate seeing as you stay 20 minutes from me and have been to my house 3 times in the last 9 years. Because I love you I decided the right thing to do is to show up. I didn’t appreciate you denying my 14 year old stepson as your grandchild.

My husband and I have been married for 12 years now you should except him as your grandson. This was especially wrong since he was standing right next to me when you did this. Instead of apologizing when I talked to you the next day about it you made it worse. Saying “I’m not going to lie he’s not my grandson you can call him your son but that’s a lie he’s not your son”. Now I really feel uncomfortable bringing him around you so to protect him I will not encourage a relationship between the two of you. Seeing as it is my job as a parent to protect my children I can’t allow my biological children to have a relationship with you either because this will then make him feel unaccepted. I really wish you weren’t so ignorant. Children have feelings too and we can’t make them pay emotionally for their mistakes. After all they are learning about life what is your excuse mother.

Dear Birth Mom

•November 12, 2011 • 1 Comment

I know my husband has talked to you about this several times, but I never really get to put in my two cents, so here it is:

I know you don’t like the weekends my SD spends here, but we are her family too, and I’m not sure why you feel its’s necessary to try and keep us apart instead of helping to foster healthy relationships all around. Her sister and extremely hurt when she’s deprived of seeing her big sister. I know your sister is one of your closest friends, and I can’t see understand why you would try and keep SD from forming a similar one with hers. On the subject of family, mine matters too. My parents, siblings, and grandparents have welcomed SD with open arms from the day I started a relationship with my husband, but because of your restraints on allowing us to travel to their state with her, most have never been privliged enough to meet her. I’ve heard tonight that you are trying to railroad yet another trip for next summer, and I can’t help but be deeply hurt by this. We are so proud of her and have the right to introduce her to the family that questions how she’s doing in school, how her cheer/softball is going, sends her birthday cards, Christmas presents, and love on a regular basis. You can say you aren’t, but when we’ve not set the date for the trip, and you tell SD to tell us she has cheer camp during that time, it’s obvious. We don’t tell you when and where you can take her, so I don’t see how you believe you have the right to do it with us.

We understand that she is entering a transitional portion of her life when her social needs are becoming more important. But when we are only allotted four days a month with her, I feel that you should be considerate of our family needs and not ask her father to give up his (our) precious time with her. We relocated to be closer to her when she started school as we could no longer expect her to spend 10 days at our home, but now our visitations have been reduced from 10 days a month to 4. I don’t think you can fathom the difficulty we endure in trying to maintain relationships with her.

I guess what is mind boggling is that I have an ex-brother-in-law who never sees my niece and nephew, doesn’t call them except once or twice a year, or now when he’s facing going to jail for being $20,000 behind in child support, and it seems you would prefer that to having someone who genuinely loves his daughter, tries to stay involved, and just wants a great relationship with her.

I hope you can understand where I’m coming from; but if not, I’ll hope you’ll at least consider what I’ve said. Our family is hurting by not getting to spend more time with our daughter, but I know that she’ll understand someday that we loved her more than anything and fought for her the best way we knew how.

Sincerely,

The Wicked One

Dear Bio Mom

•November 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I saw another letter written in this format, so I gave it a shot. I wish you could really read this.

  1.  Your son has asthma. Though he hasn’t ever had a bad asthma attack, thank God, it is easy to look athim and see that you haven’t been giving him the medicine he needs twice a day. He is pale…as if his body isn’t getting enough oxygen. He is tired as if he’s working hard to breathe and needs more sleep. Is it really too much to ask that you medicate him the way the doctor has instructed?
  2. It would be nice if when we picked SS up from school he wasn’t so exhausted and crabby. So please get him in bed before the late night news comes on. I’m sure he isn’tinterested in that. He’s only 6 after all.
  3. It’s creepy that he sleeps in your bed every night. Be a real mother and stand up to your mom. SS needs his own bed and furniture in his room at your mom’s house. It’s no wonder he feels like a guest.  He’s sleeping with you or on the guest bed in the guest bedroom. Duh!
  4. Don’t call my husband to fix your every problem. He’s not your partner anymore. He never married you. In fact, you chose to walk away. Please stay gone as much as possible. We don’t care if you’re fighting with your boyfriend/fiancé.
  5. Unless of course yourboyfriend/fiancé hits you. Then call us so we can come get SS asap.
  6. If boyfriend/fiancé hitsyou…everything is not “perfect harmony”. SS is apparently not the only one who needs counseling now.
  7. When you use dinner out as a reward for good behavior in school, it’s no wonder you don’t haveany money for clothes for the child.
  8. A 6 year old should not bewearing size 4 underwear. Just saying. I throw those away whenever they come to our house. Of course that means that now I have to send you back the size 6 underwear that I’ve bought, and now have to go buy more. But I’drather see him in clothes that fit.
  9. Seriously, we are not going to keep or sell or steal any of SS’s toys that you let him bring to our house. Those are his things and we’ll make every effort to make sure they get back to you. But keeping them at your house is just mean to him.
  10. Although we absolutely would if we could, it is not our responsibility to make sure you don’thave to take off work when SS is sick. The deal is if he is at your house when he gets sick…you stay home with him. Yes there are three of us that can do that when he is sick at our house…but again..that is the family that you walked away from. Not to mention if you would take care of him…he’d be sick a lot less often.
  11. We put SS in Karate for a reason. If you don’t want to participate in getting him there often enough that is fine. At least don’t make it so hard for us to get him there often enough.
  12. There is nothing wrong with SS. He is not autistic. He does not have ADHD or Asberger’s or anything other than a mother who wants to label him as different so she can get more attention. A mother who wouldn’t come watch her son do karate unless she is fresh from surgery and looking for sympathy and attention. SS, however, is a normal 6 year old boy. He’s energetic and curious and he doesn’twant to miss anything. Yes, he needs counseling after watching your fiancé beat the [crap] out of you and having to open the door for the police all by himself, however, there is nothing wrong with him that your emotional abuse didn’t cause. Can you say Munchausen by Proxy?

If you could really listen and hear and understand I’d be amazed.

Sincerely,

The mom our son wants to live with.

 

Dear Mine

•October 30, 2011 • 4 Comments

You are so sweet and wonderful. We’ve got a great marriage and I always tell people you’re a great husband to a stepmom. I love you. I’m writing this not just to you, but for dads everywhere who are lucky enough to have another woman marry them and raise another woman’s child(ren).

This isn’t meant to be nagging or to say I’m dissatisfied with how things are. More often than not, I feel very appreciated and loved by you. Thank you. But I write this to tell you some things you could never know, because you aren’t, and never can be, a stepmom.

It may seem high maintenance, but I need you tell me thank you. Often and for just about everything, for awhile anyway. Thank me for getting your daughter new school clothes, for making sure she has a snack for school, for cooking dinners so we can eat together, for signing her up for soccer, for being sweet to her, for buying her new toothpaste, for playing games with her, for reading her a book, for praying with her and for her, for involving her in things, for being goofy with her, for teaching her to cook, for having boundaries and structure in our home,  for being interested in her school, for encouraging her to have friends over, for washing her clothes, for remembering spirit week at school, for remembering it’s picture day, that she needs field trip $, for making traditions that she has after only 2 years, she already has grown to rely and count on and for making our house her  home. The list goes on. I realize, it does sound very high maintenance and some people would think “sheesh, glad I’m not married to HER!!!!”  Valid. That’s why I don’t feel dissatisfied in our marriage. I know it’s a bit much, (or a lot much), but the reason I say it is b/c you have no concept of how much effort it takes to do any or all of the things I mentioned above. I love you. I loved you from the day I met you. I didn’t love her. I didn’t like her. I tolerated her. I breathed in and breathed out and tried not to be a wicked witch. You don’t know the effort, b/c on most days I just do what anyone would do and act civil to another person. I do the best I can and I think you believe I do a great a job, but you don’t really appreciate it, not because you’re a jerk or anything like that, but because you have no idea the amount of effort it takes to incorporate, to accept a stepchild into your life. It is hard, it feels like punishment, it feels awkward, stupid, annoying, like a death sentence of sorts…death to “normal newlywed life”,  it feels contrived, fake, unpredictable and downright scary sometimes. For the longest time when you’d leave just to go run an errand and leave me with her I’d count the minutes till you came back. not b/c she’s bad or scary but I didn’t like her. I didn’t want her in our house, let alone left with me! you never will know that feeling. To feel dread going into your house, or to feel like you’re unwelcome in the house you bought and paid for.

It’s fine, it’s life, I’m better at seeing God’s blessings in the big and small and it’s good. but never hesitate to say thank you. Just b/c it may seem easy, doesn’t mean it is easy. Tell me thank you for the big and small. It makes me want to do better and more and it lets me know you notice. You notice that I am a certain way, when I could choose to be ugly, distant, uncaring or indifferent. Please recognize, I have that choice.  Many parents and stepparents make a choice to alienate their kids/skids, to bring drama into the home instead of peace. And then there are the rest of us, who purpose to have a home of peace and love no matter what we feel like.  Please recognize the effort, as best you can.  When you say thank you it makes me feel like I can do anything, and that I’d do it all over again.

You’re the best, truly. I’m yours forever, and THANK YOU for loving me and for  always being on my side.

Love, Yours