A Pillar of Peace
So many people are suffering as a result of the tornadoes that ripped through our counties over the weekend. So close to home, close enough I woke my family to rush to a safer, more stabile home, close enough that the first death occurred less than 8 minutes away.
My heart hurts for all of those parents who joined the group I am in, those children who lost parents, all of those who lost homes and everything of material that held such dear memories.
My heart hurts for my stepdaughter, f17 who never even heard from her mother out of concern of her safety, but Thank God that she is safe, healthy and still in my life even through her tears.
Many years ago when my stepsons were young, their bio mom signed over her parental rights voluntarily. The boys were old enough to remember her but young enough to adapt without years and years of emotional distress. My role was never to take her place, it was to be myself, and treat them as I would my own nieces and nephews since that’s all I had at the time. After adding two more children to their lives, they were raised as brothers and although they knew the truth, they were 1 in my eyes. I know that the issue of their Mom was tough when they thought about it and because I didn’t know why, I never let them think it was a bad thing even when I battled it in my mind for many years. My battle ended with that the day it crossed my mind that it was for their greater good. To this day, I will never forget the nights I would sit on the front steps with them, bags packed, so excited that Mom was coming, 3 am having to convince them to come on in that maybe she has a flat tire and cannot get to a phone. Yes, I knew differently I guess because with every hour that passed, the reality of it was that she wasn’t coming. I never downed her in front of them, would not allow their Father to and I removed them from any family discussions with extended family that turned into parent bashing. When the subject came up, I sugar coated as much as possible to accommodate their age until the day the oldest told me I could stop covering for her now. Unfortunately, I never knew why she made that decision and now that they are grown, it’s their personal choices if and when they will pursue answers.
My youngest stepson recently reunited with his bio mother with my full support. I can remember the night he talked to me about it telling me how he didn’t want to hurt me. I guess I am just built differently (thank you Daddy) because not one ounce of his decision upset me. I raised him to know that his relationships with people belong to him and that person, no one else. For that reason alone, I know the relationship I have with him will always be there, although we have had a few bumps, the only two people that can change that is he and I. I am so very proud of him and pray his new relationship is just as valuable to him as he wants it to be. His brother has chosen for himself that she have no part in his life. I 100% support his decision as well and will do the same if he ever changes his mind.
Truth is, those first few years were hard, crying children under 5 years old that scream at you, throw things, constantly yelling at you because they want their Mother. It was heart wrenching. All I could do was hug them, occupy their minds with fun things and often sleep by their beds because of the fear they would be left.
I am much older now, second marriage that brought to me 2 step daughters. Quiet honestly, I was thrilled with my roll of just being myself. These beautiful girls have a Mother, they have a Father and I could relax a little.
5 years later, I couldn’t have been so wrong. I dont remember my heart hurting this bad with my stepsons. Worst part is that if mine hurts this bad, I can’t even imagine how the girls feel. Long story short, Mom and Dad hate each other. They cannot co parent. For the last 5 years they’ve lived with Mom 5 hours away. One child at 12 was given the choice who to live with, the other I believe was almost 8 was with Mom as agreed. The oldest missed Mom and sister and joined them a few short months after the divorce. After fighting with her Mom one particular day last May, Dad said enough and went and got her. Since the day she got here, my heart has broken every single day. I see in front of me a child who is angry, hurt and desperate for a mother -daughter relationship. I don’t know exactly when issues began since I immediately noticed during our first few months together that this child was mighty angry with her Mom, all I know is it escalated to the point of suicidal thoughts that took 6 days of in treatment therapy to help her.
Since that time, D17 remains in therapy where she has been diagnosed with PTSD and depression. D12 is in therapy, but the information is vague considering Mom and Dad have not spoken in 6 months after it was recommended that Dad enter into the Our Family Wizard program in order to spare these children any further disputed. Mom agreed to joined but then changed her mind.
6 months later the youngest child has not seen her family here. Oldest will reunite with her Mother when she’s ready by suggestion of her therapist plus a safety plan is put into place.
It hurts. I am a grieving mother who constantly worries about my step daughters emotional health yet there’s nothing I can do but be myself. I fear it’ll never be enough.
To those of you who fight with your ex , please understand what emotional damage it causes your children. It will rear its ugly head, it will cause serious issues in your children who most likely are too afraid to tell you. Their best interest is very simple. Remove the I and you and replace it with your child. Understand that they will grow up ( this I sincerely pray) and your actions now will be reflected back to you when they are older.
To my step daughters who I hope never finds this blog, I love you and I still believe with help, your family can heal as long as everyone puts your best interest to heart. You are worth every bit of effort and more.
I have a pretty large blended family. My parents had 7 children although we grew up as 5, my Father lost 2 children at Birth that I never knew of until I was a teenager. 3 half siblings and 1 real sibling. I grew up with a brother and sisters though never being raised to know what step and half was about. I am truly thankful for my upbringing because it has played a very significant roll in my life.
Before having my own children, one rainy afternoon as my family gathered for a holiday dinner, sisters doing their normal “bash their babies daddy ” routine, I was asked to quickly run into town for something needed for dinner. As I was walking out the door, my nephew asked if he could ride. After clearing it with his Mother, he hopped in, buckled up and as we pulled out the driveway he burst into tears. I asked him what was wrong and after a few minutes of trying to control his tears he told me how much it hurts him to hear his Daddy being talked about so badly. My heart broke for him. Returning home, as I heard it again, his dad being talked about, I spoke up and asked if they would stop doing that in front of the kids. I was immediately told how I was just a smartass, I had no clue what I was talking about and it was none of my business.
I’ll never forget the lesson that day taught me. My nephew made an impact on my life that day that he doesn’t even know about. Never would I allow children to be put in that position as long as I was with them, I would remove them from it to avoid the hurt and that is what I did. The other family events, I would take all my nephews and neices outside to play so they didn’t hear the bash fest in the kitchen.
I learned very early in life that parents words and actions do have an effect on children. I vowed to myself to never be that person.
Those famous questions most therapist ask.. What can I help you with and would you like to talk about it?
Why yes, yes I do want to talk about it, and I never want to stop talking about it!
My Father (God rest his soul) taught me years ago that constructive criticism was perhaps one of the most valuable tools used by parents to help their children grow. I have agreed and accepted constructive criticism all my life and for that reason, I can’t see myself sitting across from a therapist in a regular office setting. I am one angry woman at this world and would rather hear from others who join in my pain and in my issues so that maybe by hearing others, I can learn better coping skills so that I can live this life a little happier than now. When I am being selfish, ridiculous, and straight up childish over certain issues, I want to be told, I do not want anyone to refrain from telling me for any reason!
I am 39 years old. Mother to 4 natural born children, 4 step children (a word I do not believe in) I became a Grandmother in November, I am married to my very best friend since the 7th grade, both our second marriages. our first born child together was born early due to kidney issues and we were very blessed to have him for 2 1\2 years. We lost our son March will be 2 years ago. Not only am I an angry mother, I am also a grieving Mother who still struggles to get out of bed each morning. Our children’s ages are (from youngest to oldest) 2, 4, 12, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23.
For now, out of respect for our children I will only Identify them with their gender and age. Our youngest daughter will be F2, Our oldest son M23, etc. I am also doing this due to the fact that so many issues I have revolve around people who are 100% sure to get butthurt in this blog. My give a damn busted a long time ago, I am just now choosing my outlet to get it off my mind.