Stepmemo

A note to stepmoms everywhere


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Not Sure What It Means, But Pretty Sure It’s Bad.

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Courtesy giphy.com

Wow. My day started off pretty normal and ended in a small explosion. We did the normal church and then return the kids to their mom’s. We stopped by my dad’s and visited for a little bit, that was very nice.
I went to the grocery store and talked myself into putting down some impulse buys. I’m terrible for that, ” this lotion only costs a few dollars, I’ve needed a pan like this and it’s on sale… ” always things I could do without and ends up adding like $10-$20 to the grocery bill like every week. So I racked up my testicular fortitude and put back a few things, and I was proud of myself.
It’s hard, especially after your go a really long time not doing things or buying things for yourself. It’s like waiting too long to eat, you’re deprived and you go crazy. You can’t stop yourself. So to get to the point where I know things are going to be more stable soon and I can wait is promising.
I was out, I was at the church for my volunteer project and I get a phone call from the middle child. I didn’t answer, my husband was home so I texted him to call her. He texted me back saying she hit her mom’s boyfriend and they were coming to our house.
Holy cow. I’m not worried about how he feels (the boyfriend). I’m not worried about anything but 2 things: what are the long term implications of this, and how will this affect the respect she has for adults?
There are a lot of complicated dynamics at the mom’s house. There are a lot of things I don’t like. The kids look to me for answers, and I do the best I can to explain things and not vilify anyone.
The boyfriend is something like a frat boy, but in his 30’s. Within the past couple of years, he paid for his over partying with prison time. He really likes himself, he thinks he’s very important and wants other people to think the same way. He doesn’t have a nurturing bone in his body. He started his relationship with the girls by demanding they respect him or else. He picks on them, starts fights with them, bosses them around, has them watch his son constantly. Their mom works long hours, is kind of emotionally detached sometimes and tends to side with him.
Today, he began picking on the middle child, and kept going all day. They got into a screaming match, and she made a big mistake and she pushed him. He exploded and charged her, so she pushed her hand out to deflect him and it hit him in the head. Then it got nutty, but no one got hit, and they are all here now.
Part of me feels like this is all my fault. I try to get the girls to believe in themselves and stand up for themselves. I worry that my talks with them have somehow mutated into this incident. I look at this and see myself at her age, and it terrifies me. I want better for her than that.
And I don’t know what this means for her time at her mom’s or where things go from here. She’s really such a good kid, and I’m worried. I don’t want people, anyone, to look at her and see this moment of ugliness, where she was upset and threatened and acted out. I want people to be able to see the smart, funny girl who is deeply concerned about justice, and loves to be silly. She has matured and grown so much, and it breaks my heart for her to have this blemish in the eyes of her mother.
My heart bleeds for these kids. I can’t protect them, I don’t make a lot of the rules for them, and I didn’t make them. But moments like this, and even just in general lately, I feel like they are my own.
Where do we go from here? I cannot choose the way.

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