If I could have a word with you

One of the most vital parts of being a parent is making mistakes. Mistakes are what causes growth and results in lessons and ultimately change. On a daily basis I make mistakes and there are times I lay awake at night reviewing those, and how I made them, why I made them – and how to not make that same mistake again. Quite possibly I am about to give you more credit than deserved, because I am hopeful you lay awake at night and feel some sort of anything for the abandonment of your child. You do feel bad right? Maybe cry when no one is around because you make the same mistake day in and day out. You get angry at yourself for not calling, writing, asking for photographs, or knowing how his day is, right? You do realize the irreparable damage you have caused your child, right?

We have never been introduced, which is difficult, given the lack of involvement you have in your child’s life. I’ve seen you at one baseball game, when you moved back for a month, ten months ago, only to abandon your child, again. Since that time you called at Christmas, and not since. There are times; I desire nothing more than to shake some sense into you, and ask if you realize what you are doing, what you are losing? This is your child, my god! However, I feel as though that would fall upon deaf ears, and a cold heart. I’m not nice like everyone else, I don’t give you credit for being a good friend, or continue to bite my tongue for the sake of graciousness. You are messing up, you are wrong, and lack in any accountability what-so-over. But, my opinion won’t change you, will it?

nerfInstead I want to let you know something’s you don’t know about your child, and his life. Since you left again, he had his first school dance, where he didn’t dance at all, but had a blast. He loves dress shirts and ties, and really wants a three piece suit. He played football, and basketball for the first time. The other day he started baseball; and is showing strength in pitching. At practice the other day, he got hit in the head with a ball; don’t worry though his dad was there. He is terrified of getting hit with the ball by the way. He is having a nerf birthday party, which he is very excited about. There will be a nerf battle, and we ordered this great nerf gun cake, and his friends and family will be there, all of his family but you of course. Do you even know that tomorrow is his birthday? That he is turning nine? Will you even call him? Well, in case you don’t we are taking him to see the Oregon Ducks play a baseball game, he has no idea – and will be ecstatic! He even gets to meet the players, how awesome is that?

See, I may be  just dad’s girlfriend, but I have to wonder if I worry more about this little boy than you do. Sure, I have only been in his life for a year, the shortest amount of anyone but I can tell you this, in a years’ time he already asked me three times, if he can call me mom…because he doesn’t have one.  In fact he is making this board for his room right now, one of those tri-fold poster boards that you use for science projects – you know? Any how, he is putting pictures of his family on it, and he said “I’m going to put my dad and you in the middle and then us kids under that and on both sides.” Doesn’t that break your heart? Where is he putting a picture of you? Or, did the role of mom – not create a picture of you in his mind? That breaks my heart as a parent.  We share a home, a life, and are building a relationship every day, and there are hard days, mainly due to you. But, I don’t give up, and move away because when he moved into this home, he became my child too, and he moved into my heart. When he comes home from school, we help him with his spelling words, his multiplication facts – which he struggles with, and I try to show him I am woman he can trust, that won’t just leave one day. I grew up without a mother, and it something no child should experience.

Yes, he has constants in his life, Grandma, Aunts, and friends that have filled a void since you left fulfilling any piece of the role of mom – but you and I both know – no one can fill that role and void but you. He will always hold out hope that one day you will pull your head from wherever it is stuffed and realize the mistake you are making. Meanwhile, tomorrow I will spend the day with your child, and every time his fathers phone rings, I will hope that you are calling and that you don’t call at the same time. I hope you call because he so desires you to remember him, and what easier day for a parent to remember their child, then the day they were born. And, a part of me hopes you don’t call because in a sense it is easier for him to not be reminded that you exist, and get hopeful you’ll call again, or maybe come for a visit – only to be left sitting on the curb – with a broken heart.

He is a sweet boy, damn it! So naive in this world still; he is funny, extremely goofy and wants nothing more than to please. While snuggling with his dad last night, his dad said “You are almost too big to snuggle” and your child responded with, “I still fit in your lap” which was true. How long has it been, since he sat in yours? You never realize what you have until it’s gone, and you are losing a connection with your son.  You already lost a wonderful man, a giving man, a man who selflessly busts his ass to provide for your son, without the help emotionally, financially, morally or otherwise from you. He nurses the scrapes, attends every practice, every game, school conferences, plans birthday parties, etc…because he takes his role as a parent, seriously. When are you going to? Because, honestly every day you don’t, is a day you will regret down the road – and when your child is grown that void, will fill with questions of self-worth for himself and distaste for the woman who gave birth to him.

Heartbreak – Reality of being JUST a Step-Mom.

When you truly realize you are JUST step-mom, your heart will break.

When you truly realize you are JUST a step-mom, your heart will break. It will feel like you have lost all control, all sense of function and almost as if you’ve lost a child. Once you realize or are even possibly smacked in the face with it – it will feel like a shock, like you were blindsided and never saw this coming. The reason I know this, is it happened to me today.

During this exhausting fight over contempt, parenting time, child support, having me banned from pickups and drop-offs and whatever else she deemed necessary – I feel like every aspect of myself has been tested and re-tested and I am the one who loses.

How did I lose exactly? Because, I married a man and we live in Oregon apparently-

Our attorney called us last week and said that he was going to turn in paperwork asking for in addition to our Tues-Sun every other week, that we also get Wed-Sat on the other weeks, so that we get him every week for at least a couple of days. You’ll notice I say “We” when another cold hard fact is it’s actually “he” and not we at all. My heart was ecstatic at the thought of having little man around every week, watching his bond with my husband growing more than it has already been and all the happy thoughts that follows having our family whole a little more than we have had.

Then, within a flash – it all changes. Husband walks out of mediation with a grin – he whispers to me “We got more time” my heart is about to leap out of my chest I am so excited!! BM even talked with me about Ethan and was very pleasant – things were really going our (his) way, finally.  Then once were outside I ask the details and he tells me ” during Summers we get him every other week from Sun-Sun and we get him spring break, and Christmas break” so he is set for school. Instantly I feel my breathing stop, my head is screaming internally WTF, you agreed to what?? and as he is trying to explain how this is MORE time, and now it’s not up to the Judge, and this is GOOD, all I am thinking is  my heart is broken! Who cares what happens next SUMMER, and we already have him on Christmas break, that’s not EXTRA that’s not what I want – Damn-it that’s not what I want!!! And guess what – It doesn’t matter what I want – because I am just a Step-Mom. As much I want him to be, he is not my son, I am not his parent and nothing will ever, ever change that. It makes me hate every article I read and was against, it makes me feel like a failure – it hurts –  A LOT!

As I yelled and freaked out, then calmed down and tried to rationally explain my point and how he just traded in for a horrible offer, because he is afraid the Judge wouldn’t have given it to him, because he is a man and we live in Oregon – we got nowhere. I should just be happy we got more time. In my mind we lost days,months even – this year overnight calculations will be 130 – next year with their “new agreement” he will have 145, had he waited until Monday and had his attorney go in like he was supposed to – he would have got 209!!   TWO HUNDRED & NINE days out of THREE -SIXTY-FIVE – but I’m just a step-mom, what do I know? I’m exhausted and don’t know what else to say at this point.

Have you felt the pain of realizing you’re just a step-mom?

See you next blog – Jess

Nothing like you…

Today, is one of those days when I find myself wondering what exactly was done to me to make me the way I am. Afraid to trust, needing control, terrified to lose love, to gain it, undeserving of it even. I know it stems from him, and it makes me hate him, and it makes me wonder what the hell he was thinking, what he thought he would gain from it. Did he treat me the way he did, because he thought it was best and would benefit me? Did he realize he was ruining me, setting me up for constant failure and heartbreak? Would a father really purposely do that to his daughter? Does he see me from wherever it is he is spending eternity, and feel remorseful for knowing he was behind it all, has he asked for forgiveness, or even received it?

I’m glad he died, maybe more than glad, but in a small place somewhere, I suppose there is this tiniest part that is sad. Not because I want him alive, or to have a relationship with him, but more so to have him see me, to see that I made it regardless of his purposeful setbacks. I struggle with my inner demands, but I am mother, a wife, an employee, a friend, a sister and am loved by many. Does that bother him, or make him proud, or does it not register at all? I will never know. Dad, wherever you are,this is for you;

I’m still angry, I am still hurt, and I hate you and all you did to me. You killed me internally, you have made me reject love, you made me question myself, my worth. You were not a father to me, you were a monster. You hurt me, physically, but even more mentally. You made me ugly, and made me feel ugly, you set me up, you made me fail, you never supported me, you were never there for me, you never held me when I was sad, or protected me when I was scared. You never brushed my knees off when I fell, and told me I can do it, just try again. You humiliated me, you shared my private life with the world, only to embarrass me. You lied, cheated, stole, and had me do the same for you- to earn your love, which I never got. And the day I had enough, when I was 17, and I tried to take my life to get away from you – instead of being scared and thankful I was alive, you told me to do it again – to try harder to die this time. Who does that? Who wants their child to die? Who hates their own child like that? What did I ever do to deserve it?

Because of you, I will hug my children too much, I will listen to their cares and concerns, I will nurse every scrape, and broken heart. I will never gain joy from their pain, or failures, and I will do everything within my power to help them succeed. Because of you, everyday I will tell my daughter I love her, and that she is beautiful and smart, and capable of anything her heart wants. I will tell my son, he is my world, that he is important, that he is kind, with a big heart, and that he too can accomplish whatever goals he sets in life. I will show them they can count on me, that they can always call me, that they can trust me, and that no matter what circumstances they face, I will always stand behind them, and support them and love them unconditionally. Because of you, I care more, I love deeper, and I fight harder, to be nothing like you!