Divorce & the StepMom

Have you ever awoke from a dream that was so intense and real that your heart breaks as you open your eyes?

I dreamt about him again, and its such a double edged sword because even though for the duration of the dream we’re together again, there is always the waking up that rips him away.

Divorce sucks, everyone knows that,  divorce with your children involved even worse, but nothing is worse than divorce with a stepchild.  Nothing.

Ethan was only one when he blessed my life. Having had a hysterectomy after my son, I always believed God wasn’t done with me as a mother, therefore he brought me Ethan. We had him in our home every other week for a week at a time, which is virtually unheard of at his age.

At first, it was hard to get used to, because my children were 5 and 7 at the time. Diapers, sippy cups and highchairs were a thing of the past. But, it took no time at all to fall in love with this blonde little sweetheart.

He always called me mom, because he copied my kids. It was hard because his mother hated it. It was something he chose and though I was uneasy with it at first, I grew to love it and to call him my son. Raising him was a joint responsibility in our home. In every definition and action I was his mother, and I loved him dearly, and still do.

Through battles in court, battles between my husband and his mother, I fought hard for this little kiddo. My love for him and my relationship with him, is what started my blog, and my parenting page. My children took to him instantly and we were a family.  And then after three years, we weren’t.  He was gone.

His dad left for another woman. He left while my kids were not at home, and while Ethan was with his mom. There was and has never been a goodbye on either end.  My children were left heartbroken by the dual loss of a stepfather and brother. And, I, well…I haven’t seen Ethan since. Except in photos here and there.

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That is probably why I still dream about him. In my dreams Ethan calls me mommy, and hugs me so tight as if to hold me over until our next date in our dreams. He caresses my face and tells me “I love you mommy” the way he used to do. This time I was so happy to see him that I was crying, and woke up feeling as though I was going to cry. My heart hurts, still, a year later.

It makes me hate his father, and the woman he left our family for. The woman who informed me it was better for Ethan and my children, to not see eachother or the man that was a father type in their life. She has no children of her own, how does she know? She made the rules and he followed them.

While I’m thankful my ex is gone, and even more delighted that they two now are eachothers karma;  I miss my son. I miss his laughter, his silliness, his sweet breathy voice and the way he loved me so. I miss him crawling into my lap, caressing my face and telling me stories about bullriding and hockey with his excited little boy voice. I miss him holding hands with his brother and sister and how excited he was to see them when he came home every week. I miss the 3 am tapping on my shoulder, saying “mommy can I snuggle you?”

Now, awake and emotional, I will go on about my day dealing with the loss of my son again. The sinking  feeling in my heart, that dull aching pain which will exist unbeknownst to anyone throughout the day. I’ll suffer quietly because noone understands it and everyone expects it to go away because its been over a year. But, guess what?  It hasn’t. 

It hides away until we meet again in our dreams.  I miss you Ethan, and love you always. 

Well, bitch away!

This post is dedicated to Allie who sent me this text, I’m sure she will love taking the credit for my diarrhea of the mouth, for your reading pleasure. Alliecovo

Patience tested √
Give a damn busted √
Over ev.er.y.thing and e.v.e.r.y.one! √
Job sucks √
Money sucks √
People suck √
Trapped in life √

Well, there you have it! My weeks checklist of negativity. Actually, I loathe negativity, which is ironic because being a realist is basically being a bi-polar bestie with negativity! Go figure!

A dear friend of mine, Amber, whom you can’t help but completely adore, is just one of those happy go lucky, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, kind of gals. Her home is built with rose colored walls, shutters and doors. The sun literally shines out of this girls ass, I kid you not!  And, even she is having a bad week! Do you understand now, that we are dealing with some serious bullshit here?!?

If you watch Big Brother, you know one of the HOH’s is Frankie Grande (yes, Ariana Grande’s brother) he is the one with a pink mohawky hairstyle, who is fabulously…well, fabulously Frankie!  A.n.y.w.a.y.s. he has coined a term whether he is aware of this or not, that I have taken hostage. The term: “I’m going to freak the frankie out!” And, well, not only has that become my new saying, but I’ve also totally considered changing my name to Frankie! Okay, that’s a lie, but I’m willing to bet you sense my level of dedication to my new-found term!!

At random moments this week, I have wanted to freak the Frankie out, maybe Frannie and Farley too, who knows, with this week anything is possible!  Have you ever just let yourself go, and lose it? Maybe screamed out loud, or into a pillow? Maybe cried, you know the sobbing kind of gut wrenching – snotty – gonna throw up – hyperventilating cry? I would actually completely advise against it, if you can avoid it, because I did that once, after my ex-husband left, it was really – SUPER – pathetic! It felt great after I’ll give you that, but the “during” part was bad, and I am sure I looked hideous, because I am not one of those pretty criers. BUT, I got it all out and could move forward.  This week though, I can’t do even a little of that. It is as if I am re-living the horrible movie  “Groundhog Day”, and its skipping, in an old worn-out dvd player! The energy it would take to get up, walk over to the dvd player, and either beat it, or take the disc out, break it or fling it out the window, just feels like too much work, you know?

Here’s the deal, if I could get away with it, I would tell off probably four, maybe five people. One would cost me my job – so can’t go there, plus it is unprofessional (input eye roll here). Two people, wouldn’t give a shit, and would laugh at my allowing them to live rent free in my head – so my pride refuses a visit there. One of the two remaining is just being an immature selfish ass – and usually they are blissfully unaware and unaffected, making any attempt of mine – pointless. And, the last person, well poop on a stick – I can’t even remember who it is after writing about the other four. Ugh! See . what . I . mean? I can’t even formulate a freaking thought this week.

I suppose it is my own fault for not listening when my grandfather used to tell me “stop being so affected!” Apparently  that advice helped me immensely, since I am now, thirty-four and still freaking affected! I am pretty sure I’m stuck this way! There is no hope for me, I cry at commercials, I am a FEELER, people! and I love that.

Hi, my name is Jessica and I am a feeler. There, now can we move on to step two? I mean, who wants to not feel?

When life is happy – I feel happiness, when life sucks – I feel sucky, and so on with every other emotional fruit in the messed up fruit basket of life!  I would rather feel than eat that basket of fruit though, because I have a pretty good feeling “sucky” tastes shitty! Just sayin’ (P.S. that was for Austin Blood)

This may very well be the first blog that I have written that lacks any real point – other than to bitch, complain and vent. Oh, by the way, I now remember the last person I wanted to go off on, and here is what I would say to them “If you are my friend, be my friend! Be my friend all the time, every time, all the way…period.the.end. Pretty freaking simple if you ask me, if you haven’t figured it out yet, I am – who I am, that is NEVER going to change. Want to know why? Because, I LOVE ME! I do. I don’t want to be you, or her, or him, or them – just me. My life is just that, mine. Don’t waste your energy judging me, worry about your damn self.  Not that there is anything wrong with them or you – I just have this prior life-long commitment thing going on with myself already, you know? Why would I throw that out the window to be anything different?” <—- See, I am funny – sometimes I crack myself up with my thoughts. Too bad there isn’t a Facebook relationship status of: Prior commitment with self.

Last night, laying in bed with my favorite, (who is one person who didn’t end up on my shit list this week, thank goodness) I said: “Sometime’s I feel like you are the only person who likes me” and he said “That’s cause I am.”

While, realistically I know this isn’t true, I have friends that love me, blah blah blah, I didn’t care. He was the only person I wanted to like me, because then I wasn’t alone in liking myself already. No wonder we fit so well. In the end, it is FRIDAY, I made it another week, and so did you, pat yourself on the back a toast something yummy to that!

 

You are raising a human being — Remember that.

remember

In the shower (where it seems my clearest thoughts prevail) I was thinking about how many people lose out when they simply don’t allow, encourage or welcome a relationship with their step-children. Many times I overhear that they don’t accept them due to manners, dislike for the other parents, their behaviors etc. When your family includes either your own children and a new spouse, or the children between you only, that is not a family and you are not only hurting the children you are hurting yourself.

I have a friend that I adore, she and her husband were granted full custody of a boy about 10 or so, due to a mother that just left him one day. My friend was less than pleased, this boy dressed scroungy, he had different manners, picked on her kids, and she felt he was more of a hassle than a blessing. Her husband worked nights, and she would complain and feel that she was raising “his” child, and it wasn’t her responsibility.

She would come to me and ask how come it was so easy for me, with my prior stepson, and how did I do it without getting upset – her biggest question was “How can you love him?” My answer to her was that for me, it was easy to love him – but that doesn’t mean we don’t have hard times. We all come around to things differently. Now in my current relationship, I went from raising a one year old to a nine year old. HUGE difference, difference in parenting, difference in attitudes, lifestyle and to be honest he isn’t used to have a mother type figure – let alone a steady one. We have our days of where it is real work, and there are days I am sure he doesn’t like me. But, tomorrow is a new day and I am not giving in. One day, one step at a time.

While being able to understand her frustration, I never could see how she could dislike this boy, because she had such a wonderful heart. After awhile I noticed she complained about him less, and he appeared in more photos, and the stories she shared were about him and the great things he was doing.

Fast forward a couple of years, and she and her spouse are now divorcing. Something that needed to happen a few years back, but when I say she has a great heart, I meant an extremely forgiving heart. Of course, I asked about her stepson and her response warmed my heart ” He goes with me of course, he is my son — it is written in our agreement that when the kids are with me, they are ALL with me.”

She took on a situation that wasn’t hers, she often did it alone, however the resentment wasn’t put on the child, the discipline, the nurturing, the love and care that she at times wanted to withhold – she never did. In the end, this boy grew into a young man who gained a mother and a sense of worth because someone who he fully expected to let him down, instead lifted him up.

My point here I guess is not just to share how easy it was for me, or how difficult it can be these days in a new relationship or how she was able to come around. But, more in that you all stand to lose when you choose to divide your family, solely due to the differences in hygiene, clothing, manners, attitude, or because they are simply not your responsibility. The truth is, that any child inside your home is your responsibility – whether it be a friend of your child’s, or niece or nephew, or a stepchild. And, the real question is why would you choose to shut out a child in any manner any how? Simply because you don’t like him or her – a child is a product of their environment – show them a positive environment – and watch that child make positive changes.

If not, you and your spouse or significant other will have an endless battle on your hands, there will be underlying resentment around every corner, and hidden under every argument, every family discussion – because you are not truly a family. Being a family doesn’t mean that you will agree, or that everyone ends up happy – it means that all are considered an important viable interest in your choices.

If you get to the point where you don’t like her/his kids, and they never say thank you, they will never be as good as your kids, and your spouse will never be as good a parent as you are – Is it time to ask yourself a different question like what am I doing with this person, is this the relationship for me? Seriously sit back, and ask who it is that you are hurting, because no one wants to be with someone like that. If your complaint is constantly their kids, that is a problem that needs fixing instead of complaining.

Do you want to fix your relationship with a stepchild or maybe build one? If so, here are some great ways to do so:

Sit and talk – even observe – see what they have to offer, a talent they possess and get involved.

Listen – put yourself in their shoes, remember they are a child.

Go on a date together – you, your spouse and them. Just you – not your kids at first.

Then go on a date with them all together.

Then go on  a date just you and them.

Eat dinner together as a family – sharing your day or something that happened that made it great.

At the end of the day – your family gains the world by simply trying. Have you given your all?

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