rooted, but still growing

The yuck.

Posted on: October 16, 2009

I’ve started this post about seven times now and still can’t figure out a good way to begin, so I’m just going to let it all come out as it will. My apologies in advance if I don’t make sense – but  I have to get this stuff out of me somehow, and it needs to happen quickly lest I finally succeed at driving myself insane.

Yesterday, I said that I hate being a stepmother. It’s true, and I’m not going to apologize for feeling this way. I hate the disruption it has caused in my life, the distraction it has caused my husband, and the unfair expectations it has placed on me.

I hate that the place that was once my refuge has turned into a minefield. That a question as simple as “do you have homework?” can draw a line in the sand. That gifts I scrimped and saved for to give my husband have now been passed to a person too irresponsible to take care of them.  That I’m supposed to be enthusiastic and supportive of the good things, but can’t have a say when things go wrong. I hate that my dog has to shiver in the cold because she’s too much of a messy nuisance to live in the house, but the other messy nuisance enjoys a nice warm bed.

I didn’t expect it to be this difficult. But then again, how could I have ever expected that it wouldn’t be?  I’m not blaming anyone, because life is crap sometimes and we all make bad choices and simply have to do the best we can – but N has always been somewhat of a train wreck with absolutely no responsibility, no focus, no respect for most people and things. He spent his formative years in terrible neighborhoods in the city, which caused the development of a rather abrasive personality. His immaturity is astounding. His presence in our home has been a cold splash of water, and thus far I can’t say that I’ve found it refreshing.

K1 doesn’t even live with us, yet has the ability to create turmoil from 1,700 miles away. Where N is crude and (detrimentally) resourceful, K1 is overly sensitive and materialistic. And manipulative. I’ve mentioned that his mother changes men as often as some people change underwear, and last week we found that the latest relationship had ended. This time, Monica’s boyfriend had a son around the same age as K1, and the two became gaming buddies. After the breakup, K1 told his mom that this boy had called her a “butt-f******* whore,” among other things, and goaded her into confronting the dad. When the dad reviewed the chat logs from the kids’ game, no such name-calling existed and K1 admitted that he made it up. My suspicion is that K1 is embarrassed by and unhappy with Monica’s behavior and just doesn’t know how to say it. This is just the latest in a series of episodes that have left us feeling helpless and stressed.

K2, bless him, is in kindergarten and much too concerned with playing to cause any real trouble.

I don’t know what to do with all of this. How do I support my husband through all of this, yet stand up for myself? How do I put aside the resentment and try to focus on doing the right thing? Stepparents have it so tough – the world expects them to just put up with it all. But why? How is that fair? Taking a risk of this magnitude shouldn’t be rewarded with misery.

I’m not a bad person. I don’t hate the kids, I just hate the situation. I want to be a good, loving influence in their lives. Sometimes it’s just so damn hard.

I realize it’s still early, and that things can change. I sincerely hope they do. I just want everyone to have a happy, peaceful and successful life. Why does that have to be too much?

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