Tuesday, 2 March 2010

My new experiment

There are big changes afoot in the Wicked Steposphere.

As regulars will know from my recent postings, 2010 is the year of change for me. It's also the time that I decide to stop putting myself last, and go out there and be responsible for my own destiny and happiness.

I've been finding myself getting increasingly angry and wound up lately. BM up to her usual shenanigans of course....she can't seem to leave us to get on with things. She still seems to think that she has a right to tell DF what to do, but in my mind that ended with the decree absolute. And I've become really, REALLY angry about it. I can't let it go, to the point where it's eating me up from the inside.

I am also pushing SD away because of BM's behaviour. Because of the loyalty bind I know she is putting the poor girl in. I feel it would be easier for her if she didn't have to deal with me much, because then she won't feel so conflicted and won't have to go home to BM and answer lots of questions about what I've said and done this weekend. All she has to do is say "Wicked Steppie wasn't home much" and surely that's easier on her - not having to dish the dirt to BM for a quiet life and approval. The last thing this poor child needs is another person pushing her away because of her mother, but I fear I am doing it, because BM and SD have become so enmeshed for me now, I feel as if BM walks into my house 2 weekends out of 3. I feel as though it is BM's eyes staring at how I do things, listening to what I say. SD cannot seem to stop talking about BM and her family these days either, and I simply don't want to hear it, but how do you tell an 11 year old child to stop talking about her mother? So it's easier for all I figure if Wicked Steppie just kinda vanishes on those days.

So no wonder I feel so damn resentful, because I am allowing BM to dictate how I live my life and run my home, where she has no place in it!

So, I'm on a mission to take back my life. And on a mission to take back my identity. I feel as though becoming a step-parent sort of stole it, actually. But only because I let it.

Thankfully, there is a wealth of support out there these days for step parents, and it seems a burgeoning community of online support for stepmums. I have been part of one such community for 2 years now and am extremely grateful I found it. I have made some lifelong friends in that place, who are not just fellow stepmums but also lovely human beings.

However, there is a danger with any community that you can get a little too sucked in to it all and base your identity too much around it. This is why I have decided to take a break from all things steppie related for a month, and actually blog and write about being me, not just a stepmother in waiting.

My experiment is called The Grateful Diaries and you can find it here if you want to have a look. For the next month, that's where you'll find me. My experiment is, to find three things, every single day, that have made me feel happy and/or grateful, and write about them, and do this for a month. The aim? Make me whole again, and try and bring the fragmented parts of my life and identity together once more. And perhaps to cultivate more of a sense of perspective, as well as looking at the positive side of life a little more. We Brits do have a tendency to get a bit glass half empty about everything. It's how we feel safe - don't be optimistic, you might get disappointed. Better to be pleasantly surprised when something goes well....

Feel free to follow the experimental blog and feed back to me what you think.

15 comments:

  1. I love your experiment! I, too, feel like I've lost myself since becoming a stepmom. I feel an enormous amount of pressure to be perfect ALL THE TIME! Like I'm trying to get approval from everyone around me, when that's impossible. Especially from crazy bio-mom! I'm unlucky enough to have two bio-mom's to answer to! Good Luck To You!!!

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  2. I can totally relate to this. I also got to a point where it felt my whole life was defined by my step-parent status and conflict. And naturally, it doesn't make you feel great about yourself when you're constant caught in the cross-fife of divorcees and resentful children!

    Take a well earned break, sounds like your head and heart need it.

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  3. I hope your spouse has an ironclad will to ensure his daughter gets his estate and not you. I wouldn't give you a dime.

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  4. Well shit! I think you are amazing. And I have gotten to the same point and realization too. You have to be the master of your life, or you'll always feel like the victim. I think you ROCK! Take care of yourself, and I'll check out your other bloggy too:)

    Whoever anonymous is who posted before me is insane and a complete crank. Don't take it personally.

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  5. well, to the anonymous person who decided to say that my fiance should not give me a dime of his estate, who's to say I want a dime off him? I'm an independent woman with her own money and a job, thank you very much, and unlike his lovely ex wife, don't see him as someone to sponge off. The majority of his estate is left to his daughter, with the exception of our house, so I hope you can sleep easy knowing that the wicked stepmother will not inherit the earth.

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  6. Wicked, don't sweat the previous anonymous (#3) poster, i'm not sure why he would be referring to your husbands will, as it has feck all to do with what you are talking about, obviously has his own agenda/ baggage. I recommend he sets up his own blog rather than project onto others. Anyway, I think these are very positive steps your taking! Well done.

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  7. Taking some time out doesn't hurt. We have had 12 months of 12-13 yo SD stop-start visiting. I must say its come as a relief to have the space as things had got so difficult (similar situation with BM). We've had a bit of a breather and time to reclaim us as a couple - actually more time together than we ever have had before - and its done wonders for everyone. SD is starting to visit again regularly and everything is vastly improved.

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  8. The hardest part for people like you is definitely finding a way to reduce/eliminate the impact of BM on your day-to-day life.

    With respect to the stepchild, a little perspective may help. My DW wrote a good article called "When You Look At Them, You Have to Stop Picturing Her."

    http://www.thepsychoexwife.com/when-you-look-at-them-you-have-to-stop-picturing-her/

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  9. It isn't about picturing her, it's about her intrusion on every thought, word, or action you ever do, all the time, and the tremendous amount of pressure that results in...TAKE THE BREAK, and remember, you aren't alone :)

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  10. Stepmothers are people too. And I think sometimes, we as stepmothers forget that we are people who have thoughts and emotions and they are not always perfect to the eyes of the world. That is what makes us human.

    I commend you for taking your life back because you deserve the right to happiness just as much as anyone else.

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  11. I know exactly how you felt when writing this. i just became a step mom and i thought the reign of my husbands ex wife ended with the divorce decree and then when we got married, but alas. she keeps running things from the sidelines. but you have inspired me to start my own blog. thank you for that.

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  12. I really feel for you, I mean having to leave your own home while SD is there? That is insane! I am in a very similar boat only my SD stopped coming for her visits period so wicked stepmomma is off the hook there. but I still see her when I visit the in laws sometimes and she ignores me.. this past time wasn't AS bad but still sucky. she tells DH in email that she is there to see them and refused to speak to me and if he made her she'd leave. Isn't it amazing how these little brats have such power over their parents. There was no consequence for her actions period. and once again it was all swept under the rug. I actually don't blame you for wanting to leave but the thing is you shouldn't have to!!

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  13. Hi, I came across your site and wasn’t able to get an email address to contact you about some broken links on your site. Please email me back and I would be happy to point them out to you.

    Hailey William
    haileyxhailey@gmail.com

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