Friday, January 18, 2013

What I wish I could say to my stepkids

Right now it’s four hours away from your father’s scheduled visitation pickup, and your father and I are sick with stress.  It has been a rough month for interactions with your mother, and she seems hell bent on war.  The past two scheduled visits we have gone to pick you up only to find no one home.  Personally I think that she does this because she knows that once you see us you will all want to come with us and she won’t be able to say no while still playing the victim.  By taking you guys elsewhere, she avoids this confrontation; I think this because my mom did the same thing. 

Twice now we have waited outside in the cold for over an hour, hoping that she was only late.  Twice now your father has called and texted with no answer.  Twice now I have supported and comforted your father while he first rages, then worries, then breaks down and takes us home, all the while trying to stay calm and not show my own rage.  Twice now we have fought and cajoled with your mother in order to see you, if only for an afternoon.  Twice now we have faced the delicate task of trying to reassure you three that we really did want to see you and that we were there to pick you up, while watching our words so as not to say anything negative about your mother to you.  We tell you that she must have forgotten that it was our turn to spend time with you, and inside we seethe, knowing that in order to protect you, we have to protect her.

I wish I could tell you how much we worry about you when you aren’t with us.  How even though we only see you every other weekend, you are still present in our home and our thoughts every day.  You have no idea how much I wish we could just tell you the truth, or even better that you were old enough to understand for yourself how manipulative and dishonest she is.  How she lives in her own reality where she can do no wrong and is always right and can do whatever she wants.  I wish you could know how she attacks me at every chance, both directly and behind my back (though she doesn’t know I snow about the latter).  I wish you could see how every attempt your father makes to be more involved is met with anger and accusations on her part.

Your father hasn’t slept well in days, constantly worrying about what she will do today.  Will she just not be ther again, will she make a scene?  Most importantly, will he get to see you three, who he misses so much.  I try to reassure him that i twill go well, that she will simply get the kids dressed and we will leave with them, end of story.  I worry that I’m not convincing, which is understandable since I fear even an worse outcome than him.

Most of all, I wish I could do more to protect you from all of this conflict.  I grew up with parents at war and I know what it’s like, and if it were in my power to shield you I would.  Unfortunately, any implication on my part is met with vicious accusations that I am trying to steal her children.  Which is totally false, I am very happy with the relationship we have, and have no intention of trying to replace your mom.

I wish I could tell you all of this without hurting you, but I can’t, so I’ll settle for a drama free pickup and the fun weekend I have planned.

We picked up the kids, no muss, no fuss and had a great weekend :)

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