A Mended Heart

Last weekend, when reminding my fiance to tell his kids’ mother about his daughter’s complaints, she snapped back with a hateful and snarky “I’m her mother, I know about her foot.” Really? Then why haven’t you done anything about it or treated the wound? Also my fiance is not the person you should have issued that apology to; it should have been to the kids that you said it in front of.

It hurt.  Mainly because it was said in front of the kids.  But also for reasons that you’re not aware of.  I get it. I know you’re their mother and I’m not. I know you’re intimidated by my presence. I know you’re pissed off that I’m marrying your ex. (Which btw, you still need to start accepting responsibility for the demise of your marriage. I’m not the cause of that; you are.) I know you hate seeing that the kids are excited to see me and give me a giant hug and kiss. (Which btw, you need to stop telling people that you’re concerned about how they’re treated while in our care. If they were treated poorly, you wouldn’t see them jump out of the car and into our arms.) I know you’re angry. But you need to start treating other people how you want to be treated before you even think about barking orders at someone.  And maybe you should be thankful that the new person in their life actually treats them really really well.

You want to gripe about compassion when we tell your son yes, that we will go to his hockey game, when he asks us both to attend. Both of us. Not just his father. Compassion because you don’t want to see me or be around me. Grow up. This life isn’t about you. It’s about the kids. During games, dances, events, etc we’re not going to sit beside you. We’re not going to stop in and say hi. We won’t even speak to you. What we will do, however, is exactly what we did today: show up and cheer our hearts out for the boy. The boy that you toss to the wayside for the baby. The boy that you use dog training methods on. The boy that you constantly fuss at and rarely give positive reinforcement. (And the girl that you allow to have hissy fits when she doesn’t get her way.  And when the youngest starts activities, we’ll show up and cheer for him, the one you stick on a pedestal and regard as your “savior.”  He who you are setting up for failure from the start.)  You want to gripe about the oldest’s relationship with me and your jealousy? Maybe you should evaluate how you treat him.  You want to gripe about what’s normal and what isn’t?  Getting angry in front of him and everyone because he gives his stepmom a hug is absurd.  Sending your daughter back out into the cold (after you didn’t know where she was in the first place) with nothing more than a windbreaker on to return her stepmother’s extra pair of gloves that she put on your daughter simply because they’re her stepmother’s gloves is absurd.

I signed up for this. I knew entering this relationship would mean dealing with a high conflict narcissist for almost two decades. It doesn’t mean that I’m completely impervious to the bullshit.  I get angry for the kids.  My heart breaks for the kids.  I wish there was more I could to do make their lives about them.  Alas, I can not control what doesn’t take place in our home.

And while no, I am not their mother and I did not bring them into this world, I am their bonus mom whether you like it or not.  One of two terms that THEY chose.  It takes a little over nine months to be a mother. It takes a whole lot to be a mom. And while you may say that I’m not a mom to them, I am. And that’s wasn’t your decision. It wasn’t my decision. It was their decision.

You can try to continue to hurt my fiance and I as much as you’d like.  The children that you and he brought into this world love us whether you like it or not.  The holes you continue to try to poke in our hearts will forever be mended by their love.  Love heals everything.

Photo by Mara Ket

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