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I read your posts, and most bring back memories of raising my stepchildren (two boys, one girl), and dealing with their narcissistic mother. I can relate to being SO hurt by the hurt she caused her own children, and STILL can't understand how a mother could do what she did (and does) to her own kids.
However, now that time has passed and my own children are grown, I have a different perspective... I've had to ask myself for almost 20 years how a FATHER could do what my ex-husbands did to my son and daughter. That drives me to the fridge and pantry more than the stepkids' bio-mom ever did.
I first gained a huge amount of weight in my second marriage, following a vicious court battle with their mom (full custody was reaffirmed to their father). It wasn't HER that pushed my buttons and sent me binging for comfort; once in awhile, but not constantly. It was the change in my husband's behavior.
You know when you're younger, and you THINK you're fat, but then you REALLY gain weight and can only WISH you could be as "thin" as you were when you thought you were "fat"? That's me!
I couldn't handle my husband's change in attitude, probably because I couldn't explain it and he wouldn't. The custody suit was triggered by me getting pregnant - my DD, whom we worked hard to create for a year - so I spent my pregnancy, her birth and newborn months, with lawyers and in court.
We may have won the (court) battle, but in the end I lost the war. Of course, it was a roller coaster of emotions; but *I* thought his ex had finally proved to him that she couldn't be trusted, and just how truly evil she is (it's complicated - basically she said she'd cause me to miscarry if he didn't give up custody).
After court, my husband remained strong against his ex-wife (that is, for a few years); but he turned on me AND rejected our newborn baby. We never regained the cohesiveness we had had before as a couple, despite separations and intense marriage counseling. We divorced ten years later.
The problems that ultimately caused our final separation, and showed me
I had no chance to save my marriage, were EXACTLY the same issues that caused so many problems during and after that first court battle. My precious DD has paid a heavy price for being my daughter her whole life.
I'm in a new stepfamily now - well, "new" in the sense it's my third marriage, but it has been 16+ years that we've been together. Luckily I found SparkPeople to help me with the new emotional hurdles I faced as our new family struggled to bond. (My kids accepted their SF 100%; but SD and me, not so easy.)
I am VERY lucky and blessed to have FINALLY found a man who consistently acts appropriately towards his ex-wife. He also has an excellent relationship with his mother. Don't kid yourself, like I did with my 2nd husband - that's a big factor in how a man treats his wife. Our disputes have been few.
My DH manages to balance being DF (and GF) with SF and DH, and DS to elderly parents. As far as his ex, we seem to always be "on the same page"; since the very start, he's proven his support of me by his actions. And yet, over these many years I still found reasons to binge, very few step-related!
When I had been on Spark for awhile, I realized that I binge because of ME, and that I'll ALWAYS be able to find a reason... That was an AH-HA moment, and helped me START to face and deal with the emotional aspects of my eating. Recognizing triggers was another set of "ah ha" moments.
One bit of advice I'd like to offer: if the bio-mom's actions make you crazy (whether you want to binge, the stress causes insomnia, whatever it is),
WHAT IS YOUR DH DOING IN THE SITUATION?
Is he a good support to you? Is he "there" for his kids? Can you talk to him?
Is he absent due to work, or because he withdraws? Do you feel like too much of the responsibility has been put in your lap, without the freedom and power to react accordingly? Most of all, do you need him to do something different?
Without the remarriage, there is NO stepfamily; therefore, the strength of the family relies on the marriage of the parent(s) and stepparent(s). In my years of experience working with stepfamilies in support groups, how a couple treats EACH OTHER is the main indicator of whether or not the family survives.
GOOD LUCK & BEST WISHES TO ALL!!!
Edited by: MIMAWELIZABETH at: 11/4/2012 (06:40)
My son Scott's memorial:
"I'm not telling you it's going to be easy.
I'm telling you it's going to be worth it."
"Life isn't about how to survive the storm,
but how to dance in the rain."
Definitely... Id say that this past year my main stress has been my stepdaughter and her bio mom. To clarify a little... I love my stepdaughter like she was mine. Here lately though she has been so easily manipulated by her mom it drives me crazy. She just turned 13 but to bio Mom she is her bff and counselor. I have no issues with them having a relationship but an appropriate one. Your daughter doesn't always need to worry about your financial issues, sex life and drug habits. Now she is doing the whole grass is greener over here junk... Things at her house would be fun... no rules, friends over whenever... BLAH BLAH! I have yet to find a stress reliever that works for this... I cant block it out or let it go.
Wow I defently know the feeling we have seen Bio mom more times then the kids but only because of the court dates. I really dont know how these parents can do this to their children.
I have learned i have to stop trying to figure her out and just deal with her actions. I have to accept she will not be a mother to the children like she should. I have also learned i can not appoligize for her behavior. I can talk about it and sympthise but thats it.
I have also started walking around the block when i get upset about her. Or if the children are upset about her and i have to listen to what she has done now. It gets me out of the house and away from the kitchen which is usally my frist stop after i get upset.
What has helped you along the way?
Yes, yes & yes! I'm getting a better handle on the self-control when it comes to food, but I tend to gravitate towards a drink or two when the stress gets out of control. Luckily it is tons better now - 2 stepdaughters grown and on their own, 1 left to go. The youngest stays angry at bio mom and wants to stay away from her, so I tend to be the mediator now. The only downside about no visits is no downtime for DH & I. Four more years til empty nest. Low-cal margarita please!
Guess I didn't fully answer the question! Yes, it used to cause me to comfort eat and break my diet, but I'm working really hard on that....if I eat anything, it's one cookie or one something, not half a package anymore...
Absolutely...when she's NOT incarcerated, she is constantly calling to talk to the kids (which she's allowed to), but she doesn't actually talk to them. She holds a one-sided conversation that has nothing to do with what the girls are saying so that she looks good to the current boyfriend and makes us look like awful parents.....Example:
Bio-Mom: Hi Baby!!! How are you??
Bio-Mom: What's wrong Sweetie??! Why are you crying?
Kids: I'm not crying, I'm fine....
Bio-Mom: I miss you too Honey. Is everything ok?
Kids: Everything is fine...
Bio-Mom: I know, I know, I'm coming to get you soon. Don't cry Baby! Mommy promises, I'm going to come see you soon and you can come spend time here and get out of there.
Bio-Mom: Don't cry! You're going to make me cry!! (starts crying)
Kids: I'm not crying, I'm fine.
Bio-Mom: Ok, Mommy's got to go, dry your tears. I love you SOOOOO much! I'll call you soon!
Needless to say, she hasn't come to see the girls in over 3 years, despite having visitation rights. I wish she would either pull it together or be gone. The girls don't need the drama and it's to the point where they don't want to even talk to her, let alone ever see her. It's so hard to watch
OOOOOOOO yes she does!!!!!! She does head games with her kids and it makes me so sad for the kids and so mad at her for doing it!
I am new to Sparkpeople and Live in CT. I am a Mother to 7 (from a blended family). I gave birth to one child from a previous marraige, I adopted by brother's 3 kids after he passed away from cancer, and my husband has 3 children from a previous marraige. My husband is newly retired from the Navy. I work full time. I love to sing, pay drums, I'm in a band, I sew, read, love movies, love the ocean, and photography. I am a volunteer with Relay For Life here. My children range in age from 4 years old to 19 years old.2 years ago I was 1 week from myu surgery date and then my insurance denied my surgery because my work signed a specific form to not cover that type of surgery. I did appeal with letters from my doctor stating medically necessary, but it was still denied. That didn't turn out good for me. Currently, I have completed all my required classes and doctors appointments for Bariatric surgery as my husbands insurance will pay for it and I am awaiting a surgery date. I'm both excited, worried it won't happen again, and scared of the big life change. I can't wait to someday be the thinner me that I have never been my entire life!
Does your childs bio-parent drive you insane? Does the stres lead you to want to break your diet? I have to say in the begining I let it happen but now it does not. I found a new outlet for that stress in my blog.
Have you ever had to adjust your resonses to stress from being a step mother?
Edited by: MOMMYLORE at: 4/25/2012 (14:25)