Another endorsement for reading Stepmonster!!
Fellow steptalkers, I finally decided to read Stepmonster by Wednesday Martin.
I know others have recommended it, but I never got around to readying it and I've read dozens of other step-parenting books and articles over the years that were of little to no help. And I usually just ended up feeling worse. So I wondered if I really wanted to read yet another unhelpful book. I mean how many times do I need to be told its is all about the kids and I'm a witch for intruding into their lives. Boy was I wrong. This book is awesome!
Last week, BF made a comment about how "hard" his role is-- child out of wedlock father to SD16 who won't talk to him, won't come for EOW anymore and is flunking out of high school. A crazy BM who manipulates and lies. He talked about how people perceieve him and how he hates having to put up with the naive comments of people who have no idea how difficult the situation really is. He said he automatically get viewed in a bad light and then has to spend hours, weeks, or years having to then demonstrate he is actually a decent person. So instead he very rarely talks about SD to anyone outside a certain circle, that most of his co-workers don't even know he has a child.
While I more than "get" BF's perdicament. He truly is judged and will forever be judge by thoughtless people for an "accident" 16 years ago. But what got me was that BF thinks his role in the drama is the worst of the lot. It was all I could do not to roll my eyes at him. Atleast you have some minimal amount of power and control in the drama. I have none and stepmothers live in the shadows. No one knows our pain and we take pains to almost never talk about it because besides ST there are no safe environments. I have bent over backwards for years only to be told by BF, MIL, and my own mother that I wasn't trying hard enough. BF might have had it rough, but he has not lived in step-hell like I have.
So this conversation inspired me to download "Stepmonster" and start reading (BTW the book is way cheaper if you happen to have a kindle)because I needed something that talked about how hard this was for me. And I couldn't put the book down. Wednesday gets it. Really gets it. And then she backs it up with facts and research. When I came to StepTalk, I all the sudden realized there were lots of universals in the step experience, and I didn't feel so alone. But Wednesday has armed me with numbers and research. I've already got copies on order for MIL, my mom and BF.
I'm not sure I can convince BF to read it, but I'm going to try. After his woe-is-me speech the other day, I think he needs an eye opener. I have been through hell for 6 years because I loved him and was just stubborn enough to not give up on him an us. But he doesn'y fully get or even appreciate the hell (BTW- things are much better since SD stopped coming when BF finally grew a pair and laid down the law on her grades and behavior)even after all this time. I realized I need him to understand just what it has been like from my perspective. I would never, ever repeat my step-hell experiences. I think I serve a medal or some equivalent of a step-purple heart. My six years are a testiment to how much I love him and he should recognize, respect and honor that next time he gets to thinking this is a cake walk for everyone else involved but him.
That last paragraph got away from me a bit, but I guess I'm feel empowered by the book and deserving of having my combat wounds recognized. So if you haven't yet read Stepmonster, go buy it! You'll feel so much better. And then buy one for everyone in your life so they will finally "get" it too.