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Had a great partially-disengaged day & some epiphanies!

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

So, yesterday I worked really hard to disengage from the SD16 drama and her first day back to HS.  I ended up having an awesome day working, cooking (which I actually find enjoyable), and even found a little time for MR. ED and I to run errands together while enjoying an open air jeep ride.  Good stuff.  

  • Last year at Back to School Time, I would've been stressing about all the things MR. ED did not do to prepare SKIDS for class and all the things SKIDS failed to communicate with MR. ED.  This year...not my circus, not my monkeys. :)  
  • Last year at Back to School Time, I would've been all up in the clothes shopping for all SKIDS, after being asked to by MR. ED of course, and stressing over all the inappropriate and cringe-worthy clothes SD16 picked out.  I would've been pointing out how she was wasting MR. ED's money on clothes she can't even wear to school while getting dirty looks and eye-rolls for pointing out the obvious.  Then I would inevitably be the one who gets a text from SD16 asking to be picked up because the school says her skirt is too short, pants are too tight, or shirt shows to much.  This year...GM got sucked into buying clothes for SD16 against MR. EDs wishes.  As for me, SD16 can drive herself home to change or sit in the office all day for dressing inappropriately.  Not my circus, not my monkeys.  Smile
  • Last year, I would've spent the day feeling conflicted over how to help SD16 not completely self-destruct, how to get MR. ED to step up and get some cojones with SKIDS, and ping-ponging back and forth between Googling "Anti-social and Borderline personality disorder in teens" and alternately "How to Runaway as an Adult" (there actually is a website for that btw. lol).  This year...not my circus, not my monkeys...get on with the business of the day. Smile

No, yesterday I did all my normal stuff and even took visiting SS10 with me to the auction (I'm a f/t reseller of antiques & collectibles, so this is part of my normal workweek).  As I introduced him to my "co-workers" at the auction, I had an epiphany.  SKIDS have such a limited view of me.  They pretty much see me in the context of my role within our household and specifically in their lives. 

Recently, SD16 was texting MR. ED insisting that he kick me out and saying "everyone hates her".  He knew at the time it was said that it simply isn't true and she was trying to get her misguided way and deflect from her own behavior again.  But yesterday, SS10 (who is aware SD16 said this about me) got to see me out of context.  He saw people I've known for years hugging me, greeting me, tell me they've missed seeing me there (didn't go last week), bring me bags of bubble wrap they've saved for me and offer us both treasures from their auction buys of the day.  Mutual kindness.  That's my zone where I'm in my element.  That's where I'm at my best and most natural.  He saw a whole other world of people who actually don't find me to be a monster.  He made a comment to me on the way out how it was "not at all what he expected" and that "everyone was so nice."  I only chuckled and said, "See, everyone does not hate me." :) 

We just hung out without me feeling responsible for "parenting" him.  SS10 was respectful, enjoyed watching his first auction, asked me questions about how I got started doing what I do, and enjoyed his chili dog and Dr. Pepper. Then, we went home, scooped up puppy, and took him to the pet store for some treats and flea preventative.  Normal stuff that wasn't much different than a day spent with a babysitter or aunt.  I can handle that, but only because I'm disengaging from the responsibilities and stress of all that is dysfunctional with other SKIDS.  Interesting how that works.  I have to stop wasting time on the negative to make room for the positive.

Fellow SPs out there...don't let your SKIDS, BMs, MILs, and even DHs define who you are.  There may be some truth to who you are showing them and that may be something to work on.  But that does not define you. You are more than a Stepmom or Stepdad. Remember that.  I'm working on spending more time with people outside of this household...friends and "co-workers" who, gosh darnit, actually like me.  Balance.  Gotta have it or you'll let it all drive you nuts.  Take care of you today, my friends. <3

 

Comments

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

It's nice to actually have a nice story to tell for once! *yahoo* 

Yeah, I was reading a lot of posts this morning and I see so much hurt...so much dysfunction...so many people desperately trying to do right by kids, but just spent.  I have more than my fair share of that going on, y'all know, but I'm trying to focus more on the positive and see what that does for my situation.  I figure it can't possibly make things worse around here! Wink

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Good!

tog redux's picture

Yes, you get it! Enjoy (or avoid) your skids as if you are their aunt. No responsibility for them beyond being a caring adult and keeping them alive should you agree to watch them.

 

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

Yes, I think a lightbulb may have finally gone on in this stubborn, opinionated, and over-involved head of mine. :)  Thanks ladies and gents.  Truly, reading and writing here is helping me sort things out day by day.  It's hard to see the situation objectively when you're standing in the eye of the storm.

Siemprematahari's picture

Go Girl!!!!

Do you and what makes you happy!

Not your circus, not your monkeys Clapping

Merry's picture

I especially like the part about SD10. Great eye opener for her! 

And you’re absolutely right. We are fully functional adults with many facets to our lives. It’s great when skids get to see that. 

Evil3's picture

"Fellow SPs out there...don't let your SKIDS, BMs, MILs, and even DHs define who you are." I love this! I printed it on a sticky note at work and have it hidden in my drawer. That's been why I've been in agony for so long. I can't wrap my head around my DH's and SD's obsession for one another being the result of something other than me being lacking. I know I've said it on here before, but I think I'm not quite there yet. I'm going to keep my sticky note and look at hit a zillion times a day. Thank you for that! 

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

Oh, I'm far from "there." ;)  I guess ST blogging is just giving me a place to voice my thoughts, process them, bounce them around with other people going through similar situations, and hopefully, some epiphanies and changes stick.  There are a few things I think about that are helping me and maybe they can help you, too. 

1.)  When I feel or when I'm told that I am the only person in this family "lacking" as you say, I stop and process all the imperfection around me.  There is quite a lot to go around!  I don't necessarily tell them all about themselves, but it does help me remember to give myself a break even if no one else does.  

2.)  I think about and visualize how my life was before this situation.  Who was I apart from them?  What were my relationships like?  How did I spend my time and what did I enjoy doing that I don't do know? 

3.)  If I magically got transported to a life all by myself, what would that life look like? 

Then, I think, "Is there anything from the before or after scenarios that I CAN change, include, or add to my present situation?  That is where I am right now.  I'm trying to see if I can create more of the life I want right here and now, but honestly...it is going to be tough.  My life has gone pretty far astray from how I would spend my days if I were to wave that wand.  Time will tell! 

I wish you the best!  Just remember for all the things you may be "lacking" in their eyes, there are many more things others (and you) cherish and admire about yourself. <3

Thisisnotus's picture

I enjoyed reading that. It almost makes me feel hopeful for a brighter day.

I am really struggling lately and I think you for bringing a smile to my face with a nice positive post.

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

Your last post about DH being disengaged all along and your house feeling like a "silent war zone" with no family dynamic...you just described my home as well on most days.  Little SS10 is the only one that really makes family time fun again around here.  He's heading back to BMs today, though so...there's that.  So sorry to hear you're struggling.  I do believe there is hope for a brighter day.  It's just that in our situations, we may not know exactly what that day is going to look like yet.  {{BIG HUG}}

Harry's picture

They can call MR ED if there a problem with his DD.  What you don’t know, you can’t do anything about.   He is the father, it’s his job to take care of his DD.  You can not do more then the BF 

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

I have been listed as an emergency contact for SD16, but after all that has happened...I agree that's a good idea to disengage from THAT!  I mean, if its a true emergency and I'm willing to help, they can always call MR. ED and HE can contact me to ask for help if he can't get there in time or whatever.  Thank you for reminding me of that.  On my To Do List for today! Smile

CLove's picture

I have to have reminders to myself to not get overly engaged. Last year I was unemployed, broke and embarrassed about my situation, and was doing 100% childcare during the afternoons that BM and DH were at work. BM and I had an unfortunate falling out and she called me "non working c@nt, effing b!tch", among other things, and also telling me that she knows for a FACT she absolutely does her hair, makeup and blow jobs better than me.

I did back to school shopping and class sign-ups.

This year, I am making good money, with a great job, my friends are awesome, Im loving life, taking care of myself and SHE is the one who is "non working". LOL.

Sorry that you are being treated like that - it takes getting outside to get out of what I think of as the "myopically anti-self mode". I tend to become drawn into these energy sucks of steplife.

Time to getta life outside of Steplife.

Biggrin Your job sounds fascinating. I am a resale freak, that loves vintage and antique everything. Too bad SD has her head so far up her a$$ she cant see you for an awesome person that can add to her life...luckily ss10 is maybe going to be different.

Either way, you enjoy being you!

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

That story about BM is awesome. lol  Good for you!  Thank you for the support as well.

Yes, I LOVE doing what I do.  I have extended the offer to share anything they want to know about reselling, particularly on ebay.  None so far have taken me up on that.  I wish I would've known how to do this years ago while raising my son on my own.  Even reselling in my spare time back then would have made our life a lot more comfortable having extra money or making ends meet.  I guess SDs feel they don't need to learn anything like that because MR. ED or GM will pick up their financial slack...or MSD can always sell porn. lol 

Over the years, I've offered to teach the girls how to cook, bake, sew, all kinds of other domestic stuff...no takers.  They'd rather be served or just live off of Taki's and Monsters.  I've encouraged them to go help their dad or me in the yard, doing home repairs, or working on the cars.  We're both pretty handy DIY freaks, but...no interest from SDs.  It is definitely their loss on that front.  Hit the nail on the head.  They're choosing a lifestyle that is so different from the way MR. ED and I actually live.  Those BM roots run deep, I guess, even when she's abandoned them!

CLove's picture

Munchkin SD13 has taken an interest in learning how to cook (bakin) and now wants to live a more healthy lifestyle with me as well. Unfortunately her mother only feeds her fast food and stuff that I wouldnt feed my dog. Since we have 50/50, its tough to have a huge impact, but I try. She also likes bones and shells (like me), and cool vintagy things. Wish I could share munchkin with you? lol.

Kes's picture

Good grief, you have some major stuff to disengage from in the shape of SD16.  How come her father puts up with her texting him those things?  If I was him, I would have taken her mobile phone off her and stamped on it! honest, I'm not kidding.  I'm pretty hardcore these days lol.  Plus I would block SD16 on my own phone, as part of my disengagement.  

However, very good about SS10 - sounds like there is some hope for him!  

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

I hear ya completely.  I didn't mess around with my DS.  He always knew that first and foremost I provided him with a phone to stay in touch with me, but he knew better than to try to have an actual important conversation via text.  That's a pet-peeve of mine.  Got something deep to say?  Call me or sit down in front of me and let's talk it out.  So why does he do that?  He admits lack of communication is a huge problem with him and pretty much his whole family.  Nowadays, like the stated in the post below...that is where I am disengaging.  It's definitely above my pay grade to fix their communication issues.  I can't say I haven't foolishly tried, though. ;)  

Kes's picture

I know it's not up to you to fix their communication, but if I found out that one of my step daughters had texted DH vile things about me, I would definitely see THAT as something he could do something about, and I would most certainly expect him to.  That is about his and my relationship, my feeling that he had my back, and his loyalty to me, his wife. 

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

While I agree that was totally unacceptable, unfortunately, its not near as bad as other things SD16 and her evil stepsisters have said about me over the years.  She sent that text at the end of a week where she faked a drug test, we all got into it over her lying/drug abuse/etc, she threatened to hit me because I was blocking the doorway as she was trying to leave, and then she refused to come home unless he kicked me out.  In the end, MR. ED told her that was not happening, but she was welcome to live with her mother if that's how she felt.  MSD refused to take her in when she asked, BM said she's "not able" to take her in for the long haul and SD16 has to come back home with her tail between her legs because BM got arrested AGAIN and she had to leave the house.  Now, chaos insued a bit again before I mentally checked out of SD16 duty, but there's a bit of the story up to now.  Yikes, right?  

Kes's picture

I see :-(  Pity SD16 reneged on her statement that she wouldn't come home unless Mr Ed kicked you out, huh?  (eyeroll smiley) 

Want2's picture

“How come her father puts up with her texting him those things?  If I was him...”

And here’s where you STOP. You redirect that thought. You do not go down that path. It leads to wrongtown.

His kids are not your circus and he is not your monkey.

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

Yes, it's so hard to redirect my thinking on this type of stuff, but I agree that it's the best thing to do.  

"His kids are not your circus and HE IS NOT YOUR MONKEY." - *ROFL*

There is so much truth to this last part that I'm going to base a new blog post on it!  Thanks for the humorous inspiration! Smile