Feeling understood from an unlikely source
I love this website because here I feel understood. I'm unable to share my frustrations and fears with people in my life for various reasons, so this is the place to I come to to feel a sense of validation and understanding for what I go through as a step mother.
But, this holiday season, I felt understood by the most unlikely person - DH's mom! Although I've visited DH's family during Christmas for seven years now, DH's mom and I don't get a chance to really know each other since we live far away and see DH's family only two times a year, if that.
DH always puts up a front that life is good and doesn't talk about skid and BM issues to anyone. Because of that, I'm reluctant to say anything to friends and his family, unless I feel that it must be said. For instance, I've forced DH to tell his mom about certain issues because she takes the skids for two weeks in the summer. To me, it's unfair to not let her in on what she's getting herself into. She deserves to know and make the determination whether she actually wants to take them on. Because of that, she is aware of some of our issues with the skids and BM.
This year while visiting, just she and I went shopping, so we were able to talk. She had concerns about SD17 and what she thought was a possible inappropriate relationship with a mentor, so I had quell her concerns by letting her know more about the messed up story of our life.
And, I was a little shocked at her response, but I knew she empathized with my situation based on her past and little comments here and there, so it wasn't completely surprising. She had a stepdaughter with her first husband who passed away [she hasn't talked to her stepdaughter in ages and DH and his siblings (those that we visit) are only facebook friends with her]. After being widowed, she got remarried to DH's stepfather and has been with him for over 25 years.
She said to me, "being a step mother is the worst...it's absolutely the worst...after [DH's dad] died, I told myself that I would never love someone so much that I'd make them a stepparent."
I felt a comradery like I had never felt before. She completely understood what I was going through. But, like I said, she is remarried and has had more children with DH's stepdad. But, I think that's what happens to all of us. We're human. We all know how terrible step life is, but our life goes on, we find love, and we either forget or we tell ourselves that this time it's different.