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Whoa! It's been forever!

Sita Tara's picture

Hello there Steptalkers!

I ventured over here to check out the site for the first time in forever tonight and noticed it's been 2 years since I checked in!

A lot is new here. Got remarried last year. Graduated with my master's in marriage and family therapy in May of this year and was accepted into the PhD program to become a counselor educator and research needs of divorced/single parent/ step families.

Things are good- though I'm stressed about my two licensure exams (MFT and NCE) I have to take this summer. And student loans...which I will be adding to with this next step.

I'm not sure who is here who was on here during my time here, but I wish everyone peace on this challenging path. I hope everyone is doing well and those who aren't are finding the support they need.

Peace, love, and ya-ya!


Sita Tara's picture

I am way more worried about the MFT national exam as it is a beast and twice the cost. I was signed up to take it last month and arrived to the testing site to discover it was canceled due to a fire in the building! So weird. After I take it on 7/23 I will have about 3 weeks to shift gears/study for the NCE. Luckily studying for the harder one first means I will have covered a lot of things I need for the NCE.
Fingers crossed I pass both so my hours count when I am back in the University family clinic in the fall. I listen to Rosenthall while walking the treadmill.

Thank you for the well wishes!

Sita Tara's picture

Thank you.

I still have moments of grieving nuclear family for my daughter and having this life imposed on me for a second round. I think the only words of wisdom I have is to get your own therapist and work through any part of step family life that consumes your thoughts and life. When my step family life imploded I deleted all the blogs from those few years. I'm kind of glad because I think I would be extremely frustrated with myself if I went back and re-read how much I let my own needs fall to the side to put the needs of my ex and step daughter first. It was incredibly unhealthy. I see it all the time now when I read the words of other stepmoms and I am always concerned for them. I have also seen many other SMs (some from here and some from other groups through FB) who went through exactly the same thing I did. Sometimes I think about researching how often that happens to SMs because of how common it seems to be with SMs I meet.
It's sad to see.
I'm definitely relieved to be in the life I am in now. I have been with my husband for 4 years and we are in a very good place.
He does not have children of his own and he and my daughter adore each other. He lets me do all the parenting and decision making and handling of any issues or concerns related to my exes. I think sometimes that SFs often have a healthier outlook on this situation as far as not trying to fix or carry the weight of their stepkids needs or conflicts between homes.
It is definitely an experience that I wish I never had, and yet, it has inspired me to go on to become a therapist, and my passion for non-nuclear family systems greatly influenced my mentors in my program encouraging me to go on for the PhD.
I guess in a nutshell...
Do NOT put your dreams, aspirations, or needs on hold for your step family, your husband, your stepkids.
Keep fulfilling yourself and filling your own cup first.
And get a good therapist who understands this dynamic!

arjuna79's picture

Oh Sita! So good to feel you here, so glad you stopped by. And congratulations on all the wonderful in your life. Smile

brutallyhonest's picture

I remember your posts. I don't post often anymore as my SD is now an adult and doesn't contact us. I learned much from you and others. I would do many things differently if I was doing it again too. I'm happy to hear you have found a better match and work they inspires you.

Shaman29's picture

Sita! I'm so happy for you! Thank you for checking in! You'll knock those exams out of the park!

DaizyDuke's picture

Aw congrats!!! Glad things are going so well for you now. Your step story always made me sad.. you seemed like such a nice, genuine, caring person and you got crapped on big time. Congrats on your new husband Glad you're happy!!

Sita Tara's picture

Thank you. I learned the hardest of ways...
We are all displaceable. And...
Be wary of how he speaks of and treats the mom...
Because he may do the same to you one day.

I think many SMs get the short end. My goal in working with them is to help them find ways to work on their own self fulfillment outside of Stepmotherhood concerns because it is so easy to put everyone else before yourself in totally unhealthy ways. I see way too many dads with weak boundaries (with the mom, stepmom, and kids) who are happy to let the SM take over everything rather than step up themselves, and I see SMs struggling with being the main parent simply because they are trying to help and it spirals deeper and deeper. It is not an easy life. If I had it to do over again...
I would have remained a single mom to my sons.
Grateful to have this beautiful daughter-she is the only thing that makes the whole experience seem to have had any purpose.

thinkthrice's picture

The key to success "He does not have children of his own"

Yep being a stepdaddy=relatively smooth sailing. Being a stepMOM=a scene from Dante's Inferno would be relatively wonderful in comparison.

Men with no kids is the HOT item of the 21st century. Too bad there's no selling of public stock.

Sita Tara's picture

Biggrin That made me LOL. His not having kids is a plus in many ways, but it also meant some growing pains for him since his ideas of parenting culture are rooted in the late 60s/early 70s when he was growing up. But he lets me lead the way on parenting decisions and supports my choices which is I think very different about step dads compared to step moms (my former life included.)