Every person in this world has a story, has struggles, hardships and moments that sculpt who they become. To understand my role as a step parent I feel its important to understand my history as well as how we became a family. So this post will be lengthy... All names are changes to ninja turtle names. Well cause we love the show. :)
My parents divorced when I was 12, and I became the glue. My Dad came to me at 12 years old crying asking me how to fix it. How could he be the man my Mother wanted. I clearly remember that day, that day changed me. I let that day define who I was as a person cause well I was 12 and I didn't know any better. That day I went from being a 12 year child to an adult. I decided to take the world and carry it. That it was my job to fix my familes problems, it was my respoibilty to step up to the plate. When i look back now I understand why I am who I am. I hate the way that day makes me feel, and I do EVERYTHING in my power to avoid feeling helpless and hurting without being able to express how i am feeling beucase it might make someone else even more upset. This day defined me... for over 15 years of my life. I stepped up that day and became a parent. I took on the role of care giver to my 2 younger siblings, chores, dinner homework ect.. They asked me for permission to go places and do things and I never left this role. Today i stand here 29 still playing the role of cargiver to evey single person on my life. Walking on egg shells, choosing relationships in which people need me to fix something. I am a codependant drawn to a narscist like a moth to a flame. After 2 verbally and emotionally abusive relationships I found the courage after my child was born to change my life. I found the courage to leave, stand on my own 2 feet and fight for what I beleived in. It took time, pain, tears, sweat, sleepless nights and days upon days of spiraling thoughts of doubt. But I survived, I over came what I thought was impossible. I took time to find me... something I should have been doing as a teenager. But I did it. I found my morals and values. But I still struggle daily with the battle in my head. I still have to ave interactions with one of the men who puts me in a bad state of mind because well we share a son lets call him Raphael (Raph). I love Raph and if it wasn't for him, i don't know if I ever would have gotten out of the cycle of decsions I choose to make. I wanted a better life for him, and I learned that the life I choose to lve directly reflected on the life Raph would have.
After almost 2 years of being single and working on me and many really bad 1st dates with men, I met my S/O. Lets call him Leonardo (Leo). Leo is 8 years older then me, with twin girls age 10 lets call them Michelangelo (Mikey) and Donatello (Donnie). Both Leo and I were going through a custody battle of similar circumstance so we had a lot of common ground to relate on. Both of our childrens other parent is an addict. This common ground was the ground that we both felt no one else understood. I went on dates with other "Dads" and it was always the same, "well you are keeping your child from his father". That line was always a topic. But Leo, coming from a very (almost to similar situation) understood trying to maintain the balance. The balance of a childs need for the other parent, but also having to make sure the physical and emotional saftey of the child comes first. This is a very hard concept to understand for a parent who doesn't have to deal with an addict. And but NO MEANS was telling your child they can't see there other parent easy/ Leo at this time had full custody of the twins and their Mother had supervised visits only. This lasted for the first 3-4 months of our relationho when they took away her supervised visits because she was showing up under the influence. After 1.5 years the twins Mother lost all her rights. 5 months later right before New Years the twins Mother passed away from a drug related illness.
The shortened version of my custody battle, turned out different, after 2 years of court he finally pulled himself together enough to go from supervised visits to dinner weekly and every other weekend. Dont get me wrong there are atill a lot of things in his life style I do not agree with. But here we are. I pray he doesn't take the same path as the twins Mother.
Leo has his share of issues as well as well all do. Leo has some modd behavior issues and the stubornness of a mule. But is the type of man who is willing to work through anything.
Prior to the twins Mothers death we had made the decsion that after a year together we would move into his apartment. Raph is still very young and isn't in school yet, my house was too small, way to far out the way. Also, Donnie & Micky just switched schools when there Mother lost all rights. We decided that what was best for the family was for the twins to maintain balance at there current home and new school then to have anymore change along with this combining house holds.
The move was a postive goal for the entire family, Raph loves playing with Donnie and Micky. Donnie and Micky love having me around. Hvaing a female in the house, to do hair and have girl time. Oh they love their girl time... There wasn't any objections to the move.
Then their Mother died suddenly, we reevaluated and decided it was still the best option for everyone. The twins clung to me for love and support. Not that Leo isn't loving or caring of his daughters but he isn't the cuddley, hugs and kisses sappy emtional type. He's a "you feel the emotion then its over" kind of man. Typical cave man concept, so the twins tend to come to me with conflicts, saddness, basically anything that houses emotion I am there outlet.