The Light at the End of the Tunnel: Remembering BM
I'm the 75-year old BM & SM of 5. I've written about what worked & didn't work to get us to the end of the SP tunnel. But the one thing that consumed most of my headspace was my jealousy & hatred of BM.
BM was a very attractive person with a witty personality & lots of friends. She had a beautiful tan & gorgeous legs (I had neither but was prettier lol). What got to me most was that DH not only paid his child support but went way over & above, even buying her a car! Even so, she never stopped angling for more. It was " poor me: and "the kids need xyz" endlessly. She'd tuck the unpaid utility bills in their backpacks & coach them with her sob stories. It never stopped.
This financial scenario made me feel like he still cared for her & I had a white-hot jealousy. I finally realized thst his love for, and fear for, the kids meant he'd do almost anything for their well-being. She used his feelings for the kids to get what she wanted: a place to live, money, free babysitting & MOTY status. I do think he felt sorry for her but I also know he felt surprise & exasperation over her helplessness, poor judgment, lack of parenting & self-centeredness. The drug use didn't help, either.
In the early years, BM was quite a negative force. I'm a one-on-one person & tried to nurture a relationship with each SK. She did whatever she could to sabotage those relationships. I still can't forgive her for that.
BM was a dramatic, volatile person with a hot temper. She loved arguments & confrontations. It didn't matter who it was with: DH, the kids, me, eventually her second husband. Her disputes with SD were epic, followed by emotional reconciliation. (I see the same pattern with SD & her daughters). I got my own personal taste of BM's tactics when we spoke often during SD's turbulent teens. When she used my confidences, adding her spite & hatred, against me, i realized I'd never be able to trust her & cut contact.
BM mellowed into a good grandmother, if still volatile. I'd see her at graduations, showers & weddings
BM passed away 3 years ago. When i heard, i thought, we are the last people they will want there. But i was wrong. BD told me the SKs wanted us there so we went. It was the most uncomfortable experience ever. I sat in back the whole time & kept a low profile. But as we left, i walked up closer, just had to see, was she REALLY dead? Was it finally over?
I know it sounds ghoulish but I bet all the SPs out there can relate. Looking back, i wish I hadn't spent so much of my time, energy & brainspace on BM but our feelings are our feelings. Oddly, a couple years later, i found myself defending BM to oldest GK who still grieved. I told her, "BM loved you, she wanted the best for you, she wouldn't want you to grieve too long, she wanted you to be happy". Who would have ever thought I'd say a good word about BM.
SO, it does end at some point. You can make it thru stephell & come out of the tunnel & have good years with your dear spouse. Good luck!