Our Story, Married, Part 2

>> Friday, February 26, 2010

I was asked so long ago to write our story out and I started it but never got to part 2.  It's hard remembering these times, the stress, the anger, the tears.  The first part of this story was the dating period - dating a man with children when I didn't have my own.  To read the beginning, click here.

So we got married in a small ceremony in front of a judge.  It was all we could afford since my husband was in the middle of a court fight to get regular parenting time with both of his children (not just sporadic parenting time with his daughter when the ex felt like it while she withheld their son from him).  We lived two streets away from the ex for the children, thinking it'd be easier for the kids to go back and forth when they were older, easier to stay involved in different things (school, etc.).  We thought the ex would have to eventually stop being angry and bitter, things would get better between the two homes for the children's sake.  We were wrong.

While living there, I was accused of stealing my stepdaughter's clothes.  That involved several phone calls from the ex and her sister.  (Never mind that what I was accused of stealing was worn to our home by my stepdaughter on the very next parenting time occurrence.) 

When the kids came over for trick-or-treat and the ex had her siblings with her, they walked into my home, walked right by me across my living room without saying "hi" and completely ignored the fact that I was there.  Any time the ex came over, she walked by me like I was invisible.  Great way to teach the children respectful behavior.

When the children would leave and say "bye" to me, she'd walk out slamming the door behind her.  The kids acknowledged me.  How dare they!  Eventually, the ex wasn't allowed into our home.  The behavior in front of the kids and her blatant disrespect in my own home was intolerable.

Living that close allowed the ex to schedule dance on the weekends because she thought it was a great way to interfere in dad's parenting time with the children.  She got away with it for awhile until the courts told her no more.  There were days available during the week that wouldn't involve her coming to our home every other weekend to take my stepdaughter to dance class, and then standing on our front porch crying (and clinging to my stepdaughter like she wasn't going to see her for a month instead of just one more night) when it was time to drop her off for the remainder of hubby's weekend with his children. 

Every weekend the children were with us was an emotional struggle for them.  My stepson would come over and cry because he would say his mom was crying at home without him.  Unfortunately, he was probably right because she didn't hide the fact that she couldn't stand them leaving her to go to dad's house - ever.  This was just unthinkable to me.  You aren't supposed to make your children feel guilty for going to dad's house.  You aren't supposed to make them worry about you.  You aren't supposed to put them in the role of parenting the adult/parent. 

During one trip to her house to pick up his children, my husband said she accused him of sitting outside her home and watching her.  I have to say that I laughed so hard over that. Demented much?

I was accused of taking my husband's manhood (and she was silly enough to put that in writing).  Huh?  His manhood?  She was used to my husband taking whatever spewed out of her.  It goes in one ear and out the other with him (he said he got used to her harping and yelling at him and he learned to tune her out).  I am not my husband.  I don't take crap from anybody, especially somebody who doesn't know me at all and wants to hurl insults and hurt my husband, my family.  I don't think she liked my response back. Imagine that.

I was never referred to by name.  I was "the current wife."  That struck me a bit odd because she was never his wife.  She was referring to me like I was just going to be a short blip in his life and then be gone again (no, that would be THEIR relationship, lol)...that there would be another wife (and maybe she hoped it would be her).  Huh...14 years married and still happy and wrapped up in each other...guess that didn't work out for her.

When my oldest came down with a virus that could be serious to babies, and my stepchildren had been exposed to it unknowingly before we knew she had it, we let the ex know in a letter because her sister (the difficult family member) had a newborn. We wanted to make the ex aware in case my stepkids got it or carried it over there for the new baby's sake. We thought it was the right thing to do. Read on...

One evening we received a phone call from the ex.  She wasn't going to be in home in time to pick up the kids from her parents home for hubby's parenting time so could we go get them from there?  Sure. My husband was in the shower so I took my four-month pregnant self over there to pick up the children, knocked on the door and then waited on the porch (they'd never invite me in:).  The ex's family member came out onto the porch and within ear shot of the children proceeded to tell me how I had no right to my stepkids, that she had more right to them than I did, that if I ever mentioned her child's name again she would sue me (remember the virus notification letter to the ex in the previous paragraph), that they had a lot of money and would do it, yada yada yada, etc.  This woman was complaining because we let her sister know that the stepkids could've contracted a virus that was potentially dangerous to a newborn, HER newborn?  What?  Was being angry with me for existing more important than her child's health?  As a mother, this floored me.  The grandparents did nothing.  I shoo'd my stepchildren away from the door where they were listening to their aunt get in their stepmother's face so they wouldn't be exposed to it.  I ended up in premature labor.  The police said it was a matter for the family court and the family court said it was a matter for the police.  A lot of help eh? 

At this point I would not help out with transporting by myself again.  We also advised the ex that her family member was not allowed onto our property anymore during the pick up/drop offs or else we'd have her arrested for trespassing (the ex would drive over and her sister would be in the car...had to take the ride over for the whole two blocks, lol). It was the only avenue we had since the police and family court were useless.

When I was nine months pregnant, we attended my stepdaughter's dance recital. Being large and waddling, I was walking behind my husband and mother-in-law.  The ex's family member (same one from previous paragraph) walked by me coming from the other direction and I felt a blow to my lower back right when she walked by me.  What kind of person hits a pregnant woman?  When I turned around, she had her hand in the air like she was waving to somebody. If there had been security cameras in that part of the building, I would've pressed assault charges in a second if we could have proved she threw a punch.  Our son was born with disabilities and his doctors can't tell me if the premature labor and the blow to my back (and all the stress during that pregnancy) caused his disabilities.

During this time, my stepson started acting out horribly.  Annoying behavior was to turn into aggressive behavior in the coming years, aimed at his younger siblings (our children).

Those are a few of the things we dealt with during the first few years of our marriage.   There were so many more things but those are some of the highlights (well, low times) of our early years as a married couple.

Some of the highlights -

I recently found a christmas card my stepdaughter made for me SO many years ago.  It is so adorable.  The front says "to mom" and she drew an angel.  The inside says, "Her is a crismis card. i love you. Love (her name)"  Despite everything the children were told on how to behave with us, how they couldn't love me, my stepdaughter and I were so close.  We baked together.  She and I had girls night every Friday night of our weekends where we made crafts (which we usually made for her mom and maternal grandparents - not that it made any difference to them...I was still to be hated.)  She wore my rollers and tried on my heels and boots.  She cuddled and loved and cried when it was time to leave us.  It didn't matter what anybody told her, she loved me no matter what and nobody's claws were going to tear that apart (yet).  It was definitely taking its toll on her though (two therapists during this time - one said mom still had feelings for hubby which we knew and that she was very angry and the other therapist said mom's behavior was my stepdaughter's problem - which we knew), but it didn't affect my stepdaughter's relationship with us yet.

End of Part 2.  I am literally shaking typing this.  My stomach is in knots remembering this stuff.  It is less stressful to leave the bad stuff in the past.  Honestly, it is less stressful to not have to remember how close my stepdaughter and I were at one time before she couldn't take the emotional manipulations anymore and had to protect herself and pretend she doesn't care about me. 

By this point, we had two beautiful children of our own together but the stress was taking its toll.

2 comments:

practicalstepmom February 27, 2010 at 2:03 PM  

your story is quite moving. i'm sorry for what you had/have to go through. :(

practicalstepmom February 27, 2010 at 2:03 PM  

your story is quite moving. i'm sorry for what you had/have to go through. :(

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