Stress in the Stepfamily

>> Friday, April 30, 2010

Well, the scale says +2 pounds and I'm still waiting for word from my doctor on what to do about my thyroid medication dosage (which needs to change).  I hope he gets back to me before I gain all the weight I lost back!  Maybe in the meantime I should check into getting some exercise equipment. I was outside with my four-year-old yesterday running around the yard with her and boy did she wear me out!  I really need to work on my endurance (in between puffs on my asthma inhaler I guess). 

You have to watch what the constant stress a lot of us live in for years does to the human body.  I truly believe the constant stress (constant cortisol output stressing the adrenals and thyroid) is where my thyroid disease came from.  Nobody blood-related to me in my family has thyroid disease which my doctor found very surprising.  Doesn't appear to be inherited! 

Do what you can to rid yourself of constant stress.  It does affect your health!  We have the fight or flight response but when the "fight" lasts for years, it's not good for you.


Just Goofing Off This Morning

>> Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I was on Google Trends to see what the hot trends were in internet searches and "how a simple prank ended a marriage" was one of them. So I clicked and clicked trying to find out what this meant, thinking it might be interesting for my blog (marriage, divorce).  I never did find what this was supposed to mean and gave up clicking, so why is it the hot search right now?  Either it isn't valid or my googling skills are not up to par this morning.

I guess I should just go back to googling about weight loss products like Lipofuze in case my thyroid doctor doesn't get my dosage right and the rest of this weight doesn't come off. I was so wanting to be normal weight by summer again.  We have a family reunion with my family, most I haven't seen in years, and I wanted to be thinner.  I have a few months to do that.  Since diet and exercise doesn't do it, thanks to my thyroid diease (which I am pretty certain came on due to years of stress), my doctor is my last hope for managing my thyroid disease and by extension, my weight. 


Stepdaughter Lists Me as Her Mother

>> Monday, April 26, 2010

Yesterday on Facebook, my stepdaughter updated her info page to include her parents.  She listed her dad as her father (duh!), her mother as her mother (duh!) and me as her mother (surprise!).  I was surprised but pleasantly so.  I am not sure what her mother will think of that.  I'm not sure if she has access to it or not (she isn't on my stepdaughter's friend list which I find a bit odd).  At almost 18, the ex may not have her log-in information either. 

It was nice to see that the decade we were so close wasn't forgotten but at the same time, I hope it doesn't give her mom a reason to resent me again when the two homes are communicating in a friendly manner now.  I never told the kids they had to call me mom.  It was always left up to them - always, always, always - what they wanted to call me (as long as it wasn't a bad word:). 


Am I the Evil Stepmother?

>> Sunday, April 25, 2010

Because stepmoms have a reputation for being evil, I thought I'd take a quiz that Smirking Cat had on her blog to see just how evil I really am.  Here are the results:

You Are 40% Evil

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.

In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.

I guess I'm not as evil as I thought! 


Drama with Stepdaughter

Well, the drama with my stepdaughter continues and so does the cooperation between the ex and us.  She must be at her wit's end to be asking for advice and support from us.  Of course, we are giving it to her.  It has to be stressful living with the teenaged issues 24/7 as opposed to us getting it from a distance, other than when my stepdaughter spent a few days with us here a couple weeks ago.  This is the longest break-up in history between my stepdaughter and her boyfriend and I'm not sure they really are broken up or if it is their way to manipulate the ex into giving them what they want.  I'm emotionally drained and stressed and showing it (acne medication is a necessity from break-outs from stress) and we're 200 miles away. 

I hate to say this but I don't think it is going to get better for my stepdaughter until 1) school is over for the summer or 2) she finishes her school year somewhere else.  She needs to be away from the current situation she is in with this guy she is emotionally wrapped up with in a very unhealthy way and therapy isn't going to fix it fast enough though hopefully it helps her sooner rather than later.  It's not an instant fix.  I don't think aything is going to change from my stepdaughter's end until he isn't in the picture everyday.  Summer will give her a breather and hopefully a chance to heal and get stronger, like she used to be.


Cancer Survival Rates

>> Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I was reading in a magazine yesterday how the cancer survival rates are getting better and better.  It talked about not exactly beating the cancer but managing it.  It talked about thyroid cancer, breast cancer and one other that I can't remember now.  I know it wasn't the mesothelioma survival rate. I think it was some type of Hodgkin's (or non-Hodgkins).  That's the one my uncle has had for many years.  They didn't expect him to live as long as he has but he is.  He's "managing" it with diet, etc.

All that reading yesterday gave me nightmares about cancer last night.  I have thyroid disease with multiple nodules and any one of those nodules could now be, or could turn into, a cancer.  A biopsy gets one teeny part of a nodule and it is likely it wouldn't be the cancerous part out of all those millions of cells so I really have no idea.  It's a little black cloud that comes out to play whenever I think about it too long.


Oldest Child Gets the Short Stick

>> Monday, April 19, 2010

Well, not all boys but one in particular is right now.

The first child, while being the oldest with the privileges that go with being the oldest like later curfews and stuff, do not get the benefit of their parents' parenting experience like their younger siblings would. 

With helping my stepdaughter these past couple weeks, and seeing what she is going through, I've decided:

  • If my kids don't date until they are adults, I'm ok with that. 
OK, so that is a joke.  Most teenagers WILL date.

What I have come to realize, seriously now, is that I need to ensure that my children have a well-rounded social life.  By that I mean that none of my daughters will be allowed to wrap their entire existence around a boy, for example, pushing away friends because they have no time/room for them outside of their relationship with a boy, until they think they have nothing left in their world except that boy.  If that boy doesn't treat her right or is even abusive, then it is even worse because now her self-esteem is being battered, she is insecure and anxious, and she has no peers her own age to turn to for support. 

If there is a serious boyfriend (or girlfriend for my son), they will have to maintain grades, maintain extra-curricular activities they enjoyed previously, and maintain friendships.  Otherwise, it's not an emotionally healthy relationship and I am not going through with my three girls or my son what we have been going through with my stepdaughter right now.  It is very sad the differences we see in my stepdaughter from the laughing, healty-looking girl she used to be to the insecure, apologetic, sickly thin girl she is now.

Did we know that for the last year or so, my stepdaughter was in an unhealty relationship?  No, unfortunately, we weren't told any of this until the last two weeks (not sure how long the ex has had misgivings about the boyfriend or plain didn't like him as it stands now).  Can we make it all better for her?  No, there are some things, at almost 18 years old, she is going to have to realize herself but we can be there for her and guide her to the right choices hopefully.  Can we make sure her younger siblings don't end up where their oldest sibling is now?  We can darn well try!


Still Working Together

>> Sunday, April 18, 2010

We are still communicating regularly with the ex over my stepdaughter.  After all these years of tension-filled communications, it is nice to actually be working together for my stepdaughter right now. 

Will it last?  I have no idea.  Will somebody say the wrong thing and tick the other person off?  Who knows.

Is it finally over for good (by "it" I mean the tension, hostility, and bad feelings between both homes)?  It sure would be nice.


Stepdaughter's Grades Dropped

>> Friday, April 16, 2010

With all the drama in my stepdaughter’s life right now, her mom said her ACT scores weren’t as good as expected because she couldn’t focus and her regular grades have fallen somewhat. They are still good grades but if she wants to get into a university to be a veterinarian, she’s going to have to bring them up quick. I hope she doesn’t allow the drama with her current boyfriend to affect her future college choices. That would be a shame since she’s been preparing during high school by taking honor classes now to get the credit to help her get into a good school. I wonder if she has done any sat prep or plans to. I am going to have to ask my husband if she's talked about it yet or ask her mom about it since she should have good scores on her SAT's for college (can you believe I am actually typing about communication with the ex?).  I never thought I'd see the day when the ex and I would be communicating together for the kids.  It's a very nice change. 

She asked her dad if we would make arrangements for her to tour two of our colleges within an hour’s ride of us. I am surprised she is even considering out state but happy too. I think she’ll end up going in her home state but it’s nice that she’s considering colleges close to us as well.  Now *fingers crossed* that she gets focused back on her grades and does better on her SAT than she did on her ACT.


Boys Will Be Boys

I walked outside a little while ago in our backyard to get a better cell signal because out in the boonies, it’s hard to find good reception sometimes, and my son was in the backyard trying to get his dog inside and doing the pee pee dance. Apparently he had to go to the bathroom but was getting his dog first. Did I mention for all of the neighbors to see? Did I mention it was daylight?

I don’t think boys really care all that much, do they, about appearances? At least he didn’t do it in the bushes I guess.


Ex Asked for MY Help

>> Monday, April 12, 2010

It turns out a lot was being hidden (see my post from last week).  On the positive, the ex asked for help with my stepdaughter - MY help specifically. 

Did you fall out of your seat?  I almost did.

She also complimented hubby by telling him he could show their daughter how a man should treat a woman with respect and love.  He about fell out of his seat when he got that text.  Everybody was plopping out of their seats around my house last week.

I was talking to my older sister and she was as shocked as I was but she said that it sounds like the ex loves her daughter more than the grudge now so she asked for help.  While I wish we'd known about all of the "issues" sooner, I'm glad she finally let us know and asked for our involvement. 

So, my stepdaughter had an unplanned road trip to our state for several days this past week and her dad and I took turns talking with her about the issues that needed to be talked about.  We also had a lot of fun with her in between the serious stuff. 

I miss her now that she's gone.  She's been texting me a lot since she left yesterday morning but sure do miss her.


Contact with Stepdaughter's Boyfriend

>> Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I'm online window shopping for daily deals and got distracted again. (I'm easily distracted apparently.) My stepdaughter's boyfriend emailed through facebook and I got distracted.

My stepdaughter's boyfriend is on both mine and hubby's facebook pages now.  We saw some pretty pictures of my stepdaughter on his page and he's cool with our contact which is a nice change.  He also really appears to care about her so that is nice to see. 

She needs a regular healthy relationship with the opposite sex so I was hoping that was what he would be for her.  I really don't know for sure since we only met him once.


Counteracting the Interference

The letter to my sd's therapist (or former therapist as of today) went out in the mail asking for a report from her on sd since the ex is ignoring hubby's email asking for details.  I hope this doesn't turn into a big deal. 

The ex knows hubby has legal custody and has access to all this information.  Why does he have to jump through so many dang hoops to get what any NORMAL and RESPONSIBLE parent would provide to the other parent? 

How can the ex claim to be so dang worried about sd to hubby but then leave it at that?  Does she think dad wouldn't care at all?  Not want to know what exactly is wrong?  What has her counselor recommending a psychiatrist over a regular therapist?  She feeds him little tidbits and then lets him hang there not knowing what the heck is wrong with his daughter.  It ticks me off!


Ex and Stepdaughter Hiding Something?

>> Monday, April 5, 2010

Well, I did as hubby asked and contacted sd to let her know if she ever wanted to talk, she could contact me any time, that we loved her and would be there for her when she needed us.  Her response threw me!

Her responses:

What do you know? 

Can you tell me what you know?  I'm not mad.  I just want to know.  When I told her anxiety over stuff, she responded with:

That's it? 

The ex had emailed dh that she was very worried about sd and gave very limited details - anxiety, panic attacks, and obsessive/compulsive behaviors but she gave abso-fricken-lutely NO details whoatsover. 

OK...anxiety over what?  Panic attacks when?  What behavior is she exhibiting that is obsessive/compulsive?  DH emailed her back asking for details and the ex has ignored that email.  Dad has a right to this information.  Why hide it?

As long as there is a court order with shared legal custody and hubby shares responsibility for his daughter, as he should, the ex has a LEGAL obligation to let him know what the heck is going on! 

We've drafted a letter to the therapist asking for a report, however, the ex just changed the therapist to a different one/office altogether so not sure now if the first therapist will give hubby any details easily.  Dad should NOT have to chase this kind of information down.  This is his daughter's mental health! 

Usually, we get in with the doctors/therapists immediately and have our own relationship with them separate from the ex.  This time, we let her lead since she is seeing the behaviors and we aren't and thought since we all weren't cat fighting constantly anymore, she'd be more forthcoming.  BIG MISTAKE!  You can bet that there is going to be a letter sent to the new therapist right away so we maintain communication throughout instead of depending on the ex.  A letter should also be sent to the court for the court order violation.

People really don't change.

I took some nice pictures of my sd with her boyfriend while we were over that way last week with them that I was going to make photo cards of or blow up, frame, and send to her.  I know in my gut after our contact last night that she is hiding something from her dad and I.  Heck, take me out of the equation.  She is hiding something from her dad and the ex is a part of it.  Nothing about that is ok.  That kind of kills my "do something nice" mood.


At a Loss with Stepdaughter

>> Sunday, April 4, 2010

My stepdaughter is having some anxiety problems and according to the ex, showing some obsessive/compulsive behaviors.  She didn't give any examples though.  She also said that sd doesn't like her current therapist and wants a new one.  The ex also said she's really worried about her (but not worried enough to limit the number of honors courses she takes in high school, music lessons, etc.).  She is seriously panicked over school/grades. 

My husband mentioned today that my sd would tell me things before she'd tell her mother or him and that perhaps I could talk to her.  He is right...or was.  Five years ago, that would've been easier.  Now, I'm not sure how I'd do that if there is something sd wants to talk about from 200 miles away.  Texts, emails and letters aren't private over there so she's not going to open up under those conditions.  They learned at an early age that phone calls aren't welcome from our home.  That seems ingrained into them.  I know the ex wouldn't welcome my talking to my sd AT ALL by any means no matter what even though my sd did open up to me, did trust me, did love me, etc.  Sd showed a preference for me over her mother in a public setting, in an emotional way, several years ago.  The ex created that situation by making them feel like they had to choose between the two homes instead of just allowing them to thrive with both homes.  I doubt the ex would give that bond a chance to blossom again.  She seems to have things just the way she wants them right now...I feel bad for the kids.

My husband wants sd to come live here.  I doubt sd would leave her boyfriend at this point and the ex would never agree.  A change in environment might be exactly what she needs or it may make things worse.  Without any details, which the ex hasn't given, we don't know what behaviors she is exhibiting, what she worries about (other than her grades), etc. 

I don't know what to do to help sd. 


  © Blogger templates Shiny by 2008

Back to TOP