Category Archives: blended families

Damaged 

I wish he knew me before I was damaged. I wish he had met me when I still believed in love stories and happily-ever-after – when I wasn’t jaded or bitter or calloused. I wish he could have known me when I loved without restraint, without holding back or guarding my heart. I wish I hadn’t given that part of myself to others or wasted it on the undeserving. I wish he could have known me before the wounds and hurts and heartaches overtook me; before the disappointments and let downs; before the abuse and neglect and rape. I wish he had known me before all this, when I wouldn’t have held back or demanded timelines or been harsh and unyielding. I wish he could see that I want to give him that, but I’m too scared. When he holds me in the night and soothes me and caresses me and my anxieties leave, I lean against his chest – my head upon his heart – and I know this is it. He is my epic love story and I am sabotaging it. I am giving him a hard time because I’m frightened he will not be true to his word – just like the others. Just like the others I am convinced he will mess me around, make me wait for nothing, damage me more. I am convinced in his difficult situation that we, that I, will not survive. I let it come between us because I cannot fight it. Instead I feel like I am fighting him – the one who loves me. He is paying for the sins of the ones who came before him. I wish I could look at him and tell him: I know. My heart knows. I have never been loved this way before. I love him so fiercely it terrifies me. I love his children and the family we have become. When I am not trying to run, I am happier than I have ever been before. When he holds me in the middle of the night as I cry in distress, conflicted, I know I am safe here. I need to remember that moment in all the other moments that overwhelm me. 

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Expectations 

  

The moment I was so sure was not going to happen, happened. My boyfriend left to collect the kids from their moms and didn’t even ask me if I wanted to go with. Before he came home he mesaaged me to meet him in the kitchen in about ten minutes. That’s when I knew something was up.

I had gone to nap earlier in the afternoon, so distressed that I had not been acknowledged on Mothers Day. He came to bed to cuddle me and I told him that after the week we had, I needed him to talk to me. I told him I was still reeling from the hurt and felt an emotional disconnect between us. So he talked and I cried and 3 hours later we were still lying there in each other’s arms. I felt like that conversation went a long way to closing the chasm between us. Still he didn’t say one word about Mother’s Day. 

I resigned myself to the fact that it was not going to happen because I am not officially their step mom. 

Cue two hours later: he come home with the children, flowers, a card and cheesecake. The children hugged me and kissed me and I dissolved into tears. His son asks why I was crying and I tried to tell them they were happy tears. He threw his arms around me. They sat on me lap and helped me unwrap the flowers. The writing in my card read “you feel like my mom”.  

We had a family dinner and ate our cheesecake (which I haven’t purged). My boyfriend told me that he had been working on the surprise for a while. I told him that I had been waiting all day for some acknowledgement and had given up. He told me he was just waiting for the children because at the end of the day I will be their step mom and they needed to be there. Then he said, “I’m much better when there are no expectations”. 

I’ve been told before that my expectations are too high. That they are too high for myself and for others. I felt awful. I wished he had just hinted this morning at something coming later in the day, to allay my fear that on a day that celebrates mothers, I would not be acknowledged as one by the man who’s children I love. 

I still feel bad, guilty for expecting it. It is true that expectation is the root of all heartache. Perhaps I need to stop expecting anything. 

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Choices and Consequence

Here is a list of things I vowed to never do again in a relationship:

  • date a north American
  • date a non-Christian
  • date someone with no money and/or who wouldn’t pay for things
  • be the one who went backwards and forwards between 2 houses, living out of the boot of my car, during that weird in between part of the relationship when we weren’t living together
  • live together without at least being engaged first (hello, can I wait long enough for some commitment before giving up my maid services for free?)
  • wait endlessly for an engagement/wedding
  • move into his house rather than mine
  • be the one making all the sacrifice and assuming all the risk in the relationship
  • live on his timeline
  • give up the opportunity to move home for a man and stay in North America because of him

I never even thought to add that I would never date a man with kids because that was never part of any equation. In fact the day before our first date, I swore blind it wasn’t a date simply because he had children and I didn’t want to get involved in that kind of situation. Don’t ask me how my big list of DON’Ts is going…

Some days I look at my life choices and laugh at myself because they are just so laughable. Who does these things? Who makes these kind of dumb decisions? Who doesn’t learn the first time around and keeps repeating the same mistakes?

Well…I never said I was smart. After all, I am a fat bulimic. And, on that note, I have started purging again.

I had to. Life is boring. It is mundane and of course I swore blind that the only reason I would stay was for an extraordinary love. Yes, I am waiting for the kind that sweeps me off my feet. The kind that they write about or make movies about. I said I wouldn’t stay if it was just going to be ordinary. Well guess what? It is ordinary – EVERY DAMN DAY And I don’t think it is ever going to be enough for me, in the same way that I will never be enough. I am bored by the routine.

My heart is somewhere else. We all know that. I have never made a secret of it; never hidden it. I am a discontent. I am a dreamer. I am in all likelihood delusional. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that every day is the same: wake up (chronically sleep deprived) to a dirty, disorganized house. Try fruitlessly to clean or tidy or sweep or do dishes or put toys away or stare at the mess and die on the inside. So much for a never-ending love story: it is more like never ending laundry. Nothing I do makes a dent in the chaos. Go to gym or work or both. No matter. I am eternally fat anyway. Come home to cook and clean and clean and cook. Who cares. It never ends. Try to be the perfect step-mommy. Fail. Try again. Fail harder. Give up. Cry in the bath tub. Pull myself together. Have a melt down. Drink excessively. Try to instill some boundaries. Fail, of course. Bake some healthy cookies. Feed the kids candy. Give in. Hate myself some more. Read a self-help book. Realize I am a bitch. Make school lunches. Realize I am not their mother(s). Try again. Fail again.

This is our “dating”.

I have started starving again during the day from the anxiety. I have started coming home longing to binge my way to oblivion. I look forward to drinking the most. What else is there to look forward to? No date nights (no money). No weekends away (no money). No wining or dining or shopping or movies or drinks or vacations or diamonds or roses or who cares anymore. I am obviously not worth those things.

I have made his life infinitely easier and made mine infinitely harder. I thought somewhere along the line there would be some reward, a payoff…something to make it all worth it.

There is the perfunctory “I love you” in the darkness before sleep (no sex – again). It is sad and empty and it sucks the life out of me: not my mistakes, but the ones that I’ve agreed to pay for by being here. That I will pay for over and over again every day of my life that I chose to stay. I try to tell him that I am not meant for this life. That I am not the person for him or his children; that I have made the wrong decision. He doesn’t believe me. It is like he is fighting to hang on to me because he wants someone to love. I would want to be loved if it was me in the situation instead of him. I get it. I keep saying that he needs someone else. That I am freaking out. That I made the wrong choice. He cannot allay my fears or calm me. He is too tired to see that this will not work. It cannot. There is no time for us. There is no foundation to build a life upon together. There is no room in his life for me to squeeze into. I don’t want to be mummy number 3. Third place does not sit well with me. Failure is my biggest trigger.

And yet he loves me, despite my failing. He loves me and I don’t know why. In 32 years I have never managed to love myself. He told me this week, “you are much more loveable when you aren’t trying to run away”. I am always trying to leave…

I sit here alone in the dark on one of our only nights without kids. I am serenaded by the hum of the dishwasher in the kitchen and the washing machine in the basement. At least in the dark I cannot see the mess (I have made of my life).

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