Tuesday, March 31, 2009


When my daughter is nervous, she says that she has knots in her stomach. Today, I have knots in my stomach.

My step-kids were born 2 years and 1 day a part. Today is the birthday celebration. We have seen very little of them this month because they spent Spring Break with their mother. But tonight begins the usual routine again and I'm a nervous wreck. I have actually gotten comfortable in my home again and I am so afraid that comfort is going to all disappear beginning tonight.

Hubby, my daughter and I went birthday shopping for them last night and it was quite honestly, a miserable experience. And no, those weren't the words coming out of my wicked stepmother mouth; they were hubby's words. The kids typically hate anything we buy them. Nothing is good enough. Their typical responses are somewhere along the lines of, "is that it?"... "but I really wanted _____"... or the worst, "can I exchange this for cash so I can get something I want?". The last response was said at Christmas to their grandma, my husband's mother. We were mortified. We do not raise our kids to be ungrateful and spoiled. We correct the behavior but it always continues because somewhere over the years, a sense of entitlement has developed and been nurtured by the home they spend the most time at.

The gifts, our home, our love, our care; none of it is appreciated or good enough. Soon enough, our home will be a war zone once again; filled with teenage temper-tantrums, backtalk, screaming, rolled eyes and tears. I hate having such a negative perception. However, when I look, hope and pray for the good, it's kicked in my face and I am more disappointed than if I had just expected the "norm".

It's a sad situation we find ourselves in and it breaks my heart to watch the very home that I longed for as a child to transform into a place filled with anxiety and stress. I wish I had an answer but I do not. No one does. Professionals have told us that they will realize the truth when they are older and that's all fine and good. But what about the rest of us who know the truth and the actual truth of our circumstances today? What happens to us when we are older after living years of this stress and hurt?

I truly am the most sad for the kids. All of the kids. I would be lying if I said that I don't worry about the impact this could have on my daughter. I grew up in a stress-filled home; albeit much worse but this is still not ideal for her. What if she has knots in her stomach now and what if they don't go away? And what about the other two kids? What is going to happen to them if they continue to grow up thinking that this is the way you treat people? I can't imagine that will be a pretty lesson to learn...

I feel pulled in two different directions and more and more, I find myself wishing that I could just have my home back for the sake of the three of us who live there full time. I know I must sound selfish and bitchy but this is where I'm at.

For now.


English Rider said...

I wrote something long and profound and lost it when I went to post, sorry.
Know that anyone in contact with teenagers is going through hell, (if they care). Do not feel any guilt about hating them just now; such are teens even without divorces etc.
Do not take it personally. You are the adult. Smile sweetly and use annoying adult language such as "Thank you for sharing that with me".
I would take an aspirin before they arrive and plan treats for myself at regular intervals. Make them breakfast in bed at 5am. Have the TV unplugged in a way they can't fix and pretend it's broken. Play charades. Go roller skating or similar to tire them out and please your youngest. How can you resist April first? Hair brush in the bed,(called apple pie bed, who knows why) sew up the sleeves of their clothes whilst they sleep.
Laugh and don't let them get to you. It may be personal but pretend it is not and remember teens are teens, a universal plague.

Shattered said...

English Rider, thank you for your encouragement. You're right; kids this age are difficult no matter the situation. I like your April Fool's ideas! We just might have to try a few... And the TV idea, that is just perfect. Most of the time I despise the TV it's constant noise.

I like your last sentence; words to live by in this house right now. I will also share them with hubby. He is equally discouraged; probably even more than me given that they are his kids.

Stuff could always be worse said...

My 19 year old son still drives me crazy, he's just here, doing hardly anything but I will miss him, when he leaves.

Melissa said...

i'm not sure if i told you already, or if you just know but...
i'm raising my step children. and my step son causes all sorts of...for lack of a better word...darkness...within the dynamics. and that is also coming from his father.
i SO get this post!!!

Shattered said...

Melissa, thank you so much for your comment! It's nice to know that someone else "gets" this. Bless you for raising your step-kids; hopefully, some where along the way it will get easier for you and me!