I thought long and hard about this post and decided I wanted to share it. It’s a big part of who I am today and is important to me. Truth be told, I don’t think too many people know about this.
i was a stepchild
My mother passed away suddenly when I was 11 going on 12. Her loss devastated the family and tore apart what was left.
My father grieved in his way but was the type of man who couldn’t be alone. He dated shortly after and before I knew it, he married (within a year). The marriage uprooted what little bit of family I had left and was the beginning of years of unhappiness and depression.
Ya see, having a stepfamily takes certain a certain type of people. Some have it, others do not. Mine, did not.
The marriage took me from my childhood home and family and moved me from my humble surroundings to the city life. It also meant leaving my school and all my childhood memories.
This also meant, kicking my older brother out of the house on the streets so her oldest could have a room.
I was forced out of the public school system and into the Catholic school system. Mind you, I was a confirmed Episcopalian and wanted nothing to do with what I saw of Catholic religion.
This didn’t matter to my father. By him remarrying, gave the new wife authority over me, and she gladly took that on. I was a good child. No problems, good grades in school, and respected my parents. But forcing a child into a completely different world and not being respected by their guardians can create issues. Big issues.
Being in a dual family situation can be good. It can also be very bad especially if one side is out numbered. This is where I stood. She had three children, and my father had me (since booting my brother). I was alone.
I was also torn away from family. I wasn’t allowed to see my mother’s side of the family. Mom had a larger family in which I had over a dozen cousins. We were all pretty close back then. But, my father and his new wife didn’t want me to have any parts of them. I was even distanced from my godparents and cousin who was on my father’s side.
This put a huge hole in my life. The world revolved around this new family and their family. What about mine?
Somehow I ended up being the black sheep in the family. The new wife was more concerned about restraining me then her own children. Of course, they did no wrong. I, growing up in a public school system, needed reprogramming.
As I tried my best to keep my father happy, my life dwindled away. I feel alone in this huge house without my family and friends. Dad drank away his sorrows. I knew he would. He was an alcoholic. I tried to warn his then, soon to be bride. She didn’t listen, obviously.
the black sheep
Being that I could do no right in the eyes of the wife, my father basically relinquished rights over me. He agreed wholeheartedly with this woman. I felt betrayed and honestly many times had wish it was my father who passed, not my mother.
I thought it would get better when I turned 16 years old and got a job. I got a car, dad picked out, yet I had to pay for the insurance and the car payment. That meant getting a job. I assumed at that point, I would slowly make my way back into the arms of the family I missed so much. My mother’s side and my father’s side.
That wasn’t allowed to happen. You see, the step side of life was controlling. Very controlling. I was allowed to take my car that I paid for to and from work. I wasn’t allowed to drive to school for fear that I wouldn’t go to school and get into trouble (so I learned later). I wasn’t allowed to go out with friends and drive. Actually, I wasn’t even allowed to go out with them and they drive! Yet, the step siblings had all the benefits of doing their own thing.
shut down and out
I thought by the time college came, things would be different. I was forced to go to college for a profession I honestly didn’t want. I wanted to go to votech high school and learn auto mechanics. I wanted to go to college to learn how to be a mechanic. However, the family would not allow a “grease monkey” in the family. So I chose the medical field.
Going to the local community college did give me a tiny bit of freedom. I was going to college full-time and working part-time. I ended up skipping school to meet with friends and talk about life. I met a boy, one I knew my family wouldn’t approve of cause he was from the wrong side of town, the side I grew up in,. I fell in love. My first love.
My family still continued to control me. As an 18-19 year old, I wasn’t allowed to take my car anywhere but school and work. I snuck around during the school and work time just to have a “normal” life. Eventually, it led to me running away with this boy. Of course, it was a very bad situation in itself but did allow me to escape the life that was killing me.
Little did I know, the boy would be just as controlling as them.
years of bad relationships
Years of bad relationships and getting involved with the wrong kind of men was “normal” for me. at 22 years old, I moved down state to escape it all. Never to look back at the life I once loved as a child and despised as teen.
I feel horrible for not getting back up with family over the years but I felt there may be ill feelings. Would they understand that it really wasn’t my fault for not keeping in touch? When I moved downstate, I honestly left it all behind and tried to recreate myself.
And here I am now. 50 some years old and have actually reconnected with the family and cousins that once held such a prominent space in my heart and life. Reconnecting even if just on Facebook is still much better than what I had. I still wonder til this day if they truly blame me for the distancing or my father. Did they have any idea what my “step” life was about?
I’m past that life now but it did damage during all those years. I don’t have anything to do with the step family at all. Of course, there is much more to this story and maybe eventually I will share all of the ugly secrets, but for now, this is the jist of it.
ya see, appearances aren’t always what the seem to be
Peace & Love xox