Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I am ever so tired of the subject, but continuing it here...

aka An Accidental Summation

Wow, 'tis the week, huh? Seems that nobody has a sense of humor anymore. Or some people had awful step mothers they never got over.

And nobody this week understands crass as an artistic license. I am a firm believer that if you don't like a blog, then just don't read 800 posts over 5 days.

Thanks to you, Kellie, for having a clue.

However, O Perfect One, I didn't request nasty from you and I was so far from cruel or indifferent with L that it boggles the mind. I not only tried to be with/help her, I tried to provide support to her father, but I will admit to being pretty fucking sick of the dynamics by the end. I'd thought that P(is for pussy) might regroup and come at it again from a better perspective. I thought he might learn something. I was wrong.

You are putting me in the very awkward position of having to defend us all against your read of my rants. I don't want to defend P(is for pussy) right now or discuss L further, but I will, because I really feel like you misread me and my intentions. First lesson: do not read me literally. Almost everything is tongue in cheek. When I say self-centered, it is a joke, because I am the opposite. I fucking live for others way too much, often to my own detriment. I am one patient mofo - in person, not in blog. Secondly, a rant gets things off my chest in a seemingly safe place and it releases my frustration so I can go on. Lastly, I am an excellent poker player; nobody, except for paid professionals, IRL knew my cards and that's why they were revealed here.

I am not going to cover all your accusations, because so many are hooey. I didn't treat L as if she were worthless, because for a long time I thought she had potential and that I could make a difference drawing her out. That didn't feed my ego, because it was much too stressful to feed anything but high blood pressure; that was trying to help a teenager in need. Once I saw how little influence I had in her life (my awakening at Xmas, seeing her father, grandmother, and meth-head cousin, plus add to that her mother and other grandmother, goth boyfriends etc) and it didn't matter squat what I did. Your mistake is giving me more power that I had. My power is in the written word and trying to make readers understand what is happening under the roof next door. My power isn't choosing to make that all pretty, because it isn't.

The audacity of a lurker, particularly operating in hindsight and with a condensed reading schedule of at least 50 hours over the last week, is plumb amazing to me. Why weren't you using that time to be, oh, perfect or something someplace else where it mattered? See, around here, it doesn't matter anymore. Where were you 18 months ago after her suicidal gesture to get all my ducks in a row way back then? Surely your wisdom provides you the foresight, or at least a crystal ball, to do all the right things to make everything all better.

Suicidal gesture, not "gesture," is the clinical term for her breaking skin with no other damage - something she did routinely before I met her, too, because before the gesture (a clinical term, not a pronouncement about it, only made clinical that time because of a note) night I'd noticed her scars and asked P(is for pussy), who said she'd been in therapy. I accepted that, but had no idea how it would serve to impact my life.

Don't blame her continuing issues on me. They pre-existed me. I honestly believe you can't blame all her issues on her father, either. A long time reader here used the phrase, "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear," a couple times regarding this situation. I have finally embraced that phrase as being succinct and descriptive a summary as I'll find; I tried to craft something out of them, but I am no magician. I am a very talented person, can master almost everything I try, but I could not master or better them. They are wounded and I was not the cause and cannot be the cure. I now have much needed boundaries. That is where my lesson needs to be - erecting my own walls, not living in a glass house.

Further, I kinda think that someone who reads/tries to apply all the books pertaining to cutting and teenaged girls and female bullying is SHOWING HOW MUCH SHE CARES! I was not in the forefront with her - I didn't live with her; I was trying to direct P(is for pussy) from the wings and be the rational one, as he was understandably pretty traumatized by her and I don't blame him. Sure, she's a kid, but don't you think Eric H.arris and Dylan Kle.bold's parents reacted with some horror about their own kids? Parents don't necessarily know what's brewing beneath the surface. We did look through her bathroom and office for razor blades and cutting instruments, but we didn't hire a drug-sniffing or switchblade-finding dog. Oops, our oversight!

We'd only been going out about 10 months by the suicidal gesture, so I had no idea what she was capable of, what trauma already lay in her psyche, what would be next. Jesus, how many of my own therapy hours did I waste on her? How much advice from a CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST did I get and try to use on her and him? Honestly, I wasn't flying blind. I had weekly Ph.D. support and guidance in my corner. Further, I have a med check with a psychiatrist monthly. About her, my MD is pretty adamant about the silk purse/sow's ear idea, too, wanting me to cut my losses on a hopeless situation and telling me just last week to quit reflecting on them.

Maybe you are a stellar step mom in your own estimation? During this time, I researched the topic thoroughly and found repeatedly that it is best not to step parent, to not try to mother, especially a teenager. I obviously failed as a "positive adult role model" in her eyes, but every other adult in her life failed, too. That includes parents, grandparents, uncles, cousins, friends' parents, teachers, and coaches.

She warmed to and related to nobody. Well, before she went to live with her mother (and before her pulling the switchblade on her and all this Spring, so I don't know where their relationship is now), she'd cuddle up with her mother (it was gooey and sickening to all in view of it), the one who abandoned her and the only one on a pedestal. L pandered to her because she was gone and inaccessible, not because either of them were emotionally available.

L warmed to nobody else, except her boyfriends, and it was the same gooey, sickening draping of bodies. She both craved and repelled contact. She tried it on me once or twice and I rested my arm on her in comfort, but I never counted piggies like a toddler with her - I am much too autonomous to be gushy lovey dovey to anyone like that except my own young son (who should be finished with it within 3 or so years), but I'm not apologizing. However, she did get to the point she would ask me to cut her hair, because she could trust me to just do a trim, contrary to what her grandmother would tell me to do. Believe it or not, there were things we were okay on.

Perhaps you don't blog? Perhaps you never vent? Well, this is my place for both. I vent heartily here so that I don't vent vehemently elsewhere IRL. This is my steam valve outlet and I thought I'd made that clear. Many bloggers are similar. My words here do not match my actions elsewhere, let me assure you. I am great at holding my tongue and, if I don't think I am a good place for tongue-holding, I generally stay home. Simple. (I desperately wanted to stay home at Xmas, even considered it with great anxiety, but I would have caught significant flack for that too b/c of the visitors from out of town with the big night planned; I never would have made the point of comparison that hiding out at home would have been better than melting down in public. It was a no win situation.)

And, you know what, it isn't a perfect world and I am not in control of it. However, I am a very responsible person, so I do look at L's "late blooming," complete lack of social skills as problematic in light of how responsible I was at her age. Yes, even a blow job-giving teenager at age 16 can be responsible while acting like a teenager and having fun. I did stupid stuff, but not bad enough to get caught. I tested the apron strings and did fine on my own; that's the purpose of being a teenager. Further, my young son is responsible and insightful; L is not, except she was like her father in seeking out situations to negatively impact their self esteem like at the swim club last summer. They looked for things to twist to the negative; that was their hobby. Don't give her that much credit for real insight; she was an inventor instead. And she invented walls all around herself.

L's just like her mother, who was also hospitalized for psychiatric issues around age 14-15, and her mother before her who had a baby at age 15. With L following after her mother, I see that there is not an end to this cycle. She's not going to up and grow out of it next year like your crystal ball says. And if you could see her cousins from her father's side and the drug abuse there, you'd realize that it is a continuation of genetics. You might remember in your reading, I am a believer that nature definitely has one up on nurture.

As you can see, these are the nature aspects of the girl and there's not a damn thing I could do about them. I put a lot into nurturing her and assisting him, but I could not be the nurturer for her in my role as girlfriend. And I wasn't the first girlfriend she rejected. Nope, not taking that responsibility.

Further, you cattily mention a stream of girlfriends. P(is for pussy) is not a girlfriend hound and not a bar prowler, although he had done it a couple times like any other single guy. He was alone for the better part of 10 years between his marriage and me. He takes his responsibility with L very seriously time wise - obviously one of my points of contention in our relationship and I don't think my requests of time were overwhelming. His daughter rarely met anybody he went out with - it had been convenient b/c his parents lived nearby until just before we dated and they took her when he wanted to do something.

One who he did go out with for a year (ending 6 months before me) had the 17yo depressive goth son that showed L the ropes of being a morose teenager; P(is for pussy) blamed his dating the mom and that boy for L's turn around when she was 11. Before then, she was a charming, delightful child. Looking at pictures of her, the change has been drastic.

I was kind to L. For much of the day-to-day exposure, we got along just fine, better than fine. My posts here didn't note, 1) buy/make chicken for L again this week, 2) hand delivered it to her room, 3) bus the dishes when she finished, 4) give her the chocolate I bought her as a treat. Oh, and I did suggest to P(is for pussy) about cleaning off the kitchen table for us to eat together, but he wouldn't; she usually wouldn't join us in the LR (much less the table) and she didn't do so when I wasn't there either - but she was always invited. In doing for her, I would take her to movies, or at least offer/try, and buy her DVDs, gift cards, make her dad take us to the fair and another festival.

Twice I even picked her up by car and saved her ass when she should have been home. I didn't skip out on telling her father she'd been AWOL, but I delayed him knowing and his explosion toward her was lessened. I wanted to temper things between them, because he had quite the temper when provoked. I remember once telling him in bed, after he'd had a niiice orgasm, so he wouldn't rail on her so hard. (Sorry, I know you think there is no place for humor here.) She knew I protected her, even if she didn't know my ways.

I tried to fit in her world as best I could. I got her a R.afael N.adal poster for her birthday last year, hot off the presses. We shared a love of tennis in different ways, but she appreciated something I enjoyed and introduced her to. Last year, during the family day outing at the tournament, she took our big tennis ball and got autographs from two of the top players coming off the court - both of them went straight to her goth-wearing self immediately, first autograph, and she was proud to have done the service. It was fun when we could see that side of her - she was a fan of males, not of tennis, but we overlapped a little.

I went to her swim meets. That means we drove anywhere from 30-60 minutes at 5am each Saturday to go sit in the sun for 8+ hours, plus practices 4 nights a week. Then, in the winter season, it meant every Friday and Saturday night for months each year, plus practices. Yeah, I was the one tracking her at the meets, too, and I don't mean in the water. She would blow off heats (not miss, but consciously decide not to because she was mad at the coach or something) and sometimes you'd have to find her to get her in line in time. It wasn't enjoying a sporting event and cheering her on, it was babysitting. And it was pretty close to step mothering.

BTW, the 'still hate dad's g/f' thing was after I'd seen L maybe 5-7 times, so there wasn't enough to base it on and she later said for herself that she hated all of dad's g/fs. One of those few times together, P(is for pussy) and I went out for about 2.5 hours and she + freak friend V had bombed my car with grapes and let off streams of firecrackers from the fucking balcony. It was NOT written after finding us having sex. It WAS after a lot of exposure to V, who had a father with a stream of girlfriends/mother who priortized boyfriends and both lending V the perspective that was most apparent to L and adopted by her. By that time, I had driven 90 minutes out of my way to take her to an acclaimed indie movie, doing the same to take us all to the arena, all in the attempts to cultivate a positive one-on-one relationship with her.

Do you remember when she was in the hospital and they asked what she likes to do? She replied, "Go to museums," and P(is for pussy) stated, "Cricket's the only one to take you to museums." I'd taken her to three the month before. She didn't want to give me the credit, but I tried hard to break down walls that she either already erected or built on specs. I didn't do things to erect walls. No. If anything, and this is my first time admitting this here, she loved me and tested me to see if I'd stick around. I knew that and I did stick around. I wanted to make a difference. I got manipulated and suffered, but I stuck around. She acted like she hated me, but she didn't. She just knew I had no power, because her father was rendered powerless, too.

However, how warped are you that you can't read and believe that she was nicer to me after she caught P(is for pussy) and I in bed on the ship? How traumatic would it really be if you're a teenager already fucking, if your parents have been single for 10 years, if you watched Springer daily with your grandmother, and if you already saw your father fucking about 5 years earlier? She was not sheltered. She got a quick glimpse of our profile, nothing specific except my right breast, and P(is for pussy) and I weren't even touching by the time she opened the door.

I try to keep my private life separate, but I do not want any kid to think of parents as asexual beings. P(is for pussy) commented on her turn around first, himself saying the closer bit. I think we were more human to her eyes. She'd smile afterwards, in that tiny cruise room, a chair placed haphazardly in a certain place to get it out of the way, joking that it was actually in the way on purpose, as if blocking a door. Perhaps that was because we didn't have a chair blocking the door and she was giving us a hint? We ALL laughed about it (except clueless J), perhaps the first laughs of the cruise, and it was HER initiating it.

Shoot, I forgot. I'm making all this up. She really had a change of heart because we let her bop the cabin steward on our bed while we waited outside. THAT's the real reason.

See what I did there? A little tongue in cheek?

In those early months, I was accepting of her, but of course I noticed she dressed like Beetlejuice. A huge turning point for all of us was the boy she started seeing that Sept, the month before the suicidal gesture. This is the boy who gave her drugs, 17 in 10th grade, was fucking her when P(is for pussy) walked in early from work, encouraged her cutting, hid in the apt two weekends, got her caught on a breaking and entering, gave her a switchblade... need I go on? I was waaaay against that, not accepting of it at all, but knowing that I couldn't do anything to drive them apart. Her attitude and grades dropped below radar. Not my fault, not my doing, not my responsibility. But that doesn't mean I didn't care and want better for her.

What I tried to do was support P(is for pussy), point things out, give suggestions, provide other diversions for her. He could take away her phone and computer, but she could still see the boy at school and the cutting would increase (her reverse punishment to him) unless he gave the electronics back.

Where am I in this exactly? How am I sabotaging her? I spent 3-5 nights there every two weeks. I had very little influence over her or greater than casual exposure to her. And, honestly, when one is as anxious about adversity as I am, why would I seek that out? I was powerless, except in being support to her father nearer the end. He needed me as an outlet. I was his friend.

One other thing - perhaps I didn't make a vestedness disclaimer, but I was vested in P(is for pussy) and accepting of the package, which included his lying, psychotic mother. Like any dating, one feels the other out over time. He made things move entirely too quickly by arranging the trip after we'd been going out only 6 weeks.

If you didn't notice, the underlying issue about travel, the thing I am most pissed about is having to pay for 1/3 of each trip - my wanting to go bit me in the ass, because he mislead me and I am angry about that. The first trip, I didn't know his financial situation. Who plans a cruise for 4 when creditors are calling? I didn't know I'd be up for $1200 - all travel/gas/spending money/tours/on board expenses; I had to charge part and defer my car payment for part. It was painful. For the second trip, he'd refinanced his house and said he had money left over for a trip. I thought he had money, but I still had to pay $800 once we got there.

Count that up - a single SAHM paying out $2000 over 3 months! I was in a world of hurts and general gift money from my mother had to buy tires the next month. I am ashamed that I was not more fiscally responsible regarding those trips, but I had no idea ahead of time. Then when he was unemployed, I still paid. It will take me some time to get back on track from him.

And if you didn't catch the umptyzilllion times I wrote that me crying on Xmas day was because of thyr*xine overdose, I will state it one more time. I'd been edgy for a few days, not understanding why, thinking I had the worst PMS in my history. I had bumped up the prescribed level per instructions just days before. The edginess progressed, but my outlet/vent was underaged drinking in public. I stand by that.

L wasn't even around when I blew; they were off securing drinks, so she didn't even know what happened, no clue during or after - only her uncle (Perfect Bro), aunt (Bro's wife well to his junior), P(is for pussy) and I were there, then I left. I have apologized repeatedly for my delivery and I regret that the real issue was overshadowed by me instead of the focus being on the genetic predisposition for the spreading of alcoholism and abuse.

So, no, L and I are not alike in the least. Even if I am bipolar, I own up to it, put myself out here for analysis and education. I am genius, still way below her intelligence, but I had sense enough as a kid to keep up my grades. That was probably b/c I knew nobody would bail me out if I fucked up, but L knows everybody jumps when she says to and her grandparents have plenty of money for school, even if she doesn't have the grades to get in.

I had only had sex once before I was raped my first weekend of college. I had one boyfriend all though HS. My husband lost his virginity on our wedding night. I haven't been pristine, but I am not the opposite, either. L and I have nothing in common about this, but then I didn't have Springer to watch every day after school. My goal is that my son finds a balance here, too.

To further explain me and mental illness, I've spoken ad nauseum about the numbers of meds I've tried that didn't work or that brought me terrible side effects. People with hypothyroidism often go through this. Further, people who are ADHD do, too. That part is under investigation concerning me, but reading some of Amen's works I realize I have a couple different kinds and it overlaps significantly with BPD. The way my brain works is even more complicated than other's; that may be part of the reason why divergent points to others make complete sense to me. You definitely do not understand that and my blog is full of it. My brain is fast, active, intense, always on and I am definitely not complaining about the way I work, but read the by-line. I am an oxymoron.

Unlike me, L's had the benefit of being tested for similar diagnoses through the school. All she has officially is an LD in math, but she had no ADHD. They gave her a BPD diagnosis in the mental hospital, but that is what they give everyone so that they can play with meds over time and make insurance companies satisfied. P(is for pussy) declined on meds and they had a terrible therapist afterwards, so nothing positive happened, but that wasn't without my trying.

In other parallels you draw, you are also mistaken. P(is for pussy) is too wounded from being his mother's child to truly integrate anything. He operates out of a sense of guilt with L, not out of a sense of her diagnosis. He is still shattered at the thought of his ex wife dumping them, having affairs, and leaving him to raise a daughter alone. Further, he had to depend on his psychotic mother to keep her before and after school, him justifiably fearing how she was programming his daughter. He feels inadequate all around and does have poor self esteem. I tried to bolster that and sacrificed myself for his self esteem if an issue wasn't as big to me. That's not mothering or being egotistical; that's caring and putting someone else ahead.

With my problem at Xmas, he also could not internalize anything beyond what his eyes told him. You might remember that he said he started pulling away six months before, but he preferred blaming me at Xmas for the rift. That is his lack of ability to corner a problem and cull a solution. I don't take the blame for that. You seem bent on blaming me for living in an imperfect world and me trying to make it a better place.

How can I be wrong thinking ex owes me after 17 years of marriage, most of which was as a Reservist in the military and provided no retirement - his choice because his self esteem is wrapped up so tightly in his job? Payment and amount were his suggestions, so obviously he agrees. Perhaps you're Old Mother Hubbard with dozens of children running around, but I'm not. That is something he denied me, too, and I don't care (nor does he) how I rationalize him owing me a paycheck. No.

Overall, I realize I have plenty of marks against me, I'll admit it readily and do so often here, but it makes me know myself better and I've learned to appreciate other things. I am not a head-in-the-sand type and I think that is one of the most obvious things about me, particularly as I write.

My son's old baseball coach says to batters: "See the ball. Hit the ball."

I do both. I identify. I act. When it comes to myself and my behaviors, I give everybody else in the world a hell of a lot of slack for their issues, much more that I do for myself.

I do not care if you identify and act differently. This is my life to see and hit as I please as long as I do not seek to hurt others in the process, a guiding principle as well.

One other clarification...

No teenagers were harmed in the making of this blog.


Kellie said...

I am a firm believer that if you don't like a blog, then just don't read 800 posts over 5 days.

LMAO...best line EVER!

DD said...

I think you handled that beautifully. If the woman is in wont of a trainwreck, well, you know where to send her. And, no, I don't mean *there*, but a link to trainwrecks.

Obviously, she must have felt some kinship to what you were going through or else she wouldn't have bothered. That means her life isn't as perfect and she was probably projecting her frustrations onto you. There hasn't been one blog that I spend any kind of time on that I don't say "that could be me."

Anonymous said...

You will notice that I did read your blog in it's entirety and didn't comment, regardless of your caveat listed on every single page. Until you invited me to comment and/or e-mail, I didn't say a word. So in response to, ''Don't read 800 posts in a blog if you don't like it'', I can only respond that if you don't want honest comments, don't plead for them.

Also, I never said or implied that I am a perfect parent or step-parent. But I am smart enough to not get involved with a man who has a child that I cannot tolerate and it didn't take 800 posts to understand your very much not ''tongue in cheek'' assessments of L and how much you reviled her.

You can pat yourself on the back all day for your patience but it had nothing to do with patience and everything to do with what you needed out of the relationship with P with zero regard for your son or L. Paint it how you need to now or say, ''how I am here is NOTHING like how I act in real life; only paid professionals know me to be this bitter and under-handed in reality'' because if you are even capable of seeing how sadly honest those words are maybe you can stop the bitterness of like say, P(is for pussy), and move on with your life possibly with the intent of being more honest and less ''patient'' because as you can see, that obviously isn't fair to you or anyone else.

Good luck to you. But again, don't beg for commentary if you don't want honesty or better stated, don't ask questions you aren't sure you know the answer to. You asked if I blog and of course the answer is no. Because I don't want (or need) to defend my life, nor do I need the support or critique of strangers on the internet. You asked for it, you got it.

Anonymous said...

And comparing a kid who threw grapes at your car, had sex with her boyfriend and drank at Christmas to the Columbine kids? Is that ''tongue-in-cheek'' or just as gross as I perceive it? Yeah, gross. And wrong. And very disturbing to compare her actions with those of two kids who altered the lives of hundreds, permanately.

Jesus gay, lady, get a grip and move on.

-Mom/Stepmom and Aunt of a Columbine victim

Anonymous said...

Well shit...I think that when you put your blog out there for the "internets" to read, you have to take the good shit with the bad shit. So although people sometimes write or post to tell me that I'm an idiot, I try to take it as part of the deal. People can say a lot when they are anonymous.

That being said, the one thing that struck me in all of my reading of you is that you truly loved P and you truly wanted it to work. Maybe that had changed over time. Relationships aren't black and white, cut and dry. The issues you had with L went deeper than just a kid and you not getting along. It showed where P's priorities were, what type of man he is, etc.

Anyway, the part that bugged me about her comment is that she is smart enough to "not get involved with a man that I cannot tolerate."

Well, sometimes you get involved before you know you can't tolerate someone. And not only that, but I am sure as hell lucky that Geo is committed to me, regardless of whether both of us can tolerate Bug at some times. It's not all cut and dried.

I'm rambling...

Anonymous said...

Oh, that was me by the way. Haha..I didn't mean to go anonymous.

Anonymous said...

What in the world is going on over here?
How is the mom and stepmom trash?
Just get rid of them.
Nobody wants to see their garbage.

Cricket said...

Thanks, Kellie. Doesn't make sense, does it? However, I seem to be on her daily patrol - at present, she's refreshing every 5-10 minutes. I fear her darling children are neglected! And I'm willing to bet I'm not her only target, just the flavor of the week. I wish she's go try to warp some other children, get a life, leave mine alone.

baggage and Melissaq, I am not one to delete stuff. I figure people have their say and I am public, however, I am human and not one to go onto someone else's front porch to spit on them, even if they politely call out, "Howdy." We'll see, is all I'm saying. In my opinion, someone is coming here and looking foolish. That makes me laugh more than anything else. I do love comedy.

Yes, I did love P. More than once, I told him I loved L, too. She was a tough cookie and I could have never known the scope of her when P and I started. I've said it before, I was vested in him before I knew how bad off she was, despite me asking. Further, once I realized how troubled she was, I severly limited my son's exposure to her.

Just now, I have realized it's like adopting, but with this step girlfriend thing, I didn't have social workers asking questions to get us all on the same page. That system would have given me information about a child I didn't know and structure in getting to know her. Instead, I had P, who wanted me bad enough to gloss over things, but I just couldn't have known. Draw a parallel with the finances he didn't want me to know about and learned the hard way.

Gosh, DD. Maybe she knows so much better about them than I because she WAS there. She used the rest of that toothpaste; she put that chair on the ship in a different place all the time; she was that lump in the box springs; she ate that last chicken breast; she's the one who keyed the tailgate.

She knows so much because she was involved, a ghost in the mirror! She was hiding out in L's room with the boyfriend, too! hehe

Her judgments are accurate because she has lived this hell that I was doing fairly well getting over until she stuck her gnarly face into it to rehash old news. I didn't invite her here. I didn't invite a troll. I politely invited conversation.

Yup, I'm on the road to recovery and dating anew, forgetting about performing heinous acts like trying to help the man I loved, carving out a life with him, his daughter, and my son.

Now I have trash dredging up old trash, making fun of said trash, then giving me shit because I didn't take out the trash! It's all too.... trashy! I need a shower now.

Obviously, she doesn't understand conversational. Maybe pleading and attention is what she really wants. Obviously, a lot of my writing didn't sink in, though, because I blog about almost anything and someone reading some 800 posts over five days must want some sort of conversation and interaction; I didn't have to ask twice, not that I would have. As well as I write, there still must have been some question unanswered, so I invited discourse.

[Tongue-in-cheek ALERT: it applies to almost all of the above, in case you weren't able to discern that!]

Further, I don't know how to make it more obvious, but I'll say it again: I blog to record myself, thoughts, deeds, memories. I do it publically for the discipline and because some things can be educational to others. I know I've learn off of other bloggers and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I enjoy the readership [which if you supermom didn't notice is pretty specific within a single community to which I am guessing you don't belong - you did come here via Karen's mention of my blog concerning the B'more quints, but I don't hear you as a compassionate IF/SIF person, so I figure you're just cruising for targets] and I do ask for feedback, but these readers are not here with me either and they don't know the whole story either, as much as I wordily tried to convey it.

However, they attempt to be direct and helpful in return. TROLL TROPHY: No one in 21 months of this has tried to be as hurtful as you. I have a strong suspicion that that describes you as a mother and stepmother, too. Oh, add wife, too.

About the Columbine comparison, I consciously went to to extremes, because you obviously weren't getting my point. Children who misbehave should be chastized/punished/loved and, as human beings, how could we not be horrified by such an action even if it were one's own child? I think that is a simple concept. I am not a bad person for being horrified by some of L's actions; she didn't kill anyone, but I honestly fear she's on her way - she or one of her friends/boyfriends; her behaviours are increasingly violent and I wanted to stop that like others didn't do for other teenagers. One wants to protect, but one should be detached enough to see the horror; P should have been more detached and that was one of my benefits. Perhaps you misunderstood this reference in your own grief, or better yet go read baggage's comment for any further clarification.

And if I might quote my own personal troll, "Jesus gay, lady, get a grip and move on."

Anonymous said...

True again. And I do understand your adoption metaphor. I also think that it is a natural thing. Who tells someone on a first date: Man! I've got an asshole for a kid! She is a total punk! Nope. People don't say those things and people tend to downplay their childs problems because they think it makes them look like a bad parent.

Anyway, I've been reading for a long time and I keep coming back because you are real enough to admit when you make mistakes, when you have shortcomings and when you feel flawed. I like that. You have one of the most honest blogs I've ever read and I'm sure it sucks for people to step all over your honesty to tell you how everything that hurts you is your own fucking fault. I'm sorry.

Anonymous said...


It's my first post here but I've been reading your blog for a bit. I admire your strength to allow us all to visit your inner thoughts. You’ve had quite an amazing journey thus far! I also think its fabulous that you allow any of us to post comments.

Mom and stepmom has got some balls….. or just a lot of free time. Me personally, I don’t buy the “Aunt of a Columbine victim.” Sorry, too convenient. Call it an internet hunch. (Someone check snopes.com….. but then again, I shouldn’t say this. It will give her food for further snarky posts.)

Cricket - I myself am a stepmom and I could see my stepsons and myself in so many of your posts. Obviously I am lucky that their father too saw manipulative behavior and put a stop to it. It was never “me or the kids.” It was me AND the kids. Too bad P couldn’t get the point. And pathological mothers??? Be glad you don’t have the pathological MIL! (thank goodness for geographical distance and a husband who sees it too …. FINALLY!) I hope that someday my stepsons will grow to love me and that we can have a wonderful relationship. (Unfortunately I see this only if their crackhead mother finally ODs on something.)

I agree that the blog world can open you up to the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t they give out “Best of the Blogosphere” awards??? It seems you’ve managed to get yourself the front-runner for “Asshat troll of the year!”

Keep writing – some of us are still listening

Cricket said...

lrsh, I am glad for another step's perspective. I had searched high and low for blogs/info on the topic - real life, real circumstance stuff as well as books.

I also would talk to women I'd meet about their step relationships. Between the face-to-face and online exposures, I met many women who said they would not do it all again. The step relationship took too great a toll and they regret their involvement. They wish they had walked away. While I fully understand that perspective, I bucked it, thinking it didn't apply to us, that I could make a dent. Now, I see where I wasted 2.5 yrs, but I did get to know a man that I loved enough to try on all the other fronts. I want to call it a waste, but I can't.

However, I am relieved not to have that teenager in my life or her potentially corrupting my son. It is a relief to not worry when the next shoe will drop. I am sure she'll be up on drug charges before P knows it.

Also, someone emailed me privately, too, saying something like, "If I had a dollar... Columbine... aunt." Funny to want to shirt tail yourself to tragedy.

b, I know that honesty in a new relationship is hard, but fuck! About 1-2 months in, I sat him down and quizzed him whether there was any behavioral issues with her, whether there was alcoholism (him?, his mother for sure) or abuse. You know what I went through with ex on those things; I'm definitely not saying that I would have dumped him off of that, but it sure is nice to know what one is up against.

Ron Southern said...

I wish we could say that no bloggers were harmed during the making of this post. I look forward to your not having these same people to talk about. Maybe I'm wrong, but they never seemed to be very good for you!

Ron Southern said...

I shouldn't have said Never; but certainly not recently. And I think others may need to recall that men and women find and tolerate really bad matches all the goddamn time. When you're not "in Love", it's easy to wonder how somebody else can do Whatever or put up with Whoever! It goes around and around...

Cricket said...

Ron, you make two great points. Yes, I am tired of injuring my fellow bloggers with tales from this crypt. I want to let sleeping dogs lie.

You are also correct that those in happy relationships have no visceral clue about how difficult it is on the other side. It is very easy to dictate, "Oh, just go find love elsewhere," because it isn't that easy.

Besides, if it is that easy, it should be instant alarm bells. I'd told P on our first date that men fall for me entirely too easy, to please take things slowly. Instead, he told me he loved me a month later.

Next time, I'll take it as in insult instead of a compliment and run to the hills.

I love you: thems fightin' words.

~r said...

In light of the recent entries, I should probably come out of my lurking closet and say something.

First of all, as a stepmom, I practically stood up and cheered reading this entry. I have what is probably one of the world's easiest step situations, and I still know it's tough. Although I haven't been reading long, and I don't know much about your situation, the little that I have read tells me that what you've been through is more difficult than I can imagine.

Second, anyone who can't seem to understand that venting to a blog is a good, safe way to release frustrations so they don't infect your life (more) should probably just click that little X at the top of the screen, get offline and take a class in compassion or empathy or just general shut-the-fuck-up-ness.

And finally, thanks for being honest, even about things that aren't pretty.

Maya said...

Well I am greatly disappointed that "she" doesn't have a blog. Somehow I expected someone so agressive to not have her own turf to fight on.

I never ever had a clue how tough step-parenting would be especially with a spouse who parented off of guilt and a crazy ex-wife. I am heavily trained and educated in working with children/teenagers. I am actually a Junior High School teacher and am very accustomed to their traumas and adaptations. I love them and am often regarded as one of their favorites.

This step-parenting on the other hand has been such a hard road. The stress literally almost killed me. When I got my SD at 9, we truly adored each other and it was that way for many years. By the time she left at 18. I lost it after one to many things and told my husband to "get that fucking bitch out of my house". Terrible I know, but I had nothing left but anger. Everything else was manipulated and beat out of me, but anger and sadness and really, really being done. I have hear of many biomoms being at this same place around this time.

She has been in her own place for 15 months now. It has been hard repairing all of the damage, but Surfer and I have never been better and he still has a great relationship with her. I still have not spoken to her. I will, but when I am ready and not before. I will not allow that hell to be replayed. I have suffered much for drawing this boundary with him, SD, and his family, but I would not have changed it at all. I could have said it a little nicer, but the intent and follow through of her leaving would not change in the least.

Also, I had a terrible stepmom. Literally evil. I know the difference. I know that I wasn't great at points either. What's the difference you ask? Like you, I showed up. I was there. I cared. I bared my soul and marriage for this girl for a long time. What finally made me stop the bleeding?? The knowledge that she and the situation were making me sick and I knew that I could not have a baby with continuing on with the craziness. I did all I could do and that was enough.
Please take mom&stepmom's comments as comments and no more. You do not need to defend or explain. Those of us who are real, understand. A lot of us have been dealing with IF, which immediately gives us a lot of empathy and caring.
Finally, I agree what gives her so much time to hover over you like that. I don't even have kids at home and am not working this summer and still don't have time to keep my own blog up to date. Yikes

Maya said...

Ha! After re-reading my post to make sure I didn't sound too terrible. I looked at the bottom of the page and there was advertisement for a poll with the question "Are you a slacker mom? Answer these 15 questions. You did that on purpose for her didn't you!! ;)

Cricket said...

Another step mom and another lurker!

~r thanks for speaking up and giving me a big ol' belly laugh. I need to see if your link goes to a blog.

Maya, again, we follow the same path. I just know there was trauma; thanks for filling in more.

Yeah, all this brought out a statement I'd forgetten to clarify before: L wasn't even around when I freaked at Xmas. P's not the type to tell her, so she doesn't even know about anything but the vibes and her father being forlorn afterwards.

Maya, I was enjoying the google ads, too. Yup, that's me. Slacker mom. I put nothing into it and take nothing for myself. Yup.

Maya said...

I meant ... you had asked what mom&stepmom was doing with her children while she was obsessing over your blog. I thought you may have posted the survey for her. I do not in anyway think you are a slacker mom. It sounds like if anything, like me, you did way too much for L because she required so much and P was rendered useless by all of the other women in his life.

Also, she is hiding behind the fact that you asked her to delurk as justification for this attack. This is true...you did, but asking for a little de-lurkiing is far different from asking to be judged and accused of all of that. She could have simply said. Look it was a tough situation. I would have handled things differenlty. Everyone has there own path. Hopefully all of you will use it as an experience to grow. Sometimes what works with stepchildren in my opinion is...

That is commenting. What she did was an attack.

Shinny said...

Amazing how different everyone's take on other's lives can be, isn't it?

I personally am on the side of being the mother with son who has had to try to not be the manipulative one with the "stepdad". Alex and I were a team for 10 years before Steve came along and that is a really hard habit to break. Plus I have to admit that my kid is damn fun and funny so it is fun to pick on the "stepdad" and he doesn't even get it. I am evil, I admit it.

I think I got what you had written about L and P. If you have no support from the actual parent in any attempt to get to know the child and when you, as an outsider, see obvious areas of concern and are ignored when you mention them, IN AN EFFORT TO HELP, it can't be easy.

I know that Alex and I have at times made Steve's life no so very pleasant, but apparently he really loves us as he is still here. It is getting easier the longer the 3 of us are together and there will be tough times but I am willing to make the effort to address any issues that the boy may have. But of course we all know that MY kid is perfect so most of the issues must be Steve's, right? ;)

Love your writing and keep it up, this is your place to vent and that is totally what mine is for too. If we can't get it out of our systems on here then it will come out IRL and that is what we are trying not to do.

Cricket said...

I have more to say about it than this (oops, I shot my wad, this is long), but I will say that I don't worry too much yet about J as a stepson or his mother/son dynamics. He's a sponge for positive attention and just doesn't need correction very much (I'll explain more below).

Although we're in a cushy place now, he goes through months where me bucks me on everything. Strangely, last I heard, it was a reversal and he was bucking his father. I sincerely think it was his turn.

P and my son got along well, although P (like most men I dated) did not understand J's tentative/nonrisk-taking nature, aka a sweet wuss.

Several times, P went overboard on mocking/punishing/chastising him, to where I asked P last year not to punish J at all, but to come to me. He suddenly understood my frustration in trying to indirectly deal with his daughter, but I doubt if he put that together - and I learned months later how angry he was about me asking him to not punish J - but he didn't ask/learn how to parent better, which was my underlying goal all along.

P punishes the person, not the act and he's gotten himself in trouble with his daughter's self esteem that way. The examples I heard are too gruesome to repeat. It was one of my failed lessons on him, how not to degrade when angry or understand how an act could be bad and the person not.

(Ah ha! That's probably why he couldn't get over Xmas; the act was some level of bad - jeez, I cried in public - but to him it really did make me a bad person. He literally punished me by pulling away, despite the fact he still loves me.)

On the cruise the evening of L's nasty postcard, we did discuss parenting, one of the few times. He criticized me strongly b/c, in the 3 months he'd known J, I'd "never once told him 'no.'" His warped goal was to tell his daughter 'no' and deflate her, put her in her place.

Hearing that from him, though, was one of the biggest compliments anyone could give me. I redirect; I use positive language; I offer compromises; I am creative; etc. I do not flat say 'no,' because many times parents say 'no' just because they're the ones in power, just because they can say 'no,' just because they're lazy.

I want my son to be involved with raising himself and, in particular, for him to have good brainstorming skills for coming up with alternatives. He's great at that and it makes him feel smart, yet I generally get my way, too.

P never caught on to the science of parenting. He is his mother's son. He blasted 'no' from the hip, degraded instead of coaxing decision-making skills. I tried to use finesse on him, offering parenting stuff for him to read, trying to model good behavior.

For a guy who is so fucking smart, he is so fucking dumb. You can't go up to a parent like that and say they suck as a parent, especially one with the guilt and self esteem issues he has. You can try to help and model the right behavior, but they have to take the reins somehow. To him, reins equate operating from guilt and all the empathy that could positively come from that were dashed by repeated statements to L like, "You embarrass me." I am ashamed at him and his parenting; I thought I could make a difference here, too, but there's no way.

Orange said...

Oh, all this bleating gets so tiresome. Whoops! My bad. I momentarily channeled The Bad Commenter.

Gee, I should check my stats and see if I've had any...dedicated readers lately. I never get those.

Ooh! But I did have a deranged commenter. On my grandma's douchebag post, in which I recount my grandma using the term literally rather than figuratively, somebody said I should be comfortable talking with my grandmother about cleaning herself because of my "filthy womanly parts"; he concluded, "dirty dirty dirty dirty dirty dirty dirty dirty." Cracked me up!