Tag Archives: emotions

Griefcase

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I don’t think most mental health professionals support compartmentalizing emotions.  However, as a way to get through the day, I pull out my “griefcase.”   I am constantly in and out of it to examine and understand the following contents:

  • My husband:  Memories of love, laughter, and life…why so soon?
  • Nicholas:  I refuse to let him get caught in the mayhem as he has suffered a major loss as well.  I’m trying to shift my focus onto him and tend to his needs more.
  • Jazmine:  She misses him but is finally to the point where I think she understands that he is in “the sky.”  It just breaks my heart that she has to live without his gentle spirit.  He was definitely a father figure to her.
  • Ethan: I hope he believes (I have a feeling that they and their mom for that matter were told something contrary) that it was not my choice for them to leave.  I pray he feels our love and uses it to help him endure
  • Evan:  My baby…I miss him…I truly hope that his time in treatment wasn’t in vain.  I want him to know how much he is loved by us.  I hope Evan knows how much we were looking forward to him coming home!!! I’m so sorry that he didn’t get to make it!!!
  • Eliza: I have many hurt feelings about her.  Call me naive but I thought I was making a breakthrough with her.  How she was so willing to throw her own kids under the bus to punish me totally befuddles and saddens me.  I feel like I have no closure because I was carelessly discarded when my husband died.  Maybe I should try the letter writing thing where I get my feelings out and then don’t actually mail it.
  • Her brother and sister:  Oh my goodness, evil is alive and well!  People never cease  to amaze me!  And they keep wanting to interact with me for some strange reason.  Her brother called on Christmas Eve.  Her sister called twice the day after Christmas.  Neither the twisted sister or the demented brother will leave a message.  I’m sure you can guess what the brother wants.  Now the sister, who knows?  Unfortunately, I am not stable enough at this point to converse nicely with these lovely people so I continue to ignore any attempts at communication.  I just can’t tolerate any tomfoolery or malarkey.
  • Me: It’s probably more of me stored in the griefcase than anything else.  Am I still a stepmom I wonder frequently?  What do I do with myself?  I don’t want a new life–I liked the one I had.   I’m still a wife it’s just that my husband is dead.  Needless to say, I’m one mixed-up Ms.
  • Our house: Of course everything is just as he left it, especially in the garage.  The Mountain Dew that he was drinking is still in his cup holder.  I don’t want to touch anything and I can’t bear to part with his stuff.  I could try selling the house but I almost feel like I would be leaving him behind.

Coach should add the “griefcase” to their line-up–they would sell well!

Channeling Hannah

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I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a long time and here goes it.  Today I would like to spend some time examining the growing phenomenon of the so-called “bitter” stepmom.  I’ve been seeing this term on many blogs lately.

My general opinion is that we all have the right to blog about our feelings and perspectives.  I don’t recall WordPress excluding certain emotions.  Furthermore, I find it odd and hypocritical when other stepmom bloggers write about “bitter” stepmoms who judge the exwife in their life.  They state that it is not right/healthy for them to do so.  But isn’t that a form of judging in itself? 

I am thankful that God gave us such a wide range of emotions.  It is okay to be bitter just as it is okay to be joyful, fearful or envious.  Personally speaking, I am bitter about my stepmom situation from time to time.  And to quote Kela, so what?  Does that make me a “bad” stepmom?  I embrace all of my feelings–the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I learn from them all.

If all stepmom blogs were alike–would we grow or glean any wisdom from reading them?  It takes all kind. Bitter or not, we are all stepmoms.  Some “bitter” stepmoms might be annoyed by the “Pollymamas.”  Everything isn’t always good and that’s keeping it real.

 On this long, strange trip with Eliza, I have grown from blogging.  I am able to learn from many of the blogs that  I follow.   I reflect on the comments.  Blogging helps me see things from more than one angle.   Even if it is a “bitter” blog, I try to take something away from it or I simply stop reading it.  I don’t feel that I have the right to dictate feelings or thoughts. 

Also, it is easy to label other stepmoms as bitter when you have a good/civil/friendly relationship with the exwife.  Trust me, I know.  If you read through my earlier posts I was much more forgiving/tolerant/peaceful about Eliza.  Now that the tide has turned, I have to work extra hard not to be bitter/cynical/petty/judgemental/whiny/mean/spiteful–pick one.  This is my challenge and I love it!

I am able to celebrate the stepmoms who have a working/great relationship with the exwife just as I am able to commiserate with the stepmoms who don’t have this luxury.

Rhonda and I always joke about how we would handle a negative comment.  But because we feel that everyone is entitled to their opinion, we would post the remark and simply say “thank you for comment,” and leave it at that.  We decided if the commenter refuses to let the issue go; we would kindly delete those comments.

I however, I have chosen not to leave negative/judgemental comments to  put any blogger in their “place.”  My opinion is no more valid than any one else’s.  If I can’t say something supportive or provocative in a considerate way, then I say nothing at all.  I blog primarily for my own self—not to “check”  or chastise others.  I don’t have the time or desire for that.  I like to think we are all in this together.

Besides, we are all in unique predicaments.  I don’t know any of my online friends intimately–other than what I read.  It seems that we judge each other far more harsher than the exwives themselves!

I blog for peace, growth, healing, fun, relaxation, pleasure, and yes, venting.  Remember, if you don’t like the contents of any particular blog, you do not have to read/continue reading it.  It’s just that simple.  Full Moon welcomes stepmoms of all kind–bitter, happy, angry, frustrated, jealous, evil (hehe)–do you catch my drift?  You may come as you are.

This leads me to the title of my post, Channeling Hannah, in reference to Nobody’s Perfect.  That includes me and you, dear reader.  Just know…

My intentions are good
Sometimes just misunderstood
Nobody’s Perfect!
I gotta work it!
Again and again ’til I get it right
Nobody’s Perfect!
You live and you learn it!
And if I mess it up sometimes…
Nobody’s perfect

And this blog is me working it!

Cleaning Out My Closet

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As soon as I returned home from Seattle I jumped right in to prepare my home for the fall.  This is a habit I just picked up.  The women in my family are hoarders and I try my best to get rid of things that I am no longer using.  I have been guilty of hoarding things from time to time.  My husband has given me hints that it’s time to throw away/ give away but I hold on “just in case.”  Since we no longer have storage space I had to take his advice.

So I started in our bedroom closet.  Back in the corner I found a box that I had stored there shortly after we moved into our new home.  I knew exactly what was in the box and my first though was to toss the whole box without opening it.  I didn’t follow my own advice, something that I told Morocco that she shouldn’t do a couple weeks ago.  I opened old wounds.  Inside the box were my old journals dated 1999-2004.  Five years worth of drama in one box.  Everything that the BM had done to my family was right there in black and white.

I read some of the pages and the memory of my life back then made my stomach turn.  I was so unhappy.  My life was not supposed to turn out this way. was written in 1999.  I just want to bust her face open was written in 2000.  Why won’t she find a man and leave us alone was written in 2001.  Why, why why???? was written in 2002.  And in 2003 I wrote about her trying to have my husband go downtown with her to increase child support after the purchase of our new home.  That’s just the VERY short version.  In 2004 I wrote about changing my focus.  New beginnings is my last entry.  I wonder why I never finished that journal.  Oh I know why because even though things SEEMED to get better with the BM, she always found a way to cause more chaos.

As I sat there on the floor in my closet, journals in my lap, I said to myself “Let it go Rhonda, just let it go.”  I ripped the pages into tiny pieces.  BM is not in my inner circle.  The things she does can no longer hurt me–only if I allow them to.  I refuse to allow her to hurt me.

It’s funny how this came about.  Morocco and I have been talking about switching our focus.  I do not feel good talking about (writing or reading about) the things BM does all the time.  I’m quite sure that I will not stop cold turkey but just not all the time.  My life is so much more than the BM and her drama.  I’m finished cleaning out my closet.  Now I have room for new things!

Strange Fruit

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A comment emailed to me from a reader, Old Friend on Makes Me Wanna Holler inspired me to write this post.  He mused that Eliza is a of a rare breed.  I have to agree; Eliza deserves to be in a class of her own for she is the strangest of fruits.  I try and try to understand her with little success.   Her behavior and life remain a conundrum.

 

There is no way I can explain why she has done some of the things that she has.  Or why she presently operates in a state of frenzied paranoia.  The old saying goes that you can’t compare apples to oranges.  I don’t know what kind of fruit she is, maybe an Elipple.  Or an Elnana.  Perhaps an Elizaberry.  She might just be a Dingleberry. Whatever she is I know that she is a lot different than your everyday garden variety.  The fruits of her spirit are quite devilish.

 

With that being said, I can’t compare her to much of anything.  It is really fruitless (pun intended) of me to keep attempting to understand her.  I just have to accept the fact that she is not healthy (overripe) and therefore does not have the capacity to act in a sound manner (leaves a sour/bitter/mealy/disgusting taste in the mouth). The rancidness of her fruitage is nausea inducing.  Fruit cake is not something I enjoy eating.  So I have stopped trying to psychoanalyze her behavior.  But this is really hard for me because I like fruit!  It is so versatile—you can bake it, puree it, can it, cook it,mash it, candy it, dry it, kebob it, and even use it as a garnish.  But it has its limitations.   You can’t heal it.  Fix it.  Reason with it.  Understand it.  

 

Me and most of the people in my circle are pretty normal fruit.  We are the apples, blueberries, pears, cherries, watermelons and strawberries of life—you know your everyday type of people produce.  While I love exotic fruit such as guava, passion fruit, and kiwi to name a few, my appetite just does not tolerate alien fruit.  Unfortunately, I am going to leave Eliza in the fruit bowl (bin) where she belongs!

Mommy

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Last night an employee from the residential treatment hospital called because Evan wanted to speak with us.  I held the line waiting for the call to be transferred to him.  When Everett told him I was on the line, with excitement in his voice he sang “Mommy!”  I was shocked.  He has never called me this before.  When he got on the phone I asked him what he had said.  He said “Everett told me you were on the phone and I said Mommy.”  So I hadn’t misheard him.  I quickly changed the subject because I was a bit uncomfortable.  I started feeling guilty like I was betraying Eliza in some way.

 

I knew that Eliza would not like him calling me this.  I can’t say that I blame her.  During our conversation I let him know that his mom loved him and asked if he wanted me to relay any messages to her.  He wanted me to tell her that he loved and missed her.  He also asked how she was doing and I assured him that she was fine.

 

Even though I did not initiate the term of endearment, she would never believe it.  She would assume that I told him or better yet, made him call me mommy.  Though I really think it was a fluke or a slip of the tongue on his part.  However, last year in a fit of emotion he did tell me that he wished I could be his mom.  Evan is just so needy right now.  He needs a mother.  I guess I am the next best thing since Eliza is not available.

You’ve Come a Long Way

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I want to share with you all two excerpts from my personal journal to show the progress that I have made concerning Eliza.  I have not always felt so peaceful about interacting with her.  Obviously, I have not always liked Eliza.  It is safe to say that I used to abhor her. I am not necessarily proud that I allowed her to get under my skin to the degree that she did, but what can I say, I am only human.

 

05/28/07

 

I’ve learned that being a stepmother is hard, serious work.  I was so bothered by the conversation that she had with the kids yesterday.  Why?  I can’t exactly pinpoint why.  I know that they should still love her because she is mom, but they don’t hold her accountable for anything.  All she has to do is make a bunch of false promises to them and they are content.  But here I am doing the lion’s share of her job and I get little to no thanks.  And that just bothers me.  I do not like being taken for granted.

Ethan is pretty much the same way he was when he first arrived—rude.  I choose to ignore him.  I know he is just counting the days until she comes home.  He has not tried to fit in here.  I’m tired of trying to make him fit.

Today Evan asked me if his mom and I were friends.  I’m sure he already knew the answer, he is totally precocious.  This was his way of testing me.  I was truthful and told him no.  I told him that I didn’t really know her very well and usually to count someone as a friend, you should that person relatively well.  He appeared satisfied with that explanation. 

06/01/07

            I resent her so much. I hate how she tries to pretend that being in her situation is no big deal, I hate how she wants to have control of our household from behind bars, I hate her for having the audacity to send that fake apology letter when we all know that she is not sorry for anything, I hate how she kept the kids away from him (PAS at its worse), I even had that he had the bad taste to procreate with that banshee!  I hate that she uses her brother to bail her out of trouble—every time, I hate that I have to spend MY money on HER ungrateful kids,  I hate that she does not realize how murdering someone in front of Ethan and Evan will have a horrible effect on them, I hate how we have to fix her attempt at parenting, I hate how she is still not mature enough to communicate with us, I hate how she fainted in jail upon learning that we had the boys, and most of all, I hate how she thinks we are supposed to automatically forgive her for all her past crimes against us simply because she is in prison!!! She never ceases to amaze me.