Sometimes I think about the fact that Eliza is a stepmom just like me. So I wonder why she is so difficult to deal with? It seems that she would be much more understanding of my role considering that she knows what it is like.
Her husband, whom she married in 2005, has three children. The youngest one is currently three-years-old. I know Eliza had a lot of problems interacting with his youngest son’s mom as well as his daughter’s mother. His oldest son lived with them for a few months because his mom was in jail. He called Eliza “mommy.”
Ethan and Evan did not seem to like their stepbrother much, Ethan more so than Evan. I think Evan was being a follower. Ethan did not like the fact that he called Eliza “mommy.” Ethan is very jealous and territorial of her. They also mentioned that Eliza thought he was “bad” and was allowed to discipline him.
Knowing how Eliza always wanted a girl, I think she was pretty nice to her stepdaughter who was six-years-old at the time.
Shortly thereafter, it was discovered that her nine-year-old stepson was molesting the boys. I can only imagine how she must have felt as a mom. I do empathize with the fact that she was in a delicate position. I was concerned about my stepsons and also felt sorry for the child because he was a victim himself a year prior.
We happened to find out about the situation two months later through a third party. We confirmed the story with CPS and after a few weeks we received temporary custody. Eliza was furious!
While in our care she wrote the boys a letter telling them that her stepson would never be allowed in their lives again. However, she and her husband married six weeks after the boys were placed back in her care.
Eliza shared her perspective of this event with me the last time I visited her alone. She confessed that she knew it was wrong to hate a child but she couldn’t stop from doing so. She acknowledged that he even apologized to her saying Mommy, mommy, I’m so sorry! I already knew that he called her “mommy,” but I was surprised to hear her admit it. Eliza would not allow the boys to acknowledge that I was married to their dad. Even after the fact she had them refer to me as “Daddy’s girlfriend.”
She was so adamant that her boys not call me anything other than Morocco. I thought it was pretty hypocritical of her. Eliza even went as far as lecturing Evan about never referring to me as this. She warned, You only have one Mommy. Don’t ever call anyone but me Mommy. She many left voicemails that always began with This is Ethan and Evan’s Mommy, with a heavy emphasis on the M-word.
I took the opportunity to reply, so he called you Mommy?!” She knew the question was loaded and read between the lines. She replied halfheartedly Yes, but that’s because I’ve known him for a long time. Funny, but she’s known him the same length of time that I have known her boys.
The boys revealed that their stepbrother spent the night with them once briefly after the case. During this time Eliza did not speak to him and made him wait on the porch while she argued with his dad about him. When she fixed dinner that night she did not fix his plate, her husband had to do it. Ethan was proud to tell this story. He saw it as Eliza standing up for them.
I am really not surprised at the kind of stepmom she is. Eliza has so many insecurity issues that she views almost everyone as being a threat to her in some form or fashion. Her other son has a stepmom, too. I’ve heard that she has no problems with this stepmom. But that stems from the fact that she is the puppet master controlling her other son’s father. Eliza was also still involved with him during their relationship. It’s really crazy that his wife is okay (I am assuming that she is) with this behavior. There are three people in that relationship–and Eliza is one of them.
Compared to the other stepmom in her life, I’d bet she thinks that I don’t “know my place.” I see it differently–I just refuse to let her run my household.
We have both struggled in our walks as stepmoms. I think this would be a powerful way to learn from each other and offer support. Unfortunately, she is not thinking what I am thinking.