Eliza was released on probation today. Life is strange.
Christine was telling the truth about Kierra’s doctor going on medical leave. Kierra and Christine met with another docter who will perform Kierra’s surgery.
For now, we do not know the date of the surgery. We do know that Kierra will have it as soon as school is out. Kierra’s school has three snow days to make up. The school has yet to inform parents of the last day of school.
I was totally shocked to hear from Kierra that Christine was telling the truth. It’s a shame that our dealings with Christine only lead us to think the worst of her. All the scheming and lying she does lead us to believe she was trying to pull a fast one.
I’m not sure if I will ever let my guard down with Christine. She has proven time and time again that she cannot be trusted. This time though she did right by her child and took the necessary steps to ensure Kierra was taken care of. She didn’t put her wants and needs before Kierra so I have to say kudos to her!
We are happy that during all this Kierra has not had a setback in her health.
As you all know Kierra was scheduled to have surgery this week. Last week Christine made many attempts to change Husband’s mind and let Kierra go home with her. Husband assured her that Kierra would be just fine going home with us.
Christine was relentless in her pleas. She commented on the fact that she could take off work…so can we. She said she knows how to work the drain that Kierra would receive because she did it the last time…she had to be shown and the doctor can show us. She went on to say that she has to sign Kierra in and out of the hospital…okay she can still do so and Kierra will still leave with us. Then she said that what if Kierra needs to go back to the hospital for any reason…we are capable of getting her there and will call you immediately. Besides that we have two running vehicles. (Christine’s car has been “down” since Christmas. Husband has had to take Kierra home at the end of her visits since then. Yet Christine and her older daughter drive it all the time.)
I knew Christine would not be happy with Kierra coming to our home. Why? Well her words have come to bite her. Christine swore she would never step foot in our house. She even told Kierra this the other night while they were having a heated discussion. Kierra informed us that Christine ranted about how Kierra didn’t love her. How Kierra loved us more than her. Why can’t Kierra just come home and be with her. Kierra told Christine that she loved all of her family and this time she wanted to be with us.
Low and behold Husband received a call the next day from Christine but he missed the call. Later that evening he was talking to Kierra on the phone when she broke the news. Christine canceled the surgery. She told Kierra that the doctor went on medical leave. Kierra asked her if another doctor could perform the surgery. Christine said she would prefer that her doctor do the surgery since the last one was a success. Christine said she didn’t know when the doctor would be back. Yeah right!!! Christine canceled the surgery because she doesn’t want to come to our house.
When this whole ordeal came about I told Husband that Christine would probably cancel the surgery. That is the only way she could assure Kierra not come home with us. I’m pretty sure she will rescheule it when it’s on her time. But that is not even the issue. The problem I have is that Kierra needs the surgery. It’s not a life or death situation but the sooner she gets it done the better for Kierra. If prolonged she could have a situation where she would need reconstructive surery.
We do not have a probelm with Christine coming to our home. She’s the one with the problem. We also do not have a problem going to her home. When we have gone she goes into another room. The last time Kierra had surgery she made it difficult for us to visit with Kierra. She made a big stink about HER family and friends being there. Well we are her family too! Christine also wants to portray to her friends that she does it all. So she doesn’t want us around when she is entertaining. This is not about her, it’s all about Kierra.
The next day Husband had to pick up Kierra from school because she had a headache and couldn’t stop crying. Kierra told me that she was tired of Christine getting upset with her about everything. She said she is tired of the headaches. I told her that she doesn’t have to keep all those emotions inside. I told her that when things are really heavy in my heart I talk to God. I go off in a quiet place and just talk to Him. She could do the same and feel much better by letting it go.
Does Christine not care about Kierra’s health? It doesn’t seem like it to me. She is not concerned with her mental health either. Kierra clings to us whenever she is over. Friday night she layed on me all evening. We ended up falling asleep on the couch and Husband had to wake us up to go to bed. Whenever husband leaves to run errands she is right by his side.
Yesterday before she went home Kierra said she was looking forward to spring break. My brother, his family, and my mom will be here. She said she can not wait to see my nephews. She also went on and on about doing different activites. I just hope Christine doesn’t start in on her this week. Kierra needs a break from the drama.
So I was right! I knew there was no way that Christine was just going to be ok with Kierra leaving the hospital with us.
When Husband picked up Kierra for her weekday visit she told my husband about Christine trying to make her feel guilty for wanting to come to our house after she’s released from the hospital.
Christine sobbed to Kierra asking her why she just can’t come home with her and visit us later in the week. Kierra stood her ground and told Christine that was her time to be with her dad anyway for the spring break vacation.
Husband decided to call her to make sure Christine was aware that he would indeed exercise his right for spring break with Kierra. Christine was livid. She asked him why he was springing this on her now and why they didn’t have a discussion about it. Husband said that was what he was doing at that moment “having a discussion with her.” He also said that we just found out about the surgery two days ago and he was more concerned with the surgery than going back and forth with her about his rights.
Then Christine launched into her dramatics saying that he only called her at work because he knew she couldn’t talk. (She doesn’t know how to talk if things do not go her way. She yells curses and then hangs up the phone). Husband told her that if he would have called her at home she wouldn’t answer. And if one of the girls answered the phone she would not accept his call. (She only talks to him when she wants something). So calling her at her job was his only option.
Christine asked him why Kierra couldn’t go home with her. So he asked why she couldn’t come home with us. She went on and on about how she was off work and how she could take care of Kierra while we were at work. He let her know that everything had already been taken care of. He told her that I was off for spring break as well. Christine said that Kierra had went home with her the last time. He replied correct it was your weekend and there was no need to discuss who she was gong home with.
He said in this case you can not give me a valid reason why you want her to go with you instead of me. She just kept going on and on about how he was not right for calling her at work because she couldn’t say what she wanted to say. (In other words, she couldn’t scream profanities at him and slam the phone down in his ear).
Well Christine did just that minus the profanities. She hung up on Husband after he made it clear that Kierra would come home with us.
The Ex dated Christine for about a year off and on. Kierra liked him and at times she didn’t. He seemed to be good for Christine because she wasn’t so bad when they were on and not off.
The Ex has a daughter and a son by different mothers. His son’s mother lives in our city and his daughter’s in another state. We figured he had a lot to do with calming the fires with Christine since he was is the same position as Husband. Kierra has mentioned that his son’s mother acted “crazy” with him sometimes. She said that the mom would cause problems if she knew Christine would be around.
I used to wish that Christine would meet someone like her so she could feel the same things we did when she acted out towards us. Well, I got my wish. Not that I took joy in her discomfort, I just wanted her to open her eyes to the unnecessary conflicts that she was starting with us.
We also figured that Christine told the Ex horrible stories about us especially my husband. Right again…I’ll explain later.
As she became closer to the Ex he became more visible. He attended Kierra’s performances at school. The first time Husband went and introduced himself and shook his hand. Each time thereafter we saw him; Husband would speak and held short conversations with him. Christine seemed to be flustered that they were talking.
During their last break up Husband ran into the Ex alone. He said, “Boy did she paint a pretty bad picture of you!” They both had a good laugh. He told my husband that he was nothing like Christine described him to be.
At the hospital my husband learned quite a bit from the Ex about Christine and her shenanigans.
Christine made it seem like they were back together (her and the Ex). After Kierra’s intial doctor”s appointment she promptly called the Ex and asked him to accompany her to the surgery. She told him that she didn’t want to go alone. He said he came to support Kierra because his daughter is the same age.
The Ex questioned her when he got to her house only to learn that her oldest daughter didn’t go to school so that she could be at the hospital, too.
He said that he used to tell Christine about herself all the time for the way she acted towards Husband. She knew the drama he went through with his own son’s mother.
He told my husband that she complained all the time about Kierra coming to our home for visits. He said she would try to bribe Kierra to stay home with her so THEY could be a family. When Kierra did stay or go with her when she was at our home for summer visitation, Christine would try to act like she was so tired so she didn’t have to bring her back. Kierra caught on. He said he encouraged her to let Kierra spend extra time at our house.
He also told Husband that Christine said that Husband harrassed her all the time. She told the Ex that Husband ran all her boyfriends away because he didn’t want her to be with anyone. (Husband and I got a good laugh about that one. They had not been together for over twelve years at the time).
At one point the Ex and Christine were supposed to buy a house together. They were looking for awhile and Christine seemed to be very happy. Apparently they got into a huge fight about his son’s mother and things went downhill from there.
The Ex broke up with Christine because of her ways. He said she was always going off about anything without letting him speak. (doesn’t that sound familiar!) He couldn’t deal with the way she treated Kierra knowing he was going through the same with his son’s mother. (Oh, and the best one…) She lies a lot. (Really? Who would have thought!!!) He said Christine was a cool person to hang out with but he could not be in a relationship with her.
Kierra said the Ex and Christine have gone to the movies from time to time since then.
I’m now wondering if Christine will call and ask him to go with her again to Kierra’s second surgery?
It is my hope that all you stepmom readers will learn something from my experience of losing both my husband and stepsons. Some stepmoms may wonder why they should try to get along with the mother of the kids. Why shouldn’t you is what I want to know? I realize that some mothers are difficult to endure. Some are hostile, weird, crazy, jealous, insensitive, manipulative, beastly, petty—fill in the blank. Eliza was all that and then some! You might be thinking, Well you don’t know my husband’s ex! While I might not know her personally, I do know the archetype.
Even though I know I tried my very best to smooth things over between she and I (in the last two years), she didn’t. I could only control myself, and rightly focused on changing my attitude about her instead of trying to force her to be different.
Therefore, I want to make sure that you are doing everything on your end to be peacable. Please pick and choose your battles and think of your situation with the end in mind. We all know that stepparents have no legal rights to their stepchildren. Your husband is truly that connecting force between you two. Unless, you have a stable relationship with the mother, that is (especially in the event of death and/or the children are not of age). No him or her=no stepchildren. You can’t force/demand/court order the biological parent to allow you to interact with their kids.
As you see in my case, it is to your benefit to get along with the mother of the children. I truly wish that Eliza would have honored my role and feelings. There is no compelling reason that Nicholas and I should not have the boys in our lives. It still hurts that she is punishing us in this manner.
If you are giving it the best that you’ve got, I heartily encourage you to keep up the good work! Life offers few fairy tale endings and your efforts alone may not produce the desired outcome. But speaking from experience, you won’t regret trying.
I do, however, wish that I would have had this attitude from the very inception. While I wasn’t the one who started the fires and mostly ignored her combustive behavior, I wouldn’t have spit on her if she was on fire (as the old saying goes)! I felt like it wasn’t my “job” to appease her (or get along with her) in any manner. Afterall, it was her who was causing trouble, being difficult, and behaving in a bellicose manner!
So if you are holding onto grudges, insecurites, myths about the ex, things your stepchildren told you she said, past hurts, or any other minute issues (and if it’s not life or death—IT IS SMALL!) stop while you still have time to regroup, reflect, and reposition yourself. Like it or not, she will always be their mother. You can’t “wish” her away or pretend she doesn’t exist. Figure out exactly what you want your blended family life to be and go for it. Wake up and change directions while you still can. Most anything is possible because everyday is a new day. Even if you can’t have peace with her because of her relunctance (or disinterest) you can have it within for trying.
With that being said, if you still can’t think of any reason under the sun as to why it would be a good idea to be on stable ground with your husband’s ex; think about your stepchild(ren) and your life without them in it.
Most people know at least one person who likes to bring the heat and keep things unbearably hot. That person could be a coworker, family member, friend, or neighbor. In my case it was Eliza. I try to distance myself from heat seekers because I enjoy living a balanced, uncomplicated life.
But how can you maintain your equilibrium when someone is constantly trying to singe you with fiery combat? Obviously you can’t control the actions (and sometimes upbringing or mental status) of others. And apparently they missed the memo when you play with fire everybody gets burned. Well, personally, I like my skin texture and tone just fine, thank you very much!
Here are a few things you can do to avoid getting caught up in the smoke:
The Devil’s in the Details: I had to learn the hard way that it was best not to give Eliza too many details. My husband was the expert at this. He knew that any information beyond what was necessary would just feed her desire for fire. She burned me a few times before I learned this painful lesson. Eventually I figured that I was only responsible for keeping her informed about important issues and nothing more. I stopped trying to soothe her febrile ego or provide “helpful” commentary. Anything other than the basics is breeding ground for combustion. Do yourself a favor and stick to the bare minimum.
Heated Hubris: Overly dramatic folks love to get your emotions flowing and once you get this way, you tend to lose control quicker. This also lends to a lot of irrational bantering so avoid responding to any emotional buzzz words and stay on the topic. Address the issues and not the person by keeping your emotions intact.
Sizzling Sasha or Calm Callie: If you are not normally vindictive and crazy don’t allow yourself to imitate that persona. Fire Starters are stoked you when you to take on their traits. Then their fireballs will really become fast and furious as you’ve given them the ammunition needed to fight fire with fire. Because fire starters are really martyrs at heart, they hate when you refuse to be the victim and resist their blazing darts at the same time.
Be An Extinguisher: While you might not have started the fire–you can be the one to put it out. This entails knowing when and when not to fight battles. Let’s face it, everything is not a life and death matter and some things are just silly to expend energy on. If I had to do it all over again, some things with Eliza wouldn’t have even been an issue. I would have let her have her way, which would have taken the wind from her sails. When you are an extingusher you make the choice not to do things to push their buttons. Even though they might deserve it (and it might even feel good momentarily) you know that it won’t help put out any forest fires in the blended family tree.
Install Smoke Detectors: I quickly learned when Eliza was going to fire up and would therefore take a backseat to allow her rage to fizzle. Her spells usually centered around special occassions such as holidays and birthdays. During these times I did not give her any information that I knew would aggravate her already inflamed state of mind.
Stop, Drop, and Roll: We all learned this drill in elementary school and it is still applicable with today’s Fire Starter. When it gets too hot:
- stop trying to reason or argue with the person,
- drop out of the picture for awhile,
- and roll on with your life.
You don’t have to entertain a fire-loving drama queen for trifling matters.
Fires Eventually Fizzle: Like with most things in life (from flora to fauna to foe) if not properly fed; they cannot survive. If you quit kindling the fire it will soon become an smoldering ember. Fire Starters know this, which is why they will do everything in their power to keep things smoking. No fighting=no fuel. Sooner or later they will direct their ire somewhere else.
Fire Power: As hard as it may be, try to focus on something positive about the Fire Starter. Although fire has the potential to destroy, it can also be used for good(cooking and heat to name a couple). This approach can help you “warm” up to them. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so I have to thank Eliza for turning me into Hercules! She has drug me through so much that I have come out stronger for it. She has also inspired me to be a better person. I never want to hurt people in the manner that she has.
Fire Proof Yourself: A Fire Starter thrives on breaking you down, cauterizing you in the process. They will use very weapon known to man to do so; especially words which are flung like Molotov cocktails to defame your character. It is to your advantage to develop a firewall so you won’t be devastated by what these dragons breathe into existence. Know ahead of time that tongue blisters will be apart of the vocalized revolution against you; so don’t take their every heated word to heart. The odds are in your favor that they wish they were in your shoes! It’s never too late to erect that firewall for protection. When Eliza slanders me I know in advance that the real issue is with her. Therefore the “hot fire” that she spits cannot char me.
Ring the Alarm: Arson-the crime of deliberately and maliciously setting fires. When the actions of the Fire Starter become scaldingly criminal, it’s time to alert the authorities. There are some things that you just should not tolerate and criminal activity is one of them. I would also suggest that you document any forms of harassment. Sometimes it is even necessary to get a trace placed on your phone (we had one successfully traced back to her residence). I have a huge binder that I have kept over the years to create a papertrail on Eliza and her many attempts to annililate, annoy, and torture us. The contents proved to come in handy, too when combating her scorching lies in different situations.