Sunday, August 12, 2007

Count to 10

Ten years.
Ten years is a LONG time to keep my mouth shut.
To stifle expressing the opinions (and emotional reactions) to Maleficent about her chosen course of actions over the past 10 years. To stay out of it and let Prince Charming handle all communications with her.
I can keep quiet no longer.
Thursday night. Cinderella calls Maleficent for their nightly phone chat. Maleficent calls back a second time. Leaves a message for Cinderella to call her on her cell.
Cinderella questions the message. Debates the necessity for another call.
"Babe, she's your Mother. And she's left a message for you to call her. So better to be safe than sorry."
Cinderella calls. But clearly does not want to talk.
Maleficent picks up on her tone and ASSumes it has something to do with us.
I hear her yelling on the phone at her daughter.
You know Cinderella, they have to understand that I can call you whenever I want. I'm your mother and I have that right.
Cinderella is visibly upset and uncomfortable after that phone call.
We talked about it. I tell her I heard. She admits to being upset and requests for help standing up to her Mom. And for us to ask her to stop with the bad-mouthing.
If you feel you need to step in and say something to her, I will back you up no matter what.
Prince Charming offers me all the support I need.
He's done trying to be friends. It's proven to be an exercise in futility.
He's been nice. He's been accommodating. He's been forgiving.
For ten years. And it's gotten him no where (with her).
Two days later, I'm still bothered by this latest event. Remembering the tear-filled eyes of my stepdaughter as she reluctantly asked for help and the relief she displayed when I promised her we would back her up.
I decide I can't stand by anymore and watch Cinderella be hurt.
So I did it. I contacted Maleficent.
Via email.
Because she won't accept or return any phone calls.
The following email was ten years in the making, and took every ounce of fiber in my being to be as civil and straightforward as I was.
"Cinderella was upset after her phone call with you this past Thursday. She's asked for someone to speak to you about that and stick up for her. That someone is me.

For the record, Prince Charming and I *do* know that you have the right to call Cinderella as many times as you want on any given day. (Same holds true for Him, too, RIGHT? LOL!) It is in knowing that fact that I had Cinderella call you back on Thursday night, despite her protesting to me that "I already spoke to Mommy, why does she need me to call her again?" In spite of this, I pointed out that you left a message so it wouldn't hurt for her to call you again.

So she did.

Because I insisted.

She was upset by your misinterpreting her tone of voice or "attitude" and assuming it was because Prince Charming or I had a problem w/ you calling her a second time that night. Not true. Don't care. Really! Cinderella did not like you accusing us of such a thing - and she really doesn't like it when you make similar comments whenever she doesn't feel like talking to you on the phone. (Yes, she told me you've done it before. And that she's asked you not to. And that you do it anyway. And I'm not AT ALL surprised.) And in spite of her fear that you will only become more enraged and subject her to more of your diarrhea of the mouth when it comes to her Dad and me, she spoke to me about your conversation and her hurt feelings and asked if we would speak to you about this. Because she needs someone to back her up.

So here I am. Sending you an email because that's the kind of communication you've asked for. Cinderella wants you to STOP making negative remarks about Prince Charming and I to her. Your opinion of us (be it right or wrong) is your opinion. Not Cinderella's. And she doesn't want to know or hear about it any more.

And in case there is any question in your mind. The same holds true for us. Our opinion of you is ours and ours alone. We do not express this opinion to any of the kids.

Thanks for listening. I hope you'll take this into consideration, for Cinderella's sake."
I sent this Saturday night.
There's yet to be a response.


canape said...

Ten years is a long time.

I hope there is a follow up to this.

Had enough said...

GOOD for you... but she is not going to respond! The only things BM like that have is to make PC and you look "EVIL". I am sick and tired of all BM do not not even offer a thank you for helping me raise our kids.

boogiemum said...

I am a stepmom too- to our 10 year old. I have had many emails like this. Never fun and in the end never got us anyplace. Except I guess to the fact that Bio mom has stopped calling and dropped out of our lives. She hasn't seen her daughter in a year.

Good luck, I know these things are stressful...

Mrs. H said...

Holy Crap.

You made it ten years?!

I've been a stepmom for five. Five, long, wonderful, stressful, crazy years.

I enjoyed reading your blog today.

I have added your blog as a link to mine.

Mrs. H

Julie said...

We used to make Sunshine call her mom when she was with us, even with no message. We had to do this because her mother does not call her. This past summer she was with us for almost seven weeks and her mother called about five times. I call Sunshine almost every other day - her father just as often.

While I hope you do get a response, cause I want to know what she says and that would be entertaining, but I know she won't. Oh well.

Dayngr said...

You're more woman than I. I didn't even make it 4 years without speaking my mind.

CSM to two said...

MMMHHHMM been there done that, have the tee shirt (about six of them in the past two years!!!

And if your BM is anything like mine... you won't ever get a response because BM "never did anything wrong" (sarcastic!)

I have been enjoying your blog... I am a Custodial stepmom to two kids that only see their mom EOWE...