I'm a care taker.
I am inexplicably drawn to people in crisis.
Their problems become MY problems and I become hopelessly devoted to helping them through their crisis.
It's what initially drew me to Prince Charming.
And is what has caused me to spend the last several years trying to appease Maleficent.
"If I were in her shoes" became my mantra.
I became obsessed with tending to Maleficent's volatile emotional state desperately trying to keep her happy.
If she is happy then we ALL will be happy, is what I thought.
It seemed a logical assumption.
In my newly elected role, it became my job to act as Prince Charming's conscience. To make sure he did what was right by Cinderella's Mom. To help him overcome their past and go through the motions.
Urging him to call with her every bit of news that *I* felt she might want to know.
Be a team player. Do what we can to make this co-parenting situation a success. Make her feel as if she is part of the process so she feels less threatened and combative.
If it appeared to not be working then we weren't trying hard enough.
We've got to do more!
Eventually I took matters into my own hand and handled that side of communications.
If Cinderella had a routine doctor's appointment. I called Maleficent after wards to give her the update.
Homework assignments, drama rehearsal schedules, report cards all were copied, scanned or transcribed into email. No detail was too small for me.
Even the random birthday or first-day-of-school photos were happily shared.
If I were in her shoes, I'd want to know.
If I were in her shoes, I'd feel so isolated.
If I were in her shoes, I'd feel so humiliated, and embarrassed and resentful.
I put myself in her shoes every day and every day gave my ALL to make her feel less despondent and more a part of the process.
If I were in her shoes, *I'd* be grateful for all the effort that was being made by the custodial home.
The problem with being a care taker is it's exhausting. I eventually get tired of GIVING and of never RECEIVING anything in return.
The problem was... *I* was not in her shoes.
Maleficent's illness prevents her from GIVING back. From seeing things for what they really are.
From being appreciative for what we... no *I* was doing.
You cannot rationalize with an irrational person.
I've grown weary of trying to make things better FOR her and WITH her.
For in trying to do so, I have neglected my own family. She has drawn my attention away from taking care of my own, and of MYSELF.
I am working on taking a step back and LETTING GO.
Cinderella is starting rehearsals for her next drama production at school. Ordinarily, this would be the time when I would be transcribing her rehearsal schedule for Maleficent (mostly so she would know where to go to pick up Cinderella on her visitation days).
But I am not doing that anymore. It's now Prince Charming's responsibililty.
We've had the schedule for two days.
Today is Maleficent's visitation day. Cinderella is in rehearsals until 5:30 which means M needs to pick her at the school and NOT HERE.
I reminded Prince Charming of my need to step back. I told him I would NOT be taking care of sending the schedule to his ex.
And here I sit, hoping he's remembered to handle this situation.
Knowing that if he hasn't, she will not have her moment of clarity and realize all I have done to keep her informed and involved.
I feel like turning off the lights and shutting off the phone just so I can avoid all contact with her.
And that pisses me off.
Oh yeah, and just to add fuel to the fire, Prince Charming filed violation papers last week. Among other things, he is looking to change the visitation schedule in light of Cinderella's recent confessions (surpervised if not an immediate STOP until Maleficent starts seeking appropriate treatment). So we also sit waiting for a court date to be set and for Maleficent to be notified. That should be any day now. Maleficent has no idea this is coming.
Our fairy tale is turning into quite the page turner.