The problem with taking the High Road when it comes to dealing with Maleficent, is that I am oftentimes alone.
Alone with my inner struggle of doing what's best for Cinderella versus wanting to slap the crap out of her "mother" for creating such turmoil in everyone's lives.
Alone while I watch my stepdaughter struggle to accept the reality of WHO and WHAT her mother is and HOW to deal with that (while not contributing to that opinion by speaking ill of Maleficent in front of Cinderella. EVER.).
Alone in not being able to protect Cinderella as situations like last Friday unfold, after sending Cinderella to her Mom's for the weekend, sans her bathing suit.
Maleficent and Diablo SPED back up our street BACKWARDS and sent Cinderella inside to claim her bathing suit.
Her facial expression spoke volumes. Cinderella did NOT want to come back inside. She did NOT want to go swimming because she had her period. Not because I said no.
But Maleficent had turned it into a battle or HER vs. ME. It was no longer about what Cinderella might have wanted. It was about Maleficent getting HER OWN WAY and Cinderella was going to get that bathing suit dammit!
Cinderella asked me for guidance on what to say to her Mom. She knew she HAD to go for the weekend, even though she no longer wanted to. I tried my best to help her with the right words, but nothing any of us could have said at that moment would make any difference.
I reminded Cinderella simply that she had her period and could not go swimming.
It didn't matter WHO was asking to take her - be it a girlfriend or Maleficent - she could not go THIS weekend. Period. (Pun intended.)
And then I told Cinderella that Maleficent could talk to Prince Charming about it if she felt it was that important. He was, afterall, the final say on this and if he felt it was OK, then she could come back and get her suit.
(I was hoping this would somehow take the pressure off and protect Cinderella. I was wrong.)
From the curb, Maleficent's rage could be heard by my neighbors AND Cinderella's 6 year old brother and friends who were playing outside.
WHO THE FUCK DOES THAT ASSHOLE THINK HE IS?!?! HE HAS SOME NERVE!!
THAT FUCKING BITCH.
(And so on.)
Cinderella told us her mother ranted for the entire car ride home. Mostly to herself because no one else was responding.
Cinderella was also subjected to hearing her mother tell her that she WILL NOT buy her anything EVER AGAIN because SHE bought the bathing suit for Cinderella and that money could have been better spent on bills.
Huh? No one is holding the bathing suit hostage.
Once again the lines of reality have been blurred in the midst of Maleficent's bipolar tantrums.
Cinderella told us that she holed herself up in her bedroom for the rest of Friday night. Waiting out the end of her mother's tirade which eventually came to an end and she was able to enjoy the rest of her weekend.
(With the exception of when her mother took her swimming anyway, despite Cinderella's protests, and forced the poor girl to go into the pool. Ooh. Ahh. I guess she showed me, huh?)
Cinderella was glad to be home come Sunday night. Glad to be able to talk to us about what happened and to do a little venting of her own.
I am sure that to many the simple solution would have been to let Cinderella take the bathing suit.
That this ALL could have been avoided if I had just given in.
That it's MY fault. The Wicked Stepmom who had no right saying "no."
That, indeed, I am too big for my britches.
But to anyone who has been following my journey will know that NOTHING will guarantee peace with Maleficent.
And lord knows how I have tried.
Giving in to avoid conflict only prolongs the inevitable temper tantrum and downward spiral that always comes from an untreated manic depressive.
This was not about ME vs. Maleficent. It had nothing to do with her at all.
It was a simple lesson that most woman have learned at one time or another. Unfortunately, this was Cinderella's time to learn that being a woman sometimes ain't all it's cracked up to be.
It's simple biology. You can't argue with that.
Except...when it comes to parenting. Because I have learned over the years that there is much MORE to parenting than simple BIOLOGY.
Just because I am not Cinderela's BIOLOGICAL parent, does not mean that I do not have any of the responsibilities that come with parenting her.
And I will never stop doing that. No matter how many times I am challenged.
I am a hard-ass.
I am not going to back down over of a matter of simple biology.