Monday, May 24, 2010

And Then There Were Three...

I returned home on Friday to find the contents of Cinderella's room in the driveway.
She and Prince Charming officially moved out this weekend.
Cinderella had already left for her weekend visit with Maleficent and I was informed she would be returning to Prince Charming's cottage on Sunday evening. Not the castle.
This was it. She was gone from my life without warning. My days as a Stepmom have suddenly come to a screeching halt.
No preparation. No goodbyes. No chance for closure or reassurances.
They stopped in briefly on Sunday night to pick up some more of their belongings. She barely had much to say to anyone, let alone me. She swept through like a tornado grabbing what she could and then escaping to the car. Again, without any goodbyes.
Hansel and Gretel were saddened by the brevity of her "visit" here. The reality of what we've been preparing them for has suddenly hit home, again without warning.
I don't know why I continue to be surprised over things. Perhaps I am expecting too much. But is it too much to expect that feelings be taken into consideration and our relationships with Cinderella be treated with a little more respect?
She must be as confused and hurt as we are.

And now, Hansel, Gretel and I must fill the empty spaces left in our castle.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Slaying the Dragon

"Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."

(In this fairy tale, there is no knight in shining armor on a white steed. In my story, the damsel learns how to save herself.)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

If There Was A Castle Bulletin Board

It'd let you know...

  • I am on the road to gaining some sort of financial independence. I have:
    - Started selling Avon. *ding! dong!*
    - Sold my first cake! I was commissioned to bake a birthday cake for a 6 year old birt bike rider. :)
    - Started working at a Holistic Wellness Center, which then led to two side jobs with some practitioners at said wellness center.  YAY!

  • I've signed up for a 16-week Women's Group as a way of figuring out this next chapter in my fairytale. I've defined myself over the past ten years as a Stepmom and Second Wife. I am much more than that. I just need a little help finding her.

  • Prince Charming and I have attended a few mediation meetings and they have gone pretty well. We seem to agree on the issues of custody/visitation and support. But our progress has come to a SCREECHING halt now that Maleficent is suing him for full custody of Cinderella. Yes, our pending divorce is being exploited and we are he is once more distracted by his ex. His preliminary court date is set for the end of this month. I am trying not to get sucked in emotionally and stay focused on what *I* need to do to get my life in order. It's hard not to be distracted when I've allowed so much of my life to be defined by Maleficent.

  • To that end, Prince Charming has informed me that he has secured a separate residence for he and Cinderella to live. Obviously, one can't argue that they are capable of taking care of their child full-time if said child is still being left with their stepparent half of the time. While the prospect of not having to commute back and forth between our home and my mother's is appealing, the reality of our current financial situation stops me from doing the happy dance just yet. We can barely afford the ONE house we live in now, it will take a fair amount of magic fairy dust to make a second home possible. He is moving out post haste and leaving me with a pile of unpaid bills.

  • I've seen a fair number of antagonistic and bitter anti-Stepmom comments lately.  And I am reaching the point of being fed up with them. But I am also mature enough to realize that BioMoms are probably equally as fed-up with whiny Stepmom blogs that drone on and on about BMs obnoxious and antagonistic behavior. So I guess we've proven the point as to WHY such blogs and comments persist, haven't we ladies? For what it's worth, I do advise that the haters out there take a little more time to learn about MY personal situation and get all of the facts before they fire off their virtual bitch slaps. I can take constructive criticism from those who take the time to read (reading IS fundamental, afterall)... but ignorant blasts do not deserve (nor will they get) a reply.

    (Why do the trolls always surface around Mother's Day? Could it be insecurities surrounding their children wanting to honor their Wicked Stepmom's on this day too, I wonder? Hmm... food for thought.)

  • While on the subject of Mother's Day, and in an ironic twist of fate, Cinderella did not acknowledge me in any way this year. For the first time in ten years neither she nor Prince Charming made the effort. Yes it hurt. And yes I can understand why this has come about. But no I do not think it deserving And I am sure the trolls from the above bullet point are doing their own little happy dance over this personal admission. I'm feeling as if I am being told I need to let go... but how does one let go of a child they have nurtured and cared for since they were a toddler?

This week's mantra: Letting go doesn’t mean giving up, but rather accepting that there are things that cannot be.

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    The Biology of Divorce REDUX

    Our 10-month in-house separation has been growing increasingly challenging, especially for Cinderella who is stuck in the middle of yet ANOTHER divorce.
    Torn between her desire to remain loyal to me (her primary care giver for the past 10 years) and her mother who is making every attempt to alienate my stepdaughter from me.
    Attempts are being made to undermine my authority. Trash talk continues.
    I noticed on her visitation days with Maleficent, Cinderella's mood towards me was colder and more defiant. It started in the mornings before she left for school, continued when she came home and rushed to do her homework before Maleficent was due to arrive. It followed her back home after being dropped off as she stomped around the house getting ready for school the next day.
    The next day, she was always fine.
    Her hostility fueled my own insecurities. I found myself becoming defensive and angry.
    (Yes, after ten years I still question my parenting abilities, take things personally and lay the mother guilt on myself nice and THICK.)
    It was time to have a (step)mother/daughter talk.
    I am sure you must be feeling anger towards Dad and me. You are probably hurt and confused because here you are going through ANOTHER divorce. And I am sure there is something going on when you are at Mom's but I don't want to make things worse by pressuring you to talk to me. It hurts me to see you suffering. I only hope that you will try to talk to someone about what's going on.
    As is par for the course, that's all she needed me to say. My suspicions were confirmed, her loyalities are being challenged and she is being torn apart by this.
    I reassured her as best as I know how. Mostly by example. Prince Charming and I struggle to find common ground, to get along for the kids' sake and make a point of making sure that they SEE it because it's one thing for us to tell them, but it's a whole other thing for them to LIVE it.
    While I can empathize with Maleficent and why she behaves where He is concerned, I don't agree that that's the answer. Not after all the pain I have seen it cause. Lord knows he doesn't always make it easy, but still...

    My mantra these days is: Love your kids more than you hate your ex.