Saturday, 5 September 2015

Raising Those Little Ones To Be Good

Did you know that as a parent or step parent or grandparent, or whatever we are, we are responsible for small people? There are little ones with tiny hearts and trusting brains that are relying on what they see us do and say to shape what kind of adults they turn into.  They see every smile, scowl, and embrace, just as often as they hear every raised voice, kind word, and snide comment. They learn from how we treat other people, how we talk behind closed doors, and care for those (that are believed to be) less deserving. They see every broken promise and every apology that is followed by more shitty behaviour. They are emulating all of us.

Because of this, I try to reflect what I would like to see in the world. And I want desperately to see kindness, love, appreciation, kept promises, more handmade items, more sustainable living, strong wills, and strong constitutions. I want to see openness whilst maintaining integrity, I want to see strong voices and opinions, and I want to see those tiny hands learn how to do as many things as they can bare to do in an effort to create a world less concerned with consumption, and more consumed with who can braise the best beef and apply the most glitter.

It is often said that you should strive to give children what you wish you had as a child yourself. With this thought, I try to emulate every day what I was missing, things that I've had the time to sift through and process. Things I used to harbour huge amounts of guilt and anger for, that have now turned into things that bring pride, appreciation, and understanding. Sometimes I do slip, and on particularly dark days I question the actions of my parents, my sisters, and my extended family, but those days are few and far between, for I have taken the time to process and then grow from the actions of others and of myself.

The largest burden in my tiny life came in the shape of a man who was always a mystery to me. A man who I'd not seen a photo of until I was eleven or twelve years old. A man who had held a mystical, exciting place in the deep caverns of my mind. I would visit him on days that my mother was too sick to get out of her chair, and on days when her third and fourth husbands were too busy beating on her to help me with my homework. On these days, I would lock myself in my bathroom and lie in the tub, wishing that I had something else. Something more than what I had screaming outside of that chipboard door. 

I wish I'd had my father in my life. Not my step-dads, not my mother's slew of boyfriends, and not my friend's dads. My father. The man who helped create me. I wanted that normalcy that I had seen when visiting my friend's Barbie- and NKOTB-themed rooms.  I would close my eyes as tight as I could and imagine what it would be like to have him hold me and brush his bushy moustache across my forehead as he confided how much he loved me. Tears would bloop past my eyelashes as I wished as hard as my little heart would let me that he would show up at the door and swoop me into his arms to take me away from feeling frightened, discarded, and hated.

And in the absence of a full blown daddy in my house I would have taken my parents just talking. So many times I agonized over why my mother refused to talk to my dad. Why I had to be shuttled immediately out of town when she'd caught wind that he'd be passing through. I didn't GET it. I begged and pleaded for her to call him so we could all meet up for lunch. That's all I wanted. I wanted to feel like my mother and father were normal people who could sit in the same room and talk. I didn't need for them to be married and in love again, I just needed to feel like I was important enough to come together for. I needed to see them act like the adults they were, and to meet up and talk about how I was doing in school, what I was going to be for Halloween, and how I was being disciplined for painting my friend's playroom walls with mascara. 

I tried to bargain with her to let me see him, only to be met with hideous allegations or distractions. When she didn't want to deal with it, she would just ignore that I had mentioned him at all. His name was a curse word in our house and I was left confused, unable to comprehend why my mother wouldn't share. Why he wasn't allowed to even have one of my school photos. Why I wasn't allowed to have a photo of him in my bedroom whilst my walls were filled with whatever else I wanted. All I wanted was family.

I dreamed of having a huge collection of families like some of my other friends. I imagined a world where I was allowed to spend time with my mum and my dad without feeling embarrassed for being happy about it. I hoped that the day would come that I would be able to get hugs from my mom, my dad, and his wife. I wondered what magical things she could do that my mommy couldn't (which couldn't possibly be much, because MY mommy was clearly the best mommy in the world). I wondered what kinds of meals she'd cook, if she'd teach me anything, and whether she'd ever tuck me in at night. I lived a relatively solitary life with half of it completely banned, which was confusing and horrifying for a child to process. To have to wonder what could be so wrong with this man who helped to make me, that he wasn't allowed to even hear my voice during their heated arguments on the phone. 

The only person I found to question about my father's absence from my life was myself. Was I so bad that my mum didn't think my dad should ever meet me? What did I do to leave me disallowed from meeting the man who had made half of me? If he is such a terrible person, what chance did I have to grow up normal or kind? I am half him, won't I turn out a criminal, cheating, pathological liar too? What can I do to stop it? Am I already broken and beyond repair? 

All these questions have been agonized over for virtually my entire life now. I've chewed them up and rearranged them over and over again to try to come up with some semblance of an answer, with no form of relief. I've tried looking at it from all angles, spoken to half a dozen therapists, and written my feelings out for twenty-odd years with nothing to fall back on yet. 

Alas, I'm thirty now, with thirty-one breathing down my neck. I'm three decades into my life and my relationship with my father is completely and irretrievably broken. There's no way to take it back. I speak to him now and find myself uncomfortable because of all the years lost. I don't know what to say to him, and when I do find the words, he is never as excited or involved in what I have to say as I would expect. I find myself embarrassed because I'm uncomfortable and frustrated with his lack of interest. More than anything, I'm furious with my mum for taking my father away from me. My mum who is gone. She died ten years ago, leaving me with one parent, and a broken heart. I virtually don't have any parents because of the decisions my mother made. Decisions that could have been more carefully orchestrated and developed to encourage love and respect. Decisions that promote forgiveness, warmth, and kindness. 

So, because of all of this loss, I find myself desperate to ensure that the children that I have in my life don't have to face the stuff I did and do. I harbour safe, loving relationships not only with their father, but with their mothers, step-fathers (if applicable), grandparents, and family friends. I encourage appreciation of the strengths of all these people, reminding them daily how important those people are. I encourage letter writing, phone calls, and sending photos. I build them up and remind them that they have nothing to feel shameful or embarrassed about. I do these things because they are things I never got. I was never offered assurance or encouragement from my maternal family and I don't want any of the children in my life to ever be able to say that I ever took any of them love or valuable feelings that they are most certainly entitled to away from them. I want them to be able to say that I did nothing but nourish and lift up all of the people in their lives, in hopes that they, no matter how I have been made to feel, are able to decide for themselves what relationships are valuable or not.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Why Am I Not A Mind Reader?

I wish I knew.

Knew what was happening and why it was happening.

Knew what angle she was coming from.

Knew how to fix all this stuff.

I wish so much that there was any way for me to grasp what in the name of heavens was happening. I can't comprehend what evolution we are in the middle of or why we are in the middle of it. I expected things to be fixed, stupidly, I guess. I thought that once the new paperwork was stamped and finalized that this would all end and things would start to finally get better. That finally we would be able to co-mingle like all the other split households I've seen and read about. All the happy meals, holidays, phone calls, and fluid communication. Occasionally, there were small glimpses into normal that came out about three months after all was said and done, but that is but a distant memory now.

It seems almost as though none of the MANY months spent agonizing over court paperwork ever even happened. Like all the reprimands for irrational behavior and promises of conducive co-parenting fell on deaf ears. Like we are just in the middle of a volatile, stressful, pissing-contest that won't end anytime in the foreseeable future. But the problem is that all the pissing isn't coming from our direction. It's irritatingly coming from the East and aimed right at us.

I don't understand why it has to be so hard. Why communications need to be so erratic and broken. It feels like we are trying so desperately hard to keep things under control. Like we shattered a gigantic mirror and are now trying to pick all the pieces up. We are systematically picking each portion of this broken thing up piece by piece, only to get jabbed randomly for seemingly no reason at all. The pieces all look smooth enough, but some of them have shitty little jagged edges that will cut you like you owe it money if approached wrong.

Each and every email sent in our direction is rife with demands, accusations, and absolutely not an ounce of kindness. They're hateful and irritatingly unexpected given the amount of healthy communication we try to illicit. For all the "pleases," thank yous," and "how does that work with yous," all we are ever gifted in return are "nows," "immediatelys," and "your message has been noteds."

Why is she so unwilling to work together with us for the sake of their child? Why can she not listen to that little girl and hear her say how desperately stuck in the middle she feels? Why does she do anything that she's been doing?

I wish I had any idea where she was coming from. I try so hard, as I've always done, to interpret and guess blindly why she is acts out. I understand parts of it, I really do, but then more stuff flies into the fan and splatters all over our lives for what seems to be no reason. I've pawed through dozens and dozens of books from each side of the fence, trying to put this mosaic together. This image of what the hell is happening and why.

I've read about jaded women, ex-wives who were still, years after the divorce, trying to piece together the broken parts of their emotions in an attempt to keep it together enough to maintain a flat smile during handovers and birthdays. Women who were left lost, trying to rebuild after many or few years with the same man. Women learning to trust and love again.

And I've read about new women, new wives who are trying to find their place in the dynamic of a broken family. Step-mothers who toe a very, VERY fine line between just enough and too much. Women who love abundantly and sometimes make mistakes because of the uncharted territory. A territory I've become painfully familiar with because of the last several years. A territory that has tried to rip me limb from limb with the guided hand of BM. A hand that has been very clumsily thrashing in my general direction in a vain attempt to cause as much distress as possible. A hand that I, for the love of everything I've read, cannot understand.

I try to fix things. I read all the books, respect all the set boundaries, and am still left empty-handed. I'll be honest, I occasionally find myself frustrated with little things she does, even if it's not wrong, but just because she rubs me the wrong way. The conflict that has been fueled between us, or at least from my position, comes from keeping BM frozen in a story. I was keeping her as an unchanging character in my mind who was only capable of doing one thing or another and no more, without any chances for improvement. That's not fair to her, or anybody for that matter. I've come to realize that it is okay for me to admit that BM has a few good qualities, and that's okay.

I made the conscious decision to forgive. I told myself that I will stop the energy drain of attack and defend. I initially felt incredibly vulnerable, but trusted myself to take care of me and what I needed. I have laid my own groundwork for something new to happen. I've developed compassion again. Understanding that she is just as human as us. I understand that we all occasionally act from a place  of self-interest and self-protection, and we often make mistakes, and even if we would not like to be seen as behaving in such a way, that's alright. Compassion is necessary, not only for BM, but also for the little girl who is caught in the middle of everything. 

I had several conversations with SD during her past visit which started with her telling me how hard it is for her to be the kid in the middle of this. A sentiment that I explained my understanding of. I explained my childhood and the strained phone calls between my mom and dad, the urgent trips in the middle of the night my mom would make to her parent's house so that she could hide me if she thought my dad might come to try and see me.

The problem that I had with her admission is that she has never shown any signs to us that she's struggling prior to that night. Looking at her little face, I saw her break a little. She asked me why her mommy didn't like us, why things had to be the way they are and why we never came to visit her at her house. She showed me a side of herself that I forgot existed. A side that I ached for, because that used to be my voice. A voice of desperation and realization that perhaps all the realities that she's been living with for so many years might be shaken and not as sturdy as they once were.

This can't be just about BM anymore. Both sides have to share power with each other. Neither side asked for permission for that power and neither side granted it, yet there the arrangement lies. BM has this need for control that she can't shake. She demands things and expects people to bow to them. There's just an absolute unwillingness to meet us halfway at all. Neither side can parent in isolation though. We need each other. Whether BD is a hands-on parent or not, there will probably be times when BM and I will need to bail one another out or rationalize one another's actions and having someone on her side could really help, if only she could see it.

We understand, just as I imagine she does, that it is almost impossible to let yourself relax when you know that someone is just waiting for you to mess up. We KNOW that there is someone out there talking about us, watching us, biding their time, and that's the scariest part of our life right now. We become defensive, and we become this way because we assume that someone is attacking us now for something one of us did in the past, and we're anticipating more attacks in the future. Anticipate and gather information.

We try to ensure that we monitor where we are getting our information from. We don't want to get all flared up before knowing what is the truth and what isn't. I try desperately hard to communicate to foster harmony between myself and BM. I communicate to listen and consider any changes that might need to be made. I gather my information and pay very close attention in an effort to make things better. I gently piece together the small fractions of information I can from where I can so that I can better even my little portion of this mess. I make a rudimentary effort to be kind and provide cheerfulness and friendliness to BM in hopes that one day she might see it and decide to stop being so angry. Stop clutching onto these hurt emotions that she is harboring.  

 Until then, I'll just have to keep wishing...

Let's talk about allergies for a moment...

So, BM has been on a hateful warpath again and despite the fact that I have been very carefully crafting a new post for the past several weeks, I wanted to put this new find out there, just to clear a few things up.

So, this new post was sent to me this afternoon...

Firstly? Let's talk about how the conversation with Kid went in real life, not tainted by a ten-year-old...

She talked about wanting a bird. She told us that a neighbor had a bird that might be breeding it in the near future and that she wanted one of them. We spent a great deal of time talking about birds and how annoying they can be as pets and I then went on to tell her about the many birds I had as pets as a child and said I'd love to have one again. She asked if we could get one and I told her that her daddy didn't like birds and that if she ever moved in with us, I'd get her one.

A few days later, Kid was snuggling with my dog. The dog that she literally rubs her face on constantly with absolutely not even a little reaction. The dog that she begs to sleep with every night. The dog that she isn't allergic to. While snuggling with my dog, she said that she wished she could have a dog and I again told her that we didn't have the time to take care of another dog at the moment, but if she ever moved in with us, that might be a reason to get another (because secretly, I want another dog, and that would give me a reason to get one.)

Just to make it clear, I didn't say "OMG YOU NEED TO MOVE IN WITH US BECAUSE I'LL BUY YOU A BIRD AND A DOG!" It was a musing about something that probably was never going to happen, which is fine with me, because it saves me money and time. It was an offhanded comment that was never pressed or discussed much further than that (barring for the couple of times Kid asked if the offer still stood a few days later). And you know what? I was telling the truth. If she moves in with us, I see no reason that she shouldn't be allowed to have pets as a means to teach her responsibility and life. She should be able to have a pet and know that kind of love and joy.

Also? I just want to clarify that we have taken her to three different doctors in the last thirteen months who have told us point blank every time that she does not have asthma. I don't know why you are clutching on to the fact that she has it or why you can't just let it go, but there are no allergic issues with the dog in our house or any other dogs that we have seen her spend any length of time with (including, but not limited to, her grandma's THREE dogs, our friend's TWO dogs, and ALL THE DOGS IN THE WORLD at the dog park we took her to several times this year AND last year). I also know that I have personally seen her medical records dating back quite far and seen no documentation citing hospitalization due to allergic/asthmatic issues. Perhaps there were medical appointments, but really, there have been so many for such a cavalcade of issues (real or imagined) that it's hard to find THAT needle in the haystack.

Maybe she did have allergic issues with dogs and other animals at the age of four, or MAYBE it was an allergy to something in the environment where you lived? The state you were living in at the time is well known for containing many elements that cause allergic issues in people young and old. As I said, in the last several years, I've seen her encounter MANY dogs with no reaction at all whatsoever. Not even a little erythema or pruritis that would call for medicating, let alone hospitalization. Nothing.

Or maybe (and this is MY guess, after several years of studying skin and anatomy) physiology and evolution worked like they're supposed to and she's developed (as most people do) a resistance to common allergens after being subjected to them many times over the years from friends, family, or public areas. This might suggest that she would be able to happily live with a pet (who should be carefully selected, just to be safe, so as to prevent any allergic issues. There are hypoallergenic dogs now, you know.)

Perhaps you can try communication prior to jumping right to being hateful and posting on groups for women who have actual, real-life issues. We're not terrible people. We want to communicate with you and make Kid's life easier, why don't you?

Thursday, 15 May 2014

What is the Definition of a Deadbeat Dad?

I have recently seen the adjective "Deadbeat" preceding the title of "dad" in reference to my husband quite a lot. A phraseology that I am very bluntly tired of hearing. So many people blindly toss words like "deadbeat" and "abuse" around with ease and no regard for other people's feelings or the very tangible reality that comes from facts.

I know that I personally say quite a lot, but the words that I say are 1) not blatantly discriminatory, and 2) very, VERY carefully chosen in an attempt to be respectful, discreet, and understanding to people's needs and privacy. Sorry about that little aside. Back to my point...

Obviously, I am under no illusion that "deadbeats" exist. That these people can be and are devastating to the lives not only of their children, but the extended family of them (parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, etc). What I also understand is that there are just as many deadbeat moms as there are dads. Clearly, any parent is capable of falling behind and forgetting holidays and generally being what some might consider useless or negligent. What a lot of people don't realize is that this doesn't always occur because they're terrible people or don't deserve to be parents, though, but sometimes just because people are people and make human mistakes.

Like, take BM for example. I have a list of mistakes she's made as long as both my arms and legs put together, but never one single time, have BD or I ever accused her of so much as being a less-than-good mom. We praise her for raising such a wonderful, bright little girl. We appreciate what she has done.We rejoice in the fact that despite any barriers that she has faced, she has not only raised a gorgeous little girl, but she has also raised a wonderful little boy and is making another little one in her belly right now. Despite illnesses, deaths, moves, deployments, and court battles, she has still taken the time to teach sign language, times tables, and state capitols. She has made strides as a mother that are admirable and something huge that I respect even today, after all we've been through.

And through all of these kind thoughts that come from our household, BM is still consumed by hatred. I am still the "wicked" stepmother and BD has recently been granted the very special title of "deadbeat." From what I can understand, and from what I have read from BM's MANY posts, he has been offered this title almost entirely for the fact that he does not pay his full Child Support every month.

I'm going to get real about this now, because I have nothing to hide, and neither does BD.

BD worked for the military for many years. He had a completely steady paycheck for almost the entirety of SD's life. It wasn't actually until the middle of last year that his unemployment was a couple of months away from running out (after not being allowed to re-enlist because the military is ridiculous) and he contacted BM very formally and respectfully to offer another option for Child Support. Not to stop paying it, but to agree mutually to reduce it for one year until he was finished with school. The letter was obviously ignored, and BD has since been paying as much Child Support as possible every month.

And I'm sure that I can almost see several of your collective eyes rolling... "Well why doesn't he just get a JOB? what a useless excuse for a father!"  I get it, and I'll have to admit that this thought has come across my own mind a time or two. The reality of the situation, though, is that BD is going to school full time to get a job that pays a pretty gorgeous amount. Alongside school, BD is also very aware of the fact that his levels of focus are HORRIBLE and trying to work full, or even part-time would only result in failure in either his education or job. The reality ALSO is that BD started a business and is budding that business as a means to supplement his Child Support. Businesses, although eventually prosperous, are slow to start, and every penny that he gets from the business goes immediately to Child Support. It may not be a HUGE amount, but he's trying.

Despite being deficit on Child Support, we provide our best. We buy SD clothes when she's here, we pay for her tickets to visit, and we provide her with books or supplemental things during her visit.  BD calls SD regularly, supports her extra-curricular activities, and provides BM the space and respect that she requests and deserves.

And still, we are labelled as horrendous people with terrible monikers.

So, for the case of argument, I want to provide the definition that has been provided by Wikipedia (and many other websites):

"Deadbeat parent is a pejorative term referring to parents of either gender who is attempting to evade court ordered child support obligations. Primarily used in the United States and Canada, the gender-specific deadbeat dad and deadbeat mom are commonly used to refer to men and women who have fathered or mothered a child and intentionally fail to pay child support ordered by a family law court or statutory agency such as the Child Support Agency.

The term deadbeat parent is a pejorative term used more by child support advocacy groups than by Governmental Child Support Agencies. Child Support Agencies described clients either as in compliance, not in compliance or criminally non compliant. Compliance is judged by the paying party's performance in meeting the terms of the Child Support court order. However, some local authorities have mounted campaigns targeting so called "deadbeats" and eliciting a more excited emotional public response."

So, from this definition, it is citing that a Deadbeat is a person who is attempting to evade a debt of Child Support. Something that BD has never one single time even thought of doing. He has every single intention to pay each penny that is owed towards his Child Support and is slowly chipping away at it in the meantime. He is a person who means nothing but the best and wants to be able to provide for his family reliably and comfortably for a long period of time, so he is bettering his skill set to make that happen. I feel like that, compounded by the fact that he is a dedicated and interested party in the upbringing of his children should reflect for something other than the angry rants of a mother who has for years claimed over and over again that "this isn't about the money."

In my opinion, a "Deadbeat" should be more carefully defined as a parent of either gender who evades parenting obligations. Not just financially, but emotionally and for the extent of their child's life. The "Deadbeat" label should be thrust upon people who refuse to take part in their children's favorite activities, or have no interest in seeing and spending time with their little ones.

Instead, loving parents who are desperate to take part in their children's lives are being forced out of them by Custodial Parents who have no interest in sharing. No interest in being a fair parent.

I feel like a parent, a GOOD parent, is someone who is involved, cares, and attempts to be a part of their child's life. Someone who accepts responsibility for this little thing that they made to the best of their ability, be that calling, skyping, sending letters/emails, or visiting. They do the best they can, and sometimes that'll be more than other times. Despite this, it is understood that they are trying, and that is okay, because they love their child and want to see them happy. A good parent is someone who respects the other parent, no matter what their relationship status is. Someone who doesn't openly disrespect or disparage the other parent for ANY reason, be that frustration, anger, or to win the child over.

I feel like BM and many other parents need something, anything to use as a weapon and clutch onto this phraseology that is hurtful and generally inaccurate. I understand that they are lashing out and I understand that they need every weapon they can hoard into their arsenal, no matter how flimsy, but this has to stop. People's desperation to destroy another person's credibility and kindness is spiraling out of control and I'm exhausted from it.

I ultimately feel that the read "deadbeat" parent is the one who willingly keeps a child from their loving other parent. So, if you are flinging this word around willy-nilly, please think again about things beyond dollar bills. Think about the big picture of what role the other parent is playing in your child's life. And if you are having this word flung at your wildly, take a moment to see what your position in your child's life really is and pat yourself on the back if you can easily call yourself a "good" parent.

Monday, 21 April 2014

An Open Letter to a Birth Mom from a Step Mom... Part Two.

And here we are with the second portion of my open letter to the Birth Mom in my life. This is the really beefy stuff where I blatantly point out the things that have been lied about and done inappropriately.

I've spent the last sixteen months being stepped on, verbally abused and flamed publicly online with no support or protection. I could have lost it. I could have gotten hateful and played her game, but I instead decided to document everything...

I spent hours taking screenshots of every post, comment and photo liked or posted. Screenshots that will be used for the salvation of BD and myself when Daughter is old enough to see what was happening behind the keys of a keyboard. And I will hide nothing. I have openly saved everything said not only by myself and BD, but also by BM and her family and friends. It's going to be a wonderful day when balance can finally be restored and the truth has set us free.

So, please, see my defense. See my truth. See the real side of the story. (all of these images are direct screenshots sent to me from various Facebook, Ebay, and other webpages. All of these things have indeed been posted by BM and have been documented in several places for future necessity and evidence). Also? I maintain that I have clear documented evidence for every single thing that I am writing in response to these posts. There is not one thing that I am responding with that I cannot back up with real, actual proof. Something you seem to have been lacking for the last almost two years.

Again, these are in as best a chronological order as possible. 


I guess the first thing that I would like to address is this post. There was never any single person who was secretly and consistently informing either of us of anything. You are paranoid and really were barking up the wrong tree with this. We dealt with all of this entirely on our own and didn’t need the help of other people to “spy” on you or gather intel. You made it fairly easy for us to find any and everything that we needed to know. So please, go make amends with this friend, because they didn’t deserve any of your hatred. We never sent anybody to spy on Daughter (which is a crazy accusation that makes you sound like a lunatic, by the way) or spy on your social media pages.
Now, onto more in-depth topics…

I have seen on MANY occasions that you seem to think that BD and I have been saying you are a bad mother. I’ve gone over and over every single communication that has ever occurred between all of us and there has never, not even one time, been a time that either of us has even SUGGESTED that you are a bad mother. In fact, if you’ll take the time to refer back to emails and texts, you will find that the only suggestion that either of us has ever made about your parenting abilities is that you are a great mom who has raised a really brilliant and polite child. We have never one single time, even in the privacy of our own home, said anything bad about your parenting abilities. We are very aware of the fact that you have done countless incredible things to raise a brilliant, polite and giving daughter. We know that you have given a lot as a mother and that you care about your children and are willing to do anything you feel you need to to protect them, but the recent lengths that you have gone to in the name of being a good mother are atrocious. I’m not saying you are a bad mother, and I can’t stress that enough. I am just saying that perhaps your tactics were not very great and should probably be reflected upon. 


Your accusations of me being jealous of you and me having mental health issues that you seem to be dead-set on making sure people know about are not only ridiculous, but inaccurate and personally very offensive. Firstly, I have never “openly” discussed my mental health with you. Nor have I ever told you that I “mismanage” my medication (mostly because I have been told by many professionals that I do not currently need medication). Beyond all of that, I feel it is important for you to know that I am perfectly happy with the life that I have got and do not need you suggesting that I am jealous about the “state of your uterus.” I could actually give two shits about the state of your reproductive system because I know it is none of my business. Not only that, but if I WERE to give a shit, it would only be excitement because I LOVE babies and the fact that people have the opportunity to create a new life and raise a little babycake for themselves. And my favorite babies in the world are babies that I don’t have to keep for myself. I have been very systematically creating a life for myself and BD that works for us. A life that has allowed me to understand that I don’t need to have a baby to be happy. I don’t need a baby because I have three stepchildren AND countless friends with little ones that I can shower with love and adorable gifts and then leave. Leave and spend time with my husband that is for us. I am perfectly delighted with having Daughter for the visits we have. We love her and spend time with her and make her time entirely worth every moment. She is treated fairly and like she belongs in our home, which she does. She has room in our home and hearts and that is enough for me. You see, I have the capacity to grow as an individual and accept certain truths and paths in life and mine doesn’t involve having a baby. Some days are hard, but in no way have I ever found myself jealous of your womb or that of anybody else. 

Now, on the topic of pregnancy. Let me address THIS post, in which you firstly state that BD “refuses” to have children with me. He doesn’t refuse. He and I are firstly not in a place in our lives where we even WANT to deal with a baby. Alongside that, again, he doesn’t refuse. I am sure that you are aware that BD has been “fixed” and therefore simply cannot have a child without the cost and exhaustion of medical procedures to reverse it. So it’s certainly not that he WON’T have a child with me. We have more important, pressing issues in our life that we have decided leaves us unwilling to have a baby. We’re responsible and want to make sure that if the day DOES come that we decide to have a little one, we are in a safe and comfortable space. 
Also? I’d be SUPER interested to know what “problems” we have been causing. Because I’m pretty certain that I’ve known you are pregnant since September and have literally said not one thing to you (or anyone else for that matter) about it. In fact, the only thing that I have done in reference to your pregnancy is send you a really, incredibly thoughtful handmade gift with no strings attached. And your response to that was the following…

Seriously, I sent you a really amazing, thoughtful, kind gift with absolutely no desire for response or appreciation. Just to be kind and show you that I respect you enough to support your right to have a baby. I even wrote you a really kind note. If you have to be medicated because of a thoughtful gift that is not something I am going to take ownership of. I was being kind. That’s the end of it.

Oh. And just to be clear, if I REALLY wanted to be pedantic, I COULD point out that the email you sent to me on July 14th of last year actually stated the following: "Please do not contact me again, via call, email, or text." Something that I have adhered to exclusively. I have not called, emailed, OR texted you since then. So really, your claim that you asked me not to contact you under "any" circumstances is a little wrong.


Regarding BD being an “elusive” piercer and your really desperate need to prove that he is working… BD has never one time tried to hide his working at the shop. If you stop and think about it logically for a moment, you would realize that he probably wouldn’t have registered a business license with the state and child support if he was trying to hide it. Do you think he would be filing taxes and taking what little money he does make from his job to Child Support if he was trying to hide it? No. The answer is no. If you’ll take a moment to hark back, you’ll probably recall that what he has said is that he doesn’t have MUCH money. He IS indeed a full time student, which doesn’t pay a lot of the bills. I don’t know if I need to remind you that we at one point had to move into a shared apartment with a roommate and sell quite a lot of our belongings because we don’t have a lot of money. We don’t pretend that we have loads of money. And on that topic, let’s look at the next post from you…

I don’t know how brilliant you think you are by finding our Instagrams, but you’re sadly mistaken in thinking that you’ve found anything beyond regular activity. Mostly because a lot of the posts that you are referring to are really old and were from a time when he was still regularly paying his child support (Like the “good rum.” That was bought on New Year ’s Eve in 2011 to ring in the new year of 2012 (meaning we bought it in December of 2011, three years ago, in case you couldn’t do the math). That is a long-ass stretch for your plea about him spending money.) Beyond that, we haven’t been to a concert in quite some time. Like, it has easily been over a year since the last concert we went to. And the “trip after trip?” We go to Ocean Shores, which is a 45 minute drive away from us. We go there and stay in a friend’s house on the beach. I didn’t realize escaping to a nearby free place was a crime, but we’ll keep taking those breaks if that’s okay with you. The only other trip that we took was last year when I PERSONALLY paid for the two of us to go visit BD’s family in California for our anniversary. I felt like after all the stupid court bullshit we deserved a break, and since I could afford it, I did. I make smart financial choices so that we can do nice things once in a while. I paid our bills, put gas in the car and then, when I found that I had some spare money after putting a chunk into savings, I decided that it would be nice for BD to see his parents. And if I recall, I also paid for Daughter to fly out here AND to buy her new clothes and entertainment stuff out of the kindness of my own heart. Are you sure you don’t want to use THAT against us as well? Me arranging Daughter to come visit her dad? 

And now, I am going to correct you here and tell you that Sebastian is MY dog. And because he is MY dog that I paid for, I pay the bills for him. It is ME who orchestrates taking him to the vet and buying him food. It is ME who pays for those things, because I am a responsible adult. I can’t help but feel like you would try to use him against BD in any way you can. If I WASN’T taking him to the vet and feeding him, you would use it against him. And when I DO responsibly take care of my dog and feed him, you use it against him. He is MY dog and I pay for him to be cared for. My dog is none of your business, just as your son and new baby are none of BD’s. This all seems like it is a really weak attempt at clutching onto any little thing you can to demonize BD, which I don’t appreciate. He is MY dog and the care of him is MY business, not yours. The care that my pet receives should and will bare absolutely no reflection on child or any other support that you should or will be in receipt of. 


I have seen you post about this several times and I’m fairly certain that never one single time have either of us ever said that we don’t believe Daughter has Fibrous Dysplasia (yeah, that’s how you spell Fibrous). In fact, even from the beginning when you called BD and told him that Daughter might have cancer (which is an alarming thing to hear from anybody about your child) all he wanted to do was be more informed. He never even told you that Daughter didn’t have cancer, he just wanted to talk to a doctor. Which you immediately became hostile about and then cut off contact, stating that you would press charges if he didn’t stop asking about Daughter’s health care provider. Even at this point, he still never suggested Daughter’s illnesses weren’t true. When the suggestion of Fibrous Dysplasia came into play all we did was support your decision to take her to the doctor. When the time came for Daughter to come visit this summer, I spent countless hours on the phone with you, the local hospital AND the insurance company arranging appointments for Daughter so that she would be able to be seen for her condition. I am fairly certain that if someone didn’t believe that she was ill they would not have supported your decision for incessant appointments. Did I personally think that all the precautions were unnecessary? Yes. But she’s not my daughter and so I let you do as you wish, never once questioning what you were doing or why you were doing it. 
And on the topic of Daughter’s medical issues, I’ve seen the following accusation from you countless times as well… 

Again, never one single time have either of us even SLIGHTLY suggested that Daughter does not have a peanut allergy OR asthma. Let’s touch the asthma first. When Daughter came up to visit for the summer you demanded she go to see a doctor and get an asthma action plan, which we arranged. When we took her in we happily discussed Daughter’s medical issues with the pediatrician who asked Daughter when she had last used her inhaler. Daughter told her it had been over a year, so the doctor said that she didn’t think Daughter needed to use her inhaler anymore. I THEN persisted discussion with the doctor to ensure that she was certain that Daughter wouldn’t need her inhaler. The pediatrician explained to us very clearly that Daughter did not need it and that asthma was something that children often grew out of and that this seemed to be the case with Daughter. 

Regarding the peanut allergy. I have no idea how in God’s name you could possibly think we don’t believe Daughter has a peanut allergy. Every single time Daughter comes to visit we purge our home of every single thing that might be contaminated with peanuts. In fact, since her visit this last summer, I took it upon myself personally to arrange for Daughter to have her own cabinet in our kitchen that contains cutlery, dishes and snacks that are just hers and entirely safe for her to use. If we didn’t believe she had a peanut allergy would we go to such great lengths to protect her from contamination? I would imagine not. Instead, I’ve personally kept in close contact with you each and every time that Daughter has visited to discuss specific things that she might be allergic to ALONG with which medications she might need in the house for her allergies and asthma. So what I’m going to need is for you to STOP demonizing us and telling people that we claim she doesn’t have issues that we’ve gone great lengths to work with you to take care of.

As far as we understand, after speaking to several school administrators AND the attendees from the SARB (Student Absence Review Board) office, the reasons Daughter was taken out of school had nothing to do with bullying. As far as WE understood, she was removed from school because you decided it would be okay to have Daughter miss a ridiculous amount of days of school and when the administrators wanted to meet with you about it to offer you help and discuss it, you immediately removed her from school. You don’t like being forced to be accountable, and unfortunately, sometimes that is necessary. When people point out my own wrongdoings, I will take time to step back and reflect and make changes if needed. Every time you have had an issue with me I have taken time to reflect and then openly discuss whatever that issue was with you to fix the situation and make things right. Because that’s what adults do. They work towards healthy situations to make life easier not only for themselves, but for the other people in their lives, no matter how they feel about them.


I am fairly certain that you are just as aware of the reality of this situation as I am. You were married to BD for several years and I expect that you know for an absolute fact that BD calls his birth father “Pop” and his step-father “Dad.” This has never been argued or contested. But what you DO need to think about is the fact that BD never, ever, under any circumstances, calls either by their loving names in front of the other, as he was raised to respect the sanctity of that title. His mother raised him to know that when he is wither one of his paternal figures, the other should be called by their name (except, in the case of his ACTUAL father… You know, the one who helped to MAKE him? He’s always referred to as his “Dad.” That is a sacred name that is not yours to take away. If a two-year-old little girl mistakenly calls the man who is not the other half of her genes “Dad,” then it is your job as a good mother to correct her and explain to her the difference. It is YOUR job to find an alternative that will allow SD to feel special whilst BD doesn’t have his toes stepped-on. Again, I beg for you to think about what it would feel like for you to know that Daughter called me “Mom” in your absence. How slighted and hurt would you feel to know that someone had taken that very personal and revered title from you? I’m going to go ahead and answer that for you, because I know that it would devastate you, particularly if Daughter came home to you still calling me “Mom.” Put yourself into other people’s shoes, just one time, so that you can feel for them and understand how devastating it is to have something like that taken from you, because you’ve given BD no choice. You’ve taken that, along with countless other things from him with absolutely no regard, and apparently in the name of doing “what’s right” for your children. What is RIGHT for your children is raising them to be kind, empathetic, and family-oriented individual who is allowed and encouraged to love as many people as possible.


Alright. Let’s go ahead and address this gigantic heap of bullshit right now. Firstly? Whilst I GUESS you could technically call me a “trainee,” I had been cutting hair without supervision for over a year at the time, so you can go suck a big one with that. Secondly, I asked your permission prior to doing it. I asked and you said okay. Daughter was MADLY in love with her haircut SHE picked out and was given and was the happiest we had seen her after I gave it to her. ALSO?! We were literally stopped in the street no less than three times per DAY every single day before she left by someone telling us just how indescribably gorgeous she looked with that haircut. Every one of those people wanted to know who did that haircut because they wanted THEIR children to get their hair cut by that person. Just in case you were curious, that person was me. I did a haircut on that little girl that she regularly had to stop to tell me how much she loved. I did a haircut that was complementary and stunning on that child that I had no idea could even GET more beautiful until after that cut. 
 In case there was a question about this “atrocity” I did, please see the following photos… 

The left one is her “beautiful shoulder length hair” and the right is her pixie cut, which is indeed a pixie cut. Suck a dick. This is my JOB, something that you literally know nothing about. I really don’t want you to even begin to think that you have any room to slight my job when I create nothing but happy customer after happy customer, of which Daughter was one. I’m sorry that you can’t handle change and I’m sorry that you aren’t secure enough in yourself to appreciate a ridiculously adorable child with a disgustingly cute haircut done by someone without you there to micromanage every detail. THAT is not my problem and I am going to need you to stop posting bullshit like this, because I will not hesitate to press charges.


Now, let’s talk about my blog. The blog that you’ve know that I’ve had for years. The blog that we have discussed MANY times. The blog that you have told me you appreciate because of my candor and honesty. Yeah, I may say things that you don’t agree with, but the things that I say are honest. Sometimes the truth isn’t pretty. Even BD has been upset by the truths that I have shared on my blog. But every single time we have discussed it and you have expressed a concern about things I say, I tried to accommodate you. I stopped calling you Satan after I got to know you and realized you’re a lovely and hilarious person. I stopped using any of your family’s names, except for your daughter’s and that’s because BD has told me may times that he is perfectly happy with me using her name because I’m not divulging any other personal information. 

So, regarding your first post up there about me apparently stating that Daughter has no morals? That literally never happened. I have agonized for hours and trolled through every single one of my blogs to try and find even the SLIGHTEST suggestion that Daughter has no morals and there is nothing. Not a single things. 

And my post about liars? Your interpretation of it as me calling Daughter a liar is entirely inaccurate. In fact, that post was about you and your mother and was written after the both of you submitted declarations to the court containing nothing but lies. Like, it was full of things that neither of you even had the possibility of knowing. Like when BD and I took Daughter to see BD’s dad? Your mom said that Daughter was given a chocolate bar containing peanuts (I’ll get to the allergy later, don’t worry) and that she put it into her backpack and took it home to you. What ACTUALLY happened was she was NEARLY offered a chocolate bar that I immediately intercepted and gave back. Daughter didn’t even touch the chocolate bar. I then explained Daughter’s peanut allergy to BD’s stepmom and got her a cola. THEN we all sat together and watched Wheel of Fortune and took some photos together before we went back to the place we were staying to have dinner and go to bed. Nobody mistreated her, instead, she was embraced as a brilliant, fun little girl who is WAY better at Wheel of Fortune than we are. So yes, Birth Mom’s friend, you were correct, this WAS about Birth Mom and NOT Daughter.   


I’m sure you’ve been complaining over and over again about the amount of presents that Daughter came home with after Christmas this year. Every single one of her presents were donated to us through my school’s charity to assist low income families to provide presents for their children during the holidays. I was fortunate enough to have a family adopt us and provide a huge amount of great gifts for Daughter. You see, we are fairly resourceful people and know how to find help where it is offered.

Also? Daughter didn’t seem too devastated to spend time with us during her visit. I tried and tried to find any sign that she was unhappy or didn’t want to be with us, and she never displayed any. You don’t need to project your issues onto her. She is allowed to enjoy spending time with us without having to seek your approval. She should be able to look forward to time at either home without it being tainted by an angry or hateful parent. We do nothing but speak your praises about you and Stepdad every day. Each and every night, when she inevitably asks me to put her to bed, we sit and talk about what she misses and loves about you guys and support the love that she should be entitled to have for both households. I wish that you could offer us the same respect, because that would help Daughter out to no end through this process.

Okay, onto the topic of you accusing BD and me of abusing Daughter. I have no idea what you are basing these allegations on, but I am sick and tired of seeing this allegation all over the place. I can’t help but feel like your basis for making these claims are as a result of Daughter coming home to you after our visit this summer after being reprimanded  a few times up here because the rules that she has at home at very different to the rules here at our home. Because both households have different rules and morals, there is expected to be teething problems. She was never mistreated or abused. She did not like being held accountable for the things that she did and said and instead of you understanding that she is a nine-year-old child who interprets things differently than adults, you’ve taken her word for gospel and have taken to accusing us of abusing Daughter. A reasonable person would have heard what Daughter said and knew that she was nine and that they should talk to the other party to understand both sides BEFORE posting all over dozens of pages that we are abusive. That is a truly disgusting and despicable thing to do. Honestly, it would be so easy for us to accuse you of horrible things as well if we were so inclined, but we have desire to do that because we know the weight of accusations like that. People go to jail for lesser things. 

If I might suggest, it might be good to actually sit down and talk with BD and find out exactly what actually happened during the visit, rather than taking a nine-year-old's version of the story. I've no doubt she came home upset, fine, she was scolded, and made to take accountability for actions, but we were not unfair or horrible to her. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that children tend to have different versions of stories because they don't understand things completely and are prone to have higher emotions (especially when they are not raised to be resilient and able to deal with adversity).


Woooh doggie this is a frustrating topic for me because again, in this situation, if it did indeed occur as you say it did, you should have contacted one of us to discuss it with us. Because as far as I can recall, it was Daughter who wanted to watch the film Mama. It was also Daughter who was joking and whispering that SHE was Mama and terrifying the crap out of ME (as I am fairly fragile and scare easily). This went on for DAYS in between her asking if we could watch it again and if we thought you would let her have that film at home. Not one sleepless night was had and we were all copacetic. And you know what? When Daughter got here for Christmas this year I sat down and discussed the film with her and she was fine. We talked about it openly and it was a completely reasonable discussion that ended with a mutual agreement that we would watch no more scary movies. Perfectly sensible. I wish you would be willing or able to try this sensible approach with us and Daughter sometimes, because I feel like it would make a whole lot of things easier.

This is just a little fun one for me because you firstly didn’t NEED to sell anything if you had just dealt with this like an adult and either spoke to BD or called the County Clerk’s office to find out what your options were. I’m sure you’re curious what my second and most fabulous point is, aren’t you? We never had to pay a penny for parking fees. THAT is my favorite thing about your inaccuracy. 


I find it interesting that you are so quick to call him a jerk when, if you look at the situation from another point of view, you would see how ridiculous your request for a meeting was. You wanted a man who is representing himself to come into a meeting mediated by a lawyer that YOU pay to discuss settling your Parenting Plan. How in the name of God does him wanting fair and open mediation to protect his rights make him a jerk? Because in my head, he was doing the responsible thing for himself. What YOU didn’t like is that is that you didn’t get your way. YOU wanted to be selfish and corner him in a foreign office and bully him into whatever you wanted and that is unacceptable. You are not allowed to bully him and should just understand that you aren’t the only person to be considered through all of this. Daughter is fine. She had no concerns or scarred emotions that were visible during her visits, which leads me to believe that the emotions you are talking about here are projections of your own insecurities and worries. Daughter is fine. Children are surprisingly resilient and she is a great, understanding, and loving child who deserves to be loved by as many people as possible without you controlling those relationships. Also, I’d love to hear more about your prognosis of BD’s mental illness, because as far as I understand, you are certainly not a mental health professional and definitely not in a position to make calls on the state of people’s mental health. So please, perhaps focus your concern on your family and stop trying to project such hate onto other people with lies and accusations.

Also? She’s not just YOUR daughter. She is both yours AND BD’s and you will do well to recall that in the future. We have done large amounts of reading in the past several months about High Conflict parenting and one of the biggest signs of a High Conflict or Narcissistic parent is the constant reference as the child as YOURS. I’d be happy to refer some books to you if you’d like? 


Regarding me asking Daughter if you were pregnant. I am going to stop you right here and now and tell you flat out that I never, not even one time, asked her if you were pregnant. In fact, she was the one that brought it up over and over again by randomly saying to us, “I wish I had a little sister.” To which we would reply, “Well, do you think your mommy may have another baby one day?” and her responses were always a series of increasingly hesitant nos. This continued for the week she was with us until BD ended up asking her if you were pregnant. Read: BD. NOT ME. She then looked ashamed and said that you were and we did nothing but build it up and tell her we were excited for her. We then very abruptly changed the conversation to her going home and spending time with you and Stepdad again. So again, I would like to reiterate that I did NOT ask Daughter if you were pregnant. BD did. 
  And you know what? So what if I had? Exactly what harm would it do if I wanted to talk to your daughter about how excited she is to have a new sibling? Instead, the entire situation turned into her feeling ashamed for sharing her excitement with us, which is wildly inappropriate. She should be allowed to be excited about having a new little sister or brother without having to worry about what you are going to say about sharing that excitement with someone you may not agree with. It’s not like she’s going to strangers and discussing your life. She’s come to her father and stepmother and shared something she is truly looking forward to.

More than anything, I’d just love to hear what you think you did to “bend over backwards” trying to end this. Seriously, you could have ended this before it ever even started by discussing it with BD openly and not forcing him to file court paperwork. Instead, after receiving a really reasonable text from him, you sent him a barrage of accusatory, hateful messages that was then followed by you cutting off contact. THEN, over the last year, you decided to hire a terrible lawyer who dragged everything out for a year. Like, I don’t know if you think that posting shitty accusations all over the internet is helpful to ending court proceedings, but it certainly isn’t. If you think constantly cutting off contact not only with BD, but also his family is helpful, it isn’t. You know what else isn’t helpful? Requesting retarded stuff for a Parenting Plan. Stuff that you know is not going to be accepted. You spent this entire process doing things that were selfish in the name of being a good and responsible mother, but all it turned out being is malicious, hateful, and ultimately the reason all of this lasted as long as it did. As far as I have seen, BD was the one who spent much of his time bending over backwards to end this by always offering prompt responses to you and your lawyer, by trying to continuously open up lines of communication, by requesting reasonable options for the Parenting Plan and by generally being a good person and not stirring up shit whenever he had a bit of spare time. Please, try and look at the situation a little more objectively and realize what the roles really looked like, because the reality of it is that we tried over and over again to maintain healthy communication whilst refusing to give in to hostile communication and passive-aggressive posts. 


And finally, this. The most recent and probably one of the more frustrating, purely because it really does highlight just how different a world you live in.  I will quote the reply posted to this by my friend... a reply that was VERY quickly deleted (because GOD FORBID you are wronged and outed like you've been doing to us for over a year now). The reply stated the following...

"are you sure it didn't say, 'I will persist until I succeed' with the origin of the photo being from '' Are you SURE that she didn't put it up because she's been (rather successfully) attempting to get to her goal weight and therefre put it there as a daily reminder of her dedication to that?"

I'll just leave that topic at that. I have been working to better myself and lose weight for several months now and I wanted to provide myself a really blatant reminder on something that I look at daily. Everyone needs encouragement, and I would hope that I could survive bullshit penalization for wanting to boost my morale, especially from you. If I had wanted to post something sassy like that regarding the court case (which I wouldn't have, because I'm not petty, nor am I hateful enough to need to shroud my entire life with that kind of attitude), I would have probably put it up a year earlier, nearer to the beginning of the proceedings. 

Also? I have no idea what you mean by me acting like Daughter was "carried under" my heart. What the hell does that even mean? I have absolutely no confusion about my position in Daughter's life. I am her step-mother. A title that SHE gave me prior to me even beginning to think about it. I will fight for her rights to have a relationship with her birth-father and my husband and I will also spend time with her, draw with her before bed, take her camping, teach her crafts, and learn how to play video games with her. I will not, and do not step on my boundaries as a step-parent, and I would appreciate a little more respect than what you are providing me. I don't have any confusion about who gestated or birthed her, nor am I deluded about who her mother is. I am perfectly happy being able to just be a part of her life without needing any further titles or responsibilities. I will do what she, her father, or you ask of me, but that is it. I won't take liberties, nor will I take advantage. 

Finally, I want you to know that BD and I have spent a great amount of time reading supplemental information about creating healthier and better shared-parenting household relationships that I really think have helped us not only to find better ideas when we have been lost, but just know that we are not alone. I would love to recommend some books (that aren't themed around your current obsession of claiming you are the survivor of domestic abuse) that helped us and might put both of our houses closer to the same page, if you are interested. 

I want you to know that I will be here, patiently waiting for when you decide to start being kind again. When you decide that you want to have a healthy relationship between all parties for the betterment of Daughter AND us. Just let me know. 

I hope your pregnancy is going well. I know you should be about to pop now, so keep rested and take care of yourself, because you need to pop out another gorgeous little one (because you seem REALLY skilled at making stunning children!). I hope you're feeling okay and that the baby is in good health. Be well.