Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Scared and sad and angry

Mrs. Ex's diagnosis and impending treatment have really thrown me for a loop.

First and foremost, I am terrified for her. I imagine she is scared and sad and angry as would anyone who was facing losing her breasts, hair, dignity and possibly the chance to see her children grow up. I am scared and sad and angry for her.

I am also scared and sad and angry for the kids. Their parent's divorce was enough of a blow. Thir recent loss of their dear Papu (grandpa in Greek, I'm told) was enough of a blow. Watching their paternal grandma fight cancer for the past several years was enough of a blow. This just seems like twist of fate of the cruelest kind.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A double dose of bad news

Today was the most recent in a string of emotionally draining days. We have dealt with my pressure at work. Stress from ex's. Anxiety over planning a family trip. We even had a shouting match over whether or not a friend should come over the other night. All thoroughly exhausting.

And then...

Mr. T's mom has been fighting cancer for several years. It had seemed fairly optimistic for the majority of the past two. And then a few months ago it was not so much. And a new scan has revealed that it's even more not so much.

And then...

My stepkids' mom, Mrs. Ex, was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer.


To say that I'm heartbroken and sad would be an understatement. I'm devastated, on all fronts. I'm terrified.

I am totally powerless.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Love Hurts

Love hurts, love scars
Love wounds, and marks
Any heart, not tough
Or strong enough

As a step-mom, I feel called to a number of challenging tasks.  The increased workload, the additional schedules, the fine line of discipline.  For me, the most difficult of all is to love them, fully and passionately.

It's not that I don't feel that way naturally, because I do.  I remember the very first time I saw each of them and I distinctly remember falling in love with them that day and many other days since.

What's hard about loving them as though they were my own is simple.  They're not.  Although I gladly share a portion of the responsibilities for them, I am not a voting member of this congress.

This has recently come into play with Mr. T's youngest.  We call him The Rockstar.  The Rockstar is 8, going on 9, and is in need of some pretty heavy duty dental work.  The dentist wants to put him under general anesthesia to perform this work.  I feel strongly that a second opinion should be had.  It doesn't seem like that will be happening, though.  Bleh.

Mr. T actively seeks my ideas and feelings on kids matters and this was no different.  Except this time it was different for me because I realized I was extremely anxious for this little man and I had to remind myself that he isn't mine and I don't get a say.

He's not mine.

No say.

I was called to love these kids.  Somehow I loved them instantly and felt like they were home.  These kids have become my kids' siblings and I feel most whole when they are with us.  It hurts to be so invested and yet not really be a stakeholder.

Even though hitting this wall hurts, I believe that knowing it's there will help keep me from meddling where I don't belong.  I'm strong enough to do that for them.  Because I love them.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Alice, Where are you?

A few years ago, things were really different.  There's plenty of time to dig into how we got here but for now, it's best if I just explain where we are.

I'm Raiye.  I'm 36 and I work in IT sales.

He's Mr. T.  He's also 36 and works for the developer of an open government software platform.

We first met in high school.  We re-met many years later.  Fell in love.  Made a home together.  Made a family.

Between us, we have five kids.  Five kids, two exes, four families and one amazing story.

When we tell people our tale, they often laugh and call us the modern day Brady Bunch.  They aren't too far off except that we don't have Alice.