I guess this is Good Bye...my last update.

imamommyJune 9, 2012

First, I want to say that I am grateful for this site. The ladies here are, for the most part, supportive & positive. I appreciate all the perspectives and opinions that have been shared with me over the years, even ones I didn't want to hear or necessarily agree with. Yes, KKNY ~ you too. Thank you all.

This is my last update because... well, SD13 is out of my life. She went to BM's for summer. DH is still there but he's approved for a house & just waiting to get the keys & move in... hopefully by next week. We're splitting things fairly amicably... he's a nit picker & being a little petty but I'm pretty much agreeing so he can just leave. I did set my foot down & told him SD is not coming here again so he's let BM keep her until he gets moved into his new place. End of that story.

My week took an unexpected turn on Wednesday. My daughter in law suddenly died. We are awaiting autopsy results but she had recently been suffering from Bulimia and has dealt with alcoholism since her teens. She was only 22, the same age as my DD. I'm quite devestated & didn't expect to feel this way. Her & I were not close but I really did think of her like a daughter since most of her family wants nothing to do with her... I won't pretend it's been easy, she is bi polar & has been difficult to deal with but I did my best for DGS3's sake. She was supposed to come pick him up on Thursday but instead, I am planning her services & writing her obituary. Unfortunately, it has fallen on me to handle the arrangements because my son is in shock & really can't think straight. When my son called her mom, she said she was busy & would call him back. She never called but sent him a text message asking when the service is? They have not offered to help in any way (except the grandparents that she was living with). They were out of state & came back when they heard.

So, for now I am trying to get through this next week. DH will be moving out & we will put DIL to rest. DGS3 doesn't yet know since he doesn't really ask for her because her visits have been fairly infrequent. At the moment, I am trying to figure out if he is old enough to understand any of it. We are having an open casket service & want DGS to have an opportunity to say goodbye but I don't want him to be traumatized either, by seeing her "sleeping". Any thoughts?

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I'm sorry for your family's loss, Ima. Such a tragic ending with your DIL. No matter the ups and downs over the years, she was your grandson's mother and your son loved her in his way...you have such love in your heart. It's sad your STBexSD never took the time to let you love her. Had it been different you could have been a very postive influence in the young girl's life.

IMO I think the child should be able to say good-bye to his mother. Sleeping and at peace with God is how we've explained death to very young children in my family. My son was two when my father died. I took him in the funeral home, just me and him during nonvistation hours. It was a hard year back then as I lost my grandfather just six weeks before my father. It was a lot of 'loss' for in such a short time. Son did well, considering his 'papas' quietly sleeping and not their usual all smiles and hugs. My son did well with it though. It was not scary for him as they looked just like they had...it was not a frightening experience and he did not really understand what it was all about. He just knew I was very very sad, crying alot and then his 'papas' didn't see him anymore. We visited the grave site and put little flowers from him to them. We still do.

Take care, Ima.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 6:51PM
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I'm so sorry, Ima.

How sad for this young woman that her own family's reaction to her death is evidently, uh, it's somebody else's problem.

I am holding her & your/her family in my thoughts & in my heart.

My father was one of the younger siblings in a large family (8 girls, 4 boys), & since World War II took a chunk of years out of his twenties, he did't have children until he was nearly 30, so I grew up around older people & thus around deaths & funerals.

The family never said anyone was sleeping;
they told us, "Sterling died".
They never even said "passed away" *to* us, although we heard them saying it to each other;
they used the more exact word, which was good, because "passed away" doesn't sound like it makes any sense (passed? passed what? passed away? away where?), & children are very literal.

I think it was less horrifying to know that someone had died than to think that someone had put our unsuspecting sleeping uncle into a box & buried it.

What will happen when he wakes up???

What if they put me into a box when I go to sleep???
I better stay up & never ever go to sleep!

I wish you all the very best.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 8:15PM
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I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 8:27PM
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I am so sorry for your losses Ima ... I cannot imagine the emotions you are having this week ... I have always looked for your comments and postings knowing your situation is similar to mine ...and you have no idea how much you have helped me through my hard times with your compassion ... I admire the strength you have shown through the years with all that has gone on with your family never mind the SD situation ... you are an amazing woman!

take care IMA ... just because you aren't a SM doesn't mean you can't visit :) .... we do have people who aren't SM's who post as you know !!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 11:47PM
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Oh my gosh, it never seems to end for you. I am so sorry. Your DIL's life certainly ended entirely too soon. It is very sad that her own family discarded her.

As far as your SD is concerned, under the recent development, the door couldn't have closed at a more perfect time.

Good luck to you. And, again, I am sorry for your loss.


    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 1:53AM
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That is tragic....Hope your future life gets brighter...Good Luck

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 11:50AM
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Ima, so sorry to hear about your DIL.
I agree with the others that it will be good for your grandson to say goodbye to his mother.
I explain to my girls that dying is a part of life. Just think, if everyone lived forever, the earth would run out of room.

I hope you continue to post on here. Even though you're not a SM anymore, you still have the knowledge and experience of what it's like to be one. People on here would greatly benefit from the advice you could give.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 4:23PM
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I am sorry to hear about the loss of your DIL. Despite her problems, as you said she was your DGS's mother and that merits consideration. I admire your decision to take on the difficult duties of her funeral.

I lost my mother at a very young age. What I remember is our last time together, which for me was much the best. I am grateful my father decided neither my brother nor I would view the body or attend the funeral.

I really think it depends on your DGS and his sensitivities, which you know better than we do. Some children can accept it while others are traumatized. I'm in my 60's and have been to many an open casket service but still hate it.

I also think it depends upon your DIL's appearance in the casket. Sadly, a lot of people look far from "sleeplike", despite all efforts.

I wish you all the best in your new life. I know you have "fought the good fight" trying to do what's right for your SD, but too much was stacked against you.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 4:42AM
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Ima, I'm sorry that you're having to deal with so much in a short time frame. You dealt with your SD longer than I could have but it's got to be a relief to be at the end of that tunnel. I think it's definitely her loss but she is not smart enough to know that. It would be interesting to know how her dad deals with her on his own. It's sad that an otherwise good marriage had to end because of her.

As to your GS viewing the body, I think that has to be decided on an indivual basis. My DH died 9 months ago when our GS wasn't quite 3. His parents chose for him to not see his Papa although they were very close. The other g'parents were keeping him while my DS & DDIL were here with the family. My DIL told her parents to not let him hear them talking about it because they wanted to tell him themselves. When it was time to do so, they sat him down, said they needed to tell him something. Before they could GS said "Papa died, he's in heaven & he's got a gun". His Papa was retired law inforcement but GS didn't know that & had never seen him with a gun. For a while he kept asking if Papa was coming back but finally accepted that he isn't.

My 3yo GGD's mother recently died similar to your DIL. No warning at all, she was in an ambulance on her way to the hospital & died enroute, something heart related, 24 years old. My GS lives 6 hrs from where they lived. He was not notified but found out after the funeral, immediately went & picked up his DD. I don't know if she viewed the body or not. My GS talked to her when they got to his house. She knew that Mama died but didn't know what that meant. He explained it to her as gently as he could. She cried & cried, then just sat looking stunned. She has adjusted well to her new life.

Please let us know how things are with you. I rarely post because I have very little step drama but I have read what you've dealt with over the years.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 11:12AM
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Condolences to your family on the loss of your DIL. I know that you will move forward to give your DGS the best life possible.

I'm sad to hear that your stepfamily broke down. You put in a lot of hard work and you deserve better. Your DH ruined this situation by letting his DD and the BM poison the atmosphere with their damaged behaviours. You will be better off, but they will not be.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 11:16AM
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My heart goes out to you and your family. Through your postings it seems like your DIL has had a tragic life. Her own family has discarded her. Thankfuly she had you to look after her. She gave you your DGS and will always have a place in your heart I'm sure.

I also agree with others that you should stick around. You have had a very difficult step family situation that others could benifit from your advice because you have lived it. I'm so sorry that it has come to the splitting of you and your DH. You are an amazing woman Ima with a kind and generous heart, I hope for many blessings to come in your future. Take care...

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 12:01PM
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I am so sorry to hear all that you are going through!! My thoughts are with you.

As for leaving this forum, please don't!! I have found your stories and advice to be useful these past years. Just because you are no longer a SM does not mean you don't have knowledge and advice to share!! So check in with us when you have time :)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 1:20AM
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My condolences for the loss of your Grandchild's Mother.And also for other losses you are dealing with currently.I wish you all the best and many brighter tomorrows.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 7:24AM
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Well, we said goodbye yesterday. It was definitely the hardest week of my life. Things with STBexDH took a turn at the beginning of the week & he went to stay with his parents until his house is ready. He showed up the next day with his dad to retrieve boxes of things... I had spent the day at the funeral home, florist, ordering food & buying the dress for her funeral. I was emotionally drained & when he showed up, I asked him to get some clothes & leave. He said he was taking boxes & I told him I am not going to deal with it that day & he refused to leave. I called police to keep the peace & so he would let it go for a few days. He finally agreed to take his clothes & come back after the funeral to get his things. He is picking them up tomorrow. It only made me realize even more that splitting up was the right thing to do.

Then, today he faxed me a list of what he plans to take. He seriously noted everything, right down to "orange handle spatula". Did I ever mention he is OCD? So, even though I tried to be amicable, he has been nit picking & splitting hairs over stupid stuff. I drove the car without him & he made me replace the fuel, he says because he had no money. Then he went & bought a new iPhone & new tires for the car on his credit card that same day. He bought a cheap sander & some gardening stuff on his Home Depot card & says I have to pay that part of the balance, about $200. Everything he's doing is just reinforcing that ending the marriage is the best thing for my sanity.

Then, he sent me a text telling me that he doesn't know why I'm being so mean (I guess for standing up for myself?) but that he had hoped we could remain civil because he thought after he moved out, we could see how things went because he really isn't sure just how he feels about all this right now. Well, to say the least it's been a rough couple of weeks and I unleashed it on him. I told him that I wasn't going to "date" him... we are married & he was very clear that he wants to end the marriage. I'm not going to play "lets see how it goes" because it suits him. I told him how he has not stood up for me to his parents, daughter, ex, or anyone else. He allows them to attack me & how they still expected me to love & do things for his daughter that was causing all the acrimony. I told him how it was HIS fault for allowing her to manipulate everyone, including him & that I am quite happy... and that I deserve to live a happy life without the assistance of antidepressants or anxiety medication. He did not write back.

So, I am now enjoying my fourth night of relaxation & peace. (This is a picture from the reception after the funeral... we released balloons for DIL)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 1:39AM
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DIL with DGS3 on his last birthday about three months ago.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 1:45AM
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DGS releasing his balloon up to the sky for mommy.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 1:48AM
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Oh Ima, what a jerk your STBexH has shown himself to be. I can't believe you had to call the police to convince him to leave you be when you were at such a low ebb. And to call you "mean" when he is being so anal about everything takes the cake.
I wish you peace and happiness- G-D knows you deserve it after all you've been through over the past few years.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 6:02AM
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--"I am now enjoying my fourth night of relaxation & peace"--

Hugs, thoughts and prayers to you, Ima. The photos are beautiful...they are what really count in life, not orange handled spatulas.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 6:40AM
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"I deserve to live a happy life without the assistance of antidepressants or anxiety medication."
Amen, Sistah!

Lovely pictures;
the one where your grandson is letting go his balloon brings tears to my eyes.

holding you in my thoughts & in my heart.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 2:18PM
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Oh Ima- I wish I could wrap my arms around you and hug you. The pictures brought tears to my eyes. Maybe I was just in need of a good cry.

I'm so sorry to hear of all of the things going on in your life. It seems that all of the negative tension you've dealt with has suddenly just exploded and it's all just going in different directions. I can't help but think that your husband leaving and you finally having some peace at home, is the best thing for you. What you were going through with his daughter and how you were having to live your life, was not healthy and was never going to change or end well.

You know. Divorce is not easy especially with someone that has so much anger and 'issues' any way. You can still come here for your divorce help ya know? Lol I hope it goes fast. At this point I'd just want him to take all the damn spatulas and buy all new! Good luck to you. Big hugs. Thank you for sharing your pictures. Kind of puts things in to perspective for the rest of us.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 9:56PM
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Oh Ima,
I am SO sorry this has all happened and fell upon your shoulders. You know you are so dear and kind to take care of DILs funeral and final resting place. You're a kind, kind woman. Thank God GS has you.

I'm sorry your marriage had to end but I too think you made the right decision. You deserve some happiness and peace, and love and just yes more peace.

Big huge hugs to you ((((Ima))))
Please don't leave the board . Come when you want/need to talk. Everyone would miss you terribly.
Love to you and yours XO

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 1:43AM
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How strange that we would both be going through this at the same time. How tragic that your DIL has died. How sorry I am that you are going through these personal trials!

Biggest hugs to you, and I hope to see you lurking as I do on occasion. Take care,

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 3:42PM
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I thought the same thing Silver when I read your other post. You ladies are confusing me... I wish you both well.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 7:15PM
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Hi Silver!

To be honest, I read your post & it really brought tears to my eyes because it was so close to how I felt... I just didn't want to admit that this marriage just wasn't going to work. I've been thinking about it for a while & after reading your post, I really thought deeply. I realized that I can't be the only one trying to make it work, so I tried a few times to get him to give me a sign that he wanted to make things better, but he didn't think he needed to do anything... if I would just do things his way, if I would just stop making waves by expecting to be treated with respect... then I knew it was over. I was gonna tell him after SD left for summer because I didn't want her to think she had succeeded or that she was the reason for the split because the truth is, she isn't. He is. But, two days before she was to go with her mom, she told him a lie about me & instead of asking me about it, he believed her & confronted me. I blurted out that I am done & want a divorce, he said nothing. The next day, he asked me if I was serious & I said yes. Then he said he would start looking for a place. Five day later, my DIL died suddenly & probably due to my grief, there were some mixed messages (emotionally) & so I asked him to leave. He moved out the next day.

The hardest part of all is not knowing what my true feelings are. I don't really miss him, I enjoy coming home to a quiet house & doing as I please without him to tell me that I'm wasting electricity by leaving on a light or that tense feeling when SD is there. But, then I feel sad & lonely but I don't know if it's because I miss him or if I just need comfort because of the loss of DIL. It's still so hard for me because DGS doesn't really know & when I try to talk to him, he ignores me & starts to play... avoiding the subject, so I think he knows but doesn't want to talk. I find myself tearing up throughout the day, thinking of DIL and how she will miss DGS growing up... how he will not get to know her & it breaks my heart.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 11:57PM
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You gotta get busy, girl!

Introspection is not an occupation for sad times;
it'll get you bogged down every time, & that's when we make disastrous mistakes.

*Obligate* yourself to do something;
it's too easy to dwell on sad feelings & become immobilized if you don't "have to" do...whatever it is.

When I went through a break-up many years ago, I decided to take Jazzercise.

It worked great!
as long as I wasn't moping when it was time for me to drive to the rec center.

The only way I could make myself participate when I felt mopey (which is when we *most* need physical activity & other people) was to sign up to lead a Jazzercise class at church.

I knew all those women were depending on me, & I went to every class.

Please don't focus too much on your grandson's seeming lack of interest;
he's very very young, & the young can move on much faster than we can.

They have to, just to keep up with themselves, because they themselves are changing every day.

Remember when you were a little girl & "back-to-school" shopping every September meant new dresses & shoes & a winter coat because the old ones were too little?
I remember feeling sorry for my aunts & my mother because they stayed the same & never got a new dress or a new coat.

Children shoot through time at warp speed, changing & adapting & getting "new clothes" as a matter of course, & we...keep climbing into the same clothes for a much longer time.

& be careful that you don't talk to him because *you* need to talk.

Talk to anybody else.
Talk to everybody else.
Talk here.

Talk to the moon:
a woman told me that she was broken-hearted when her adolescent son went to live with his father;
she said she climbed onto the backyard trampoline the night her son left & "squalled & bawled & snotted & hollered", & nobody but the moon saw or heard her.

*but* this is my free advice (& worth every penny, but I've had a bit of experience & I've been through some experiences with friends):

Stay away from that man.

Stay away from thoughts that you "need" that man, that he would be any answer to any problem at all, that he would be helpful in any way.

Write yourself 3 lists:

a list of instances in which he's responded callously to your needs, instances of how he's been a stinker, played mind games, put anybody/everybody ahead of you, treated you high-handedly, etc, & look at those pages any time you want to pick up the phone.

a list of how many times & to what extent you went all-out to make his life easier or happier, & look at those pages any time you want to pick up the phone.

a list of how many times & to what extent he went all-out to make your life easier or happier, & look at that blank piece of paper any time you want to pick up the phone.

I once had to get the oil changed in my car on a cold evening when I was exhausted & not feeling good, & I found myself thinking, "I wish I had a husband to do this for me".

& then I remembered:
I had had a husband, & he *never* had the oil changed for me!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 2:07PM
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Ima, I'm breaking down right now for the same reason. The house is SO QUIET. DD is gone for the summer to her dad's... I'm here with the quiet and the memories. And I cannot stop crying. I don't want him but... ? My heart is broken. I am mourning myself I suppose.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 6:26PM
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You gotta get busy, girl!

Yes, you are mourning, but chances are you aren't mourning yourself;
you're mourning what you thought you had.

& the time & energy you put into that is time & energy you don't have for relishing life.

You two, please get out of those quiet houses into the sunshine & savor being alive.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 11:19PM
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Oh, Ima! I can't believe all that you're going through!

You are so strong to plan a funeral for your DIL after all you've gone through with her and her parents. You are such a kind and caring and forgiving person!

Those pictures were so touching! I hope your son is able to deal with this ok. Were they still, technically, married?

I'm really sorry to hear about your marriage. I know how disappointing it is to try so hard just for the other person to thropw all of your efforts back in your face, and it sounds like that's what he and SD did. Please don't ever think it was all in vain because it wasn't. You made an impact on that man and his daughter, and even if you never see anything from that, you have to know in your heart you affected them somehow. If nothing else, your kindness and perserverance has affected everyone here that has followed your story.

Please don't leave the forum!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 6:23PM
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I'm so so sorry for everything you are going through. I cannot imagine having to go through a divorce and make funeral arrangements at the same time.

Please don't leave the forum. I haven't been here in quite a bit but I'd miss you dearly. You have great advice and whether you're still a sm or we all want you to stick around.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 2:08PM
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I'm still here occasionally. I filed the divorce papers on Monday and getting them served is in the works. He is already looking for someone, he put a profile on match.com about a week ago. That says a lot about him that I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I'm a tad bit hurt that he's so eager to find someone else but at the same time, I find it to be funny & sad. The last thing on my mind at the moment is jumping into the dating scene... it's hard enough when you are ready. Perhaps he is ready, haha. How stupid it is that I actually feel sad about SD... that she is gleeful that she gets to live away from me & have daddy all to herself and so far, she has been at her mom's since the last day of school & he hasn't picked her up once for a visit... that's five weekends he has not seen her but he is looking for someone to spend time with because he's lonely? I know it's not my problem but still makes me sad to think of what might happen to her. They moved from my rural house to the city... and not a good area. and he's going to be preoccupied with his own social life so she still won't have his attention and she will have more freedom to roam... scary.

anyway... I'm trying to find ways to stay upbeat. I upped my medication, seeing a counselor & doing some remodeling... basically sprucing things up & keeping busy. No worries that I will get the urge to call him. However, I did get the urge to write him & tell him how he already had more than anything he might find in his dating ad... a wife that loved him despite his OCD tendencies but then I figured it was pointless. I don't want to change his mind nor do I want him to think I want him back. I don't. I wanted to make him feel bad about what he walked away from but if he cared, he wouldn't have walked away, right?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 1:49AM
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Maybe he's not so much looking for a new companion, but shopping for a new step-mom for his daughter. Look how much of the work of parenting he left to you! He probably won't pick up his daughter until he's found someone to buy her socks and watch her after school.

It's too bad that neither he nor she appreciated what they had, but I'm glad you you will have peace.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 4:09PM
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That could be true, someone else said the same thing. Well, I feel sorry for whoever gets involved next, unless that child decides to like her... she will have an uphill battle. Especially since she thinks she is gaining all the freedom she so desired. Any other woman that tries to come between her & her freedom... yikes. On the other hand, if he finds someone that kisses her arse, it may work out. Either way... I'm glad it's not me anymore.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 5:32PM
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Ima - don't take your SD's behaviour personally. All screwed up kids seem to have an irrational resentment for their stepparents and stepsiblings. They waste all their time chasing after attention from their delinquent parents. I think that they're chasing a fantasy in order to avoid facing the painful truth about their bioparents. They resent stepparents and stepsiblings because they are reminders of the truth of their lives. These kids are incapable of forming healthy family relationships. My SD and SS (both 15) live in that fantasy, and as a result, they are very isolated people.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 8:51PM
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