When we moved in 12 years ago, I began to sense what awaited me. It began as an increasing inner turmoil, I gradually felt more and more uncomfortable in my own home. And in my own body. I was on constant alert 24/7. Ready for battle? Ready to escape? Ready to defend myself? Maybe all three?
I do not really know. I know I felt like a ticking time bomb. My antennae were constantly out looking for signs of things that could be used against me. Only when I slept, could I rid myself of the draining feeling of wrongness that lurked beneath the surface, every time I was in contact with my husband’s children. I was afraid of them, but I could not tell anyone. It was embarrassing. I was the adult and they were just kids, just kids. How hard can it be! Difficult. Very difficult. At least for me.
To cover up my wrongness I went in slave mode. It is my solution when I cannot keep my emotions out. So I act. A lot. And for a long time.
I did all the right things. If you looked at me from the outside, I made an effort which was Oscar worthy. I asked interesting questions, baked, make lunches, and made favorite foods. Always including my stepchildren. I smiled, I did everything I felt was right and important ……….. but internally I was completely falling apart.
I chose the same strategy with my work. I worked like a maniac. I was paralyzed so much that I was no longer able to feel anything – other than a massive anger. Against my family and towards the world.
I simply could not stand ‘them’. I felt that they had conspired against me by behaving and manage their lives in a special way, ONLY to annoy me.
I had lost myself completely. I lived in 100% response to what happened in my surroundings. I felt constantly on guard in regards to my stepchildren.
I created cunning conspiracy theories about what the reality was. Knew exactly what was going on in their heads. I could figure everything out! Nothing was going to take me by surprise.
The truth was that my husband’s children were more content with themselves than I was. It made me uncomfortable. I could not measure up to that. So instead of setting appropriate limits, I copped out by reprimanding my own boys and hope it rubbed off on my stepchildren. Or I would ooze of energy, in the hope that they would figure out what they should correct in their behavior.
If I was confronted with the fact that I oozed so much of energy, I denied it. Pure and simple! I said to my husband that it was his imagination. That I was happy and thriving. But he did not buy it!
He was angry, told me I ruined the mood of our home by not saying what needed to be said. At the appropiate time. He blamed me for not taking the emotional responsibility in regards to the children. That the children would internalize and feel wrong about themselves, when I cold not be the person I was, on all levels. One day he got through to me.
Suddenly I felt that what he said was true. I had lost myself. Completely. And I had turned it against the children. Against my family. Made my dissatisfaction their responsibility. I had spent all my energy projecting onto them, instead of finding the solution in myself.
Today, 10 years ago my journey back to myself began. And to this day is not over yet. There is more my family can teach me. About closeness. About cohesion. Along the way I chose to share all my experiences. Good and bad. Hoping to help other families in same situation. Easier and faster. And much less painful. What’s how my book ‘The Fusion Family – How to succeed with your blended families’ was created. And my online courses.
Now I’m here working as a mentor to other stepmothers and blended families. It’s fantastic. It makes me so happy.
Honestly, it’s not about the kids, although it initially looks like it. It’s about you, your baggage and your limits. Trust my words. When you come out the other side, then you have found a calm and a deep understanding of yourself, your feelings and reactions.
You’ve got a strength you never thought possible. And it all starts with willingness. That you are willing to look at yourself and take care of whatever happens.Willingness ……. is your first step. Are you with me on this journey?
Give me a call and let me support you. There is a way and I will show you.