My step-father (my mother's husband) is my Dad's ex best-friend. He is the one that prescribed my mother Valium when my Grandmother passed away in 1977 (Fly to the Angels). My Dad and step-father (before he was my step-father of course) coached baseball together for years (his youngest son and my brother were on the same team year after year). Our families took trips together-- like to Disney World, to the lake, and so forth. Our families dined together, spent time at each others homes, and were integrated into each others lives for years and years.
During this time, my mother and this man started an affair with each other. And ultimately, he told his wife about the affair. My mother claims this is what 'forced' her to have to tell my Dad. She adds that she wouldn't have told him as she was not planning on leaving him or carrying on with the affair. Well, she did leave my Dad (You Dropped a Bomb on Me). She married this man VERY shortly thereafter (a little over a year later) and they are still married (1980 to present 2009).
My step-father was always pleasant, considerate, and helpful. He was the one that would sneak me home clothes for me to wear for my athletics when my mother expected me to buy all my clothes and toiletries with my $7 per week allowance (It's My Fault). He was the one that drove me to school. He was the one that came to my athletic events and took pictures. He was the one that cooked dinner and helped me with my homework. He was an attentive step-parent.
Now, if you have read the previous blogs, I have a Dad-- a Dad that I love. I also had just been through very turbulent times prior to the entry of my step-father into my life with my Grandparents dying in 1977 and 1978 (Fly to the Angels) then my parents going through a traumatic divorce in 1979 (You Dropped a Bomb on Me) leading to his marriage to my mother in 1980 (Home Sweet Home). So, the entry of a step-parent into my life was not during a time of clear head and stress free living.
I appreciated his efforts that he made for me. I thanked him when appropriate. I felt honored that he took interest in my life.
As far as 'replacing' my Dad, he was not a replacement. My mother was hoping and pushing for my step-father to be my Dad. She even mentioned having him adopt me and having me take on his last name (this was around the SAME time that she was pushing me to foster a relationship with my birth father). In all honesty, all of this was very confusing and disorienting if not kept in perspective: my birth father gave up his right to me to another man, for another man to raise me; my Dad is my Daddy, father, Dad and is the one who has invested his life into providing for me; my step-father is my mother's new husband, my Dad's ex best-friend. And I did keep it all in perspective.
Anyway, my mother always spoke about how much my step-father does for me and how much I should appreciate him... so much, to the point of protesting TOO MUCH. She pushed and pushed her points of what a good man he is (forgetting that HE is the one who betrayed his friend, cheated on his wife, and supposedly forced my mother into exposing the affair) and how much he loves me like his own daughter (he never said any of these things-- only she did up to the last day I spoke to her).
During the years, I had a copacetic and sometimes growing relationship with my step-father. During the mid 1990's, we was getting treated poorly by my mother (Here We Go Again). He and I talked on the phone often, even met for lunch here and there, speaking of her foul behavior toward him and how he should handle her. He was working his normal job AND running my mother's business at this point, as my mother felt too ill to work (she was in the process of being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease around this time). All the work was wearing him out, and she didn't express appreciation toward him-- only kept pushing him harder, criticizing him, and picking on everything he did. At one point he left her, and I always told him that I would support him if he wanted to confront her with her foul behavior (he never confronted her as she flies off the handle if anyone addresses her own behaviors with her. She can be quite scary).
Well, I ended up getting that package from my Dad from when he was moving (Here We Go Again). My Dad had some dishes from a dead mutual friend that my Dad and mother had back before the divorce, and my mother flew off the handle about the motives behind my Dad's package, ultimately saying I was siding with my Dad and called me a 'bitch' after I told my mother to get over it as she was divorced from him in 1979 (this was 1996). At this point, all the heat was taken off my step-father, and lo & behold, he did NOT assist me with my mother's foul behavior. He deserted me, and I ended up estranged from her for 3 years.
He was always such a push-over with my mother, taking her abuse. And this co-dependency didn't change once my mother and I started talking again in 1999 (In Through the Out Door), and I saw her back in action with him. She would talk so demeaning to his face and behind his back.
Before my beau ever asked me to marry him, I pondered how I was going to manage a wedding with such a cast of characters. I worried how I would ever be able to please my mother with how she pushed a relationship with my birth father and really pushed a relationship with my step-father, as well as demeaned and criticized my relationship with my Dad. I fretted over how I would be able to not hurt anyone's feelings, and how I would be able to include everyone and express my appreciation for them.
So, when my beau asked me to marry him, I knew I wanted my Dad to walk me down the aisle, but my mother, RIGHT OFF THE BAT, pushed how my step-father should walk me down the aisle (Little Women). She added right after that statement, that although he should walk me down the aisle, he should not have to PAY for anything in the wedding as he's not my father. WHAT!? Errr? My mother was so preoccupied with who was going to walk me down the aisle that she was forgetting that I hadn't even started to PLAN a wedding yet.
On that day that my mother and I had the falling out that lead to the present estrangement (Little Women), she started the whole discussion with a story of how my step-father was crying the night before because he wanted me to select him to walk me down the aisle. I remember being very puzzled as to (1) why my mother was telling me this (motive??) (2) how bizarre of a story this was. I didn't respond to her story, as I really didn't know what to say.
After all was said and done, she was yelling, "We're out!" and that she was going to call my birth father and tell him that he's not invited (even though no one was invited yet AS A WEDDING WASN'T EVEN PLANNED YET). Anyway, she really put me in a situation that was a no win. How in the world was I supposed to have a wedding where I had all of these 'father figures'?? And what an AWFUL situation for my Dad to have my birth father and his ex best-friend who had an affair with his wife at my wedding! What in the world is my mother thinking?
In the stream of emails that my mother shot off after she said she was 'out' of the wedding, she kept talking about all my step-father has done for me through the years, that he was more of a father to my than my own father. What my mother fails to recognize is that he is NOT my father. My step-father may be really nice, really sweet, and really good--but he is not my father. Period. My mother also decided in that stream of emails that she fired off to my friends, colleagues, fiance's family members, my Dad, and more, that I "kicked" her "out of the wedding". How can I kick her out when she wasn't even in!? Eh!? I only responded to one of her deranged emails, and in it, I asked her if she really was 'out' of the wedding as she repeated numerous times. She never addressed that.
The common theme that she has kept up since the beginning of the estrangement (which started after I called her twice, both times reaching my step-father, and asking to have her call me back, which she never did) has been that I broke her heart, that I am a liar, and that I kicked her out of my wedding. She also reiterates about how my step-father acted like my father and this is how I showed my appreciation for his years of support.
So... my step-father played a part in all of her meddling. And although my fiance called and cleared up the my mother's misstatements with my step-father, my step-father still didn't have anything to do with me once my mother went off the deep-end.
One wacky note: just before my wedding I get word that my mother contacted my birth-father's daughter (my half sister) and was trying to get a group of people together to 'crash my wedding (The Happiest Day of My Life). How crazy is that!? I had to have security watch over my wedding. How sad is that!?
My mother meddles... and keeps trying to meddle, using people around me as tools to get at me further. I keep trying to stay as far away as possible.