23 August, 2010

Why Does it Have to be SO Hard?

I don't think I ever anticipated that being a stepmom would be as hard as it is. When I met Husband, I knew he had a daughter and, obviously, the biological mom that comes along with the situation. And I knew that falling in love with him would make me an insta-mom. I knew it all. I gladly accepted the responsibilities because, well, I couldn't stand the thought of not being with Husband for my forever. People will say, "you knew what you were getting into," and yes I did, to an extent.

I don't think you can ever fully comprehend what it takes to be a mom until you are one, and I may be biased but I truly believe being a stepmom is harder. And it's hard to explain what I mean. I am not trying to say it is easy to be a mom, because it is most definitely not and I get that! What I am saying is that you take everything a mom has to do, and then combine that with having to do it from one step away (meaning you aren't 'their parent' and so what you feel and say comes second, always) and also not gaining the bond that comes from being a parent and having a child. No matter what anyone tells you, the bond between a step-parent and step-child is not the same as the bond between a parent and their child. The way Punk interacts with Husband and RealMom is totally different than the way she interacts with me, and I'm sure as she does with her stepdad. I will always be 'Stepmom'. It will always be just a little different with me than it is with RealMom. I get it and I can't blame her or RealMom or anyone; that's just the way it is.

But it's HARD. Really hard. To spend a weekend giving everything I've got emotionally to a child that is ecstatic to leave me on Sunday is sometimes more than I can handle. It makes me feel like I'm not doing enough, or I'm not caring enough, or I am just plain not enough. And it's probably just my mind telling me that but I can't help it. I over-criticize every decision and every thought and every action because if I am not the perfect parent, I'll end up in the 'wicked stepmother' category, and it's all I can do to not just give up. Why try if you're going to be looked at negatively anyway?

Why does it have to be like this? Why does it have to be a never-ending uphill battle for stepparents? It seems like the universe is all anti-stepparent or something.

34 comments:

  1. I've never envied those who take on the step-parent role. It's totally hard.

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  2. I loved my stepmom...until she went psycho and left my dad for a guy on the internet in a different country.
    There are bad apples in every bushel

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    1. She may not have gone "psycho". As a fairly new stepmom, I'm not really supported in my role, I'm called disrespectful if I try to do anything to get these two stepsons of mine to not be lazy sloths, and I'm also everyone's dead last priority. Despite being the one to do more picking up, more cooking, and having to deal with the most disrupted life. There are many days that I have wanted to run away from this because I know not much will ever change until they are out of the house. It's very hard

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    2. As a fairly new stepmom (that didn't really sign up for this since my husband's ex and kids were many states away up until recently), I can say that it's very hard. And there are many days I just want to run away to my life as it was. I have made the most changes to my life, and now care (cook, clean) for 2 stepsons (who are very lazy and messy), and yet I am last priority and totally unappreciated. Making it worse is a general lack of support by my husband when I try to instill just a little discipline in these boys lives. I don't know that your step mom went "pyscho", so much as she may have decided that she was in a no win situation. I feel like that more often than not.

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  3. My mom was step-mom to my brother and sister and it was/is an impossible battle for her. I know exactly what you mean and I completely agree. I see how they treated my mom who gave up everything for them and they never appreciated it. Now that my parents are divorced, I can see it from their side too. It's impossibly painful and difficult for everyone involved. My prayers are with you. I don't think there's an answer. I hope you are able to have your own children someday if you want them!

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  4. I have never heard a step mother's side of parenting before. It does sound really hard. I think that you are a great mom and I hope one day Punk gives you more credit.

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  5. I know exactly what you mean. For me the hardest is when he asks or talks about his mom... I don't have a problem with her, but a part of me wishes it was me. But adding to that I like to think of being a stepmom is a little different/more special than being the real thing. What I mean is that... you don't have to be the mother or father figure... but you are still choosing to do so. When Punk is older, I'm sure she will appreciate every moment she has spent with you.

    I am also the daughter of a stepfather... but he was the only father I know (I know this is different) BUT... I also know that he's the father he didn't have to be.

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  6. I have always said that the best people in the world are the ones who can take on their spouse/mate's children as their own. You are amazing for doing what you do. You are going to be the one she goes to when she's a teenager whith all of her problems because she is not going to want to talk to her real mom, beleive me. Hope things look up soon, love ya!

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  7. boo. i'm sorry. i am sure it's hard.

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  8. I agree I always worry my step daughter(s) will see me as the wicked stepmother'too.. and many times I feel like I want to give up.

    "Why try if you're going to be looked at negatively anyway?"

    I think about that every day she is here. Her mom pushes her away from me even more.

    Her mom tells her things to make me & her father look bad. We go to court Thurs. over dumb things and step daughter knows all the details and is in the middle of it all. completely unappropriated I think. Her mom
    doesn't care.

    We deal with 3 ex's all the time. Its extremely difficult when all are against you.

    My step-daughter has always told her dad she hates me etc. and I have never given her any kind of reason to even feel that way.

    The week I lost the baby she changed. She let herself "like" me, and decided it on her own. You could she in her eyes she knew I was hurting and she hugged me and checked on me all day. Since then she has been an extremely different child to me, she tells me how much she loves me, how happy she is to be here with me and gives me a hug before she leaves or before bedtime (completely unheard of before)
    She has a completely different attitude towards me. Its sad it took losing a child for my step daughter to come to realize on her own that I was not so bad after all. Just hoping it lasts. Being a step parent is definitely just as hard, if not harder than raising your own children.

    All we can do it hope for the best and love them and someday they will see the real you
    regardless what is said around them.

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  9. I completely understand what you are going through! I have a stepson that just turned 6 and a stepdaughter that is 2 1/2. I have been a part of my stepdaughter's life since she was a baby. We are very close and do have a special bond. However, with my stepson, we are close and spend a lot of time together...but it is totally different. Some days it is a real struggle. Up until a few months ago, they lived with us full time. Now, we see them for 3 weeks straight every 6 weeks. And during the 6 weeks, every other weekend. I completely agree that being a stepmom is a lot harder than being a biological mom.

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  10. Hi, I stumbled on your blog and I am so grateful that I did. This post just resonates with me so much I am 23 and my husband has a 4 year old son, who has been in my life since he was 2. His mom is still in the picture and sometimes it is just HARD we have him 50% of the time and I sacrafice so much and feel so alone sometimes. Most people don't know what this life is like, its so isolating!! I appreciate your blog it helps me feel less alone and more understood. Keep blogging! :)

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  11. well my husband and I have been together since one of my step sons was born he is now 8. Him and his brother 13 [to another mother) have just moved in with us (in another county) we also have another son 18mth together. Every day I find it soo hard, I try not to hate him (8) but everything he does annoyes me so much and he picks on my son. I think I treat him well but he shows me nothing in return. His mother hates me and blames me for the break up which is not true and has told him his whole life that i'm the evil one. To make matters worse my husband is always away with work. His mother almost seems like she doesn't care, often we don't hear from her for a month but when she does talk to him she constantly asks if he wants to come home to which he replies no. so I must be doing something right! I believe being a step mother is so hard specially if the real mother feeds their small minds with horrible things. Oh but on the other hand the 13 is great we get on really well and his mother actually talks to me now which makes things easier. I guess the difference its in the up bringing and their mothers.

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    1. Iam in the same boat. I have been with my husband for 3yrs and married for one. i met his son when he was 6 and i had.no problem with being the girlfriend who buys him things and hangs out from time.to time. Well my husband went to the navy. Long story short, my husband got deployed for 7 months, and it was me and my stepson. On top of that, i was 8wks pregnant when he got shipped out. so im.left growing a baby,raising his son, dealing with his baby mamma AND with disrespectful in-laws! Im 8 months now and he will be back home tonight sometime. Everything he does annoys me, i just want him to leave me alone. he is very sweet but i think with his babymamma threatening me, constantly telling him he's coming home with her, and not doing a damn thing for him since weve been back in our hometown, but now wants to be supermom for the holidays, im get uncomfortable in my pregnant body and just FED UP. i was so stressed at one point i thought i might lose my baby. this kid has a horrible attitude, a liar, and just down right annoying! he is 9 now. and yes this is hard. and i dont know yet, but im sure being a Real mom is easier than this! im just glad his dad, my husband will be back soon because i have just checked OUT. He is a really nice kid when he is not in trouble. but im glad that someone.understands. i havent been able to express my anger to anyone...

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  12. being a step mom is super hard! it is one of the hardest things to deal with!!! I say harder than death because at least when someone dies, you mourn and move on. But with being a step mom the child is always there!I am a normal parent, i dont like disrespect, do what i ask of you, and we can have fun. I take the kidz to the beach, fairs, musuems, i drive everyone everywhere because my husband cant drive. But i feel like i am not appreciated!!!! i am pregnant, and i feel that things are either get worse, or they might even get better. The point is there is a difference between children, my daughter she has a different dad, but my husband (now) has raised her so she considers him her dad. On the other hand i have my step son who 11, he only comes on the weekends, by weekend i mean every freaking weekend. So i have noticed that during the week my family is fine, when the weekend comes the stepson aka little turd! ignores me like i dont exist!!! i do everything for this family i wash his clothes, feed him, i also contribute money to ""Our family activities such as: movie theater, soccer games etc""i feel guilty when i go the store to buy y daughter some clothes, i remember how his clothes are hideous, so i end up buying him clothes too. But yet he asks his dad everything.From What is in the food? Can i have a soda? i don't want to take a shower! turn off the air dad i'm cold!!!
    This drives me insane,i tell my hubby this and he thinks i am exagerrating and if it does happen oh! well! my son came before you did!
    I get to the point that i want to have my other daughter that i am pregannt with and just telling him to leave my apartment.Most of the stuff is mine anyways. But i feel like no one cares how i feel etc. The truck i bought it !!!! yet he has the nerve to do what he pleases because its his dads car!!!! I am fustrated!!!!!!!I'm not evil but they make me mad!!!!!!

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  13. You just said everything I have always felt. Finally....somebody who gets it. Thank you!

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  14. I camw on here to see if i am crazy for feeling the way i do. I have a 15 year old step daughter who is so disrespectful to me. She only talks to me when i speak to her. She has tried some bad stuff drugs, alcohol,sex all at 13 years old. I get very upset cause i dont apporve and have 2 of my own children that i focus on setting good examples in their lives and my husband gets upset but never gives her consequences for her choices and because i say something about it I am the bad guy. Its so frustrating, and i dont know what to do. but she is the only thing my husband and i fight over. what should i do, i am ready to give up on my marriage to protect my children and raise them right.

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    1. First - you are not crazy. It's incredibly hard to be a stepparent. Add to that the stress of fighting with your husband and trying to raise your two kids and it can be overwhelming, for sure. You should really sit down with your husband and explain how you are feeling, and let him know that something has got to change. When my husband and I were first together, he had a really hard time disciplining SD because he was worried she would hate him. I had to step in and be the bad guy for awhile and he finally understood that there could be discipline without her hating us. You need to let him know you are at your wit's end and discuss what needs to be done so that your relationship doesn't suffer. It's hard enough to deal with a teenager, but adding in parents not getting along or agreeing on discipline... you're basically handing your SD the reins to your relationship, and that's not healthy.

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  15. i feel sad/hopeless/unapreciated today... then i read your post... i am not alone... this helps... thanks!

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    1. I feel the same, some days I take care of my husband's kids like the are my own, and other days I feel like a stranger in my own home.
      His 15 year old daughter and his 13 year old son, now living with us full time because their mom made BAD choices. I'm so angry at HER for leaving the kids with us, not even calling once in a while, like they never existed. She's not on drugs or anything, she just choose her boyfriend (the man who abused her daughter) over her children. I don't understand how a mother can do that.
      The kids are doing fine with us (I think) we talk about what's on their mind, and if their's any questions, they can ask their dad or me.
      Is it wrong to be impatient for the kids to grow up, get out of the house and enjoy my husband again? My husband of 7 years and I get along very good, but the kids are a constant source of argument, they are so time consuming, we forget our "love" sometimes.
      I do understand that I "choose" to be a stepmom, but I miss my time alone with my husband so much.

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  16. I agree. Your post helps. I think their real mom is a huge influence over how they will see you and kids are smart enough to rralize if their parent doesnt want the step parent to be seen as important. If so I think they pull away or go fhrough moments I have a son from a previoua marriage whom I raised by myself in the middlenof divorce ao I dealt with a very depressing time raising a child as a full time mom and full time employee ans YET... being a step mpm is harder. But we never stop trying right? We should be proud of ourselves. We are definitely better people for it :).

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  17. I am relieved that this forum has been posted because with being a step parent you have to sometimes hold your tongue for the bio parents. ( i have found that giving your opinion when the bio parents are not ready will turn bad real fast..) i dont care for the fighting and dont really understand why there are fights (arguments) with the bio parents and the child/children are already here..There shouldbe very little room for that because being either bio or step your work is never done.The children you fall in love with and desire to have a healthy relationship but that also place things on you because we know as stepparents some of what we are to take on, but being in a new marriage you dont desire to constantly dealnwith the past negativity..I am sure if things worked out with the bio parents there would not be steparents...RIGHT? So..with a new change makenthe situation comfortable for everyone dont be surrly because of something that was done in the past..the past is whait is.its gone...start over fresh and get along ...because it does take a villge to raise a child....stay prayed up ladies learn to ignore negative comments..., as long as your heart is right you are ok...have a blessed day...

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  18. Thank you for posting this. My partner has two children, and the issue is not with them as i adore them both, but i feel so insecure, jealous, and resentful sometimes that it does my head in. You sit by and watch the unconditional love they give my partner and vice versa and ache for some of it to passed on your way. Its no-ones fault, its the situation but sometimes you feel surplus to requirements.

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    1. A lot of stepparents will not admit that they feel jealousy or envy or insecurity, so good on you for recognizing that. I still struggle occasionally with the jealous feelings, although much less now than at first. I'm glad you recognize it's not anyone's fault, especially yours! The situation breeds hard feelings that you just have to come to terms with, because although it gets less harsh the longer time goes, it's never completely gone. I know I'll never have the connection with my stepdaughter that she has with her mom or dad, and I have to be okay with it. Sometimes it's really damn hard though, to not let it get to you! Good luck. :)

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  19. I so relate to this post! How do we cope in a healthy way? I want to be a good person and parent, but sometimes i am driven to tears in frustration.....

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  20. Thank you so much for posting this blog! I needed to hear that I am not crazy in feeling this way and that I am not alone. Being a stepmom is WAY harder than being a biological mom.

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  21. I have been a step-mom for 13 years. The kids were 3 and 1 years old when my husband and I met. I've had to deal with the biological mom every other weekend, for every other holiday, and for every other 2 weeks during the summer. I've had to deal with her being a drug addict, being an alcoholic, her telling the kids that they don't have to listen to me, her diagnosis of bipolar, her hysterectomy, her always wanting to take our time with the kids away for her own selfish needs, her not feeding them, her not making sure they got bathed, her letting them miss weeks of school, her leaving them and going to another state for 2 weeks and not telling us, her lying to the kids about recitals why we weren't there, but yet we never knew about them, her telling the kids she would spank them if she heard them call me "Mom", but her new lover, they were supposed to call him "Dad", my husband and I paid bills just so that we could be free from her causing his credit score from going down, her trying to get the kids to choose which parent they love more, her bribing the kids to get them to stay with her, or lie to us, so she can have her way, her letting the kids run wild and then calling up and tell us that she is kicking the oldest one out of her house, one trimester before he would graduate. I had to help him get his diploma through doing homeschool. Because she made it so he wouldn't graduate other wise. We had to deal with her going around telling everyone what a horrible son she had. This step kid took out his anger and rage that he had for his mother, out on me. But now she has been sucking him back in saying she won't do that anymore, but she will do it over and over again for the rest of her life.
    For 13 years I have held back all the colorful words that I would have liked to tell her, but since my love for my step kids is strong, I always bit my tongue to keep the peace. Two weekends ago she was trying to take our time with the kids away and I spoke with one of the kids and while I was doing that she squeezed their hand and took the phone away and started screaming at me, telling me what a horrible parent I am. I do everything in my power to love, support, and take care of my step kids. The only times my husband and I have ever fought were because he gave into her so easily. It is very hard being a step parent and yes the bond is not the same as with your own children, but you can love them just as much.
    I tell my step kids that no matter how bad things are, no matter how mad they might be at me, we are always here for them.
    The oldest one is hitting the teenage rebellion stage and she tries to give him everything he wants, but then she comes crying to us to make him stop. For years I have envied those step parents that had step kids without the other biological parent. They don't know how lucky they have it. I love my husband and plan and promised to be with him forever, and I will, no matter what. My advice, don't always give in, be the voice in your husband's ear, try your hardest to make the best loving, stable home for your step child, because they usually have already been through enough.

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  22. I have two adult stepchildren living with us. The one is amost 30 and the other 25. The elder one has never done a days work and will lie in bed all day long. Neither has had a boyfriend and they do not have a friend between them. Their mother has a nice little life with her husband and maybe sees my SD's once a week.Basically I am at the end of my rope, they just aren't going anywhere and my DH says they will always have a roof over their heads blah blah! If I realised 6 years ago not one thing in their lives would change I would have run the other way. I long for my own space and just to have time with my husband. He just cannot see the problem or how odd their lives are and as long as they don't bother him life goes on. I know their is no answer except for me to leave, any advice appreciated but just glad to write it down.

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  23. My fiance and I have been together for 4 years and we have a child in common that is 2 and his son and daughter also live with us because their mother had been in jail for a year due to drugs. Ever since she came back into their lives, she has done nothing or said anything positive. She teaches her daughter hatred and how to be spiteful and she is only 8 years old. My stepson refuses to see her because he realizes how evil she is to him. This is a very heart wrenching situation to be in. I want to give my full heart into them but I dont want to be hurt by them. I try to teach them to have good hearts and not do harm to people. I have invested so much in this all. I started caring for them while being pregnant mind you I was high risk and my son was born 3 months early. I chose to take on a big responsibility but I have always been here even when I wanted to run away from it all I stayed because I feel they need me. I don't want their mom to destroy their souls because of her misery. It is by far harder than raising my biologicalson because yur child will love you unconditionally but stepchildren have a choice to love you or hate you. Stepmoms put soooo much effort into wanting the kids to love them and we put sooo much effort into being the best for them. But we are often stuck because we are reminded that we knew what we were getting into.

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  24. My fiance and I have been together for 4 years and we have a child in common that is 2 and his son and daughter also live with us because their mother had been in jail for a year due to drugs. Ever since she came back into their lives, she has done nothing or said anything positive. She teaches her daughter hatred and how to be spiteful and she is only 8 years old. My stepson refuses to see her because he realizes how evil she is to him. This is a very heart wrenching situation to be in. I want to give my full heart into them but I dont want to be hurt by them. I try to teach them to have good hearts and not do harm to people. I have invested so much in this all. I started caring for them while being pregnant mind you I was high risk and my son was born 3 months early. I chose to take on a big responsibility but I have always been here even when I wanted to run away from it all I stayed because I feel they need me. I don't want their mom to destroy their souls because of her misery. It is by far harder than raising my biologicalson because yur child will love you unconditionally but stepchildren have a choice to love you or hate you. Stepmoms put soooo much effort into wanting the kids to love them and we put sooo much effort into being the best for them. But we are often stuck because we are reminded that we knew what we were getting into.

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  25. I just stumbled on this site and it's so nice to see I'm not alone in my thoughts. I've been a step parent since I was 21 and it's hard as hell. My partner doesn't understand how hard it is for me, no one does. I feel lucky as Phillip* is only 2 years old so he doesn't know about a ll the drama with his parents and how his mum Angela* always ends up blaming me. My partner and I got together about 4 months before his son was born and for a second I didn't know how hard it would be. I thought Angela would get over things after a while (WRONG), I thought my partner would see how hard it is for me (WRONG), I thought I wouldn't get so emotionally attached to Phillip (MOST WRONG OF ALL). It's hard because I know he loves me like his real mum and everytime he goes home it's like my heart is breaking.

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  26. i stumbled across this googling step moms...i have 2 girls ages 14&7 & a stepson 8 yrs..a lil background...he was born premature and lost his right hand shortly after...his dad and mom divorced when he was 4..she remarried 8 mths after and his dad and i got together and its been 3 yrs since tbe divorce...we got married..she cheated on him....anyhoo..we made sure we foind a llace to accomadate my ss and my girls love him...since my huaband and his ex dicorced she threatens him witb bs like miving out of state( Our state has no laws against that).he would sit back and take it...now im the new wife hes grown a backbone and she absoluteky hates that...plus i prolly crossed the line by telling her she needs to stop babying the son just because he has no hand...she acts loke he cant do anything...we bought him his first bike and she got mad...but the child needs his independence...but sjnce i told her that he has been acting out toward me..refises to eat..gives me go tk hell looks....i have told him and his mother..i treat him lile hes my own..no special treatment..plus my huaband and i have been working with him tk tie his shoes kne handed..usjng a belt..he wants tk play baseball but his BM wont support him so he now is scared to dk anything..im tk the point i should juat stop caring cuz she dont want to back us but i also know in the long run he wi remember whk didnt give up on him...

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  28. I felt so alone in how I have been feeling until I came across this article....I can't ever think you ladies enough for sharing your stories! It is such an amazing relief to know it's not "me"...it's just the situation. I have so wanted to run away on so many occasions. ..it's not even funny. My needs and wants are never met and I mostly feel as if I am only there to serve as maid and nanny...There isn't couple time for us at all....we have been torn apart by it all. I really feel like if I had known what it was really going to be I would have never put myself here....my step kids are so lazy and nasty and don't even care what they leave on me. I get treated as if "it's my job" . When I get to my boiling point my husband only gets angry at me and says I'm being mean to his kids...great I get so frustrated and just want to run and be alone forever just me and my furbaby...no mess no disrespect no loneliness no anger no frustration no child support for a kid that lives with us full time and 2 that live 50/50 Joint Physical Legal Custody...but that's a whole other story on its own. I am so tired of feeling quilt for spending money on anything I might want or even need! I don't believe in divorce never have and I truly believe God put me here but I don't think he would want me to continue being punished and hating life as I do. I just feel so lost all the time!

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