In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Temporarily Out of Order

I am temporarily out of order.

I have lost my voice because I am choking on a shit sandwich.

My life, interrupted to deal with shit sandwiches.

I might even have lost what sanity I had left because I’ve allowed this shit sandwich to steal my peace.

I am tired. No, I’m exhausted.

Shortly after Christmas, the little people’s birth mommy flew in for a visit. My husband temporarily lost his mind and allowed her to take them for 5 days. Alone. Without consulting with me first.

Because of last years fiasco with her and her abusive boyfriend, she is no longer allowed to stay over night at our home and he is not allowed in our home. I no longer communicate with her. My husband handles all communication with her.

This works good because then I don’t get sucked into feeling sorry for her. This also works good because just talking to her can make a person feel crazy.

She has learned the fine art of gaining pity from others and playing the victim role, which she wears proudly. Her father, my husband, doesn’t fall for her ploys but he does give in to her at times because he still doesn’t want to deal with her. She manipulates him like crazy. She is great at making him feel guilty. She is great at blaming everyone but herself for the messes she has created. He’s angry at her for all of this and a whole lot more.

For 3 years I was stuck in the middle of their chaos and dysfunction. I was the peace maker. I was the listener. The go between. I was getting stuck with arrows from the crossfire's of their crap. One year ago, I made the choice to step out of this.

I did this so that I could just focus on loving the little’s and keeping my peace and sanity instead of on her…and allowing her chaos to affect me.

I will not listen to her lies. I will not get sucked into feeling sorry for her. I do NOT trust her. I will not accept blame for what is hers. I will no longer be used by her to manipulate her father.

I have learned that she can say and do evil with a smile on her face.

I have let go of the fantasy of us being one big happy family. I am losing hope of her ever being able to get it together in time to raise her children. Especially after last week.

On the day we met up with her, she hugged me and instantly the hair on the back of my neck stood up. It felt like I was hugging evil. I felt like vomiting.

How do you admit that you feel this way around your step daughter?

I wanted to take the little’s and run.I wanted to protect them from her. I had to let go of them because it’s not just up to me. Because who am I?

Even though I have given up the past 3 1/2 years to raise her children. Even though I have given up everything to do this. Even though I am the one they come to the most. Even though I am the one left holding the bag…I’m just the one playing “Mommy” until she gets her shit together. Right?

She came without the boyfriend which is good. She didn’t bring their 1  1/2  year old little brother because she told me that he’s too hard to handle and too fussy.

Now the little’s are back and their behaviors are over the top. Even in the best circumstances it would be difficult for them to adjust. But, this is not the best of circumstances is it? This is what I had feared and have fought against.

She took them and pulled them into her world. She twisted and undermined what they know to be the truth. She made promises of things she cannot possibly keep. She made herself the victim to her children. She made them think we are the enemy or at least that I am. She was beyond inappropriate.

One big fat shit sandwich served up to a 3 & 4 year olds. And they’ve been sharing it with me.

 How can she cause so much damage in such a short time? How can she not care about how she affects them?

It has been a nightmare. I am the one they lash out at and take out their confusion on, yet I am the one they cling to for comfort. I am the one they come to for answers. As their shit sandwich explodes all over the place, I am the one that is suppose to clean it up…I’m suppose to make it not stink anymore.

In the face of hearing “I don’t love you anymore.” I am expected to hug & kiss and make these booboo’s better.

I am expected to fix this. I am suppose to show them what to do with this shit sandwich.

I cannot even begin to explain all that went on while they were with her because every day we discover even more pieces to this crazy puzzle.

Yes, my husband has learned a valuable lesson (and in the big picture so have I)but one that comes with a high price. 

They are hurting and this kills me. I cannot take away their pain like they want me to and this breaks my heart.

I just listen, comfort with words of assurance, hug and hold and rock and remain firm. I love them fiercely against the storm that rages.

I am too tired to get you or anyone for that matter to understand the why’s, the what’s and the how’s.

I am empty. I am angry. I am sad. I am broken. I feel like I’ve been knocked down on my ass in the middle of the ring. At the moment I feel stunned. Dizzy. Immobilized.

I’m working on getting the shit sandwich unstuck from my throat so that I can breathe…so that I can start moving forward…but which direction?

I can’t even cry because this sandwich is keeping the tears stuffed inside.

I wish we had someone to guide us…for someone to know what this shit sandwich tastes like so we don’t feel so alone and isolated…to help us do “this” right.

New boundaries have to be set and new rules need to be made in order for me to stay a part of this. I hate dysfunction. I hate chaos. I hate meanness. I hate lies and manipulating.  I’ve worked hard to break free from that life.

When I married my husband I didn’t know I was signing up for “this”. Still in being married to him, I have in a sense “signed up” for “this” and am committed to him. But, if I am going to be part of “this” then someone has to start listening to me. I will not be part of dysfunction and chaos. I will only be part of healing and providing a safe haven for the little’s. I will love them for as long as God keeps them placed in my arms.

My daughter flew in a few days ago to pick up her son(the one I got to have here a couple of weeks ago). All of “this”  over shadowed my time with her. Then yesterday we drove to pick up her son from his dad, so I got one more night with him also. All of “this” over shadowed my last moments with them.

I should be driving them the 2 hours to the airport, right now, as I write this but little lady’s melt downs were so bad that I had to stay home with her. I had to stay home because she has reached her limits and just wanted me. I rocked her to sleep after my husband and little man left with them. I know my daughter understands but is disappointed.

My heart aches in the quietness of their absence. My mind is filled with guilt as it seems that “this” comes between my children and I, all too often.

So there it is. The shit sandwich of the moment. I’m working on vomiting it from my soul. I’m working on getting my voice back…on breathing normal again.  

I can’t carry “this” so I lay all of “this” down. I’m reaching for courage to not  pick it back up. I must lay this down.

My resiliency has kept me from throwing in the towel. I cannot give up.

I call on both to help me get back up and to keep dealing with these interruptions at hand.

Until I do, I will be hiding under a rock.

Dealing with “this” and putting the pieces back together is sucking the life out of me. If I am absent it is because of this and my need to hide. Forgive me. 

This is my life interrupted. I will be back.

Love & Hugs, Lori


otin said...

I have some major issues in my life that I do not blog about! Things that no normal human being would ever put up with, yet I still seem to find a way to deal with it. My life would be so much better if I just ran away, but that is not in me, and apparently it is not in you either. I wish you the best and hope that you can come to a resolution to this! ((((HUGS))))

LPC said...

Oh gosh. The kids will be OK. They will recover. They are acting out because they feel safe with you. It will pass. The question is, for how long can you submerge yourself in the way mothering calls for, if you are subject to this kind of storm.

Susan said...

hang in there hun. (((hugs)))

Madison said...

I'm just glad they're back with you and I'm all for setting strong, impenetrable boundaries that work for you. The title of your blog says it all.

Jeannie said...

Those poor littles. Thank God they have you. Although you are weak, imagine how strong and stable you must seem to be in their eyes. You are the tower they can take their pain and confusion out on.

You will get through this because you have to. You will find a way to cope because you must. It won't be easy because easy is not the road you've been given. Life is really unfair.

Kit Kat said...

You will be in my prayers. If you need anything, please call on me or my parents. We all want the best for you and the littles. I am so sorry that you are having to go through this again. Stay strong.

Lisa E said...

I can't take away your pain and frustration, but I can tell you that you are in my thoughts. I am sorry, and I wish you peace.

Rita said...

Oh God, I "almost" know how you feel. My step daughters were 14 and 10 when we married and we had physical custody. It was wonderful until they became adults and suddenly I was the enemy as was their father.

There was so much pain and so many times I would have called it quits as to the step-mother thing, but by then we had a grandson, whom I adored. I spent several years angry at my husband only because it meant I would be subjected to this misery for many years.

But it is better now. It will never be what I thought it was the first 8 years, but it is better.

And while your little ones are acting out right now, it will pass. And you are doing the right thing by raising them. I worried for several years about my grandson.

You have every right to be angry. It's a normal feeling after this episode.

Keep up the faith. If may take awhile, but I have no doubt it will be worth it.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Beth said...

By just being there for the kids, they will get through this tough time. I'm so sorry you have such a situation to deal with. And because it is family... it never goes away.

Go ahead and vent here. It should be healing.

Thinking of you.

TechnoBabe said...

You have much to deal with right now that's for sure. The very good thing that I hear you saying is that you are clear in your understanding of what and how much you can handle. You are telling those in your life clearly how you feel. Good for you. And being exhausted on top of the turmoil is just too much. Breathe. Remember, one day at a time. Probably writing this post even helped get some of the shit sandwich chewed up and on its way out.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I grew up in chaos. A steady, kind, loving adult in life CAN and DOES make all the differece. Have you and your husband considered counsel for this. This has to be a nightmare for him with his own daughter, and then the complexity of it all...

My heart truly goes out to you and all the people who give children a soft place to rest. I survived my childhood by people like you.

Too many spelling errors the first time.

Fragrant Liar said...

Wow, I'm ALMOST speechless. What I have to say to your step-daughter would be so unpleasant, I just won't say it. You are doing the best you can, that much I know. Hang in there. Get legal custody if you can and put an end to the seesaw. Things WILL get better, and the kids are fortunate to have you there to take up for them and be their rock.

HUGS, Lori.

Brian Miller said...

that totally sucks...usually i am the one picking up pieces witht he kids i work with...this sounds all too real to me. be there for them, love them unconditionally...know that the sandwich they are serving is not directed at you but is in response to something else completely. i feel for you and will remember you in my prayers.

SciFi Dad said...

Jeez Lori, I am sorry. I wish I had answers, but mine are typically of the decisive (and divisive) variety, and I don't think you want them.

I hope that your faith and patience serve you well during this trying time.

Midnitefyrfly said...


what happened... well it is what it is. You have every right to set it down, recompose, and rethink how it will not happen again. Try not to dwell on what shouldn't have happened, what their mother should not have said or done, and instead focus on the healing and setting up new boundaries.

Fill the voids that she insisted on creating within her children with love, and they will experience their own healing. Do not be afraid to be truthful- with your husband, with yourself, and with your Little's.

If the reality is that their mother is a pain (causes pain), then she needs to lie in that bed she creates. When I experienced something similar, my children were 4 and 6. Answer their questions with simple honest answers. It causes pain to know the truth, but in time they will be aware that you created a life for them filled with love and truth, and what she fails to create will become apparent.

Be gentle with yourself as you work through this, another interruption, but not the end. Hope. Love and faith will see you all through.

more ((((HUGS))))

Claire Marie said...

Only private email will do for my comments. I love you sister-in-circumstances.

Natalie said...

Lori, there are no magical words unfortunately.You correct in everything you say, you are doing 'shit sandwhich' perfectly.
I do have an inkling of the frustration and hopelessness of loving the children of a manipulative, dysfunctional mother. It is soul destroying. I am so sorry, there is nothing much I can say to take that pain away. I am here however ,to listen and send you a cyber hug.xx♥

Busy Bee Suz said...

Lori...oh my sweet friend. Why does this happen to you? Your step daughter has a lot to learn in life...and in her mistakes, you and the kids are suffering. I loathe her. I pray that she learns to behave like a nice person...a person who is lucky enough to have these amazing kids and amazing parents.
I am sorry for this large shit sandwich you are eating now...I wish I could come there and help you with the kids...
You are a wonderful will get through this just like you have in the past. I hope it gets better quickly.
HUGS to you.

Buckeroomama said...

{{{Hugs}}} Stay strong --for the littles and for yourself.

Hilary said...

Lori, I'm so very sorry that your family is going through this right now. Those darling littles are feeling the chaos of their mother's instability. But they're acting out with you because they know you're a safe haven. They can't rationalize that at their age - they can only react. Your love for them is their therapy and this will subside.

Can you look into getting legal custody of these children? And counseling for all of you.

Sending warmest hugs across the blogosphere to you. Be strong.

Lori ann said...

Oh Lori,
I hope by the time you are reading this you are feeling better. Even though I don't know you that well, I think you are such a wonderful person, full of loving kindness,with a heart of gold. And I don't think that there is any room in your heart (or stomach) for this yuckky sandwich, you don't have to eat it. You can't do anything about some things, and i think that makes you frustrated and sad, guilty even.

I wish i could tell you please don't. I do understand what you are going through. I wish i could tell you to just continue doing all the things you know to be good and true. Loving these babies as your own. That's the best thing in the world you could do. The rest is out of your hands. And please don't feel guilt regarding your own children. They know the wonderful mother you are and your guilt only adds to their sadness. The circle continues. Go forward dear one, with your head held high and your strong heart guiding the way. Love really does heal all.

I HOPE you don't mind me telling you all this, you have touched me deeply and I don't want to see you sad. I LOVE to see the smiles and grins on this blog, yours and the childrens. See how much joy you bring?


The Incredible Woody said...

I am so sorry. I wish I could wipe away the pain that she has caused. I wish I could send you an extra dose of courage, of energy, of patience. I wish...

mommytoalot said...

My gosh,I am so sorry you are dealing with this shit sandwich. As a foster parent , I've had my own share, but nothing this ..well shitty.
I am in awe of your strength. You are a true inspiration to us, to those of us that know what a kinship placement is like. (i have two kinship kids myself)...I know the bio parent guilt trip, but no nothing evil. I am praying for your littles , that they come around quickly in the warmth and love of you and your husband. in your loving environment.
I am thinking and praying for you all.
if you need to me..

Jan said...

I hope the lesson learned by your husband is that the Little People don't go with their birth mother. Ever. (I'm assuming you have legal custody of them.)

We, too, are dealing with very similar unbloggable issues with Beloved's youngest daughter. Only she's 18...when they buy the bullshit and lies and manipulation at that age, it can be even more heartbreaking because they choose to ignore or forget all the love you've shown and everything you've done for them over the years.

My friend, if you need to talk, you know where to find me.


Brittany said...

Ohhh mom :) I love you very much, and enjoyed the time I had with you, more then you can no. I am glad that I was there to help or distract when I could.

I love you so much, and I hope you know you can come to me with anything. Aidyn-man and me love you :)!!!!

MGM said...

so sorry! not sure what to say. I have worked with lots of kids with big family issues. kids in the state foster and adoption system. I have watched foster and adoptive parents --and the child--go through absolute hell when the state requires them to let the birth parent (who is NOT even trying to get their act together) have a visit with the child. I know it's not the same, but perhaps gives me a glimpse of what you are going through.

God bless and keep you, and may His face shine upon you!

Sending you hugs!

Anonymous said...

Lori, tke the time you need. This is tougher than any of us can imagine. The little ones are hurting and confused. They feel safe with you and therefore they will lash out, say & do all the things they can to try to express their fear and confusion. They KNOW you love them and they feel safe doing that with you. This says so much for all that you have done for them. No, you didn't sign up for all this but you are in it now and I know that you will let the Lord lead you in dealing with it. Remember that He promised you that you can do all things through Him (Phil. 4:13) When you are weakest He is the strongest. Don't get discouraged. You are in my prayers!

gram said...

just a little hello, to let you know i am thinking of you.
take care.

Kelly said...

Hugs Lori!! Big calming hugs.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh Lori, My heart is breaking for you and those sweet kids. I am sorry you are all going through this. Stay strong and kiss the kids for me. You are all in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

Anonymous said...


Bina said...

Oh my Dear, sweet, Lori. WHY must you be dealt with these hands when are you do in life is love, give love, and teach love? I just don't understand it. And as I've said all along, for a woman with five kids raised and living their own lives, you have taken on two step-grandchildren and though they are your own and this is what happens? I would be mad and bitter, too, so I can understand how you must sort though these things. I only wish I could help, and that I was wise enough to offer you comfort and advice. Just know I think of you often and hope things get turned back around.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Oh Lori. Hugs, hugs, hugs. Take care of you and we'll be here awaiting your return.


Life with Kaishon said...

Oh Lori! I cried for you as I read this. And the sweet littles! I am so sorry you are going thru this time. I know that no words I say can make it better so I will just say that you are in my prayers.

Jason, as himself said...


Anonymous said...

Versaute Amateure

alte titten


Riahli said...

I know these feelings all to well from raising my husbands younger brother for seven years. You know some of my story already. It's hard, and I wish I could say that there is some magic thing you can do to make it better but there really isn't. It complicated all around when you are raising someone else's kid(s). Do stand your ground though, and of course love those littles even when they are saying they don't love you any hurts, it sucks, it's frustrating but you are now their rock. I always had to remind myself when J was lashing out at me that he was doing it because he felt the most comfortable with me. He knew that he could be mean and I still wouldn't leave him or stop loving him, he couldn't do that with his mom even though I am sure he was angry deep inside with her. He couldn't express that though in fear that she wouldn't come around any more. So he would take it all out on me, it was overwhelming at times and I often cried at night about it. It took my focus away from my babies and my husband. I often though, why am I doing this, he doesn't care, he doesn't even want to be here, he wants his mom and she doesn't want him. It's sad to see the pain that they go through because of some one else and that feeling of not being able to fix it or really change much for them. I ate lots and lots of shit sandwiches for J, and you know what, it was nasty...but so worth it. I know it takes a while to get back to your normal with them but they will wind down and get back to where they need to be, it's just frustrating putting in all that work to get them back to where you were before she showed her face. So confusing for the kids too. I don't understand mothers who don't want to take care of their kids, but then talk bad about the person who is taking care of them. My mom use to tell me that J's mom was just jealousy , but that didn't make much sense to me. Why be jealous of something you don't want to do? What ever the reason it causes a LOT of problems!! I hope you are able to work something out that helps you to at least eat sandwiches filled with less poo...or maybe, just maybe, no poo at all! =)

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Ohhhhh Lori! I'm so sorry you have to deal with "this". ((HUGZ!!)) I'm glad to see from your Happy Hour post that things are starting to get back to 'normal'. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!

Ginger@When Ginger snaps... said...

I just read this and my heart is breaking for you. Step families can be a heard thing, under the best circumstances. You deserve a jeweled crown for what you are doing.

All I could think of, as I read this post, was "Thank God those children have her." Because, without you, where would they be?

You have to keep that in mind. You are a priceless gift to these little ones. No matter what they may "spew" after visiting with the devil.

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