Thursday, December 23, 2010

Is this part of progress or evidence of disintegration?

Things came to a head tonight on the blended family front.
Taylor was in his room crying after I and the other kids had said some hurtful things to him. I went in there and sat down on the bed with him and he reiterated that he was unhappy because everyone in his life was mean to him. He told me I was mean to him, and I gotta admit he was right. I've been mean to him. I was just talking with Rusty about this a couple of days ago....I have been trying so hard to please everyone that it was easier for me to just go along with Rusty, Chance, and Bailey when it came to Taylor...that's not right. I should have been standing up for my son.
I'll admit, that in the beginning, I was standing up for Taylor but realized how much fighting and arguing it caused. So I just gave in and just ignored when they made snide comments, insults, and were outright mean to him including Chance picking on Taylor physically. And my husband, who outright admits he finds my son incredibly annoying but insists he likes husband never says anything to his kids about picking on Taylor and insists that Taylor is annoying on purpose, starts stuff on purpose, and in general any time Taylor is around and there is any type of disagreement or annoyance it's all Taylor's fault. My husband also insists that when Taylor cries it has nothing to do with the fact that Taylor is being picked on, its "because he's manipulating me" and actually told Taylor right in front of me that he was "onto him and knew all the games"....
So tonight, Taylor cried and told me that he was unhappy and was tired of being picked on. Myself, having just had this argument with Rusty the other night when I said I was sick of the way my son was being treated, decided to listen to my son...I promised him 3 things: 1) I would stop yelling at him, 2) I would stand up for him, and 3) I wouldn't let anyone pick on him anymore in our home. Taylor made sure to say "Mom, if its bullies at school, I'll take care of it. I don't want to be embarassed by my mom. But at home, make Chance and Bailey stop being mean to me."
We all wound up having a family meeting in Bailey's room after Taylor touched something of hers and she yelled at him and I told her "stop picking on my son." She got upset and Rusty came in and we brought Taylor in and Rusty brought Chance in and we had a family meeting of sorts about treating people fairly and not picking on people (Taylor.) I thought it went well, although I kept having to point out to Rusty that he was being sarcastic...he even looked at Chance and said something along the lines of "so, what can we do to make Taylor less annoying?" and I said, see Rusty, that has GOT to stop. Your kids take their cues from you, and that is inappropriate. Rusty apologized but he just doesn't get it...he is still conveying to his kids that it is ok to see Taylor as annoying and a second class citizen (i.e. Taylor is not as good as/well-behaved as/worthy as/whatever as he and his children are) and basically that they have to be nice to him to appease me...I'm sick of it. Rusty does not genuinely care about my child. It shows in his words and actions and when I call him on it, he says "you don't just start liking someone overnight, this whole thing won't just happen overnight" and I reminded him that it hasn't been "overnight" it's been a year and four months. A year and a half and he STILL does not like my son, is obviously distant and not nice to him. I am not waiting around for my son to be treated fairly. I can't believe I put everyone else before my own child.
Anyway, everyone went to bed and Taylor was crying because Chance won't let him have any light on and he is afraid of the dark. (Chance and Taylor share a room and usually Taylor is asleep by the time Chance comes in so Chance turns the light off when he goes to bed.) Bailey has her lamp on every night in her room, so I figure this is the opportunity for me to start standing up for Taylor, especially since Chance called Taylor a crybaby and we JUST had that conversation.... So I go in the room and turn the lamp on and Chance wants it off. I said well, it's Taylor's room too and he is afraid of the dark, why don't you put the pillow over your head or something and Chance said no and said he was going to sleep on the couch and I said no, you're going to sleep in your bed. We're not sleeping on the couches that is what we have beds for. He got angry and Rusty got out of bed and Chance told me how much he hated me, how he's not coming over here, how much he hates my personality and everything about me, etc and I said well, you don't have to like me but I live here, I make rules and you have to respect me and follow them and he said no I don't what are you gonna do about it. And I said I'm not going to stand here and have a control battle with you and he glares at me and goes "i'm standing here" and I said fine keep standing there but the lamp stays on and you're not sleeping on the couch. Rusty comes in and tells Chance "sorry, go to bed, sorry you can't turn the lamp off" (which, of course, makes it sound like Rusty sides with Chance and thinks this whole thing is ridiculous) and Chance slams the door, Rusty opens the door and raises his voice and tells Chance he can't slam the door and to lay down.

So...I partially see this as progress because at least there is honesty around here, communication, and Rusty has somewhat disciplined his kids and realized I'm serious about Taylor being treated fairly.

On the other hand, its the same ol' crap that I'm mad about...Taylor keeps getting picked on and called a crybaby...still treated like a second class citizen by his stepfather and his stepsiblings while Rusty brushes it off with "blood is thicker than water" (to explain his children's behavior that he sees nothing wrong with) and "Taylor is annoying on purpose and a crybaby"......

I've left out so much, but that's enough already. I just know that Taylor has had a LOT to deal with...we moved from Starkville, Taylor left ALL his friends his school his life his hometown and Rusty's kids lives have not changed other than someone new moving in. Taylor has had a LOT to deal with as far as adjustments go and by God he has been a trooper...and it really angers me that any time I bring that up my husband brushes that off and gets mad at me for bringing it up and says it means nothing...he REFUSES to acknowledge or have any sympathy at all for how much Taylor has gone through and sacrificed to be a part of this family.

Anyway, I'm not distracted by pregnancies anymore. I have thrown my son under the bus for far too long just so I could have peace in this house, but at what expense?? This shit is going to stop right now.


  1. Family dynamics in step-families can be EXHAUSTING for everyone involved. Speaking as a child that went through it, it's paramount for the child to feel like their parent is standing up for them. Integrating two families is a huge adjustment and it will definitely help your son if he feels like he has an ally in the house, especially if its you! :) I wish I could say it gets better overnight, but it doesn't. It takes a lot of time. As the kids grow up their personalities will change and everyone will have to readjust as that happens. When I look back at what it was like for me growing up, I can tell you that the good news is each year all the kids will mature just a little bit more- it's the nature of growing up. It eases the strain on the family dynamic when they are less likely to pick the fights and pick on each other. It also starts becoming normal- the addition of new family members is shocking at first, and in a small way, like grief, it takes time for all the feelings to settle and start feeling normal. I can't imagine my family not being the way that it is now, steps and all, but its my new concept of normal.