An update

Ahhh finally I am writing.. I’ve been desperate to write for what feels like an eternity but we’ve been away on holiday with the kids and I’m only back to work today (not that I’m typing this up at work…. Honest!).

The Holiday and the stepkids
So first of all, the holiday with the kids was a success. I was worrying needlessly about my stepdaughter and all the issues that arose the last few weeks and it seems the excitement of the holiday took over any other issues and she was good as gold with me the whole trip. I think it may have done us the world of good to be around each other for those 4 days, day and night and perhaps it reassured her that I wasn’t suddenly going to change – that her Dad wasn’t going to change and that life was very much carrying on as normal.  So I am really relieved about that.

There was a slight downer when my fiancé was leaving to take the kids back to their mother’s house when she ran straight out and got into the car without saying goodbye to me (this also happened last weekend)… I always find this difficult. My fiancé said to me “did she say goodbye to you?” and I said no. He told me to go and open her car door and say goodbye but I said no – why should I chase her like that? It is just uncomfortable and awkward then.  He told me I was cutting my nose off to spite my face but I disagreed.  As they drove off down the road, I waved as usual and heard him say “you could at least wave couldn’t you?” and so I closed the door and burst into tears.

I was crying because of the shit way the holiday had ended. For me the lack of her saying goodbye and the lack of any of them saying they had a good time (maybe even a thank you?) was upsetting and disappointing. I felt like I had put so much effort into making the holiday fun for everyone, not to mention being a general maid, chef, photo-taker and all the rest of it and it felt upsetting that it didn’t end with a nice hug goodbye and a thank you/I enjoyed it…

Mid-cry I thought to myself perhaps that isn’t the only reason I’m crying.. what else could it be? Could it be because I would miss them? Is it something else? I’m still working on this but me and T touched on it last night in therapy and she thinks that there is a trigger somewhere because this often happens to me at the door. There is something in them all driving off and “leaving me behind” that I struggle with and I also often cry when I leave myself, for instance I’ve cried when I’ve left therapy a few times now and I’ve also cried when leaving my Dad’s and my Nan’s in the past few years (as well as my Dad leaving my house).

Me and T also discussed the fact that it could be that the reason she doesn’t say goodbye to me is because she finds it hard to say goodbye because it’s difficult for her leaving. I hadn’t ever thought of this before because she always seems to rush off but T told me to remember how I felt when I had to go home after being at my Nan’s for a weekend and I thought about that and found it quite a surprising thought.  She said that sometimes kids/people have to turn something bad or ruin something in order to make it easier to leave it… she said it was worth thinking about.  T also said that she wondered if when I cried, I was carrying something not only for myself but for them/her too.

I told T that the youngest boy had said to me that afternoon that he couldn’t wait to see his mum. I admitted to T that it hurt when he said that and that I felt stupid for feeling that way – of course the kid missed his mother. T said that it is hard for me because I take on that mum role when I’m with the kids and particularly after 4 days and nights of being “mum” I told her I knew it was silly for me to take it personally and said I had to remind myself of how I feel when T has been away and I can’t wait to see her again – she nodded and said that was a good way to think about it.

Thinking about it now, perhaps it was also some sort of jealousy that his homecoming would be nice and welcoming and homely and mine never was? Its possible.

Work and my ex-friend
In other news, I sent the email as per my post a few weeks ago now. I didn’t and have not received a response which I am actually very grateful for BUT it hasn’t been smooth sailing unfortunately.  The Monday after I sent the email (on the Friday night), she began walking by me staring at me for ages (like holding my gaze with dirty looks for 5-10 seconds at a time, not just a quick look) – she would shake her head when she passed me at work and would tut and turn her nose up at me if I was in her eye line… I was struggling with this but didn’t react at all as per T’s advice (and all of that on the internet).  I wasn’t sure this was going to stop and so I made a note in my work book of every time she did something, when and who was there and I coincidentally had my appraisal at work and so I did tell my supervisor what was going on.  She told me to monitor it and said she would be happy to speak to her for me if it was becoming difficult. I said I was going away for nearly a week and so I hoped the time apart would help – it’s my first day back today and I haven’t seen her yet so we will see.  HOWEVER..

However, she decided to email our mutual friend who is currently off on maternity leave about the whole situation and needless to say, it isn’t an accurate or truthful description of what happened but her “side” of it which is full of inaccuracies… In the email to our friend she says that she waited weeks for my huff to “blow over” and that eventually she sent me her email to find out what was going on. She claims that when I got engaged, she came into work and congratulated me, said my ring was beautiful and said how happy she was for me (the only truth in that is that she did say the word congratulations – but with a very straight-face and she walked off instantly).  She then said that THAT evening I blocked her on Facebook (not true – I had blocked her a week previous).  She said to our friend that she is very hurt by my words, that she would never treat someone like that and that I said I “don’t need her anymore” (I didn’t say that).

She later went on to say to our friend that when she returned to work from mat leave, she would need to draw up a rota for the days our friend would lunch with me and the days she would have lunch with her!!! Firstly that is a stupid thing to say but secondly it made me laugh because it just shows you the whole point of our row – the woman is obsessed with lunch breaks and who will be with her. She then made a comment of “if she is still here then because she had signed up to an agency a few weeks ago”.. which was a pretty shady thing for her to 1) tell our friend as it was private but 2) write from her work email address particularly considering redundancies are rumoured.

Anyway, my friend has told her she doesn’t want to say too much and doesn’t want to get involved which is good of her and I’ve told my friend that she should tell her she doesn’t want to hear any more if she carries on because it isn’t fair on her. Our poor friend isn’t even back until May next year!

That aside, she has been going to lunch with various other women here at work (all funnily enough people she’s disliked previously) and one of them are no longer acknowledging me – probably I assume, because she believes her victim story. It really is no skin off of my nose but I will admit the whole thing is very exhausting.

Dream – Baby
And as a non-important side note, I had a dream on Monday night that I had a baby girl. She was wrapped up warm in a blanket and I absolutely adored her. Her name was Kia and in the dream this seemed to relate to chicken kiev somehow! haha don’t ask me why although I had eaten garlic bread that night!

In the dream I touched her face gently and she started to “talk” in baby language and laugh, it melted my heart and I felt happiness and love like I never have before. I was so proud to be her mum and I had so much love for her. I woke up remembering this dream VERY vividly (still do actually) and had wanted to talk to T about it last night but ran out of time. I wonder why I am dreaming of having a baby and feeling those feelings so intensely – I am wondering what that symbolises but have a feeling its to do with the kids and holiday stuff somehow. How can I feel something so strongly from a dream that I’ve never felt in real life? It is so strong!!

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25 thoughts on “An update

  1. That woman is ridiculous!
    I think children find transitions very difficult at times, the whole switching back from Dad to Mum. But also, if they aren’t taught regularly to say thank you or goodbye… then how are they going to know to do it? At their age there’s no way they’re going to remember so parents need to remind. Plus the excitement of seeing their mum would have made them forget naturally.
    I’m really glad the holiday went well.

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    1. She is, isnt’ she!

      Yeah I guess so, although she is nearly 12 and about to start secondary school so I wonder how long that excuse lasts if you know what I mean? I agree the transition is probably hard for them, T thinks that perhaps their mum isn’t wonderfully welcoming if they’ve been with us and had a good time – particularly on holiday but we don’t know the truth of course x

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      1. He isn’t great at it – he’s got much better over the years at reminding them to say it at smaller things but it didn’t cross his mind about the holiday. It’s tough koz I know that kids shouldn’t have to be eternally grateful for lots of basic things and t said that I had to be so perhaps I’m up against that a bit but at the same time, he could have said “have you thanked TT for a lovely holiday?” Of course xx

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      2. I think you’re in danger of placing blame with particularly the daughter instead of where it belongs- with both her parents. I am not sure it would ever have occurred to me to say thank you at the end of a holiday at that age. Maybe speak to your fiance and tell him how you feel, but to be honest this isn’t any of the kids fault or problem.

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      1. I see parallels to a situation I was in a few years ago. I had startedy job when I was in a bad place, a few years later I had worked really hard to change and begun engaging in more healthy behaviours but my colleagues still saw me as the “old me”. I wrote a post about it six months ago:
        https://breakingthealcoholiccycle.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/following-blindly/?preview=true

        It just reminded me of your situation….starting my new job in a way was symbolic of me leaving some of those unhealthy patterns and memories of those unhealthy patterns behind. X

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      2. OMG I am going to read this now!! Thank you. Colleagues definitely see me as the “old me” for more ways than one. Firstly I was 18 and am now 29!! but also I have changed a hell of lot since starting therapy 3 years ago so that is certainly true. I’ve been very bored in my job for a long, long time now but its just so easy and it pays well… I started looking a few months ago but then heard that redundancies are rumoured and so I was sticking it out to see if there were any voluntary redundancies (or if she got made redundant) which would really help x

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  2. Oh wow T gives an interesting alternative perspective on what the kids might be thinking and experiencing when they return home. She’s good! It’s hard though to not feel appreciated, and it’s not the same if you have to nudge for it 😞. Sometimes all you can do is lead by example. I wonder what would have happened if you just went down to the car and told the kids that you had a wonderful time with them, thanked them for spending time with you, and encouraged them to go give mum a big squeeze and let her know they missed her. I know that will feel risky, as you don’t know what response you’ll get, and the child part of you might feel very resistant in that ‘why should I” way, but if that’s the sort of behaviour you’d like to see from them then it’s right that you put yourself out there as the adult and demonstrate it to them.

    I’m glad work (ex) friend isn’t being TOO bad! A email reply probably would have been the worst thing, as it would tempt you back into a debate with her. But involving someone on maternity leave with this is quite frankly a bit disgusting! She’ll have enough on her plate with baby, without this woman trying to make this her problem, jeez!

    xxx

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    1. Hey lovely, how are you? I checked out your page earlier to see if I had missed anything but no new posts – are you all good?

      Well I always say that kind of stuff (I had a lovely time and I hope you did too) but I’ve never said like give mum a big hug.. mainly because she hates me and so I think it might make the kids more uncomfortable just at me mentioning her like that….. but its deffo worth a thought!!

      Thanks, yeah, I am glad I haven’t had a reply YET but T still thinks she might. T said last night that she may reply soonish with a “I’ve taken so long because I was so upset with what you said, I am hurt and miss you and our friendship…” kind of reply which would make it harder for me to stick to my guns. I agree with you, bothering someone on mat leave with it is needless and wrong. xx

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      1. Hey love, I’m not too bad. Had a few things going on that I can’t blog about unfortunately 😕. Also been on holiday and then little one hasn’t been well.

        Yikes why does she hate you? You know this for sure? That must definitely play a part in their behaviour towards you at times.

        Yes she might still take it up a notch. And I’d agree with T, it would make sense for her to switch to the softy softy approach when she can see her aggressive/passive aggressive attempts don’t wash with you now. But it would only last until she had you back in a comfortable position where you let your guard down and she’s able to pull strings with these games. X

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  3. This may sound counterintuitive, but maybe it’s the very fact that you’re now “family” that contributed to her not saying thanks (the goodbye bit is different, I think). As a kid you often take your family for granted, partly because you have to go where they go and don’t have a choice, and if you happen to go somewhere really nice that’s just an added bonus. I would have been much more likely to make an effort to say thank you after being hosted by distant family or friends of family than by my dad and his new wife. Less so at 12 than when I was younger, but still to some extent. But also, with family there’s usually the opportunity to say thanks at times other than immediately afterwards – often it will come out spontaneously after you’ve had time for it to sink in what a great time you had, maybe as you’re talking later some of the things you did on holiday. Having to go back to another parent straight away cuts off that time for reflection and those opportunities to show gratitude.

    I know it still hurts to feel taken for granted though, and you have my full sympathy on that.

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    1. I would agree with you but it’s no different now to ever before. I think that it’s partly that my fiancé and his ex wife didn’t teach them as well as i may have liked and partly because I was taught to be so thankful for everything – even things kids perhaps shouldn’t “have” to be grateful for. Food for thought.

      Moving in DV, I’ve just spent 45 minutes on the train home reading all of your blogs that I’ve missed and I couldn’t comment on any of them, I assume you’ve taken the commenting option off although I did see some comments so was a little confused. There’s sooooo much in your writing that I want to comment on but just quickly here I wanted to let you know I’ve read and I feel like you’ve covered so much!! You are really self reflecting a lot and to me it seems there’s been a lot of material – even without your first session back which was enormous!!

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  4. Chicken Kiev 😂 you’re brilliant. I’ve had those baby dreams before. Feels really empty waking up alone. Definitely part of processing grief I think, conversely. As in, what we never had, or what we don’t have right now. That woman is unbelievably petty. A rota?? Wow.

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    1. I know ha!! It’s funny in a way though koz the whole reason I’ve ended our friendship is her total obsession with me lunching with her every day – and the price I pay if I don’t, so she’s made herself look very silly!!! Apparently she’s told our manager at work that she’s so angry with me that she keeps writing “very spiteful” emails to me and then deleting them!!

      I know! Chicken Kiev 😂😂😂😂that still makes me laugh now!!

      Do you think it’s processing what we didn’t have? I wondered that but thought it would be experienced as the baby rather than as the mother?

      I have longed to have that feeling ever since the dream – it’s really very real in my minds eye, I don’t know why it’s so poignant xx

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      1. Angry at you for not allowing yourself to be treated like shit… Yep, only she is making herself look like an eejit here. Rising above these people can be so hard to do. But your best defense is just leaving her to her rubbish.
        I think experiencing the dream as the mother not the baby is part of processing yes. Now at the age where we can see ourselves doing those things we wish we had before, its so healing to actually do them. Even if just in dream! You could go so far as to say the baby may be a part of your “self” right now? xx

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      2. Ooohhh I like this, yes! Thank you that’s really good. I’m thinking now in terms that the baby was/is my inner child and that my inner child felt happy and loved (perhaps because of my recent engagement?) also in the dream me and my mum got off of a bus and the pram I was pushing was empty so I said “where is my baby?” And she was holding her so I took her off my mum and held her. My mum then pushed the empty pram.

        I think there’s some strong symbolism there!! Taking my baby/my child back from my mother and loving her. Awww ❤️

        Yeah exactly, angry at me for setting some clear boundaries…. (or possibly for “discarding of her”) x

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