I awoke yesterday with a horrendous headache. I crawled out of bed nearly puking from the pain. It was the worst migraine I had experienced in a long time.
I knew what had caused it, but it didn’t matter. Knowing was not going to take the pain away.
Knowing wasn’t going to take any of the pain away.
It hurt watching her go through this. It hurt seeing the status updates. It hurt knowing that she needed me. More so though, it hurt knowing that I couldn’t be there. I couldn’t be there for any of them anymore.
Being there would only hurt me more.
Some may feel I’m being petty. Maybe I am. If the shoes were on the other feet I would advice swallowing your pride, letting it go, realizing that proving your point is never worth losing relationships over. But, the shoes aren’t on the other foot and I’ve followed that advice for far too long.
This is important to me. It is hurtful to me. The words that have been said, the actions that have been taken, the feelings that have been implied over the last decade are not okay with me. They were never okay with me. I let them go. I buried them inside. I fought to create the perfect unity that I wanted in a family.
The truth is, I’m not okay with someone treating my stepchildren as though they are insignificant, unimportant, unlovable, unworthy. I’m not okay with someone teaching my biological children that it is okay to treat others differently based solely on personal prejudices. I’m not okay with pretending that half of my household does not exist.
When I met my current husband we did not combine families. There were not his kids and her kids. There were not his family holidays and her family holidays. When I met my husband his family already existed. He already had a son and a daughter that he had full custody of. They already had holiday traditions. We did not unite two families together. I became a part of a family that was already created.
In time, we added to this family. We added another son and another daughter. We did not replace. We added. We added to an already existing family.
Adding family is a marvelous thing for children, more people to love them. Unfortunately, it can also be the most destructive thing to happen to a child. To every child that belongs to that added family. When this family is not accepted as a whole unit it negatively affects EVERY single child of said family. Not just the children, it affects every member of that family.
The husband feels that no matter what he does that he is mistake. The older children feel unloved, unwanted. Replaced. The younger children feel torn, torn between two families that they want to love. They want to be a part of, but they are constantly torn between the two.
There should NEVER be two. Family is family. ONE family.
I think that the people that would like to associate my family as consisting of only myself and my two biological children think that I would be better off divorcing my husband and ridding myself of his ‘other’ children. The thing is, even if I were to get divorced. Even if I was naive enough to destroy my children’s lives to please these people, they still don’t simply disappear.
There will NEVER be two. Family is family. ONE family.
Say we got divorced. Would that make my husband no longer my children’s father? Would that make his other kids no longer their brothers and sister? Would that make his parents no longer their grandparents?
These people entered my life and with that they entered yours. Just as when anyone else in the family gets married or involved in a significant relationship, that person becomes a part of everyone in that families lives whether they like it or not. It’s a package deal. You don’t get to tear apart the wrapping and pick and choose the pieces you’d like. It doesn’t work like that. Family doesn’t work like that.
For this reason, I finally made the decision I did and I posted it loud and clear on Facebook for all to see.
I’ve thought about it a long time. It wasn’t a decision made out of anger. I didn’t make it suddenly or in haste. I’ve been weighing this decision for over a decade. I have been struggling with this decision for over a decade.
It’s a decision one should never have to make. They should never have to chose between people they love. One of the hardest things I’ve ever learned in life is that if someone really loves me, they would never make me choose. And maybe you feel that way too, in your own way. Maybe you feel that if I really love you I wouldn’t chose them over you.
I do love you. I love you so much that it’s taken me over a decade of suffering to stand my ground, to force you to decide to love all of me or none of me. You can’t rip me open and take the parts of me that you prefer. I’m just one. One package deal. My family is just one. One package deal. The good and the bad. Nobody is perfect and nobody deserves to only be loved for their good parts. You either love all of a person or you don’t. You either love all of a family or you don’t.
I’m not the one choosing…. You are.