Marie - posted on 01/30/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )
Let me start off by saying I have made decisions in my past before having a family that I am not proud of but I have been turning around since starting my own. I was abused growing up, and have had the oppurtunity to change that pattern when I became a mother myself. I knew one thing I would never want is to have a child, any child, mine or someone else's, feel the way I did. I promised that the day I became a mom that I'd be the mom I never had. I have a lot of respect for biological moms and in no way would I ever want someone to feel like I am trying to replace that.
After I met my husband the first year we started dating, I was aware he had a child that was born when he was very young, he was 15 at the time. The child was age 7 when I first met them. Because I know what it's like not to have a relationship with my dad, I encouraged their time together and would even bring up ideas they could do together during visits. I would take big steps back to take small steps into gaining trust with not only the child but the mother too.
But from the beginning, before even meeting her or the child, I was banished from even being in the passenger seat if he were to go pick her up. The first time I ever rode along with was extremely humiliating. Not only was I told to be left at the corner but that she did not want me physically on or around the property when the child was picked up. There was an argument between her and my then-fiance (had not been married yet) but I didn't fight with the request; I simply stepped out and waited to be picked up. Also, where we drive is 2 hours from the city we live on, so I was really umcomfortable. But for the sake of the child being with their dad, I would have swam across a lake if that's what it took to bring them together.
Though that was ok to tolerate for a while, it was increasingly more difficult. But somehow I was able to finally talk to her and then she finally started opening up. After that, I thought things were going to get better and hopefully progress into a big family for the kids. My husband and I were expecting our child and I was excited to start being a mom to my own. After my baby was born, things were still doing good.
But my past caught up to me and about 2 weeks before Christmas of 2012, the child's mom had found an old arrest from years before for possession of marijuana. I was 20 then and I am 26 today. This was years before I knew them. I am not by any means justifying what I did but I was very young and on a bad path but turned my life around. When she found the record, she blasted my information to my in-laws and told my husband I was not allowed around their kid. I was stunned at that point by how she handled it. She still has not actually spoken to me about it or asked. I would have been completely upfront and honest about it.
The first thing I did was take a drug test to prove I was clean from any drug and that I would never put her child in a situation like that. She has ignored any kind of request to bring this back together. Since this has happened, the child is only allowed to stay at his parent's house on his weekends. And I get along with my in-laws, I think they are amazing people, but I really wish my husband would take more of a role in trying to get this visitation worked out. It is hard on me being isolated from a child that I was growing to love as my own. Not only that, they do not live in the same town, so it is another drive away for him. And I'm left with our baby at home while he visits every other weekend. I feel like no matter what I am trying to do, which ultimately I just want them to spend as much time together as possible, that I am going to be isolated from that relationship as a stepmom because of my past mistake. I cannot forgive myself now for it. I cry every other weekend because it hurts knowing I am the cause of this.
I don't know what it's like for other stepmoms but I could really use some advice or guidance as to what to do in this situation. I know I have no visitation rights as a stepparent so I have not pushed it. But knowing that I can't even be around the child is painful. It makes me feel like I am a horrible stepmom but I just don't want to cause any more problems than it seems I have. The child asks their dad why I don't want to come, and I don't want them thinking I don't want to. It breaks my heart. It has been almost a year and I haven't been able to see the child besides Christmas of 2013 and New Years. Even then when the mom found out I was there, she screamed at my husband and told him to bring her back.
Is this just something stepmoms deal with? Am I going to have absolutely no chance at visiting my stepchild because I have no rights? What can I do to change this or am I just going to have to deal with it? As far as my husband goes, he says he just does what she says so he can see his kid. I understand that but he has a wife and another kid now. I can't imagine it being like that when they get older. I understand he went through months of battling to see his kid before we got married. I cannot imagine what the child feels toward me today. We got along so well and I miss our time together. We did things I always wish a mom would do with me like playing dress up, going shopping, painting, cooking, etc. It gave me insight on the development at that age and what to look forward to and what is and what isn't appropriate to watch or listen to. The littlest things meant so much and I wish I had the oppurtunity again to do that. I feel so lost.