Archive for September, 2012

Three Years in and I’m Still the Red-Headed Step Child

September 17, 2012

Over the weekend my husband and I paid for the family to spend a weekend at Mahoney State Park in celebration of my father-in-law’s birthday.  We also got to meet my brother in law’s new girlfriend.  Who is 21.  I admit I have been a little weirded out by this since it represents the age difference between Ed and I and we all know how well that turned out.

I could not have ever imagined the treatment that she would have received when she arrived.  My mother in law – who prefers to pretend that I don’t really exist and makes a face like she stepped in something when I am around thinks this girl is great.  She is a psych major with a minor in textiles (my mother in law is a home ec teacher who wanted to be a fashion designer) and she graduated from the same high school as my in-laws.  While it’s great that they have something in common this makes me feel even worse about my position in the family.

I have spent the last several years painfully aware of the fact that I am not the person that my in-laws would have chosen for my husband.  Sometimes they are able to be nice about it, but most of the time it is a tension that sits below the surface of our lives.  This weekend it was more difficult and painful than usual.  I have used up all of my strikes with my in-laws and it seems that no matter what I do, and believe me I have put in some legwork, it is NEVER going to make up for my decisions BEFORE I married into their family.

My parents are divorced, I had my son when I was in high school, I got married young to a drug addict who beat the tar out of me and psychologically abused me beyond explanation, I left my ex-husband and their son fell in love with me.  I was a smoker (I’ve been a quitter for years) and they know that I was a wild child in my younger days.  One would think that my efforts to improve and get my life on track would earn me something, but instead, I remain an embarrassment to the fundamentals of their lives.  I am honestly not sure what direction to take to make things better so I will plan to take some time off again.  It is generally easier for all of us if they don’t have to be reminded that I have become a part of their family.