Category Archives: Being Alone

A Stepmother Wall! And The Family Will Pay For It!

stepmothers, mothers, stepmom, stepfamily, stepchildren, remarriage, divorce, parenting, gossip, ex, ex-wife, Stepfamily help, Barbara Goldberg
My Stepmother Wall has a long couch. I’m setting boundaries.

If you have ever been told that you do too much for others, this blog is for you.  Do you feel that you can’t say ‘no’ to people?  Are you sorry you said ‘yes’ and then resent it later?  Welcome to the club of people that know what it feels like to be used.  The motto of the club is that being ‘liked’ takes precedence over all other considerations.  It is like we are human Facebook pages.  We judge ourselves by how many ‘likes’ we have.  Instead of having a place to ‘click’ on us, we do favors for people and buy them stuff.  It is an unending search for love and acceptance.  I am exhausted just writing about it.

If you are also exhausted, it is time to build that wall around yourself.  That wall or boundary is going to teach others how you want to be treated.  You can let in those that show you respect and shut out those that do not. Only you have the keys to your wall. Once you become encased with your private barrier, you no longer have to answer immediately.  When requests come in for your time and resources, you can say things like, “Let me get back to you.  I’ll let you know.”  Now, you can breathe and think at your leisure.  Now, you can deal with the anxiety that is sure to arrive as you learn how to say ‘no’.  Now is your chance to watch as your true friends strengthen you and the fake ones leave.  Now, you can lessen the load!

You can decorate your wall.  It can be any color of your choosing. Any pattern.  Any image.  It can be plain. Your wall is built with your confidence and your happiness and joy.  Terms like “I have to” and “I don’t have the time” ring alarm bells within your private world.  When these alarms go off, there is a good probability that we are about to say yes to something that we do not want to do.  Or, worse yet, we are about to turn down something that we want to try.  Maybe, it’s time to do the opposite of our gut reaction.  “No thank you”.  “Yes, I’d like to try that.”

As you place each brick, the uncertainty will grow. Am I doing the right thing?  I’m scared.  I’ll be left all alone.  No one will like me. Time to take a hard look at the wall’s foundation.  It is built upon the lessons of childhood.  Parents. Teachers. Observations and interpretations.  All the stories that we were told and that we believed were right.  “Children are to be seen and not heard.  Do as you are told.  Listen to authority figures and do what they say.  You have to do things for people.  Good people do things for people and give them things.  If you give people things, they will like you.  If you say, “no”, you are not compliant.  You have to do what you are asked.  No = a message of dislike to the other person.” Actually, it just means “no”.  Are these lessons from your childhood a mantra for the future?  Have you changed? Are you exhausted?

Someone has to pay for the wall and it will be your family. They will have to adjust to the new ‘you’ who makes mindful choices.  The family may see you more often now.  They may see you reading, playing tennis or taking a private retreat.  “Who is that woman with the wall around her?” they may ask.  “It’s me!”

 

 

4 Tips to Avoid the Summer Divorce Schedule Blues

Oh, boy!  The school year is ending and for many of us it means that the children’s schedules are changing.  We may have the kids for half the summer or camp schedules are starting.  First tip is to remember that every time there is a change, even if it is minor, it will get exaggerated… Continue Reading

My Resentment is All-Consuming

When you feel resentful, do you feel disappointed in yourself?  Feel as if you are a bad or selfish person?  If you feel any of these things, know that you are not alone.  Resentment is that feeling you have when you are doing something that you just don’t want to do or that you feel… Continue Reading

I Hate Feeling So Resentful!

Don’t you hate feeling resentment?  Resentment is that feeling of doing things that you just don’t want to do, yet feel obligated to do.  When I feel resentment, I feel as if I am being childish. I feel guilty and I feel bad about me.  Usually feelings of resentment center around thoughts that we have… Continue Reading

How to Resist Terrorism at Home

When you are at war, you feel alone, isolated and as if no one cares about you. Think about it.  Have you ever argued with someone and found yourself repeating the story over and over again in an effort to get people to be ‘on your side’? This is your effort to not feel alone… Continue Reading

Stepmother Lament: I Will Always Be An Outsider

“This family makes me feel like an outsider. I do all this work and I am still an outsider. When will I ever feel like I belong?” It’s a common stepmother lament. We cook, clean, run errands, pick up kids, buy them clothes and, yet, we feel like a third wheel. It is just this… Continue Reading

The Stepmother Who Blames: Is That You? (Yup!)

Do you find yourself blaming others for your life situation? See if any of these ‘stepmother’ statements strike a chord with you: “These kids are a nightmare because their mother and father don’t discipline them. It is their fault. Our marriage is a nightmare because the ex tortures us. It is her fault. I cook,… Continue Reading

The Stepfamily and Life: It Is All About the Playground

It’s the end of the year. There have been holidays, custody changes, vacations and aggravations. There have also been feelings of extreme joy. Some of us have received notes of love and appreciation from our stepchildren and/or our partners. Some of us feel peace in the knowing that we are making a home base for… Continue Reading

Stepmom’s Lament: This is How I Feel. I Am Swimming Upstream.

I saw this image on the new Getty Images for Free site.  As soon as I saw it, I thought ‘this is how I feel sometimes’. I, along with my sister stepmoms, feel as if we are on the outside looking in. No matter how hard we knock on the glass, we can’t penetrate it. … Continue Reading

Stepmoms: Looking for Respect in All the Wrong Places

One of the hardest parts about being a stepmom is that you work your ass off and get, what appears to be, nothing in return.  This show is not going to be about what we really get in return, it is strictly about how it often feels.  Lack of acknowledgement.  Disrespect.  Small requests not granted. … Continue Reading