167 Red Flags or Examples of Parental Alienation
Did I just make my Gen Xers start humming a Staind song? Sorry for the ear worm! I actually intended to dive into my blog writing today was intense creativity. This is my first day at home ALONE in a very long time, and I was planning to drop some creative power. But now, I have an ear worm!
“It’s been awhile…since I can say that I wasn’t addicted…”
What are you addicted to within your stepfamily dynamic? I’m not looking to dive into your medicine cabinets and wine stash. That’s between you and a licensed (medical) professional! I’m talking about the “other” stuff we don’t dare tell the world. Here are a few “addictions” we can have as stepmoms:
- Drama. We can be flat-out addicted to the drama. In the beginning of my relationship with Steve, his ex caused us daily strife. The crazy talking head on the other end of his cell phone (and the country) would disrupt his last hour at the office, his commute home, or our late dinner. (I was still in my 20’s and I lacked some of the wisdom and empathy needed to understand why he tolerated her rants. He HAD to deal with her for the sake of his child.) I also found myself addicted to the night like it was a soap opera being played out right in front of me. The funny meme about “making some popcorn” and watching the drama unfold had not entered my online life yet. I think some nights I literally made popcorn and just listened. The 1-3 hour tirades on the other end of the phone were down-right fascinating to me. I could not fathom a person being so vitriolic. I never had witnessed such rage and hate in my life.
- Social Media. I was made aware of caustic and damaging words about my husband and I in a public forum when our son was a minor. I could have cared less what the ex thought of us UNLESS it involved our child we were co-parenting together. (The phone rants came to a stop after awhile. It’s been way over a decade since we’ve endured anything close to that.) The “new” form of rage started around 2008 with the popularity of public “posting”. We were made aware of the posts because of the hateful half-truths and outright lies about my husband. He was and is a loving, nurturing, and responsible father. He NEVER missed a child support payment. He paid the maximum requirement AND we paid nearly 90 percent of EVERYTHING else for his son. He NEVER missed an opportunity to see his son. We took GREAT CARE of him, and we still do. However, what was written about my husband was so vile and false. Mutual friends (who are no longer friends with her) would tell us about the posts and send us a copy for legal purposes. I have a thick binder full of these posts – words documented for the rest of eternity. Keep in mind, these were all posts accessible and READ by our son. Now that he is an adult, I don’t care what she writes. As time has evolved, he doesn’t care either. I was addicted to it for awhile. I looked for my daily email like one would wait on their favorite dark-humored sitcom to come on. I’m glad to be free of this “addiction”.
- Am I better? This can be “better” regarding anything. Insert your favorite hang-up or hobby. Insert weight, looks, profession, anything where we strive to be “better” than someone else. Sisters, maturity and the saving GRACE of Jesus will help you move past this shallow pool. You are EVERYTHING in the eyes of the Lord. Your name is written in the Book of Life. Strive to be better for Him, not mortal man.
- What does the world think of me? Letting go of this drama and worry really freed my mind and spirit! With stepfamilies comprising nearly 60-70 percent of households today, what does it matter what the others think? We are a growing statistic. Like it or not, it is what it is. We were once a silent majority, too. Well, times are changing! We are reaching out, speaking up, and helping others. I think that’s pretty encouraging and exciting!
What are YOU addicted to? Did any of these strike a nerve?