So, I'm ready to write about the hurt that I was experiencing when I wrote this post.
It started with one painful realization, then there were a couple of events that, alone, I probably could have handled, but mixed with the emotions I was already feeling from the fist realization and add to that, I wasn't sleeping for days at a time due to extra work hours and I was headed towards an emotional breakdown. Through it all, I could sense John feeling lost and frustrated because these were situations that were beyond our control and he wanted to "fix" things and "save" his wife (typical John *swoon*). He remained loving and supportive though. He wasn't always able to physically be there for me but I could feel his love and support always. There's one particular instance I will blog about in a later post (I wrote quite a few posts while I was working so much that are just sitting there waiting to be typed up and published, some even Dd related).
The first realization is that parts of John's family do not except me and my kids the way they do John's ex-wife and her kids. This isn't a sudden realization. I guess I just figured after three years we'd all be bit further down this road that we are. In fact, things have either remained stagnant or moved backward. John has a sister who lives here in our area who treats my step-daughters as he nieces and my bio kids as the other kids. She doesn't appear to do this consciously but it seems more out of habit (after all, I do realize my step-daughters have been her nieces longer). It's still painful though because our family has been together three years and I just kind of figured things would be different by now. An example of what I mean is, one day my MIL was watching Tommi (my younger step-daughter) and Little Suzie (my daughter who is the same age). My local SIL was on the phone with my MIL discussing how my MIL was watching Tommi and my SIL was going to go to visit her. She stopped by the store on the way to pick up treats for Tommi. Once she got to my MIL's, she realized Little Suzie was there. Since she didn't want Little Suzie to feel left out or neglected, she divided the treats she bought Tommi between the two girls. She didn't intentionally mean to leave Little Suzie out when buying the treats, but while on the phone with my MIL, neither bothered to discuss whether or not Little Suzie was there, only that Tommi was there. Also, it's pretty obvious (to me anyway) that if my MIL has to watch Tommi for us, wouldn't she have to watch Little Suzie as well?
My MIL's preferential treatment is a little more obvious and seemingly intentional. To begin with, she feels I am too hard in my expectations of behaviors from my step-daughters (despite the fact I expect the same out of my bio kids who are the same age) and will often express in a round-a-bout way to the kids these feelings. She isn't really cruel or mean to my bio kids but they can see she in more lenient and gives more (time and gifts) to my step-daughters. Further, she still treats John's ex-wife as a daughter-in-law and her older son (whom John doesn't get to see anymore) as a grandson. This is understandable since John and his ex were married for several years. I honestly don't expect her to give up these members of her family just because of me and my bio kids. What hurts is that despite how John's ex has treated him and my step-daughters through the final year of the marriage, divorce and John remarrying, she will still except her and her son but won't except me, John's wife, who everyone (besides apparently my MIL) agrees has been good for him and his daughters. Nor will she except my bio kids who are related to her the same way that John's ex-wife's older son is (the baby being biologically her granddaughter).
In the same week that I was reeling from recent interactions with my MIL and the realization that our relationship will probably never change, John got a promotion at work (yay!) except in order for him to accept it, he had to go to the shift we both agreed neither of us would work because that was family time. After discussion and me crying a lot, we agreed he would take the promotion but it meant I would see him much less. In fact, since he's switched shifts. I've rarely spent more than five minutes talking with him daily, ten minutes at the most. It's been painful and I really, really miss him.
Then there are some fairly new neighbors that just moved in on our street that have caused so much turmoil that most of the parents on our street (including us) have forbade their children from playing with the little girl. This caused the girl's parents to react unreasonably. We very calmly at first attempted to explain to the parents why the little girl was not allowed to play at our house anymore and why our children would not be allowed to play with her anymore and that resulted in her parents calling the police on us and making bogus charges against us. We aren't the first or the last of the neighbors they have done this to and the cops didn't really take them seriously anyway since they make the same claim on everyone they call on. Since that very dramatic incident, the parents have had several confrontations with my kids including threatening to call the cops on them for allegedly destroying another neighbor's property (which that neighbor already knew it was the little girl and didn't believe my kids had done it). Again, my kids weren't the only ones the parents were targeting and all the kids in our neighborhood have retreated within their homes to avoid drama and conflict from these awful neighbors.
The last incident has worked itself out. Since the neighbors have treated their landlord much the same as they've treated their neighbors, they are currently being evicted and we will soon have our street back. As for my husband's new shift, yeah it's frustrating still, but the pay raise was significant and writing out a financial plan so that in the very near future we'll be able to buy a house together is exciting. Also, a house in our area had their home broken into recently, so it's comforting to know John will be here at night to protect our family. Don't get me wrong, I am perfectly capable of protecting them, but I'd rather John does it. He has more training than I do and he's way more skilled with a gun and clearing a house than I am (not to mention it's hot when my man defends me even though I'm able to defend myself). The family isolation one, the biggest one, will probably never change and there's not a positive side to it, but when I feel hurt by the rejection of these members of John's family, I contact his family in his home state and just talk. I did this the other day because I was feeling hurt all over again and they seemed to sense something was wrong and they provided me with love and support even from several states away. My MIL and local SIL may not view me and my bio kids as part family but my FIL, his wife, my other SIL not to mention grandparents, cousins and tons of friends who double as honorary bothers and sisters to John adore me and my kids, ALL five of them. That makes me feel good.
So, sorry this post got to be so long. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you all again soon, maybe tomorrow. :)