I found The Stepfamily Letter Project blog today, and it is riveting, reading the angry, raw, emotional, honest words mingled with words of thanks, expressions of love and gratitude, all of it painfully close to the heart for many of us.
Dear Stepmom, I love you. But don’t tell my mom. It would hurt her feelings.
Dear Mom, Thank you for letting me have a relationship with my dad. I know that must have been so hard for you. But you knew how important it was for me to have him in my life. I deeply appreciate that. Especially now that I have my own children. When I think about how I would act if my marriage exploded, I’m quite sure I would probably want to leave the state and never let my kids see their dad again. But you didn’t do that. You suffered ongoing heartache keeping contact with him for me. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have balls, Mom. You sacrificed more than I can imagine. I love you.
I am struck by the intensity and ferocity of negative emotions in many of the letters, and I am again left feeling like there is a better way to do this, for everyone. No one benefits from ongoing and ever-deepening hostility and animosity, least of all the kids. It is sad that so many people feel trapped in a situation with anonymous letters as a sole outlet for their feelings, sad that the perpetrators of such negativity are given free rein to destroy the children’s lives.
But it is also beautiful to read the letters from kids, or a letter addressed to all stepmoms, and others who bring hope and light to a seemingly hopeless situation.
I don’t think I need to write a letter expressing my true feelings; I think I’ve made it rather clear that I don’t think highly of anyone who betrays a child’s trust and bastardizes their love, or causes them to suffer needlessly and senselessly. But I have just realized, in reading the letters on this blog, that the only one who may not know exactly how I feel is Gary, who may not know that I regret nothing and will always be grateful that we found each other. We end each day wrapped in each other’s arms, and the more nastiness flung our way, the tighter we hold each other.
I have taken for granted that he knows my feelings and my resolve. I’m glad I found the Stepfamily Letter Project blog today, to remind me that there are some things he would probably appreciate hearing.