Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Heartache in Bali

Oh the joys of the modern “patchwork” family!!
Yes I am a member of a group of people who have come together via marriage and who call themselves a family.
In our group, we have his kids, my kids and our child and over the last ten years, we have all, at some time or another, struggled with this mis-matching of characters and personalities.
Now here we are in Bali with three kids over 18 and our little one who is just 15 months and it is such a challenge!
My girls have never really accepted my hubby and this has caused me such heartache over the years. I have always tried to do the balancing act between them, like a referee in a boxing match, which is just so very tiring, not to mention stressful.
Now that they are older I was hoping that this holiday in Bali would pull us together as a family and allow for old wounds and misunderstandings to be healed.
But, now that we only have a few days left, I can see that this is probably never going to happen and the only thing that this holiday has achieved is tearing open those old wounds and to create new ones.
There have been times during this trip where I have been so very close to taking off in the middle of the night with my little one and escaping to a place where no-one would ever find me…
A place where I wouldn’t have to chose one person over the other…
A place where I could be who I am without being accused of leaving this one out or not loving that one enough or loving the other too much.
How many tears have I shed over the years?
I can tell you that I have cried more than one river…
I am tired of it all.
I am tired of my girls trying to make me feel guilty for the choices I have made and for marrying the man I love.
I am tired of my hubby feeling so very uncomfortable all the time that he ends up walking around like a time bomb waiting to go off.
I am tired of the explosions.
I am tired of the glares that are aimed at me from across the room, the cutting words, the threats and the accusations.
I am tired of walking on egg shells, of holding my breath, of crying when no-one is looking.
Now my girls are going back to their father, back to their life, back to university, to their friends and their ways and I am off to Germany with my hubby and our little one.
I will cry more rivers when I say goodbye….
I will probably cry oceans from now until the day I die because I am a member of a modern “patchwork” family and because the man I love so much is never going to be accepted by the daughters I adore.


  1. Wow. There really is no winning in that situation, is there? I hope that one day your daughters will reach a level a maturity that allows them to overcome this, and accept your husband as someone who makes their mother happy.


  2. That's really rough. I've been in a patchwork family, and it can be very hard work. I'm sorry to hear you suffering. Sending you hugs.

  3. Sounds like a terribly challenging situation to be in and must be very upsetting. Hopefully time will heal the difficulties but it must be hard trying to stay patient and understanding with everyone. Be strong! x

  4. Oh, I feel for you...in a way, it seems this is all too often the role we mothers play, whether in a patchwork family or not - we are always negotiating between factions, whether it's in-laws and husbands, or spouses and stepkids, or whatever...I don't know if this will give you hope, but my brother and I were very resentful and terrible to my stepmother throughout our highschool and college years...we mellowed as we aged and had our own families...so perhaps it will happen in your family with time also...I am not proud of my behavior towards her when I look back now (at 42), but I guess that is part of being young...it was certainly more about me and my own problems (and a misdirected sense of loyalty to my mother) than anything about my stepmother...

  5. This is so tough ((hugs)).

    I think if I were in the same situation I would put my focus on my immediate family, and then keep the path of love and communication open to the others.

    As mommymystic has mentioned, the others are dealing with their own personal issues. They have a right to these and to work though them in their own time - it's part of their journey, no?

    But of course you would always want it to be different, that's understandable. Just don't allow too much of that energy to dissipate over something you have little control over, you know?

    Hope you're settled back in at home now.

  6. Oh this is such a sad story GM - hugs for you.
    Things will change, they will. And yes, as Mon says, put your energy into the relationships that are within your control. Your daughters processes are theirs only, and only they can change how they feel toward your husband. Maybe when they grow up a little and realise everything is not all about them? I have been one of those daughters before, and changed in attitude toward my mother and her husband once I got my own family and grew up probably...
    Hang in there. :)

    Just another thought, you could offer some questions to your daughters to keep the lines of communication open - what do they need from you? for example.