So your mother or father found a little boo huh? Great for them! (I'm not being sarcastic LMAO) listen, your parents have to live too. Sometimes if not most times, them meeting a new somebody can have a drastic impact on your life. You're a dependent child who has to accept the fact that the life you once lived is about to change right before your eyes. It's not just you and your biological family anymore and not only that, you’re new environment is chaotic.
Which results in people who are…
1.Not open to change
2.Filled with jealousy/envy
Oh, I can’t forget traumatized and suffering from a lingering wound of abandonment.
Before we dive into this article let me just say I am thankful for my experience. The courage, knowledge, and strength I gained from my experience is immeasurable. It caused an immense amount of pain because I had to grow up quick, and I was exposed to harsh realities at a young age but I can honestly say I turned out pretty normal. LOL!
Although there is still a little friction in my family, we have gotten through A LOT together and I am very appreciative to have them in my life. My blending experience taught me how a bond can be mended from nothing. In fact my most solid relationships are with people that I never imagined being close to.
Here I introduce to you the coping mechanisms, and challenges, people endure growing up in a challenging blended home:
1. YOU ALWAYS WANT TO ESCAPE
Whether it was physically or mentally you are always in another world. Your imagination is your safe haven. Home was not where the heart was so you envisioned a better life in your head.
When you are exposed to a toxic environment you are more susceptible to fantasizing. Reality is too painful, too confusing, and complicated. If you are 7,8,9,10 years old you depend on your biological parent so the furthest you can travel is through the depths of your mind. LOL!
2. YOU RESENT YOUR BIOLOGICAL PARENT
Your biological parent did they best they could and at some point you have to realize that their life is separate from yours.
As a kid though, it's very hard to accept the situation your parent put you in because it affected you drastically. Even as an adult.
You don’t resent your step parent or biological parent because of what happened, but for them acting like nothing has not happened by expecting you to do things out of your comfort zone. You feel unseen, invisible, and unheard.
3. Jealousy Coming Right UP!
This could be jealousy from you or your new family could be jealous of you. They can be jealous because they have to share their mother or father, or you may be jealous of the way the way they are loved by their real parent, or their happiness, etc.
4. YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR BIOLOGICAL PARENT CHOOSE THEIR NEW LIFE OVER YOU
You see how happy your biological parent is and that makes you happy but you're miserable. You know that your mother/father didn't intentionally inflict pain onto you, but they don't see what you see because they're so in love.
5. YOU FEEL LIKE THERE IS NO PRIVACY BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR BIOLOGICAL PARENT ANYMORE
From your step-parent constantly chiming in your one-on-one conversations with your biological parent, or your biological parent sharing your personal business with your step-family that you're not comfortable with them knowing, this can make you feel unappreciated and disrespected because your boundaries are being crossed.
Or it can simply be that your parent has to tend to other children or their spouse, and is trying to find balance.
7. YOU REALLY CANNOT BOND WITH YOUR STEP-PARENT
It's not that you don't want to but your step-parent makes it impossible. Dealing with a toxic parent is already enough but imagine when it's not your biological parent? You don't wish any harm on them but you feel stuck, angry, miserable, and confused.
Your step-parent may:
Speak to you aggressively by cursing or screaming at you
Always try to control your biological parent’s mind with what they think he/she should do when it comes to parenting you
Still have traumas from their childhood that they constantly bring up and it makes you feel somewhat responsible.
Embarrasses you in front of your friends
Play victim when you call them out on their inexcusable behavior (takes no responsibility)
Apologize repeatedly but you see no change in their behavior and they expect you to change
Physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive to your biological parent
Emotionally, verbally, and physically abusive to you and people in the household
Always want their way
8. YOU WERE/ARE GETTING MISTREATED/ SECLUDED BY YOUR STEP-FAMILY
Since you not their biological sibling, or child, this can make them to treat you like an outsider. Or they may seclude you maliciously, bully you, or treat you unfairly. As a result, you begin to feel like something is wrong with you, or that you are hard to love.
8. UNRESOLVED ISSUES THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU ARE NOW A PART OF YOUR LIFE
Even with a relationship, two people coming from two completely different backgrounds is challenging. Imagine having a new step-parent, step-siblings, and a whole new step-family? Coming together is hard enough but it's even more challenging when your new family has traumas that were never fully dealt with before you met them.
Generally speaking, whoever you live with you will see their good, bad, and ugly side. This situation however is different because you are now wrapped up into something that you knew nothing about or did not sign up for.
9. YOUR-STEP PARENT CROSSES BOUNDARIES
There's certain precautions that your step-parent has to take, like not getting involved in an argument between you and your biological parent, forcing you to bond with them, yelling at you, or not treating you EXACTLY how they treat their biological kids.
While it is important for your step-parent to include you and make you feel like an equal to their children, when it comes to their spouses’ kids, they should take more precaution. And in a challenging blended family, your step-parent most likely did not.
10. YOUR FEELINGS ARE RARELY IF EVER ACKNOWLEDGED OR TAKEN SERIOUSLY
This can happen in any household actually, but I feel like it’s more prevalent in blended families due to the merge.
If you’re like me you tried everything. You talked your feelings out and you were made to feel dramatic or weak, so when you shut down due to the invalidation, you’re ridiculed. So then you become disrespectful, dismissive, and miserable. You run away from your household to avoid the pain, and that’s ridiculed as well.
How are you supposed to deal with people who don’t get it after so many years of repetition? How are you supposed to feel loved by people who don’t seem to care about how you feel on the inside?
You’re always the bad guy and what makes things even worse is that most times in these situations you’re not even the primary problem. You’re reacting off of what’s being done to you, what you see, and how you feel.
When you don’t feel seen or heard you see the world as unsafe you may:
1. betray yourself by avoiding confrontation or trusting your instincts/judgement
2.you develop a toxic relationship with your emotions, and you become a magnet for abusive friendships/relationships.
You just want to be seen, acknowledged, and heard so you’d do anything to feel validated.
Even if you end up destroying yourself or others.
What are some challenges you faced in your blended family? How long did it take for you and your family to accept the situation? What have you learned from your "blending experience?"