She married my dad and felt threaten by me. It was the Cinderella story cleaning, cooking and babysitting without compensation or love. I left at 16 to make a life for myself. I left her and whatever hope I had of having a family behind. Nobody pursued me which confirmed my worse fears I didn't matter. I tried to fill the void I had with many different kinds of relationships. I picked people that seem to really need me until they didn't.
Needless to say it isn't possible to fill a hole inside yourself with something or someone outside yourself. So in my my child's mind she wrecked my life. Leaving was the easy part filling the void of not being wanted has been my life's work. The child in me believed that I was broken and could never be fixed but I kept trying.
I don't believe in forgiveness except forgiving yourself for not knowing better. I believe in coming to terms with the reality that hurt people hurt people. If we don't judge them we don't need to forgive them. We all act out our own beliefs and fears on to other people. It is all we know it is the best we have.
If you are on the receiving end of bad behavior you have a couple of choices. Work with it or move on. At 16 I decided to move on. It isn't my responsibility to change another person. Did I just say that? The child in me always wants someone to miraculously come to their senses and say how wrong they have been and how they just can't live without me. Funny since I left at 16 I have never voluntarily left a bad situation. I wait to be left over and over.
You are probably wondering what brought on this sudden compassion for my stepmother. She has cancer and is having surgery today. I am ready to see her as a person now instead of the evil cartoon character she has always been in my mind. When I first heard the news I felt a twinge of sadness despite who she was to me.
I am finally growing up a 50 and seeing that I have made a sad story of my life. My childish needs have superseded growth many times emotionally. I feel lucky that I am only 50 and not 80 when I discovered this. We make things harder than they have to be. If we can let our story go instead constantly reliving every painful moment and blaming others we can leap forward in unimaginable ways.
The act of getting on my knees this morning and praying for someone that I think hurt me so much is humility. I always felt I had a right to despise her and really I was only hurting myself. I believed she didn't matter to me but this mornings emotions told me something different. Free at last.