Yesterday I had a conversation with a friend of mine. Her name is Renee. I have known Renee since my older boys were babies and Renee was in high school working at the boys' daycare. When the boys left daycare I fell out of touch with Renee until last year when she magically appeared at the daycare that my two younger ones go to. This time she is the office manager and she now has two young children the same ages as mine. How life comes full circle.
It seems that Renee left the old daycare on very bad terms with the owner and with the woman who is now my boys' stepmother. There was much backstabbing and gossip going on that she had to move past it.
Renee and I had a casual conversation the other day regarding stepmother. The incidents over the years with her as the stepmother to my children have been excruciating and painful and I feel as though they have probably added years to my life considering the many, many days of stress. I have endured the pain and agony for 7 years for the sake of my two beautiful boys...because it's my job to be a mom first and then worry about myself later. But that doesn't make my heart turn to stone. I have feelings of which have been stepped all over by a person who claims to love my kids. No matter. The boys and I have endured and conquered her.
Back to Renee. As I was speaking to her yesterday she turned the conversation toward stepmom. She told me some things that no one has ever told me outside of my dear husband. She validated all of the things I have been feeling about stepmom. She validated how horrible she is toward me and she validated the things she saw her do and her motivations when she worked with her at the old daycare.
Curiously I asked her for more information not quite believing the first of this experience...that someone within stepmom's circle of friends (or former friends) actually was telling me that it was HER who is/was crazy and insane and NOT me!
I walked away thanking her because I had never quite had this happen before...that is, someone close to the situation who saw the pain I had been feeling who finally stepped up and took my side. I truly felt validated.
I spoke to Greg about it afterward. Why do I need to feel validated by others? Why do I need to hear it from outside myself to feel confidence that I am doing a good job by my boys? He told me that it really is human nature for all of us to want to be validated and reassured that we are on track in our life and that we are being commended for the good we try to do and the nice people we try to be.
I got in my car yesterday and cried but this time I was crying happy tears because of the relief that I felt inside that I no longer needed to hide or be ashamed of the situations that I go through with stepmom and that even though I would like to change the situation, I can't and I finally freed myself because there are others out there who understand and that felt pretty good.