Stepfamily Systems Co-Parenting Center with Tricia Powe 

Personalized stepfamily solutions and co-parenting stabilization support TM

Story I
When Warfare & Separation speak: - A stepmom's predicament                          (Story II follows Story I below) 

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After the kids left with Shawna's husband, Dave, Reality spoke out loud, "I don't feel the love yet. What is wrong with this picture? What is wrong with me? Where are my maternal instincts?"


     "They don't love you either," whispered Doubt.

     'And, their mother despises you for stepping in, mothering her kids," added Warfare.

     Shawna dropped her head into her slippery hands. She had been cleaning up the liquid from the spilled bubble bottle; it had been knocked over while suitcases and backpacks were going down the porch steps with the kids who were having a good time chasing their dad. It was Sunday and she was tired. The boys had been especially wound up this weekend. Dave had added to the household by buying a dog for the family a month ago.  Shawna, however, was the official pooper-scooper, feeder and groomer. 

     "How long do you think you will have to be their maid before you get a thank you from their mother for all you do?" Warfare taunted. He could feel Shawna's exhale and the tears running down her cheeks. He continued, "Dave did not even notice your hard work this weekend. He is taking it all for granted... "

~ ~ ~

     Dave was feeling his heart beat against his chest. Time was running against him. Traffic was heavy, the boys were sleeping and he was wondering what, or who, would be waiting for him when he dropped off the boys. Would Carnie have her boyfriend standing at the door again with his legs in a sturdy military stance? Would he demand the child support be paid in cash again? Would his daughter be pushed back inside when she tried to come out to say goodbye like last time? 

~ ~ ~

     Carnie was pacing the kitchen floor, looking at her watch every few seconds. "I hate it when he is late! I totally hate it. He never thinks about what I have to do once the kids get back. I have to switch their thoughts to the school week and get them to finish homework." 

     Alan, Carnie's boyfriend, joined her in the kitchen, "You would think he could leave on time for a change. But, he only thinks of himself. You know that by now. He needs his butt kicked. If he calls, I will get the phone."

~ ~ ~

     David Jr. kept his eyes shut. He had made the drive for several years between his parents' houses. By the turns and sounds of the road, he had a strong sense of where he was in the trek home without looking. A tear crept out of his right eye and slid quietly down his cheek. He was nervous about Alan and dad meeting again. . .

~ ~ ~

     Walking through the den, Shawna discovers David Jr.'s notebook. Warfare stepped right in, saying, "That's right, Shawna, look at that trouble on the coffee table. Carnie will be calling you any second.

“What will Jr. do in class tomorrow? Get in trouble again? Get another "F" for failure to turn in another assignment?" chided Failure.

    Shawna threw up her hands, I don't know how to make everyone responsible! I can't be everyone's brain. This is not my fault. Although, if I had looked around a little more, I probably would have seen it. Dave and the boys were having fun and I knew they were all distracted. . .

     "When was the last time Dave brought flowers home? He doesn't think of you like he used to. Think of how it used to be and what it's like now. All this stress - you need to get away," Separation uttered.

                                    ~ end ~

                     

DISCLAIMER: Although the stories accurately reflect common and some not-so-common realities faced by kids, teens and adults co-raising children after divorce or stepfamily formation, this is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the writing team's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


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When Alienation is at play. Sara-Marie Madison Hennesy

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   Sara-Marie Madison Hennesy heard the 3:00 bell. Her class-mates were talking about the mean, green-eyed, after-school  supervisor. Boys were playing superheroes. Girls with ponytails and braids were clapping and singing, “Say-say oh playmate…”

 

   Her heart began to bounce with joy against her chest. The blond hair on her goose-bump covered arms was kept flat, covered by the pink and white Barbie shirt her dad gave her for her 8th birthday; every cell in her body wanted to dash out of the classroom door, but the children had not been dismissed by Mrs. Westel. She knew her kind, dimple-smiled dad would be in the student loading zone because it was Wednesday!

 

   It had been their Wednesday routine for two years. Sara-Marie and her dad went to Mc Donald’s. She ordered a McNugget meal with an orange drink. Her dad ordered a Big Mac, extra large french fries (which they enjoyed sharing - and pulling fries out at the same time to see who would get the best one!) and a vanilla shake; she always got the first taste by pulling the straw with song from its cup to lick the sides and a long draw to suck out its contents. She would always replace the straw with its paper hat tip with a smile and, “I love you, daddy.”

 

   Today was different. Karen, Sara-Marie’s mother, and her boyfriend were standing in the hallway, right outside her classroom door. As Sara-Marie turned right to go greet her dad, Karen chirped, “Oh, no – not today Sara-Marie. You are coming with Bill and mommy. We are going to register you for Girl Scouts!”

 

   “But I can do that tomorrow,” whined Sara-Marie.

 

   “No, we are doing it today. Besides, Bill took the afternoon off work so we could go to Mc Donald’s afterward. How does that sound?”

 

   “But this is daddy’s day. I want to go see daddy.”

 

   “Sara-Marie! I told you what we are going to do. Isn’t it nice that Bill wants to go with us today?”

 

   “But daddy is here, I know it. Let me go find him,” whimpered Sara as her shoulders rounded down and her countenance fell low.

 

   “I already talked to him, Sara-Marie. He will see you next week.”

 

   “You told me that last week and the week before I think. Doesn’t daddy remember? Why can’t I just go with daddy today and do Girl Scouts tomorrow?” pleaded Sara as she was taken by the hand - exit stage left.

 ~ ~ ~ 

   Keith finished his cigarette, threw the butt of it down and stepped on it. He stuffed the last bite of his Big Mac in his mouth, opened the truck’s door and reached in to place his Mc Donald’s soda cup in the holder and headed home. 30 minutes into the drive home, he pulled over and dialed Karen’s number hoping not to get the message to leave a message again. However, that was his fate. While he was saying he would like to talk to Sara-Marie, his phone signaled a call was waiting.

 

   Quickly, he switched the line hoping it was Sara-Marie but it was his dad, “Hi son. How was your daddy-daughter date this week?”

 

   “Not great, dad. On my way here Karen called and said she had an appointment Sara-Marie could not miss. She is long overdue for the dentist,” Keith said sorrowfully. “I offered to meet her at the office after I fixed Robin’s flat tire, but she said that would not be necessary for this one.”

 ~ ~ ~ 


   As Sara-Marie picked up her extra nuggets to take home, she uttered, “I miss daddy.”

 

   Alienation returned, entering Karen’s mind unnoticed by her. He thrust Anger and Lies into her unconscious fears; they called for Bitterness and Hatred to join them. Without thinking about the activity in her mind, she kneeled before daughter and handed her the remainder of her drink, saying, “Daddies just have things that are more important sometimes, Sara-Marie. Your dad and his new girlfriend could not get here in time today which is why Bill and I wanted to spend time with you and cheer up your sad heart...”


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DISCLAIMER: Although the stories accurately reflect common and some not-so-common realities faced by kids and adults co-raising children after divorce or stepfamily formation, this is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the writing team's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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