I See You

18 03 2010

My daughter is learning to talk and one of her favorite things to say is “I see you!” She says it to her stuffed bunny, her dolly, her cow figurine, and me. Every time she says it to me and looks me in the eyes, my heart fills up and I want to laugh and hug her tight.

Being seen is a basic need for many of us. And as stepmothers that need is challenged on a daily basis. One stepmother wrote me that she could stand in the middle of her living room and scream and no one in her family would notice. Another wrote to tell me she feels like a ghost every time she walks through the door of her home.

With children who look past us to find their biological parents or only speak directly to us if we’re the only ones home it can feel like we’re earthbound spirits tortured by those who have access to the life we want.

I have to admit that when my daughter says, “I see you!” it is a balm on a part of my soul that is bruised.

Today I want to say this to you, dear Stepmom: I SEE YOU.

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8 responses

19 03 2010
Heather

Yes! Love it! Thank you for the validation that we are seen even if we don’t feel it. This is the beauty of our stepmom community; we can validate and strengthen one another. Many times when my four children are at their dad’s house and I’m home with my two stepdaughters, I can feel like an outsider. Like I should be somewhere else. I’m learning not to take that personally. Your advice about building a personal sanctuary has been very helpful.

As stepmoms, we can relate to one another like no one around us can. While we often can feel alone, we are not. There are so many stepmoms out there. Great when we can connect, share, validate.
Heather (www.cafesmom.com)

19 03 2010
Cynthia Rudick

Dear Jacque: invisibility is so real to me in my stepfamily. Thank goodness you can be seen by your birth daughter. I actually can be seen by my stepson. It is miraculous to me when I think about it. I am not seen by my stepdaughter. I guess we cannot make people see us.
Thanks for all you do to improve vision in the world.

19 03 2010
Sally

Thank you for your post, it is always nice to hear that we are not alone and that there are other stepmothers out there going through the same hurt. While I agree that it is nice to be seen, it depends on what they are seeing and why. The few times I am seen by the stepchildren is when their father is not around and they need to recognize me to get what they want, or they see me as their punching bag for everything that has been wrong in their life. In a case like this, I would rather not be seen by my stepchildren and just be trully seen for who I am and what I am going through by my husband.

19 03 2010
indymar

To be truly seem for who I am and what i am going through by my husband.

Amen to that statement.

My issue isn’t with my stepsons. We see each other perfectly well. It is the ex wife where the issue lies. My stepsons and my husband make me feel invisible whenever she is around – school events, etc. I don’t go anymore and told them so. Treat me the same whether she is in the room or not. I have been told tolerate her so she can tolerate me too.

22 03 2010
Sparkling Medusa

There isn’t such thing as coincidence. I read this at the very moment I felt invisible. Thank you. It’s nice to be seen.

22 03 2010
Sherri

Wonderful post! I get seen all the time… unfortunately I’m sometimes seen as the maid or the servant or the errand girl.

Seriously though, it’s definitely tough to hear “Where’s dad?” as the first thing out of my stepson’s mouth. (Thankfully doesn’t happen all the time, but often enough.)

I see you, too.

23 03 2010
Authentic

Thanks for this post. This is the very first post I am reading of what I hope to be a long experience of sharing emotions of stepmotherhood in my life to come. I am new to the club and this post was right on time. Thanks for sharing! I see you too!

25 03 2010
Soon To Be Mom

I am just on the verge of becoming a stepmom and you all have no idea just how much it means to hear your thoughts.

Right now my fiance and his 3 really great kids have been very welcoming. But, I am clearly a disconnected part. I told my fiance that I feel like I’m in the waiting room while everyone else is visiting a friend in a room somewhere else, telling old stories that only mean something to them. Yet, he does everything he can to include me. And they do too so I’m lucky there. But, my biggest fear? I’m going to be 39 and he has 3 kids. We began our relationship with him wanting a baby with me but now that he’s reconnected with his kids, he’s not so keen on the idea.

What is amazing to me is how this feeling of being outside the circle has completely absorbed into other parts of my life. I’ve never felt so alone, yet I am so in love and see so much promise for the future because the man that I’m with is truly my soul mate.

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