Yesterday was oldest's 19th birthday. Her first birthday celebration in AZ with bio. She asked us for t-shirts ( a follow up on pants and socks for Christmas). She did e-mail me back to say she received our package and that she was waiting until her birthday to open it. I may never know if the clothes fit or she likes them. I'm pretty sure they will fit.
One year ago on her 18th birthday she ran away. Well, she planned on running away. We found out months before and tried to prepare. We tried to help her pack and we gave her a going away party. Little did I know then what a black cloud she was on the house.
I wish I could say I miss her. I miss the girl she was before bio convinced her to move. From that moment on she made every one's life miserable. I know it was her way of separating so she could leave with a clean conscience. That doesn't make living with her any easier. She turned into bio - sneaky, lying and manipulative. And she was rude.
But, the worst was that she took all the toxic verbiage from bio and tried to force her siblings to comply. She forced them into a code of silence. She yelled at them for bio for not behaving the way bio wanted. Within a week of her leaving the other two kids fell into a peace I have never seen before. Youngest turned to me one day and said, "I'm glad oldest is gone. I don't have to lie or keep secrets anymore."
And she stays away because I am evil. I'm not just a wicked step mom but the worst woman on the face of the planet. A child never fell from my womb so I have no idea how to raise a child. And I can live with that. I would much rather be the scapegoat in the whole situation than hubby. And it appears she is still very much daddy's little girl. Yeah!!!!
What I find funny about families is their different perceptions. My brother and I are 20 months apart. We were very close growing up and did many things together. Yet, when I hear his stories I have no idea where they came from. Oldest, like bio see son and youngest as this image of who they want them to be and not for who they really are.
Youngest is a tomboy. She loves the color black and any dark colors. She wants to be an auto mechanic or car designer. She hates anything "girlie." She has no desire to spend any time on her hair. She loves the short cut that she only has to wash. And even though oldest lived with her she doesn't see that. Even though bio has received pictures and youngest has told her time and time again what her interests are both bio and oldest see her as a long haired 6 y/o in a pink dress.
So, I love them the best that I can while they are here. I listen as best as I can. I support them in their growth and interests. I give them the tools to be independent adults. What they do with that I have no control over. I can sleep at night knowing that I have done the best I know how to do. And if they resent me for being a parent and not a friend that really is not my problem but theirs.
So, Oldest, I hope you had a very happy birthday. I hope you enjoyed the many presents your sister and I picked out. I hope bio made you your favorite meal and the dessert of your choice. And I hope you become yourself.