Stepfamily Issues

Personal stories about stepfamilies, childhood and general family issues.

January 11, 2007

my stepdad nearly drowned!

When Amelia's stepfather had a state of the art swimming pool built in their back yard - with diving board, spa and fountain -she was thrilled to bits.

"Mom had been taking me to swimming lessons since I was a baby," explains Amelia, "and more than anything else I loved to swim."

"I was eleven when mom remarried and the pool was built, I suppose, to make me like my stepdad," says Amelia, "and the trick sort of worked!"

"To celebrate its completion mom allowed me to have a swimming party with all of my friends over. I became the most popular girl in the class!"

"Mom loved swimming as much as I did," says Amelia, "and she spent as much time playing around in the pool as she could. She particularly liked diving and the pool had been designed especially deep at the far end where the diving board was."

"My stepdad used to join us at weekends for ball games in the pool - and he loved the spa," says Amelia, "but neither mom nor I noticed that he never did laps of the pool like we did or got into diving."

"One weekend my stepdad was in the pool alone - sunbathing on a airbed - and fell off it into the deep end."

"Mom was sunbathing on the deck and didn't pay any attention until he started thrashing around in the water and then she screamed out that he was drowning and I came running."

"Mom had jumped into the deep end and was trying to drag him down to the shallows but he was pulling her under by the time I got there."

"I stood there in shock for a second watching my mom and stepdad drown," says Amelia, "and then I jumped in, went under the water behind them to avoid my stepdad pulling me down, too, and then I pushed his back and swam as hard as I could towards the shallows."

"I don't know how we made it with my stepdad thrashing around - grabbing at anything he could get hold of," says Amelia, "but finally we arrived at the shallows and I pulled him up to get some air."

"He was still thrashing around, pulling us, and generally going berserk," says Amelia. "I had never seen my stepdad behave so strangely and neither had my mom."

"My mom was very angry. She shook my stepdad hard and swore at him for nearly drowning me and her."

"He looked sheepish and said he was sorry - and then admitted that he couldn't swim!"

"This made my mom angrier than ever. She screamed at him for not telling her, and being eleven years old I couldn't believe that any adult couldn't swim - especially one who had a swimming pool built in the back yard!"

"After that mom forbade my stepdad to go anywhere near the pool until he agreed to take swimming lessons. He refused - I guess he was too proud to admit a weakness - and then she wouldn't even allow him to paddle."

"It's true that he nearly drowned her - she had been under water longer than I had - and seeing how he panicked like a raving lunatic rather than trying to float I didn't blame her for making sure something like that never happened again."

"Since then mom and I have been in a sort of conspiracy against him," explains Amelia. "She's scared about my leaving home one day and being left alone with him."

"Hey, it was my mom's decision to marry the man and that he turned out to be a dud is something she's got to live with," says Amelia, "I've got a real dad I like spending time with and as far as I'm concerned that other guy is no relation to me whatsoever!"

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