Stepfamily Issues

Personal stories about stepfamilies, childhood and general family issues.

May 01, 2010

cat and dog fights

For as long as Tiffany can remember her mom and dad had fought like cats and dogs every day and night of her life, so when they divorced when she was 14 and her mother left with her little brother, leaving her with her father, it was a family split that freed everyone from misery.

"I know that most children get upset when their parents divorce - and some try hard to get their parents back together again," says Tiffany, "but I was thrilled to pieces when mom told me that she was leaving dad and taking my little brother with her."

"Of course I pretended to be sad," laughs Tiffany, "but the thought of getting rid of her and my brat of a brother was like being told I had won the lottery."

"She told me that I would be staying with dad until I finished school and then I could come and live with her," says Tiffany, "but I had no intention of ever living with her again."

"For as long as I can remember my mom and dad had fought like cats and dogs every day and night of my life," explains Tiffany.

"I'd lay awake at night listening to them arguing and throwing things at each other and I never understood why they stayed together when they were both so unhappy."

"I was even more perplexed when my brother was born ten years after I was born," says Tiffany.

"How can two people who hate each other so much bring another child into the world?"

"I presumed that when they married and had me that they must have loved each other," muses Tiffany, "but ten years later they definitely hated each other."

"I knew that both mom and dad were having affaires for most of their marriage," says Tiffany.

"I sometimes wondered whether my brother was my real brother or the son of one of my mother's boyfriends," says Tiffany, "and I suppose my dad wondered about that, too."

"Mom said that she was going away to start a new life somewhere else," says Tiffany, "but I knew that she was running off with her current boyfriend - a guy who had given me the eye when mom wasn't looking."

"Dad wasn't very upset when mom left," says Tiffany. "He had a girlfriend that he used to bring home some nights - but mostly he'd visit her at her place and leave me alone at nights."

"At first it was really great when mom and my brother left," says Tiffany, "but I did get depressed at times - not because I missed them but because I envied my girlfriends in normal families and wished that I could have had a normal mom and dad who loved each other and stayed together."

"I had to fend for myself when mom left," says Tiffany. "Dad was at work or out most nights and never did any shopping or housework."

"He didn't give me much money to buy things and it was a real pain to have to cook and wash and clean up by myself."

"I was only 14 and I wanted to hang out with my girlfriends and wear nice clothes," says Tiffany, "but I never had enough money."

"Dad left for work very early in the morning and he would never wake me up so I was often late for school," says Tiffany.

"I never ate breakfast because I never had time to prepare it," says Tiffany, "and sometimes I didn't have enough money to buy lunch."

"It was always a rush to get to school and by lunch time I was often fainting with hunger."

"My girlfriends took pity on me and shared their lunch with me and took me home with them after school to get a decent meal."

"When I had money from dad I would buy a ton of vegetables and cook them in a big pot that would last me the week," laughs Tiffany.

"Other than that I'd eat bread and butter - and I remember buying up a stack of butter one day that went rancid but I still ate it."

"It was great having a peaceful home - without having to listen to mom and dad arguing," says Tiffany, "but I did pay for my freedom by living a very strange life."

"Mom would call and write every so often," says Tiffany, "but I wasn't really interested in talking to her."

"She had become a stranger - but so had my dad."

"We were like ships that passed in the night," explains Tiffany. "He'd come home when I'd be going to bed and we rarely talked."

"It was a lonely time for me and if it were not for my girlfriends I don't think I would have got through those years."

"My mom never got around to asking me to go live with her," says Tiffany, "and that suited me fine because I didn't want to."

"I got a job immediately after leaving school and when my dad told me he was selling the house and moving in with his girlfriend I took the hint and went to stay at my girlfriend's place."

"That didn't work out because my girlfriend's mother wanted to charge me half of my wages for board and lodging," says Tiffany, "so I got a little room on my own and shortly after that I met Ben and started living with him."

"We went away one weekend and got married without telling anyone," laughs Tiffany, "but we've agreed not to have children."

"There's nothing wrong with getting divorced if a marriage doesn't work out," says Tiffany, "but I don't want to have children and put them through what I went through."

"It would be nice to believe that love lasts forever, but Ben and I are both from broken homes and we know from experience that it doesn't last."

"We just want to enjoy our relationship while it lasts - and when it ends it won't be hurting any kids."

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