What I want you to understand

Subject: What I want you to understand
From: Your stepmother
Date: 29 Aug 2021

You were a small child when I met you. A baby, even. I know you weren’t sure how to feel about me, just as I wasn’t sure how to feel about you. Through the years, we grew, as we’re supposed to
I never wanted to replace your mom, I also needed you to show me respect. I loved you long before me. I saw the neglect your mom gave you and you just wanted her approval! I was afraid to hug you, to say I love you, because I didn’t want to be seen as this monster who wanted to wipe out your family. I waited for you to say it first, and waited.
I maintained patience when you went against every thing I liked or said, I knew you were struggling with your own things. I saw the hurt and anger for the things you had been through and I was scared, scared my love would make things worse. I wanted to baby you, to let you do the things you wanted because you’d already been through so much, but I knew in reality that is not how things can be done.
I was afraid to go to your activities at first, because your mother made it clear I was not welcome, went against anything I did and even added things that didn’t happen and my fears grew. I needed to stay away from you, I was ruining your relationship with your mom by trying to spend time with you!
As I saw more and more that she still wasn’t there I decided that I cannot make apologies for fixing things that others broke. I brought you to therapy, I challenged you to find your own place in the world and I still felt like saying I love you would make you hate me.hugs would mean I am trying to cut your mother out.
I went to all of your activities. I listened when you cried. I tried to help you see who had your best interest in mind. It was so hard.
I saw the things you’d learned that were beyond my or your dads control. We got to be the bad guys. It was awful, I cried after every consequence that had to be invoked. I cried when we had to let you figure it out for yourself. I would do it all again. I love you and I have always felt like I cannot say that because it isn’t okay. I was lead to believe it wasn’t okay. But I do, more than many things in this world. I was scared, I was young. When you hurt, I hurt. I don’t say this to make you feel bad or make myself into something special, but I want you to understand the struggles and that I still love you and don’t see you as a “step” and never have. I spent more time with you than my bio children and that is okay. You are more than you’ve let yourself believe. I haven’t let you mask your emotions by using them in unhealthy ways, which is the hardest lesson to learn. I will always give you my time. I would do it all again.