My family life was pretty chaotic. My Mom divorced my Dad when I was six months old. She stated the reason she left him was because he was a drunk but that didn’t stop her from leaving me with him so she could go out to the bar. My weekends with my dad and step mom were some of my fondest childhood memories (camping in the living room, playing outside, watching all the classic sitcom families and endless card games). Every morning, My dad would get up before me and make me breakfast no matter my age. Yes, he did have a drinking problem and he died at 53 due to liver failure but out of my birth parents, I was safest with him. My mom met my 2nd step dad when I was 1 or 2. They married when I was 3. I was made to call him Dad and I made me feel conflicted and like I was hurting my real dad. My 2nd step dad was very abusive to my mom. He also had a very bad drinking problem. My mom and step dad would fight in front of me. I witnessed a lot of physical abuse. My brother was born when 7. My brother was treated differently by my step dad and his family. Eventually my mom would do the same. I was placed on the back burner unless I was spending time with my Dad and step mom. My Mom left my brother’s dad when I was 10 or 11. 

During my mom’s single years, I was forced to take care of my brother while she went out to the bars and would bring random men home to sleep with. I was made to cook and clean for myself and my brother all the while being treated differently than my brother. One of the men my mom was dating made me feel really uncomfortable sexually. When I shared this with my mom, she became upset with me, that I was in the way of her life. I told her that she didn’t love me and wouldn’t care if I died. She told me I was delusional and sent me to live with my dad. Those months with my dad were the best times. My mom had me come back when that man left her and she needed another babysitter for my brother so she could keep partying. My mom then found her 3rd husband. They married when I was 13. He also had kids so it was an instant family. I finally had a stable home and father figure. We also started attending Church. I soon lost contact with my bio dad during this time. I don’t know who stopped that relationship, my mom or her 3rd husband. During my high school years living with them, we went on family camping trips, I was able to have friends, join the cheer team and basically be a kid. My mom’s 3rd husband coached my brother’s sports teams, cooked us dinner, and was very involved. We were instantly included with his side of the family. Of course it wasn’t all roses, but compared to my childhood, he was stable. He reigned my mother in and she wasn’t able to go out drinking and dancing whenever she wanted. Sure, they would go on dates, but not like when I was younger. My mom and 3rd husband began fighting my senior year of high school and just went downhill from there.

I got pregnant at the end of my senior year and that was a major disappointment to my mom. My boyfriend’s parents took me in so I wouldn’t be homeless as I wasn’t allowed back home. During my senior year I reconnected with my Dad but due to the time lost, We had a very awkward strained relationship. After my first child was born and married to my husband and father of my child, I noticed the relationship between my mom and 3rd husband declined. She would state things like she isn’t happy, she can’t do what she wants, etc. She would constantly pick fights with him. During this time he was a grandpa to my oldest and they were very close. He would watch her for me when I was working, show her off at his work (firefighter) She (my oldest) has very fond memories of growing up at the station, i.e. having dinner with all the firefighters, all the rides etc. My mom decided to leave her third husband after I had my son and third child. He did not want the divorce but she pushed through so she could be happy. She did not think of the impact it would have on her adult children or grandchildren. I grieved this marriage and loss of family. I remember crying to my husband confused and wondering what this would mean for my children. I was hoping that they could still see their grandpa, but my mother poisoned me towards him. Any mention of her ex and his relationship towards the grandkids would make her angry and she would lash out towards me and be mean to the kids. I wanted to please her so I stopped trying to maintain the relationship with him in order to keep the peace with her. While she was leaving him, she threatened to kill herself and was worried about being homeless despite her receiving 80 grand and alimony. I had her move onto our property in a trailer which became my biggest regret. She stated she would help around the house and watch the kids. I just had my third baby and needed the help and was hopeful this would help our relationship. I couldn’t be more wrong. I once again became the caretaker, cooking meals for her, she would be upset if I didn’t do her laundry. 

After a year of being single she started dating again. She became upset when my husband and I told her we didn’t want strange men or unknown men coming to our house. She then would wait until we were gone and she would bring them into our house. My wedding ring (left in a bowl above the sink after doing the dinner dishes) went missing after one boyfriend came through. We felt violated. Any time we would talk with her to say this wasn’t working out or to lay down boundaries she would cry and become defensive. Her drinking and smoking pot were getting out of hand and we told her she wasn’t allowed to drive with the grandkids in the car or be alone with them. We had hoped this would put her on the right path, but she would become angry. She met her now boyfriend and was in the talks of staying with him part time and still leaving her trailer on our property so she could come and go. We had had enough. My husband said your trailer needs to be out by the end of March. We had to change the locks on our doors so she wouldn’t have a key and just come in whenever and with whoever. We had to install cameras. When she finally left, she was very upset and blamed us to her new boyfriend. With her being gone, I wrote to her, trying to mend the relationship and rebuild. That her choosing men over me hurt me and her constant need to find happiness at the expense of her children and grandchildren caused a huge rift. She refused to take any responsibility just that she had a shitty childhood and did the best she could. Her version of doing the best she could was leaving her daughter with a known abuser so she could party for spring break between marriages. She continues to show no care for my child’s safety so we have stopped all contact. My mom’s 3rd husband was remarried to a very sweet lady. He talks with us when we see him in public and my oldest has spoken with him numerous times. Going through my mom’s 3rd divorce hurt worse than the other ones. I hurt for my kids, for losing that side of the family. Losing out on all that cousin time. I grieve the lost camping trips, the lost fire truck rides. My kids have lost out on both grandparents due to a reckless woman’s search for “happiness.”