Cathryn's Mailbox
Stepmoms wrote in, Cathryn replied​.
Cathryn's Mailbox
2 Youngsters I can't control.

3 yr old SS crying all the time!

A bio-mom worried about new stepmom in her daughter's life- can we help?

About ready to throw in the towel!

About to become a step parent and am terrified!

Bio mom badmouthing me to my stepson & he repeats to me & my kids.

Bio-mom back & I'm hurt by her impact-what can I do?

Bio-mom doesn't want me present at any of my skids school events.

Bio-mom is online stalking & has issues w/ pictures of skids.

Bio-mom physically assaulted me & telling skids it was the other way around?

Bio-mom used me, I drew a line, she’s angry--now what?

BM doesn't want her kids, then does-what's going on?

Clarifying Mission Statement for SMOMS-revised

Dealing w/ bio-mom who doesn't want to get along with me?

Dealing w/ Deceased Bio Mom's Extended Family

Dealing with SD at my young age

DH finds out he has a daughter-I feel terrible

DH sets no Boundaries for SD20-what to do?

DH w/3 bio-kids not trying to bond w/ my 2 bio kids.

Do I love my ss? I don't know.

Does the BB help or hurt with issues?

Don't know where I went wrong

Ever Feel Like Leaving?

FDH feels guilty about leaving BM & allows her to excessively call/text/email him.

Feeling like invisible parent to stepson- help!

Feeling like the enemy in my own house: Teen SD

Feeling resentment towards my SS & can't connect

From BB- A Ritual for you & your beloved

From BB: Self-awareness can hurt...why is that?

Help w/situation that dad, biomom & skid all agree on but I don’t feel is best

Holiday traditions? Some ideas from sister SMOMS

How can I find the right balance & Boundaries?

How can I handle my SD8 who loves negative attention?

How do I cope w/DH's need for perfect family when I'm more realistic about it?

How do I deal with a lying SD, her bio-mom & the ex-step mom?

How do I deal with all the hurt and anger?

How do I help her understand that chores and rules don't mean that I don’t love her?

How do I stop SD from lying to me, DH, BM, and BM's boyfriend?

How to accept bio-mom's "bad" choices?

How to deal w/ unkind skids, ex-wife, MIL costing me my relationship?

how to deal w/SD choosing bio-mom for school play?

How to handle bio-mom who keeps asking for more $$$?

How to handle it when skids away Christmas Day?

How to help ss, when BM encourages him to lie?

How to help when bio-mom returns

How to let go of the single life I thought I saw going to live versus being SMOM?

How to make transition easier for skids?

how to step back in after stepping out?

Husband still feels guilty, his kids in their 30’s

I am frustrated with my skids 99% of the!

I feel jealous of DH's ex & unheard by DH-Help!

I feel left out & sort of invisible w/ grown SD’s

I really love my FDH, but really wish his daughter didn't exist?

I want a better relationship w/ teen stepson

I want a Closer relationship w/ stepdaughter

I want my bed back

I would like to know how to change my attitude towards my new inherited family

I'm at the end of my tether... Stepchildren don't seem to like me.

If you're in the mood for SMOMS Pep Talk-read this!

Invested so much love, time, energy & $$...seems it's never enough

It's too much work- I need help from DH & Family!

Jealous of sister-in-law & Skids-what can I do?

Just jealous or maybe time to leave?

Local support stepmom groups???

My DH doesn't understand why my feelings are hurt

My husband stays at his mothers when he has his daughter for the night.

Need better coping skills to do so…

No matter what I do, bio-mom still hostile. I feel hopeless & scared

Not a step mom yet but need some guidance

Open for your Questions in March 2015

Right now, I HATE being a Stepmom!!!

Self-Pity-it's an emotional numbing,energy draining tactic

Someone to talk to when things come up or whenever?

SS5 keeps throwing his BM in my face! Help!

Struggling w/ a jealous stepdaughter

Stubborn DH and sexually active teenage SS

teenage step daughter & car...Ugh!

the problem is my partner...why is he fighting my efforts?

Transitions and Coparenting Struggles

Trouble coping w/BF's newborn & ex.

Venting Guidelines- A Requested approach

What are reasonable expectations?

What are these letters?

What boundaries do I need to set with husband and sd?

What can we do about the rage! I "Lost it" last night. Help!

What to do about disrespectful 20 yr/old SS

What to do when Bio mom starts turning step daughter against me?

what to do when step child stops saying I love you?

When bio-mom sends stuff from life w/your DH?

When BM causes drama, how to prevent that impacting my relationship w/ the skids?

When to call it quits? What to do?

When winning more important to bio-mom than getting along

Why do things Skid's say bother me so & what to do?-Updated!

Why does it bother me that my skids don't recognize how much their father does for th

Why does my ss's rudeness bother me so?

Why does my stepson Idolize his bio-mom????

Why don't I matter in the family?

Why so jealous? What about irrational fears?

How do I deal with all the hurt and anger?
Dear Cathryn,

I'm currently a mother who is attending nursing school. I have an eleven year old daughter with my husband. I also have a 23 year-old step-daughter who is married and has 2 children and a step-son who is 20 and married they have a newborn daughter. I have been married to my husband for 14 years and in those 14 years I have had to deal with one problem after another with the step-children and his ex wife.

I have not had a very strong relationship with his daughter because of her mother, but I do have a good one with his son. I have never got along with his ex-wife because she has done nothing but lie and turn things around to be my fault. My step son had a falling out with mother when he was sixteen and he moved out and moved into his current in-laws house. At that time the ex-wife was spreading rumors about my step son and his current wife.

So for 3 years they really had nothing to do with her. He has started calling me mom and refers to his mother by her first name around us. But 2 years ago she was diagnosed with cancer and made a big deal about how she was only going to live 6 months. Well it has been 2 years now. I was holding up to the issues until about 6 months ago when he and his wife were planning on the baby shower. I had told them and her mother that I would help with the shower.

Well when I called to ask about the shower they told me that her mother and his mom would be doing the shower and they just wanted me to attend. Well my feelings got hurt and I became angry but kept it to myself. I went to the baby shower and felt like an outcast and not part of the event. I let it go and tried to get past it but I haven't. At that time I was told by them that his mother's cancer had doubled in size and they were trying another chemo that has made her lose her hair and etc.

So I just ignored the feelings I was having. Then in November my granddaughter was born and since we live 6 hours away we were not able to be there. Once again we were the last to be notified. We were able to go down and see her a week later and my daughter-in-law acted like she didn't want us around. Granted she was on pain meds because she had to have a C-section.

Since then it's like we are the outcast and put on the back burner. Due to us being sick we weren't able to go down for Christmas. For Christmas I had suggested that they could take my granddaughter to get her pic. taken for free at a photographer but no they had his mom take pics in front of her tree and at her house. Once again I felt like I didn't matter and my ideas were not good enough for them.

It just seems that now they want to do everything with her and we are the bad guys. A part of me understands because of her cancer and they want to spend time with her. But the other part of me wants to know what has happened and why have they started doing this? We have asked but they always tell us there is nothing wrong.

I just can't get over the feeling that we are not good enough anymore and that we don't matter enough. I haven't bought anything yet for my granddaughter because when I was going to buy something for her at the shower my daughter-in-law had told everyone that the gift I was going to buy hadn't been bought yet. That also hurt my feelings and made me withdraw from them further.

As far as my step-daughter I have not had much contact with her because of our past. She is a lot like her mother and that doesn't help. I do send things to her children and her dad keeps in tough with her. I don't know what to do anymore! My dr. has told me that I suffer from chronic depression and I do see a therapist once a week.

I had started feeling better then I have went backwards in a hurry. I do take medication for my depression. I feel like because of my step son I can't have a good relationship with my husband or daughter. I feel like my daughter has suffered. She is mine and I feel like I don't spend enough time worrying about her.

Don't get me wrong I do things with her and go to her school activities when I can since I'm in school. I just want all of this with my step-son and his family to go away so I can concentrate on my family. Our daughter currently is sick and all I can concentrate on is my step son. This is not right! My daughter deserves me full time. I just want to get over all this anger, frustration, and to understand what is going on. I need some advice and help.

Please and thank you! Desperate stepmom


Dear Desperate Stepmom,

I'm so sorry to learn of all the pain you are in. It is completely understandable that you would feel all the feelings that you are feeling. They are trying to tell you something!!!

Today I already have a full schedule booked but I wanted (almost felt I needed) to respond to you right away.

1. Please get and read "the drama of the gifted child" by Dr. Alice Miller ASAP!!! it is going to explain so very much about why you are feeling as you are on so many levels. It would take me hours to do what this book will do for you. I know this because it helped me in many of the  ways it's going to help you. (no exaggerating here)

2. Please read my essay in Cathryn's Mailbox (top section) that I wrote about "how the pain can teach us" something like that. It is long-grab a cup of something warm and settle in. I feel certain you will get many questions answered here too.

3. Here's a bold suggestion: if your therapist has not been able to help you and you've explained to him/her what you've shared with me...find another therapist! As with everything I offer, do what feels right in your gut, not your head or heart right now for they're wounded. Your clear descriptions of your feelings are articulate and the answers are right there. If I can see them -you deserve a therapist who can guide you (not numb you with meds.) Sadly often when therapists don't know how to help, they choose a short term option so their clients think they feel better (can you see the irony in that logic???) I obviously do not know your therapist-hopefully you've received fair value in exchange for the fees he or she has earned but IF they know what you've told me and son't have answers and guidance...this is a clue to me that you're ready for someone with more focused training. Just my opinion but strongly feel this in my gut.

4. Depression meds interfere with our ability to heal because they interfere with our processing. We can't heal what we can't feel. I read this awhile ago and agree whole-heartedly. Please consider finding a therapist who understands Alice Miller's work , has done his or her own childhood inner work and you will see dramatic healing and freedom from pain because of your own increased awareness of what's going on and how to help yourself. The meds are NOT going to heal the pain that's trying so hard to get your attention do it can be recognized, understood loved into a new place of healing. It's a short term vs long term choice AND trust your gut on this choice.

My gut feeling is that the circumstances you are facing are touching wounds that were created, then denied/repressed in childhood and are being recreated in your present life.

Can you recall feeling left out, like you didn't matter in your childhood? Do you recall focusing on a getting the approval or attention of a man when you were a child and feeling obsessed with it? This us called "the compulsion to repeat." it's very real, alice Miller's book will explain more. I feel your Soul or psyche or whatever you want to call your true self, is now saying to you "it's time. Enough of all this recreating the pain of the past. Let's wake-up to what we're feeling. Feel the real wounds, not the imitators (present circumstances) and be free if these painful feelings."

It's almost like lancing a boil to release the pus so everything can be cleaned out and then heal up on it's own-using your kind, loving ways toward yourself and the little girl you used to be.

My essay will explain using myself as example.

5. Karla McLaren (sp?) has a new version of her work out called "the Language of emotions." if you can afford the audio version -get that! Her voice and guidance is very very good. She teaches us what our emotions are trying to teach us. It is very good, very helpful- learning how to learn from our feelings instead of numbing, judging or avoiding them is SO empowering.

My sense is that you are on the verge of a wonderful breakthrough!!

If you can't find a local therapist and/or want to work with the woman who has guided me through my nightmare and taught me do much of what I'm passing along to you, call her. She works on the phone which is amazingly convenient and offers great privacy options. Her name is Moriah Marston. She is a trained psychotherapist (30 years now) but she adds the use of astrology and metaphysical intuition (amazingly talented combination of tools to help her help others). Her number is 413. 624.9606. Use my name when you call. That's  western Mass.-FYI. Just another option for you.

If you trust in the divine plan of things-perhaps you reached out to me today, so i could offer you all this info because you are ready to do the work required to be healed, freed from the past and ready to love yourself, your dear daughter and husband from a strong, empowered wise place.  As you chang, others around you will have a different impact on you. I don't know how it all works but as we heal our wounds, the actions of others don't hurt us any more. This is the first day of the rest of your life!

I'm hoping that all I've said and all you're hopefully going to read will light up your heart and mind in a way that gives you hope for your future.

After you do your " homework" please let me know if you have any questions or need clarity. You have a chance here to break out of all this pain by doing the inner work. Not sure how much is possible while on meds but give it a try, with the reading, you'll know if it's the right path for you..or not.

This is big stuff.
I believe you're ready since for whatever reasons you chose to write me today.

I must go now. Please honor yourself enough, please value yourself and your own worthiness for healing to at least read Alice Miller's book and my essay. You'll know if this is the path for you.

I wish you great bursts of insight, energy and hope. Love to you, Cathryn

Cathryn's Mailbox
Stepmoms on a Mission®
PO Box 7, Medford NJ 08055