Ex

A very special blog post…

As promised to a few friends who already know why, today’s entry is entitled “A very special blog post…” Last night, Bill finally got his daughter’s gender reveal video to work. She’s shown sitting at a table with her husband’s family, biting into a cupcake made by her mother-in-law. The inside of the cupcake was pink, which revealed that her next baby will be a girl.

I had a feeling that the next baby was going to be female. So did Bill. I think he’s excited about it, although he still hasn’t seen his daughter in person since 2004, and he’s never met his grandson. They all live in Idaho, and we’re in Germany. I do think Bill will probably try to go out to see his daughter and meet her family in person. Once again, I’m not sure I’ll be joining him. It depends on where the meeting takes place. I already wrote about my feelings regarding a family gathering on my old blog, so I won’t rehash the reasons here. Suffice to say that I am in favor of Bill going to see them, even if I opt out.

The baby is due sometime in early July, which could mean she will be a “birthday present” for Bill. Or maybe she’ll be a present for her aunt, Bill’s older daughter, who was born on Independence Day. It’s amazing how much I know about these people I’ve only met one time, fifteen years ago. Technically, they’re family… and pretty close family at that. But they have been kept out of my life, so they’re also strangers. It’s a very odd situation that I never thought I would be in.

One of my friends quipped that now I’m “Granny”. That’s really not true. I had no part in bringing up Bill’s daughters, and Bill was only there when they were very young. I have only met Bill’s daughters once, and that was in 2003. Although technically, I am their stepmother, I don’t really know them and they don’t know me. Maybe someday that will change, but I like to be realistic. I tend to expect the worst; that way when things aren’t the worst, I’m pleasantly surprised.

It’s great to see that Bill’s younger daughter has reclaimed her wonderful dad. She’s obviously smart to do that. So far, we’ve seen no indication that she’s up to anything more than simply being family again. It’s still kind of hard for me to trust her, although I am impressed by her survival skills. She is very resilient, and I respect resilience. As much as I dislike Mormonism, I am also glad she found some church members who were willing to help her escape the situation she was in as a very young woman. I don’t think she’s quite finished college yet, but she’s well on her way. And she and her husband appear to be doing fine, which is more than I can say for myself when I was her age.

I just hope that the real “Granny”– that is, Bill’s ex wife– stays far enough away from them that she doesn’t wreak any havoc on their happiness. Based only on what little I’ve heard about what it was like for younger daughter to grow up with Ex, I can only imagine her own concerns about how her mother is going to behave. It’s really something when a child declares that her mother is mentally ill. I’m sure it was heartbreaking and scary when she came to that conclusion. Ex apparently did go out to Idaho to see her grandson, but according to younger daughter, Ex spent most of her time on her phone and wasn’t really engaged with the boy.

This brings me to another observation… it seems like Ex sees everyone as an extension of herself. She doesn’t seem to know how to form genuine bonds with people. She does things like arrange visits and includes all of the trappings of a celebration, but she doesn’t emotionally connect with the people involved. Instead, the celebrations often turn to shit.

Case in point. One Christmas, when Bill’s daughters and ex stepson were small, Ex decided they must have a grand Christmas. So, even though Bill was underemployed and they were having serious financial problems, Ex went out and bought a truckload of presents. My mother-in-law visited them during this time and she said there were so many presents, they wouldn’t all fit under the tree. And she bought tons of food… stuff that little kids probably wouldn’t even want to eat. She bought a $75 platter of baklava that didn’t get eaten. It was all for show. The celebration itself, despite the decorations, presents, and expensive prepared foods, was a disaster. I think it’s because the celebration wasn’t about family and the love that families and friends share. It was about optics, and what other people might think or see.

Now that younger daughter is about to expand her family, I would not be surprised if Ex decides it’s time for another one of her trademark “celebrations”, which are all about show. I have been through enough of these kinds of “shows” with my own family to last me the rest of my life. They always take me weeks to get over. And my family doesn’t even come close to being as fucked up as Ex is. I imagine having a mother like Ex is a special curse. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

But anyway… I am truly delighted for younger daughter and her husband and son. They deserve every happiness. I know Bill is excited about the new grandchild, especially since it’s a girl. I guess I am, too, although for me it’s more surreal because the only bond I have with his daughters is from afar, and mostly based on stories I’ve heard and emails I’ve read… and blog posts I’ve written, that make other people think I’m the crazy one.

In other news… Bill is taking today off, since he will be working overnights for the next 18 days with no break. I’m going to have to find some trashy television to watch.

P.S. Special thanks to dreamstime.com for the public domain image of the pink booties.

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