Do you have an “ I Hate You Story “ about your stepsiblings?

Those stepsiblings who entered your life when Mom divorced Dad and married again, destroying your warm family nest, are there at Mom’s birthday. You are still angry at them for ruining your family, draining away your parent’s love, even though you know blaming them is easier than blaming Mom or your stepdad.
Let’s look at an example. Stepsiblings Roger and Vera have found themselves living in the same house after Roger and Vera’s mom married Randy’s dad. The stepsiblings are at extreme odds with each other by virtue of their parents’ divorce and remarriage. Randy must share a room with Roger, and there is less household income due to three kids and the economic downturn, so Vera can’t buy the H&N clothes she craves on the internet. Plus her mother has canceled the new iPod she promised. Roger has lost half his bedroom and storage for all his treasured toys like his old playmobiles, Star Wars action figures, and Roger feels like he has lost his dad and has to share a bedroom part time with a boy Randy he hardly knows. These kids are on their way to an “I Hate You” story, and their stepmoms and stepdads are future cast members as the villains in the tales.
Stepsiblings have the most dismal role in the family. Ingrained in our psyche by the story of Cinderella, who was oppressed by her evil stepmother and hideous stepsisters, we sometimes revile them. Divorce and remarriage produce a glut of step-relations who are often far from the Brady Bunch. Stepchildren are frequently thrown together, losing half their bedrooms and battling for power and rank in a clan of children they never chose. In the original marriage siblings had a safe nest. Now they are uprooted and jammed into a new unfamiliar house that feels far from safe.
Do you play the role of Cinderella, or are a wicked step sister, or maybe a mother who just does want to create either in her family.?


About momlovesyoubest

Cathy Cress holds an MSW in Aging from U.C. Berkeley. Her new book Mom Loves You Best, Forgiving and Forging Sibling Relationships , New Horizon Press, was published October 2010. Cress’s book , Handbook of Geriatric Care Management, Jones and Bartlett, is the bible of geriatric care management and is out out in a third edition in February 2011 .Her book Care Managers, Working With the Aging Family, Jones and Bartlett,2008 is one of the few major books on the aging family. Ms. Cress is the founder of GCM Consult ,working with small and national who want to add or launch GCM businesses. She is on the faculty at the University of Florida in their on line master’s in geriatric care management -GCM . She has taught geriatric care management at San Francisco State University , UC Berkeley and teaches at Cabrillo College and San Mateo College. She was founder and director of Cresscare, a GCM business, for 25 years.
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