Divorce is awful — anyone who has experienced it will tell you that there are worse things in life, but not many. The ripping apart of a family is painful and difficult no matter how “amicable” a couple tries to be during the process. In my divorce, there was a very unique loss … the loss of a step child.
I was married for 10 years before my divorce, and during that marriage was given the most unbelievable gift — the gift of being a step-mom for a remarkable young man. I was afforded the opportunity to help raise him from the time he was 1 until his mid-teens. I got to be a part of his life, in ways that were different from his parents. I got to carve out a special place in his life, a place to be what he needed — a confidante, and a friend.
After the divorce, I was no longer able to see him, to hear about his life and to know what was going on in his world. He went back to a world with his parents, and that did not include me. The finality of it was shocking to me — but understandable. Step-parents have no rights or opportunity after a divorce and I am not suggesting they should. It is simply, yet one more really painful way to lose a child. Someone you loved, helped to raise and care for as if they were your own child.
The blessing is the time that you DO get with them … the time that you are in their lives. And I hope he will look back and be grateful for our time and our very special connection. I know I will.