I’m a bad ex-stepdad

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized


                  I’m one of the most honest people on earth, and if you don’t believe me, just read my Facebook posts. My over-honesty there has put me in two awkward situations within a month’s time, one which has straightened itself out, the other creating irreparable damage. But in the former situation, it was a drunken faux pas on my part; in the latter, it was a case of “not what you say, but what you DON’T say.” We can take that a step further, and I’m apparently in trouble for saying I’m not going to say anything!

                      Now before I confuse myself anymore on that analysis, let me say for the few who don’t know, my third marriage ended acrimoniously 17 months ago. I’m not going back into the details of what happened there, and I also really doubt that the ex, her boyfriend, or her son are going to read this blog anyway, unless they actually go to my website, which they only did when I first launched it. Ultimately, I don’t care if they see it.

                      I always felt that the relationship I had with my stepson was a good one, and that was taken away from me by my wife’s decision to throw me out in favor of someone else. It wasn’t that big of a shocker, as we had been going nowhere for a good three years. I didn’t expect the kid to fight with her on my behalf, but I also didn’t expect that he would wind up hating ME as a result. I somehow didn’t believe that the horrible things he’d said to me over the ensuing months via e-mail and on the phone were really coming from him. My belief was further verified when I spoke to him on Christmas Day and he said he missed me.

                      We eventually became Facebook friends, and I even did so with his mom, though she rarely went on. On occasion, I would ask him if he wanted to meet for lunch, but he still didn’t feel right doing that, which I understood. The last time I communed with him was a similar request in May just before half-term. He declined, adding that he’s got his friends to keep him from getting bored, and he gets stoned every night. (He’s 15) I’m not one to voice any kind of disapproval of that, since I started smoking pot when I was his age, and did so for most of the next 20 years or so. Had I still been his step-dad, and I’m certain I’d have been able to tell if he was stoned, I would not have trotted out the “Don’t do as I do, do as I say” bullshit. No, I’d have probably said “Know what you’re doing,” especially since the drugs that tend to get filtered down to his age group can either be total crap or totally dangerous.   

                      So what do you do when the child makes a loaded confession that he clearly hasn’t told to those that live with him? My immediate posted response was, “I don’t know if (they) know this, but I’m not going to spill the beans.” I didn’t, though I came close to doing so when I met up with his mom for lunch a couple of weeks after. She mentioned that he had admitted trying cannabis, and I was gritting my teeth even further when she said, “I don’t go on Facebook, so I don’t really know what goes on with his friends.” I held fast, not revealing what he had told me. This show of restraint would turn around and bite me on the ass to start July off.

                        He was at home alone with the boyfriend, and had gone away from his computer, leaving his Facebook pages open. The boyfriend decided to do some snooping, (open discussion as to what he was hoping to discover!) found our exchange, and was livid. There was a lot of shouting, and I’m not sure whether this was over the fact that he was using cannabis, or the fact that he told me about it, but not him. When mom got home from work, there was a major “discussion” which resulted in a text message telling me that she asked him to unfriend me and not to contact any of them ever again.

                          Now I didn’t know it was my duty as an ex-stepparent to still do parenting with a kid I’ve only seen for about 3 minutes in the last 16 months. It was not my place to be the whistle-blower, yet the mom and boyfriend seemed to believe it was. If I were still considered a close friend, then maybe I’d feel obliged to say something, but the kid wouldn’t confess something like that to any of her closest friends, though maybe he’d tell his dad. Her final e-mail to me called it “irresponsible” that I kept that to myself. My final e-mail to her said “You’re making ME the scapegoat for HIS behavior, which being his mom, is YOUR responsibility?” Then I unfriended her, surprised to see she hadn’t done so with me already. 

                       So I may never find out what the kid thinks about me, but I’ll still hold on to the notion that if my actions, or lack of, were going to make only one of the two hate me, I think I made the right choice. There’s plenty to dispute, for starters no one mentioned that what the boyfriend did was invasion of privacy. She never even saw the thread of discussion in question, for it was deleted by the time she got home.

                        I promised myself there would be no name-calling or counter-accusations or anything else that I could feel within my rights to say disparagingly about all three of them, and I’m going to hold to that promise and leave it here. I’ve got enough other things going on to keep me occupied. Can’t wait till my next stand-up gig, which I have just been informed is this weekend at The Hyena in Newcastle!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.