Battling My Demons While Raising His Kid
Triple traumas left me with a lifetime’s worth of anxiety—amplified by my sullen teenage stepson, who triggers everything I loathe and fear about men.
Illustration by Danielle Chenette
Stepmoms, ever so much more than stepdads, get a crap deal. It’s as if we’re cursed from the start, with our wicked portrayals in Disney films and Grimms’ fairy tales. No matter what we do, we’re still not the real mom. And regardless of what went on before we arrived on scene, we have to clean it up. The blending of families has its rewards, and you may find yourself with an even better family circle than you had before. But step-parenting doesn’t always go well. Despite our best hopes and intentions, suppressed traumas have a way of making themselves known.