To my own Stepmum

Dear Stepmum

I was having a think about the random path my life is going down and it has really woken me up to what you dealt with when you signed up for our dysfunctional instant-family.

I have never thanked you properly for everything you have ever done for me, and for my dad too.

I really appreciate the constant presence you are in my life, and I truly feel like you have been a very positive influence on me growing up – so thank you.

Thank you for giving me second chances. And for caring. And for our many long and random conversations in the kitchen – I loved those. Thank you for being there for dad since the beginning, even though it has been really really hard for you, too.

Thank you for being an amazing step mum and for bringing so many experiences into my life that I never would have had without you. I really respect your work ethic, and your commitment (or stubbornness, whatever you want to call it).

Thank you for being so funny! and for being honest with me, that’s important. I feel like I have always known where I stand with you.

Thank you for putting up with my crap and attitude when I was living in your home. Thank you for being so willing to open your home to me.

Thank you for my little brother. I cannot believe he is ten now. What a beautiful and thoughtful young man you have raised, I am so proud to call him my brother.

Thank you for taking such a big chance to come and be a part of our family. I love having you in my life.

I really appreciate you.

Thank you

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My prolems don’t mean any thing, because I am not a starving child in Africa.

Okay so maybe that was a little melodramatic.

Yes, a little self realisation that other people have issues in their lives too is definitely a bonus in helping us take stock of our problems and put things into perspective. (In my opinion). No one likes a self-absorbed brat.

But it does not, will not and SHOULD NOT EVER be a strategy for making someone feel like whatever is going on in their world is in some way ‘less important’.

Sometimes I have difficulty empathising with situations or feelings that I am not familiar with. I have to remind myself that not everyone reacts in the same way that I do, and it is unfair to hold everyone to MY standards – it is only fair to hold people to their own standards.

The thing is, when something bad happens to us, it might actually be the WORST thing we have ever experienced, and just because that isn’t the worst thing that has ever happened to anyone in the universe ever, has no relevance to the fact that it might be the worse thing that has happened in our own personal universe. So on our own personal scale, we react in a way or hurt in a way that might be on par with how someone else may react to something much worse.

Every person’s reactions are VALID. Every emotion, every sentiment is exactly their personal truth in that moment. What some one else’s personal truth is, has no bearing. Life is subjective.

We don’t have to understand, but simply because it is not how we would react, is not a good enough reason to invalidate someone.