Acceptance (4/5)

By Drum Digital
07 May 2015

Patience had a bad case of stepmother blues.

I’m a strong woman! I can handle it – and maybe it will be an opportunity for me to find a strong man who isn’t overwhelmed by my presence. The sort of guy who will be able to step in when I need his help! Patience replayed this speech over and over in her head, trying to prepare for the worst, feeling alone and angry.

She’d been feeling slightly sorry for herself since being retrenched from her job a few months ago. She’d never been unemployed. Patience felt sore about losing her sense of independence and suspected Eddy resented being the sole breadwinner. She felt like a burden – and guilty for even spending money on a pergola. To Eddy, maybe it was this extravagance that made him lash out.

It was a very long night, sleeping alone in the guest room, feeling like a woman who didn’t belong. She thought back to her whirlwind romance with Eddy. His mother felt they’d married too soon. And just hearing that made her feel unwelcome in his family. It didn’t help that sometimes his mother saw submission as respect. So Patience sometimes curbed her tongue when she felt like confronting Eddy over an issue when Ma was within earshot.

Her own parents were happy for her, but were concerned about the relationship she had with the most important woman in her husband’s life. Patience’s stepdaughter hadn’t been too difficult to befriend when the relationship started. But there were times when Zara made her feel like a usurper who had walked into her mother’s house.

Patience also wished that she and Eddy were on the same page in terms of authority over Zara. His way of handling Zara was that she’d been through a lot so far with the loss of her mother – and she was old enough to make up her own mind. But for Patience, raising Zara meant open dialogue, reasonable debate – and zero insubordination.

To be continued...

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