I have Anxiety Because of My Stepdad

What helps you move forward on difficult days? Share to show your Support! 

When I was just 8 years old I walked in on the conversation of my parents deciding they were getting divorced. It was three days before my birthday and I heard my mom crying in her room with the door closed. So naturally, as a child, I had to sit there and listen to what was going on. After a few moments, I ran upstairs to get my older sister to tell her what was going on. We both went and sat outside the door for a little bit to listen together. We came to the decision that we would barge in and make them tell us what was happening. One, two, THREE! We pushed open the door and yelled: “Don’t get divorced!” To say our parents were shocked is an understatement. My father told us he didn’t want to be a husband or a father anymore and I just couldn’t believe it. But being the person I am, I knew I had to step up and be the rock for my sister and my mom. As time went on, I had to keep it together, despite what I was feeling, for them. It became a huge weight on my shoulders. But after about three months my mom met who is now my stepfather. She seemed so happy and wasn’t crying at night anymore. So in the instance, I was happy she found him. I could start dealing with my own issues, but I couldn’t talk about them to anymore. My mom and my sister didn’t want to listen to it because they couldn’t deal with it.

Read more: Weird Life Events As a Trigger For Anxiety

My dad and I got to sit down and talk things through. He and I have always been close, and he explained that it wasn’t that he didn’t want to be a father, he was just in a place that he needed to be alone. He needed to figure things out on his own, and it’s not like he got time to do that when he was married. My mom’s job always had her on the road, to the point that I only saw her one, maybe two times a week. Other than that she wasn’t around. That was a lot to put on one person. When you become a parent you expect to have the help of your spouse, but in this case, he didn’t.

As time went on, my now stepfather decided he wanted to really be part of our family. He wanted to be my dad. Now, my sister got extremely close to me, very quickly. But since I am still very close to my dad, I tried to keep my distance. But of course, Mom didn’t like that.

Fast forward a year or two, and now my mom is married to this man. We find out who he really is. Someone with a very short temper, someone who likes to scream at the top of his lungs at the littlest things, and on top of that, someone who likes to drink. But no matter what happens, my mom stays with him. She says she loves him. The craziest part? My sister was “grounded” by this man for almost two years. In that time she was not allowed to leave her room unless she was told to. Not even to go to the bathroom. She didn’t have a tv, phone, computer, or anything. If he walked in and she was doing ANYTHING other than school work, she got screamed at and more time added to her grounding. It was ridiculous. But still, my mother did nothing. And if she tried, SHE would get screamed at! It was ridiculous! And still, my sister clung to this man, swore off our father, and wanted nothing more than to make this guy happy.

Read more: Family Support and Anxiety

Fast forward another few years and I’m now a sophomore in high school. I was staying late after school for my color guard practice, just like any other Friday, when all of a sudden my coach comes up to me saying to pack up because my stepdad was there and I had to leave. I was so confused and upset because I had no idea what was going on, and we had our first competition in a week! I get in the car and my stepfather tells me my sister ran away from home and he wanted my help to look for her. So knowing that if she ran away, something serious must have happened, and I didn’t want him to find her. So I suggested all the places I knew she WOULDN’T be at. While driving around, he gets a phone call from my mom saying she knew where she was, so as he’s on the phone we drive back to my house. We walk inside and he asks me to stay where I was standing and he goes into his room. When he comes out a few moments later, he gave me a hug and with tears in his eyes says “I don’t know when you’ll see me again” and left. I was dumbfounded. I had no idea what was going on and was in a panic. I called my mom and got no answer. So I called and asked my boyfriend to come over so I wouldn’t have to be alone. When I get off the phone my real father is calling. He told me that my sister was with him and they were coming to the house. Then my mom calls and tells me to stay there and keep the door locked, she, along with my sister and my father, was coming to the house and the police were on their way.

Next thing I know they are all at the house and they make my boyfriend leave. The cops show up and take my sister into the other room to talk to her. My mom and father tell me that my sister claims my stepdad sexually abused her. I was in complete shock. But when the cops were done talking to her, they told my mom that we should all go to my dad’s house for the night in case my stepdad came back and then they left. They didn’t say a single thing to me at all.

Read more: My Life, My Depression

In the coming weeks, I had to go to court but only talked to police once. And it was only about 5 minutes. I had to have a DCF agent sit in on all my after-school rehearsals, and after spring break I got pulled out of my school. I had to move in with my dad, which was fine, but I had to leave behind all my friends and everything I knew. And to top it all off? My mom said she didn’t believe my sister. And the result? They let him off. Said I couldn’t have any contact with him for 6 months, and when that was up I had to move right back in with him and my mom.

To this day, I haven’t forgiven him. Things are still weird between us. And as for my sister? After about two years she moved back in with him and my mom. She calls him every day and still hangs all over him. Says she loves him and is always hugging and kissing him. It’s weird. And if that doesn’t give you anxiety I don’t know what will.

What helps you move forward on difficult days? Share to show your Support!