Adding this to my “books to read” list….

My Father Married Your Mother –┬áCandid essays compiled on stepfamilies

The 26 essays in “My Father Married Your Mother” tackle the subject of stepfamilies from all directions… One thing that all the essays have in common is that they are brutally honest.

“I wanted them to only be honest because I thought the collection would only work if these were honest stories. To me the problem was that there was such deception about the experience of being in a stepfamily. People didn’t really want to talk about some of the deep feelings they have because they were not socially acceptable,” Burt says.

… Another common thread in the book is the theme of loss. “Every stepfamily is borne on the back of a loss. A child has lost a parent. Whether it’s through divorce or death or abandonment, there is a major loss that needs to be acknowledged,” Burt says.

From “Healing the Hurt, Restoring the Hope” by Suzy Yehl Marta:

Here, at a glance, is a list of how normal responses to loss compare with troubled ones.

Decreased ability to function, apathy
Loss of appetite
Restless sleep
Irritable, crabby
Stomachaches, headaches
Decline in grades

Isolation, withdrawal, depression
Change in eating habits, eating disorder
Refuses to sleep alone, nightmares
Physical aggression, violence
Psychosomatic illness, accident-prone
Total denial of loss event
Drops out of school or is expelled

If you know a child who is showing any of these troubled responses, seek professional counsel. These are major cries for help and should not be ignored. With a lot of love, patience, and support, children can work through the process of grief and on to healing.