You are correct. I don’t know what it’s like for MY child to want to snuff herself out. Even though I treat of and think of my stepdaughter that I raised beginning at age 11 full time as my own, it is different than it being my own child. But you presume that it means that my pain is less than yours.
I know I always speak of my adoptive parents saying how they thought of me as their own but that I always felt the difference and that I always knew deep down that I was second best to them. They wanted their own biological child first, when they couldn’t have that child, they sought out the “backup plan” which was adoption…ME. And when I didn’t live up to their expectations, they were quick to point out how my genetics were to blame. My adoptive parents are Narcissists. They never wanted what was best for me. They wanted what was best for themselves. They wanted a child for themselves, so that THEY could feel loved, so that THEY could fill the hole they felt.
The difference is, that where my adoptive parents told me the chosen child story, the reality of it was that I was the backup plan. But I really did chose my life with my stepchildren. I fell in love with the thought of a life with them. And that was never something I would have seen for myself at 23. And despite everything I went through in raising them, being extremely young, fighting a battle against a mother who made me out to be a monster, fighting my own demons, and feeling like my stepchildren despised me, I stood by my stepchildren and you through it all.
And even when things got so hard that my stepdaughter and I parted ways, even when I was so hurt that I couldn’t even look at her when she was in the room, we began to work through it a couple of years later. And now, we are in such a good place and we understand each other and are extremely close, a place I never imagined 10 years ago that we would ever be.
Despite how much hurt I endured, how much I put in to my relationship with my step kids, to feel rejection time and time again for so long, my biggest fear because of my birth story, I still opened myself up to it again and took a chance again with both of them.
So although it is different for me than it is for you when you juxtapose how you feel about your daughter wanting to snuff herself out with how I feel about my stepdaughter wanting to snuff herself out, please don’t presume that you know how I feel. Because you don’t. It might be different, but that doesn’t mean that my pain is any less than yours. I do have a biological child, so I can compare and put myself in the headspace of what it might feel like if it was my biological daughter. You have never been a stepparent, you have never been an Adoptee, you have never experienced what I have experienced and still continued to care and come back because you can’t stop loving those children. My adoptive parents never modeled unconditional love for me, and yet somehow I found out what that was through being a stepparent, because despite my many mistakes through their teenage years, I did always try and have tried to better myself and have worked on things so that I can be a better stepmom for them, something my adoptive parents never afforded me. So, my pain should not be looked down upon or invalidated simply because she’s my stepdaughter. You have no clue what my experience has been, so please, stop comparing our pain just to show how much worse your life is than mine right now.