I cannot forgive my step-mother
This is the first time I am trying to write to you, but I am a regular reader of your column. I am 21 and living with my father, step-mother and siblings.
My step-mother has two children with my father. When my mother went to the States, I was eight. My father took me to live with him. He and my stepmother had just got together. She did not want my father to take me. I found out he told her that if I couldn't live with him at the house, she couldn't live there either, because I am his first.
She used to be very rough on me. One day I told my father I felt like running away. He asked me why and I told him she said I was worthless, just like my father.
My father asked her and she said I was lying. My father told her I was not lying because she was always calling him worthless.
She treated me unkindly, until I was 12 and she became ill. I was the only one able to help her. When she saw how helpful I was, she stopped calling me names and stopped telling lies on me.
I remember the first time my period came, I was 11. She told my father I was too young "and is tek she tek man".
When I was 18 years old her brother came to the house. He was to spend a weekend. He was 18 too. She set him on me and I had to fight him off.
When my father came home, I told him. He asked him to leave that same evening. My stepmother said she did not believe he would try anything like that. I knew she had a part in it, because, when I complained to her about him, she said nothing.
Pastor, I still hate this woman because of the lies she told on me and the bad treatment I got from her. My father is a good man. He put me through college.
I met my boyfriend in college. We are planning to get married. I don't want this woman to come to my wedding.
My father is now a deacon. He said that I should learn to forgive her because he has forgiven her for not wanting me at his house.
How am I going to see that her sitting in church, or sitting at my reception, and feel happy?
Dear L. K.
I am glad you think highly of your father. He is, indeed, a good man. Your stepmother should have been glad to have such a man in her life and should have treated you well.
She was a very selfish woman. However, I want you to forgive her and to invite her to your wedding.
Evidently, she has nothing to do with the planning of your wedding. I could see why you wouldn't want her to get involved in that area.
Let her attend. Don't do anything that would make your father be unhappy with you. She wasn't a good stepmother, but she is still your father's wife. I am sure he would be glad to have her attend.
I wish you well. You are still young. Make sure, before you get married that your fiance and yourself go through a series of premarital counselling.