A while back, I posted a story discussing my negative feelings regarding being a stepmother. I really, really hated it and did not like my stepson at all. It has been a journey, but I can finally say that I enjoy my role as a stepmom and have come to love my stepson. My acceptance began when I (with the help of a wonderful therapist) realized exactly where those feelings were coming from and how I could change those feelings. It seems cliched, but I was projecting perceptions I learned as a child onto my stepson - essentially making him a scapegoat for all of the early patterns of my life. For example, when I was a child, it was made very clear to me that I was of less value to my family because I was a girl. I resented my stepson subconsciously because he was a son - and an only son at that. Those feelings raised a protective instinct so I became hypersensitive when it came to my daughters. It cultivated an us-against-him mentality that was illogical but powerful. Fortunately for our family, I am mindful of my feelings and don't allow my past to dictate my present or my future. I'm not perfect and neither is he, but at least we love each other.