Being a step parent is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I adore my stepchildren, especially my stepdaughters. They make my heart explode with joy and sadness in the same breath (they’re gifted). However, stepmother to a child with disabilities, like my stepson, makes me feel helpless and afraid. Watching my stepson and his parents stumble through adolescence is like watching a horror movie: the protagonist refuses to listen to the advice the audience screams from the comfort of their recliners. I have an agenda. I am not without my own motives both good and bad. Still, I feel like I’m trapped in a dream with my arms and legs refusing to respond to the dangers ahead. Nonetheless, my stepchildren are a gift. I have grown and healed and learned more than I deserve, and at the same time, I have sacrificed and suffered and reconciled more than I expected before embarking on this journey. I am an atheist, and yet, I am blessed. I am a wife, and yet, I am not a partner. I am a mother, and yet, I feel like a voiceless outsider. That’s step-parenting. It’s what you make it.