My Husband and I are going to see the musical "Wicked" . First of all, I LOVE musicals and I always like to know the story before the performance so I can follow along better. I do the same with ballets and operas. Besides its involvement of witchcraft, The Wizard of OZ is one of the most profound fairytales of all times. The lessons learned in each layer of the storyline is enough to digest for years. Everytime I watch it, there is a new lesson to be learned. No man could have planned that. Kingdom messages can be learned almost ANYWHERE. So, anyway in my research of the story "Wicked" which is a "prequel" to the Frank Baum story, I was astonished to note the change in my deameanor toward the original characters once I understood their motives. (There is a point to this just bear with me)...
For example; The infamous "ruby red slippers" were given to Dorothy by Glinda in the Wizard of Oz..but what you find in the "pre" story is that they weren't even hers to give. They belonged to Elphaba (the wicked witch of the west). She created those slippers for her wheelchair bound, paralyzed sister, Nessa (the one who ended up dead-under the house), so she could walk. Glinda was sorta behind the cyclone and giving them to Dorothy was really just to keep Elphaba distracted and chasing after Dorothy for the shoes (the last memento of her sister), when it was really Glinda that was responsible for her sister's death. Whew....so after figuring that out and reading a ton of other things...you find that those people perceived to be mean weren't really..they were responding out of hurt to a misjustice and were actually "right' and those who appear to be just or 'right" may not have necessarily been.
So lesson learned: Don't judge based on what you see on the surface. Someone may appear to have it all together. They may seem as if all their ducks are in a row and everything that comes out of their mouth is truth. Ummmmm not necessarily so...the ruby slippers they are trying to pawn off on you may not even be theirs to give. The reverse is also true. Just because someone comes off as mean, defensive or arbitrary does not mean that they are hopelessly bitter. If you dig deeper into their story you will find that they got dealt a bad hand and may not know how to overcome it.
Sidebar: I know if I was stuck with green skin and somebody stole my man and my sister's million dollar ruby encrusted shoes it would be on and poppin'!! Earrings off and vaseline out...and you would too...admit it.
You will handle people differently, if you care enough to dig a little deeper. You may also find that people you may have looked up to have some severe issues too and could have left a long line of hurt people behind them. Every "Glinda" with a white dress, a smile and a seemingly magic wand to make all your dreams come true is not necessarily good. And every green witch on a broom ain't all bad...give her back her shoes (or whatever is missing in their life, usually its Jesus in some form) and you may find yourself a new friend with wayyyyyyyyyyy more power, confidence and character than the undercover fake good person could have ever conjured up.
How does this apply to stepfamilies?? I'm glad you asked. There is this terrible stereotype for stepmoms known as the "evil stepmother".... Stepdads also have a simular "mean" assumption made about them. Stepchildren are often viewed as spoiled, rude, mean, inconsiderate and selfish. But the same thing applies to them...all of them...moms, dads, step moms, step dads, the step kids, the non custodial parents...everybody...the acting out- is out of loss. Loss of a dream marriage, loss of a spouse, loss of a parent, loss of a family, loss of a stable environment, loss of security...just plain ole' loss. Don't forget that big wild cyclone that happened, happened in all of your lives in some way. That storm took out and destroyed something or someone you loved and cared about. Be patient, pray and dig deeper. You may eventually find real love behind all that "green".