....lied. Don't believe that for a moment.
It IS what you make it. It IS good. But easy? It's not.
Especially when you are nine years old and have more on your plate than most adults can handle.
My stepson, Andrew, has ADHD (phsycian-diagnosed). He also has anxiety (me-diagnosed). He also has many yet-undiagnosed issues.
He also has a "mother" who has serious mental issues, and has deserted him completely at this point. He has only seen her once since October, and that was for 10 minutes. On the rare occasions that she calls, he refuses to talk to her. He's terrified of the thought of seeing her. The one brief time of his life that he lived with her full-time was horrible. He tells us things about that period that fill us with a combination of rage and utter sadness. He told us that her name is the worst curse word in the world. This is totally unprompted by us, we don't even bring her up. But occasionally he remembers something that he feels the need to tell us about. The most recent was a story about her making Andrew walk their husky. He was a very large and strong-willed dog, and he got away from Andrew. His punishment? "C" took one of Andrew's favorite possessions, a Build-a-Bear that he'd made with us, and ripped it to shreds.
If you wonder how I know that Andrew has anxiety....the two biggest clues are his non-existant fingernails which he has chewed away, and the bald spot on his head from where he was literally pulling his hair out. He's also terrified of being away from his family, except for at school. Twice he's been invited to join friends in very fun activites. Twice they've left, only to have to turn around and bring him home, because he was close to having a panic attack.
He has told us that he never wants to see his "Mother" again (he refers to her by her first name, "C"). He wants to go back in time and change biology and for me to have given birth to him. His feelings towards her caused my friend, a nurse with extensive psych knowledge, to say "What in the HELL did she do to him??"
He needs counseling, and we're working on that. My insurance company failed to add him to my policy as I requested, so now we're jumping through hoops while paying out of pocket for the very expensive medications he requires. We're doing our best; we have a lot on our plates. But it doesn't compare to the burden that this small child is carrying.
His issues are not easy for us to deal with either. Even though we know it's not his fault, and know what he's been through, we are only human and it's hard not to get frustrated at times. He also needs discipline, in fact he craves discipline; the normal, healthy kind.
My Mother-in-law recently called Andrew's "mother" about some paperwork that we need. "C" casually said to my MIL, "Well, I guess I'll never see Andrew again." MIL explained to her that Andrew is doing well, that he is healing from all of the things that SHE put him through, and the best thing she can do is let him continue to heal. But by this time, "C" was on to a different topic already.
So, I received the Mother's Day presents. When my in-laws took him shopping, he shopped for me. When he made cards and crafts at school, they were for me. He very proudly presented them to ME.
And when "C" took time out of her busy life to call on Mother's Day, which was also her birthday...he refused to talk to her.
You reap what you sow.
His life will never be easy. We worry about his future. But at least he has us to help him along the way.