Saturday, October 4, 2014

An Open Letter To My Son

My Dear Son…. 

I wasn't going to write this… I knew how hard it would be and I really wasn't sure if I was ready to go into these waters… to delve into this… but I think I am. Stay with me as I try to muddle through… please read it all the way to the end… and give me a chance to tell you everything I want to.

I love you. I love the baby boy you were that I bathed in the kitchen sink at our first home. I loved the toddler you were coloring at my feet in the kitchen with crayons and paper while I baked homemade lasagna for our little family. I loved you in the midst of screaming fits, head banging and defiance. I loved you in the confusing world of testing and diagnoses, appointments and those darn ARD meetings that would leave me exasperated… a panel of people staring back at me as I voiced repeated concern for your academic progress… those meetings that would nearly always inevitably once home, send me straight to the computer on a mission to write the state a scathing letter or even the local paper regarding the public school system. My love for you propelled me forward as your advocate despite any and all obstacles… despite the system often aggravating me to my limits at times. I loved the boy who was fraught with fear by water in his eyes yet years later overcame and grew to be an excellent swimmer. I loved the boy who attempted to hide from sunlight because it hurt his eyes and hated sock bands because they "hurt him"… I loved the boy who was delighted to be handed sunglasses and sandals… who would have worn sandals year round if allowed. I loved the boy who wanted to frolic in bubbles but wanted structure when it came to his trains… because if one moved out of place all hell broke loose… yet I was there to hold you and help you through it… and all the way through a million little kicks to my legs and attempted bite marks on my arms and hands because I loved you…. I loved you when the school called and said "Mrs. Gafford… you're going to have to get up here… he's attacked the teacher." I loved you when we'd go to the zoo and you'd happily point at the penguins because they were your favorite… so I bought you a giant poster of a penguin for your room… I loved you when you asked me to make you your favorite breakfast for dinner… french toast… and I'd make it for you again any time because as your mom I love doing the little things for you.

Fast forward to now…. now… seems so very strange. Now is new territory and it's like I've been lost without a map… trying to adjust to this new way of life as you have… you have gone from living in one home to two and now back to one. Monday I signed the papers for you to live with your dad full-time. You have been under his roof since April and it's been very difficult despite what you may think or perhaps what you've even been told by others. It's not the same with you gone… because aside from the throwing, the screaming, the kicking and the hitting… despite my telling you I'm not permitting your abuse…  you're still my baby… you're still the little boy I taught to blow bubbles, the boy I cared for with 104 temperatures and watched Bear In The Big Blue House with too many times to count.

I know some may think they won in this… but I see zero winners. I see zero victory. I see great loss no matter how it's looked at. I see a father who has an awesomely huge responsibility on his shoulders to finish raising a boy all on his own… I see a father who has positioned and perceived himself as the winner in this twisted mess he's manipulated and yet in that holds foolish thinking. I see a boy who needs to know his mom loves him despite anyone else telling him otherwise. I see a boy who will look back on this time at some point and come to know the truth… that he was used, that he was manipulated, that he was brainwashed. And he will come to know what was done to him and that he was merely a pawn… he will remember in hindsight the "private talks" he was given behind closed doors as his younger sister listened and then told me about. I see a boy who will grow up feeling cheated, jipped and scarred… by someone who was to love him. I see an innocent little boy who was told lies of "tell her you don't feel safe with her"… because that's all it takes today… for a child to say that one simple sentence and suddenly everyone is siding with the child… enabling their delusional state that was spurred by an alienating parent with a hidden toxic agenda.

I hope one day you come to know the truth… and yet it doesn't comfort me knowing that the truth will hurt you... again… because it will mean knowing what someone that is your own flesh and blood did to you… did to all of us. It will mean tears, hurt and maybe even rage, fury and bitterness… and my heart breaks for you… for all of us. I'm writing today to tell you that I struggled for a long time in signing those papers… despite my no longer being able to physically manage you… I've struggled with coming to terms with legally signing off for you to with your dad full-time… for him to have 100% custody. Because in others eyes what kind of mother am I to sign you over to someone that I know is not who he portrays himself to be? Yet I'm not a mother based on paper. I'm not a mother merely by a legal document. I'm not a mother defined by whether you live in my house or your dad's. I don't base being a mother in those terms or forms… that is what I finally came to the conclusion of. I base being a mother by what is in my heart. I don't care what others think. You will always be my baby and I don't need a document in hand to prove it or show it. I don't need to engage in a legal battle with your father to love you. I don't have to jump through his hoops, his attorneys, the courts or a mediators. I don't have to jump in front of a therapist either. They can all excuse my language, please forgive me, God… but they can all shit off. I have nothing to prove. I love you plain as can be and fighting your father is not on my calendar. I'm not dealing with him… I'm excusing myself from his ring of terror so to speak… I'm not jumping, I'm not chasing… I'm not continuing to subscribe to others admonitions and advice of "try this instead…", "well, maybe it would have worked if you'd only stood on your head facing this direction…" and "what about trying this?" I've endured months of that bs and I am done with it all.

I'm standing still. I'm standing in place. You know where I'm at and where to find me. Your father may think he's won. But he's losing. He's losing each and every day as the clock ticks… and time goes by... because karma is a (excuse me) nasty bitch and quite frankly one day he will have to answer to you and a higher power what he has done. He hasn't won. And if he thinks he has… that he's gained your sole love by attempting to obliterate the love you had for me… he's sadly mistaken.

So… now here we are… were going to go to counseling. I will sit and listen. I will listen to what you have to say. And the moment the words of "I don't feel safe with you" escape your lips I will listen, yes... but I will not agree to those words or any poisoned words against me via your dad. I won't agree with you being the messenger by him. I won't agree with any grandstanding or drama on your part facilitated by him. I will continue to sit and be there for you throughout the process and hear you out despite any disagreement on my part. I will continue to be there for you… even if it's from a distance… even if it's from across the room, across town… even if it's from the other end of the earth. I will always love you and one day I hope you realize it despite every calculated move someone tried to thwart it with.

A mom's love for her children can never ever be taken away despite any and all attempts by others.

I love you.

Love,  Mom 

© ~ 2014 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing! 


  1. This hurts my heart. I understand it. I am there with you because my 18 year old daughter has been brainwashed. She doesn't feel safe around me. She feels that my discipline is abuse because daddy said so. So I love her from a distance. I love the baby she once was and the happy little girl that giggled and her sobbing in my arms when her heart was broken by a boy or friend and on her 16th birthday before it all went very bad. I did not walk away but I did let go. I never will stop loving her but I let go. My heart will forever be hers but I let go. Why people ask? Because I have a son who needs me and a God that promises me the return of the prodigal son (daughter). So I let go and gave her to the One she really belongs to. I stand on His promises.

    1. Robin, I'm so sorry to hear this chaos and abuse has affected your family as well. So many don't understand it unless they've lived it. It's this odd feeling like you're life has been divided into two chapters and it's awful. I pray your daughter sees the truth in front of her. I totally get letting go... I look at it as I'm loving him from a distance. Hoping & praying one day he sees things as they truly are. God is good; prayer is our best weapon in this... I've learned to lose a few battles and look at the big picture instead. Blessings to you and your family.

  2. I have a similar letter--an entire journal in reality. My son is not given over to a father, but to a wife. Much too young, far too tender hearted. Now I am the toxic one not allowed in his life. They are even keeping me from seeing my newborn grandson. I cannot change his heart. My only hope is that my heavenly father loves them even more than I do and will someday return my son to my life. That boy will always be in my heart, but the pain we moms feel at that cruel separation and deception is unfathomable. I am so sorry for your pain, but thank you for sharing. It is a cry that no one understands unless they live it. Knowing I am not alone is a small comfort.

    1. I'm so sorry to hear this situation, this heart wrenching loss has affected you as well. There are so many others this happens to and to many who haven't lived this it would be mind boggling to them how many this truly affects behind closed doors. I hope too that one day you are reunited with your son as well. No parent should have to endure this. Thank you so much for commenting and sharing.