Abuse Hides in the Dark. Turn on Your Light.

Letters About Abuse

April 10, 2010

My Dear Boys,

I lashed out at your father in anger and said things hoping he would hurt as much as I did; when I did those things, I recognized what I’d done almost immediately and sought to make amends. Unfortunately, the things I did to make up for my sins weren’t always apparent to daddy.

Words aren’t enough for him (which I respect), so I gave up little bits of my beliefs, little bits of my goals, little bits of what I needed to be happy, little bits of my soul to make up for the bad things I did. I lost myself, whittled myself into nothing but an angry, depressed person, and couldn’t understand for the LIFE of me why, after giving so much, he was still angry at me.

It will be better now. Everything will be all right.

I love you,


In the months after leaving my abusive husband, there was so much I wanted to explain to my boys! My oldest son’s anger was heavy and dense. I could reach out and touch my youngest son’s broken heart on his sleeve. I wanted so badly to explain my side of things…but I couldn’t.

The court papers said, “No Disparaging Remarks About The Other Parent.” Every time I opened my mouth I had to snap it shut tight! For the life of me, I couldn’t say anything good about their daddy, so I wrote some letters to my children instead.

I didn’t give them the letters. They haven’t seen them. As time passes, there is less and less need for them because we talk about what happened, and I can do that without hate or remorse.

letters about abuse to my children

My oldest son and I have had many more conversations about what happened than my youngest and me. A bit over a year ago, my ex held my oldest son to the floor and pressed his forearm against our son’s throat after a “discussion” got “out of hand.” My oldest understands what happened now, and is learning to identify and protect himself against control and abuse.

Currently, he chooses to have limited contact with his father as he sorts it out. He knows he will have a relationship with his father, he just doesn’t know what it will look like or when he will be ready to accept it.

My youngest son spends his time half with daddy and half with me. He doesn’t seem to have the problems with his father that his brother experiences, but part of the reason is my youngest excels at school, doesn’t talk back, and tries to ignore the things he doesn’t like to hear or see.

I want my boys to be able to separate themselves from any abuses in their lives. I want them to understand that feeling sorry for or understanding the abuser’s past does not mean they must tolerate abuse. There are things they can do to protect themselves.

I wrote a letter to a friend about my husband before I left. One day, I think my children will understand in this way, too.

When I consider what his perceptions may be, I notice that “winning” in all situations comes before his own truth. He will flip-flop words that reveal the bottom fact that he hasn’t thought through what he is holding up as truth. Truth doesn’t flip flop, yet he allows it to keep the upper hand. I think he believes his own perceptions, but I think he will change his perception to fit the conversation.

It’s like he has no consistent perception. He says the world is black and white, yet he lives in a constant state of gray. He wants to have it all ways so he can pick which variation benefits him in any situation. At any second. He’s a contradiction.

And the drinking…it is heartbreaking to watch him drink. I think he drinks to sustain the illusion that he is rational and caring, smart and brave. I say illusion because I do not think he thinks he is any of those things. I don’t think he knows who he is truly, but he fears that giving up the lessons his grandfather and mother taught him will leave him with nothing inside.

I know there is goodness inside of him. I think that he has never looked at himself as a “real boy” but instead has only seen himself as what he has been told he is. He seems afraid to differentiate himself from what pawpaw and mama says he should be.

The alcohol silences the questions.

If any of you worry about what will happen if you leave your abusive relationship, all I can say is neither staying for the children nor understanding and empathizing with your abuser works. BUT, in time, being on your own in your own peaceful home does work.

There is new love for you out there, new experiences and freedoms you will never have living in a controlling relationship. I finally love my life and my self. I am free to live and love! My family is whole, and we’ve even picked up a few extra people along our journey.

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