Dear Gideon

I’ve spent the last couple of days thinking of what I would tell you next.

I’ve been really busy with work lately, and that’s not a good excuse for shirking away from this journey. But figuring out how to tell you things is difficult.
That’s very frustrating for me, considering I’m much better at getting my point across through writing then I ever have been verbally.

I’ve spent the last couple of days, and nights, lying awake in my bed. Thinking about you, thinking about your father… Thinking about how things could have been…

With all of that, it really lead me to think of how I had stopped coming to visit.

I was getting really sick, at the time I was unable to work so Adam and I were living with his father. He had no heat in the house (in january……) and I think there had to have been mold every where… I was sick constantly. I went from having pneumonia to bronchitis to some weird viral flu for a few weeks.
However, prior to any of that happening, coming up for visits with you after Adam and I started coming up together was a little difficult. Wasn’t a big deal, I still made it up as often as I could, which some would have you believe wasn’t often enough… But I was coming up every other week for the whole day, which was what I was granted by your father.. There was always some issue, albeit one was legitimate due to concerns with the car I had at the time. However, the rest were very misguided… “concern” with the area I lived in… I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that your father couldn’t control the situation and he had an unhealthy paranoia that I was not going to abide by a court ordered document and I was going to steal you away for ever…
So, by the time we had to live with Adam’s dad and I was getting sick and not working, when I had called to say I wasn’t going to be able to make it that weekend for the visit because I didn’t want to get you sick, I had the pleasant opportunity to talk to your aunt Miranda who basically believed I was the devil and a no good rotten nobody of a mother. She asked me if I was really sick and then told me she didn’t believe me. The only reason she even had the opportunity to speak with me is because I called to try and talk to you, to let you know what was going on… I wanted to be the one to break the news that I wasn’t going to be able to make it because of how sick I was, so you could be mad at me. But they already had said something to you and no one would let me talk to you after that…
I spent a good week very depressed on top of being extremely ill… I drank a lot the rest of that month. I didn’t care if I got better… ย Inside that month… I wrote a letter to your father… A letter explaining the way I felt, and what I still believe to be true, that your father and his family felt you would be better without me coming to visit, that I felt I was causing much unneeded stress for you. That after they requested I visit with you in the HOPE Center I realized how difficult this was going to be on both of us… Maybe it was a little selfish of me to deny that visit center, but from prior experience with it, I was barely granted 4 hours a month with you and that’s only because it was court ordered that they let me see you twice a week.
I was being told from every direction with your father and his family that our custody agreement had become null and void due to me moving out of my adoptive parents house and visiting you over the weekend at your fathers house instead. And, considering I wasn’t working, and your father AND his family had a major bitch of a lawyer on retainer, there was nothing I could even do to fight against it. I would have been in basic violation of the custody order, even though I had supervised visitation through your father, it wouldn’t have gone well on my end.
I poured my heart into that letter. I didn’t want to give up my rights, I made that clear, I still wanted to be your mother. I wanted to have the opportunity to still be able to see you or speak with you in some way, or have you be able to contact me when you got old enough to make that decision for yourself if you decided to. I didn’t want my fuck up to be your down fall. When I did come and visit you would argue with me a lot, sometimes you were mean towards me. You would yell at me or be violent towards me. I had often heard you tell me that I was a bad mom and you asked me a lot about what happened with your grandmother… This is something I will get into in another post, but I felt it was something that you shouldn’t have been constantly bringing up unless others were bringing it up around you…
I got accused of causing you to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which I assure you is something a a child at your age then could even be properly diagnosed with. Not just in my unprofessional opinion, even though psychology is something I studied avidly… However it was also the impression of several actual professionals who assured me that unless it was something that was constantly brought up around you, though the memory would be traumatic, you had not suffered enough in that small amount of time (less than 30 minutes of that issue) to have caused permanent damage to even cause you to be diagnosed PTSD later in your teenage years. It takes a significant amount of trauma to be diagnosed with PTSD. Your behavioral issues that ensued during that year or so could have been attributed to the stress you were dealing with due to the divorce, the way visitations were set up, the additions to your family and the type of attention you were getting due to the behavior and/or lack there of.

Now, being diagnosed with several varieties of mental illnesses, including ptsd… I have a personal understanding of this… When I was still with your father and you were around me as much as you were, you never acted out like you did at your grandmothers house.
I’m not going to say I never had to swat your butt or put you in time out… However, you were a very good kid with me… I didn’t have the same issues everyone else seemed to have because they reacted to your fits in a manner that merely encouraged you more. I did not. I’d also like to think you might have really enjoyed my company in those days as well, and you understood that I was having a lot of emotional issues back then… Kids have a way of sensing that in others.

With all of this in mind while I wrote this letter, telling your father that I was going to cease contact with you, my heart broke in to a million pieces… It took me days to even mail that letter out… I spend a good long time wishing I hadn’t sent it… Thinking your father would message me and tell me I was being stupid… Or that I would receive a letter from the court house in the mail directing me to come to a hearing regarding parental rights….
Nothing came… Until a 1 day a few months later I received a facebook message from an account under your name that your step mother had signed up for to try and get in contact with me. She said you were asking about me and you wanted to talk to me. I got to speak with you a few times, even got some pictures of you… It had gotten to a point where Jeanette had asked if we could set something up to have you see me. She talked about driving here with you, meeting in a public place!
I was excited, but I was also very leery… And then every day it was something different until it turned in to “well, we discussed it and we’d feel more comfortable with you seeing him in a visitation center”… I began to explain that I wasn’t currently working and the price I would have to pay to utilize the hope center, who I did call and speak with, would be around if not over $200 and they could only guarantee me 1 visit a month for less than 2 hours as they had to accommodate other visitations that were court ordered. Completely leaving out the 2 hour drive for me to get there, the price and time involved for you to be forced into an uncomfortable situation in order to see me for an hour a month didn’t seem fair to you… And, yes, I’ll admit it wasn’t fair to me either…

After being told she was going to call around and see if there was anything closer or less expensive and then not hearing back for a day or so. I decided to stop everything altogether. I told Jeanette that I appreciated the effort she put in to try and let me see you and to believe that I deserved to see you… But, in the end, all of this was more complicated and heart breaking then it needed to be. That I was dreading all of this effort just back lashing on your progression. Causing more behavioral issues, keeping you from effectively transitioning into appropriate school behavior and not have some kind of behavioral disruption that kept you from fully experiencing school.. I told her that I understood if they wanted to terminate my rights, however I would prefer they didn’t. There’s been a lot of turmoil surrounding this whole situation…

I don’t know…. Maybe it’s all excuses… Maybe you don’t think these were good enough reasons… Maybe I was completely wrong and it wouldn’t have been that big of an issue…

I know at the time I felt it was the right thing to do for you… I felt it was better for you to experience a stable home life in order to achieve everything I knew you could… You came from two very smart people… You are part of a family that does expect great things from you…

Just know that I love you, and I understand if you hate me or think the worst about me… I didn’t allow myself to be there to show you any different…

 

your mother

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