People who equate truth with fact are missing the point.

Pain Runs Through My Veins

I’ve been staring at the computer screen for a long time. Two hours, in fact, which surprises me because I am not a do-nothinger. I waste time, do things that don’t matter, lose myself in useless pursuits, but I never do nothing.

Today, though, I’m staring. Thinking.

I want to write about Jacob and Abbie. I want to tell you about them, and how I love them, and how they left. And why they left, perhaps, though how I might tell you something that I don’t know myself is a mystery.

Have you heard of the Mariana Trench? It’s in the Pacific Ocean, near Japan, and at its deepest point, it is deeper than Mt. Everest is tall.

The pain I feel from Jacob and Abbie’s absence would, if it was a tangible thing, overflow the Mariana Trench. All that pain puts pressure on my heart, stops my words, makes me tremble, leaves me feeling feverish. When the pain shows up at the front of my mind, I’m overwhelmed with exhaustion. Like now.

If I could just go to sleep, the pain would leave me alone for awhile.

I’m compelled toward distraction. What’s new in my Google reader? Is there anything good on TV? How about I go work on that essay I started yesterday? Where should I send that? I’ll just pull out my copy of Writer’s Market and…

And so it goes. Despite my best intentions to look the pain in the face, to wrestle it to the ground with words so I can make sense of it and learn to live with it, I turn away.

I fear I may drown.

More than a dozen years ago, when I had gone back to college and subsequently (and not at all coincidentally) gotten separated from Jacob and Abbie’s dad, I had a classmate who was a non-custodial mother of a little girl. “It’s better this way,” she said.

Reeling from the transition to co-parenting and sharing my children with a man who lived in a different house, I was aghast at my classmate’s laissez faire attitude. I would never let that happen I swore to myself. My God, what kind of a mother allows her child to live somewhere else, full-time? There is no way she loves her daughter as much as I love my kids. No way in hell. I would die before I accepted something like that.

I held them here too long, hostages to my pain over all we had lost. I forced them to hate me because they needed that much power to launch themselves out of my house. They live a mile away in their dad’s apartment.

They live on the moon.

They were here on Saturday, these two who no longer live here and who have captivated me for so long. They are extraordinary, with broad minds and deep love. They are magic.

Their visits are rare and usually brief. They told me they were going to spend the night and I said, “Cool.” Inside I screamed my joy and pain. We watched movies; Jacob let me pet his head.

Often, we’re uneasy around each other. They challenge me; I respond as if I am still their mother in the old way. Abbie and Jacob make knowing faces at each other, faces they think I can’t see. “Nothing has changed,” those faces say. “She doesn’t care what we think. She doesn’t care about us,” and I am wracked with doubt. Is that true? Do I want them to go away? Do I like it better like this?

Because life is easier this way. The pain tries to drown me and the pressure is overwhelming but the war is over. The angry faces are easier to bear than the wounded faces were. Keeping Carter alive stole me from them and they hate me for that. They covered their wounds with a scrim of anger and it protects them. It protects me, too.

Mom, why are you always making excuses for Carter?

My dad says…

My aunt says…

Grandma says…

You’re raising him wrong, mom.

Mom, you have to discipline him.

That’s not the whole picture, of course. How convenient and simple would it be to say, Carter’s illness was too much for them and they left.

Convenient, simple, and it lets me off the hook entirely. It absolves other people, too, but their absolution is not my burden. An explanation that puts all the blame squarely on a fluke of biology, mistakes of brain wiring and neurotransmission, would leave the pain intact but wipe away my guilt and shame.

I don’t like this hook but I can’t yet climb down. Redemption is a long way off.

I told Jacob that I slept with his baby blanket for several months after he moved out. “Why?” he asked.

Every time she’s here Abbie looks at the half-dozen pictures of her that hang around my computer monitor and asks, “Why?”

They don’t understand that I am devastated by their absence. They don’t feel the love that causes my pain, but they also don’t feel any guilt for having caused it. Which is worse? To be responsible, or to be unloved? They are neither, but I can’t find the place to begin untangling the knot.

I once read an article about plane crashes, about how there is never a single cause. There has to be a combination of factors to breach the many fail-safe mechanisms built into the system. That’s how a family comes apart. The thing that appears to be the cause is only the catalyst that ruptures old wounds that seemed to be healed. The wounds are sink holes and everyone goes down, dragging with them everything they can reach.

At the bottom of the sink hole, everyone is shattered and screaming, “You did this! You broke us! You you you you you!”

And no one is at fault.

And everyone is at fault.

Jacob and Abbie had been living with their dad for two months when I spoke to someone from Child Protective Services. I wasn’t surprised. There is dog poop and broken glass in every room of the house, the anonymous caller said. The social worker chuckled and closed the case. “If you know who called, I wouldn’t let that person in your house anymore,” she said.

I don’t. Jacob and Abbie are furious that I no longer allow their dad into my home. I follow the cardinal rule of divorce: never speak ill of the other parent. I hope that someday they will respect me for that.

The hope of respect later is thin compensation for what I’m missing now. My sister took my daughter to buy new clothes for school, takes my son for his haircuts.

I wanted to feel vindicated after the social worker left. I wanted to revel in my rightness. I ate the apple and I didn’t die! Victory is mine!

My prize was a new understanding of just how deeply broken we are.

Legally they are mine. I could force. Insist. Demand. But I am their mother, not a hostage taker. I want them here. I want to greet them at the end of the school day and listen to them chatter about their lives. I want to kiss them goodnight and remind them to brush their teeth. I want to tell Abbie to stop wearing low-cut shirts and make sure Jacob does his homework. The only thing I want more is for them to be happy. Relationships are never healed by force, so they live with their dad.

It’s better this way.

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107 comments to Pain Runs Through My Veins

  • I am so overwhelmed when I read your blog. What heartache you have. I hope that writing about it helps you to ease your pain. I am reminded of Annie Lamott and all the pain evident in her writing. Put one foot in front of the other, and remember all the friends you have. molly

  • I am speechless. You are an amazing writer; I feel as though I am there with you, and I am so happy that you have this outlet. I am not going to say it’s all going to be ok because I cannot imagine what you are feeling even as well as you have conveyed it here. I will say this, if my mother thought and wrote about me as deeply as you have, I would definitely be looking at things differently.

  • kae

    oh mama, SO sad!
    my heart hurts for you
    and your kids
    life is hard
    so hard
    it’s no one’s fault
    it’s everyone’s fault
    so true

  • Your pain comes through your words and it makes my heart hurt for you.

    Healing can happen. It did for me and my parents. I didn’t really live at home from when I was about 15. My mom and I are now best friends.

    I know that does nothing for your pain now. Maybe it can give you hope though. ::hugs::

  • Ouch. That hurts even to read. Sometimes the “best” thing isn’t the easiest thing. And kids don’t understand what it is to be a parent. But someday once they have kids of their own? A lot of things will become more clear. I pray that you guys find a way to come together again.

  • What is there to say? I can’t fathom how broken your heart is.

  • Some of your words so completely fit my family situation. In which, I am the child (grandchild really, but that’s a long story)… Not the parent. Thank you for putting into beautiful words what I couldn’t.

    Also… They will respect you for it in the end. Someday, they will see. Have faith in that. What you are doing is so hard, but giving them the choice is by far the right thing.

    Just please… Be sure to tell them how you feel. That is the problem that has torn my family apart. They all feel the way they should – but none of the express it to the others. Feelings need to be shared. Be honest and upfront. Let them choose… But tell them how you feel.

    Hugs to you! You’ll get through this.

    • Thank you, Heidi. Thank you so much. Sometimes I know I’m doing the right thing, and sometimes I doubt, and there’s no book at Borders that will tell me what to do.

      I will keep telling them how I feel, and keep praying that, eventually, they’ll hear me.

  • d

    A. my heart breaks for you. I know what this means for you. The realities of life are crule and painful. But, life is not about us. As much as i would like to scream “what about me??? what about me??” it’s not about me. You have been dealt and hand of cards that most people would have easily walked away from. Shoulders to cry on, you have many. Words of comfort…we can only pray that we find the right ones to say to you. BUT, it is easy for any of us to be on the outside looking in. Soon, we will go from this blog to other things and life will take it’s course. You are still here, living this day in and day out. Knowing and feeling are two different things. Your kids will grow up, as we all have, and be able to look back and see the truth for what it is. Soemtimes, it takes a while for that to happen. Why? is a loaded question and sometimes, we may not always like the answer. Take hold in knowing that you have a loving supportive husband and group of people that would do anything for you and for Carter. you do the best you can with what you have…we will be here to help you pick up the peices!!

    • You made me cry, and you’re so right. This heartbreak is so big, but I’m on my hind legs walking around only because so many people love me and and have faith for me when I have none.

  • facing the possibility of the judge awarding custody of my 4 children to my ex simply because he chooses to stay home and not work, i feel your pain. I’m sorry you have to go through this but it sounds like you are making the best decision. Our children will eventually remember what we sacrificed for them. I hope…

  • Kim

    Wow. Powerful post. I think I shall give my kids extra-long hugs tonight.

  • One day, they will understand. I don’t know if that will make it better or not, but at least they will understand.

    You’re doing the best thing for them, just try to remember that.

  • Such incredibly complicated choices, more so than what most people will ever have to deal with in their lifetime.

    There are no medals for mothers who let fathers have custody; more often there is judgment and finger pointing, assumption and outrage. I’ve seen it with my friend whose daughter lives with her father and spends every other weekend with her mother. As if it weren’t bad enough she had the painful ordeal of making that decision in the first place, as a responsible parent who loved her daughter so much she felt obligated to acknowledge the best situation for her, she then faces the condemnation of people who either think a judge decided against her or that she is neglectful and uncaring. Outrageous.

    I can’t pretend to understand how outside of your own wants and desires you had to step to drop your ego and let your kids be with their dad. My situation is thankfully far different. All that goes through my head right now is “as if it weren’t enough already, this too?” You have my prayers and thoughts.

    • Sometimes, if I step back? I see how fully acclimated I am to condemnation, how much a part of my life it is. I expect it. My skin is much thicker than it used to be. I can mostly ignore it from strangers. When it comes from my own family, the pain is so acute I feel it physically.

      Thank you. From my toes to my hair, thank you.

  • Dee

    Your post moved me. I am so sorry you were put in a situation like this. I don’t think anyone would ever fully understand or relate to it unless they were in it too. I can only imagine…

    Take care!

  • You are brave. And you are strong. Thank you for sharing. I’m constantly surprised by the openess in blogging. And more than appreciative of it.

  • I don’t have words. This is a truly beautiful piece of writing. So full of emotion. I can feel your pain. I’m sorry things are this way. I hope for the best for all of you.

  • My heart hurts for you. But more than that I am so moved by your courage. You let them be where they want, and maybe need, to be right now. And that makes you the best kind of mom.

  • I can’t imagine.

    I will say, that I sometimes feel I gave up custody, so to speak, to my other two kids, even though they were / are in the same house. I just didn’t have time for the chaos and them as well. My oldest, who won’t be a teen anymore come fall – I can’t tell you what he did during his teen years. I was absent, even in the same structure.

    • That’s the underbelly that no one who didn’t live it could ever understand. I feel like I sacrificed my older children to save my youngest. I grieve for their presence, but I also know that they were blessed to have somewhere to go.

      Sigh. So few can know the terrible decisions and losses. I’m glad we found each other.

  • Wow! You sucked me in and then spit me out! Okay, that didn’t sound right…but you get the idea. What a powerful read! You should’ve seen how many different facial expressions I actually created all while reading this. I’m a little stumped to tell you the truth. I want to process what you’re going through…it’s so different from what I know and how my life is but I feel like I want to relate because even though we both have different family stories we’re both parents. You make me wan to read more so thanks for inviting me in and sharing your thoughts.

    • Thank you. I hadn’t thought how this post might feel to a first-time reader, how bleak it must seem. It is, of course, as is so much that results from raising a child who is seriously mentally ill. Keeping Carter alive and functioning is a very big job.

      But still, and often, there is laughter and joy. If we can’t find it, we invent it. There is lots of darkness, but there is also a great deal of light.

      • Besides being terribly funny and having an extremely keen sense of first time commenters who stalk you online offering virtual hugs…You have such a progressively mature outlook on life and and expressive way of sharing it.

        • Thank you. This blog right here? It's one of a couple of things that are saving my ass and keeping me on my feet. Part of that is the (mostly) wonderful people who read and comment. So thank you.

          Also? I'm not always so serious. There are just a couple of crises around me (online and IRL) that have me thinking about all of these things. Really, sometimes I write about the time we took a wrong turn at Albuquerque. 😉

  • There is not enough time or space to write all the feelings, thoughts, reactions or memories I had at reading this.

    But I cried, reading. Truly cried. Because I wanted *so much* for you to have your children close and knowing how deeply and desperately they are loved and how the proof is in the choice you let them make. And I hope – I hope with all my heart – that they see it someday. You and I both know that there's no guarantee.

    But I hope, and hope HARD. And send love.

    • No, no guarantees. Love doesn't always win. There's no script; the universe doesn't owe me a happy ending. How much do I fucking hate that?

      Thank you. Your love and your kind words and friendship mean more than you can know. Love to you.

  • No one’s fault.

    Everyone’s fault.

    And deep inside you know. I know you know . . .

    That they may never understand. Never forgive you.

    But? That does not lessen the rightness of your decisions.

    What an enormous and selfless sacrifice you have undertaken.

    My heart aches for you.

    • Yes, I know. I know it every minute, but people need me to say that there is hope. And there is, but there is the other possibility, too. Most people are afraid of that. Which is one of the ways I love you; you can look into the dark with me, un-moored from soothing words. Which is soothing. All I ever want is company.

  • OK, this is one of the most painful posts I’ve ever read. Wow. I have a very angry child at home right now, too, but he’s still only (almost) 8. Ethan is very angry about his twin brother’s Autism and thinks he’s the meanest most horrible brother in the world. I’m hoping some day he’ll once again find the love and compassion that had been there when he was younger. But for now, anger, sadness and resentment reign (in fact, my current post is about just that). And we live in a tiny apartment and they have to share a room. I can’t imagine losing him, but now, reading this post, I can. My heart goes out to you.

    • Thank you. What no one can comprehend is the ripples. The effects of the child and his disabilities – they go on and on, and mom is often the punching bag. She’s convenient and safe and it’s easy to blame the person who is trying to keep everyone together. And feelings grow like mold so once they get started it’s hard to make them back away.

  • Hi, I just started following you on Twitter and I’m so glad I did.
    I want to honor your honesty with some of my own.
    We are also a “yours, mine & ours” family. My oldest son went to live with his bio-dad 2 years ago. I have him every other weekend, plus a day during the week 7 basically whenever I want. legally I have custody but we had a lot of issues. My husband was a total drunk & it took it’s toll on my son the most- he was the oldest & saw a lot that he shouldn’t before my husband got sober.
    I know the looks that people give you when you say your child lives with their father, as if you must have done something unspeakable & had then removed from your home. Nobody ever wants to give the Mother the benefit of the doubt.
    It is hard to have my son away from me so much, but we do have an amazing relationship and I think that is *because* he lives with his dad.

    I wanted to add- i have a son with Sensory Processing Disorder and I know all about the half-siblings thinking he’s just a brat. It’s hard, they think you baby him because you love him more, but it’s not the case at all *sigh*
    I’m with you, there are those of us out there that can sort of understand.
    Take care, mama!

    • Yes, my older kids have so many other influences, other adults in the family who have their own problems with me. It turned into a slush of blame and anger and hurt feelings and who can tell what’s what? Not me.

      I’m glad that your husband is sober and your relationship with your son is a good one now.

  • CDG

    Adrienne, my heart aches. I want to gather all of you up and hold all the pain away.

  • I just want to reach through the computer screen and hug you. Hug you until you just don’t need to be hugged anymore. I know that you probably do this, but tell them you love them. Write their stories, too. Show the world that you care about them despite how difficult this is right now. And one day? One day they will see it. They will understand the sacrifice. Until that day, my hugs are yours.

  • It hurts now, and in time the hurt will lesson but will still be there.
    But know at some point they will see the truth, kids always do.
    My son’s at a horrible age (14) where all he wants to do is play games, and he finally told his dad he wanted to live with him. This is because I am the parent, I am the one who enforces the house rules who doesn’t let him play XBOB 24/7. I am also the one who removes his privileges and forces him to run his miles for cross country and clean his room. While for those 7 1/2 hours every other week when he sees his dad he has complete freedom. During that time he forgets the feeling of protectiveness he’s had when his sister has crossed the line and was annoying her dad when he lived here, forgetting the dominating bully his father turned into time after time when he lived here. In a way I;m happy he’s put it past him, and I know as he gets older he will realize that I want whats best for him. After all I’m here 24/7/365 dealing with his horrible self centered 14 year old attitude. Sometimes to really show love you have to let them go, its hard but they will come back.

    • Oh, yes. That issue exists here, too. Their dad supervises them much less than I do. I give them freedom, but require that I always know where they are.

      What teenager wouldn’t choose that LESS supervision over more?

  • It is funny (Is that the right word? I don’t know.) as I ponder getting pregnant and raising children one day soon-ish to read such a raw, beautiful, and poignant post. Could you have even imagined this outcome way back? Could I ever think ahead to wonder ahead if it might one day be this way for me? That reality could so easily shift? Your post is so raw, so deep, so real. I don’t even know the right way to comment. Except for thank you for sharing. It’s that in-between the lines of loving and screaming where the real pain and wonder lies, huh? I hope and I think and I bet your love comes through the fog each day, even if you ever doubt it. Because you are not a hostage taker, because you accept the crappiness of the pain that is now—it will get better and that lack of force will be a guiding light. Hang in. And thank you again, Adrienne, for sharing your story, your day-in day-out.

    • Thank you. What a generous comment. No, I never could have imagined. Every parent of a child with special needs is shocked, I think. First, there is the shock of the special needs. Then, there is the shock of the lack of support. Finally, there are the ripples. This is a huge ripple, this giant consequence of Carter's special needs and my response (and my family's) to it.

  • this may be strange, or incomplete, but all i can and want to say to you, adrienne, is that i have come to care about you a great deal in these past months. i care, greatly, and thank you.

  • Thanks for writing this.

  • You're an amazing mom and an inspiration just by doing the best that you can for them every day.

  • My mom's second husband got custody of my half-brother and half-sister because he had the steady income and "stable" home, and it ruined my mother. She was always THE mom that every one of my friends wanted. And then, she wasn't allowed to be a mom anymore–at least not in the way she had come to define the role. It made our relationship go from bad to worse, and I chose to go live with my dad. I knew it would hurt her, but I knew I had to save myself, and what little seemed to remain of our relationship.

    There are lots of different issues at play in my situation with my mother, but it comes down to the same thing–being a mother whose children don't live with her is gut-wrenchingly painful. I know she hurts in a way I hope I never have to know, but in many ways that pain has destroyed her and brought her to resent the three of us for not having the relationship with her that we may have had if none of the bad stuff ever happened, if none of us ever left her side until time for college. I hope that, as time goes on, you will carry the strength you have right now with you in your relationship with Jacob and Abbie. Hopefully, one day, you guys can build a new kind of relationship, a new kind of closeness, and you will know that, even though it's not exactly what you planned for or wanted when they were little, it is good, and it is how it had to be.

    Hang in there, Mama. And thank you, thank you, thank you for this perspective. I needed to read this more than I can express.

    • Sigh. Yes, if I resent them, it will only make everything that much worse. If I give in to hate and rage and bitterness (which sometimes, I so want to do), it will all devolve. So I don't go there, but without that anger to cover it all up, the pain is on the top. But I choose that because staying open is my only chance to have them back, even if it's only a little. Thank you.

  • As a mother to a son and a daughter, this ripped my heart out to read. I am so, so sorry for the canyon of pain inside you. So sorry.

  • Bad Mummy

    Thank you for writing this Adrienne. Then hitting publish.

    I'm struggling right now. Struggling to keep my head above the water, barely scrapping by financially, barely scrapping by in doing the day-to-day tasks of parenting. I wonder whether I would be better off (if The Mook would be better off), if she lived with her dad full-time, so I could move into a smaller apartment, be able to work all hours of the day and night, maybe even go to school. Right now, with a 50/50 split, I'm either parenting, or flying solo. Both are scary.

    But I fear that it would trigger a downward slide if I didn't have a reason to get up in the morning, if she wasn't there for me to wake up and get dressed. That I'd never manage to put a meal on the table again. That it wouldn't be long before I fully recognized that she's my reason to live and that without her in my home, and with all the other shit going on, there wouldn't be a reason to keep going.

    • Oh, Mama. Terrible choices. I hate that you have to make them. I hate that it's so hard.

      Whatever you choose, you'll find a way to keep going. It won't be easy, but you'll do it. Ask for help. Love to you.

  • Your writing makes me catch my breath and my heart beat faster.

  • Jhajer

    I read this yesterday and I was on the way out the door. Needless to say the kids had to wait for me. You are very brave to let us in and I hope we can help you just a little. Love.

  • strawbrykiwi


    There's not much that I can say because I can't imagine what you're going through.

    I will say, as a kid of a divorce and some other odd scrambles of family: not talking smack about their Dad to them- is really really good. Someday they may come to you and ask questions, at 23 my Mom and I are just now talking about how we felt about the divorce and the guilt we BOTH held inside.

    • Sigh. Thank you for the confirmation. As much as I know, without a doubt, that talking about about their dad (or anyone else in the family) would be a destructive thing to do, the urge to do just that can be very powerful. I want to answer all the stories they've been told.

      Someday, my integrity will pay off. The pay-off may or may not be their forgiveness, but even if that doesn't happen, I'll know I didn't play dirty. I hope that doesn't have to be enough, but it might have to be.

      I'm glad you and your mom are talking now. That must be healing. I hope?

  • my two oldest grew up with their dad and grandma. because? when their dad and i split up? i knew i was not in a good place to take care of them. the guilt still rears it's ugly head even though they are grown and on their own. my now husband told me once that "they are smart girls and they'll figure it out." he was right. i know their dad talked crap about me. i never never never said a bad word about their dad. i still don't. they know how much i love them and they both have great relationships with me. with their dad? not so much. they will figure it out. they will know how much you loved them…enough to let them go when it was best for everyone. hugs and prayers…

  • Oh Darling Girl,
    I am so sorry for the depth of your pain. I can't imagine! I think, I hope, someday when they are older they will realize that you let go because you do love them so much rather than the opposite. Love is so hard when it requires letting go and eventually it always does. I hope they will come back to you! And that you will find peace!

  • Ouch, ouch, ouch. I know its little compensation now, but I think they will understand things better when they are more grown-up. The center of the universeness that is teenaged-hood can be quite the blinding thing, and of course the obstacles your family is facing compounds everything.
    For a bit of a distraction, you can come check out my blog. There is an award there for you. 🙂

  • 517butterfly

    My heart breaks for you as I read this. I wish I had some magical words that would make everything ok but you and I both know that unfortunately they don't exist. Instead you have my thoughts and my prayers. I pray that you find peace and healing in the midst of it all. You are a strong woman and thank you for sharing your story.

  • Nichole

    I've oftern heard stories of when a person gets cancer, some friends tend to shy away–from the pain, the sorrow, and the fear. And I've always thought those friends cowards.

    I read your post moments after you first published it. I closed the window quickly, pushing your words to the bottom of my heart. Then, each time thoughts of your post have surfaced, I have reread your words. I've chatted with you and I have not mentioned it.

    I have come to realize that I am that coward. The pain that you describe is the thing that scares me most in life. Everything that I do, I do for these two beautiful children of mine. And the reality is, that despite my best intentions and all of the love that my heart has to offer, there is no guarantee that we will always be close–that they will value the things that I have sacrificed for them.

    And that scares me beyond words.

    I am so sorry that you are going through this.
    I am sorry that this perfect storm struck your family.
    I am sorry that I wasn't the first one to comment and tell you that I love you. Because I do.

    • But you came back. I love you for that.

      It IS scary. I know how I would have heard this story when Jacob and Abbie were Katie and Matthew's ages. I would have wanted to get as far away from it as possible. I didn't make friends with my classmate, though I could have. We were the same age, both of us newly single. I was too scared of her pain.

      I know how challenging this blog is to read. I write all of this here for many reasons. Those reasons are probably a pretty even mix of selfish and altruistic, but an altruistic one is this: someday, someone is going to come into your life. Someone who is lost and hurting and who doesn't have anyone to support and love her. That person's pain won't scare you so much because you've faced that fear. And you will be one of very few people who can hear her.

      And no, there are never guarantees and I fucking hate that about life, but there's always hope. And Abbie called me yesterday. Always hope.

      And I love you. So much. Thank you.

  • How does the old cliche go? If you love him/her/them you can let them go? It is a stupid saying, I always thought. Why would you let go of someone you love? But you have shown why. You have to let them go because you love their happiness more than your own. That is the biggest love ever. I can hardly wrap my mind and heart around it. Then when I do? When I realize what you are “allowing”? I cry in my heart. I can’t even imagine how lonely to be without your babies (even if they’re not babies anymore). My heart goes out to you and hopefully finds yours…and can ease the loneliness just a bit. Even if it’s through poop jokes on twitter.

    • Thank you. Truly, laughter is huge. Better even than cookies!

      I’m learning to live with this pain. I hate it, but I have hope. No guarantees, but hope, and that’s something. More than a lot of people have.

  • Adrienne,

    I can’t even begin to tell you how emotional reading this made me! It’s beyond heartbreaking!
    I have a similar situation with my twins who are now twelve.

    They live with their dad and his new wife, and everyday I wish they were here with me. Their dad and I get along pretty well and we don’t speak ill of each other either. However, what is becoming harder to deal with is their step-mother telling them things like I don’t love them…If I did they would live with me…I chose Nick (my oldest son) over them, and so on. I sincerely hope they don’t believe any of this. I tell them I love them everyday, but I know they are angry & hurting too.
    The decision I made to have them live with their dad wasn’t easy, but as you said at the end of your post “It’s better this way”. Hopefully someday they will understand – and I hope one day your children will understand too.
    My heart goes out to you.


  • This must have taken quite a lot out of you to write. I sincerely hope that they will understand one day.
    Lies don’t bind people forever – one day the light invariably peeps in. And then floods in. If someone is alienating them deliberately, they will find out the truth one day. We can never tell when that day will come, but for you I hope it comes soon. Blessings on your sister for continuing to be there.

    • Thank you. I don’t think anyone is deliberately alienating them; more like telling them what they believe to be the truth and not acknowledging/understanding that truth is in the perspective.

      Yeah, that’s about as clear as mud!

  • Parenting, families, children. There are so many ways that all of this can become utterly heartbreaking, and your broken heart comes across here. I want to say that I’m sorry – not for what has happened because I don’t know your story – but for the fact that you are feeling this visceral pain and longing for your children, and it just makes me want to give you the biggest hug imaginable.

  • Oh how heartbreaking! No guilt to you, but what tragedy that parents can’t stay married, and it causes everyone so much grief!

  • I found your blog through another person’s blog. I just want to say that I am here reading your blog and your voice is heard. I feel your struggle and pain. Keep trying. keep fighting. And don’t be too hard on yourself
    Just Another Person recently posted..I just woke up from

  • I found your blog through another person’s blog. I just want to say that I am here reading your blog and your voice is heard. I feel your struggle and pain.

    Keep trying. keep fighting. And don’t be too hard on yourself
    Just Another Person recently posted..I just woke up from

  • I found your blog through another person’s blog. I just want to say that I am here reading your blog and your voice is heard. I feel your struggle and pain.

    Keep trying. keep fighting. And don’t be too hard on yourself

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