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To my dear boys,

I’ve had this post in my notes for a long time, longer than either of you have existed, to be honest. When I decided I wanted to be a mother, it was an uneasy decision. I think that’s probably true of most people, but where I differ, I think, is my reasons. Before you were born, I was already a parent in many ways to the people who were supposed to be mine. It was their idea that I was to be the responsible person in our family, that I should be the glue to hold things together, repair whatever damage they would cause, and that I should do all of this without thought or rebuke and never stop until the day they ceased to draw breath.

During that time, I could barely focus on anything but their needs, bypassing my own care for theirs, thinking their thoughts, anticipating their next moves. It was exhausting. And eventually, it wore me down to the point where I could no longer do it. With codependency, which is what I would learn this type of behavior is called, there is no easy extrication. In order to remove myself from this toxic, enmeshed dysfunction, I had to do so with extreme emotional violence, isolation, and silence. I could give them no reason that they would accept, choosing instead to be the monster in their minds, rather than to expose their own monstrosity down to the core, something which would have inflicted much more pain than I was willing to accept. In doing so, I was finally able to free myself enough to consider a family of my own, and so, you two were born.

It is my hope that you understand my reasons for keeping these people out of your lives. There will come a day when I’ll have to sit down with each of you and explain that you have more biological family than you know, and why they are unknown to you. I can’t know for certain, but I can say that raising you without them in my life has been the lesser of two evils. Yes, I feel badly each and every day for doing something so severe, but I feel strongly that, if they were in our lives, the emotional toll (not to mention, the physical and financial ones) would be incredibly high. Their need to control, manipulate, and inflict damage on those around them would influence you in ways I cannot allow or accept. Having spent the years in therapy that I have, medicated and not, I would not wish that hardship on anyone, because even to this day, I am still influenced by it.

I want you to know the light and joy you bring to me and your father. I firmly believe that your personalities are shaped not only by the love we hope to bring into your lives, but also by avoiding the abusive, toxic behaviors that having my parents in your lives would cause. I know you are better without it. However, this means your very existence causes what I can only imagine is pain to them. For this, I am so sorry. What I do, I do to protect you, in the way that no one was there to protect me.

My dear, darling children, your love for each other is so pure and beautiful. I see it blossoming into what I can only hope will be a lifelong friendship and camaraderie. I hope you are able to look out for each other, finding humor and love and joy in each others’ company. My heart soars when you are playing together, laughing and cuddling. I feel like I may not have much left to give, but all that I have is yours to take.

You each are the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Your hearts are full of love and joy. Your minds are full of questions and determination to seek out the answers to life’s great mysteries. I love you both so, so much. Thank you for being such amazing little humans. I look forward to each morning, watching you grow up together. You make my heart so happy.

Love always,