Here, I’m sharing a letter written to my son during what would be an unsuccessful attempt to escape domestic abuse. A deep time in which I thought I’d never throw off the shadows. I didn’t know then that I would soon be free to shine.
Over on Surviving Domestic Violence, the Missions of Happiness have begun. Brainchild of the inspirational Carey, a child survivor of domestic violence in the home, the first mission in this wonderful initiative is to draft an anonymous letter to someone who has helped us out of domestic abuse – or inspired us in any way.
I’ve already shared with you all a letter to my mother, a survivor of domestic violence and a lifelong inspiration to me. So, for this mission I’m posting something for my child – the sole reason that I’m a survivor. The reason I didn’t stay. My motivation for breathing. I did for him what I wouldn’t do for myself. He, not even a year old when I eventually escaped, saved me.
I’ve been writing to my beautiful boy all of his life (okay, so he’s a toddler – it’s not that long!). Here, I want to share with you an extract from one of my letters to him – written during one of my unsuccessful attempts to leave his abusive father.
I chose this narrative as a snippet of how I felt at that dark time: hoping that my abuser would change, and not yet able to accept that he never would. Believing that the problem was drugs rather than the fact my man was an abuser, period. Wanting my child to feel safe and loved, but frightened that that would never happen. You can read more about this period of time in my post, Gambling on a red-herring.
On the dark side of the moon
I’m hoping things will work out with your Daddy soon. I know he loves you. We were spending a few days together and he was brilliant with you. Unfortunately, he then failed a drugs test (positive for cannabis and cocaine) so we couldn’t stay with him anymore.
I have asked him again to get clean, and I will test him again in a few months. But for now, we can’t stay with him when he is doing that. He seems to have taken it to heart this time, and has sworn that you and I are the most important things in his life – more than drugs.
He has good days and bad days, but I thought that he was getting better. He seemed very calm, though I know he is finding it hard, but he seems to be trying and I am doing all I can to help him. I took you to see him today at his work. I was sad that he didn’t really look at you. Luckily, you are too small now to really know. And tonight, he turned up at our house, staggering and drunk.
You are my priority. Whatever I do, I will keep you safe.
*** If you haven’t already heard about the Missions of Happiness, please do check it out and get involved ***
How would you describe a time when you were seeking to exit domestic abuse? Who in your life has inspired you or motivated you to act?
ALSO SEE: The relationship between substance abuse and domestic violence, in Why he only hurts you when he’s drunk (or high)
© Avalanche of the Soul, 2013-14