The letter to my grandmother

I am sorry I haven’t reached out to you sooner. I had to make sure that I was safe, and that meant cutting contact with anyone who was still in contact with my immediate family.

I am safe now. I graduated from college (with high honors) and already started graduate school. I’m working at a great job, I write semi-professionally, and I recently started an organization to help others that have been through circumstances that no one should ever have to face. I am doing great things now.

I am not sure what my family has told you regarding my sudden disappearance, but I can be certain it hasn’t been the truth. I left to escape. I realized that I didn’t deserve to be controlled, hurt, taken advantage of, and abused any longer. I made the decision to leave on my own. No one made me leave. No one helped me except for a close friend. I left with two bags of clothes and shoes, my computer, and whatever money I managed to hide away. I left everything and everyone else behind.

I left because my mother is not a good person. She lies, manipulates, and controls people. She has abused her own children since childhood. She is dangerous. That is why I left. She will never change. I deserved better. R deserves better, too, but I worry that he is far too controlled to escape her.

I won’t get into too many details, because that doesn’t matter. I just want you to know the truth. My mother tries to discredit me by telling people that I am bipolar and a liar. I am neither. I have post-traumatic stress disorder, which is why I was hospitalized so many times in the past 18 months. I wanted to die because the memories of what happened to me were too painful to handle.

My mother has no genuine concern about me or why I left. She was and always has been only worried about herself. My mother sent me one text message a few days after I left. No one – not her, or my father, or Robin – has contacted me since. I have the same phone number and the same e-mail address I’ve had for the last decade. No one is blocked from contacting me.  I specifically didn’t change my number because I knew my mother would make this claim. They are lying when they say that they have tried to contact me.

I worry that they are using you to create rifts in the family, and it’s not fair. They aren’t concerned, they are using you and others to get to me. If they really needed to contact me, they would have. It’s been seven months of nothing. My mother is playing a game. Please don’t be a part of it.

You don’t have to respond to me. You don’t have to believe me. I know the truth because I have lived it. Others know the truth because they have seen it, but they are too afraid to come forward, too scared to stand against my mother. I am not afraid. She can’t hurt me anymore.

I’m sorry that it came to this. If you take anything from this, know that I am safe and well. I am healing now. I struggle every day, but I am getting by. It’s better than the life I had before. I will be okay, and I will love you regardless.

I read the letter out loud to my therapist in our session yesterday. When I finished reading and looked up, I could see the emotion written all over my therapist’s face and I immediately turned away.

She told me my strength really comes through in my writing…the same strength that I so often have difficulty finding when I need it the most. I know I am strong, but I still feel so weak.

I could have said a lot more. But what would that have done? I didn’t even mention my father’s involvement. That’s her son. I am not doing this to hurt her; I am doing this to protect her. I don’t want her to be among my mother’s countless victims.

I don’t know what I’ve gotten myself into. This can be the beginning of something. I just don’t know what that something is yet.

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