Here is a letter to my daughter asking for forgiveness.
To my daughter, I’m sorry.
I had my daughter at a young age. I was 19 when I got pregnant. I was not a healed person and I made plenty of mistakes. Being a young mother, I didn’t figure out who I was or what I wanted before I had a child to raise.
I didn’t take a look at myself and my life until I hit rock bottom, and I had two little eyes watching me self-destruct. I lost sight of myself in a toxic relationship and I continued to force it to work for the sake of being a family.
Even when we were all miserable and unhealthy, I stayed in that situation.
I Thought I Was Doing What Was Best For Her, But I Wasn’t
Every time I would attempt to leave, I would let the guilt eat at me. “Am I a bad mother? I’m taking my child away from her father.”
I let others convince me that would be unfair to her despite her father’s consistent threatening behavior being unfair to the both of us.
I stuck it out and attempted to “make it work” countless times after countless incidents of mistreatment because I thought it was my responsibility to maintain his relationship with our daughter.
I forced it even when he was an unsafe person to be around and his actions affected the way my daughter and I lived. She had a two-parent home, but it wasn’t happy, healthy, or safe.
Realizing Our Home Was Toxic Was A HARD Moment
Every mother’s goal is to raise their children in a home full of love where they can feel safe growing into themselves.
Coming to terms with the fact that your home environment isn’t what your child needs can be very hard- especially when your intentions are to give them the best home you can. I found myself in a state of denial.
My intentions were good and I was doing everything I thought was in my power, so I was doing the best I could in my mind. To everyone outside of my home, the answer was obvious, and I was avoiding it.
A child will never have a happy home where their parents are screaming and fighting all the time. It wasn’t my fault that it was happening, but it was my responsibility to put us in a better situation.
We Lost So Much Time
You never realize how bad a situation is until you’re removed from it.
The abuse that went on behind closed doors spent my time and a tremendous amount of my energy, if not all of it.
Many days I stayed in bed, ordered take-out, and put on movies for us to watch. We couldn’t get family photos done without a dramatic fight right before, ruining everyone’s mood.
Every day became a battle of trying to force him to be the father I wanted him to be to her and the partner I wanted him to be to me, and I got so invested into the vicious cycle that he perpetrated that I don’t feel like we really got to enjoy our earliest memories.
I was mentally occupied with our draining home environment and trying to force it to be better, and suddenly, my baby was a toddler. I wish I had been more present mentally during that time rather than floating by.
Even though we spent every day together, I feel like we missed out on so much.
We Had To Start Over On Our Own
After countless times of attempting to “fix” the relationship, I realized that the toxicity of the environment was affecting my ability to function.
I had to do everything I could to put an end to the cycle, including filing police reports against the father.
Suddenly we were on our own. Although I had been preparing myself to leave for over a year, my final exit was very abrupt.
I had a gut feeling and knew it needed to be done and finally acted on it. My daughter and I briefly stayed with my dad until we got our own apartment.
We moved an hour and a half away from where we called home. Everything in our lives changed from that day. I went from being a stay-at-home mother to working late nights, leaving her to stay with grandpa some nights.
She and I both started therapy and she got a new doctor. Her routine had entirely changed.
I’m Sorry We Lived In Survival Mode For So Long
I may not have realized it at the time, but we were just getting by day by day before we started over.
We weren’t thriving, we were surviving. Too many times she took shelter in her crib while I took on her father. T
here were times that I should’ve stood up for her and for me more, but because I was just trying to survive I would try not to step on his toes too much. In doing this, I let many toxic and unhealthy behaviors slip for the sake of avoiding conflict.
I settled for less, and by default, I settled for less for her too. Although I intervened as much as I thought I could at the time, upon reflection I should have set firm boundaries about how I expected him to treat my daughter and me and started over the minute I recognized the pattern.
Instead of dragging out the process and trying to make a man do what he should, I should have focused on what I could do as her mother to give us both better.
I Hope When You Can Understand, You Can Forgive Me
For all of the pain we went through in the times that should’ve been some of our happiest times, and your first experiences in this world.
For the nights we spent together in the living room, or the late nights we packed up and went to grandma and grandpas. I hope you can forgive me for the instability and chaos that should have been comfort and safety.
You teach me so much about being a mother every day. I promise we will never be in that place again. Every day, my goal is to give you a happy and safe environment where you can grow and learn to the fullest.
I try to soak up every precious minute we have together and be grateful for the good memories that we are able to make now. I know that I can’t undo the mistakes in the past, but I hope that we can grow from them.
I Hope Our Little Place Feels Like Home
We moved around a lot when you were a baby but nothing about how we lived changed.
Now it’s just you and I, in our two-bedroom apartment. I try to set up our home so that it feels like yours, it aids your ability to learn, and it feels comfortable.
I want everything to be about you like it should have been then. I want you to feel safe, warm, and loved.
Despite how much of a rollercoaster the first two years of your life have been, I strive every day to provide a calm and inviting environment.
And Most Of All, Thank You
You were my reason to grow and change when things got really hard. I pushed forward to make things happen because I wanted to be a consistent comfort that you could depend on.
I picked myself up and dusted myself off because you were watching, and you are the reason I will do better next time.
Everything we went through was really hard, but I would do it a million times for you if I had to. Thank you for being you and giving me the chance to be your mother.