There's no DIY instructions for when they get out - #WhenIBecameFree

I've searched and searched for a step by step guide on how to handle the emotions and touchy situations of what happens when your abuser gets out of prison and wants to be part of your children's lives again.

My searches have come up empty.

There are no 'how to' directions.

Needless to say it is a situation where the word awkward would be an understatement to describe it and everything it entails.

Throughout my abusers incarceration I've had long and lengthy conversations with my boys, and believe it or not I always tried to take the high road...once or twice I may have slipped, but for the most part I've always encouraged them to do what they felt was best for them...if they wanted to contact him, I was okay with it as long as my name was not brought up. I tried my best not to put him down while also reminding them of his good qualities when they would say not the nicest things.

I know my children love their father and I could never deny them that and I never have.  I know they are curious and concerned, most children would be. I know they have questions they want answered, and stories they want to share with him. If I was them I would wonder about all these things as well.

I also know they have fears from seeing and knowing too much - they were the witnesses to the abuse and the drastic road our lives took when I broke free. Freedom comes after the struggle, and they were with me for that ride.

My boys are older now, young men (17 and 22) starting to make lives of their own - however, both still live with me - and therein lies the problem. For my own safety I don't want contact with him, nor do I want him to know anything about my personal life - and, yes, even as public as I am there are still things I do not share with anyone outside of my daily life.

Dating back to when our world shattered I painfully made sure to walk that fine line of keeping them safe while also respecting the fact they have a father they still loved. They may have been angry at him, fearful at times, but the love a child has for a parent is unconditional -

So then - how does a person handle life and all the curve balls when their abuser gets out?
In our case it is a 50/50 split - one child wants contact, the other doesn't.

It is a lot to take in -

A mother will always want to protect their child no matter how old that child is - some apron strings can never be severed. I don't want to see them hurt nor do I want to deny them a relationship that may have the potential to be mended.

I guess in the end all I can do is hope that over the last 8 years I've instilled into them how to protect their own boundaries for creating healthy relationships and keep reminding them that I need to have my own respected as life moves forward and that they need to respect each other's wishes.

One thing they do know is no matter what it is their life, and their choice to allow in the people they want, when they want. Their life, their voice, their choice.

I debated about writing this post but the more I thought about it, the more I realized this is a topic that needs to be out there so that the next survivor in line knows they are not alone with their deep thoughts late at night in the dark. And, perhaps, so that others understand leaving an abusive relationship is not as easy as just walking away - nothing in life that is worth attaining is ever that easy..there will be hard decisions to be made, mistakes made and lessons learned.

I hope some found value in my ramblings - and if you have some experience in this matter you would like to share, feel free to contact me!


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