I'm sorry it has taken me so long to respond. I've actually been meaning to contact you since the Christmas angel you sent arrived in the mail. Thank you so much - I absolutely love it. It was almost like...having a chance to get a gift from a mother and father that a younger me would've loved. Especially on a Christmas morning, maybe after singing in choir or playing handbells. After my First Communion. Or Confirmation, if I'd chosen to stay with the Catholic faith. I may often turn my nose up at organized religion, but I also had a pretty rough go of it - there's a lot of history and baggage between me and Catholicism. But I really, really love the angel. It feels like...a balm for old wounds.
It is hard to admit it, but it's really wounds that kept me from getting back to you sooner. This winter season was just...painful. It was so hard to lose my family in 2012. I loved my mother, and my brothers and sisters. I still do, even if I know that choosing to keep them out of my life is the healthier, safer choice. It hurts every time I think of them. It hurts worse during holidays. That's what made it such a blessing to be so taken in by all of the family, all of your relatives, even before your son and I were married. I missed and pined for my family so much, so it was the gift of a lifetime to have a new family take me in. A functional, healthy, caring family. And grandparents! I'd never had a grandmother before, and all of a sudden I had two! You and Joe have such wonderful relatives. It was so nice to get to be a part of it, even for just a little while. It was something I never expected to have.
I've been grieving pretty hard. And now I have a new family to grieve over. Ah. It's hard. It's hard to have lost two families. It's hard to be so alone. I do have a great job, and I love the rabbits. I have a strong network of caring friends. I have my one remaining sister, and her two girls. And even though I really seemed to have it together when I saw you last, at breakfast? I've been so lost. I was so depressed. And the spirit of suicide filled every quiet moment. After Thanksgiving weekend, I wasn't sure I'd be alive by Christmas, and I was dreading having to cancel with my sister. It got that bad.
After Christmas - and I did have such a lovely visit with my sister and nieces - I got put on an additional medication and the suicidal thinking stopped. I've been slowly coming back ever since. But I won't lie to you - even with all that? All the bad that's happened since I divorced your son? It was worth it. I've got my life back. I let Jason destroy so much of what made me, so much of who I am...I almost didn't have enough left to go on. But it seems to be my lot in life to get into ugly, traumatic situations, and have to fight for my life to get out and move on alone. My choice to get divorced was not made lightly. I want you to know that. I tried very hard to stay married, and to accommodate everything Jason wanted. I was in therapy, I was fiscally supporting us, I took care of the rabbits, all of the domestic chores... It just was never enough. I was never enough. I was bad. Less than. Raised worse. Not prepared. And I just couldn't live that way anymore. Not after everything I went though as a little girl. And as a young woman. Not after I fought so hard to do what was right and lost my birth family for it. I was a fool to let Jason talk me into getting married. I should've walked away after the first time I saw how he talked to you and Joe in the privacy of your home. I should've walked away the first time he put his hands on me in anger when he was drunk. I should've walked away when raising his voice at me became the norm.
I am so, so sorry that I had to lose you and Joe. I miss you both. I hope you're both well, and that grandma is well, or at least as peace. Please take care. Thank you so much for the birthday wishes, and the Christmas gift, and for being a family to me.
Best wishes, and have a happy Easter.