I’ve let you go…but when will you be back?

I try to pretend it doesn’t hurt, but it does.  It hurts every day.

I let my two butterflies go…I quit chasing them, but waiting for them to come back to me is the hardest experience of my life.


They didn’t just leave me, they left their step-father, they left their little brother.  The worst part of it all is seeing their little brother sad because he doesn’t have them to play with.  He doesn’t understand why they are gone and why they aren’t coming home.

I don’t know how to explain things to him because, I don’t fully understand it myself.

My life was put on hold to raise these kids.  For 13/10 years respectfully, I have done everything I could for my son and daughter.  I quit work because I wanted to be available to them.  I wanted to be sure I was able to attend their school functions, chaperone their field trips and bring them their lunch when they forgot it.  I was at every school conference, every performance, everything I possibly could.

When we realized that the kids were angry/upset and we thought they needed someone to help them with that…someone other than us, we started them in counseling/therapy.  I spent hours upon hours sitting in waiting rooms, driving them across town and making calls to find new providers when I didn’t feel they were with a good fit.  My first priority was always getting the help that I didn’t think I was able to give them on my own.

In the blink of an eye, the two were taken from me.  Okay, so maybe not my daughter, that was an agreement as part of a treatment plan, however I was lied to.  This was supposed to be temporary and maybe for 2-3 weeks, we are now at 3 months and my beautiful butterfly no longer wants anything to do with me.  My son was taken from me and it was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life.  In the short period of time he was with his father, he has also decided he wants nothing to do with me.

I’ve never said I was a perfect parent, but I have tried my best to do everything I possibly could for my kids.  I understand I have faults and tried to find people that could help me with those faults to give my children the best.  I think this was the biggest mistake of my life.

We saw so many different therapists, trying to find a good fit.  I was given so much different information.  I was told to do this, don’t do that, try this, don’t do that anymore.  Each therapist told me to pretend they were the first I’d seen and forget everything I had been told in the past.  That’s not possible.   You can’t forget when you are told you are “parenting” wrong and change this and change that. I started to do exactly as I was told.  I followed their directions to a tee, even when I didn’t feel it was a good fit for our family….but I didn’t want them to say I was failing because I didn’t listen.

I did everything I was told.  I listened to the “professionals” even though most of them didn’t even have kids of their own.  Most didn’t understand the pain from hearing your child scream at you and tell you they hate you.  You can say you understand because your niece has done that to you, but it isn’t the same.  I listened to people that had no idea what it was like to be a parent, much less the parent of a child with mental illness.

My payment for listening to these “professionals” is now my children hating me, wanting nothing to do with me and my daughter saying she wants to scratch my eyes out.  It hurts when my son says to “quit the fake tears” because his dad told him I fake cry.  It hurts when my daughter calls me a liar because her dad sees things differently than I do.

That hurts.

It hurts to hear my kids say they only came to visit us for Christmas because they wanted their Christmas presents.  They didn’t care about seeing me.  They didn’t care about seeing their step-dad that has been a part of their life for as long as they can remember.  Most importantly, they didn’t care about seeing their little brother.

We have all been written off, as if we never existed.  Like we don’t matter.

It hurts.

I try to pretend it doesn’t and keep myself busy, but it hurts…a lot.  It hurts to look through my phone and see their pictures.  It hurts to see their pictures on my Facebook.  It hurts.

I try to pretend it doesn’t…..but it does.


  1. Brandi Price says

    Ugh. Sounds like the “Sperm Donor” has the problems. No matter how big the issues between you and him he should never talk down to your kids about you. The will grow up one day and realize there were far bigger issues…

  2. says

    Amber, I truly do know how you feel. It has been a year since we have seen my stepdaughter and linger for my stepson. They want nothing to do with their dad because of the lies from their mother. I am so, so sorry. I see the pain this causes my husband and I know the pain for myself. I can’t offer you much but I can offer an ear, shoulder or thoughts and prayers. I’m here.

    By the way, I don’t have anything on my blog because I was sued for stating my feelings on this whole situation (our situation). Hugs to you.

  3. Judy Bradley says

    So sorry to hear of all this. It is so sad when a parent does his best to turn the kids against the other parent. Remember kids are sort of like clay to be molded, but they also watch everything and everyone. And for some reason they like the power they have to shape our feelings, but I think they are also a bit frightened by it – because it takes away the safety net around them. I wish I could tell you it will suddenly change and all will be better, but probably not. Not as long as they have the other parent to encourage bad feelings towards you. I had a prominent child psychiatrist tell me, in front of my son, that his problems were because I was forcing him to be responsible for his actions! Well, Hello – aren’t we all, ultimately responsible for our own actions? Professionals too often go “by the book” and kids, people, are not books! Please pray for your own comfort (and your little son’s) and live your life to the fullest that you can. Do whatever you are allowed to do with your other children, send occasion cards, etc. but do not let them control your life and your emotions. Sounds easier than it is to do, but you are the only one responsible for your own personal health and happiness and you need to maintain your peace of mind and ability to take of your younger son and your home life. Someday – and it may be a while, your older children will hopefully see what all you have done for them and recognize your love for them, but for now you have to have your own life – unless of course there is abuse or such with the father, then you would not be able to sit by. Don’t let your children have control of your feelings and happiness, it is not good for you or them, nor even your younger son. Be the best person you can be, not begging for their attention, or inclusion in their lives. It is not an easy process, but you will all be better off in the long run. I hope your husband is supportive of you and your decisions as this will greatly help you and your little son during this stressful time. I will remember you all in my prayers too!

  4. Helen Sampson says

    My prayers are with you and your entire family. Having gone thru this type scenario myself with my 4 children, all I can say is give it time (and prayers). It’s not easy n maybe even in the long run it might not turn out the way we hoped or imagined, but sometimes (maybe sooner, maybe later) our childen realize what we went thru for them and how much they are loved. PEACE to you n yours…

  5. nella says

    Hang in there. If you get some time, read the book “The unexpected legacy of divorce.” Focus as much as you can on your self, son and husband. Lies have speed but the truth has endurance. In time the truth will be known. If your kids are not yet adults, you may want to get a consult from a family law litigator and ask about “parental alienation” laws in your state. You are strong and you will survive this. It is tough, but mom’s are tougher!

  6. Tamie T says

    Ah…., I think kids really don’t want to go to counselors to solve problems. It might embarrass them in front of their peers and from what you explained it didn’t seem like there was too much of anything out of the ordinary childhood antics. Seeing everything as a problem and not a challenge may have added to this conclusion. I know I can’t even count the amount of men that call their ex’s crazy and kids don’t really like crazy in their mom. You should have been the professional to them not the Psyches. Really, who has all the answers of raising children besides God? Keep up the good fight and if you need professional help seek it for yourself not the kids. Or just pick up the Bible and let that be the education you all need.

    • says

      Tamie, if you’ve read my past posts you will see that my children are being treated for mental illness. My daughter is currently on Lithium after being hospitalized for evaluation. My son has had extreme mood swings/anger issues since he was a toddler. Because of my daughter’s age they have had trouble with an exact diagnosis, but we’ve been told oppositional defiant disorder, intermittent explosive disorder and most recently bipolar disorder and possible borderline personality disorder. My children aren’t “ordinary” children and have special needs that I wasn’t sure on how to handle. Most parent’s wouldn’t. Being kicked, scratched, spit on and bit is NOT normal and most parents wouldn’t know how to handle that. “normal” parenting tactics never worked, so we seeked help.

      • renda says

        Amber is my daughter. The kids have been in counseling , the 13 year old since he was 2. Maybe instead of hating you should know the story before commenting and judging. You do not know the mental illnesses Amber is dealing with, not all children can be helped!If you have never dealt with these problems may be you should offer SUPPORT instead of being UGLY!!!! Renda

  7. says

    Amber, I am so sorry you are having to go through this. My four oldest children do not suffer from mental illness. I was a single mother for the whole time they were growing up, and did my best, even though, I worked non-stop. When my children were old enough to leave home, they were angry too. Angry at me for never spending enough time with them. Angry with their fathers for walking out and not trying to keep the family together. I spent several years in misery, because these children I had fought to keep together didn’t want anything to do with each other – or me. As they matured, things changed. They saw the things I had done to keep us together, and understood. Now, we do spend time together. My oldest daughter (who at one point had written me a very crushing nasty letter about what a sorry mother I was) is closer to me now than any of my children. We talk on the phone every day, and try to get together at least once a month.
    I know it isn’t much consolation at this point, but someday, I truly believe they will seek you out. Be ready when they do. Put aside all the hurt, and just love them. Right now they are still young. And trust me, teens see NOTHING in ‘real time’. I will be praying for you.

  8. says

    Oh honey. I know you are a good mom and do anything you can for your children. This post hurts me so much – I can’t stand seeing you sad. It may be weeks, months, years, but your butterflies will come back to you.

  9. Mary says

    I pray that you can find peace within yourself. I dont believe there are any counselors out there worth a plug nickel. Not that I have found, anyway. Just keep praying, and keep telling them you love them, no matter what. Some day, hopefully, they will see the light, and tell you back.

  10. ANN*H says

    I have read quite a few of your things you wrote about your kids. Someone close to me has a kid just like your kids. And from seeing her go thru it I can understand alot of what you are saying. It is really stressful and it hurts alot. True sometimes they grow up and realize your not a bad mother . Just try to hang in there for your other son . Love them and do your best.

  11. says

    Your updates always make me want to call my mom and apologize for everything I put her through. I shared a little bit on your “Quit Chasing the Butterflies” about how my mom & step-dad let me go for a while & our return to a complete family.

    I hope that your children will eventually hit the place where they are able to step past their anger & the bad-mouthing to see how much you love them. If it helps, my day now starts by calling my mom while I drink a cup of coffee.

  12. pamela jablonski says

    I am so sorry for your pain, you have really tried to do what was best for your kids…many parents would have given up by now. You are in my prayers, as are your children.

  13. Dawn Woolf says

    I am praying for you and the kids! May you all feel God’s love and comfort and may the kids find the truth of your love for them! Don’t give up on them! Big hugs!!

  14. says

    My dear friend, many years ago I was in your situation with my older kids. I can say I know how you feel because of that… I went four years without seeing my daughter, longer without seeing my sons. Fast Forward these many years and I am now the one they all come to when they have problems in life. Not their father who started all the problems, but Momma…the one that they now understand never stopped loving them. Is it easy? No…it will never be easy. No one ever said being a parent was easy…but they at least talk with me now, well, at least when they need me they talk with me! Hugs, Hugs and more Hugs! I wish I had a magic answer that would calm your fears, and heal the hurt but IMO there is really no words in the world that will do that. So Hugs, Hugs, and more Hugs! Praying for you and your family daily my friend!

  15. says

    Sorry to hear things aren’t better, Amber.I’ll share a quote that has helped me before, I hope it gives you some comfort. Big hugs. “Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.”-Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: 101 Stories of Life, Love and Learning

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