…And You Let Her Go (Why We Stay)

There’s nothing sadder than seeing your child cry when they have to leave you and forcing them to do it anyway, even when they are only going to their other parent’s house. Our daughter often says she doesn’t want to go to Daddy’s. I don’t ask her for this information. She tells me. She tells Grandma. She tells her cousin. She doesn’t want to go. She cries because she has to go. She cries when she thinks about it. In the car today driving to the

drop-off location, I looked back to see tears streaming down her face in the silence before the sob, mouth open, face red, tears coming down. We had decided to walk the last little bit of the way. I ended up carrying her instead, arms wrapped around my shoulders, legs wrapped around my waist, in one big, last, long hug. She won’t hug or kiss me in front of her Daddy. She knows he won’t approve. She is only allowed to hug him. She knows she is to pretend that she loves HIM more when she is with him once she gets there. So, it was the last hug she was allowed to give me until she saw me again. She didn’t want to let go until he takes her from me. She doesn’t fight. She knows it’ll hurt his feelings if she expresses her true feelings that she doesn’t want to go with him. So she went. It is just so hard to let them go… And you let her go. 🙁

I’m of course, referring to the song “Let her Go” by Passenger. My daughter watched the Budweiser commercial repeatedly, which has the song on it. I found the commercial on YouTube after the Superbowl. I thought she’d like it because of the Clydesdale horses. She did. After she’d watched the commercial a few times, she started to sob. I asked why she was sad. She said it was because it makes her think of having to go to Daddy’s and leaving me. I think the part that got her were the lines “only hate the road when you’re missing home” and “and you let her go.” She knows how hard it is to let me go, and how hard it is for me… for ALL of us. Kids know so much more than we give them credit for sometimes. It has never gotten any easier for either one of us. We accept it, but it’s just as hard saying goodbye now as it was in the beginning. It makes you resent the other parent, though he has a right to see her too. It’s just hard. No one said life was easy, I guess. I know it’s not easy for him either. If anyone asks why a person might stay in a bad relationship, even where there is physical abuse, this is one of the reasons that we subconsciously know. It hurts to be separated from your children! It hurts every time they leave. It hurts

them. It hurts us parents. Let someone who doesn’t understand that go through leaving their children for 5 days at a time or more for some mothers. How would they feel if they only got to see their children every other weekend?! I strongly believe that the fear of the worst (which sometimes happens, by the way) causes some parents to stay in a bad relationship. It is often less scary than what COULD and sometimes DOES happen.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be beat than lose my child. The court system isn’t fair. (See One Mom’s Battle link to the left under “Resources” for those who don’t already know). Am I sad I left? Hell no! I’m SO glad every day of my life that I’m free… but there are downsides too. It’s something you can’t imagine until you go through it. My point is: don’t judge someone without knowing the circumstances. Battered women stay because they have good reason to. It is an extremely difficult decision to make and there are thousands of factors to be weighted that those that have never had to go through it may not realize. I was fortunate enough to get out after only one comparatively minor physical incident (and years of verbal incidents). While it would seem that more severe violence would mean an easier decision and a hastier exit, I believe it would lead to more conflict about sending your children to live solely with the abusive parent, even if only for a weekend every other week. Who is there to protect them? It is a society-imposed nightmare that no one should have to live through and few truly understand. Children DO end up with abusive parents, both verbally abusive and physically abusive. It IS scary. REALLY scary, sometimes, scarier than living with someone who might hit you every once-in-a-while and appear to love you the next. …Chime in readers! 🙂

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