I Want My Kids Back

72 comments

childrenSo hello my dear readers.  I am still resting from writing and blogging.  I am not, however, resting from the purpose many of you are familiar with:  trying to reunite with the children I walked away from 11 years ago.

I am not one for very long blog posts; however, if you are to appreciate this particular post, some background information would be helpful.  If not, just read my letter to my sons in the scope of a father having had to let them go to be parented only by their mother these last 11 years and that they truly hate my guts.

First, here is a post I wrote explaining why I gave up my children in the first place:

MY RECOVERY:  MY CHILDREN

Second, I wrote a letter to my ex-wife requesting assistance and also apologizing to her for some of the things I put here through:

LETTER TO MY EX

Finally came her response email.  Quite a dramatic and impactful one.

MY EX WROTE BACK

And now, here is the letter I have drafted to my two sons.  I would love any feedback you have regarding this letter.  It was extremely difficult to write.  I am hoping it is as honest and as loving as it feels to me.  Thanks, and bless all of you.  I hope to be back sometime in April after I get settled into my new place.

THANKS TO ALL WHO HELPED ME AMEND THIS LETTER.  HERE IS THE NEW VERSION I WROTE WITH YOUR HELP, AND ALSO SOME MORE SOUL SEARCHING:

Dear Nick and Matt,

I decided to write this letter to both of you, as the message is the same. I am in a place in my life where I would like to–and am healthy enough–to see you. That has not always been the case. However, I feel it would be doing an injustice to explain everything on a sheet of paper. You deserve more than that.

You may be angry. You may be feeling like I abandoned you. You may be a little sad about the whole thing. You may not actually give a shit. Whatever you are feeling, I certainly do understand it. They are all valid emotions. I consider not keeping you in my life my greatest blunder. It has caused me great sadness. I have missed you terribly.

I am very sorry for any pain I have caused you. I thought I was making the best decision for you and your welfare. I regret making that decision as it has probably caused you tremendous pain. I missed a lot of important activities and events in your lives. I wish we could do it over, but that time has passed. Perhaps we can create new memories together.

I realize that the opportunity to be a dad may have passed. However, I am always willing to be that to you if that is what you wish. I would like to have you consider perhaps having me in your life in a different role if that is not a consideration. If there is a possibility, I would like a chance to show you that I can be someone you can trust and rely upon.

I have battled quite a few demons since we parted. I have PTSD, Bipolar 1 Disorder, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, and am now just 10 months sober from drugs and alcohol. I was in no position to be an effective parent to you. These issues have affected me negatively throughout my life. They also had something to do with me being out of contact with you. But now I am sober, now I am at a healthy place, this is why I am contacting you today.

If you decide you don’t want to see me, my hope is that at least you will be able to try and get past any negative feelings I may have caused you so that you can be free to live in peace. Of course I do hope that you will be able to find it in your hearts to forgive me, and to consider at least talking with me. I might just surprise you! I can’t imagine the entire rest of my life without you in it.

We were Dad and sons once. I know you remember how much fun we used to have. How much time we spent in the woods exploring, hiking. Our trips to the White Mountains. Trying to defeat that damn game Kid Chameleon. Fishing, playing sports, the crazy fireworks, Christmas together, and so much more over your younger years. I’d like to create new memories with you. I have never stopped loving you. I always have, always will. I’m not here to convince you of that. I already know it to be true. I hope that one day I can prove it to you.

Here is my phone number. I hope to hear from you soon. If not, take good care of yourselves, and your mother. My phone number is 222-222-2222. My email is keatsj1964@gmail.com. Remember, whatever you decide, I respect and accept.

Love,

Your Father

72 comments on “I Want My Kids Back”

  1. Rob, I don’t really know you, but I wanted to tell you how brave you are. Some men (and women) never open their hearts like this and their children never know how much they meant to them. I think all of the suggestions are great, but if the words come from your heart your boys will know their father has carried this around for years and thought enough of them to let them know. It may take time, but they will see how much you love them. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot! I keep amending it so that nothing negative appears and also so that I am taking full ownership of the situation. It may end up they completely trun their backs. But at least they finally get to read where I am coming from. I didn’t really forgive my parents until I had kids, so It may be a few more years. I am ok with whatever happens. It’s not going to dictate how I live my life.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. hey man, i hope you are well, I was out last week and didn’t know you had taken time off. Christine let me know. You are walking a difficult path. May God guide you my friend. Good luck and godspeed

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am humbled to be allowed to read these letters. I had 4 dads by the time I was 10. Needless to say, I’ve never been torn from a parent-we always went with mom. But, forgiveness goes both ways. I had to forgive my middle fathers for the things that happened to me as a small child. I forgave them as an adult, they are gone now, they’ll never know. You have given your boys a chance to know you now. This is beautiful. You are a hero. (they come in all shapes and sizes)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rob – I’m not sure you will love hearing my thoughts but will give it a try. In this situation, I am in the role that your ex-wife is in and completely agree with her letter. If you were my ex, I would say the same thing. However, you have done something my ex never could, which is to accept responsibility, apologize and attempt to make things right. And that is an honorable step. My suggestion to you would be to take out any parts of your letter that allude to anyone or anything else being responsible for your choice to leave your children (ex. “but not all of it had to do with me and my issues” and “You might at least consider you owe it to yourself to find out if perhaps your beliefs about me are not entirely accurate”). If you’re going to take responsibility, take all of it. I can only speak from what I know about the situation based on what you have written, but it seems that simplifying your letter may be more beneficial. Personally, I don’t see any reason, ever, for someone to choose to abandon their children. Perhaps that is the only point that needs to be heard by your boys. You made a huge mistake (and yes, I understand there were many other things going on but to your boys, that is the only one that matters). Lastly, your ex-wife is right… actions speak louder than words. And as someone who has been in her position, that is the only truth I would have every accepted from my ex. And the actions would have needed to be repeated, for a long period of time. A one-time ‘do a good thing’ isn’t enough. I don’t mean any offense in my suggestions and hope you see it as constructive feedback from someone who has been through similar circumstances. I wish my ex had tried to make amends with our children, however, as I stated, they would have only listened to his actions. They/we learned that his words meant nothing. I truly hope the best for you and that you are able to reunite with your boys. ❤
    With all sincerity,
    1Wise-Woman

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I appreciate the honest feedback you provided. I had concerns about including the very things you alluded to. For the record I know what you are saying but I didn’t abandon my children. In the surface it seems so. To them it probably does as well. I don’t need to do any actions other than the steps I’ve been taking. I can show them actions if they choose to be in my life. Can’t do much hitting if you’re on the bench. Given my illnesses and their circumstances with their living arrangements, it was best for them not to be embroiled in my crap. I’ve madrbpeace with it. I also tried unsuccessfully for years to reach them with no success. I appreciate the input and I think I will make the changes you suggested. Thank you so much for the time you took out of your life to give me assistance. My gratitude is beyond words

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you Rob. I appreciate you kindly taking my feedback, as I didn’t mean to be offensive. Sorry to have mentioned the part about abandoning… I understand that no one can see things from another’s perspective. I do truly hope you are able to reconnect with your boys.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Rob – just read your revision and it sounds so much better! I like that you have taken out the parts the allude to anyone or anything else being responsible and are taking full responsibility. I do have feedback however, and again, it’s coming from a place of having been in a similar situation. I would take out this part of the sentence “but you should know it has been a burden all this time for me as well” because they may not care to hear about how you are feeling, the focus should be only on their feelings (and I understand how strongly you want them to know that you are suffering too). Just leave the beginning of the sentence, “I have missed you terribly.” I would also consider leaving out the entire paragraph about holding on to resentments. I worry that your boys would see that as you telling them how they should feel or sort of threatening that if they don’t do this, their lives will be ruined (although I completely understand and agree with what you are saying). Or maybe just simplifying it again and leaving the part that reads, “If you decide you don’t want to see me, please, at least try to get past your resentments (anger, sadness or whatever term you feel fits) so that you can be free to live in peace. That is my hope for you.” And, again Rob, I can’t express how wonderful it is to see a father owning up to his mistakes and working so hard to repair your relationship with your children. It shows your genuine dedication, especially being able to kindly accept feedback. I appreciate that immensely.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. You are so very welcome. And it’s necessary to go back to the drawing board… just a few revisions and I think it will be spot on. It’s looking really good. You’re getting it and putting a lot of hard work and consideration into it. Wishing you the best!

                Liked by 1 person

              1. Yes! It’s looking better with every revision. And I hate to offer another suggestion but here it is… take out “There were many things that factored into my decision” and change to something like “I made a terrible mistake and in the process caused you tremendous pain.” Other than that, I think it sounds perfect! I hope that is helpful ❤

                Liked by 1 person

                  1. Lol! I was able to decipher that last word! Yes, I think it’s great. Again, I’m so thankful for men like you, it restores my faith! I was honestly so triggered when I first read your post that I was initially quite upset. However, having learned how to handle triggers, and am glad I paused and saw the truth and honesty in your post and in you. It was a good lesson for me. I truly appreciate how kindly you took my feedback and I hope for the best for you. Please keep us updated ❤

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. We are all learning and growing. Not all men are complete asses lol. I’ve made my mistakes. Today I am 10 months sober and I am grateful to have a chance at living a wholesome genuine life. Hopefully with my kids. One year ago I would have told you to mind your business. Today I am grateful especially hearing your comment here, that you took the time to lovingly encourage a stranger on how best to write to his children, what a blessing! And that’s why I put my life out here in all its ugliness and wonder, maybe it helps someone else! I will be posting an update when the time comes. Bless you, you ought to be proud of the love you’ve given

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. I understand… I know not all men are assholes but my ex was a narcissist and abusive, leaving me with PTSD so I tend to be easily triggered by men. That is why I’m glad that I waited out my initial emotional reaction before replying to your post. Your post did help me to remember to stop and think and recognize that you are NOT my ex and that most men are good. I am feeling proud of you and happy that I was able to help you. Best wishes with your boys, I’m looking forward to your updates and hope it’s good news. 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. I’m grateful for your help and sorry for your experience. I’m also sorry that my post somehow triggered a negative emotional response. I’ll be posting what happens. I’ll be mailing it tomorrow or Tuesday the latest

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. No worries. I’m healing and being triggered is not your fault. Triggers are everywhere. It goes with the PTSD territory and is something I have to learn to manage. I have enjoyed this conversation with you!

                      Liked by 1 person

  5. Totally agree with childofcynicism. Your their father and I am certain of the fact even they long to be kids again, children never grow up with parents. Well, way to go. Best to you .

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Rob!
    I agree with Bea’s suggestions.
    You are a courageous man, and kudos to your ex for replying to you as well. Clarity is a precious thing!
    In my prayers it all goes well!
    Great to see you on here briefly, too 💐
    Hope you’re well?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey Rob! I can’t even begin to imagine how much of a big thing this is for you-and having read through both the letters to your ex and to your sons, I very much admire your courage and your ability to admit your wrongdoings. So many people cannot find it within themselves to do that.

    I think I may have a few tweeks that may make the a bit of a difference to the letter when the boys open it-I don’t know everything, and obviously you can choose to ignore me :):

    1. “However, I am not going to go into details about every little aspect of our 11 year separation in a letter.” I totally agree with what you’re saying here-but maybe something such as “I feel it would be doing an injustice to explain everything on a sheet of paper”, just because it sounds more co-operative, if you know what I mean?

    2. Instead of “I am not interested in changing your feelings.”, “I do not expect to change your feelings” may sound somehow “softer”.

    3.” I realize that the opportunity to be a dad has perhaps passed.” I understand that you don’t want to sound as if you’re being intrusive, and I really like the way you’re respecting their feelings, but if you added “-however, I am always willing to be that to you if that is what you wish”, they won’t feel blown-out if they’re still after a father figure. It’s leaving it open to them and covers all possible bases.

    4. At the very end, after “I already know that to be true”, a really great sentence to end it on would be “I hope that one day I can prove it to you”.

    I was so hesitant about saying any of that as I don’t want to seem out of place or intrusive. I also didn’t want to discourage you, because I think that it’s a wonderful letter. But it’s so obvious that you care about your sons, and I really want things to work out for you!

    I hope I haven’t offended you.
    Peace and hope,
    Bea 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that you took the time and cared enough to help me. I am so grateful to you. I wanted input because sometimes I come across the wrong way and after 11 years I do not want to do that. I’m changing all the things you suggested because they are superb ideas. I hope you will know I hold your care on this in the very highest esteem!

      Liked by 2 people

          1. Rob, this is so much better in every way. At first, I was worried about parts of it. Now, I don’t think I could offer you any more advice to make it better because I think it’s perfect-it’s understanding but puts across your desire to get to know them and expresses how much you love them. I genuinely don’t think you need to change anything else, it’s lovely 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

    2. I imade your suggested changes, and some others people have suggested. I would really appreciate it if you could have another look. Your opinion means a lot to me in this important decision. Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Rob, this is a very beautiful letter (the other ones too). I admire you for your courage. You made truly meaningful steps forward. I have no idea what will happen but you did the perfect thing in this situation in my opinion. Big virtual hugs from me!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Sophie, I greatly appreciate the time you took to read about my situation. It is reassuring that you feel that the letter to my sons is not sending the wrong message about what happened and my feelings regarding that. Thank you so very much!

      Liked by 1 person

I Would Love Your Thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s