Retro Recovery: I Want My Kids
Recovery Retro features posts from my archives 2016-2017, my chronicles of recovery from alcoholism, mental health issues, and substance abuse. After 35 years of chaos, my life in several VA Treatment Programs was anything but boring. Join me as I share with you my most intimate posts about spirituality, living in the now, acceptance, gratitude, mindfulness, and the lessons I learned that keep me sober to this day.
|Published 03/12/2017 at 8:00 am – Day 145 of Treatment|
So 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.
In the table below, the first link to a post I wrote explaining why I gave up my children in the first place. The second link is the actual letter I wrote to my ex-wife, requesting assistance in reaching my sons and making amends. The third link is her scathing response.
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 email@example.com. Remember, whatever you decide, I respect and accept.
UPDATE: My sons never responded to the letter. I doubt that they even received it, considering how quite vindictive the ex was towards me. I did finally call my two sons in the Fall of 2018. In those phone calls, I tried my best to explain to them the whys of my ways.
Nick seemed receptive to possible further contact. Matt, my younger son, outright told me he would never have an interest in pursuing a relationship with me. He told me never to contact him again. To this day, neither has contacted me.