Nobody acknowledges everything you have done and been through so I thought I would take the time to write you a letter and let you know how proud of you I am and acknowledge everything you should be acknowledged for. I could never write it all, but I will try my best.
First off, I am proud of where you are today. It amazes me that you are still alive and are functioning the way you do.
Your story is one that is remarkable in the amount of trauma that has occurred over a long period of time. I have not met or heard of one person who has been through as much trauma as you have and came out the other end as well as you have. All the different ways your heart has been hurt and your mind has been played is not for the weak.
When I look back at everything that you have been through the most significant thing you need to be acknowledged for is the summer of 2019. You will never receive the validation from the one person you need it from so I am going to acknowledge it for you. You were kick ass. You finally ran away when the timing was right. You reached out for help. You trusted the universe. You did all the right things to get yourself to safety with your children and your partner where he needed to be. I am proud of you!
You, a single mom for the first time did not faulter. You provided those kids with the happiness they had not had for a long time. They did not care they were homeless; they were happy you were safe, and you got them to safety too. I saw how much weight had been lifted off all your shoulders. I saw how much you all laughed. You were happy again. I am proud of you!
The first few days after running away were rough. The calls and messages you were getting from your husband and his family were all lies and brutal. Then your kids got harassed. You never told them what to do. They made the right decisions because of your example. I am proud of you.
You and the kids had to live in a hotel for a week because the judge messed up the no contact paperwork. You had hoped to get back into the camper until you found a good place to live. You took several trips to the property to let the kids get some items from the camper. Every time the cops were called, and the kids were yelled at. You had to watch your daughter do everything when it came to getting stuff from the property and taking care of the animals. You visited the property several times that week and every time you were met with hostility and told to leave. I am proud of you.
After your daughter got all the puppies one by one into your car you drove to your Mother-in-laws to drop your husbands’ puppy off. You wanted to make sure he had his therapy dog when he got out of jail. I saw you take that high road. Then you relinquished all the puppies to the pound. It was sad for all of you, but it had to be done. I am proud of you.
You were left with 2 dogs, 3 kids in a hotel room. A hotel that was not safe, but you kept everyone safe. I am proud of you.
You had court to amend the no contact order exactly a week after your husband was arrested. I am proud of you for going into that courtroom and doing that. You even filed the amendment yourself. You were happy you could finally get back on the property. I saw you pack the kids and dogs up and head back to the property. You spent hours on the property getting it ready so you and the kids could be in the camper. You tried to hook the water back up after someone had cut the hose. You tried to get the gas going. You did everything you could in a short amount of time trying to make it livable for the night. Meanwhile your kids were extraordinarily little help, and could you blame them? I saw you keep your head together when anyone else would have lost it. I am proud of you.
The night came, the first night back in the camper on the property. The power goes off. So, you grab a flashlight and make the walk to the power box near the cottage. You were met with hostility from everyone. Everyone telling you to get off the property and you and the kids were not welcome. You picked up the phone and called the police. I am proud of you for having your daughter watch the little one in the camper. You kept them from seeing and hearing what was going on at the top of the property. I am proud of you.
I saw how many police showed up for you and the kids. I saw how hard they tried to convince your husband’s family to let you stay. I watched as you and your son stood there listening to your husband’s family throw lies out of their mouth. You listened to them say things about you that could never be true and never thought they would ever say about you. I saw you cry; I felt your worry. It was in the middle of the night, no money, no place to go and now you need to leave. The police deemed it not safe. You made it though. I am proud of you.
I saw you pack up your kids, leave the animals behind and go to a stranger’s house in the middle of the night. It went well there for a couple days until the man who let you stay in his home realized who your husband was. Realized he was once a member of a motorcycle gang. You could feel it, his family was telling him to get rid of you. So, he asked you to leave. You had nowhere to go again. You reached out to the person who picked you up the day you ran away. She had no problem letting you stay at her home. You stayed at her home for a couple days, in the living room. You had to move on because it was tough on your kids staying in a home that was somewhat affiliated with the motorcycle club. You pushed for somewhere else to go. I am proud of you.
You stayed at a Motel 6 for a week. You arranged to have your son picked up and taken to school. I saw everything you did. You went to the food bank, the pantry at the school, the day shelter, you reached out to any and every resources you could. You immediately looked for work. I am proud of you.
That week I witnessed you do something only a mother would do. You gave up your therapy dog so that your daughter could keep her dog. You were never going to let your daughter lose her dog. I see you cry about your dog every day, but I know you would do it again. You took your dog to the pound; you watched your son give up his therapy bird. Your heart hurt but you kept it together. I am proud of you.
You left the hotel with nowhere to go. You had nowhere to stay. You found someone to let you stay a few nights. You stayed there a couple nights but needed to move on. You got another voucher for a hotel. You stayed there for a little over a week. You and your kids. I saw you apply for jobs, attend court, get your child off to school and cook dinner. I saw how happy your kids were. Here you were in one of the most depressing, stressful times of your life and your kids are thriving. I am proud of you.
I saw you sell your computer. That was hard for you, but you did it. I am proud of you.
Then you had to leave the hotel. Nowhere to go once again. You and kids hung out in a packed car all day. You were praying for some news. You had hoped to have somewhere to go for the night. I saw that lady tell you the kids were going to be taken away if you were on the streets. You were really scared that day. To top it off you ran out of gas on the freeway and used the last of the gas in the can to get to the Justice center for a gas card, but they were closed. I saw you do all of that. I am proud of you.
I saw you and your son make the decision to sell your husbands wedding ring for gas money. I am proud of you.
That day was extra bad, but you handled it with ease. You finally got a call at the end of the day. The lady said she had transitional housing for you and the kids. You and the kids were so happy and felt relieved on your way to your new place to stay. I am proud of you.
I saw you pull up to the church across the street from your very first apartment you shared with your husband. I saw you and the kids walk into that locked down facility no longer a church. I saw you guys go into the basement. I saw how much you appreciated the free meal but did not appreciate all the rules you were being told. You and the kids looked at each other. I saw your faces and how freaked out you were. I saw the disappointment on your faces. I am proud of you.
The worse part of that meeting was when you were walked across the street to that apartment building where you would be staying. The very apartment building you and your husband once lived. Your very first place together, the building you lived in when you got married and had your first child. It had been 20 years since you stepped foot on those stairs. I saw how hard and overwhelming that was for you. I am proud of you.
I am proud of you for making the right decision for your family and walking away from there. I saw how much your kids backed your decision. I am proud of you.
Since it was late in the day you planned on camping that night. You called your friend and asked if you could park in the field behind her house and camp. She welcomed you back with open arms and had you stay in her house. I am proud of you.
I saw you deal with CPS. CPS informed you that you must stay at this friend’s house. So, you started making do. You stayed in the living room for a week. Then your friend provided the room in the garage. You started your job the first week there. You had little money and food, but you were resourceful. You took your family to dinner at the church. You tried to find things to do outside of your temporary home. I am proud of you.
I saw you sell your wedding ring. I saw you broke down on the road. I saw how every time you started and stopped your car you had to open the hood and plug and unplug your car. I saw all that and I am proud of you.
I saw you get to the point where you wanted to give up, you wanted to end your life. You started making phone calls to make sure your kids would be taken care of. You did not give up when all you wanted to do was give up. I am proud of you.
I heard all those phone calls and saw all those messages that hurt you, but you managed it well. You did not let it bother you longer than a minute. You never talked bad about your husband. You always took the high road. I am proud of you.
You got a place. I saw you cry the first time you went to your new home and realized this was the very first place you got on your own. I am proud of you.
I saw you and the kids in your new place. You guys had nothing. You were sleeping on the floor, but you all were happy. You taught your kids what true happiness is. I am proud of you.
I saw the hundreds of phone calls, emails, and meetings you had. I saw how hard you worked that summer. I am proud of you!
I acknowledge you for everything you have done and been through. I acknowledge how well you handled it. I AM PROUD OF YOU!
I CONTINUE TO BE PROUD OF YOU!