Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Dear Heartbroken Children (a therapeutic letter that I will never send)

Dear kids, (I will never share this with my children because it's far too honest for innocent victims of their parents crashing and burning.  It's really more about reminding myself (and forgiving myself) why i broke up my family.   It's just...therapy)

I’m so sorry.  I’m not sorry that my relationship failed, because I know I gave it my all.  I’m not sorry that I left, because I know I had to.  But I’m sorry that you have to endure the fallout from your parents mistakes.  I’m sorry that I had to shatter your perfect world, the very world that I created for you.   I’m sorry that I spent your entire lives striving to create an enviornment that is safe and happy and loving, only to have to make the hardest decision of my life to rattle all off that for a moment.  

I’m sorry that I’m asking you to try and understand things that there is no possible way you could understand.  I don’t even understand a lot of this right now.  I’m sorry that the best I can do right now is to ask you to trust me, all while you watch me flailing a little. 

I’m sorry that your father never wanted to marry me, and I’m sorry that I ever thought that was ok.  I’m sorry for not sharing your last name even though you are my whole life.  I’m sorry that all those years of bringing my babies into this world and devoting every waking moment to ensuring that you are thriving and happy, made me so blissfully blind to the possibility that he just didn’t love me the way I loved him.  You shouldn’t have had to overcompensate for that, but thank you.  I will forever be grateful to you for always being to key to my genuine happiness.  

I’m sorry that I hung in there for so long, trying to endure the anger and intolerance and resentment and pretending that I could tolerate it. I wanted to shield you all from that as best I could.  I took a lot of those bullets for you (and will until the day I die) and it was only a matter of time before that battle knocked me down.  I’m tired and scarred, but i’m recovering, trust me.  

I’m sorry that I took myself for granted, so much so, that I it was ok if the man I loved and cherished and nurtured never told me that he loved me.  I’m sorry for being so very patient and relentless in trying to earn that and ultimately convincing us all that I could go on doing that forever.  That was a mistake, and it will never happen again.  Trust me.  

I’m sorry for suggesting that someone’s relentless selfishness can be tolerated and forgiven with the occasional grand gesture.  It can’t, trust me.

I’m sorry for your father’s disinterest and for all of the excuses I made for it.  I’m sorry for ever going along with the idea that daddy’s work is more important than your pre-k graduations or concerts or any other brief shining moments in your childhood.  I never once believed that, I just knew I couldn’t change it.  

I’m sorry that you’re scared for me.  I’m sorry that you worry about how I will survive without daddy.  I’m sorry if I taught you that I can’t take care of myself just because I have dedicated my life to taking care of all of you.  I’m going to be just fine.  We are all going to be just fine.  Trust me.

I’m sorry that I hurt your father.  I loved him and fought for him until the bitter end.  I would have done anything for him, all while knowing I couldn’t really expect the same in return. That hurt me.  Trust me. 

I’m sorry that we are all hurting now just because my pain got too unbearable to handle anymore.  I would give anything to carry this burden on my own.  I spent more than a decade trying to ensure that my family was nothing but happy, and trying to protect all of you from pain and heartache only to make you a casualty of my own broken heart.  I never saw that coming, trust me.  

We will all be ok.  This moment is dark and uncertain and often tearfully blurry, but the future will be everything I ever dreamed of for you.  Trust me.  I will singlehandedly survive and care for myself and my children and you will be proud of me.  Your father may learn not to take loved ones or fleeting moments for granted.  I hope that you will all learn how important it is to love unabashedly and selflesly, and to never settle for less than you deserve and that it’s ok to walk away from anything less, even when it feels very, very not ok.   And I know that we will all learn how resiliant we are when we come out of all this feeling as safe and loved and happy as we ever were.  Trust me.  


  1. It is hard to walk on a rope-bridge when carrying those you love. A most heartbreaking but renewing essay.

  2. You are extremely brave & courageous Kris and I am glad we are friends. Your children will understand because you undoubtedly displayed them love. Keep your chin up & head high, life is a road of perils & triumphs...

  3. Wow, what an amazing, raw, real article. You are a hero. One day you will just look back at this unbearable time and be thankful that you choose happiness above just trying to survive. You are a mommy warrior. Thank you so much for sharing this. THank you thank you.

    1. Sorry, Julie. Kristin is not a hero or a warrior. Heroes don't walk out on their families. Heroes don't give up on a long-term relationship with four children, without even the slightest warning, without any attempt to communicate to their partner that something is wrong. I doubt that this advice-giver even thought about seeking counseling to try to work things out. She just bailed. Fine, follow your bliss, choose happiness, just don't call it heroism. It's more like good old-fashioned selfishness. And cowardice. A real hero would have persevered and found a way to work things out. Real heroes put their children's interests first, before their own. Or maybe something else happened that Kristin isn't writing about, like a good old-fashioned affair? I really love the bit about singlehandedly surviving and caring for the children, that's rich. As if she isn't going to heavily depend on their father for support.

    2. i certainly wouls not call myself a hero. just a sucker who is determined to feel relevant again after years of caring for four babies and one grown man child. Sadly that same man was impossible to talk to and really had zero interest in anyone or anything other than himself. and after many many years of that being painfully obvious, i saw no point in asking for his compassion or understanding. people like him, narcissistic selfish men, can't see beyond themselves. that was clear in the fact that he NEVER and i mean NEVER asked me how I was and what I needed. He NEVER told me he loved me. NEVER. and it was in my children's best interest to teach them that they should not treat people like that, and they should not settle for being treated like that. a hard but necessary life lesson for us all. Selfish people also like to pretend they are not at fault and it must have been something like an affair and not just their selfishness that led to the problem. and as far as relying on the father, I'm currently not asking or receiving a penny after raising his kids for 12 years and not earning a penny while he went out and made lots of money and drove fancy sports cars, and I am also living on one of his rental houses and paying HIM rent to live here with his children. but please, continue to pretend you know something. maybe you're just hurt or jaded because you too lost someone who couldn't tolerate selfishness and narcissism.

    3. And for the record, no i am not a hero. I feel like a failure, everyday. But I walk away knowing I tried. God knows I tried.

  4. Wow, what an amazing, raw, real article. You are a hero. One day you will just look back at this unbearable time and be thankful that you choose happiness above just trying to survive. You are a mommy warrior. Thank you so much for sharing this. THank you thank you.

  5. able to relate to much that you wrote..and my story was similar except suddenly when I started to realiE my heart was deeper than his and my heart was broke. I went from sorrow and brokenness to trting to find myself that had been lost in a relationship that I was deeper than he..then I learned to set boundaries for myself and do for me and my kids regardless of what he was willing to do, accepting less it was supposedly recognized by him and our relationship had a second light. I still wonder if at times the light continues to be lit or I have just accepted to settle kids. Many events missed by their father, many excuses made by me, and 20 years no marriage but then suddenly the change of heart to marry. Sometimes I still wonder if I still love harder than him and if my heart will break again cause I was once fooled and did what I could to take care of the kids and the relationship. Still feel guarded at times but love has grown again.