I need you to know these things.
You keep telling me how at eight years old, I suddenly became the most difficult child. You made a joke out of it and said I was probably the only child to start puberty that young.
And when you said that, I cringed. I wanted to scream and cry. I had so many things I wanted to say to you just then — but I couldn't. How does a mother not realize that when a child changes so abruptly, there's more at stake than puberty? How does a mother not try to get to the bottom of her child's behavior?
But a warning bell should've gone off in your head when I changed overnight into an angry, confused child.
I still ask myself why I couldn't confide in you. There must have been something wrong in our relationship, though some of it had to do with the fact that he threatened to kill me if I told anyone. But if our relationship would've been a better one, Mom, I would've told you.
The other thing I couldn't tell you — and can never tell you — is that it was your husband who betrayed me. He betrayed a sacred trust between a father and a child. He did the unthinkable. And you were painfully oblivious. And for that, I'm not sure I can ever forgive you.
If there's one good thing that came out of all these horrible things, it's the relationship I built with my own children.
My son went through something similar with a "trusted worker," and my proudest and most painful moment in my parenting career came when he told me what happened. At least he had the opportunity to go for therapy and try to heal so it doesn't affect his life as much as the abuse has — and still does — affect mine.
Although this letter will never be sent, it's my hope that by writing it, I can heal just a little bit more.