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Woman & Her Brother Receive A Heartbreaking Letter When Trying To Reunite With Their Mother — 'I'm Afraid That's Not An Option'

Photo: TikTok
A woman hears a heartbreaking letter on The Locator

Learning more about your family history can be exciting but sometimes emotional. For one woman, it gave her a greater understanding of why her mother didn’t raise her and her brother.

When she found out why their mother gave them up, she was brought to tears. The reasoning she gave is tragic, but many sympathized with her.

A person on the video-sharing app TikTok who goes by "@craftsbygaby" shared the clip from TV personality Troy Dunn’s TV show "The Locator."

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They received a heartbreaking letter when trying to reunite with their mother.

The clip is from the second season’s first episode, “A Daughter’s Dream/The Last Sister,” which follows Wendy Radcliff from Tucson, Arizona. After a divorce and custody battle, her father committed suicide, and her mother put her and her brother, Christopher, in their paternal family’s care.

They’d not been in contact with their mother since then. Both struggled with substance abuse and Christopher with landing in and out of prison.



However, Wendy overcame her addictions with the help of her grandmother and aunt and decided she was ready to learn why her mother gave her and Christopher up. 

Troy Dunn found her mother, and she gave him a letter to read to Wendy rather than meeting in person. Dunn read the letter aloud to Wendy as she reacted to it.

“I’m honored that you both are looking for me and want to reunite,” she wrote. “I’m afraid this is not an option for many reasons.”

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Her mother had lived a fulfilling life but shared she has a single regret: She wished to have never known their father.

The realization caused Wendy to start breaking down into tears. “I wish this every time the hair on the nape of my neck stands up. I wish this every time I see shadows in the dark. I wish this every time I cry for no apparent reason,” she wrote.

She didn’t want to elaborate into too many details, assumedly to spare Wendy from the trauma. Though, what she did share was poignant.

“Your father was consumed with demons. However, I want you to know he loved you both,” she said.

She credited the decision to leave their father “saved all three of us in different ways.” Her father’s abuse of her mother was too much for her to overcome completely. Wendy’s paternal family wanted to raise her and her brother, and her mother agreed it would be the best for them.

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“I knew they would be able to give you the love you deserved. And I knew your father’s demons had left scars so deep in my very core, and I feared I wouldn’t be able to give you that love,” she wrote.

She said that the trauma from the father’s domestic violence is her “burden to carry,” not theirs. She worried that seeing Wendy again would reawaken that dark past she shut herself out from. 

Despite refusing to see her children, people sympathized with her reasoning. 

“The mother is EXTREMELY emotionally intelligent. She knows her limits and wrote such a thoughtful, loving letter for closure,” one person wrote. “I respect that she chose herself but also gave her children closure,” another added.

People expressed how difficult it can be to overcome abuse and raise the children you had with the abuser. A 2005 study from Violence Against Women Online Resources found that mothers who abuse despite facing “higher levels of maternal depression” can be just as effective as parenting as those who weren’t.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit their website.

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Ethan Cotler is a writer living in Boston. His writing covers entertainment, news and human interest stories.