Mom Missing Child - Ptsdi was 22 when i had my first of two daughters. i refused to stay with the father because of his anger, and his volatile reactivity to my growing depression as i was pregnant like this. since then, i believe he has worked a lot on himself... but i'm glad i don't have to be with him.
anyway, i had my second only after i was married. this marriage was worse than i could have ever believed. i stayed too long because i thought i needed to know i had done everything that i could before i left a marriage.. and i didn't realize it was going to affect me the way that it did. i though i could see his violence, and his suddenly out-of-remission- addictions, for what they were, and that he could be helped. i had no idea. i left and cut off all contact when my second daughter was a one year old. he ended up going to prison for a few years and i remained in the same city, sharing custody with the first Dad of my older daughter.
when i finally became willing to try another serious relationship, about two years later.. thats when i found out i had C-PTSD. i was like a soldier who had been suddenly dropped back off in vietnam. apparently the Complex- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was very severe. I tried to go to support groups and group therapy, but these other people weren't suffering in the same way that i was (thank God) and i felt they had no solutions for me. i assume there actually are many vets who know it well, but their services would be provided through the VA, which i didn't have access to. still, more vets have died from suicide than died in combat. I waited on a long waiting list for a grant funded program and started EMDR (which is part of the therapy the veterans undergo) and individual counseling with a trauma specialist. I began accepting medication to help "stabilize" me, and then became so severely suicidal i agreed to go inpatient while they made some adjustments. it was a living hell. it was worse than the initial abuse in some ways. and i still had two little girls to care for.
in time, i started doing much better. and then the day came that i learned of his early release from prison. i fell apart with the letter in my hand. i needed to function i could not go back to feeling unsafe. i decided to move out of state. the first father was not going to let me just take my older daughter. my friends told me needed to go, that if i didn't i would be neglecting the needs of my children. they came in shifts and packed up my house. my godparents arranged for a uhaul and a place to live in my childhood city. the first father and i submitted our agreement with the court that i could move yet maintain shared custody, have every spare day from her school schedule, and return to a 50/50 parenting schedule if i were to return. and we got in a uhaul and drove away. summer was great, but i haven't been able to afford every three day weekend i wanted to. i miss her desperately. desperately. and i don't know how to completely let myself be happy because i am a failure as a mother. i hate always having to explain that i have a child in another state. people always look at me like i must have been a drug addict... what mother would have a child in another place?? of course i will never deny that she exists, and i run into it every day as i talk and meet people. "oh, you have TWO kids?" i hate my shame and guilt only slightly less than i hate being apart from her. we talk about her all the time. my younger daugter draws pictures for her every day and talks about her constantly. i feel broken. i feel like i should feel broken with the bad choices i made. i feel like a failed mother, a failed human being, and i just want my kid back.