to my abuser’s mom, just know I don’t blame you

Of all the things I left behind when I walked out him, you were one of the hardest to lose. We had grown so close over the years, and I began to see you as family. But you’re his mother, so naturally you had to take his side.

I don’t miss him at all, but I do miss you. And I just want to tell you that even though you raised him, I know that what happened wasn’t your fault.

From everything I know, you were a great mother. You gave your only child a roof over his head, all the things he needed and plenty of what he wanted. You taught him manners, instilled values of family, and encouraged him to always work hard.

But from the very beginning he was feeding you a selective part of our story. He very carefully constructed the relationship that you, and everyone else, saw. What you missed behind closed doors was impossible to detect, and what you saw in the open was easy to explain away.

I can’t blame you for not noticing the way he treated me, because it took me years to label the manipulation myself. I was so focused on the good we had, that I was completely incapable of seeing the ugly.

I defended him to everyone and told myself that he would someday be the man I needed. The man I knew you raised him to be. A man who wouldn’t make me cry, make me hurt, or make me second guess everything I knew.

The times he did raise his voice with you around, you’d give him a scolding. Then you’d laughed and say you don’t know how I put up with him. Or you’d make him apologize, and give me a knowing look. But neither of us really understood how deep the unhealthy actions went. At least not at first.

I’m so sorry you had to watch. Looking back at the rise of our love story and the fall out of our toxic relationship, I can’t imagine the pain it must have caused you. Your only son, your flesh and blood, had not only found an incredible girl, but took her entirely for granted and destroyed her.

You heard the arguments, you saw my pain and you watching helplessly as he ruined the best thing that had ever happened to him. And no matter how much you may wish you could’ve reasoned with him, we both know it wouldn’t have done any good.

When I finally got the courage to leave, you had no choice but to stand by him. And while that does make me sad, I can’t blame you for it. To be honest, I don’t even know if he told you the truth about how we ended.

Maybe he made up an elaborate story and painted me as the bad guy. Maybe you’re glad I’m gone. But part of me is sure that no matter what he said, deep down you know the truth.

I have chosen to forget a lot of things about my relationship, but I’ll always think fondly of my time with you. I hope one day he finds a woman who is able to bring out the man I couldn’t seem to find. I hope one day I’ll have a mother-in-law I adore.

But it’s comforting to know that no matter what happens, you’ll always have a special spot in your heart for me, just like I will for you.

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