In 2013, I pulled up the 2008 letter-not-sent (Release.) and edited, shortened from five pages to two — and added updates to it.
Originally written January 16, 2008
It was inexcusably cruel of you to treat me the way you did the day of the funeral. Despite what you may believe, Tyrone’s passing has been incredibly hard on me. It was unconscionable for you to separate me from my children and banish me to the back of the room.
I heard your nasty comments as you hovered at my back while I said goodbye to the husband that I loved for eight years and shared two perfect children with, and was infuriated, but I acted with dignity and walked away. Out of respect for your family and your loss.
The kids know I was concerned about Tyrone, and praying for him. I saw his sadness when he first met our new dog, and was clearly reminded of his dog. But I am having a very hard time forgiving you as I forgave Tyrone for everything he put me through. I will never claim that I was a perfect or even a great wife to him, but we had good times too, and loved each other deeply when we made those children.
None of that excuses the abuse, but now I understand how much of a hand you had in our ruin. After the divorce, I did not hate Tyrone, or feel sorry for him. At the end, I only wished him happiness. I just felt sorrow that he seemed to be stuck in such a sad place.
As for you, I’ll pray that God will help me find forgiveness, because I am constantly reminded of the scars you have left on my past. I can relate the three worst days of my life directly to your involvement, and that’s something hard to move beyond.
The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, the most painful moment, was telling my children the awful news that their father had passed away—and later telling them he had taken his own life. But it wasn’t the worst day.
This was the worst day of my life, until it was surpassed by the other two: the day you told me I was abusing my children and just didn’t remember doing it, and by God I trusted you, and scared beyond logic of hurting my kids unintentionally, attempted to take my own life.
By the time Tyrone got home, I knew it was the wrong thing, and I knew that God had spared me to teach me a lesson, but I didn’t know how great that lesson was. Tyrone asked me what was wrong, and I told him. Unbelieving, he put dozens of pills in front of me and told me to prove it. In anger and indignation, I swallowed a handful of pills, and he called 911.
What I thought was a nightmare, my admission into the hospital stress unit, was my prayers being answered. Learning that I was definitely not “crazy” like I’d been called so many times—I was brainwashed, and abused. Not by only my husband, but you as well.
I don’t believe anything I once believed about the horrible things you told me about my mother. I think they were fabricated to drive me further from my family.
Speaking of lies, this was the worst day of my life, until it was surpassed recently: the day you kidnapped my children. I remember with stark detail, attempting to escape your home with the kids in each arm, and your frantic call to 911 and your outrageous outbursts—your faked mania and sobbing, panicked screams that I was trying to push you down the stairs, all the while giving me the most evil look ever. My attorney told me what you did that day was felony kidnapping. And again, when you didn’t let them leave with me with a court order.
On the Friday after Tyrone died, when I was sitting in your kitchen, helping you by providing dozens of photos of Tyrone and the kids for the service, and bringing the kids to you so that you could have them near in your time of loss, I was nearly physically sick as I glanced around the room and endured all the hateful memories, all the years that holidays were dreaded because of your family’s fights. But I did it for him, for them, and for you.
Finally, the worst day of my life, and God forbid I ever endure worse: the day of Tyrone’s funeral. None of the few close friends I confided my pain in could believe what you had done. Only your sisters approached me with condolences. I was alone in my grief, sent away from my rightful place next to our grieving children, as images flashed before me of MY LIFE, photos of my husband and our kids, photos that I took.
In that moment, I felt more alone than I’ve ever felt. Quietly wishing I’d brought my husband— and glad I didn’t for the kids’ sake—because they needed to stay, and to be there. If he’d been there, we’d have taken the children and walked out; scheduled a separate private service. He would not allow me to be treated that way. As always, I was acting in their best interests, even if it destroyed me emotionally.
I endured months of pure hell, thinking that the ONLY way you could have treated me that horribly was if you truly blamed ME for Tyrone’s death. It was the only thing that made sense—I’d never wish venom like that on my worst enemy. You must have believed that Tyrone was dead because of me, directly or indirectly. That was it—his suicide note. The note I’d asked for a copy of back in September. The note you never provided. It had to be the answer.
Imagine my relief that I wasn’t even mentioned in his note. You can’t imagine my pain for him, though, seeing the words I’d heard so many times before. His note, the death certificate and the police report from the scene will be locked in a safety deposit box.
Some day his children may want to know. Some day, they will be old enough to understand, and they have the right to the truth. I would never do anything to reduce their love of their father and his memory. The abuse I suffered from him has been forgiven, buried, and will only be revealed if they so choose to approach me and specifically ask. I will not lie to them.
I’m enclosing college account information for both children. When the back child support due becomes available, please credit it directly to the kids’ college accounts.
P.S. How dare you tell me who I can and cannot talk to? Shortly after Tyrone’s death, you called and left a nasty voicemail, telling me not to post on his online guestbook, telling me not to try to contact his friends, and other things. Not asking, demanding. How dare you?
You robbed his closest friends of their opportunity to say goodbye, letting no one but your chosen few attend the services. I suggested to my husband that we host an informal memorial for his friends, so that they could meet the kids and share memories with them. I posted on Tyrone’s guest book, inviting people to contact me if they wished.
Then Sean posted that he was having a memorial at his place, and I was more than happy to give him photos of Tyrone and the kids, and pictures from the wedding. I asked for a copy of the DVD for him, for his gathering—not for “posting on the internet” as you accused. Worried that you would have the guestbook taken down if I didn’t, I had my post removed, so that his friends could use it. So that the kids could see the words of people they never knew, that loved their father very much.
Then you called Sean at work and told him not to speak with me. Again, how dare you? You upset him so much he had to leave work. I have never shared with Sean the extent of the difficulties that Tyrone and I had—it had nothing to do with their friendship. And he has told me, on several occasions, that he respected me for that.
That was 2008. This is 2013.
1. You have a lot of nerve to respond to me about my letter to Stuart. That was a mother’s letter to her adult son. Some day, he will learn the truth. If any shred of human decency remains in you, you should insist that Stuart attempt to reconcile. Otherwise you have effectively stolen both his father and his mother from him. Don’t tell me you’re praying for me while you’re putting me through Hell. You emotionally kidnapped my son.
2. Years ago, Stuart would get a $30 game, and Coraline might get $3 in barrettes. At least she was young enough then to not see how much favoritism you showed him. I’ve never understood what she could have possibly done to deserve to be treated that way. I have NEVER told Coraline not to visit, only that she didn’t have to if she didn’t want to. She noticed you spent over $400 on Stuart at Christmas, and she got a $50 gift card. And she got a greeting card on her birthday, and he got a new laptop. Really? Do you even care how that makes her feel?
3. As far as you being worried about Tyrone’s memorial video being posted on the internet for the world to see, what about the pornographic photos of us that HE posted on Yahoo in 2001, giving out my full name and location in [city] where I lived with our children! Enough personal details were given in the unflattering captions that a stranger was able to locate and contact me on social media to make me aware of it. I contacted Yahoo immediately, but was not able to get the photos removed. I can only hope the children never find them.
4. I haven’t been “crazy” since I left Tyrone. I no longer have someone telling me I’m crazy, demanding I go to counseling and then telling me that I must be lying to them if they suggest I’m not the one with the problem. You don’t know me at all. You know a ghost. The person you accuse me of being is a figment of your imagination, nothing more. No one else sees that person. But dozens of people would gladly vouch for the person I really am. You are the only person, other than Tyrone, who ever saw something other than a wonderful, loving, caring, considerate human being. Why?
5. By the way, I was told TWICE, by an attorney and by a rep at the social security office, that I didn’t have to pay back the death benefits. I chose to do so. It was explained to me how the money was to be used, and it was used in permissible ways, and I am paying it back anyway. Stop saying that I stole from Stuart, when it’s just more of your lies.
Truth has a way of revealing itself with time. It is you, not I, who should be concerned.
Today, I can’t remember if I mailed this heavily edited version. I may have.
I was in a lot of pain in 2013, and I may not have done all the right things, the right way. I was diagnosed with PTSD because my son leaving brought up very difficult repressed memories from the tumultuous divorce.