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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

An Open Letter to my ExLaws

Dear Family:

Let me start out by saying that I am sorry for the way that things have turned out between us. This is not how I wanted our relationship to be. When I married Jeff, I had visions of the perfect life, the perfect marriage, and the fairy tale ending in my dreams. Sadly, it didn’t turn out that way – at all.

However, there are some things that I need to say to you before any attempt at a "relationship" is made between you and Daniel. Honestly, at this point I am not even sure that I want him to have a relationship with any of you – this is something that I have struggled with for a long time, not just since Jeff's death.

My life, and Daniel's life changed forever on May 6, 2009 when I asked Jeff to leave our home for the last time. So many things happened leading up to that night, and I am quite sure that you know little or nothing about any of them. I'm fairly comfortable saying that I doubt that you know about the majority of the times that I had to call the police to our home because Jeff was in a drunken rage. I doubt that you know about the time that he choked me when I was 6 months pregnant with Daniel, or the time that he knocked me flat on the floor and almost broke my glasses, or the time that he kicked me because I finally figured out that he was hiding the bottles of booze in his boots. I'm assuming that he didn't tell you that the reason that I finally asked him to leave that night was because he was so intoxicated that he had pulled a knife out and was waving it around in front of the kids like a raving lunatic.

I doubt that you know about any of this. Why? Because since May 6, 2009, you haven't asked. You haven't picked up the phone to call and check on the well-being of your grandson. You haven't sent a letter explaining your feelings toward me. You have made no attempt at contact at all. To be brutally honest with you, that pisses me off. As far as I'm concerned, you wrote Daniel out of your lives more than two years ago. You weren’t there for Daniel when we lost our home and were within days of being on the street because Jeff refused to authorize the mortgage company to talk to me. You weren't there for Daniel when we lost the van because Jeff refused to work with me to renew the tags on it.

Jeff always used the excuse that because I had filed the PFA against him (after he threatened to kill me, by the way), no one in his family could contact me. Well, guess what? He left here on May 6, 2009. The PFA wasn't served to him until around mid-December 2009. Where were the phone calls during that 7 months? Where were the letters then? There was no legal reason at that time preventing you from contacting your grandson. YOU CHOSE NOT TO.

Even while the PFA was in effect, there was nothing preventing you from contacting Daniel. NOTHING. One call to me would have confirmed that. One call to the local police department here would have confirmed that. Did you do it? Nope. You chose not to have contact with Daniel. For the record, Jeff's visitation with Daniel was not limited during that time either. The judge informed him during the hearing for the PFA that he could have contact with Daniel ANY TIME HE WANTED TO, but he also chose to ignore him, his own son.

After the PFA expired, it took less than 12 hours for Jeff to call and start harassing me again. Did you call to check on Daniel? Nope. Again, you made the choice to ignore him.

Did you bother to call me and let me know that Jeff was sick? Or that he had been admitted to the hospital? No. Had I known, I might have allowed Daniel to talk to him on the phone one last time. But you robbed both Jeff and Daniel of that chance.

When Mary called to tell me that the family wanted to have a "relationship" with Daniel, I was angry. How could anyone who ignored a beautiful, smart, funny, amazing little boy for 2 years be deserving of having a relationship with him? You don't deserve anything from him. Nothing. He didn't deserve to be written off by his own flesh and blood – he didn't make that choice - you made it for him.

One thing that I don't deserve is the blame for Jeff's death. It is not my fault. I didn't force him to drink bottles upon bottles of booze every week. Yes, alcoholism is a disease and it clouded his thinking, but guess what? There's treatment for the disease – he made the choice to refuse that treatment. Mary informed me that he was in such a "deep, dark depression" because I wouldn't allow him to have contact with Daniel, and that it was that depression ultimately caused his death. What kind of a mother would I be if I allowed my toddler son to have a conversation with someone who was so drunk that his words were slurring? Yes, most of our phone conversations ended by me hanging up on him – but that's because I don't deserve to be spoken to like he did, and I don't have to be subjected to a drunk, either in person or on the phone.

I don't really care what you opinion is of me. You don't have to like me. But you have an amazing grandson here that you have ignored for more than two years. And nothing that you can do can make up for that, and nothing you can say will make me forgive you for it. You can come up with every excuse in the book, and I don't care – the point is that you never made the effort. Distance shouldn't be an issue – in this day and age, family can maintain a relationship from opposite sides of the world, if they choose to do so.

Like I always told Jeff – "it's all about choices". He chose to drink, he chose to refuse treatment, and those choices ultimately led to his death. You made the choice to ignore Daniel. I made the choice to remove myself and my kids from a potentially dangerous situation.

Don't get me wrong – I am absolutely devastated by Jeff's death. I never knew that it was possible to hurt this much, even after more than 3 months. I still loved him, and in a way I still do. I always hoped that he would get the treatment that he needed and that he would once again be the man that I fell in love with, and that we could make another attempt at having a real family again. I never wanted things to turn out the way that they have, but I had to do what I did in order to protect my kids and myself.

Daniel is sitting here on my lap as I type this. He's drawing pictures in a notebook and talking a mile a minute, and every now and then he turns to me and wipes the tears from my face. He has no idea that half of his family has ignored him for the past 2 years, because I haven't told him. He's too little to understand. His life consists of the family and friends who have been here for him without fail, and he is so happy and healthy and well-adjusted and smart because of the positive influences in his life. I refuse to allow negativity into his world right now – he is too young, and he has plenty of time as he gets older to deal with that.

If you are going to be a part of his life, I ask that you respect my feelings. As I said before, I don't expect you to like me or to agree with the decisions that I made, but I ask that you respect them. I did, and continue to do, what I believe is the best for my family. I will not tolerate anyone belittling me (or Jeff) in front of any of my children. I will do anything that I feel that I need to do to protect myself and my kids from any threat or negative influence out there.

It's up to you. If you want to have a healthy, positive relationship with Daniel, I give you my blessing.



  1. strong woman.
    You are very strong... and brave...

    and your son is LUCKY to have you!

  2. Absolutely beautiful post. Very deeply emotional. I have been there before with a spouse dealing with alcoholism and can attest that rarely does anyone outside the home understand what we go through. Especially when we have children. Kudos to you for writing this, I hope getting this off your chest helps you breathe a little easier.

  3. Hi... ummm.... are your ex's from a parallel universe? Because they sound just like mine. However, here and there, they (including the kids dad) occasionally call to ask if htey can see the kids. But I know that all I have to say is "sure, call when you know you want to see them." And it will be another few months before you call again.

  4. Oh, how I feel this. So very deeply. I hope there is healing in here for you. I too have a major division in my family. And now, because of the social media mess of the world, some are trying to reach out and I don't want them here.
    I'm 32 years old. My boys are older than I was when they walked away. Sometimes I suspect the guilty conscience makes people want to 'reach out' again.
    Good for you for standing up to these people. If they really do have good intentions, they will respect you and your wishes.
    Stay Strong.

  5. Beautifully written, Amy! Good for you for putting it out there. I hope they read this letter and truly take it all in...for the little man's sake! :)

  6. Awesome letter, Amy! You are a very strong woman.

  7. What a powerful testimony. I hope they read this and understand your point of view. If they want a relationship with Daniel, it needs to be on your terms. You are his rock and advocate.

  8. Thank you, everyone - your words mean the world to me! I've thought about doing this for a long time, but for those of you who know me, you know I tend to be a little stubborn at times. It took a few long conversations with some very smart people to make me realize that I needed to do this - as much for Daniel as for myself. I just hope and pray that it will have a positive outcome.

    And Kateri - girl, I've been wanting to comment on your blog, but you don't allow it........ :)

  9. It's been said before but I will say it again. Very incredibly brave of you to write, and extremely well written. Couldn't have said anything better. I have dated/lived with an alcoholic. Thankfully he never physically harmed me, but the emotional injuries still linger slightly even though its been years. Good for you for getting rid of him and good for you for speaking your mind on behalf of your son!

  10. Truly a sad situation. Amy is another person who has chosen to hide behind a blog to share her own feelings of guilt. She is clearly looking for attention (and probably money) from Jeff's family.. or anyone for that matter. She needs help..

  11. Yes, Amy is clearly "hiding" behind her blog. All this open communication, brutal honesty, and a clear invitation to be involved in her son's life is so cowardly. And even though she hasn't come right out and asked for anything, she obviously demonstrates pathetic attention- and money-seeking behavior. Truly sad, indeed. Could you imagine if she had posted this anonymously?...

  12. Great response bungalow, and well said! Amy's blog is honest and sincere, and I'm guessing like many bloggers, it's a somewhat therapeutic writing process. I admire her perseverance and strength - she is clearly a woman and mother who has experienced tough times and is just doing her best to be a good mom and a good person. A good person who is honest, and again, NOT ANONYMOUS!

  13. Snarkiness aside, I wish nothing but open communication and healthy relationships for you and Jeff's family, not only for Daniel's sake, but for everyone's sake. Suspicious and angry is no way to go through life.

    "May you be filled with loving kindness,
    may you be well,
    may you be peaceful and at ease,
    may you be happy." ~Buddhist blessing

  14. No...I am not the same Anonymous. I am the one from VA. I find it interesting how he/she accuses Any of "hiding". Just another wuss who has no life and can only feel better by belittling others. Hey dummy, you couldn't hold your own in a verbal exchange with Amy, let alone live through what she has. Nor, would you emerge as strong and a positive person.
    Get your facts right, and get a life.

  15. Wow -- what a brave and eloquent piece. Will the intended recipients read it?

  16. I have stood in Amy's shoes three years ago on St. Patrick's Day. I got word at my job that my ex husband and father to my two kids had been killed the night before.

    The range of emotion and turmoil was astounding. It has been my honor to be able to use that terrible experience to help her through hers. It has helped me build a bridge I never thought could be built with his family, who are now like my own family.

    They had to prove to me though. After all the pain and destruction that happened while we were together and after we split - I wasn't going to leave my young children vulnerable. A good mother NEVER would!! It is our job. I listened in on EVERY phone call for a year. I read every note before they got it. I intercepted everything and laid the line out clearly of what was and was not acceptable.

    Part of the story: http://parenting-theblackhole.blogspot.com/2010/09/first-of-all-i-would-like-to-start-by.html

    To accuse someone of hiding is absurd, especially when a blog is more public than her complaining to a close friend. She is braver and stronger than any woman should have to be and she does it without thought everyday. She is putting herself out here in truth and honesty and YOU are hiding out behind anonymous and taking un-neccessary pokes at an already hurting soul. Shame on you and may Karma find your doorstep soon.

  17. Hey Amy! Why don't you leave Jeff's family alone and focus on being a real mother to your OTHER KIDS and your multiple baby days! PS - You are still FAT I see!

    - A Former Friend

  18. Wow, I see such a desperately unhappy person ^ there. You should not have even tagged the word friend after that former. Anyone who deserves to use the word friend is a far bigger and better person that one that would go slamming into someone else's business with the subtlety of an elephant in a china shop.

    I sincerely hope that you have never and would never experience the kind of pain that we went through. But I do hope that at some point in life you will find your eyes open to what any decent person would already know: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." – Plato

    But as one of her closest REAL friends: Fat can be changed - ugly soul cannot.

  19. Wow...I couldn't figure out why there was such a spike in the traffic here while I was getting lunch for the kids and doing some laundry - awesome! I see that I have some new fans to thank for that - so glad that you came to read my blog!

    Anonymous #1 and #2 - thank you so much for your constructive criticism. I really do appreciate it! I am always happy to hear differing opinions on how I am to run my life.

    As for "hiding" behind a blog? Really? I didn't realize that I was hiding, since I use my real name and picture on here. And I'm not hiding from the exlaws either, as they should be receiving their printed copy of this letter within the next day or two, depending on the USPS.

    But darn it, I guess I did forget to ask them for money, didn't I? Shoot...I guess I'll have to get back into their good graces first, and then hit them with that request. Yeah, that sounds like a plan to me.

    And yes, I openly admit that I'm fat. So what? I can change that. Already did a half-marathon, prosthetic hip and all. What have you done lately?

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go through with my evil plot to take over the world.

    Have a great day, everyone!!


  20. Amy,

    oh.. I forgot to add the fact that you are still ugly as sin too. You can't change THAT! Have a nice day.

    - FF

  21. Ames is beautiful inside and out. That is a LOT more than anyone can say about YOU!! How about getting a life and leaving her alone if you don't like her that much?

    She won't but I will say it: Fuck off!!

  22. Seems like Anonymous,has a grudge againts you ! I really dont understand why because you have the strength to talk about this when maybe others are not capable of doing so just yet, and the simple fact is : this blog can help a lot of people out there.He or she does NOT even have enough guts to write his or her name and give valuable explanations on why he/she hates you like this Probably some JEALOUS person right Anonymous? here is the definition as you probably cant understand logically simple words just yet: 1.
    feeling resentment against someone because of that person's rivalry, success, or advantages (often followed by of ): He was jealous of his rich brother.
    feeling resentment because of another's success, advantage, etc. (often followed by of ): He was jealous of his brother's wealth.
    characterized by or proceeding from suspicious fears or envious resentment: a jealous rage; jealous intrigues.
    as PrincessMommyPants says really well: Fuck off and go play in your cradle!

  23. HAhahahahaha Well said marie and thanks, I'm not one to mince words at a certain point ;)

  24. PrincessMommyPants :Thank you ,some people love reading Amy's blog's because they are Inspirational and full of talent +they are REAL:)
    Amy does Rock!

  25. Hey PrincessMommyPants!

    Go brew some 'shine in them thar hills of TN! YEEEEEHHHHHHAAAAAWWWWW.

    And go fork yourself.

  26. I tell her she is my hero all the time. I've never seen anyone work as hard as she does!!! She couldn't have picked a more perfect name for her blog.

    She used to post these incredible To-Do lists with like 40 things a day or some crap (lol - probably a bit of an exaggeragtion) but she would check of all if not nearly all of it EVERY single day. She is always doing something if not with her kids then for them.

    Awww baby is screaming for his mommy - do ya think it is a crap filled diaper or a nuk they need?

  27. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  28. Thank you Boro Guy, well stated and polite disagreement.

    Even though I disagree - her story could help another and that makes it a good thing. I know because I have already been there and back.

    There isn't a need for Jeff to defend himself, she didn't say anything that wasn't truthful, but again we know and understand that there are many people there who know more about who Jeff was without the alcohol.

  29. I didn't use his last name or his location. You did. His family will be getting the letter within the next day or two.

  30. All I have to say is that Amy is one of the most amazing women I know. She juggles 5 kids daily and does it well. I struggle to pull through with two. Amy isn't hiding anything. It's all out here in the open for the whole internet world to read if they wanted to. She even sent a hard copy to the exlaws! She's got some balls, because I don't think I could do that, and my exlaws are just as bad.

    Amy, God bless you and your kids. You guys have been through hell and back and you survived. You're doing quite well as far as I'm concerned. I am honored to know you, even if we've never met in person. Mad props for you! <3

  31. Oh, and I forgot to add...

    You're pulling her personal appearance into this? What does that have to do with anything? Jealous much? I think Amy is beautiful!

  32. Allow me to analyze this for a minute, with my commentary being in brackets.

    Anonymous {Doesn't have enough balls to say what they want to say out in open, unlike Amy} said...

    Truly a sad situation {Yes, the whole situation is sad. NO one should have to deal with this}. Amy is another person who has chosen to hide {usually when someone hides, you can't see them. Like anonymous people.} behind a blog to share her own feelings of guilt {I'm not sure she mentioned feeling guilty anywhere. However, you must be feeling horribly guilty after reading this, which is why you are feeling the need to turn around and blame Amy for being open and honest, despite the fact that it hurt the feelings of the guilty party.}. She is clearly looking for attention (and probably money) {if she really wanted money, don't you think that she would just willingly let them see Daniel so that they could form some sort of relationship with him, and maybe even feel the NEED to help support him? To me, it sounds like she cares less about the money, and more about what is right for HER family} from Jeff's family.. or anyone for that matter . She needs help.. {I would need help too if I had to deal with the shit she did, and now have to deal with a bunch of crazy lunatics trying to butt into my life.}

    On to the next jackass who reads Amy's blog but doesn't even like her (can we say stalker?):

    Hey Amy! Why don't you leave Jeff's family alone and focus on being a real mother to your OTHER KIDS and your multiple baby days {Hi, I don't know who you are, because like the first poster, you don't have the balls to say what you want to say to Amy and let her know who you are, but I think I might have seen you on Maury... or was it Jerry Springer? Either way, it was nice of you to care enough to mention her other kids, and remind her to take care of them, however, I'm sure she does that well enough without the reminder. Although your negativity turns slightly to humor when I see that you can't spell.}! PS - You are still FAT I see! {I'm sure she is flattered that you have been stalking her, and looking at her pictures, but I'm really not sure what this had to do with the post. What I take from this comment, is that YOU are the one screaming for attention and drama. And you are probably fat. And what matters most is how she treats others. Which is where she clearly has a one up on you.}

    - A Former Friend {It sure sounds like she is missing a lot by not having your 'friendship' to count on now.}


    oh.. I forgot to add the fact that you are still ugly as sin too {ugly as sin? If sins are ugly to you, you must be a Christian. But God doesn't recognize 'anonymous'. See you in hell.}. You can't change THAT! Have a nice day. {How fucking polite of you to wish her nice day. However, your fake attempt at killing with kindness isn't quite working.}

    - FF

    Nothing is more ridiculous than people hiding behind an anonymous profile because they don't have the balls to let Amy really know who is saying this shit. Although I'm sure we can all assume that it is (sadly) someone close to the situation. In which case.... why do they even read her blog, and care about what she has to say, if they don't care about her? It's not like she is saying things behind people's back, or lying. But I suppose that is why everyone is up in arms- they can't stand to face the truth. Oh well.... at least SHE cares for Daniel. Unlike the fucktards that don't want to see him that are probably the same douche boxes that don't have the balls to let Amy know who's commenting.

  33. Amy, this is the first time I've read your blog and I back you 100%. All the other idiots can eff off. They have nothing better to do than piss and moan and pick on someone to make them feel better about themselves.

  34. ANONYMOUS....What a pathetic loser. You are nothing more than a bully and a coward. There is no difference between you and a high school kid hiding behind a fence to shake down a kindergardner for her lunch money. And what's this "your fat....your ugly crap? Wait, what about "and your momma dresses you funny"?. Your so pathetic it makes me laugh. You hide behind an anonymous moniker taking pot shots at people. Just like a coward would do. My guess is that you are one of two things. And I use the term thing because you are a disgrace to the animal kingdom as a whole not just the human race. You are either a douchbag woman beating scumbag who feels that every woman needs to be put in her place the old fashioned way and you tell your buddies that you are the man of the family where instead you are hated and unloved by even your own kids because you make mommy cry and you make them cower in fear. Your upset at the fact that a woman was brave enough to take herself out of a bad situation and survive. How dare her!!! OR you yourself are battered and you are jealous of the fact that she was strong enough to walk out of a bad situation that you don't have the balls or guts to get out of. You hide behind your rose tinted glasses that hide the black eye and lie to your family and friends and make excuses for the one who slaps you around instead of bucking up the courage to walk away. If you are the former, I hope she shoots you in your sleep. If you are the latter, well then I just feel sorry for you. Because instead of taking courage from what Amy post and gaining courage to realize that you too can change your life, you try to shit on her by making laughably childish remarks. These remarks point to a fourth grade intellect. To stupid to finish school or one to many hits to the head? I am sure that when she read that she was fat and ugly that she went into hysterics and was totally unconsolable for a whole what.....2 seconds. Either way? your pathetic.

  35. Thank goodness you were strong enough to make him leave. So many women hang on to the pointless hope that their men will somehow change and in the process they subject themselves and their children to untold misery.

    You did a very selfless thing here.


  36. Hey anonymous...here's a tip...we bloggers can see IP addresses. Easily. :)

    Non-Stop Mom, what you went through stinks on ice. I hope that little boy grows to be a great man.

  37. I'm sorry I missed all of this when it was happeneing but I am going to put my two cents worth in anyway...

    First of all: I am so appauled at the lack of maturity in which some people have replied to this letter! Second of all: Amy is a beautiful person on the inside and outside. She is an inspriation to myself and other single mothers every day. She is strong and has committed her life to raising those beautiful children and more people need to take a lesson from her.

    Obviously, you have not gotten to know her or you'd have seen it for yourself. She does not need anyone to pay her way or help take care of her and the ONLY time she ever puts her hand out is to help someone up!

    Yes, I know both her and Jeff...Yes, they've had their problems. She put up with abuse and in my opinion, emotional torture from him but this open letter to her exhusbad is not the time or place for anyone to attack her. She has gone through more than most of you have, I'm sure. So until you walk a marathon (good job Ames!)in her shoes, I suggest you find another venue to "anonymously" post your hollow statements.

  38. I am just curious here, what kind of adult tells another person they are fat and ugly.
    First of all, how completely and totally juvenile.
    Supposedly Amy is hiding behind her blog, but you don't even have the guys to post your real name when you write such complete nonsense.
    Amy, as I said in my post, Haters Gonna Hate, and sadly someone here obviously just leads a sad, pathetic existence. They can make friends with my haters and they can all go jump in a lake. :)



  40. This is a beautiful post! I have had a very similar experience with my ex-laws who wrote me off the day my ex-husband left and have very minimal contact with the kids now as well. Your words here are courageous and brave and I thank you so much for sharing them.

  41. I JUST got caught up. Man I am glad I missed this party or I would be in jail on your behalf.



I have only two rules - don't reveal anyone's personal information, and be respectful. It's not difficult, honest. Now, go on and play.