Do you really want to know why I left my kids behind?
The truth is, I’m not even sure I want to know. I want to erase the parts of my memory that still hurt, lock away the pain and never have to revisit it again.
I’m a bad mother. I abandoned my children because I wanted a frei life. That’s what they say, anyway. That I wanted to drink and do drugs and have sex with lots of men.
I’m a bad mother because I sought out a friend to allieviate some of the daily trauma I was going through, and when it turned inappropriate I let it continue. Then, when I was found out for this stupid relationship, I was a bad mother because I had to be physically punished by my childrens’ father while my oldest watched.
I’m a bad mother because I still went to mikva even when I was pregnant so he wouldn’t find out. And I didn’t tell the mikva lady to open her eyes and cry out even though she saw that I had been hurt.
I’m a bad mother because I picked one child over two and left them behind because I thought he would kill me.
I’m a bad mother because I hid from my children, miles away in a town without frum Jews. I let the shomrim bang on the door until their knuckles bruised. I’m a bad mother because I didn’t go back for them, cut their peyos off and give them English names so their father wouldn’t find them.
I’m a bad mother because I let him think that she wasn’t his, even though it’s clear as day whose genes she has. I’m the worst mother because I’m keeping her wonderful spirit away from him so he can’t treat her like he treated and still treats me.
I’m a bad mother, because he and I both know that if I launched an aggressive custody battle it would come out that she is his and I would lose her too. I don’t fight back when he takes visitation away from me, because in my head I think I can save my daughter from the truth just a bit longer.
She doesn’t know she’s chassidish. She doesn’t speak much Yiddish. I’m a bad mother because I’m robbing her of the traditions of her heritage.
Don’t say I’m not a bad mother, because I am.