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January 4, 2016 / Patti Bryant

I Didn’t Think of Your Name

“For the longest time, I haven’t thought of your name. I remember it. I know it. But, I haven’t thought about it or you. I have enjoyed several months without wondering and worrying. I have relished the tight-knit trust in our family. Our silliness and fun that we all have together when we can is something I always love. I just thought the other day how my family is my favorite place to be. But, oh how quickly things can change.

We are the sum total of our decisions. I have evaded some of that sum for a good long time. I have enjoyed the treat of the perfectly happy marital relationship with my one true love. I have relished in the drama and games of my children, all of them. I had thought I had successfully eradicated all of you from beyond my control. There was no time in my days to fear that something would pierce through the beautiful beaming stained glass window of my reality and splay shards of broken heart everywhere.” ~PGB, drafted 9/15/2014


I remember when my children were young and loud and into a bit of mischief when I was absolutely exhausted and trying my best to hold things together. I can see a mother being at wits’ end. I can empathize with a mother of four under the age of eight including twins. I can imagine the chaos. I have felt the loneliness of being there day in; day out while your husband works rotating shifts at the police department. I can see parenting slip; emotions go nuts; utter frustration occur. I get it. You call for help. You don’t get any in the house, you go to the next level. The removal of the child you feel is the instigator, the crux, the most troublesome, offered some relief. I get it. If that was the truth.

I can imagine the struggle of having emotional and mental health issues which may not have been fully diagnosed or understood at the time when you were nine and in a mental health facility. Laying on a hard cold scratchy hospital bed wishing for the comfort and warmth of your own bedroom again; not understanding why you have to be the one in the hospital. Knowing your sister pushed your buttons and you reacted. Knowing your other sister may have set you up with the knife under your pillow and let you take the fall. I get there could have been so many things that didn’t make sense to your young heart and mind. You felt forsaken and abandoned. No one wanted you. You were shifted from house to house and could never understand why it wasn’t the right fit; it wasn’t where you felt complete and at home. How does a young child process things he doesn’t understand when no one else understood either?

When he was out of the house, you got more of mom’s attention. You liked that. But, she still loved him. She still talked about him maybe. You still weren’t the center of her attention. Running away was the only thing you thought would make her pay attention to you. He was gone and she was sad about it; if I am gone, she will be sad and miss me too, you thought. You wanted to be something amazing. You were going to show them! Singing didn’t turn out to be solution. It was harder than you could have imagined. It was lonely. No one cared. You weren’t the center of anyone’s attention. So you came home. Were you welcomed as well as you hoped?



Hanging on to sanity is hard enough in day to day life. When there is turmult and disorder in your family it is exponentially more difficult. That is a fact. Who can expect people to live through struggles and not be effected in ways which shake the core of one’s grip? There is no fault in needing assistance to make it through this earth walk as well as you can. Recognizing you need that assistance is another point altogether. Being consistent with any of it is an entirely different issue. Have you noticed how many other people need help to get through? You are not the only one. Why does a deal have to get SO BIG?


In complete honesty I must admit I have been happy with every day, every year I have not had you at the forefront of my mind. I am a survivor in this life who stepped through the door of “making it” for all those years,  to living again. I do not intend on returning to looking over my shoulder as I once did. I will not have my blessings dampened or stolen. I do not give you any power in my life and I love it. I have no ill will toward you or anyone you call friend or family. I never was angry with you. I am thankful for the richness my experiences with you and yours have added to my core being. I am better because of them.

That isn’t a compliment. It is the truth.




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