It’s odd, but I find myself much stronger since I’ve become a mother. Physically, yes – lifting a 17-pound baby constantly through the day does make a difference. But the bigger difference is in mental strength.

I have had family drama for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a household with an abusive father and a fairly dramatic extended family. Small tiffs turned into giant battles, and plenty of holidays and birthdays (including my 16th!) had some sort of argument and someone stomping out, too offended to stay.

I recently took a trip to visit my family. I live far from where I grew up, for reasons unrelated to my past (though the distance is a pleasant way of getting away from a lot of that). During the visit, my father insisted that his side of the family not visit me, as well as telling untrue stories about my teenage years. He also found a blog post from a previous blog where I talked about my past and explained what happened to me, and denied the entire thing to his family.

In all of this, I learned who I could and could not trust. The people who were around to see me are the ones I need in my life, and the ones I want to have an influence on my son and his life. It’s important to me that he never feels the anguish that I’ve felt for years – at least if I have any control over it. Because of this, I chose to remove a large number of people from my Facebook friends list – including his entire side of the family.

Will he find this blog? Maybe. Will it matter? Probably not. I’m done playing childish games and censoring myself because he might take offence. It’s silly that I can’t use my voice to tell my story without fear of some form of retribution.

I never would have taken these steps a couple of years ago. If it was only myself that I was worried about, I would just grin and bear it. But now that I have L, I can’t let myself be a figurative punching bag any longer. He deserves better than that.

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