Dear Mrs. Bluth,
I am in a very bad place right now and I cry all the time, so my best friend told me to write to you. You see, she wrote to you when her parents were getting divorced and she said what you told her helped a lot.
I don’t know how to tell you everything that’s going on in my life, except to say that this must be what gehenom is like, where neshomos cry all the time from the terrible pain they are in. But my sisters and brothers, and me, we haven’t sinned, so why do we have to suffer. Our parents are always fighting with each other, screaming at each other and even hitting. And now, they are getting a divorce. My father has moved out of the house and my mother is even crazier than she was before.
The only place the five us feel safe is by our grandparents. Our Bubby always made us feel safe and not so sad. She would tell us that our parents would find a way to work things out and it would all be good. She and Zaidy were the only light in our lives and we would sleep over their house as often as our mother would let. But now with the divorce coming, she doesn’t let anymore. Our father is their son and she won’t let us even speak to them. All we get to hear from her is how terrible they are – just like our father.
Last week, Bubby stood outside the playground gate so she could see my two sisters and me. We were so happy. She brought us cookies she had baked and passed them through the gate; just to touch her was so good and so bad at the same time. When we got home that night, our mother found two left-over cookies in my little sister’s backpack and she went crazy. Once she forced my sister to tellk her who they were from, she called school and yelled at the staff. She said that if Bubby or Zaidy ever came again they had to call the police to have them arrested. Then she called Bubby and screamed at her; we could hear Bubby crying because she was on speaker.
I am almost thirteen, but I know that if I ran away to live with Bubby and Zaidy, I would be getting them in trouble. I hate my mother and feel bad for my father that he had to live with such a mean witch for all this time. I don’t blame him for finally moving out and I know he misses us as much as we miss him. I can’t wait until I’m eighteen and able to decide what to do without anyone telling me. I don’t want to stay with her anymore, but I can’t leave my little sisters and younger brothers. So can you help me? Please. I don’t want the judge to say we have to stay with her. I want to live with Zaidy and Bubby and to see Tatty, because he lives there too.
The girl with the tears in her eyes (not my real name)
I’m the one with tears in my eyes after having read your letter. Every bit of the sadness and hopelessness you are feeling comes through in your words. So many people are being hurt, including your grandparents who love you and try to provide you and your siblings with a stable, loving and safe place. It is clear that you feel at peace when you are with them.
I can only imagine how you and your siblings feel, being made to suffer, when as you said, you have never done anything wrong and so much is out of your control.
Divorce is an unbelievably painful experience. However, I would think that living with your parents and watching them hurt each other with terrible words and actions was just as painful. That would make the divorce the better of two options.
I can tell you that, hopefully, there will come a time when your parents will have settled down and there could be a chance for two homes with love and stability: your mother’s and your father’s. But that is in the future. For now, I ask you to hold on for a little while longer.
Can you write to me again, please? This time with your grandparents phone number. I’d like to speak with them and see if there is some way we can work together to make your situation a little easier.
I will do whatever I can to make sure you and your brothers and sisters are safe, well and as happy as possible. I care what happens and so do many others.