What Leaving my Kids Meant and Did to Me!

photo credit: Sad via photopin (license)
Parental Alienation
Marie Abanga

I don’t know how many women leave a marriage and leave their children behind. I still don’t know how many openly talk about it to help and heal more.

I remember a comment Soila once made probably on a previous post of mine when she said she didn’t know many women would chose to leave their kids in that same ‘jail’ they were escaping from.

What I would admit even before proceeding, is the fact that guilt has a lot to do with ‘our shutting up’.

You see, society had long considered it more probable and even acceptable that the man should be the one leaving when a marriage sinks irretrievably. It was also and still is more probable and acceptable that the woman stays with the kids or in the ‘extreme or abnormal of divorces’, she leaves with her kids.

Well, a lot about me is unconventional and that is a whole book to be published soon.

Now, if I had money, if I knew what next, if I knew where next, or if I had a who next, I would have left with those I fondly call “The Real Men in my Life.”

But, I did not want to take all three back to my Mother’s. The eldest one, the one I brought to that marriage, could return to my mother’s but the other two were better off in the ‘jail’  I was escaping from.

It wasn’t a jail for them and to fast forward a bit, he even takes them on vacations now and buys them christmas gifts.

As I planned my escape, I talked with my men (in spite of their tender ages of 7, 5 and  2 as of when I left them in 2011), and painfully and tearfully explained to them what was at stake.

Yes it was and still is not easy. We miss each other so much, cry sometimes, laugh other times, write each other poems, emails, draw pictures and talk on the phone like once a week.

I still remember that famous May 26th when I packed them off to my Mother’s with letters already sealed for my parents and my ex.

leaving my kids
Drawing from one of my sons after leaving my kids.

I wanted them to go stay there a while before their father came to collect his own because I wasn’t sure how often he would let even my mother see them once he knew I had ‘vanished’.

If he had been there when I sent them off, he would have noticed something was wrong. He would have noticed how many things I sent them off with and how many times I hugged each of them and took pictures.

Now, making and taking the decision to leave my kids behind, is to me the ultimate sacrifice.  I have lost two other children but I got over those loses pretty quick. I had my first, lost a second, had a third, lost a fourth, then had a fifth so in between each lose there was ‘a spare and a quick, so to say, replacement’ that followed.

Therefore, you would understand that leaving my kids behind meant I was leaving my all behind. It took me six months to finally go after I had spoken with them. It took me eight months to even get to speak with them thereafter because their father wouldn’t let me speak to them nor let anyone give me their house number and all.

I would had no one to turn to and got no support from my family then because to them I was ‘literally lost in mind and body’.

Leaving my kids meant I was now on my own and for a moment, I believed that I could live just for me.

But no, leaving my kids, jolted me to further action.

Simply put, as Les Brown my primo motivational speaker puts it, I became ‘Armed and Dangerous’. I spared no opportunity I could to get out there and do better.  I dared to get those jobs I so wanted no matter what.

Leaving my kids behind did so much for me in the sense that it tried my pain and hurt to the max. The tears in my eyes pushed me to maturity but eventually that well ran dry.  It forced me loose any extra kilos left from my previous 115 kg self. Above all, as from that day, I stopped even thinking of ill health. A former patient like myself, who had already sort of abandoned the drives to the hospital, became one very healthy woman.

When I think of my kids, I know I don’t have any lame excuse to give not to sleep just four hours a day if that’s what it takes. When I think of my kids, which is 24/7 and all the seconds in there, I can go without food just so that one day they can come over and live with me and have the life l would have loved to have as a teen.

Yes, all I have now are the mails, some lucky skype calls with the one at my mother’s when she’s home like this morning or some poorly connected phone conversations when the weather is at its best either here or over there.

For the other other two, who remained with their father,  it’s been two weeks since we spoke. I heard this morning that ‘David my Shephard’ (one of my children) was sick but that it wasn’t serious. Even if it were, what can I do?

I miss their events and I’m sure you can list all else that I’m missing. Hey, I am even sure some will be judging me good bad or ugly and wishing they could…

Afterall, I have been called a witch back home and at some point their dad told them I  was dead.

I once read a blog where another woman tried to explain why she left her children and I was amazed at how many judges were in the single courtroom for a case they all knew nothing about.

Well, one other thing leaving my kids behind did to me, was to enforce this ‘spirit’ I have in me of ‘doing my thing’.

I am soon publishing my memoir and it was just approved by CreateSpace this morning.

That book thrills even me because it is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I keep saying I hope it helps and heals more than it hurts.

As for me, I probably left behind guilt, shame, self pity and that feeling of wanting to be ‘conventional’ or tow along in life, when I left my Kids behind.

Dear Reader of The Divorce Magazine, do you have similar experiences, comments or remarks you may want to share?

Marie Abanga

Twitter: @marieA2013

Feature photo credit: Sad via photopin (license)


  1. Dear Cathy,

    Thanks for your comments. I love my kids and yet I left them. That is the fact and my story. Even if I tell you how much I love them, you wouldn’t still understand so I may not try any further!

    As for God, I may not be as religious as you are, I know a lot about him and several religions, but I don’t want to lean on that nor ‘blow trumpets’ – no offence meant! To me, we all have the choice to go into religion or any other beliefs as much as we want to.

    I hope you do get a copy of my book and that you have all the best of luck in your life and Faith!

    Regards, Marie

  2. Yes Marie, I just read your story online but still to get your book and have a clue of your story. I can’t judge or condemn you because I don’t think I have the right to .What I’m trying to figure out here is how much you feel for your children but still left them behind.

    I think we all have a supernatural creator GOD ,go to him and you will flow in an ocean of happiness. You didn’t mention God in any situation no matter what you were going through ,my dear he is a miraculous God.

  3. […] this saturday on the Divorce Magazine, I published a very emotional and sensational article on leaving my kids. My world could very well have stopped just then but no it did […]

  4. Marie,
    It pains me to read your story. I too left my kids, though it was long ago. I will never forget the mixed feelings of relief, and grief as I drove away from the house, knowing I was not going back. The confusion that they went through at first. Many people ask How is it possible to leave your children, and have that be a positive for them. For myself, the fighting in my house was out of control and it was hurting the children to see it. They were begging us to stop. I was only 23, my kids were 5 and 1 1./2. I had nowhere to go, but he had a family with money and he had a job, and he had support. I left them and while I didn’t have the extreme separation you have, he made visitation very difficult until I was able to get joint custody a year later. I fought for 5 years to get primary custody of them, once I was on my feet. Only to have him remarry and decide he did not want them anymore. He stopped seeing them when they were 16, and 12. I don’t think some people ever understand that a father can be an good parent but a horrible husband, but a fighting marriage is always a horrible parent. And if you have to get out to become the mother that they need, then that is what is better for them and you. That is what is important. There is nowhere that it is written that a mother cannot love her children, and not be with them. Sometimes, we have to let go of the things we love the most. I wish you luck with your children, and your journey.

    • Dear Tracy,

      Thanks for your comments. I know you can understand because I see you identify those issues. Those mixed feelings, the confusion and the trauma. Yes, as one of the mantras of this noble magazine says, Divorce is a painful journey and this one too shall pass. I am revisiting mine much more painfully right away with the publication of my book and the promotion that comes with that. It is on the amazon searchable with my name. I

      You see, in my case on the outside, all knew and maybe rightly so, that I caused the divorce, that I deserved the abuse after all I have always been an unconventional girl and woman. Nobody cared to find out what the trigger was nor what went on inside the four walls of the bedroom.

      Thanks for wishing me well with my children and my journey and dare I wish you well too.

      Regards, Marie

  5. Dear Mary,

    I am thankful that the first comment I get on my post is just what I anticipated: I will call it a critical choice review and I am sure at this rate I may one day do a best seller.

    Now to serious considerations, to each their ‘mirror’ or opinion but what I also know is that there are some who are with their children in the same house and yet live world apart all for the ‘show’.

    I ain’t justifying my action or opinions to anyone, no no one deserves that, I am merely sharing and yes courageously so. I wish you the best with your own list.

    Regards, Marie

  6. Hi Marie Abanga, I have read your article on the Divorce Magazine, for me, no matter what your reason is for leaving your kids is not acceptable and reasonable. As a mother, you can do anything for your kids, and leaving them is not on the list.

    Mary Joy C. Sy
    Contributor, http://www.OurHappySchool.com

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