Panic attacks and anxiety still haunt me. While the frequency occurs less and less, my nervousness can creap up unexpectedly and completely take over making it nearly impossible to breathe in some instances. And it happened again today.

My adopted mom wanted to spend time with my daughter before school starts next week. She had no schedule or plan for the time together. She wanted me to meet her half way from her house to our house. She has a new puppy so I suspected she would be taking my daughter to her house at some point to play with the puppy.

The rules are my adopted mom cannot spend time with my daughter at her house with my adopted father in the house. She cannot have my daughter near him at all. But, here’s the thing I don’t trust her. Yes, I said it. I don’t trust her to protect my baby and keep her safe.

I couldn’t take the risk of her violating the rules so I responded by stating I would take my daughter to her house. Really, this was an excuse to walk through the small house to ensure no one else was home. I had a terrible morning. I was short tempered, impatient and unable to find reasons to smile. My daughter picked up on my anxiety and proactively shared how much she loved me and gave me a hug. She could connect the dots even if I hadn’t been able to link my anxiety with the day’s plan. She is old enough to ask insatiable questions about my relationship with my adopted parents so she knows there was abuse in the family. She doesn’t completely understand what happened other than our commitment to protect her and keep her safe. Therefore, she would never visit Grandma if Grandma’s husband was in the house.

It shouldn’t be like this. I shouldn’t have panic attacks and struggle to breathe when I see my adopted mom. My daughter shouldn’t have to be exposed to this kind of protective control. As I sit in a busy coffee shop writing this post with tears streaming down my face, a missed call from my biological mom and biological father I cannot deny how angry I am to have grown up in an abusive home.

My story isn’t unique and I am not special. But, the hurt is real and no child should be abandoned. No child should ever be abused by an adult. It’s wrong. The effects last forever haunting us as adults.

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