Adele’s Pattern: Journey To Redemption – The End

Asking For Help

The phone rang in Dr. Shapiro’s office. She answered it on the third ring to hear a shaky voice.

“Dr. Shapiro’s office.”

“Um… hello, uh… Dr. Shapiro, my name is Adele… I uh, I got your name from a woman who I go to church with and she says you help a lot with family therapy.” Adele began.

She was ashamed of what this stranger would soon know about her. She was scared to fall down the rabbit hole any more than she already had. She desperately wanted to hang up the phone and forget it all. Pretend that her daughters were wrong and that she was the victim of an awful injustice. But she knew she could not.

“Yes, that’s right. Are you and your family looking for a counselor?” Dr. Shapiro asked. She had been doing this long enough to recognize the sounds in people’s voices when they were broken. Something was very wrong. The woman on the other end needed help, badly.

“Uh… well it’s really just me that needs help… just me.” And then she burst into tears. She had not truly realized how alone she was until that moment and the worst part was that she was the reason. She knew she was.

Ending The Denial

“Adele, take a deep breath in for me ok?” Dr. Shapiro said calmly and she grabbed her calendar. “Let’s set up an appointment in the next few days ok?”

A weak voice responded, “Yes, please.”

They scheduled a time for the next day because luckily someone else had just cancelled. Adele felt awful but there was something new inside of her. It was a tiny ray of hope. This was the beginning of the end of all the pain. She slept poorly that night, thinking of what she would say to Dr. Shapiro and what she would think.

Safe environment to unburden

But of course none of the scenarios in her head actually happened. She walked into the cozy office and sat on a nice plush couch. She felt safe already and Dr. Shapiro began asking her questions, her tone was even, non-judgmental and soothing. By the end of their session, Adele had admitted out loud the abuse she had subjected her daughters to. She was surprised when Dr. Shapiro did not treat her like a monster.

She did not want the session to end because she was beginning to discover herself again but she had to face the world.

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Weeks and months passed and she went regularly to see Dr. Shapiro. Her rage was replaced with understanding. It would not be right to say that she felt better or great after her therapy. No, she felt so many mixed things. But as she waded through all the memories and poor choices, as she faced the things she had done, she began to grow. She was able to recognize bad patterns in her thoughts and actions and she was able to stop them or turn them into positives. Her heart was always heavy with the burden of hurting her children. She always longed to see them but she knew that she had cause enough pain to lose them for life.

Rebuilding Ties

Free from pain

She wrestled with what to do. She wanted her daughters to know the changes she was making and that she loved them but she also did not want to cause them any more pain. It was often a topic of discussion with Dr. Shapiro who encouraged her not to do anything until she was 100% sure it was what was best for her daughters and Adele saw the merit in that.

A few years passed by. Holidays were difficult, especially after admitting her transgressions to her friends and losing some. But Melissa saw the changes in her and they repaired their friendship.

Then finally, Lily and Missy sent her a letter asking to meet when they came back to the area to visit their friends. Adele eagerly agreed but became very nervous. She had no clue what they would say or do. She did not know if they hated her. She talked with Dr. Shapiro and Melissa about it many times. They both told her to own up to her mistakes and not pressure them with any of her own desires. She took their advice and vowed to follow it.

As she sat across the table at their favorite restaurant, Adele stared at her beautiful daughters. They stared back and were obviously very nervous as well. Adele let them begin the conversation.

“Mom… we wanted to see you because we have noticed that you have respected our wishes for space. It took us both a long time to come to terms with what you did… and we didn’t know how to have a relationship with you if you didn’t change.” Missy began.

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Adele just listened, not wanting to interrupt or miss a word.

“Yea, we… you hurt us so badly and for so long… I am still not sure what kind of relationship we can have…” Lily added. “But it seems like you are trying to change.” Missy and Lily looked at her and Adele spoke slowly.

The Apology And Healing

The healing journey (Photo: Thomas Leuthard/Albumarium)

“It took me far too long to change but yes, I have been seeing a therapist for a few years now. She has helped me to face all of my mistakes and take responsibility for them within myself and with other people. I told the people in my bible study what I did… and the rest of our family… everyone who ever called you…” Adele trailed off holding back tears of shame and regret. “I am so sorry.”

Missy and Lily looked at her with pain in their faces.

“Mom… even though we don’t know what the future for us is… we still love you very much.”

A wave of warmth crashed down on Adele and soothed her broken heart. She prayed they would repair and respected the boundaries that her daughters gave her.

Little by little, their boundaries shrank and Adele had more with them than she ever thought possible. Though things were never as they could have been, she thanked god for the second chance she had.

Contributor, Claudette P. Esterine
Alexis Ali

Alexis Ali lives in New York and has a Master’s degree in Linguistics. She is a freelance writer of short stories and uses her skills to help others. “Adele’s Pattern” is her second short story series for us. Did you miss the first three parts of this series? Catch Part One, Part Two and Part Three and share with your friends across social media who might need to understand more about parental abuse and how to get help. [tweetthis]Read this very interesting story of redemption by an abusive mother! [/tweetthis]

Also, check out Alexis’ first short story series for us, “The Unfortunate Life of an Interesting Woman,” and her most recent non-fictional post, “The 2 Dreaded Questions Single Women Still Face,” here.

Subscribe and receive updates of Alexis’ and the posts of other Contributors in our daily roundup email. Also, check out Webinars with Claudette and register today!

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30 thoughts on “Adele’s Pattern: Journey To Redemption – The End

  1. […] is part one of a four part short-story series as we focus on life challenges. Subscribe and receive a daily update of our posts by this and other […]

  2. […] about any topic having to do with life, love, changes – her Best of The Year post in 2015 was Adele’s Pattern: Journey To Redemption. It shone a very bright light on parental abuse, perpetuated by mothers. With every post, Alexis […]

  3. […] on just about any topic having to do with life, love, changes – her Best of The Year post, Adele’s Pattern: Journey To Redemption shone a very bright light of parental abuse, perpetuated by mothers. Alexis’ took us on a […]

  4. […] Alexis Ali lives in New York with her husband. She has a Master’s degree in Linguistics and is a freelance writer of short stories. She also sings, has a love for photography and may one day be doing both with her Princess or two. Her most recent posts was a short story series, “Adele’s Pattern: A Journey To Redemption.” You can read it here. […]

  5. Very nice post. We should live in a world of second chances!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you for your comment and for dropping by! 🙂

  6. This is a beautiful and touching story. Every one of us deserve a second chance. Not all of us are lucky to have a second chance, though.

    1. Ms Claudette

      That’s so true! Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

  7. What a powerful story that is! I’m really glad she was able to find the help she needed to take a new path.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you and yes, although it is fiction, it does happen in life much too often so it’s wonderful that this story shows that change is possible. Namaste. 🙂

  8. This is such an inspiring story. It just goes to show that there is always room for change –no, room for improvement. I am glad Adele was able to face her mistakes and she did what she needed for the better. More power to her.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Amen to that! Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

  9. This is such a great post. What an amazingly strong woman!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you and yes, it takes a whole heap of strength to accept when you have done wrong and get help! 🙂

  10. It’s important to own responsibility for our actions. I’m glad the therapist helped this woman see the need for it.

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are not alone on that! Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

  11. datanerdskelowna

    Thanks for sharing this story, it hit home for me because no one should be afraid to go to therapy for any reason no matter how embarrassing or wrong they think it is. Adele is a strong lady!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes she is a strong woman! I thank my Contributor, Alexis, for right such a spot on short story series. 🙂

  12. Melodi Steinberg

    i am a huge advocate for therapy! Good for you!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you – good for Adele and all women/parents struggling with abusive tendencies and have the courage to seek help. 🙂

  13. sicorra

    This is a very touching story. Kind of reminds me of my mother. She was never physically abusive with me, but she always said the wrong things. In today’s world she would be classified as a bully, I think.

    When I read the part where Adele said she was sorry, it reminded me that all I ever wanted was for my mother to say that she was sorry.

    I think therapy is extremely beneficial for people, esp if you are able to find the right therapist to work with you. Sometimes just a few sessions can help you get back on track, while other times it may take a few months or more.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Funny you should share that as when Alexis started this series I had no idea where she would end up. We only discussed the idea but not the details. I deliberately did not read it until today. When I saw that apology, I too cried because like you, all I wanted to hear from my mother was that she was sorry and no strings attached to it. That never came.

  14. Wonderful post and sending positive message for everybody ! Second chance is great

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you and it is very much appreciated. 🙂

  15. just1mommysopinion

    What a great post. Therapy can definitely help a lot of people who are going through difficult times. And this post shows that it’s OK to seek help. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Ms Claudette

      You ar emost welcome and yes, that is part of the message that we hoped to communicate with this short story series. 🙂

  16. What a beautiful post! I’m sure it will help bring attention for someone 🙂

    1. Ms Claudette

      We really hope it will! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  17. Second chances are great when they happen. Thanks for sharing this story.

    1. Ms Claudette

      They are indeed but before you get one there must be a willingness to accept your role in the situation. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

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