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Rylee was not educated about emotional and physical abuse nor did she know how to function while living with an addict. She tried to accept her life of turmoil, conveniently denying what really went on in her household. Like the time that Darth slugged her in the freshly stapled abdominal incision. She was so ashamed that she didn’t tell anyone.

Like so many abused women, Rylee felt insignificant, trading her dignity for a belief that she could purchase family stability based on accommodating Darth’s perverted demands. As a result, she slogged through overwhelming bouts of depression and alienation. Functioning on overload all the time, she had not been willing to remove herself or her child from her commitment to make her marriage work. By not removing herself from her marriage, she was unknowingly joining Darth in a merry-go-round ride of hostility, bewilderment and guilt, with no way out of the playground.

For years, she had been living under the assumption that if what she was trying, was not working then she was not trying hard enough. In a pivotal moment of acceptance, Rylee finally understood that she had to stop being responsible for Darth’s problems as she did not cause them, and she certainly could not control him. During their first custody court date, the mild-mannered mediator man told Rylee to stick to her guns, she wondered if he knew that she slept with one. She personally felt that Darth was too polluted to be a proper parent, but that did not change the fact that he was Joey’s father, and Joey wanted to be with his dad. The visit was only supposed to last for a few weeks, but turned into a missing child situation for five consecutive years.