These are the very next words that came out of his mouth. They were not flowery. They were not scared or tentative. They were flat. “I don’t want you to leave” And the therapist and I sat for a few more moments, I’m assuming she was waiting for the rest to come out of his mouth just like I was, but there wasn’t anything else. Nothing. That was it. A man of few words. A blank look on his face. There was no heartfelt “I love you, I can’t live without you” There was no genuine remorse or apology for the events of the past week. It didn’t sit well with me at all. That’s it? Really? I kept thinking in my head that’s all you can come up with after the week you just put me through? It didn’t seem like enough. It didn’t seem like that was what needed to be said. It felt like a copout. Like he didn’t want to be the bad guy so if now I decided to leave it would be on me. Ugh. Now the decision was mine and mine alone. How do I bring my kids back into this mess. How do I walk back into that house knowing he A) he really doesn’t see it as ours and 2) That at any moment it could all go up in smoke again. And above all that how would I tell my kids we were going back? How could I tell is kids we weren’t coming back? It felt like too much to carry and I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. Get under my covers and close my eyes and when I opened them all this would be over and just a dream, nightmare if you will. But that was not an option. Before leaving that session I agreed we could work on things, but not that I would come “home” just yet. We agreed that we would bring all the kids into a therapy session to get their take on what we needed to do to be a better functioning family and to let them know none of this was their fault. Although in the back of my mind, I knew some of it was definitely on my daughter, but we are the adults and should not have to stoop to their immature level to deal with them. I was confused and when I got back to my parents my kids were anxiously awaiting what I had decided. I told them we would all be at therapy the next night and it was like I had told hem I ran over their cat. They were horrified at the thought. My older daughter outright refused and said if I was going back she would not be going with me. I understood what she was saying, but again, where else were we going to o? That was our “home” for lack of a better word and all our stuff was there and the animals and the addition we just put on. It seemed right to try to make it work and trying to give everyone a voice seemed like a good start. We got to the appointment the next night and you could cut the tension in the air with a knife. His kids gave me hugs and they all sat on one side the room and my kids an sat on the other, it was definitely a family divided. But it was our family and we were going to try our best to repair it. The therapist began with this “You have all been through a trauma this week and we are here to see if we can help get you all back one same page. Jolly Guy do you want to start?” And then he began. As the words started to come out of his mouth I could see the kids begin to cry, which made me begin to cry and he said “What I did the other night was incredibly wrong I want to apologize to all of you. I was so angry and I felt so out of control and disrespected that I didn’t know what else to do. And again it was wrong and I want you guys to come home.” I could see my daughters eyes rolling back in her head, one staring at the floor and the other two eyes fixated on me. This was not going to be easy. It was a tough room with the six of us when all was good, I felt the temperature in the room begin to rise s it was time for each of the kids to speak. I could feel myself holding my breath.