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Letter 10: Mom

January 29th, 2011

Dear Mom,

I should probably be saying this to your face, but when it comes right down to it, I’m not sure I can. I honestly have no idea how you’ll react, and I don’t know that I can handle the outcome I expect. Which is a bunch of excuses, and “I’m sorry you feel that way.”s, and “All you ever think about is yourself.”s, and not a lick of interest in working it out.

I don’t even know where I’ve gotten this impression of you. I mean, my whole life, I’ve avoided conflict unless it was unavoidable with you. I think that’s partly because Dad used to get so mad when I hurt your feelings. Cause, you know, who cares if you hurt mine.

It’s kinda sad that it took y’all splitting up for me to have the balls to take an honest look at our relationship.

I can’t say that I hate you, because that would be a lie. Mostly, when I think about our relationship, I just end up confused.

Let me say that I know raising me was no picnic. I haven’t deluded myself into believing I was some sort of saint growing up. I know I was an asshole. I know I was hard to deal with. And I know that you thought you were doing the best you could. Maybe you were doing the best you could.

But honestly? I don’t see it that way.

I’m sitting here staring at the cursor turning it over and over in my mind. I don’t talk to you. I don’t remember when I stopped talking to you. And even now, though I know you’ll never see it, I can’t talk to you. I don’t even know where to begin.

Somewhere down the road, I stopped trusting you. I don’t know if it was because you always played favorites, or because you never stood up for me, or… I just don’t know.

I don’t remember what the letters you found the first time I ran away said. I had completely forgotten the second I buried them in my nightstand. I’m not sure I meant for you to read them. I think if I had, I would have written you another before I left.

I can imagine, though. I remember with a vividness I can’t describe the day that was the final straw.

I didn’t want to go home that night. There was something in your eyes… Something I didn’t like at all.

Maybe that’s when it happened.

I saw it again a few years later, when I took off again. But it never left, after that. It was always there, tormenting me, behind the fake smile, and sugary sweet act.

I wanted to go with Dad when he moved to North Carolina. I didn’t care about moving away from my friends. I didn’t ask because I thought he moved to get away from me. Yeah… You got me. For a little while, you had me convinced he hated me.

I dunno what finally sealed the deal. I think it happened long before I finally stopped talking to you.

But you know, it’s kinda shitty that you treat me like I’m nobody. I get that she’s your kid, and naturally, you’ve got more of a bond with her, but that didn’t mean you had to throw me away.

And I know that you’re consoling yourself with the fact that, as far as you’re concerned, you gave me a good life, and I was a bitch. But I was a fucking kid, Mom! And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to fix it. But when we were at Disney, I saw it again. That… disgust, maybe, dancing behind the make-believe. And I still don’t get it.

I’m sure you’ve got your reasons. Just like I’ve got mine.

I don’t understand why instead of supporting me, you intentionally made my life harder. I don’t know if you were jealous, or just that offended, or what. But it’s obvious, by the way you constantly make her life easier, that something isn’t right between us, and probably hasn’t been for a long time.

But you know, I’m 30 years old, and staring down the barrel of 31. I’ve come a long way from 16, but you wouldn’t know that because no matter how much I try to fix things between us, you just continue to shove me as far away as possible.

And I get it. I do. Progress is usually immediately followed by intentional failure with me. But I’m not that person anymore. I grew up, Mom. And if you’re not interested in finding that out, then it’s time I let you go. It hurts. I wish it wasn’t this way. But the ball’s been in your court for a long time, and you haven’t even picked it up, much less made a play. And I can’t do it anymore.

I do love you.


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  1. Selective Sensualist
    January 29th, 2011 at 15:28 | #1

    Oh, hon, this letter makes my heart hurt. (((Hugs))) Maybe someday you can send this letter, or one similar.

    I think I need to write some similar letters to work through the hurtful relationships I’ve had, of which there are many.

  2. January 29th, 2011 at 16:50 | #2

    @ Selective Sensualist I don’t think I ever will. Send it, I mean. It’s not worth the heartache it’s going to cause both of us. I hate that I think of her feelings, too, but it’s who I am.

    This letter project has been really cathartic for me. I recommend it to anyone who has issues to work through.

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