Dear Mom

Dear mom,

It is with a heavy heart that I write you this letter, knowing that I’ll probably never send it to you for fear that you’ll take it completely out of context. You could never read something like this and take from it the self reflection, the sadness, and the hope that maybe we can fix what happened between us. Chances are you would read this, like you read my sister’s letter last year, and pick out all the parts where she showed you why you were wrong and how she grew from that into a better person and instead, chose to play the victim, as usual. You picked out all the parts where she showed you where you might have done some things better, perhaps made better decisions, hopefully, even apologize, and you chose to play the victim.

“You should see what she wrote to me! You should see the horrible things she said!” And I did. I read that email, and where you felt picked apart and blamed, I saw my sister explaining to you how she had become a better, stronger person. My sister reached out to you, and you spit in her face.

As I feel you would spit in mine, if I ever showed you this letter.

No daughter ever feels good telling her mother to go fuck herself. I certainly didn’t feel good when I told you to go fuck yourself. I’ve never said anything like that to you before, and I doubt I would ever say anything so disrespectful again. Where you might focus on the fact that I said it to you, I’m focusing on the why.

You told me that I antagonized the whole situation with Brother. You said it was all my fault and that I deserved what I had coming to me. That’s like telling the girl with the short skirt that she deserved to get raped because her skirt was too short. No. It doesn’t work like that.

You called me to tell me that my actions sickened you, that I disgusted you as a parent. You told me that you don’t respect my husband as a man any more (not that I believe you respected him to begin with)because he just walked into your house to threaten your son, then in the same breath you told me that I antagonized that situation with my Brother. What did you expect was going to happen? Would I sit here, on the phone with you, nodding my head and saying, “yes mom, you’re right.”

Fuck no. I’ve been steam rolled by you enough times, and to be quite honest, I’m sick of it. I may be your daughter, but I’m also a woman deserving of respect. A respect you seem to lack when your temper gets the best of you. Your temper is a great and terrible force, and it’s beyond frightening. Do you know how many times I’ve heard my friends whisper, “your mom is scary,” after they’ve heard you yell? Did you know you even get a crazy glint in your eye, that looks like you might either explode of get violent?

You’ve thrown your keys at me, you’ve thrown hot coffee at me, you’ve broken things that I cherish in your tempests of anger, all the while leaving me feeling guilty for making you so mad. Does that sound like emotional abuse to you? It sure does to me.

My sister asked you not to smoke with her friends on her 17th birthday, it was her only request.When she caught you smoking with her friends she was enraged. How did you handle that? You became doubly mad at her. I honestly think that was the beginning of the end for her. It wasn’t long after that that she moved away from home, never to return.

If this was a witch hunt, I have more than enough evidence to have you burned at the stake with nary a backward glance, but that’s not what this is about.

You are estranged from both your daughters. Dad has just informed me that we need to take some time apart, and I agree. But I still miss you, and I love you.

I never said I wanted you to be perfect, but it sure would be nice if you could take some responsibility for this mess. It would be nice to see you finally take the first step and make a friendly overture. I know you’re sitting in your palace waiting for me to kneel before you and proffer apologies and guilt and beg your forgiveness.  Not this time. I won’t let you have that kind of power over me any more. This whole situation is ridiculous, and you’re too proud, stubborn, or angry to think that you might be at fault.

Dad keeps telling me that you’ve grown so much from who you used to be, that you’ve made so much progress. All I can see is that you’re a stagnant person who refuses to grow in any way. I know you’ve changed a lot from when I was a kid, but dad’s complaisance doesn’t help your stagnation now. He told me last night that you’re closing yourself up. Cutting yourself off. I hope when you’re done hitting rock bottom, when you’re done playing the victim, you’ll see how your actions got you into this situation, and know I’ll still be here, waiting for you because I love you. And I still have hope that you’ll be able to grow from your mistakes and be a better person.

Which is what I’ll be doing as well. Every situation forces us to grow, to learn, to be a better person. I choose to learn from this, not to be suffocated by it. I wish you would do the same, even though I know you can’t, at least not right now.

It’s been over a month since we’ve spoken any words of significance and I can’t lie and say I don’t miss it. I do. I miss you, mom. I wish things could be different, but I can’t make you change. You have to want that for yourself, and you’ve made it clear that you don’t want that right now.

To be honest, I have a lot of growing to do too. I’m still mad at you, but it’s not a seething, burning rage. I know you are only doing the best you can (which right now, I’ll be honest, isn’t much).

I’m also frustrated by the whole situation, and your ignorance towards how your actions affect the people around you. Even though I have people in my life that love me and tell me that I should be glad to have such a toxic person out of my life, that doesn’t make me feel less bad about how this went down.

I can’t even say that I’m sorry I told you to go fuck yourself, because I’m not. I’m just sorry that I was pushed hard enough to make me say it. I hope you learn from our time apart, and I hope you know that despite your gaping faults, I still love you. I still have hope for you.