a letter I’ll never send

I really wish I could forgive you. But there are things for which forgiveness just won’t form inside my chest. You had no business having a child. But I’m here. I have a brain and a heart and a soul that crave a mother’s love and generosity. I’ll never forgive you for never giving me those. I’ll never forgive you for lying to me about just about everything from the moment I was born. I’ll never forgive you for being the most selfish person I’ve ever met. Even when you try to make something about me, it’s always actually about you. Not just that, it’s dramatized for television. I hate the way you always want to be so close to me that I can feel your self-loathing radiating off of your skin. I hate the way I hate myself for hating you. I hate that I can’t love you. I’m supposed to. I know that. But I can’t. Somehow, we never bonded. That’s supposed to happen when a child is young – too young to walk, even – but back then you were too interested in parties and men and drugs and booze and things that weren’t going to improve your life. You’re still focused on those things. Now you’re suicidal every other day and I know you just do it for attention.

I can’t forgive you for needing me more than I could ever need you. I can’t forgive you for never thinking about anyone but yourself. I can’t forgive you for still being friends with him. Is he so important to you that everything he stole from me can’t make you hate him? Did you leave him just because you thought it was what you were “supposed” to do? You’ve never done anything else a mother is supposed to do. See, a mother truly hates the person who molests their child. They don’t remain best friends with them and talk to them on the phone every day. A mother thinks about her children first, not her next dimebag. See, these are the things that mothers do. These are the things you’ve never done; these are the things you could never do.

I’m sitting in my bedroom hiding from you right now because you’ve always made me feel like a coward. I’m not a coward, though. But I am. I’m writing this on my blog and posting it for the world to see, but I’ll probably never say these words to you. The best I can muster is to ignore your presence and try to pretend you aren’t really here right now. I found my best friend lying dead on the couch yesterday of a massive heart attack. You want to help? Stay home like I told you I wanted. Respect my wishes for once. You can’t do this, though, because you see me as an extension of yourself – born of your inability to love yourself. You needed me to love you but I don’t. I never could. You left me to fend for myself. Thank god(dess) for people who cared enough about me not to feed me to the wolves. Or worse, the alcoholics you love so much. And instead of listening to what I wanted and needed just once in my life, you came to my house and made everything about you. Because you’re here, i have to think about how to entertain you and what you might need and I can’t focus on the thousand things I need to accomplish. You saw my to-do list. It fills an entire white board in the office. I was behind on it before I found my friend on his couch. I need to focus. I need my safe space. My home is my safe space. And instead of having my home to myself and my wife’s attention right now, I have you to deal with. I’ve sent you off to the bar with my wife and a friend who is doing me a serious favor and you have no clue that it’s because I need safety. I don’t feel safe around you. My bones know that if you had a choice between my life and yours, you would throw me in first. If given the choice, I’d throw myself first for anyone. But I want to have the choice, you see. That’s what you miss when you make decisions without thinking about what I need. Even when i tell you what I need, you ignore what I say. I don’t say things to hear myself talk. I know you do. Maybe you just don’t understand. maybe you can’t.

I’ve never trusted you. I’ve never believed that you would protect me. I gave up on that the first time a fist hit my face. When I thought I had it back, I gave it up again when the fist was yours. And now I have a lot more to give up. Some call it building a wall, but I’m drawing a boundary. There are things you have that I don’t need. In fact, I don’t need you. I can’t deal with your problems anymore because I’m not your friend. I’m supposed to be your daughter, not your therapist, okay? Mothers help their daughters, not the other way around. I’ve given everything I can to help you through some really hard spots in your life and every time you turn around and use me or my presence in your life to gain something for yourself. You parade me around as your little lesbian daughter. Guess what, mother? I’m not a lesbian. I’m a full-on queer person (gender unidentified) whose identity is more than you can comprehend. But I can’t tell you this because then I’m not just another badge of suffering you wear. Don’t pretend I don’t know that you carry my queerness on your shoulder for everyone to see. Feel sorry for me; my kid’s a queer. I get it, okay. I get that you need something to bring attention to yourself. I get that you need attention and that you suck everything positive out of everyone you encounter.

Looking back on my childhood, I can’t remember a time when I honestly thought “I love my mom.” This is really sad, actually. It’s heartbreaking to some, I’m sure, but for me it’s just life. I feel guilty for saying it. I feel like I should be crying while i write this, but each word brings me power. I feel empowered by writing these words here, even knowing you’ll never read them. I’ve been trying to make a decision for a long time now and I think I’ve come to a conclusion: My boundaries do not include you. You bring things into my life that I can’t handle. In order to keep mysef healthy, happy, and sane, I must cut you loose. You’re free. So am I.

I hope you find peace some time in your life. I wish that you could be happy, truly happy, if for only a moment. I wish you could learn to love yourself. When you do, I might just be here. I might be able to be your friend. But, I will never be your daughter. You killed that when you called me from the emergency room to disown me. You threw me away so easily because you were angry. You haven’t treated me the same since then, and I’ll never look at you the same way. I look at you and feel sorry for you. I know when I see you in a bad place that I enable you. I feed your addiction to drama. I feed your addiction to attention. You’re like the five-year-old who knows that doing something bad will bring someone’s attention. Whatever it is you’re missing, I can’t give you. I need to find the things I’m missing because I can’t let you hold me down with you. If I’m going to find what I’m missing, I have to make room in my life. Right now my life is like it’s always been – too focused on you and your problems. Without you in my life I’ll have room to let someone in who will actually love me. I don’t believe you do. I don’t believe you can.

I hope you find someone who loves you. I sincerely hope that person is yourself. I hope you find peace.


One Response to “a letter I’ll never send”
  1. Joey Cooter says:

    This is amazing! It is the pure simple truth and it made me sad, angry, and a bit horrified…but more than that it made me feel joy and triumph for you! Given everything you have been through and to make the most of your life not using your past as a crutch is amazing…thank you for your honesty and sharing of this !

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